Hey guys! We’re getting to the meat of the show now, with Pain’s Assault on Konoha. I mean, here it is. To be fair, a lot has gone into this arc.
Before we begin, let’s point out how many spoilers are in the opening credits? There are so many spoilers, it’s practically a summary of the arc. If you don’t want to watch the arc, just watch this and there you have it. Also laughing out loud at Ino trying to attack Konan with her weird dance. Like those moves aren’t gonna hit, girl!
It always breaks my heart to see Naruto receiving the news of Jiraiya’s death. Now this is just…the ninja is back in my house and cutting onions. Are we having onion soup for tea tonight? I suppose so. It all leads to Naruto undertaking sage training while everyone else figures out what Jiraiya’s secret code really means – they know as much as that there’s a control centre for the Pains, but aside from that, a lot of it is still an enigma.
I like the whole aspect of Naruto training and just how mature he becomes with it. I mean, it takes him a little while, but it shows his determination to find other avenues and shortcuts to his training.
We come up to the attack on Konoha, and everyone goes…kinda nuts. Everyone who wasn’t expecting to be thrust into combat is suddenly right in the thick of it. It’s also good to see Sakura take charge in the overcrowded hospital though, showing that she is capable of doing something under pressure. She’d have been screwed if she was in her pre-Shippuden mindset, that’s for certain.
Meanwhile the communications frog that was supposed to go to Naruto gets killed by Danzo, and if we needed a reason to hate Danzo, that’s pretty much it. Honestly, looking back we do need a huge excuse to hate on Danzo for the next canon arc. On the flip-side, it’s good to see people not answering the interrogation of where Naruto is, because, well, otherwise they’re practically a traitor to the village (although we forgive you Shizune, you had your head thoroughly examined I suppose).
It still sucks to see the deaths happening, especially Kakashi’s. You don’t expect him to actually go down easily, but that’s a testament to Pain’s power.
Konohamaru really impressed me, with the little screen time he got. He suddenly became a lot more grown-up and more determined to do what’s right. And he can do a mean Rasengan.
Honestly, nothing else is really noteworthy. Not even Tsunade talking with Pain. But then Pain utterly destroys the village and yup. Shit really does go down.
Danzo’s earlier reason for not wanting to bring Naruto back doesn’t really work out in the end, because, y’know, the village does get completely levelled at the end by Pain, and Naruto makes his untimely return.
Sucks to be Sasuke, guess he doesn’t get to destroy the village after all…
Do we need to reflect on Sakura’s response to the village’s destruction? I think everyone has done that at least once. But I kinda want to add that something has to give, and you would probably feel the same way that she does if the village that you’ve been born and raised in and are loyal to suddenly gets cratered before your eyes.
Naruto’s initial entrance and combat between the Pains was one of the best in terms of Naruto’s strategising and growth. He knew what he needed to do, and made calculated steps based on his findings. I love the absolute glow-up that we’ve seen from Naruto, especially since the Akatsuki Suppression arc. It makes looking back at the original series (especially the fillers) very painful indeed.
The other famous part of this battle is Hinata’s intervention. I mean, bless her, she does try. But you gotta feel that she confesses her love for Naruto, and he won’t acknowledge that for a long time. But I guess it means that she does end up triggering the Kyubi transformation, and that’s when things go downhill. The animation quality takes a complete downward turn. There’s just some awkward physics, emphasis on the action rather than the quality of the animation, and then just this one scene where Naurto/Kyubi takes a brick surface and just goes all old-time cartoon on Pain, nailing him into the ground.
And then there’s the featured image still. Fucking…what?
At least we got the whole ‘I am your father’ moment from Minato, but considering we already knew that Minato is Naruto’s dad, they had to give us some extra feels and throw in Naruto’s back-story, for added drama. I mean, it works, because it gets me in the feels every time, but if I had someone randomly come up to me and tell me they were my dad, I’d happily punch them in the stomach too – I don’t need a father figure, but that’s a story for another time.
Nagato’s perspective of the back-story that we saw earlier in Jiraiya’s arc is just as upsetting, and it shows us why Nagato became the leader of Akatsuki and the pain that he suffered throughout his life.
Naruto counters with his famous Talk no Jutsu, as well as his tool of choice, Jiraiya’s first book, from which Nagato inspired and Naruto was named after. Of course Talk no Jutsu works on Nagato, and he decides to counter with the second instance of Asspull no Jutsu, reviving everyone that was killed earlier in the arc.
I mean, kinda devalues those deaths, but it’s not even close to the bullshit that is a Fairy Tail asspull, that’s for certain.
And of course, Konan believes in Naruto and decides to leave Akatsuki. I mean, it means there are less targets to kill down the line, I suppose. But then it just leaves Kisame, Tobi and Zetsu, two of which are dangerous enigmas, and the other is Kisame.
The end of the arc culminates in a lovely montage of everyone getting resurrected, Sakumo Hatake finally at peace, Naruto being praised as a hero and Iruka and Ebisu reflecting on how people thought of Naruto, from being initially hostile and angry to praising him and showing concern once he’s grown up and seen as a person rather than an incubator for a tailed beast.
And of course there is that hug from Sakura that perpetuates the NaruSaku shippers (I mean, I can’t blame them, Naruto did fancy Sakura for the longest time).
Don’t worry about the village getting rebuilt – that’ll come in the next arc (which is filler), but then by the end of the series, the village is restored to its original state. Fucking magic!
So…umm…who’s gonna tell Sasuke that Konoha got destroyed by Pain?