The path of revenge is a difficult one and Naruto's attempts to stop it are met with intense resistance.
What They Say:
To prevent the cycle of hatred bound to occur should Sasuke be killed, Naruto goes to the Raikage and begs him to forgive Sasuke, but the Raikage quickly dismisses the request.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
After all that Naruto has been through, it's little surprise that he's as emotional and honest as he is when it comes to trying to stop the events unfolding that will lead to Sasuke being killed, or at least attacked heavily for revenge. The opening segment, which is fairly lengthy all told, is an intense piece as he pleas with the Raikage to stop what he's doing and to not hunt down Sasuke. Naruto's words are quite strong here, very honest, and they're layered with the memories of how Sasuke's own life has shattered and fallen apart because of his own quest for revenge. With the way Naruto wears his emotions on his sleeve, he's very straightforward here but it makes little impact on someone who wants to avenge. There is some nuance here though as Yamato and Kakaishi get involved in the dialogue.
Considering what's happened, it's no surprise that the Cloud people have no intention of listening to Naruto's request, at least not seriously. That the Raikage actually gives him a little time is an important moment, but one that does not go the way Naruto expects as he calls him out for what he does, bowing so easily for a criminal. And he makes it clear that the kage's are all going to make it known that the Akatsuki will be hunted down by everyone for their actions, so Sasuke will have no hope left at all this point so asking for something of the Raikage is essentially a foolish action as his intentions are very much set. And when you take into consideration the way the five kage's have been dealing with things, the conference is more likely than not to go in the direction that Raikage things it should, even with the very different paths they all follow.
Sometimes it's hard to think of politics within the world of Naruto, but episodes like this remind you that they do have it and it can be exciting and intriguing all on its own. The slow down to deal with the meeting of the five reveals a lot about the way the various villages act and believe they need to deal with things. There continue to be nods towards the past with the Tailed Beasts and who and how to control them as well which adds some welcome layering. There's also the changes in the balance of power there by the people involved with some younger members slowly coming into their own and standing firm as well as the slow but sure creepiness of Danzo himself as he observes for much of it in his cold and calculating way, all to ensure his position is secure when he returns to the village.
While you sometimes expect fireworks with key number episodes of a series, especially if you come from a comic book background, Naruto Shippuden doesn't exactly do that. What it does do is give us a quiet yet charged episode involving politics that is most definitely a game changer as events move in a very significant way at the end here that Danzo is expertly taking advantage of after guiding things that way as best as he can. The five Villages are entering a new era and there's something very powerful moving here that can change the flow of relations, nations and the world at this point. It's not all out action fireworks, but there are significant things happening here that makes this a key episode to how the Shippuden series will unfold going forward.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
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