With the creation of an allied shinobi forces under Danzo's control, nothing good will come of this.
What They Say:
Mifune calls for the formation of the Allied Shinobi Forces to counter the Akatsuki and proposes the Hokage to lead them. Meanwhile, Sai reveals Naruto's actions to Sakura.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
As the storyline unfolds for Naruto in the upper levels of things in the previous episode where we got the creation of an allied forces for the five villages, I can't help but to think things aren't going to go as seemed. Danzo's been played as the lurking villain in the background for so long as he climbs up the path for more power and has achieved it by taking on the role of the Hokage. But there's something in the back of my head that says with this move and events that may unfold, he may really take to the role and do things in a right way that could redeem him as a person, making him a surprise hero in a way. As much as we want to root against him, you can see the pieces being laid out there that may give him this opportunity, especially as everyone is seemingly against him with the main cast.
While the issue of the Akatsuki is a significant one, the other one that impacts the series more personally is that of Sasuke. There's a lengthy piece here as most of his peers talk in pained voices about how Naruto feels about what's going on with him and how he's being hunted by the Cloud village now. There's such a potential spiral of violence that could take place that will lead to war that they all starts to realize that they have to take action themselves now rather than to let it all fall on Naruto's shoulders. Sasuke may be part of the Akatsuki and his ties with Orochimaru makes him a significant problem, but it's a problem that must be dealt with by the Hidden Leaf village before all else. But it means they have to really deal with it, knowing that there's very little real chance that Sasuke will turn back to their side. It's a hard choice that needs to be made, but it's one that most are ready to make because of what's truly at stake.
Thankfully, what we saw in the last episode is followed up on here. While some fans may not care for this kind of material, I continue to find it key to the series having the kind of presence and sense of scale that it has which makes it far more engaging. There are plenty of shows with fighting for the sake of fighting, but when you have a solid story behind it, it has much more impact. The issue of who will lead the allied shinobi forces is interesting to watch though it plays out logically. There are some interesting aspects to it that come out as it all comes together, and Danzo's sense of what's going on and what he has to watch out for is fascinating since it reveals some of Danzo's methods and puts a new spin on the whole issue at hand. Of course, nothing is truly dealt with as a whole other issue literally pops up into the room which makes for a good bit of tense excitement as the Akatsuki make their move.
Naruto Shippuden continues to build the foundation of the next storyline in a slow but steady way that definitely keeps your attention. While it does that, it also knows how to move things forward a bit as it does so at the end here while still making sure that those that want something serious and moody, something character driven, is given enough time to be worked on as well. There's some very good material that happens around Sakura as they all have to decide what to do about Sasuke since they don't want to leave it all to Naruto and that brings out some good emotions and heartfelt statements. At the same time, watching the events at the meeting of the Five Kage is very fun to see unfold since it has the potential to go a number of ways, especially with Sasuke and his group about to make their appearance.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
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