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Naruto Shippuden Box Set 3 – Season One: Original & Uncut (a J!-ENT Anime DVD Review)

September 15, 2010 by  



Wow!  “Naruto Shippuden Box Set 3 – Season One: Original & Uncut” is another pulse-pounding, action-packed box set of “Naruto Shippuden”! The battle continues with the Akatsuki and a new mission for Naruto and Sakura along with new team leader Yamato and a mysterious new partner named Sai (who Naruto despises).  Definitely recommended!

Image courtesy of © 2002 Masashi Kishimoto/2007 Shippuden. All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: Naruto Shippuden Box Set 3 – Season One: Original & Uncut

DURATION: Episodes 27-39 (325 Minutes)

DVD INFORMATION: 2.0 Stereo Surround Sound, Bilingual (Japanese & English), English Subtitles

COMPANY: Shonen Jump/Viz Media

RATED: Rated T for Older Teen

Release Date: August 3, 2010

Originally created by Masashi Kishimoto

Series Directed by Hayato Date

Produced by Tomoko Gushima, Ken Hagino

Series Coordinator by Junki Takegami, Satoru Nishizono

Character Design by Tetsuya Nishio, Hirofumi Suzuki

Music by Yasuharu Takanishi, Yaiba

Music Production by Aniplex

Anime Production by TV Tokyo, Pierrot

Featuring the following voice talent:

Junko Takeuchi/Maile Flanagan as Naruto Uzumaki

Chie Nakamura/Kate Higgins as Sakura Haruno

Noriaki Sugiyama/Yuri Lowenthal as Sasuke Uchiha

Akira Ishida/Liam O’Brien as Sabaku no Gaara (Gaara of the Desert)

Hideo Ishikawa/Crispin Freeman as Itachi Uchiha

Houchu Ohtsuka/David Lodge as Jiraiya

Kazuhiko Inoue/Dave Wittenberg as Hatake Kakashi

Kentarou Itou/Robbie Rist as Chouji Akimichi

Kenyuu Horiuchi/Troy Baker as Pain

Kouichi Toochika/Steve Staley as Neji Hyuuga

Kousuke Toriumi/Kyle Hebert as Kiba Inuzuka

Kujira/Steven Blum as Orochimaru

Masako Katsuki/Debi Mae West as Tsunade/Fifth Hokage

Nana Mizuki/Stephanie Sheh as Hinata Hyuuga

Nobutoshi Canna/Henry Dittman as Kabuto Yakushi

Rikiya Koyama/Troy Baker as Yamato

Romi Paku/Tara Platt as Temari

Ryoka Yuzuki/Colleen O’Shaughnessey as Ino Yamanaka

Satoshi Hino/Ben Diskin as Sai

Shinji Kawada/Derek Stephen Prince as Shino Aburame

Yasuyuki Kase/Michael Lindsay as Kankurou

Yoichi Masukawa/Brian Donovan as Rock Lee

After fierce battles with the Akatsuki, Sakura, Granny Chiyo, Kakashi, and Naruto have finally retrieved Gaara from Deidara’s clutches. But is it all too late? Back in the Leaf Village, Kakashi’s on bed rest for overusing his Mangekyo Sharingan, and Naruto’s preparing to recruit some of his friends for Team Kakashi. But the village elders have beat him to it, and their choice of the unfeeling Sai has Naruto spitting mad!

This limited edition includes a collectible mininja of Sasori.

Since 1999, “Naruto” created by Masashi Kishimoto (“Karakuri”) has been one of the most popular anime and manga series in Japan and has easily become a favorite best selling anime/manga series among fans all over the world.

For the anime series, since 2002, “Naruto” lasted until 2007 with a total of 220 episodes. The series would follow the adventures of a boy named Naruto Uzamaki, who may not be the brightest ninja from the Konoha Village but he makes it up with heart and also tremendous power as the killer beast known as the nine-tailed fox has been sealed within him.

Earlier in the series, the anime series focused on Naruto and his team members Sasuke Uchida and Sakura Haruno as they would go on adventures and learn to become a team and also honing their ninja abilities. The series would then begin to introduce other young ninjas from the village who Naruto would be paired up with and the young ninjas would take on rival clans to helping people in need. But somehow as the series continued, Sasuke Uchida would then go off on his own personal mission to stop his brother Itaki Uchida, who murdered the whole Uchida clan and his family, only leaving Sasuke alive.

