While the show teases well about the present, it again focuses mostly on the past.
What They Say
The Leaf ninja work to rebuild the Hidden Leaf Village. While helping with the restoration, Naruto and Sakura are reunited with two old friends - the carpenter Tazuna and his grandson Inari from the Land of Waves.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
It's rather amusing that the show is putting out its summaries talking entirely about material in the present which makes up a tiny fraction of the episode itself. This one teases nicely at the start by showing the Leaf residents figuring out what they have to do next and how that even though their village has been destroyed, they have their lives and who they are to carry them forward. But that there's a lot of work ahead of them. There's a bit of a copout with this though as Yamato makes an appearance and generates a series of row houses that wipes him out but revives a small part of the village. Abilities like that take away from the hard toiling to repair things I had wanted to see, though Yamato won't do it all since it's such a huge drain on him. It is good to see everyone chipping in though while Naruto is thinking worriedly about Tsunade, even as Sakura tries to prop him up some.
While they could do a really decent episode, even as filler, showing the village being rebuilt and reacquainting us with many of the residents that we might not have seen for awhile, instead we get to go back in time to yet another Little Naruto story. With Kakashi now having taken on his team after they went through his little test, something we saw in the main series way back at the start, we get a fairly simple little adventure that lets them bring in Sasuke for a bit and run through the usual kind of gags and silliness (sexy jutsu continues to be awful!) while trying to tie it to the present. The present had Naruto meeting up with Inari, a child he hadn't seen in ages who has grown up a fair bit in the last few years, and this story goes back even further to show Inari in the village and a bit of a struggle he went through.
Episodes like these leave me feeling pretty bland at best and with little to say. The show isn't bad as it deals with what Naruto and the others were like at this stage, it's just that for me and many other fans, we're so completely past this stage. Especially if you've grown up alongside Naruto in the last few years, you can feel like him at this age is kind of childish and you want to distance yourself from that. The ties to the present are very weak in general at that when there's so many really good in-present filler side stories that could be done instead that would actually enhance the world and the situation that the Leaf village is going through. What we get here is pretty mundane though it's worth it just to check out the first couple of minutes and the new opening and closing sequences, but not much else beyond that.
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.