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Naruto Shippuden DVD Set 8 – Original & Uncut (a J!-ENT Anime DVD Review)

December 9, 2011 by  



Naruto Shippuden DVD Set 8 – Original & Uncut” features Team Kurenai on a mission and Naruto going under training to learn a new jutsu.  While not as deep as the last volume, volume 8 of “Naruto Shippuden” is still fun and entertaining, especially for fans who are planning to stay with the series for the long haul.

Image courtesy of © 2002 Masashi Kishimoto/2008 Shippuden. All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: Naruto Shippuden DVD Set 8 – Original & Uncut

DURATION: Episodes 89-100 (300 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 11, 2011

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

Naruto’s new jutsu Rasen Shuriken is unbelievably powerful – but because of the risks to the user, Tsunade forbids Naruto to use it! When Jiraiya returns to the village, Naruto seeks his guidance, and the two head off to a hot springs resort to work on a solution. Meanwhile, Kakashi leads a team in search of Orochimaru’s hideout, and when Naruto hears about it, he begs to join them.

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 3, 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 continues the three trying to get along with each other and going on major missions, but also learning how the demon fox inside Naruto is trying to come out and when Naruto is unable to control himself, Yamato is the only person that can help keep Naruto in check, otherwise, he can prove to become extremely dangerous and unstable.

In Volume 5, with the group returning from their mission back to the Konoha village, Kakashi knows that Naruto needs to continue his training and control his chakra, but also to show him what kind of ninja he is and what his specialty his jutsu is. Meanwhile, the groups go on a mission to search for grave robbers and Naruto meets another rival who gets on his nerves, a boy named Sora, who reminds Naruto of himself when he was younger. This mission will eventually lead to a major attack by four powerful individuals who are intent of annihilating everyone in the Konoha village.

In Volume 6, Asuma, the son of the late Hokage and a character that plays a pivotal role in this latest release of “Naruto Shippuden” especially storyline-wise as the Akatsuki are back and we are introduced to Hidan and Kakuzu and to see how powerful these two are in capturing and targeting Jinchuriki.

In Volume 7, Asuma was killed by the Akatsuki and although the ninja of the Leaf Village were able to get their revenge on their fallen comrade, with Asuma’s death, the Leaf Village is now fully aware that casualties can come easy to the team and they must be better prepared.

Which leads us to volume 8 of “Naruto Shippuden”.    As the Leaf Ninja reflect on Asuma’s death, Orochimaru begins to make his move and as for Naruto, the risk from using the Rasen Shuriken has proven to become extremely risky to his health that the Hokage has told him to never use it again.

Because of Naruto wanting to get stronger, Jiraiya continues to train Naruto but this time using Gamakichi and Gamatatsu in rder to learn the concept of connecting to another person’s heart.  While Naruto trains, Kakashi leads a group which include Shino, Kiba and Hinata on a reconnaissance mission to find out what Orochimaru is up to.

Here is a brief spoilerless summary of the episodes 89-100 which are featured on three DVD’s:

Note: In Japan, episode 89-100 is considered as season 5.

DISC 1:

  • EPISODE 89 – The Price of Power – Tsunade learns of how much the Rasen Shuriken is harming Naruto and forbids him to use it.  Meanwhile, the group recovers after their battle and Asuma’s death.
  • EPISODE 90 – A Shinobi’s Deterimination – With news of Orochimaru up to no good, Kakashi leads a mission with Team Kurenai – Shino, Kiba and Hinata for reconnaissance.
  • EPISODE 91 – Orochimaru’s Hideout Discovered – Guren takes 21 survivors (experimental speciments) to meet with Orochimaru and we also learn of her true power.
  • EPISODE 92 – Encounter – Kabuto and Yukimaru try to draw out a mysterious creature and Naruto trains by summoning Gamakichi and Gamatatsu.

DISC 2:

  • EPISODE 93 – Connecting Hearts – Naruto continues to train, meanwhile Tsunade learns of Guren’s crystallization technique through one of Shino’s insects.
  • EPISODE 94 – A Night of Rain – Kabuto leaves Yukimaru with Guren and Naruto learns a new jutsu with Gamakichi and Gamatatsu.
  • EPISODE 95 – The Two Charms – As Team Kakashi continues their reconnaissance, Naruto learns from Sai that a new group has went on a mission to find Orochimaru.
  • EPISODE 96 – The Unseeing Enemy – Kakashi and Team Kurenai are attacked.

DISC 3:

  • EPISODE 97 – The Labryinth of Distorted Reflection – Team Kakashi goes out as support for Team Kurenai.
  • EPISODE 98 – The Target Appears – Team Kakashi comes to the aid of Team Kurenai and Yukimaru’s three-tailed beast is being extracted.
  • EPISODE 99 – The Rampaging Tailed Beast – Naruto finds out that Yukimaru is working with Guren and that she has the three-tailed beast within her.
  • EPISODE 100 – Inside the Mist – Guren relives her past an both teams try to figure out the mist around them.

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. The action has now returned back to the Konoha village but still good animation for a TV series.

In “Naruto Shippuden DVD Set 8”, you can expect quite a bit of action in this latest volume, as these episodes are primarily action-driven and are primarily battles between the Konoha ninjas and Guren’s men. And for a TV Series, while not the most detailed of anime series, the fact that these episodes do feature many ninja engaged in battle. And this should satisfy most “Naruto” fans.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

As for the audio, the audio for “Naruto Shippuden DVD Set 8” 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 8 – Original & Uncut” comes with the following special features on disc 3:

  • 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.
  • Story Boards – Ten pages of storyboards (featured in negative format).
  • Production Art – Using your remote, you can view through ten pages of artwork.
  • Omake – (9:09) All the omake ending portions (after the credits) from the episodes featured in DVD Set 8 of “Naruto Shippuden”.
  • English Credits

With the last volume of “Naruto Shippuden” taking viewers for a major spin with the emotional and action-packed storyline of Asuma’s death, you pretty much knew that with one major storyline done, it would lead to another character building arc with the Leaf Village taking on various missions.

One group we have not seen in action all that much is Team Kurenai, and so with this eighth volume, you can literally call it the Team Kurenai episodes as we finally get to see Shino, Kiba and Hinata on a mission.  With Kurenai pregnant, this time it’s Kakashi leading the group.

And with Sasuke getting stronger and stronger, it’s only fair to see Naruto getting stronger and learning more jutsu’s.  So, the story arc is broken up in two with Team Kurenai doing reconnaissance and finding out what Orochimaru is up to, while in a more comedy sense, seeing Naruto working with the hilarious toads, Gamakichi and Gamatatsu.  Each time these three are together, I can’t help but laugh and in this case, Naruto and the toads was an interesting and fun diversion compared to the last volume which was very sad and action-packed.

As for the DVD set, you get a total of eleven episodes and special features were OK, as you do get the usual omake and other info. related features. While many feel this latest volume to be filler-episodes, fortunately they are connected unlike the filler episodes which dominated the latter end of the “Naruto” series.  Also, fans have been wanting to see Team Kurenai in action for so long that it’s great to finally see them on a mission.  So, while not the deepest volume of “Naruto Shippuden”, I still enjoyed the crazy, fun episodes featured in this volume.

Overall, If you are fan of “Naruto Shippuden” and are staying with this series for the long haul, “Naruto Shippuden DVD Set 8 – Original & Uncut” is another entertaining and fun volume.

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