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Naruto Uncut Box Set, Volume 10

VIZ // Unrated // October 14, 2008
List Price: $69.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Todd Douglass Jr. | posted December 14, 2008 | E-mail the Author
The Show:

It's hard to deny Naruto's place in the anime world. It's arguably one of the most popular franchises this side of DBZ and all you need to do is hit an anime convention and see how many cosplay characters you can pick out of the crowd to understand that. The masterpiece created by Masashi Kishimoto has more volumes of manga than you can shake a stick at and an anime with over 200 episodes. You just know going into a DVD release that you need to be vested for the long haul and thankfully VIZ's uncut collections capitalize on that. While you can find DVDs of Naruto edited for the younger American audience the original Japanese version is the better of the two.

The long running adventures of Naruto continue and not too long ago it seems like we just sat down to watch the ninth volume. Last time around Sasuke was healing up in the hospital and before he could make a full recovery he was calling Naruto out for a fight. It seems that the confrontation with his brother left him even more bitter and angry with the world, so poor emo Sasuke feels like he has to kill Naruto in order to get anywhere in life. This all leads to his sinking further into darkness and he falls into Orochimaru's trap as a trio of his henchmen toss him into a barrel to stew for a bit. It's quite evident that they aren't making a Sasuke chili, but Shikimaru, Naruto, Choji, and Kiba set out to bring him home. Right up to the end the fighting was intense and in case you hadn't seen it I'll spare you the details. With that in mind we're looking at the tenth installment today which brings about the close to this particular arc.

When this volume begins we join Kiba who is struggling with his fight against Sakon, Shikimaru is having a tough time with Tayuya, and Naruto has begun his clash with Kimimaro. Things simply don't look good for our heroes and as the storyline progresses they only get darker though there are some silver linings in the clouds. While Kiba and Shikimaru have their respective fights, Naruto's is broken up by two things: Sasuke's barrel cook off is finished and Rock Lee appears to help battle Kimimaro. With Rock on the scene Naruto heads after Sasuke and you just know something cool is coming. Before we get to see that fight though, some unexpected help arrives for the other three Leaf Ninja.

Once that leg of the journey is complete the show is able to move on to the grand finale. Half of this installment is taken up by the fight between Sasuke and Naruto and it's one that elevates to epic proportions if you're familiar with the show. I don't want to give away everything that happens, considering this is basically just one big fight, but let's just say that we see the fruit of Sasuke's barrel labor and Naruto's fox chakra takes on a new form. It's a huge clash between the Rasengan and Chidori that eventually drags Kakashi and ninja dog, Pakkun, into the mix. When the dust settles it's quite clear that the mission didn't go so well and it's going to definitely be interesting to see the fallout in the coming volumes.

If you've been following Naruto up to this point then you're going to LOVE this volume. The conclusion of the other fights is satisfactory and there are many surprises I'm not covering in order to keep some treats for you to discover. Just trust me that you'll enjoy them. The big fight between the two main characters is epic and is about as big a battle as Naruto has ever done. With that being said I must say that it did feel a tad too drawn out and it bordered on DBZ stretching. It's still pure candy for Naruto fans though and I found myself going back to the start of the battle just to watch it all again. Even though this arc is over you really get the feeling that the show is building towards something and I can't wait to see how it turns out!

The DVD:


Naruto is presented with a 1.33:1 fullframe aspect ratio and features a vibrant transfer. The characters absolutely pop from just about every frame with a bright palette and a pleasing art style. With the recent production date the show doesn't have a lot of visible flaws though it's hard to deny that there are some here and there. A slight amount of grain blankets areas of the feature where colors are shaded or murkier than most. Some bits of compression where identifiable as well. Apart from these minor borderline nitpicky gripes there really was nothing to complain about. This is a solid looking show that is presented well on DVD and this volume in particular has some outstanding moments with regards to the animation.


The audio presentation for Naruto comes in the form of two 2.0 stereo tracks. The English dubbing offers up some irritating voices and an experience that one might call overacting. The Japanese language track was much better with easily acceptable vocals and equivalent quality in sound. With the limitations of a stereo track it's no surprise that there is little to no directionality. It wasn't bad by any stretch of the imagination but a 5.1 offering would have gone a long way. Still, this collection is problem free; it just doesn't go out of its way to impress.


The tenth installment of Naruto keeps the trend going and offers up a storyboard booklet for episode 134 and a few familiar inclusions as well. A gallery of production art, some trailers, and a storyboard to screen comparison for episode 128 are available as well. All around these are the same standard features we have been receiving with each volume so there shouldn't be many surprises or disappointments here.

Final Thoughts:

Naruto is just one of those series that has lasting appeal with a wide range of audiences. It's rare that something is as widely accepted, but the action, humor, and heartfelt storytelling are perfect reasons for its success. Sure, there are many who will turn their nose up at it due to the fact that it's directed at kids and it's a next-gen DBZ, but it's much deeper than that. There are several facets explored throughout this series and the latest of which focuses on the torn friendship between Sasuke and Naruto. This volume is quite possibly one of the best ones released to date in my opinion and everything from the action to the storytelling and development is top notch. If you're a Naruto fan don't let this one slip by you.

Check out more of my reviews here. Head on over to my anime blog as well for random musings and reviews of anime, manga, and stuff from Japan!

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Highly Recommended

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