What They Say:
Minato uses his Transportation Technique to move Nine Tails away from the Hidden Leaf Village.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Remembering back to the first episodes of Naruto way back when as they gave the very brief look at what happened with Nine Tails being freed and causing trouble in the village is something that’s definitely come up during this arc. Seeing it happen from this perspective, nearly five hundred episodes since the beginning, it really is impressive. The tenor and demeanor of the show back then was very off putting for me and this part of the story just didn’t resonate. With the growth of Naruto as a character, far more so in the Shippuden series than the original, and the way things have gone with the non-filler stories for the last two main arcs, going back to this period is almost essential. To see the full detail about what happened and to get the bond between his parents explored is necessary to help Naruto move on to the next level and his own conquest of Nine Tails.
The fight against Nine Tail is an intense one here, one that even Nine Tails is feeling the strain of as all the shinobi go against him after making sure the children are out of the way. For Minato, he has the initial problem of dealing with the mysterious masked man, someone he realizes is definitely far more of a threat than anything they could have imagined. But it’s all just big set piece moments for the more personal and truly intense aspect of the show. The focus on what these two parents have to do is difficult to watch because of what needs to be done. Kushina wants to take Nine Tails with her when she dies, as she knows that it’s inevitable at this point, but Minato also understands the problem of balance that would happen because of that. The solution of using the Eight Tales seal on Naruto and putting Nine Tails in there isn’t an easy one, but it’s one where Minato has a huge amount of faith in what his son will have to do one day with the help of Jiraiya.
Watching the final struggles that the parents have when it comes to ensuring their son lives in the face of what Nine Tails represents is filled with powerful moments. Even more impressive is that during some of it, when you’d expect a swelling of music, it’s decidedly quiet instead. And that lets the focus on the simple and almost soft words dominate as the pair do what is necessary. While there’s always been the general belief that his parents loved him, it’s never been brought out in the way that this arc and these moments have. With so many saying so little about his father as a Hokage and even less about his mother, it does get a little hard to balance out what they see here and how they treated him as he grew up. But also knowing that was sealed in him and how responsible it was for the loss of those they held in importance, it’s a bit more understandable.
Naruto: Shippuden has been firing on all cylinders for the most part since its return from the Season of Filler and episodes like this made waiting through all that filler rather worthwhile. The exploration of the past with his parents, how they met and the issues they faced is spot on right up to the big moment that essentially kicked the property off all those years ago. There’s a lot to like with this in tone, tenor and atmosphere as well as the dialogue that may be a bit romanticized but is still hitting all the right marks. This episode puts is right into several of these key moments that defined Naruto’s life and the things he’s had to face with clear reasons why and the emotions and intensity involved in it all. Very good stuff and exactly what Naruto fans deserve after all this time.
Readers Rating: [ratings]
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
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