Naruto Shippuuden rises from the ashes! A dramatic return to form!


After realizing my disappointment in Naruto Shippuuden, I quit watching and renounced my faith in the old girl; for me, the magic had faded. All at once, it felt too slow, too choppy, too cheap and too predictable; my dreams had been lost – the hero’s comeback never happened. In that time, I enjoyed being one of those cool anime fans. Suddenly I had refined taste, people invited me for interviews and guest collaborations as I mingled with high society, yet my true colours, my dirty secret, never faded, and this weekend, the inevitable happened; I relapsed like a hungry junkie and gobbled up the last dozen episodes of Shippuuden"¦ Why does it feel so wrong, yet taste so good? Time to admit the truth, my name is bateszi and I’m a narutard!
What’s still wrong?
Before this post further degenerates, I feel duty bound to say that I’m still feeling frustrated by many of Shippuuden’s weaknesses. The story progresses at a snail’s pace while certain boring situations are emphasised ad nauseam; for example, Gai’s thick ninja team have been stuck fighting their stupid clones for what feels like days now. The hopelessly flat animation of these entirely useless battles, especially when combined with Shippuuden’s powerful soundtrack, is a soulless disgrace.


Sasori is creepy
I didn’t think Naruto could surpass the spine-tingling vision of Kimimaro’s painful techniques, but Sasori is surely the most disgusting character to appear in the series so far. It’s the way he twists and contorts his doll-like torso; the inhuman distortion of his own flesh that emphasizes the psychotic malevolence and desperate loneliness lurking beneath his boyish demeanour; he is frankly unsettling. Even at the moment of his demise, Sasori’s cruel voice is inflicted with a cutting apathy and irrelevance; an emotional vacancy that echoes his resigned disdain for life.
After the two years time leap, all eyes were on Naruto and the fruits of his training with Jiraiya, no-one was interested in his pink-haired comrade; the weakest of Kakashi’s original trio. Yet there have been profound changes in Sakura; she may be physically stronger, but more importantly, her previously reluctant attitude is dead, transplanted by a newly born action hero BAD-ASS. Now she runs head-on into danger screaming “HELL YEAH!" exhibiting a steely streak of confidence that was so lacking in her younger personality. Watching Sakura now, you can’t help but feel in awe of her smiling figure as she looks on; facing insurmountable odds but refusing to give up. You can tell her journey has been long and hard.


Oh my god, the climax, episode 26!
This is the episode that makes it all worthwhile; mind-blowing, huge, epic, gigantic; it’s just a pure stream of hyperbolic action animation that you have to see to believe. Simply titled “10 Puppets VS 100 Puppets”, it’s the supernatural finale of Sasori’s last stand. Conducting every minute detail of the mannequin battle-royale from afar, Sasori and his grandmother showcase their big-gun puppet skills while Sakura’s Bruce Lee moves shatter the hordes of scythe-laden enemies clouding the sky. Other than the first episode, this is the defining moment of Shippuuden; a stunning explosion of heated emotion and kinetic kung-fu that’s completely on edge and simply unmissable. The long wait is over, it’s good to be a Naruto fan again.


  1. Ooh, they’re on that arc already? Definitely the highlight of Part Two of the manga thus far. I might actually, ew, watch the anime now. Shocking.

  2. i didnt stop watching because i was sure epic episodes are to come and when its epic in naruto it surpasses everything no GurrenLagann or claymore can stand a chance beside it because after all its naruto i dont care about people who says naruto is Shōnen shonen anime has always been the most fun to watch in anime
    and i am dying to see oro sauske itachi

  3. Episdoe 26 was indeed epic. I warn you now: stay away from episode 27 if you don’t want your dreams to be crushed. just watch the good episodeds like I do. that way, naruto will not fail you 🙂

  4. I quite liked episode 27. Obviously it was never going to live up to 26 in terms of action and animation, but it was effective as a closing montage to Sasori’s struggle through life. I really like how Naruto takes the time to develop the bad guys, showing how they’ve been misguided and twisted; even though Sasori killed hundreds of people, you can’t help but feel a touch of sympathy once the flashbacks reveal his sad childhood.

  5. Ah, I stopped reading the Naruto manga and haven’t been keeping up with the anime. Frankly, it’s just too long and I don’t have the tenacity to keep up with it all. Maybe it’s just me, but I liked Sasori, in the manga anyways. This might ruin your perception of me entirely, but I thought he was cute. He was just a little bit creepy, but he felt like one of the better characters in Naruto, there’s just something disconcerting about him that I find attractive.
    And, yes, Sakura actually did something! I liked her role in the Sasori fight, for once, she wasn’t just added baggage.
    @qwertypoiuy – How is Naruto more epic that Gurren Lagann?! O___O

  6. @Xerox
    all Gurren Lagann episodes are epic i know and if you said its better than naruto i will not disagree with you
    but for me episodes like 17 30 48 71 133 and 26 are more epic may be because i enjoy hand to hand compat more than mecha but anyway both of them are awsome but while naruto you need to wait months to see epic episodes Gurren Lagann is always epic and its a masterpiece
    and ofcourse Gurren Lagann is number one for me now Gurren Lagann kick the ass of all anime

  7. There are definitely different types of epic.
    Gurren Lagann is all about attitude in the face of adversity, pulling off mind-blowing moves on a grand scale. While, as qwertypoiuy points out, Naruto just has these amazing stand alone moments of kinetic and supernatural combat that not only feature some amazing physical kung-fu choreography, but make exciting use of the surrounding landscape; the odd episodes where this happens are utterly exhilarating, and suddenly all that painful build-up is released in 20 minutes of utter awesome…ness.

  8. I felt like reading something I could wrote, your thoughts about Naruto Shippunden are so similar to mine 🙂 I also feel like there is nothing to be proud about but I cant help it – I am Naruto fan. And although each week after watching the show I keep telling myself that there is no point in watching it any longer, when the episode actually shows up I feel irresisitible need to download it 😀

  9. Wow I like your writing style.
    You’ve found yourself a new reader!
    Pertaining to the Yoko Kanno thing, did anyone else notice that that one of the tracks on the GitS:SAC soundtrack (either the first or second one…) “Where Does The Ocean Go” sounded SUSPICIOUSLY like a Bjork song, “Hyperballad”? I am quite sure Bjork brought out her CD, Post, with Hyperballad on it, before Kanno composed her GitS song…
    So I was wondering, is Ms. Kanno a plagiarizer???

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