This arc was very intense and a whole bunch of things happened. It was a big turning point for a lot of characters and we got to see more of the Akatsuki. The arc also got to focus on other characters other than Naruto, which I found was a great thing since we got to see other things happening in the background as Naruto was busy training.
This arc starts off following two Akatsuki members Hidan and Kakuzu as they hunt for tailed beasts to further advance in their project and in the process, kill many people. Meanwhile, back in the Hidden Leaf Village, teams are dispatched to find these two Akatsuki members and hunt them down before they can cause anymore trouble. While all of this is happening, Kakshi teaches Naruto about Chakra elements and Naruto trains in order to come up with a new jutsu of his own.
Things I Liked:
This was one of the few episodes where we went with a team other than Team 7 on a mission, and it was nice seeing other teams getting into action. Though Naruto wasn’t majorly a part of this mission until the end, there were a lot of things that had happened which furthered each of Team 10’s members as people.
It was also very nice to see each of the characters mature from the point that they had been three years ago and to see how much stronger and mature they have become. It was especially the fact with Shikamaru, who was more or less the “main character” of this arc.
Naruto’s Training with Kakashi and Yamato
Naruto’s training was a huge part of this arc as it helped developed his jutsu Rasenshuriken. His training was also a good break from all the intensity coming from Asuma’s team battling with the Akatsuki and it was a great chance to get to know Yamato’s character more. Before this point, Yamato was only a substitute member of Team 7, but in the scenes where he is helping Naruto train, we get to see more of his personality and the fact that he was a pupil of Kakashi.
Naruto’s training was also very entertaining to watch, and with Sakura and Sai’s exchanges in the background, it was very comical. All the explanation about the Chakra natures and forms were also really interesting and I loved how they added that part to the ninja world.
Asuma dies in this arc and though we didn’t know him very well from lack of interaction in previous episodes, it was still very sad to see Shikamaru, Ino, and Choji’s reaction to their teacher’s death. We see Shikamaru brood over the fact even as they return to the village and then Team 10 goes and sets out to hunt the Akatsuki members to seek revenge on their teacher.
In the episodes where we see them fight, Shikamaru has gotten strong and is even able to defeat an Akatsuki member on his own, something that was very impressive. And the way he treasured his teacher’s memory was very touching.
This was one of the highlights of the arc as we see the results of Naruto’s training. The Rasenshuriken in question looked really cool and the effects of the jutsu on the Akatsuki member was amazing. As the storyline progresses, we can see Naruto getting stronger and stronger. All the characters have been through so much to where they are now, and to think that I still have a long way to go is overwhelming.
What I disliked:
Not very much. I really liked this arc and I loved how we got to follow a few different characters around than just Naruto all the time. I could see that it would have been very redundant to only see Naruto’s training, so I’m glad that they added Shikamaru’s point of view, as well as what happened during Asuma’s mission. The way the two events also tie together was great.
4.5/5 stars! This was both a very intense, yet fun arc to watch and I did enjoy it. I know there are a lot of things that are going to happen in the next few arcs, so I’m looking forward to see what happens.
What are your thoughts on this arc? On Naruto in general?