Naruto Shippuden – Box Set 30 Review

Naruto Shippuden Box Set 30 is not only the 30th release of the series here in the UK, but also the 10th I’ve reviewed for this site, and in that time the story has, upon reflection, moved on very little! We’re still in the Fourth Great Shinobi War, albeit towards the end now, and there has only been a single death of any significance, which given this is a world war between ninjas and the final arc in the series, seems a little light. Still, let’s look at this batch of episodes…

Naruto Shippuden Box-set-that’s-actually-a-standard-two-disc-release #30 contains Episodes 375 – 388 of the series, and with the exception of two episodes, all are adaptations of the original manga story (although two episodes of those manage to stretch a single chapter between them, more on that later…) We start with Kakashi doing battle with his old ally-turned-enemy Obito, and the two eventually fighting to a stalemate, leading to Obito returning to the main battlefield where legendarily bad ninja Madara is battling Naruto and co. using a partly restored Ten-Tails beast. Madara wishes for his secret student to bring him back to life, but Obito instead attempts to absorb the Ten-Tails and become its “Jinchuriki”, or human host.

That all happens in Episode 375, but if you’re waiting to see what happens next… too bad! Episodes 376 and 377 are entirely filler, detailing, and I kid you not, a fight between Naruto and “Mecha Naruto”. The odd thing is that Mecha Naruto was created by the manga’s author, Masashi Kishimoto, for the game “Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution”, stating that he was asked to create a character exclusively for the game and so thought Naruto should have a Mecha version of himself as an enemy like Godzilla had Mechagodzilla (though I think he couldn’t be bothered creating anything, so literally drew Naruto with some bolts on his body, but there you go…) For some reason it was decided to write the character into the show as well. The two episodes aren’t bad and are at least full of action, but to have the adaptation of the manga stop for something so pointless is a little annoying…

Anyway, from Episode 378 onwards we’re back to adapting the original manga. As you’d imagine, there is a lot of fighting given we’re … sort-of nearing the end, but also as you’d imagine there are quite a few flashbacks. Chief among the perpetrators of the latter are Episodes 385 and 386, which stretch a single conversation Naruto and Obito had in the manga across both episodes, with plenty of Obito flashbacks we’ve seen before… many times. Episode 388 also features a flashback of Gaara remembering how his friendship with Naruto got started, though that’s at least not as obnoxiously long… As usual for these sets, I can’t really go into too much detail in these later episodes without spoiling too much.

“Guren” (“Crimson”) by DOES continues to be the opening theme until Episode 379, when it switches to “Silhouette” by KANA-BOON. “Never Change” by SHUN and Lyu:Lyu is the ending theme also until Episode 379, where it switches to “Dame Dame da” (“It’s Absolutely No Good”) by Shiori Tomita, which is being harsh on itself, it’s not that bad at all! As usual the only extras are clean opening / ending and trailers.

So, Naruto Shippuden Box Set 30 is a mixed bag. Unlike the previous set, which I rated a 9, this doesn’t feature only manga adaptations, and some of the episodes that do are stretched to breaking point. Still, some of the fights and moments here are worth watching, and it goes without saying that if you’ve stuck with the story this long, you’re going to want to know what happens here; the set isn’t skippable filler. So, just a little bit worse than Box Set 29, but still worth going out of your way to see if you’re a fan of the show. (That’s two sets in a row of nearly entirely manga adaptation! How long will this last? … Oh.)

8 / 10

Cold Cobra

Having watched anime since it was airing late night on the Sci-Fi channel in the late 90s, I consider myself... someone who's watched a lot of anime, and then got hired to write reviews about them. Hooray!

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