The Akatsuki's quest to gain all the Jinchuriki has brought them to the Hidden Leaf village for a full on attack.
What They Say
The Leaf Village is under heavy attack from Pain and Konan. Hearing the Akatsuki attack, Tsunade attempts to contact Fukasaku.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Much of the last episode was all about the setup as we saw the various members of the Hidden Leaf village working towards understanding the various clues and pieces that had been left for them by Jiraiya. With his apparent defeat at the hands of Pain, there's a lot of incentive to figure out what he was trying to tell them with his last efforts. All of that's become complicated though now that the Akatsuki have arrived at the village in search of Naruto and his nine-tailed beast.
Interestingly, the arrival of the Akatsuki have thrown a bit of politics into play as well as Danzo has informed some of the elders of what's going on and is manipulating them into believing that the things that the Hokage are currently doing aren't in the best interests of the village. What they lack in their understanding though is exactly what she does understand, and that Naruto is someone who won't stop at any cost or truly die until he becomes the Hokage. There's a lot riding on Naruto in the long run with the Prophecy about him and Tsunade will not stand to have anyone, including her councilors, get away with what they're saying. Naruto has definitely grown over time but for many of them they're simply unable to see that, or want to see that.
Though the Akatsuki have attacked, most of this episode is about the mood and events going on during the attack, rather than the attack itself. We see that the medical ninja are overwhelmed by it all as Shizune is off doing the autopsy still and there are other aspects such as Shikimaru and others helping the injured and moving the regular villagers off to some place safe. There are some really good flashbacks as well that flesh out why Tsunade is so strong in her beliefs of Naruto, which also in turn helps provide yet another reminder of why Naruto is so key to so many things and how important his fighting spirit is to inspiring others. Tsunade herself again becomes a strong character but she's still too trusting of Danzo and his manipulations, which is about to make things a whole lot worse for her plans.
The Akatsuki are largely off screen for most of this episode until the last few minutes, but those few minutes are good for reminding the viewer of the power of the group and that they can easily cause a lot of destruction. The hunt for Naruto is something that's been a long time in coming to the village itself, but after all the time that has passed, Naruto isn't the pariah he was as a child and now many will stand and fight to defend him from the Akatsuki. While I would have preferred a bit more action outside of these last minutes, I love that we did get to see Tsunade launch an intriguing defensive action as the village burns and the buildings fall to the destructive force of the Akatsuki. The regular ninjas of the village are simply outclassed here unfortunately, but it makes for a number of fun sequences.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.