MH Senpai伝説メンバー / Densetsu / Legendary Member
- Sep 2, 2006
- Reaction score
~~ NARUTO SHIPPUDEN ~~
Hello guys ^^ To celebrate the arrival of the long awaited Shippuden, how about a full review of the first episode itself? Finally got the motivation to do this. Just look at the stats. Everyone is waiting for this. After more than a year wait, finally its over. And the fillers ended with style too. Too bad, there is no Kakashi Gaiden between Naruto Part 1 and Shippuden. I guess, we are on a little surprise ride on this
And special thanx for des, xi0 and Khal for helping me with the screenshots and also to eni, who provides me with her webspace. So, with the intro and credits has been taken care of, lets get going shall we? Oh yeah, the screenshots are from Saiyaman RAW, which was released on Thursday.
FOR NON-MANGA READERS, HUGE SPOILERS AHEAD
1. The Frantic Search For A Friend
~ Running through the snake's lair ~
At first, I was surprised why the Grass Arc is being put as the opening of Shippuden. If we follow the flow of the manga storyline, it will takes months to get back to this part. But then, why they start with the Grass Arc, the finale of the arc even. The only reason for me is to create a hype through waiting. Unlike Part 1, Shippuden really starts with the climax and fulfilling the fans' anticipation. Plus, the animation here is as good as the movies. Perhaps they are planning to collaborate the movie (in summer) to this, but yet again the time is a little bit restricting but not impossible.
As for the story, yes, this part really showed us how much Naruto and Sakura want to get back Sasuke. Don't forget before this part, Naruto was up against Oro for the second time. Too bad they didn't up the hype a bit by letting us hear Yamato's or Sai's voice. It would be a great, but yet again, it's better to keep this as a surprise.
Manga Reference : Chapter 304 to 306
2. Revelation - Sasuke
~ Guys, close your ears, the girls are screaming! ~
How long it has been since we saw Sasuke is animated in Part 1? The only two Sasuke's apearance through the filler arcs are just silhouette and a short brief at the end of one of the fillers. One thing that is not right here, at least at this point of development, is how short the suspense and shots before the revelation of Sasuke. Of course we know that it is Sasuke, but why not spending extra seconds to put in a more dramatic entrance?
And also seen here is Sai's first appearance and again, a blurry Yamato. For non-manga readers, yes, this is a real treat. Seeing new characters suddenly emerged making the wait for the continuation of Shippuden worth the wait. As for Sasuke, nice character drawing. Well built and precise.
Ah yes... I'm sure most of us realize this scene is cut short. At this point, Sasuke is supposed to talk a lot. Noticeable missing discussion is when Sasuke ask whether Kakashi is coming too and also when Sai is explaining his mission and intent. There is a reason though. Well, I don't think revealing too much of what transpired here will bring any good when the anime catches up to this point again later on.
Manga Reference : Chapter 306 & 307
3. Old Memories Still Running
~ Old, painful but yet still lives strong ~
Flashbacks!! Oh, how some of us really hate these. But yet again, it is necessary to relive the memories, especially after more than a year gap in between. And yes, this time, they decided to extend the flashbacks, instead of cutting it. Although using old shots of Naruto Part 1, it is effective. Well, one thing for sure, this is the part where (maybe) the animators want to show us the difference of quality between Part 1 and Shippuden animations. And it is really improving a lot!!
As I was saying, flashbacks here are necessary. First to bring back the emotions from Part 1's Valley of the End battle and also how absolutely the chase of Sasuke happened. And nice comeback of Itachi too. Reminds me of a bad villain that forces his brother down the path of darkness If Itachi didn't act like what he did, these events will not transpired at all. And how I love the reflections of Sasuke and Naruto on the water. The screen on the pic of the Sasuke's family, really brings out the idea of the fallen pride of the Uchiha.
Manga Reference : Chapter 307
4. The Unforeseen Move
~ Nothing more than just a whim ~
The only moment where Sasuke showed us a glimpse of his growth. Speed, power and jutsu, he certainly matured. And how appropriate for Sasuke to use a sword. The animation here is more than I could ask. Although yet again cut for future purpose, the shots are perfect and great. And the conversation between Naruto and Sasuke, really shows how much they grown. Naruto is no longer begging Sasuke and is really determined, while Sasuke has nothing in his mind except the demise of Itachi.
