Home > Anime, Manga and Games, Reviews, Television > DVD Review: Naruto Shippuden Box Set 7

DVD Review: Naruto Shippuden Box Set 7

Naruto Shippendun Box Set 7 continues the legacy with episodes 78 – 88! 

Asuma and Shikamaru have to think on their feet as they face the mind-boggling jutsu of the Akatsuki pair Hidan and Kakuzu. At the last minute, the Akatsuki are called away, but not before dealing a fatal blow to a revered shinobi of the Leaf. The devastated ninja left behind can think only of revenge, but Tsunade is opposed to the scheme until an offer of help arrives from an unexpected source.

Episodes 78 & 80: Naruto Shippendun opens with a double episode “The Judgement” and “Unfulfilled Scream” continuing the awesome titles for pretty much all the episodes. This episode jumps straight into the action concerning Asuma and Hidan after Asuma’s fire jutsu engulfs Hidan. These episodes have a slightly darker flavour to them, which is a risk for opening episodes, but It is all the better for it. These episodes don’t even feature Naruto but do show the evil nature of both Hidan and the Akatsuki organisation.

Episode 80: “Last Words” sees Naruto return to the aftermath of the Asuma and Hidan battle. This is another brave episode as it has no fighting but rather concerns itself with the character Asuma and his final scenes. There is no rush to progress the story in Naruto Shippendun and this may begin to frustrate some viewers who want the action associated with Naruto. However others will be happy to bask in the animation and drama with which this episode excels at.

Episode 81: “Sad News” concerns the aftermath of Asuma’s death and the training of Naruto’s new techniques. Naruto struggles with his training in true hero style and needs inspiration which he duly receives from an unlikely source. This episode sets up a lot of plot also revealing the Atatsuki organisations true plans which, of course, like any good evil organisation revolve around death and world domination! We get to see ‘the devils cloak’ and Naruto combing elemental and shape forces which are nicely realised in the excellent animation.

Episode 82: “Team10” focuses on Asuma’s funeral. This episode again is slow on plot progression and Naruto is notable by his absence. Shikamura is shown missing the funeral and instead trying to keep his mind off things by taking a walk. A stand out scene from the series reveals Shikamura’s true feelings of loss for Asuma and his death during a game of shogi with his father and a plan is hatched for revenge.

Episode 83: “Target: Locked On” follows closely from the previous by focusing on Shikamura and his plans of revenge on Asuma’s killers Hidan and Kakuzu. Shikamura proves a good choice to focus on as his character has a good emotional arc and his plans are genuinely enthralling. The pace of the story is also good and keeps you interested if it’s just talking about a plan of action.

(Image courtesy of Manga Entertainment)

(Image courtesy of Manga Entertainment)

(Image courtesy of Manga Entertainment)

(Image courtesy of Manga Entertainment)

(Image courtesy of Manga Entertainment)

(Image courtesy of Manga Entertainment)

Episode 84: “Kakuzu’s Abilities” tells us of the elemental forces and there advantages and disadvantage sort of like a really dangerous game of rock, paper, scissors! Kakuzu and Hidan characters are expanded in both there fighting style and also the way they act with each other which is a welcome change from the good guys getting all the screen time. The fight itself does have an epic feel to it and is very well thought out and the intensity is high throughout.

Episode 85: “The Terrifying Secret” shows Shikamura’s plans of revenge being played out as we join the battle from Target: Locked on. We now get to see a long fight with constant surprises which gives an almost impossible task to predict what will happen next, leading to the viewer being wholly hooked on the outcome. We find out that Kakuzu is more than meets the eye with one of the surprises being he has 5 hearts which all have to be defeated in order to kill him! The music, which is always good, is particularly effective in this battle in creating a tense atmosphere and background.

Episode 86 & 87: “Shikamaru’s Genius” and “When You Curse Someone, You Dig Your Own Grave”. This is the crazy/genius conclusion to the fight from the previous two episodes (at least!). This battle has it all from ‘out’ heroes being down and nowhere to go to being on top and winning to being down and out again and vice versa. It also has the just-in-the-nick-of-time save from an unlikely source part. All of which add up to an exciting conclusion which the battle with Hidan and Kakuzu deserved, or is it…

Episode 88: “Wind Style: Rasen Shuriken” sees Naruto return, as the title suggest, with a new fighting style and the final showdown with Hidan and Kakuzu. This time we focus totally on Naruto and his rise to the top in true hero style, not only with the defeat of his enemies but in the way he defeats them showing he has grown into a warrior with brains and skills and into someone who will inspire.

Overall, despite a few episodes being too focussed and flashbacks and character development, which slowed the flow of the narrative, Naruto still remains a ride which once taken you will not want to get off too easily. The animation and music throughout was very good and always surprising. The same can be said for the story, while not a story with too much depth, it still has the power to move in particular in the case of Asuma’s death. If you’re watching Volume 7 you know what to expect and Naruto doesn’t disappoint and on a lot of occasions will surprise.

Review written by Dean Hilliam.

Label: Manga Entertainment

Release date: 7th November 2011

Certificate: 12

Running time: 259 mins

Genre: Anime

Director: Hayato Date

Stars: Chie Nakamura, Junko Takeuchi, Noriaki Sugiyama

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