Naruto: Chunin Exams (Episodes 21-80)

I’ve been watching Naruto so much lately since it’s the holiday break, I’ve gotten pretty far. Thus, I think it’s time for un update. As you can probably guess from the title, I’ve gotten to the Chunin exams in Naruto. In fact, I’m already past the part where the exams have already ended.

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This arc was long, but I have to say it was very interesting to watch. It was really slow in the beginning, but once I got started and the threat of Orochimaru was known, the arc got intense. It suddenly wasn’t about Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura passing the exams anymore, but a matter of life, death, and revenge.

I think it is what sets Naruto apart from all the other Shounen anime I’ve watched. It doesn’t shy away from the dark stuff and it is more in depth, which I find I really like.

The first of the Chunin exams starts off with the paper test.

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This was one of my favourite parts since it was funny seeing all these ninja sitting down in a classroom writing a paper test, especially Naruto who was freaking out since he didn’t know any of the answers.

The other ninja though, seemed to know exactly what to do. They used their various skills in order to cheat off others who knew the answer without getting caught. I loved seeing this part as you saw the different methods the people had.

The second part of the Chunin exams involved two scrolls. And this was the part where it got real and dark.

Kaija_Hōin.png

We are introduced to Orochimaru, who battles Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura. They barely managed to not die, but Sasuke had gotten bit by Orochimaru, earning him a curse mark. This curse mark, if Sasuke lets it, will make him evil as he seeks for more power. We see what the curse mark can really do in the next few episodes, when it takes over his body.

Sasuke's_Cursed_Seal_Level_1.png

And by that time, I am was so glad to see Sakura actually lending a hand to fight before that. Until now, all she had ever done was stand aside and watch Naruto or Sasuke battle, which got really annoying. But in these episodes, we actually get to see her fight a little.

The next exam, after the second, involves one to one battles. We see a variety of battles, such as Naruto vs. Kiba, Gaara vs. Lee, etc… These battles will cut down the number of participants for the final exam which is also one on one battles. They have a month to prepare.

In this time, Naruto trains with Jiraiya and learns a bunch of things. When the last exam came, I wished that Naruto could have done some of these new things in his battle with Neji, but I understand that he really couldn’t have summoned  large toad in an arena.

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However, I was really satisfied when Naruto went head to head with Gaara, who was the crazy one throughout the time the Chunin exams took place. It was amazing seeing Naruto grow from the timid guy he was in the beginning of the series.

Wrap Up

What I liked: 

  • The character development
    • Naruto’s growth especially is emphasized as we can see him becoming a stronger character as the series goes on
    • We see a darker part of Sasuke, as well as his desires to kill his brother
    • Sakura manages to step up and start fighting more
  • Conflict
    • The beginnings of the conflicts with Orochimaru really added intensity to the series. It wasn’t just about completing the exams anymore, there was so much more
    • We see Orochimaru kill the third Hokage, which is a big deal to everyone in the village.
  • More realistic
    • As I said before, Naruto doesn’t seem to shy away from the gore of blood, death, and evil. Instead, it charges head on and because of this, Naruto becomes an more engaging anime

What I Disliked

  • The talking
    • I said this the last time to. But the characters talk way too much when they fight and there are so many pauses, it gets a little irritating after a while. I understand that they are trying to get some background info in, but to be honest, if it were a real battle, the other would be down before a word could be said
  • The Battles
    • Most of the time, the battles just felt overly long
    • The battles also got predictable after some time
  • Sakura
    • Though it is true she steps up in the Chunin exams, I would have liked to see more action from her.

Rating

four-out-of-five-stars1

Four out of five stars! I can see why people like Naruto so much as I begin to watch more and more of it. Once you’ve watched enough episodes to get the background information and the conflicts, it gets really engaging and you really want to see what happens to the characters.

Though it isn’t perfect, Naruto is starting to grow on me and I’m excited to see how the story will come along from here on out.

Thanks for reading! What are your thoughts on Naruto? 

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2 thoughts on “Naruto: Chunin Exams (Episodes 21-80)

  1. D says:

    Chunin exam arc was my favorite in Naruto and I didn’t last long enough afterwards to pick another favorite arc. Stopped shortly into Shippuden. It was nice to revisit the arc in your review.

    Liked by 1 person

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