Anime Reporter tries out some reviewing jutsu, taking a look at Naruto Shippuden Collection 15 (episodes 180 to 192), the second anime series based on Masashi Kishimoto’s highly renowned Manga, Naruto.
For anyone unfamiliar with Naruto, the premise is an interesting and entertaining one which reveals more and more hidden depths the further it goes. The plot at the beginning of the tale is centred around a twelve year old boy, Naruto Uzumaki (voiced by Pokemon Origins’ Junko Takeuchi in Japanese and Maile Flanagan in English), growing up in the ninja village known as the Hidden Leaf. Naruto is a fun-loving, mischievous boy who loves playing jokes and breaking rules though he is widely shunned by all the villagers. Unknown to Naruto, 12 years earlier a demonic nine-tailed fox, a giant and vicious creature, attacked the village, killing many. It was only through a dangerous ninja technique (which are generally referred to as jutsus) that the beast was banished, sealed deep inside an innocent infant. Correct, that infant was indeed our young protagonist and the loneliness and suspicion surrounding the child is the result of his being the tool of their salvation, while also containing the greatest evil they have ever known.
As such, Naruto’s earliest adventures deal with him fighting desperately to earn the respect and friendship of his classmates in the ninja academy as well as struggling to find reasons to believe in himself. One of his earliest achievements is the mastery of the rare Shadow Clone jutsu, a technique which allows him to create multiple duplicates of himself, a power not utilised by many others in his world. As he advances through the ranks to become a fully-fledged ninja, Naruto gains the trust and respect of many around him and accordingly, greater threats arise to try to knock him down again.
The Shippuden series takes place a few years after the original began and Naruto has grown to become a powerful, though still quite foolish, ninja in his own right. The overall storyline deals with a much darker and more personal quest for the young ninja and his comrades than the earlier, lighter series. For people who have only seen the original series or are still recovering from the heavy fallout of Collection 14 of the Shippuden series, Collection 15 is a great one to pick up. This collection is very much a walk down memory lane with new stories being told from Naruto’s past, spinning out of storylines across the entirety of the original series being introduced as anecdotes from the more up to date versions of the characters. The collection is a nice way to break up some of the more intense story arcs, with hefty doses of the loveable characters, humour and action for which the show is so highly praised. It is one of the trademarks of the show that despite the title and the popularity of the character Naruto, it does go out of its way to introduce and develop its supporting cast to an incredible degree and this instalment is no exception, with a few episodes focused on some of Naruto’s classmates during particularly trying times over the previous few years.
Any show based on a society of ninjas can’t help but have an abundance of action and there’s plenty to be found here. Long-time fans of the series can appreciate seeing Naruto battle in episodes set in different times and noting how his skills and personality have really come to develop across both series’.
Collection 15 is a light and enjoyable trek down memory lane for hardcore Naruto fans or for those who miss the earlier series. Those who are mainly interested in watching the Shippuden plot unfold might give these episodes a miss, though they are entirely worth watching as true to form examples of great Naruto moments.
Naruto Shippuden Collection 15 is available on DVD and Bluray from Manga Entertainment.
For more on Naruto, please check out the Manga UK Twitter page: https://twitter.com/MangaUK
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80% – A Worthy Warrior
Naruto Shippuden Collection 15 offers some insightful glimpses back into the early days of one of anime’s most iconic characters and some fond reminders of the moments that make this series truly great. More than worth watching.