We reach, and surpass, the 100th episode mark
with Naruto Season Two Volume Two
from Viz. This collection starts off
strong with the battle for the fate of the Leaf Village
going strong, and Naruto facing off against the seemingly invincible
Gaara. After that the series slows down a
is good after the Chunin Exams story line... viewers need a break) with
going off with a new instructor to learn a new technique and while
their away they
are also searching for a legendary ninja.
It's a bit anticlimactic after
the events of the last couple of collections, but the set still offers
a lot of
great ninja action.
I'm going to skip the 'series background' recap. I
figure everyone reading this should know
the background by now. If not, feel free
to type "Naruto" in the search box at the top of this page and read my
of the earlier collections.
As the last collection ended, the final round of the Chunin
Exams were interrupted by a surprise attack by the ninjas from the
Sand villages. The villainous Orochimaru
took the Third Hokage hostage and sealed himself and the elder behind
barrier where they faced off in battle.
Meanwhile Naruto and Sakura were instructed to follow Sasuke who
chasing after Gaara, a very powerful Sand ninja. The
pair catches up to their comrade, but
Gaara is no pushover and their combined might may not be enough to take
As this collection opens Gaara and Naruto have both summoned
giant creatures to do battle, and it's unclear who has the advantage. It's only by tapping into the power of the
Nine-Tailed Fox trapped within him that Naruto is even able to keep up
Meanwhile things are looking dire for the Third Hokage.
With a sword sticking through his chest and
his power draining away, he has to summon all of his power to trap
something that will end up killing him anyway.
The battle for the Leaf
Village ends early
this collection, and some of the events are a bit surprising.
In the aftermath of the attack the Leaf Village is trying to
put itself back together, but events may not give them much time. A pair of powerful ninja belonging to a
renegade group arrives in the town for one purpose:
to capture Naruto. They want to
harvest and use the power of the
spirit that's trapped within him and the first step is to take the boy
After the initial attack has been repelled, It is decided
that Naruto will go off with Jiraiya, the ninja who taught him the Toad
Summoning Technque, to look for a medical ninja Tsunade.
That'll hide him from the group that's
searching for him and also give Jiraiya time to train him some more. It's not quite enough though, because they're
soon discovered by the ninja that heave been searching for Naruto, one
in none other than Sasuke's brother; the man who murdered his whole
I had a lot of fun screening this collection. The
end of the battle for the Leaf
was tense and exciting, and it turned out a bit differently than I
expected. I like being surprised and it
doesn't often happen with kid's anime.
After the attack things settle down a bit and it feels
somewhat anticlimactic. Looking for
Tsunade isn't nearly as exciting as giant creatures battling or
struggles between high level ninja.
After that story arc, Naruto and his companions take on a
like the Tsunade story, was nice but not as intense as what came before. This isn't really a flaw, the show needs some
downtime. There's only so many
story arcs that you can take before a show starts becoming a parody of
itself. Some of these later episodes
were quite good too, like the stand alone show where Naruto, Sakura,
decide to trick their master Kakashi into removing the mask that covers
half of his face. It's was a funny episode
that has a great punch line.
This set includes the next 26 episodes (79-106) on 6
DVDs. They come in a single double-width
keepcase with each disc on its own side of a page.
They are not overlapping.
This collection comes with both the original Japanese audio
(with optional English subtitles) as well as an English dub, both in
stereo. The dub track was not
outstanding. Some of the children's
voices were a little too high pitched and squeaky and other actors put
too much emotion in their performances and hamming it up too much. Because of that I mainly screened this with
the Japanese track, which I enjoyed much more.
Being a recent show, the sound quality of both tracks was very
without any defects.
The full frame image was very good overall. The
colors were bright and strong, and the
lines were tight. Happily, digital
defects were not prevalent and even aliasing was very minor. A solid
The extras are pretty minor.
Scattered across the six discs are a couple of storyboard to
product comparisons and production art galleries.
I'm still enjoying the program. Like other
Shonen Jump based shows it has an
innocent charm and they cram each installment full of action and
adventure. The show moves so fast
(action-wise) it's hard to get caught up on the small flaws. This gets a strong Recommended rating.