A prison break, flying leeches, a samurai ghost and really spicy curry; Naruto Season Three Set Two has it all! After the chase for Sasuke that encompassed the previous collection, this set of shows consists of shorter stories that are over in a couple of episodes. Lighter in tone than the long story arcs, these installments are a lot of fun to watch.
After the failed mission to get Sasuke back from the evil Orochimaru, Naurto and his companions spend some time recovering in the hospital. There's still three years before Orochimaru can take over Sasuke's body, and Naruto's master, Jiraiya, wants him to spend the time training, but Naruto is eager to go out and search for his friend.
Jiraiya convinces the Hokage to send himself, Naruto and Sakura on a mission to scout out the
The group returns to their village just in time for Jiraiya to be sent off on another solo mission. While he's gone there's a prison break at the Hidden Leaf jail, one orchestrated by Mizuki, the ninja who tricking Naruto into stealing the scroll of forbidden jujitsu way back in the first episode. Mizuki wants to become more powerful, and Orochimaru has given him the recipe for a potion that will do just that. All he needs to do is gather the ingredients and brew it. With the aide of two incredibly large and incredibly stupid brothers he befriended in prison, he gets the material he needs and manages to lure the pursuing Leaf Ninja into a trap. Naruto wiped the floor with Mizuki once, but will he be able to prevail over a superpowered Mizuki?
Other stories in the collection include Naruto on a mission to find a rare bug, one that should have the power to track down Susake, taking on a clan that has conquered a gold mining village, and dealing with a pair of intruders who disguise themselves as Guy and Rock Lee, in the most unconvincing manner. Well, unconvincing to everyone but Naruto. Finally the set wraps up with the beginning of a story where Naruto Neji, and Tenten travel to the Land of the Birds to find out just who, or what, is haunting the new Feudal Lord.
This was a fun collection. The last one became a bit repetitive and it was nice to see them breaking up the bigger story with these smaller adventures. These stories often had more humor incorporated, the resolution of the bug hunt tale is a good example, yet there's still a sense of adventure. The battle with the dim-witted Legendary Stupid Brothers had some good action scenes yet it did so with tongue planted firmly in cheek. It was also nice to have the show circle back to the beginning and explore just what Mizuke was planning when he tricked Naruto in the first episode. It fleshes out the series nicely.
This set includes the next 28 episodes (136-163) 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 a little 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 good 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 looking DVD.
The extras are pretty minor. Scattered across the six discs are a couple of storyboard to finished product comparisons and production art galleries.
This collection is a step up from the previous one. Filled with several shorter adventures that are often light-hearted and humorous without skimping on the action these shows are sure to please fans of the young ninja. Recommended