Anime DVD Review: Naruto Uncut Season Three Box Set Volume 2

The Naruto Uncut Season Three Box Set Volume 2 box set is a six DVD set that contains episodes 136 through 163 of the Naruto anime series. The first disc contains four episodes, the second disc contains five episodes, the third disc contains five episodes and bonus features, the fourth disc contains four episodes, the fifth disc contains five episodes, and the sixth disc contains five episodes and bonus features.

Naruto Uncut Season Three Box Set Volume 2
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Format: DVD
Release Date: June 29, 2010

This is the set where the long stretch of “filler” stories for the first Naruto series begins. The first story arc sees Jiraiya, Naruto, and Sakura going on a mission to the Land of Rice Paddies. While this was an OK filler story, it’s not one that I would really go out of my way to watch.

Next is the Mizuki Strikes Back arc, which is a filler story that sees Mizuki, the traitorous academy instructor that tricked Naruto into stealing the sacred scroll, return to the series. I kind of like this story arc, because it helps provide some back story for Iruka, a character who seemed to almost all but disappear after the Chunin Exam arc.

This is followed by Naruto accompanying Shino, Kiba, and Hinata on a search for the Bikochu Beetle. This is a beetle that only lays eggs once every few years during a particular breeding season. The first scent the Bikochu detects after its metamorphosis stays in its memory, so it’s hoped that if they find a Bikochu and have Sasuke’s scent be the first thing it smells, that the Bikochu can lead Naruto and the others to Sasuke. Knowing that this particular story was simply filler, it was hard for me to really get too much into this one, because you already know that things are not going to go as planned.

The next story arc focuses on a swordsman named Raiga. Naruto, Rock Lee, Neji, and Tenten encounter him and his partner, Ranmaru, during this story arc. This is also the story arc about “the curry of life.” This arc does absolutely nothing to even try to appear to progress the overall storyline, and it’s another story that I really don’t go out of my way to rewatch.

There are a couple of standalone episodes: one about a survival challenge, and one about a pair of intruders trying to impersonate Guy and Rock Lee in order to infiltrate the village. There’s also a two-episode story arc where Naruto, Hinata, and Kiba encounter a bounty hunter while they’re out on a mission. These are all definitely filler stories and really don’t do anything to try to give the appearance of advancing the characters or the story.

Ultimately, the only episodes I was truly interested in that appeared in this set were the episodes that comprised the Mizuki Strikes Back arc. At least this filler story provided some backstory for both Iruka and Mizuki, and it gave the appearance of trying to advance the character of Iruka. To me, the other episodes in the set just come off as stories to fill time until the series was ready to continue with the “canon” storylines from Masashi Kishimoto’s manga series.

This DVD set is just like the previous five boxes in this set of Naruto releases; it’s a “bare bones” release that doesn’t include booklets or inserts in the box. When it comes to the actual discs included in this set, they are exactly the same as the discs that were released in the Naruto Uncut Box Set 11 and Naruto Uncut Box Set 12 box sets.

The first bonus feature on the third disc is labeled as “Production Art,” which consists of 15 pages of model sketches of some of the Naruto characters. There is a sneak preview for Naruto Uncut Box Set 12, which runs for roughly four minutes. Next is “From Sketch to Screen,” which contains eight pages of storyboards from episode 137; for each storyboard, you can choose to see the clip that the storyboard is for. In the “Extras” menu, you can also see the English credits, advertisements for Shonen Jump magazine and manga titles Viz Media was promoting, four trailers for releases that Viz Media was promoting, and trailers for four Naruto videogames and one Bleach videogame.

The first bonus feature on the sixth disc is labeled as “Production Art,” which consists of 15 more pages of model sketches of some of the Naruto characters. There is a sneak preview for Naruto Uncut Box Set 13, which runs for roughly three and a half minutes. Next is “From Sketch to Screen,” which contains eight pages of storyboards from episode 150; for each storyboard, you can choose to see the clip that the storyboard is for. In the “Extras” menu, you can also see the English credits, advertisements for Shonen Jump magazine and other manga titles Viz Media was promoting, four trailers for releases Viz was promoting, and trailers for four Naruto videogames and one Bleach videogame.

If you enjoy Naruto and haven’t already purchased the Naruto Uncut sets, this would be an economical way to get the episodes on DVD in order to add them to your collection. You get double the amount of the content of the original sets, but you pay about the same amount as you would have for the original Naruto Uncut DVD box sets. However, if you do purchase this set, just be aware that this is simply a repackaging of Naruto Uncut Box Set 11 and Naruto Uncut Box Set 12. All Viz Media really did to change the discs was to make minor changes to the labels on the physical discs included in the set. Also, this set marks the beginning of the filler stories for the series, many of which really aren’t terribly important in the long run. However, if you want to own the whole series on DVD, then you will need to acquire this set in order to help accomplish that goal.

I wrote this review after watching a copy of Naruto Uncut Season Three Box Set Volume 2 that my husband and I purchased.

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