Lets talk about Sasuke more, since we won't be seeing him for months after this. Well, Sasuke is not the type of guy who will sell his friend for anything, at least literally speaking. He didn't killed Naruto back at the end of Part 1. Although he gave the reason not giving pleasure to his brother, I don't think so. Just look deep into his eyes. He really cherish Naruto and Sakura. But yet, his vengeance has turned him into a cold-hearted avenger. Well, that is my personal view of him actually. Feel free to argue that.
Manga Reference : Chapter 307 & 308
5. The Beast Within
~ The heart of the Kyuubi no Yoko ~
Personally, the most disappointing moment in this episode (Don't get me wrong, it's still great, just the least great compared to others). I was hoping this scene to be badass. At least show us more of the Kyuubi's fearsome side. But yet, the scene is dim, a little blurry and lack of focus. Why? Because here, we should see the Kyuubi as a focus, before Sasuke emerges. It's the first time we see Kyuubi is out of it's "cage", suggesting that the Kyuubi is taking over Naruto.
And then, our guy appeared out of nowhere, again suggesting how far Sasuke improved. I said it previously, the emergence of Sasuke here might gives us the insight on how Sharingan works. That is to look deep into the opponent's mind and searches through the weakness. Might also explain why Sharingan based Genjutsu are hard to beat. The fact that Kyuubi mentioned Sharingan in this scene supports this, although Kyuubi's focus at that time was the connection between Sasuke and the mysterious Uchiha Madara.
Manga Reference : Chapter 308 & 309
6. Konohamaru Side Story
~ The growth of the next prodigies ~
This is my favorite non-storyline part. It really is!! I really admire on how the animators insert the hidden message in this side story. Remember Tora and Shijimi? Yup, the same cat and client Team 7 was missioned to capture way back at the beginning of the story. Well, this scene was not intended to show that history is repeating itself in my view. It is to remind us about how we started the ninja journey up until this point. On how, the characters have grown compared to their early days as Genins.
Plus, when old man Teuchi was ran down by Konohamru, he yelled Naruto's name. Which the hidden part of it to remind us again, the memories from Pat 1. The way Konohamaru looked back and laugh, really resembles Naruto. And I really do admire Konohamru belief on Naruto when he said, the Rokudaime position is already Naruto's and also the scene where Tsunade, Shizune and Iruka looking through the window and talking about Naruto. That shows us, how strong the bond Naruto created between the him and the characters in Naruto, eventhough they are apart for years. But again, it's not all about memories. It also signifies the start of Team Ebisu's journey.
Manga Reference : None
7. Maturity Does Shines Part 01
~ Grasping the future, they matured into fine ninjas ~
Lets talk about the development of the three this time. We'll start with the hero hiself. Well, Naruto is certainly grown well, as expected from the results training under a legendary shinobi. From outer looks, Naruto has become a fine young man, just like Tsunade wished for. His character is more well built than before, and from looks only, we can say he is definitely strong. His boyish face and attitudes compliments his friendly nature. And one thing I like, is that Kishi decided to keep his playful nature ^^
What about Sakura? Yes, she's more beautiful than ever. Like Ino said, she has bloomed into a pretty flower. But, looks can be deceiving. this gal packs a lot of power in her fist. I like Sakura's Shippuden costume. Like they said, it brings out the woman in her. Her voice is not much different compared to Part 1 though. And from her eyes on Naruto, the admiration she gives to him and her easy-to-blush personality (at least in this scene) really making her stand out right now.
Kakashi? Still a pervert. No questions asked. In my eyes, nothing changed on Kakashi's character. He's still is the old Kakashi we love. No hints on how strong he has became in the past 2 and a half years at all given at this point. What amuses me, he is still reading that old Icha Icha series book he has been reading since.. forever I guess Jiraiya must really is an excellent writer.
