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Naruto Shippuden DVD Box Set Set 4: Season One – Original & Uncut (a J!-ENT Anime DVD Review)

March 22, 2011 by  



“Naruto Shippuden DVD Box Set Set 4: Season One – Original & Uncut” is another awesome volume of the series but also has intensity, emotion and all-out action!  Naruto and Sakura finally confront their former teammate, Sasuke Uchiha!

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

DVD TITLE: Naruto Shippuden DVD Box Set Set 5 – Original & Uncut

DURATION: Episodes 40-53 (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: October 19, 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

Team Kakashi’s spying mission brings them face to face with the Leaf’s most deadly enemy, Orochimaru. Naruto’s rage brings forth the Nine-Tailed Fox, but at great risk to both himself and those he cares for the most. With Naruto’s rampage quelled, the team continues on to Orochimaru’s lair to find Sasuke, but the mysterious Sai has disappeared. Could one of their own be planning the ultimate betrayal?

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.

In volume 4, because of the injuries Kakashi suffered against the Akatsuki, Naruto, Sakura have a new member named Sai joining them and a new sensei named Yamato overseeing them. Lady Tsunade has also Yamato observing Sai because he was assigned to the team courtesy of the mysterious Danzou who Lady Tsunade doesn’t trust. Also, Sai tends to be a interesting character as he never had a social upbringing and is unaware of how to use his emotions or have friends.

Volume 4 features the new team trying to find out who Sasori was going to meet but find out it’s a person they know quite well.  Also, the confrontation between Naruto and Sasuke finall happens in this action-packed volume of “Naruto Shippuden”.

Here is a brief spoilerless summary of the episodes 40-53 on three DVD’s:

Note: In Japan, episode 40-53 are part of Season 2 of “Naruto Shippuden”.

DISC 1:

  • EPISODE 40 – The Nine-Tails Unleashed – As Naruto fights Orochimaru, the Nine-Tailed Fox is unleashed.
  • EPISODE 41 – The Top-Secret Mission Begins – Naruto’s anger escalates as he is in the state of the three-tailed state.
  • EPISODE 42 – Orochimaru vs. Jinchuriki – Naruto in his four-tailed form takes on Orochimaru.
  • EPISODE 43 – Sakura’s Tears – Yamato tries to stop Naruto in his four-tailed state while Sai goes after Orochimaru.

DISC 2:

  • EPISODE 44 – The Secret of the Battle! – Sakura tries to heal Naruto, meanwhile Orochimaru tries to kill Sai.
  • EPISODE 45 – The Consequences of Betrayal – Naruto is told the truth of who hurt Sakura.
  • EPISODE 46 – The Unfinished Page – While trying to find out where Sai went of too, Yamato, Sakura and Naruto look inside Sai’s book.
  • EPISODE 47 – Infiltration: The Den of the Snake – Sai comes face-to-face with Sasuke.
  • EPISODE 48 – Bonds – Naruto and team confront Sai and Sai tells them the truth of what his mission was all about.

DISC 3:

  • EPISODE 49 – Something Important… – Does Kabuto have an upper hand against Naruto and team?
  • EPISODE 50 – The Picture Book’s Story – As Sai spends time with Naruto, he begins to remember his past.
  • EPISODE 51 – Reunion – Yamato discovers Sai’s true objective.
  • EPISODE 52 – The Power of Uchiha – Sasuke attacks Naruto and team.
  • EPISODE 53 – Title – Sasuke is about to execute a powerful Jitsu on Naruto’s team but someone stops him.

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.   This latest volume of “Naruto Shippuden” is more action-driven, so there is a good number of action sequences throughout volume 5.

Still, the backgrounds tend to focus more on greenery and land, with a few taking place indoors (re-use of walls) but a lot of scenes that focus on close-ups or full body shots more than anything.  Animation is still solid and considering this is a TV series that is constantly cranked out on television, “Naruto Shippuden” still looks good.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

As for the audio, the audio for “Naruto Shippuden” 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 DVD Set 4 – Original & Uncut” comes with the following special features:

  • Trailers – Trailer for upcoming Viz Media Naruto video games.
  • New from Viz Media – Trailers for upcoming or current Viz Media releases.
  • Online Features – Text-based screen of where “Naruto Shippuden” can be watched online.
  • Voice Actor Featurette: Who’s Playing Who? – A few of the voice talent from “Naruto Shippuden” are featured and then afterward, a game in which you have to listen to the voice and figure out which voice actor was responsible for that voice.
  • Relationship Chart: Hidden Sound Village – A relationship chart feat. Sasuke, Orochimaru and Kabuto
  • Production Art – Using your remote, you can view through 16 pages of artwork.
  • English Credits

EXTRAS:

“Naruto Shippuden Box Set 4 – Season One: Original & Uncut” comes with a slip case.

With this latest volume of “Naruto Shippuden”, it’s actually an important volume as we see Sai’s secret mission revealed but also how his being with Naruto has started to change him as an individual, which is pretty significant as the character of Sai was very stoic and emotionless.  Meanwhile, we also get the battle between Naruto and Orochimaru but to see how devastating and unlike-Naruto is when he starts to unleash the nine-tailed fox.

But of course, the biggest draw to this latest volume of “Naruto Shippuden” vol. 4 is the confrontation between Naruto and Sakura with their old teammate Sasuke and to see how much he has changed and how powerful he has become.

For anyone who has watched these characters since episode 1 of “Naruto”, can definitely feel the impact the series has at this point because the game has changed literally as the former teammate has become a traitor to the Konoha Village and you know deep inside that Naruto and Sakura want to help him and bring him back, but obviously with Sasuke now hanging around the likes of Orochimaru, things are not exactly looking good.

So, definitely an action-driven volume of “Naruto Shippuden”.  And as for the overall DVD, “Naruto Shippuden DVD Set 4 – 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 few things like production art and the best part is the game with the English voice talent. Of course, I do wish there was commentary or something added to the DVD’s but that’s not something you see in Viz anime DVD releases.

Overall, “Naruto Shippuden DVD Set 4 – Original & Uncut” is an action-packed storyline which continues to get better and better with each volume and I can’t wait to see how this series progresses.  Another exciting, action-packed volume of “Naruto Shippuden” which is definitely recommended for “Naruto” fans!

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