Naruto: Shippuden Episode #204 (

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Thursday, March 24, 2011
Release Date: Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sasuke's attack on the Kage takes a less than desired direction.

What They Say:
Having blocked the combined attacks of Gaara, Temari, Kankuro, and Darui with his Susano'o, Sasuke goes after Danzo.

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Naruto has a few different stories working through this episode, though it's focus continues to largely be spent on the events happening at the Five Kages meeting. The episode opens with a Jinchuriki I'm actually not familiar with, coming from the block of episodes I have not yet seen, as he details his time after escaping a fight with Sasuke that has him ranking the young man as one of the top two people he's fought. With this man being Raikage's younger brother, he's looking at his escape as a chance to get out into the world and experience life some, something he hasn't been able to do while under his brothers watch. Unlike the nine-tailed beast that Naruto has, his is a little more conversational about things and even amusing gives him grief about his terrible, terrible rapping ability.

The battle at the Five Kage's meeting continues to be a real highlight as Sasuke and his group makes progress, though not terribly easy progress as they get closer to dealing with the Kage themselves outside of Raikage. With such skilled fighters and those possessing some serious power, it turns to quite the battle, but one that gives Sasuke the challenge he's always looking for. There's enough personal history mixed into it, though it doesn't actually dominate the fights, as clans and villages have stepped on each others toes and more over the years so when they get personal, it can get pretty rough. Mizukage herself is in a way sort of taken with Sasuke, though she's more intent on taking him down than anything else. But it has that kind of allure to the edges of it when she's called out on it by Sasuke's associate and it gives it all a nice touch.

The third part of the story is unfortunately small, as we get a touch more on Naruto and what he's learning, and even that isn't all that much. What this episode largely focuses on is the fight between Sasuke and Mizkaage which lets her really show off her powers a good bit before others become involved in the situation. She certainly has that older woman appeal to her, especially when you consider so much of the show is made up of kids, and a certain kind of confidence to her that is really appealing. Her abilities aren't exactly a whole lot to write home about, and they don't look that great visually, but it has all the right elements in execution to make it work. What sells this episode even more are those final moments amongst the Kage's when a certain Akatsuki shows up that brings a whole different air to the proceedings. It's brief, but exactly the kind of nod needed to make you want the next episode right away.

In Summary:
Naruto hits a decent episode here and it's one that plays largely to those that want a lot of action to it, but it's action backed up by plot and intent which holds the other half of the audience. When it comes to the action, there's a lot to like as Sasuke takes the various Kage to task but isn't exactly ready to handle that many at once. The opening part of the episode is a curious piece, one that will play to a larger part of the story going forward I'm sure, but it lacks resonance for me since I'm familiar with the characters and it all feels a little goofy, like a number of things often do in the world of Naruto. Still, this is a solidly decent episode overall that lets the action dominate but does so in a good way that helps to move things forward by the end.

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: B
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