Naruto: Shippuden Episode #203 (

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Friday, March 18, 2011
Release Date: Thursday, March 17, 2011

With the apparent truth now revealed about Sasuke, Naruto and friends are pushed further into shock.

What They Say:
The truth behind Itachi's actions leaves Naruto, Kakashi, and Yamato in shock. Madara then goes on to reveal the eternal hate stemming from as far back as the rivalry between the two sons of the legendary Sage of the Sixth Paths and its relation to the Uchiha clan.

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Naruto has the kind of life where things continually come up that changes his views of the world but does so by slamming him hard emotionally as he goes through it. Case in point is the series of revelations made by Madara about Sasuke that pushes his version of the truth on them, one that they're hard pressed to refute because of the path that Sasuke has taken in life for so long now. Like a lot of these stories, there's an intense amount of history to it that goes back generations as Madara tells the tale of how the Uchiha clan had a tragedy within it that causes brother to go against brother over the choice of succession and how it shifted down the years as well, right up to now with Sasuke being involved in it, which is why he seeks revenge against the Village of the Hidden Leaf.

A good part of this episode is given over to the action which highlights the kind of anger that Sasuke has most definitely taken control of and channels properly. His attack on the Five Kage has been a brutal piece from the start as those that were there to protect their kage were essentially thrown to the side so they can get to the kage themselves. They're largely forced to watch as Sasuke goes up against Raikage and the two very powerful men have at it, though Sasuke has this kind of look to him even as he gets abused that he's just putting up with it to see how strong Raikage is. While we've had a touch of action so far in the last few episodes since the filler ended, this episode gives us some strong action as Sasuke really cuts loose and Raikage doesn't hold back at all.

A lot of what's key here though is the information imparted onto Naruto, Yamato and Kakashi by Madara as he fills them in about Sasuke's true motivations. There's something to be said for not being completely behind his statements since he has his own agendas, but much of what he says can be easily believed because of Sasuke's actions over the course of the series since he left. For Naruto, it's a difficult experience to go through because of how he believes in Sasuke even after all that has happened and still wants to think he can be saved from all of this. Tying it into Pain and how he was taken advantage of sort of cements that a bit because Pain wasn't the same as Madara makes him out to be, but it's enough to give Naruto some hope in the midst of the pain he's feeling.

In Summary:
Naruto continues to be on a very solid and engaging path since the escape from filler hell and this episode is no exception. With a bit of an info dump that highlights even more about the strange and cruel past of the Uchiha Clan, Naruto and the others get quite the eye-opening moment though there's still some belief that Sasuke can be saved from all of this. On the flip side, we get a lot of really good action throughout the episode as Sasuke gets his fight on with Raikage and it's a great piece as both men are using their various abilities without holding back. Raikage kind of gets carried away a bit with the bravado and bluster, but it makes the calm and serious approach that Sasuke takes all the more engaging. Another very good episode that very much leaves you anxiously awaiting more.

Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles

Review Equipment
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.

Mania Grade: A-
Audio Rating: NA
Video Rating: NA
Packaging Rating: NA
Menus Rating: NA
Extras Rating: NA
Age Rating: 13 and Up
Region: All Region DVD
Released By: Crunchyroll
Running time: 24
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
Disc Resolution: 480i/p
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Naruto