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DVD Review

DVD cover

Naruto Unleashed
Series 5 - Volume 1


Starring (voice): Junko Takeuchi
Manga Entertainment
RRP: £24.99
Certificate: 12
Available 15 December 2008

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 parent’s 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 Naruto’s skills are growing which will bring him into conflict with his old friend Sasuke...

Naruto Unleashed 5.1, sees the start of another new season and another thirteen episodes (episodes 105 - 117) for your delectation. This initially finishes off the story arc which finished season four, in the first of its three discs. Yet again the same warning applies, if you’re going to watch this show watch it from the beginning as starting anywhere else will just lead to confusion and madness.

So we start the new season in the middle of the filler story about Naruto’s dull adventure in the Tea Country, which ended season four, the first arc to deviate from the original manga - which accounts for the sudden dip in the level of writing on the show after the finish of the Chuunin exams and the subsequent attack Konaha.

The story gets back on track, and back to the manga storyline, with Sasuke recovering in hospital, feeling bitter enough that he determines that the best way of proving himself is to engage Naruto in a one-on-one battle. The narrative spends some time with Sasuke, exploring his inner emotional turmoil before the two finally square off, only to be stopped by the intervention of Kakashi-sensei. Meanwhile (there’s always a meanwhile in Naruto) Shikamaru’s motley gang of genin enter the Hidden Leaf Village, their sights firmly set on Sasuke, soon battle is joined.

I had some real reservations with season four as the whole thing became fragmented with the inclusion of the filler arc, but with that out of the way the show has spent more time on the characters and the resulting increase in quality shows.

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 ration and no extras to speak of apart from some trailers.

So another manic action packed slice of Naruto. Will the fun never end?


Charles Packer

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