Naruto Uncut Vol. #01 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B
  • Video Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: A+
  • Menus Rating: N/A
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 4 - Australia / South America
  • Released By: Madman Entertainment
  • MSRP: 24.95
  • Running time: 125
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Naruto

Naruto Uncut Vol. #01

By John Eriani     November 22, 2006
Release Date: November 10, 2006


Naruto Uncut Vol. #01
© Madman Entertainment


What They Say
Many years ago the ninja village of Konoha came under attack by a ferocious demon fox. After a great many casualties the creature was defeated by the Forth Hokage and imprisoned within a human body. Thus the boy, Naruto, was born. With a mischievous spirit, will Naruto fall prey to his dark ancestry or will he become, as he has vowed the greatest ninja that ever lived!

The Review!
The next big hit Anime has arrived!!

Audio:
I watched Naruto in its original Japanese language 2.0 and it's a pretty standard mix with not much in the way of directionality but it does sound rather good during the fight scenes. I have only watched the dub in passing and while it's serviceable it won't win a lot of people over. Naruto's uses a phrase in the Japanese version that basically means nothing in English, it's something he adds to the end of most sentences and its part of the way he speaks, and it's not really a word per se but makes his whole use of language sound uncultured. In the English release it has been translated as "believe it!". A lot of fans hate this and after a while it can become rather annoying, still for dub lovers the performances are passable and everything sounds clear without distortion just like its Japanese counterpart.

Video:
Presented in its original aspect ratio of 1:33:1 and it has a few problems. An NTSC to PAL conversion gives the transfer the usual problems such as interlacing and softness, after watching my region 1 copy and then going back to the region 4 I can definitely see a difference in quality, most people however will have no problems with the transfer.

Packaging:
The front cover for this release consist of Team 7 (Naruto, Sasuke, Sakura and Kakashi Sensei) in various action poses holding kunai with Naruto taking centre stage, the logo appears above it all and the background is red with a swirl of pink. The dreaded OFLC logo is completely out of place at the bottom next to the volume number. There is a reversable cover to combat this and it uses the same artwork as the Japanese release with Naruto running away from Iruka sensei with paint brush and bucket in hand after defacing the Hokage faces. The back cover gives a brief introduction of the series and lists the first five episodes with a few shots of the show and the Madman technical grid at the bottom of it all. An insert of Naruto stickers is also included.

There is also a volume 1 + art box version available.

Menu:
The main menu consists of the same artwork from the reversible cover (Iruka and Naruto) with a scroll running diagonally down the page with clips from the show run in the background to some music from the show. The rest of the menus are just static images. Everything is quick and easy to access without a problem.

Extras:
None.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Naruto is the latest anime and manga to hit the big time. Its premise is very basic, it's the story of a young boy who wants to be the best, with parallels with other long running shounen anime such as Dragon Ball Z its clear from the outset that this is a show about fighting, comedy and more fighting. At the same time it's also more then that with some genuine characters that you connect with almost instantly which makes it easy to see why this franchise is so popular. With a high episode count there is plenty of show for fans to get into and it should continue for some time.

It's the story of Naruto a young boy who has basically been outcast from his village and has decided in order to get the respect and attention he craves that he will have to become the next Hokage; a ninja master. While this may be his goal he goes about it by pulling pranks on everyone to prove that he is better then the rest and he call pull off what no one else can. All this changes when Naruto finds out why he has been shunned by everyone.

A nine tailed fox demon attacked the hidden leaf village 12 years ago and almost decimated it and its populace. The demon was stopped by the forth Hokage who sealed the demon in the body of a newly born human child and that child grew up to be Naruto. The forth Hokage supposedly died in the battle and because of the loss of so many lives and that of the forth Hokage Naruto became an outcast and with no family present Naruto has had a rather unfortunate life where he basically has been forced to look after himself most of the time.

We first meet Naruto just after finishing his latest prank of painting on the Hokage faces which is basically a ninja Mount Rushmore and the whole town chasing after him. He is finally caught by his sensei Iruka who although seems to be angry at Naruto it is apparent that he also cares about the boy even a little bit. We also get introduced to some of Naruto's class mates such as Sasuke Uchia who is basically the "cool" guy that all the girls swoon over and Sakura who of course is crazy about Sasuke and like everyone else is not fond of Naruto.

After being tricked by one of his instructors, Mizuki into stealing a sacred scroll Naruto is pursued by most of the people in village while Mizuki attempts to then take the scroll and leave the village. Iruka stumbles on Naruto who doesn't even realise he has done anything wrong and is then confronted by Mizuki, during this Naruto finds out what happens 12 years ago and why everyone dislikes him so much, he even learns that he and Iruka are more alike then he realises as has no family either because they all died protecting the village from the nine tailed fox. Despite this Iruka still tries to protect Naruto and becomes wounded causing Naruto to come to his aide and use his Shadow Clone Justu for the first time. From then on Iruka sees that Naruto while being a screw up has great potential and allows him to graduate.

The episodes that follow are about Naruto being assigned to a team and getting a new sensei named Kakashi who appears to be a little bit of a flake but he obviously has a lot of hidden power and is supposedly very strict as he hasn't passed a single team. The first volume closes out with Kakashi Sensei putting the newly formed team of Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura to various tests to see how they work as a team and what skills they posses

The characters are your typical bunch with the wise and powerful teacher, the typical cool character who has a mysterious past and the hyper active but a little dim main character, the show is full of clich├ęs but at the same time it all works. Take Naruto for example what makes his character likeable from the get go is that he doesn't get upset and cry about being shunned by everyone he simply plays pranks and lashes out at them in humours ways to get noticed and acknowledged. While he may be crass and annoying he does have potential and never gives up in anything he tries to do. It's really hard not to like the kid.

In Summary:
For a fighting anime there isn't that much fighting going on in these episodes its more setup the world the characters inhabit but there are some genuinely funny moments such as Naruto's graduation picture, his inability to read expiry dates and his Sexy Jutsu. With a huge fan base this first volume looks like it should please just about everyone with uncut opening and closings, a good amount of episodes and even a clean reversible cover. If you love shounen action then this is probably one of the best around.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language ,English 2.0 Language ,English Subtitles,Clean Reversible Cover

Review Equipment
LG 32LX2D 32" HD LCD TV, Sony DVP-NS50P Progressive scan region free DVD player, Monster component cable, Yamaha TSS-15 Home Theatre Sound System

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