Confronted by Kisame, Killer Bee has to hold his own and best one of the Akatsuki.
What They Say:
Killer Bee engages in a deadly battle against Kisame, who has come to capture the Eight-Tails.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Naruto has offered up a lot of interesting episodes since its return from the filler zone. We've had politics rise up, the formation of an allied shinobi forces in order to deal with the threat that the akatsuki are representing and we've had some maturity shown from Naruto that continues to push his growth. And we even had a really neat sequence that's been divisive for fans where Sakura admits her feelings for Naruto to his face, but there's a fair bit of potential subtext to it all that gets in the way of things in a way that feels more honest and realistic than the way Sakura has been when it comes to Sasuke. So where does the show go now with all these options available? Time with Killer Bee.
Because Killer Bee is the one possessing the Eight-Tails, having Kisame going after him is pretty much straight to the point since they need him like they need all the others for their plans. He's managed to avoid things for a bit through circumstances, but the more public moves now against the various Tailed holders has them just going after what they want. Strangely, the episode is focused on the action to be sure, but it mixes in a lot of dialogue and planning moments as well that feels like it slows things down a lot. There's a decent subplot moving along with some of the shinobi and a trap that was laid out for them, but it's the kind of piece that would have been better on its own, allowing it to unfold without the Killer Bee action occurring. Shifting back and forth between the two is a tried and true technique, but it can hollow out a moment easily.
The fight between Killer Bee and Kisame does have its moments as Killer Bee gets fairly serious about things, showing some real power and control when working with his beast. Though I don't care much for Killer Bee himself and his personality, he's definitely an interesting contrast to Naruto with the way he's generally more serious but doesn't go over the top with his anger, allowing his emotions to cloud things. He does get into it, he does do foolish things at times, but he has something more to him that allows the fight to be dealt with in a way that doesn't feel quite so immature in a way. Naruto has grown exponentially since this particular series began and he's a very different character, but he still has his moments. Watching Killer Bee going against Kisame was more fun than I expected, but still felt a little hollow.
I went in with fairly low expectations on this episode since Killer Bee has not been a favorite since I started to get to know him in this arc and those expectations were fairly well met. His fight with Kisame is decent, but not a revelatory piece. It's solid with a decent amount of action that allows the fight to feel like it has some meaning, but it doesn't add all that much to things and just draws out the larger picture. The end does bring some resolution to a separate subplot when it comes to Killer Bee and that's welcome, but by and large you could easily miss this episode and not be any worse off when it comes to the overall storyline for this arc and what's happening. I did like that we avoided the core cast for an episode though and dealt with a dangling plot point, getting it resolved, but I also want to get back to the good stuff soon, which the next episode preview points out will be very, very soon.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
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.