Naruto Shippuden – Box Set 36 Review

Naruto Shippuden Box Set 36 contains Episodes 459 to 472 of the series, and continues on from the big revelation that happened at the end of 458, as a brand new antagonist named Kaguya emerged from the body of the recently resurrected Madara Uchiha. Kaguya, as it turns out, is the “mother” of all of the chakra (the inner-power the ninjas of the series use to create their techniques) and has been awaiting the chance to return since she was sealed over a thousand years ago. Now, this really comes out of nowhere, and I really don’t know why manga creator Masashi Kishimoto didn’t just keep Madara as the final enemy, but either way, here we are… the final showdown!

Except, well, this is the anime version, so in Episode 460 we start a three episode-long flashback arc showing us the backstory of Kaguya and how she came to be sealed up and feared as a demon. It’s actually quite a good story, oddly enough! Set in far simpler times, Kaguya is from an alien race and followed the power of a special “God Tree” that had fallen to Earth, but she ended up enjoying the company of the Earthlings she found… until they betrayed her. Then she gave birth to twins, and one of those twins grew up to be the fabled “Sage of Six Paths” that has at least been mentioned 100 times since the very early days of the original Naruto series. Add in some more origins, including the Ten Tails and the Gedo Statue, and this was actually an interesting little filler arc, even if it did immediately break the pace of the manga adaptation…

Still! With Episode 463 we’re back with more manga adaptation, as Naruto, Sasuke, Sakura, Kakashi and Obito all try and take on Kaguya. Meanwhile the Sage of the Six Paths manifests itself in front of the leaders of the villages and… decides to tell them the story of his twin sons and how they ended up as reincarnations in the form of Naruto and Sasuke… until the end of Episode 468. Yep, another filler arc set in the distant past! … already! Once again, it’s actually not bad at all, and the story of his two sons, and how one was manipulated into being evil and would go on to start what would end up as the Uchiha clan was actually interesting, but we’d only JUST got back to the actual final fight!

So with that over, Episode 469 is… a filler episode set during the original series where Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura, still training under Kakashi, want to unmask him. Sigh… I mean… sigh. At least we do actually see Kakashi’s face at the end of the episode, so it was sort of significant, but still… Argh!! You’ll be happy to find out that Episodes 470 to 473 are all manga adaptation, showing us more of the fight against Kaguya and puts a final full stop on the endlessly twisty tale of the man formally known as Obito. It’s quite good, but man the long journey of dancing around these moments took some of the joy out of finally seeing some of it, that’s for sure! This will continue now until they finish the final arc, so that’s something to look forward to in Box Set 37, anyway.

“Blood Circulator” by Asian Kung-Fu Generation is your Opening for the entire set, where as Blue Lullaby by Kuroneko Chelsea continues to be the Ending until Episode 466, with “Pino and Amélie”by Huwie Ishizaki taking over as the Ending for the remainder of the episodes. As per usual, trailers and clean opening/endings are all the extras you’re going to find here!

So Naruto Shippuden Box Set 36 contains just over half of the final battle with the big (and very suddenly revealed) antagonist, but that half of a fight is spliced with two small filler arcs and a stand-alone comedy episode, making any attempt at a satisfying flow to the story go out of the window. This finally stabilises for the final three episodes of the set, and will continue to do so in the next release, plus given the two filler arcs weren’t actually bad (just out of place) I can genuinely recommend Box Set 36, as along with 37, we’ll finally have the actual ending of Naruto as a series in animated form, even if there is more filler and a whole other spin-off to come afterwards…

7 / 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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