Hey guys! We are continuing our adventure through the Narutoverse, and seeing if the series is as good (or bad) as I remember.
Today, I will be reviewing from episode 81 to 106, covering both the Search for Tsunade and Land of Tea Escort Mission arcs. This is a bit of a shorter span of episodes because I wanted to have the next arc on its own.
This time around, we only have two opening themes and three ending themes:
- Opening: GO!!! by FLOW (episodes 81 – 103)
- Opening: Seishun Kyosokyoku by Sambomaster (episodes 104 – 106)
- Ending: Many Times Before by The Mass Missile (episodes 81 – 89)
- Ending: Ryusei by TiA (episodes 90 – 103)
- Ending: Mountain-a-Go Go-Two by Captain Straydum (episodes 104 – 106)
The arc starts with the formal introduction of Itachi Uchiha, Sasuke’s brother, and his accomplice Kisame Hoshigaki, as well as the concept of the Akatsuki, and their aim to retrieve Naruto. With no Hokage, and Kakashi and Sasuke out of commission, Naruto and Jiraiya have to find Tsunade, so that she can heal the pair and become the Fifth Hokage.
The scenario takes us away from what we’ve come to know so far, and it also serves as a purpose for Naruto training to master the Rasengan (which is going to be one of his go-to Jutsu for the rest of the series). And obviously, we see Orochimaru and Kabuto again (literally that latter man is the reason why I can never pronounce the Pokemon like ‘Ka-boooo-to’).
While it’s part of his character, I found Jiraiya’s ‘research’ antics to be very tiresome, especially with Naruto’s intensive training. Tsunade comes across as uptight and at times villainous, but for back-story reasons.
This arc has a lot of talk about how Naruto isn’t talented at all, but I think that it’s because people like to compare him to the likes of Sasuke, who is a natural genius. Overall, this is a very well-rounded arc, giving us relevant flashbacks and a good fight between former comrades.
In this post, we bring you the first filler arc, as well as a silly stand-alone episode. This one-shot focuses on the team trying to discover what’s under Kakashi’s mask. It’s a silly episode, but it helps break the tension and seriousness of the previous arcs. It also gives you a brief glimpse of Sasuke being a little silly.
As for the actual filler arc, we bring you the Land of Tea Escort Mission. It follows Team 7 (minus Kakashi) as they are tasked to assist Idate Morino as he races for this traditional race. It’s an okay filler arc, although it doesn’t tie in too well to established canon, aside from Idate’s former status as a Konoha shinobi.
There’s not a whole lot to say about this, except that it’s clear that it’s a filler arc. Do I recommend the filler as an integral part of your viewing? Absolutely not. However, the end of the last episode sets up the following arc well.
The arc also foreshadows the next arc with its change in the opening theme, so it’s pretty clear that Naruto and Sasuke will have their long-awaited fight.
That filler arc was a doozy to discuss, so I decided to keep it brief. The highlight of the fillers was the Kakashi’s mask episode.
Next week: we’re covering a single, yet important arc.