What They Say:
With Kakashi unable to get through to Obito, Naruto leaps to his Sensei’s defense. The release of Ten Tails forces the Allied Shinobi Forces into an assault on Obito and Madara, but the powerful Tailed Beast proves to be a formidable enemy. The devastation is severe, but Hinata’s words spur Naruto to continue fighting with renewed energy, while help arrives from unexpected quarters – including an old adversary! Will Naruto and the Allied Shinobi’s efforts be enough to fend off destruction?
Naruto Shippuden contains a bilingual presentation that contains two stereo tracks that are encoded at 256kbps. For a television series, you will find a full surround mix with generally good segments of directionality. Of course, the opening and closing segments contain the best use of sound stage and music, which is typical for most television series. Voices come across clean and clear with dropouts or distortions during regular playback of the English track. Spot checking the Japanese audio track was solid as well.
Airing in 2014, each episode appears in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio that is enhanced for anamorphic playback. Lots of solid action sequences are a keystone for Naruto and they present very well. No no motion artifacts or break-ups appeared during our viewing. Atypical with darker scenes, a little aliasing appeared during a panning sequence along with a bit of noise. Still, there is not much of anything to really complain about it. As a fan, the show couldn’t really look much better. This collection also features, I believe a first for Naruto, English text for the episode titles and other kanji while watching the English dub. It’s nice a touch in that you do not have to switch the subtitles on and off anymore!
he packaging for this collection follows the same design used for previous Naruto Shippuden collections with a slipcover that slides over a keepcase. The keepcase holds two discs. The character artwork features Naruto in his Nine Tails Chakra mode using purple background. You will find the series along the upper left side of the artwork. Naruto and Sakura on featured on the back cover. It would have been nice to include Sasuke here as he plays a pivotal role in this collection of episodes. At the bottom, you will find a summary and breakdown of the discs features and extras.
The menus for this release are as basic with minimal menu navigation. The central portion features animation from the show that cycles through smoothly while setting the tone for this collection of episodes. Everything loads quickly and smoothly.
You will find the typical extras such as storyboards, English language credits, and the clean versions of the opening and closing sequences. An art gallery is included, but sadly no dub outtakes. I really miss the extras that Viz used to pack in the other Naruto collections.
Content:(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
I have been keeping up with the Naruto Shippuden collections while I have been on an almost 2 year review hiatus from Fandom Post. I can’t believe it’s been that long! Nevertheless, Naruto Shippuden has been a fun story overall but tends to slog at times with all of that flashback material. I appreciate flashbacks and backstories, but Naruto Shippuden uses this technique to almost a fault. It can create a viewer whiplash and can cause one to get a bit confused with the plot. Backstories that apply to the overall plot are way better than filler, in my opinion!
Relevant aspects of those flashbacks begin to take hold with the present struggle against Madara. While Naruto is a pivotal character and hero, this story is really feels like it is mostly focused on the struggle between Obito and Kakashi. We see Kakashi come to terms with the turmoil within himself as he confronts Obito. It makes sense considering the extensive history that these two former teammates have. Their lives have literally been ripped apart after the events that led up to Rin’s death.
The two seem to hash it out the most when they are trapped within Kakashi’s genjutsu. Kakashi is nearly at the end of his physical limits and genjutsu is the only effective tool he has left to fight Obitio. The growth of Kakashi as a character really shines in these moments as his character personifies true grit, honor, and love for his comrades. This is why Kakashi is such a favorite among Naruto fans. Given all that he has dealt with in the past, everything is coming full circle as he deals with not only an insurmountable task of saving the world, but also confroningt the demons of his past. Talk about intense!
Outside the genjutsu, the fight with the Ten Tails keeps building up in intensity. Surely this fight will surpass the scale of destruction that we witnessed between Naruto and Pain. The oppressive force of destruction from the Ten Tails paints a canvass of gloom and doom never before depicted in Naruto. The tailed beast fights are spectacular as Bee and Naruto give it their all to stop the Ten Tails. It’s at this point where you begin to feel as if they might not be able to stop the Ten Tails as Naruto and Bee’s attacks just don’t seem to slow this thing down one bit. Not mention, this thing keep evolving into all kinds of ugly!
