The past holiday had been a really productive watching period for me. I’ve watched so much Naruto episodes, my brain is overloaded, and I’m really liking the story. It’s really interesting to see the characters grow and develop all these new personalities. And now since the Chunin exams are over, the plot is really picking up and so it the conflict.
In this review, I’m skipping the race with Idate, since it was just a filler. It was fun to watch, but it didn’t really have any impact on the actual plot itself. These episodes cover the span of time where Sasuke decides to leave the Hidden Village of Leaves and pursue Orochimaru in order to succeed in his revenge against his brother. He becomes this half-form state, while Naruto and a whole bunch of other guys go and try to rescue Sasuke before he meets up with Orochimaru.
What I Liked:
The Conflict between Sasuke and his Inner Self
We see a whole other side to Sasuke in this arc and it is both disturbing and sad. Since the beginning, it was already known that Sasuke had wanted to kill a particular person, which was revealed to be his brother in the previous arc, but I have to admit, I had hoped that Sasuke wouldn’t have given in to his desires for revenge.
But, of course, as things go, it’s not always that perfect. And I loved how this anime portrayed how revenge can really eat away at your mind. Sasuke is one of my favourite characters in the whole series, and to see him really succumb to the darkness is a harsh reality that was to be expected.
Sasuke Recovery Team
Until this point, we have only had a chance to see the other Genin in the Chunin exams as they battled with one another. But, in this arc, they were able to form a team and rescue Sasuke before he got to Orochimaru, which I really liked. There was a lot of character building here and we got to see each of their own individual pasts. Shikamaru, who was promoted to Chunin not long before this, was the leader of the team and I felt he really fit that position as he led everyone well.
There were a lot of intense battles between this team and Orochimaru’s henchmen, and through that, we can already see how far they have come from the beginning of the series. It provided great character development and we were able to connect with the characters more.
Lee/Gaara vs. Kimimaro
This was one of my favourite parts because Lee finally makes a comeback. After being injured in the Chunin exams after a fight with Gaara, he underwent a surgery that could have taken away his life. But fortunately he survived and went to go help Naruto so that he could pursue Sasuke. Lee, though not in his best form, goes up again Kimimaro, who is able to manipulate his bones into weapons. (It was really disturbing to watch)
And what’s more, Gaara soon comes into the scene to help Lee, which I felt was a turning moment. Gaara, who had injured Lee in the exams, was now here to help him. This really showed how Gaara had changed from the trouble boy he once was and of course, how Lee was able to get over the past.
Sasuke vs. Naruto
And finally, the climax of the entire arc– Sasuke vs. Naruto. This fight was one that I was the most excited for. The clash between two best friends, where one is actually aiming for the other’s death.
It went on as a tug-of-war for a while, with Naruto being stronger, then Sasuke, then Naruto, then Sasuke again. But what occurred between the two was the most important, especially when Sasuke’s past was revealed. And in the end, with the clash of Naruto’s Nine-Tailed chakra form and Sasuke’s final form, it got really intense. Naruto, lost, but we could see Sasuke develop even further as he decided not to kill his best friend. Though Sasuke went to Orochimaru anyways, the whole mission really did make all the characters stronger.
What I Disliked
I feel like one of my main problems is with Sakura. It’s not that I hate her character; in fact, I really like her and I feel like she has the potential to do so much more. I love her double personality and her feistiness, but even now after Part 1 is more or less done, she hasn’t done that much to contribute to the plot.
She protected Naruto and Sasuke in the Chunin Exams, helped a little in on their first mission with Zabuza, but other than that, there isn’t any other significant event where Sakura is the star. All she really does is feel sad and think about Sasuke 24/7, which is getting annoying. I feel like she has so much potential in her and instead of thinking about boys, I feel she should be out there training or doing something.
Other than that, there wasn’t much that I didn’t like. The battles dragged on more than necessary and I felt that they could get to the climax a little bit faster, but other than that, the plot is very interesting the watch and I’m excited to see what is in store for all the characters in the future.
What are your thoughts on Naruto?