Within those six years, we have seen Naruto and his friends grow as friends and also in their abilities. For Naruto, all he has wanted is to become the next Hokage (the leader of the village) when he grows older and to help his friends accomplish missions. He knows that to be a good leader, he will need to get stronger so he can protect the village once he grows older. Of course, there is so much involved in the “Naruto” anime series and what makes its special is its humor, its action but also how well the series integrates so many characters but yet features a good number of character driven episodes that makes the viewer appreciate many of the characters in the series.

“Naruto”, the first series ended with the young ninja leaving to train with Jiraiya for two-and-a-half years.

Here we are now with “Naruto Shippuden” (Naruto: Hurricane Chronicles), a sequel to the “Naruto” series and the latest release of the first season via “Naruto Shippuden Box Set 3 – Season One: Original & Uncut” featuring episodes 27-39.

In the first volume, Team Kakashi which consists of Kakashi, Naruto and Sakura are dispatched to the sand village after news that the Akatsuki (a criminal organization which includes powerful ninjas who defected from their villages and a group which include Sasuke’s brother Itachi) members Deidara and Sasori have attacked the village and are after Gaara. While the three hurry to get to the sand village, Lady Tsunade sends out Team Guy to provide as support (consisting of Might Guy, Rock Lee, Neji Hyuga and Tenten).

With Gaara taken hostage by the Akatsuki, Gaara’s brother Kankuro tries to save him but is stopped by Sasori of the Red Sand who literally beats Kankuro and injects him with poison, so he can suffer and die within three days. Fortunately, Team Kakashi arrives and Sakura is there to use her medic skills to stop the poison but now they must go and save Gaara with the help of one of the elders of the Sand Village, Grandma Chiyo. Who happens to also be the grandmother of Sasori.

In volume 2, we watched as Sakura and Grandma Chiyo took on her evil grandson Sasori of the Akatsuki and Naruto along with Kakashi trailing Deidara of the Akatsuki while Team Guy are making their way to assist the two teams but run into a snafu as they find themselves going against clones of themselves.

In volume 3, the battles continue as the ninjas of the Leaf Village along with Grandma Chiyo take on Deidara and Sasori.  Meanwhile, Naruto and Sakura are assigned a temporary partner and new team leader.

Here is a brief spoilerless summary of the episodes 27-39 for “Naruto Shippuden Box Set 3: Season One” included on three DVD’s:

Note: In Japan, Season two begins with episode 32.

DISC 7:

  • EPISODE 27 – Impossible Dream – The final episode in the battle between Sakura and Grandma Chiyo vs. Sasori.
  • EPISODE 28 – Beasts: Alive Again! – Team Guy continues to battle their clones and are unsure how they can beat themselves.
  • EPISODE 29 – Kakashi Enlightened! – Kakashi vs. Deidara and Kakashi reveals his Mangekyo Sharingan.
  • EPISODE 30 – Aesthetics of an Instant – Kakashi witnesses Naruto being consumed by the Nine-Tailed Fox’s chakra.

DISC 8:

  • EPISODE 31 – The Legacy – Grandma Chiyo makes a life ending decision to save another.
  • EPISODE 32 – Return of the Kazekage – We are introduced to Sai and the Leaf and Sand Ninja pays their respects to a friend that has departed.
  • EPISODE 33 – The New Target – As Kakashi continues to rest in the hospital, Sakura tells Lady Tsunade the information that Sasori gave her.  Also, Naruto, Shikamaru and Choji are attacked by Sai.
  • EPISODE 34 – Formation! New Team Kakashi! – The village elders have their ideas of how to contain Naruto and prevent the Akatsuki in getting him.  Meanwhile, the fight between Naruto, Shikamaru, Choji vs. Sai continues.

DISC 9:

  • EPISODE 35 – An Unecessary Addition – With the information that Sakura received from Sasori, she and Naruto are sent on a new mission but this time, to lead the team is Yamato and joining Naruto and Sakura is Sai (who Naruto despises).
  • EPISODE 36 – The Fake Smile – Sai gets on Sakura and Naruto’s bad side.  Meanwhile, Sakura is shocked that Yamato knows how to use the wood style jutsu (the jutsu that the first Hokage only knew)
  • EPISODE 37 – Untitled – Meanwhile, the four go to the hot springs before going on their mission but Yamato uses it to analyze the mysterious Sai.
  • EPISODE 38 – Simulation – Yamato wants to arrange a simulation to practice what they are going to do on their mission.
  • EPISODE 39 – The Tenchi Bridge – Yamato uses his disguise to meet with the Akatsuki spy but the team is shocked by who the spy is.

