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DVD Review

DVD cover

Naruto Unleashed
Series 5 - Volume 2


Starring (voice): Junko Takeuchi
Manga Entertainment
RRP: £24.99
Certificate: 12
Available 23 February 2009

Konoha, the Hidden Leaf Village, is your average ninja hamlet; except for one thing... it contains Naruto Uzumaki. Unbeknownst to the children, but known to their parents, Naruto’s body contains the trapped spirit of Kyubi, a demon fox that had been defeated twelve years ago. Because of their parents behaviour towards Naruto, the children of the village also treat him with deferential fear. All Naruto wants is to become the best ninja that he can and win the respect of the villagers. Now, well into his training, he spends as much time playing around as he does on his studies, but dark forces are gathering. Following his confrontation with Sasuke, the Genin have stolen Sasuke away in a barrel, Naruto and friends give chase, but will they be in time?...

Naruto Unleashed 5.2 presents the second half of season five with the last thirteen episodes (eps 118 - 130), because of the weak start of this season the latter half is generally stronger.

With so many episodes past it’s difficult to know what more one can say on the subject of Naruto. The animation remains of a surprisingly high standard, given the amount of shows produced, the choreography of the fight scenes remains enjoyably dynamic, and the print is sharp - that said the story is almost nonexistent.

Actually that’s a bit unfair, there is a narrative of sorts, the first disc opens with Sasuki in a barrel being flown through the trees for his rendezvous with Orochimaru, who would like to take up residence in his body. There are some good, but fleeting, scenes with Orochimaru and Kimimaro which are suitably creepy but they pass and we’re back to another fight combination between Naruto’s gang and Tayuya and Sakon. Individually each episode is great, collectively they are repetitive.

Because of the need to keep cutting back to various combination of fighters the actual story thread, thin as it is, carries all the way to the end of this season finally finishing in episode 138. Fans of ninja fight shows will love the disc - after all the fighting is the main reason for the show's production.

The discs seem to have settled down into a familiar format, presenting the show in English or Japanese 2.0 in its original 4:3 aspect ratio and no extras to speak of apart from some trailers.

So individually each show provides what any fight fan could want, just don’t expect much of a story.


Charles Packer

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