Naruto is the hero and he is going to come through no matter what as his ninja way will dictate how this fight will end. Kurama and Nartuo must work together in ways we haven’t seen in the past few collections. While sometimes comical, it is evident that they are near their own limits as Kurama must help Naruto to not overextend himself in the fight against Madara, Obito, and the ever evolving Ten Tails. It’s at this point where his friends and what little remains of the Allied Shinobi Forces comes to back him up.
It’s easily predictable that the cavalry would come to their aid even though they are pretty much weak sauce. The collective whole is what is most important here as everyone’s convictions and abilities will see them through no matter the cost, which is in stark contrast to what Madara and Obito seek. You won’t find anything new here in terms of grandiose storytelling. But, it works well for a story, that above all else, portrays good vs evil and the common good for the people you love and care about.
Tailed Beast Bombs are the weapons of mass destruction that span across the landscape. Madara and the Ten Tails deliver that in spades. Things seem pretty bleak for the Allied Shinobi Forces as some significant losses will really pull your heartstrings. Perplexed, but not broken, Naruto’s resolve is renewed with Hinata reaching through to him like no other can. Truly, a great moment that this series definitely needs more of
A new strategy, courtesy of Inoichi and Shikaku, is deployed using Chakara from Naruto and Kurama helps to turn the tide as things focus on how the story has got this point. Resetting the stage on an emotional level is one of the series’ best aspects as it pulls you in and makes you want to cheer the heroes on.
In typical Naruto fashion, the story suddenly takes a new turn as the Sauske story arc begins to converge with Naruto’s. For me, the biggest reveal in this collection of episodes is when Sasuke and Orochimaru resurrect the four Hokages of the Hidden Leaf. Karin, Suigetsu, and Jugo are also along for the ride. Jugo’s quiet temperament leaves him to be virtually unnoticeable during while Karin and Suigetsu’s comedy almost becomes annoyingly over the top. Orichimaru seems rather reserved and its hard to understand why he is so cooperative with Sasuke’s wishes. He has to have an ulterior motive other than just wanting to see how things play out. The big question is whether or not Sasuke will seek out his revenge by destorying the Hidden Leaf Village.
And here it comes…. More backstory and it is a lot to absorb! I have learned to love it and hate it all the same. At times it works well and other times, it flops. I often wonder if Naruto should have been split into another series that focused on these backstories as there has been so much. Here, it makes sense as we get more Madara backstory as the First Hokage, Hashirama, reveals all about his clan, his friendship with Madara, the war with the Uchiha clan, and the formation of the Hidden Leaf Village. It brings the dark history surrounding the Uchiha clan into full focus and how Madara was a big part of it. Obviously, the Uchiha never really learned how to deal with anger and animosity towards the village. We also witness Sauske learning the real truth about Itachi. Orichmaru even seems to exhibit some sympathy for all that has was shared and revealed especially with all the knowledge he gained while being inside Kabuto. He then challenges Sasuke to make his decision on whether or not to destroy the village.
This collection of episode begins to wind down as the fight with the Ten Tails, Obito, and Madara begin to intensify. Naruto and Allied Shenobi Forces bring it to the Ten Tales just as the four Hokage come in to back them up. Sasuke, Team Taka, and Orichmaru head out to locate Lady Tsunade, which makes for a unique reunion that has its own flashback with the Legendary Sanin. This of course plays nicely into the reunion of Team 7 as Sasuke joins Naruto and Sakura to fight the Ten Tales.
Naruto: Shippuden has always had a strong overarching plot that is as deep as it is wide. However, assembling those pieces into a cohesive work is not always executed smoothly. This is evident in this collection of episodes as the flashbacks and backstories are plenty and very detailed. It can frustrate the viewer as easily as confuse if you are not paying attention. There are some solid moments to be witnessed while there are others that trudge along with a bit too much backstory. However, this something that is not new to the seasoned Naruto fan and shouldn’t come at a surprise. For a first time viewer, this something that you should be wary of jumping into as it could leave you not liking the series at all.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 2.0 Language, English Subtitles, Production Credits, Storyboards, Clean Opening, Clean Closing
Content Grade: B
Audio Grade: B+
Video Grade: B+
Packaging Grade: B
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: C
Released By: Viz Media
Release Date: January 17th, 2017
Running Time: 325
Video Encoding: 480p MPEG-2
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Samsung UN46B6000VF 120Hz LED HDTV, Samsung HT-WS1R/XAA 2.1 Channel Soundbar Speaker System with Wireless Subwoofer, and Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p