Naruto Box Set 01 -

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Mania Grade: B-

Maniac Grade: A+

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  • Audio Rating: B-
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: A-
  • Extras Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 49.98
  • Running time: 325
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Naruto

Naruto Box Set 01

By Justin Rich     July 03, 2006
Release Date: July 04, 2006

Naruto Box Set 01
© Viz Media

What They Say
Deep within the Hidden Leaf Village, sharp and cunning Ninja carry an ultimate power while Naruto Uzumaki carries inside the ultimate secret. Twelve years ago, the fourth Hokage sacrificed himself and saved the village by sealing the Nine-tailed Fox Spirit an orphaned baby boy. Now, this plucky prankster must do what it takes achieve this life-long goal and become the next Hokage!

Collectible box is in Gold Foil and Embossed!

The Review!
Naruto has been hailed as the next DBZ and with it's manga sales that is true, now it is time to see how the DVD releases do.

For this viewing session I began with the Japanese track. Unfortunately this series does not posses a 5.1 for either language track, for it would have benefited greatly with all the fighting scenes. The balance though is a small problem since there are points when the battle music comes on and drowns out the dialogue, especially on disc 2. There are no drop outs in either of the three discs. I also did a spot check on the English track on episode 9 Kakashi the Sharingan Warrior.

This group of episodes aired in the last quarter of 2002 and the transfer is pretty clean. The background of the forest show up exceptionally well bring the feeling of being there. The flashbacks come out with an old television feeling with the constant "snowy ? black, white and gray dots. They only problem that is visible is during the mist scenes there is some spottiness especially as the mist crosses the characters.

This 13 episode box comes in a flimsy, metallic gold casing which holds a fold out for the three discs. On the front it has in orange Shonen Jump's logo over the Naruto title and Uncut box set in orange paint with volume 1 inside chakra mark on Naruto's palm. The fold out box has a single picture of Naruto, Sasuke, Sakura and Kakashi which was the original R2 art (volumes 1-4). The box is also large enough to hold the storyboard book of episode 8 without crushing either the book or the DVD foldout. The LE box also comes with a Konoha cosplay headband.

Each of the three discs have their own menu and particular piece of background music. Disc 1 is orange with three rotating pictures of Naruto, while disc 2 is indigo with three rotating pictures of Sasuke including a awesome image of him with weapons a blazing and his sharingan out and finally disc 3 has a soft rose background and the rotating stills of Sakura. The menu responds extremely quick with the curser being a throwing star.

There is a five minute trailer for box 2 but all the scenes stay with the end of the Wave Arc even not giving any images off the characters to come. Also Shonen Jump Home video trailers for Hikaru no Go and One Piece Alabasta arc DVDs. A flip through page of Shonen Jump manga images from both regular Jump and advance series lines as well as the complete monthly Jump too. There are also English credits on an orange background with no music. Eight pages of production art of eight different characters from Naruto to Sexy Ninjutsu. The highlight of the special features is the eight sketch to screen clips from episode 1, where you can see the story boards on the screen and then activate the clip itself to see it in motion.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers) Naruto is an extremely long running series that is already almost up to 200 episodes with no ending in sight, but this box set starts us at the beginning. The first two episodes begin with us meeting the rebellious and troublesome Uzumaki Naruto as he moves into training to become a shinobi. Shunned most of his life, for reasons he does not yet understand, Naruto has grown up an outcast with only his teacher Iruka being his lone support and guidance. He then meets Konohamaru, the grandson of the third Hokage, who begins to follow Naruto around like a groupie. The both share the same dream of becoming Hokage, leader of the village, someday when they are grown. Similar characters in actions and demeanor which makes these interactions solely for comic relief.

The series begins to pick up in episode three when Naruto is assigned to his three member team with Sasuke Uchiha and Sakura Haruno with the fashionably late Kakashi Hatake as their sensei. Sasuke and Naruto clash because of their polar opposite motives for becoming ninja as well as their status amongst the village. To increase teamwork Kakashi proposes a seemingly simple test of grabbing a pair of bells attached to is waste. The group is unable to achieve the goal due to their single mindedness instead of collaborating. Then they tie Naruto to a pole with Sasuke and Sakura beginning to eat the two meals, but they decide they should not let Naruto starve. This act of teamwork gets them the passing grade.

The first real story arc begins with team Kakashi being assigned the mission to escort Mr. Tazuna a bridge builder back to his home in Wave Country. The job was deemed to be a low ranking mission, but there is more to the man they are protecting as assassins keep making an attempt on him. Eventually, Zabuza, an extremely strong assassin for hire, attacks the group. During these reoccurring battles the reason why Kakashi why his forehead protector is slumped over his left eye is revealed. Kakashi possess the power of the sharingen, an ability that is passed through blood which allows the eye to copy any ninjutsu.

Caught off guard by Zabuza's water prison technique he's trapped leaving the three young ninjas to defend Tazuna. Using a combination of Kage Bun Ninjutsu and Sasuke's shurinken throwing abilities they free Kakashi from the prison and show their first signs of working together. Kakashi counterattacks using Zabuza's own techniques and is about to finish him off when needles pierce through his neck killing him, or so they believe.

There is some down time in the nonstop fighting to further develop the back story of why the Wave Country had become weakend and of those who had the courage to stand up for their friends and family. But with that source of hope gone the Wave Country had become timid and panic stricken. Kakashi had thought Zabuza was killed by the ANBU recovery team of the Mist village, but it turned out to be Haku who had picked up the "body ? giving Zabuza an opportunity to recover. After a little healing they attack Kakashi, Sasuke and Sakura on the bridge where there is nowhere to escape to. Zabuza and Kakashi square off and Haku takes on the tandem of Sasuke and Sakura. Naruto waits back at the house guarding civilians when he too is attacked.

Soon Sakura's weakness comes through and she steps aside from the fighting to get out of the way for Sasuke, but Haku shows him that not only the Uchiha clan have a blood line technique as he reveals his Crystal Ice Mirrors. This jutsu forms a wall of unbreakable mirrors around the opponent which Haku can move freely from one panel to the next to avoid attacks or to attack himself. The box ends with a tired Sasuke trying to decide what he should do.

In Summary:
The initial uncut Naruto box is a great way to get introduced to the show in both price as well as shelf space, which comes as a high priority to most anime fans. I will admit I never watched the edited version on cartoon network but I was glad to see whether you watch the show in English or Japanese the opening Rocks by Hound Dog and the closing Wind by Akeboshi are there completely intact with credits. This group of episodes gives us a decent look at the psyches of team Kakashi as they begin their shinobi careers, but with very different personal reasons, but this box has more than enough action to keep you excited as we get to know the inner workings of these characters. The box ends near the end of the wave country arc, of course, in the middle of the final battle leaving you anxiously awaiting the early Christmas present of box two in December.

Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Production Art,From Sketch to Screen Art

Review Equipment
Sony SAVA D9000 Dual Stack DTS w/ 5 Disc Changer in stack 1 and subwoofer in stack 2 Tv is Sony 57 ? widescreen rear-projection HDTV Model #KPD 57WS550


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by alan123
Grade: A+

Nice article!! Im in love with Naruto from its beginning. I watched all...