I'm glad that fans didn't have to wait too long for Naruto
to be released in multi-disc sets.
It was originally put out in the traditional 4 episodes per disc
volume style, but that method has thankfully all but vanished from the
in the US
This second Naruto series is a bit darker
than the first.
It's less juvenile,
which is good, and takes the series to the next level by making the
adults with larger problems.
Fans of the
original Naruto should enjoy this series just as much, if not more so.
I won't go into detail about what happened in the first
I'm sure most people reading
this will be familiar with it.
to say that Naruto is a young ninja in a world where every village is
It's been 2 ½ years since
end of the earlier series, time that Naruto has used traveling and
His friend, Sakura, has also
been training during the interim.
has been learning from Tsunade who is also the newest leader of the
Hidden in the Leaves.
As the show opens, Naruto returns to Village Hidden in the
Leaves and everyone is glad to see him.
welcome is short-lived however, as he's immediately given a test to see
much he's learned while he was away:
Naruto and Sakura have to work together to take a pair of bells
from their old master Kakashi.
the same test he gave them when he first started working with the young
ago, but this time he's taking it much more seriously.
(In other words he's not reading a book while
fighting off their attacks as he originally did.)
After that trial, Tsunade groups Kakashi, Naruto, and Sakura
into Team Kakashi.
She's thinking of
having them escort a merchant vessel as their first assignment when
The Sand village is attacked by
a pair of Akatsuki members, a league of renegade ninja who owe their
to no village.
Gaara, the near
invincible ninja who is Naruto's age and the village leader, goes out
this menace and, astoundingly, is captured and taken away for some
that the Akatsuki have planned for him.
Hidden Leaf, their ally, and requests assistance.
sends the newly formed Team Kakashi
to aide them, but what can this group do against the Akatsuki, the most
powerful ninja in the world?
While watching this, I couldn't help but draw comparisons to
earlier series, Naruto
rebooted the show with a
renamed series and had some time
pass between the two shows.
The tone of
and Dragon Ball Z
bit darker and more
mature than the first series, and the characters are mainly the same.
The big difference is that Naruto Shippuden
caries over several plots and hanging storylines from the earlier
something that DBZ managed to avoid.
Because of that, if you haven't seen the earlier series you'll
There are a lot of references
to things that happened in the past, and a major event in this
concerns a character from the first series making a surprise
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
This only partially works
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
It's too bad that it didn't work
Another of the changes, this one a big positive between the
two series is that Naruto himself has grown and no longer shouts his
catch phrase "Believe it!" every chance that he gets.
That's a welcome relief.
This set includes the first 12 episodes on 3 DVDs.
They come in three thinpak cases stored in a