The war moves forward as Naruto continues his final bit of mastery.What They Say:
Under the guidance of Killer Bee, Naruto enters the final stage of training to master the Tailed Beast Bomb, a Jinchuriki’s most powerful technique.The Review:Content:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
While we've seen the push towards war get its focus and even the first encounter hit with some results that certainly strike home with various characters, we've not had much in the way of our title character. Naruto's been off training with Killer Bee and we have seen some of those actions before with the way he's getting good results in learning to master his inner beast, but it's not something that has gotten much focus as of late. But this episode starts to fix that as Bee is now working Naruto through the final stage of his mastery, which involves taking what he's learned already and really applying it in a big way.
The training at this stage does feel a little bit like teaching how a video game works as he's coming to understand the Tailed Beast Bomb and what he has to do to use his own chakra to control things. His own life is in the balance with how it can be manipulated since it is using huge amounts of chakra, but the payoff is definitely there because of the scale of the power that's at hand. The further we get into it though, even just in the description, the more we realize that we've seen it before. Naruto's connection with this is made clear as well, showing one of his inner fights with the Nine Tails before where it was used. Bringing this into play as something that Naruto can master definitely gives you an idea of how it may be applied in the coming war.
While a lot of the focus is on Naruto and his mastery, we do get a good bit of darkness brought into play as well as Kabuto is working his own plan with Madara and the captive that they have. His use of the reanimation jutsu continues to be one of the creepier things in the series and the way he's changed since taking on part of Orochimaru only makes him more disturbing to look at. There's some good coverage of where various bodies have landed in the last few years and what it is that Kabuto can go after, but even that seems rather grandiose and Madara cautions him against going too big. There's a lot moving along here in this area, a real sense of dread as to what can be done, which is also contrasted with Naruto's training as being the only real wall to stop it and then the Allied forces doing what they can to move into the world.In Summary:
Naruto: Shippuden has more of a quiet episode here than I expected when you get down to it. The first half works well to push Naruto through more of his training and mastery, showing him some of the tricks but also the real dangers that are a part of it all. His concerns are certainly warranted since some of his standard techniques can't be used when dealing with the big ploy he can bring to bear. On the flip side, the story with Kabuto here continues to just be creepy. There's a lot of things working through that twisted mind of his with where he can go next and what things he can unearth and use to his advantage. Orochimaru always had that disturbing quality about him but also a different kind of intensity. Kabuto in this form is even more intense in a way because he comes across as playing a very different game here with different goals. It's a good sequence, and a decent episode overall, but I would have preferred a little more forward progress on some front.Grade: