Anime TV Review

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  • Episode: Sneak In! The Nest of the Venomous Snake
  • Produced By: Pierrot
  • Network: Tokyo TV
  • Original Manga By: Masashi Kishimoto


Adam's Review of the latest Japanese anime.

By Adam Wolkov, Columnist     February 17, 2008

NARUTO SHIPPUDEN: Episode 47(2008).
© Tokyo TV & Pierrot

As Sakura, Yamato and Naruto ponder over the meaning of the picture book that Sai left behind, Sai himself is being introduced to Sasuke Uchiha by Orochimaru and Kabuto. Sasuke is angry at the late return of the three and impatiently demands that Orochimaru train him. Sai’s true intentions are a complete mystery at this point as he badgers Sasuke with talk of Naruto and Naruto’s “feelings” for him. Sasuke’s cold attitude is an obvious prelude to the inevitable confrontation. After a heated confrontation in which Sasuke uses a Sharingan-based Genjutsu, Kabuto reveals the “gift” that Sai previously gave to Orochimaru from Root to be data on the identities of the Godaime (Fifth) Hokage’s personal ANBU squad. Kabuto locks up Sai for “obvious reasons” and departs to perform his assigned duty: A “Bingo Book” (identifying list of ninja and their various skills) of the Konoha ANBU. After searching the room for bugs, Sai summons a mysterious book that he has hidden away. While the contents of the book are a complete mystery, it is apparent that Sai does not want his secret discovered by anyone.

Back to the modified-five-times-over Team Kakashi who begin their infiltration of Orochimaru’s base using more of Captain Yamato’s secret Earth jutsus. Yamato previously revealed that he has bugged Sai and can detect his location. After using the same technique to ensure that he can track Sakura and Naruto once inside the labrynth, the trio continue inside. The Team uses Yamato’s tracking power to navigate through the bases labyrinth on a mission to first find and question Sai and then to find and retrieve Sasuke (yea, right.) At the same time, Kabuto realizes that he left the ANBU list in Sai’s room and turns around to retrieve it. Now both Kabuto and Team Kakashi are heading to the same location!

Since I enjoy Naruto and enjoy the suspense of the plot, I don’t read the manga and I am completely oblivious to the upcoming storylines. In fact, I go completely out of my way to avoid reading spoilers and anything that refers to the future plotlines. That being said, I am torn between being angry at the show’s writers for revealing the critical meeting between Naruto and Sasuke (during the first episode of Naruto Shippuden) and biting my fingernails off while waiting for the newest episode to air on Japanese television. My mind is currently dancing between the flash we saw almost fifty episodes and the event taking place in the present – seemingly only episodes away. Naruto Shippuden has quickly gone from stretching out the first arc as long as possible to exploding with action in almost every episode of this new arc. Next week looks to reveal a bit of Sai’s past, which would normally indicate a slow episode if not for the looming confrontation between Kabuto, Sai and Team Kakashi!


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vichussmith 2/17/2008 2:04:29 PM
I'm watching Naruto and Bleach as they air on Cartoon Network. My problem with huge shounen fighting shows like this is that there is so much filler I hear about and I just want to get into the story, without fluff. I've basically given up on watching Bleach, because it takes too much time to get back to the meat of the story. I can't wait to see Shippuden. I love the idea of the main characters being older. I just wish there was some way that Cartoon Network would bypass the filler eps.
erikx111 2/17/2008 5:33:01 PM
I never thought i'd be a naruto fanboy correcting mistakes but I couldn't let the "Sasuke, using the Mangekyou sharingan" go. Even in the manga ,Sasuke has yet to obtain this ability.
AzuLTaLoN 2/17/2008 10:28:24 PM
a bingo book is not a assignation list, but rather a list of ninjas and there abilities/backgrounds/etc... adam team kakashi is in it's third incarnation. also they showed us the "naruto" sasuke showdown was shown because we have not seen sasuke since their fight at the waterfall and we needed a main storylline fix. don't you see adam, history is repeating itself somewhat with sakura replacing tsunade and sasuke replacing orochimaru and naruto replacing jiriya(did i spell that right?). i've not read the manga so i don't know what lies ahead. i don't like sai, but at this point we don't know if his intentions are good or bad for kohona. vichussmith stop watching naruto on cartoon network the voices are a disgrace to the original. start downloading them from dattebayo, and catch up to the rest of us please. you will see what i mean if do this and besides all that you deserve more naruto and it's original context. right on erikx111!! we should just wait and see. don't you think sasuke will be salty as hell when he finds out kakashi has learned a new sharingan.
adam1 2/18/2008 3:41:31 AM
Correction on the Bingo Book noted and fixed. I guess I just don't know what else I would do as a strong ninja with a list of my enemies photos, names and skillsets. Hence, the need for assassinations... :) As for the "showdown" that the flashed forward to - I'm still not convinced this was beneficial to the overall storyline. It was a great scene, for sure - especially after one and a half years of those awful filler eps, but looking back, I still think they might have given too much away. I do see the references to "history repeating itself" - since it's hard not to with the producers constantly flashing those references down our throats. Additionally, I like Sai as a character, but the halter-top look really isn't doing much for him. Personally, I think that shirt makes him a good guy. It's hard to look evil when showing off your well-toned midriff.
adam1 2/18/2008 6:36:37 AM
vichussmith, Don't discount filler in ALL anime just because Naruto doesn't have very good writers! The upcoming filler in the Naruto series (in English) is really some of the worst of any series I've seen (and I've seen a lot). With all the great characters in the show, you would think that they could come up with something spectacular - but it's extremely boring and usually focused around the same cast of characters. Shows like Bleach, One Piece and Dragonball Z have really well done filler eps or entire arcs that add something to the storyline (at least for those of us that don't read the manga).
AzuLTaLoN 2/18/2008 11:39:07 AM
i was was just being technical about the bingo book adam, yes this particular book with be used as an assassination list. i don't know whether or not the flash forward is a good or bad move, but after 80 episodes of Naruto without the main storyline they must have felt it was needed to keep people from losing interest. the filler is totally weak, like you said so many great characters and they end up being background art, when there is so much potential for them. sai does dress like he lives in boys town, right now i don't like him but i don't know what anbu root's true motives are. sai could turn out to be a good guy and root is out to destroy orochimaru, which would make the fifth look bad prompting a possible change in the hokage position, of course this is all speculation. funny how the fifth represents liberals and danzou represents conservatives. i wouldn't say the dbz filler was done really well, but it was not bad at all(i love pikkon, it would have been sweet if he and piccolo met and pikkon took to piccolo to the next level of weighted training.). compared to the naruto filler and lack of using the other characters, dbz seems to blow it out of the water. EVERYBODY PLEASE DON'T WATCH THE ENGLISH NARUTO, YOU SHOULDN'T ENCOURAGE BAD VOICE CASTING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
adam1 2/19/2008 6:36:48 AM
For DBZ, I was thinking of the Garlic Jr. saga. From my understanding, that was 100% filler and IMHO very well done! Seeing Yamcha, Piccolo and others act demonic was pretty cool. More importantly, I have to disagree with telling people not to watch the English version of Naruto. Personally, I watch 99% of my anime in Japanese, but I didn't think Naruto was that bad. Obviously the original Jap. is my preference and the characters have a lot more emotion than their English counterparts, but as far as dubs go: Naruto ain't that bad! Also, I want VIZ to be able to make as much money as possible! I'm still hoping that one of these days they'll bring over Hunter x Hunter (one of the best anime ever made). That show is one of the very few missing from my "favorite" DVD rack next to Naruto, Bleach and Hajime no Ippo. :)


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