Again, a little twist on the plot compared to the manga but still nice. Naruto was supposed to meet Kakashi before Sakura in the manga, but in Shippuden, they decided to change it a little bit. But no worries, no storyline is hurt by this.
Manga Reference : Chapter 245
8. Maturity Does Shines Part 02
~ Beauty and the beast, and a deer? ~
Ahh.. Temari She grown well too. I like her new black outfit. One thing I don't prefer to see is her hair. I want to see the time where she let loose her hair. Must be prettier than the current her. Acting as a liaison between Suna and Konoha for the Chuunin Exam now, eh? And strength wise, she definitely is stronger. I mean, in the 2 and a half years, she already became a Jounin. Speaking of which, reminds me of Iruka, who is still stuck at Chuunin level since forever >.>
And to her brother, Gaara. Gaara know is reflecting us the calm and good Gaara. One thing is noticeable, he still has that ring around his eyes. Well, I guess, even though he has become clearer on the path of life, the power of the Shukaku still haunts him for all this years. I don't know how strong Gaara has become. Honestly, I would say he became the Kazekage because he is always the strongest in his village, even when he was still young. And Gaara in white? Absolutely not match, at least for my eyes though. He's better wearing black instead
And now, our resident genius, Shikamaru. Really improved in terms of looks. He looks very matured for someone at his age. No other significant changes in terms of outfit except he opt to long sleeve black shirt instead of Part 1's short sleeve and fish nets. He does looks like a genius though. One thing for sure, that gloomy face, really resembles his "troublesome" attitude a lot And yeah, as everyone noticed, a harmless twist of plot again. Naruto and Sakura should meet Shikamaru and Temari outside, not at Tsunade's office.
Manga Reference : Chapter 247
9. Starts All Over Again
~ The bell test, version 2.0 ~
Here we go again ^^ Everything starts here. At the third training ground. Well, this is an excellent way to show a glimpse of their improvements, but that will be touched in the next episode. Hmm.... To get Kakashi serious from the start is something to be admired of. Honestly, these two are a good combination, and is perfect if asuke is there as well.
Enough said, Team 7 is really good from the start. With the genius Kakashi at the head, they have grown well, especially Naruto. Not much to be said for this bell test yet, we have to wait for action itself. But touching further from this point with reference from the manga, this test has been done through generations. Starting from the Sandaime to Kakashi himself. Wll the animation be as great as the manga? We'll find out soon enough.
The hidden point of this bell test is as simple as it looks like. It symbolized the new journey of Team 7. They started their ninja life through this test, and through this test again, they will start their adventure once more.
Manga Reference : Chapter 245 & 246
10. Enter!! The Akatsuki
~ The Akatsuki hunt begins ~
A perfect finale for the first episode. Finally, it starts. The first of the Akatsuki Arc has begun. And what a way to start for them by hunting our favorite Gaara. Oh yes, the background music is awesome. Really fits the scene and also brings out the fearsomeness of the duo of Sasori and Deidara. One thing for sure, this ends the debate of "Is Deidara A Male or Female". Looks like, Deidara is a male after all.
Not much to say about their appearance yet, as they are covered by their custom black-with-red-clouds cloaks. For non-manga readers, perhaps the appearance of these two are a little bit "disturbing". Deidara with a mouth on his palm and Sasori's bulky appearance.
The music and the shots are really to be commended. Perfect blend of scenery too with that sandstorm. One thing for sure, we are into a real treat after this. Since, how long it has been since get a battle at the caliber of the Valley of the End? All in all, whenever Akatsuki starts to move, hold on to your sits and watch. You'll miss something if you don't.
One thing that is disturbing me ever since this chapter is out in WSJ, is how strong Yuura really is. And at this point, for non-maga readers only, you might be thinking, why Yuura did what he does
Well, that's all folks for the first episode of Shippuden. A really fascinating chapter indeed. To be honest, this episode's quality is nearing the movie quality. The drawings are awesome, and so does the music. Lets just say, after more than a year, this episode is worth the waitings for. After so many speculations on when the fillers will end, it really did this week.
Happy reading ^^ And please points out anything you want to argue about. Have a nice day ^^