Sasuke makes his appearance as Lee does what he can to understand his rival.
What They Say:
Kiba enlists Hinata and the girls to find Akamaru some canine companions. Lee and his team run into Sasuke on their way back from a mission, and Lee takes it upon himself to bring the rogue ninja back home.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Considering the size of the cast potential here, there are times where you realize that a lot of characters just aren’t being used all that much. Keeping its focus to Lee and his group definitely makes sense, but the options to open it up makes for some good possibilities along the way. One of the characters we haven’t seen too much of from the Hidden Leaf side is that of Kiba and his familiar Akamaru. The two definitely had some strong material in the first main series of Naruto, but they’ve had less and less of a role as time has gone on. So it’s kind of refreshing to see him make another appearance here in this series after not being seen for a bit and to run with a cute story idea as well.
As the series is focused on the fun of Lee and his group, it’s also about his attempts to get closer to Sakura since he’s so in love with her. Here, we get Kiba drawing in the help of the girls to help Akamaru find a girl of his own, which is comical since the girls aren’t truly hooked up with any boys. But they can live vicariously through this pairing. While the attempts are fun and the girls get to take center stage, I have to laugh at the way Naruto and Lee dress up as animals themselves to go along with this as well as a few of the other guys. Where it gets just plain silly is when the girls find Akamaru a potential mate with one of the animals that one of the Akatsuki have, which is a strange little “mixed breed” to say the least. It’s pretty silly but works nicely since even Lee gets caught up in it all.
The second half goes in an interesting way though as it brings Sasuke back into the mix. The whole storyline involving him in the main series is dragged out a lot, so having Lee and his group come across him in the midst of a mission is a lot more fun than I expected as Lee does his best to bring him back. The way Sasuke tries to point out that he’s not just some runaway doesn’t quite get through and it takes an odd turn when some of his associates show up and work with him to get him to come back with them, not that he was going back to Hidden Leaf. But there’s fun in just seeing Lee and the others interact with Sasuke and with how Lee has one of the most important questions of all. Lee’s life revolves around certain things so it’s not a surprise that he tries to show that he’s better than Sasuke now, though it’s a competition that Sasuke isn’t really participating in.
The two stories here are pretty different in terms of what they do, but they share a similarity in bringing in little used characters. The first half has a lot of good, silly fun when it comes to finding Akamaru a companion if only for the fact that we get to see the guys dressed up as cute dogs for awhile. The second half’s use of Sasuke was a bit of a surprise, but a welcome one. Having Lee and his group come across him and try to bring him in definitely has some good laughs to it, particularly since Lee holds some grudges over things that Sasuke never even gave a thought to. Which is pretty accurate when you think back to that first series and the way he acted. The show has some good fun here overall and while it may slow down a bit at times in the second half, it has a lot to enjoy.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
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