The second part to the very special adventure from the pat continues. Unfortunately.
What They Say
Naruto and the others take on the oncoming challenges in order to find the secret technique and break the previous record set by the Fourth Hokage. But Naruto's impulsive action leads the group into various troubles.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers).
Continuing to take a break from, you know, the really excellent material we've had for the last couple of months, Naruto delves into the story from the past where he's trying to gain more information about the Fourth Hokage from all manner of people who want little to nothing to do with him. Along the way he ends up meeting an old man who offers him information based on a series of challenges that he can partake in, something that others from the Leaf Village decide to get involved with as well. Not surprisingly, as this is a tale from Naruto's younger days, everything he does is brash and out there which causes more trouble than anything else.
The first half of this episode features the characters running around doing their challenges and having the frustrations occur because of Naruto's nature and the way the fights go. Where it lost me completely, reminding me of why I really did dislike a lot of the Little Naruto adventures, is when they have a parrot come flying in that just constantly says baka. Baka, baka, baka. It's like it's talking about me for watching this episode. It's the kind of reminder that some writing staffs should not write original shows for series since this is what happens. The drop in quality from the previous arc to this one highlights the differences all too well. There's obviously the huge difference in what the time period is and the characters and settings, but there's a true cheapness across the episode, from writing to animation that kept me from finding even a sliver of enjoyment from the episode. I'm not one to rag on episodes without reason, but I'll be damned if this episode didn't just piss me off from start to finish for some reason.
I ended up watching this episode a day after the first part to the "anime original" story since the first one irked me so much by being as bad as it was. I fully get the need for the filler episodes, though I question the timing of when we get them sometimes, but what I don't care for with a show like Naruto is that it does go back several years to tell a story. You know it will have less than zero impact on the series proper. That's just a given. But surely there are many more story ideas they could work with in the present with characters and settings that can build up the worldview more, expand on a minor character that could be interesting or anything. At least this isn't one of those game show episodes that we've seen in the past, which is why it's not getting a flat out failure grade.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.