What They Say:
The denizens of the Leaf Village ready themselves for the coming of the Fourth Great Ninja War.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Naruto: Shippuden is moving through that quiet phase as events start to turn towards the next major storyline. After the lengthy piece involving Pain’s attack on the village and how Naruto stopped him, and then the more personal fight that got underway after awhile between Naruto and Sasuke, there have been the movements of the Akatsuki in the background to foment war. We’ve at least seen the various nations come together to form this alliance of ninjas to deal with it, and that’s percolating higher to the top now as the sides are able to come together and discus the plans, goals and how they’ll work together. With Tsunade at the table, she’s able to bring something a little different to it all because of her time spent in a coma after a disastrous attack on the village.
Her perspective isn’t exactly different, but she’s had it up and close with how terrible everything can be. And interestingly enough, she’s looking at the larger issue that the others tend to glos over in how the various Tails are impacted by all of this and how they’re the ones that the Akatsuki are really manipulating the most. She’s definitely a welcome return to the political side of the show as she manages to work both the quiet and intense times with the more outgoing side, both in public and in private. She has her own agenda, but it’s not one that’s really out there in a way that has everyone eying her suspiciously. Considering how everyone distrusted Danzo on some level, having her back in the game brings a different air to it all, though it has to be said that Danzo’s personality allowed things to progress in the right way to form the alliance.
For everyone else, we get mostly quiet moments here and there as they talk about how the village is rebuilding and the sense of something about to happen again that will threaten everything. There isn’t a huge amount of material spent on this overall, but it’s a welcome quite piece that’s sprinkled throughout the episode to help nudge them in the right way, to show how the more rank and file are perceiving the events that are going on. Of course, we do get some humor as well, though I could have easily done without it, involving Killer Bee who is getting ready for his latest enka concert that nobody wants to attend but some are forced to. I still have a very strong love/hate relationship with Killer Bee since he does have some very good moments, but the humorous side of him drives me nuts.
This episode achieves its goals of putting a few of the political pieces in place for what’s to come as the Five Great Nations get their houses in order to deal with the alliance and what their goals will be, and how best to deal with it. It’s an important piece since the makeup of the leadership has changed with Danzo having died and Tsunade stepping into it after being in a coma. Beyond that, there’s some basic material about how the rank and file are doing and some mild comedy, and a nudge for Naruto to get back into action for a bit by distracting him with a mission or two and the cringe inducing moments with Killer Bee. These kinds of episodes do frustrate some fans who want just action, but I really do tend to enjoy these more in a way as it shows what goes into setting up for a good, proper story with some meaning and impact to it. This isn’t a fantastic episode, but it’s a solid piece that nudges the story forward appropriately.
Simulcast By: Crunchyroll