VIDEO:

One thing I noticed when it came to “Naruto” is that the series has had its share of well-animated and well-painted artistic backgrounds but then for some of the filler episodes, has had a decrease in quality. Fortunately, “Naruto Shippuden” continues to look awesome. I really like how the characters look much older and the emotions on the character’s faces to the action that takes place in the Sand Village is pretty cool.

For the most part, these episodes for this box set is focused on battles, so a lot of the background scenes take place in a cave, above cliff-like areas or a hill. So, there is more focus on the characters and the fighting sequences rather than overall setting. But for the most part, the action was captured quite well and fans should be happy.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

As for the audio, audio is pretty much Dolby Digital Stereo 2.0 Bilingual (Japanese and English). Similar to a series like “Dragon Ball Z”, with “Naruto”, I have always enjoyed the voice acting of the English dub series. It’s well done and the voices fit the characters very well. Especially Maile Flanagan’s Naruto Uzumaki. Personally, I didn’t think there would be a voice actor that could capture Junko Takeuchi’s Naruto vocals and sure enough, Flanagan does a great job. But I have watched the series in Japanese and English and for the most part, voice acting for both soundtracks are well-done.

Since the series is front channel driven, for those with a modern home theater receiver probably will enjoy a more immersive soundscape by selecting stereo on all channels.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Naruto Shippuden Box Set 3 – Season One: Original & Uncut” comes with the following special features:

  • Voice Actor Featurette: New Faces of Naruto Shippuden – (13:55) Featuring director Mary Elizabeth McGlynn and the English voice talent for Deidara (Roger Craig Smith), Sasori (Johnny Yong Bosch), Sai (Benjamin Diskin) and Yamato (Troy Baker).
  • Relationship Chart: Sand Siblings – A text based feature showing the relationship of the Sand Siblings: Temari, Gaara and Kankuro.
  • Production Art – Using your remote, you can view 16 production art images.
  • Viz Media Trailers – Trailers for upcoming or current Viz Media releases.

EXTRAS:

“Naruto Shippuden Box Set 3 – Season One: Original & Uncut” comes with a slip case.

First, let me start out with how awesome “Naruto Shippuden” has been so far. No slowdown or any weak filler episodes, so far every episode since the first have been all action-packed and intense. “Naruto Shippuden Box Set 3 – Season One: Original & Uncut” continues with the battles against the Akatsuki.

But with this volume, Sakura fans will be happy with this latest volume as we see how much Sakura has grown up and how her training as a ninja has literally brought her power to new heights. Also, for Sand Village fans, you can’t help appreciate the episodes of this volume as we get to see a few emotional, heartbreaking episodes as the team pay their respects to a fallen friend.

Although episodes 32-39 are included as part of season 1, in Japan, these episodes are part of season 2 and the cool thing about this transition is unlike the original “Naruto” series, there would be a good number of filler episodes between missions but this time, after one major mission ends, we are treated with another intense mission and the uneasy alliance between Naruto, Sakura and this mysterious, repulsive and emotionless guy named Sai (a member of a rival Leaf Village faction known as the Foundation).  Also, we are introduced to the new team leader Yamato who seems to have some mysterious side to his ninja abilities that Lady Tsunade, Jiraiya and Kakashi are aware of and Tsunade asks for him to spy on Sai.

Also, what I enjoyed about “Naruto Shippuden Box Set 3 – Season One: Original & Uncut” is to see more of Naruto’s friends who have also grown up, especially Team 8 and we get to see Kiba, Akamaru, Shino and Hinata.  Also, we get to see Team 10 members Choji, Shikamaru and Ino as well.  Although we don’t get to see Team 8 in action, we do get to see a little of Team 10 and I was amazed by the new powers of Choji, so I can’t wait to see both teams in action in future episodes.

As for the overall DVD, “Naruto Shippuden Box Set 3 – Season One: Original & Uncut” is a pretty cool set for those who want to save money and get three volumes included.  Although these sets are not special features heavy, you do get a featurette on the new voice talent and a few other things as well.

Overall, this latest box set is action-packed and the storyline continues to get better and better with each volume and box set release.  Once again, there are quite a bit of surprises, twists and turns in the episodes of this latest box set release but for the most part, another exciting, action-packed volume of “Naruto Shippuden”!

Definitely recommended!

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