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Naruto Shippuden Box Set 3
A couple of new characters, one of whom may be a spy, trouble for the Tsunade, the fifth Hokage, and a new mission that may turn into a solid lead on where Sasuke is being kept. All that and more happens in the third Boxed Set of Naruto Shippuden from Viz. While these collections are gathered every 13 episodes rather than by story arc, this is still and exciting set.
Things get wrapped up in the beginning of this set. The first disc opens with the finale of the battle between Sakura and Lady Chiyo against the puppet master Sasori as well as the fight between Naruto and Kakashi and Deidara. They also show how Team Guy manages to get past their doppelgangers, effectively wrapping up the story arc of Garra's kidnapping. (And not a moment too soon. While that story started out well, after a while it seemed to just drag on and on.)
Returning to the
Lady Tsunade tags Team Kakashi to snatch and grab the spy, though she gets a lot of flack from some of the village elders for letting Naruto get so close to the Akatsuki. (Justifiably so. Her rationale for assigning him to that mission is pretty weak.) She finally prevails, but only by allowing a member of the Black Ops to lead the team, which is now down two members. A new character, Yamato, is selected to be in charge and a mysterious emotionless youth, Sai, fills the fourth slot. Lady Tsunade is very leary of Sai since an elder she doesn't trust selected him, and tells Yamato to watch him carefully.
Sai doesn't fit in well at all. He starts off by insulting both Naruto and Sakura, then proceeds to call Sasuke a traitor. (Oddly enough he doesn't insult Yamato.) With the team fractured and no one getting along, things look dire for Team Kakashi.
This was a good collection of shows. The Gaara story line wrapped up in a nice way, with a lot of action and some touching moments. Then after a brief respite the next story line starts up and this one looks like it'll move faster than the last one.
While there is a lot in this set to please fans of the show, I certainly enjoyed it, the program does have some WTF moments where you really have to work in order to suspend your disbelief. [Spoiler warning] For example, when the four members of Team Guy are fighting their identical doubles the way they beat them is ludicrous. I assumed they all meet and some central point and work together as a team to defeat their enemies but no, that's not it. Lee realizes that their clones are exact duplicates from the time they were formed, say an hour ago. Lee's idea, one he communicates to his team mates, is to get stronger than they were an hour ago and use that extra strength to beat the doppelgangers. Yeah, just get stronger. Why didn't I think of that. *sheesh*. If that was the only time something like that happened I could ignore it, but it's pretty constant in this show. [End spoilers.]
Absurdities aside, the show is best when the fights are fierce but of a reasonable length and when they flesh out the background of either the characters or their villages. That's what takes up most of the time in this collection, so it's pretty fun.
This set includes the next 13 episodes on 3 DVDs. They come in three thinpak cases stored in a slipcase.
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.
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 was very 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 15-minute look at the new English voice talent that is being employed in Shippuden. They talk about their character and how much they like the series. Typical stuff. There's also a Relationship Chart, this time for people from the Sand village. The bonus section is wrapped up with a gallery of production art.
This is a good collection that makes up for the last mediocre set of shows. With some new interesting characters coming into the picture along with the exciting resolution of the first big story arc, it's a set to buy and keep. Recommended.