The silly continues as Rock works to become the best ninja he can be, one change of underwear at a time.
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Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
There is something wholly appropriate about Rock Lee having his own series. As much as it may frustrate some, and I certainly wouldn’t have been behind it myself years ago, he is the idea character from which to change things up like this and just have fun with it all. Going for the comedy outright and using him as its focal point as he works hard to train and to become a great ninja that can’t use ninjutsu, he’s the kind of character that’s very easy to identify with, especially for the kids that are likely going to be watching this show. It’s just so simply, honest and pure with what it does that you can laugh and smile with it with great ease. And outside of the filler in the main series, you can get all the serious, big and epic world material over there without this being a problem.
One of the things that comes up early here is that both Rock and Naruto end up finding themselves in competition with Neji about being the best man there is. Not that Neji is in on the competition for awhile as they’re stalking him and realizing that he’s just plain superior to them. Which even includes a bit of time in the bathroom that makes you laugh until they tweak it just enough to not make it as dirty as it could be, though those with their minds in the gutter like myself will know the real intent. Seeing both Rock and Naruto bulk up, or at least attempt to, in order to take the fight directly to Neji is definitely solid since they go over the top in so many ways that really, I can’t help but laugh out loud, something very few anime series of a comedic nature really get me to do.
The second half deals more with Tenten as events play out and she works to get her, Neji and rock to work better togther against all the odds that are against them. It works a lot of gags to be sure, some that work better than others, such as when the two play proper male suitors that actually wear suits and do their best to impress her in a way that’s really hilarious. Of course, they can’t seem to maintain it well enough for long before it all falls apart. When they screw up more and it turns briefly to soccer, well, a ball to the groin was never so much fun. You have to feel for Tenten overall, but then you really do have to realize that she brought it all on herself in the end.
Rock Lee & His Ninja Pals hits up a lot of material here and it continues to provide some line straddling as it does the simple kid oriented humor while adding in just enough references for adults to laugh at. The show works a few different things here, obviously all revolving around Rock Lee, but focuses more on the others that he has to deal with by extension. While Naruto does have his time here, we get a good bit of time with both Neji and Tenten that builds up their relationship well, even if it involves potty humor and a hysterical gag at the end involving Rock’s underwear. You almost feel bad for laughing at this, but I’ll be damned if I don’t want to see this licensed, dubbed and fill with an Adult Swim style outtake/secondary track as well.