Naruto and the Leaf
Village ninja are
the trail of the group that kidnapped Gaara in Naruto
Shippuden Box Set 2 from Viz. The
group the abducted the Sand ninja have
something they want to do with the powerful warrior, and they just need
delay his rescuers for a little while in order to drain all of his
energy. Will Team Kakashi and Taem Guy
time? And even if they do, what
then? Find out in this fun collection of
In the first collection of this series, a group of very
powerful ninja, the Akatsuki, kidnapped the leader of the Sand Village,
Gaara. That's pretty impressive because
Garra is no pushover. He's actually a
very, very powerful ninja who, like Naruto, has a demon, the One-Tailed
trapped inside of him. That's the reason
he's targeted though, the Akatsuki want to extract the demon to tap its
a process that will lead the vessel dead.
The Leaf Village sends out two groups, Team Guy (Neji, Rock
Lee and Tenten) and Team Kakashi (which includes Naruto and Sakura) to
after the Akatsuki and rescue Gaara. The
later is joined by Chiyo, an elder from the sand village and a master
As this collection opens both teams are fighting members of the
Akatsuki who were sent to slow them down.
The battles are tough, and the ninja are significantly delayed. They eventually do arrive at the Akatsuki
hidden base where Gaara is being held, but getting there is only half
problem. Getting in will be difficult as
the cavern is sealed by a huge bolder which in turn has a defensive
upon it. Team Guy heads off to disarm
the trap, and while they're away they face their toughest opponents yet: duplicates of themselves who have all of
Meanwhile Team Kakashi manages to open the door, so to
speak, but Kakashi and Naruto chase after a member of the Akatsuki who
leaving only Sakura and Chiyo to deal with the ninja inside: none other than Chiyo's grandson, Sasori, one
of the best puppeteers of the Sand Village
who uses human
bodies for his puppets.
This collection was pretty good, but it's not a high point of the series. Hearing Chiyo explain the origins of the
(people with demons trapped inside of them) was interesting and did a
of fleshing out the world that this show takes place in, but the fights
a bit too long for my taste. Yes, I
know, complaining about long fights in an anime adapted from a Shonen
manga is unfair... that's just the nature of the beast, but I still found
attention wandering during some of the episodes.
Having said that, this show is still creative and this is
where a lot of the fun of the series originates. Sasori
is a cool villain, even if there are a
few too many false endings to the battle between him and Sakura. There are some interesting attacks and while
you need to throw the laws of physics out the window, the fights can be
The animation is still solid in this series, though they
rely on CGI effects much more that the original series did. When someone is moving very fast and making
multiple hand-signs in rapid succession they'll use CGI to get that
across. This only partially works
though. It's easy for a computer to
speed up the hand signs, and it does look impressive, but at the same
doesn't mesh with the background animation.
It's not smooth and when it pops up it's a little jarring and
CGI. It's too bad that it didn't work
This set includes the next 13 episodes on 3 DVDs. They
come in three thinpak cases stored in a
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.
Just like the first series, 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
minor. A solid looking DVD set.
The extras are pretty minor on the first two discs.
They just have some trailers and ads for
Viz. The third disc includes a Naruto
game with the English voice actors which was sort of fun.
There's also a Relationship Chart for the
members of Team Guy which is pretty
hokey but it lets you know how various characters feel about each
other, on the
off chance you haven't been watching the show.
The bonus section is wrapped up with 15 pieces of production art.
This is a solid set of shows. Nothing that
will convert people who aren't
already fans of the series, but a decent collection of episodes that's
checking out. Recommended.