Anime DVD Review: Naruto Shippuden Set 14

Naruto Shippuden Box Set 14 is a three DVD set that contains episodes 167 through 179 of Naruto Shippuden. The first disc contains five episodes, the second disc contains four episodes, and the third disc includes four epsiodes and the set’s special features.

Naruto Shippuden Box Set 14
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Format: DVD
Release Date: April 23, 2013

The beginning of the set concludes the story arc of the Invasion of Konoha arc. For the most part, the story ends up concluding the way one would expect; however, it should be noted that Naruto finally learns who his father is. While the audience has basically suspected who this is for a while, it was awesome for Naruto to finally learn it for himself.

The only problem I had with the conclusion of this arc is the quality of the animation in the first episode on disc one (“Planetary Devastation”). Some of the fight scenes between Pain and Naruto just looked terrible. While a lot of effort was put into animating Naruto is his tailed-fox form, the animators cut a lot of corners with Pain. There were times that the animation looked so bad that Pain looked like he was made out of rubber. My husband joked that Pain must have eaten a Devil Fruit from the One Piece series in order for him to move like he was.

Before this story arc ends, a two-part special called, “Big Adventure! The Quest for the Fourth Hokage’s Legacy” is inserted. This special goes back to the time period in the Naruto series that takes place right before the final rounds of the Chunin Exam. While Naruto trains with Jiraiya, he hears a mention of “the Fourth Hokage’s Legacy,” and believes it is some kind of object that will help during the Chunin Exam. After getting information from Guy, Naruto, Sakura, Ino, Shikamaru and Choji go looking for the Fourth Hokage’s Legacy.

Overall, I have to say that this special felt like a waste, especially since it was stuck in the middle of a crucial story arc; in fact, it’s dropped in right when Pain is going to share his story with Naruto. In my opinion, the story about the search for the Fourth Hokage’s Legacy felt rather forced. About the only thing it accomplishes is the fact that it clues the viewer into the idea of the upcoming filler episodes that appear after the end of the Invasion of Konoha arc.

After the Invasion of Konoha arc ends, we begin into a set of filler episodes. The concept behind these filler episodes is the fact that it takes the viewer back to earlier points in the Naruto series and fills in some gaps or shows some of the same events through a different character’s perspective.

The final four episodes start into the filler material. The first three episodes on disc three cover the time when Iruka became Naruto’s homeroom teacher at the Ninja Academy. The last episode on the disc sees Kakashi having a flashback to when he was assigned to become the sensei for Team 7. Normally I’m not a huge fan of filler material, but this is a case where the filler draws very heavily from the canon material and helps to flesh out the canon material. It seems that with these filler stories, we’re not as likely to see new characters and concepts being introduced that will never be seen again later in the series. Of course, there’s always the chance that I might end up singing a different tune as I see more of these filler episodes in the next box set,

When it comes to the actual DVD box set, it’s just like the previous eight sets, because only the third disc in the set actually contains any bonus features. All three discs include a trailer for Viz Media’s Neon Alley service at the beginning of the disc.

There are a total of seven bonus features included on the third disc. The first is the English credits for Naruto Shippuden. The second is labeled as “More From Viz Media,” but all that’s included is the same Neon Alley trailer that appears at the beginning of all three discs in the set.

“Clean Opening” contains a textless version of the one opening that appeared in this box set, while “Clean Endings” contains a textless version of the one ending that appear in this set. “Production Art” includes 10 pages of production sketches of the characters that appear in this Naruto Shippuden set.

The final extra is “Omake,” which is a collection of the short pieces included after the ending credits of Naruto Shippuden. There weren’t many omake included with the episodes in this set, so this particular feature only runs for three minutes.

Basically, these are the bonus features I’ve come to expect on these Naruto Shippuden releases, so there were no real surprises here.

If you’re a fan of the Naruto franchise, you need to watch this box set, because it has the conclusion of such a major story arc for the Naruto Shippuden anime series. If you’ve been collecting the series to include in your home video collection, then getting Naruto Shippuden Box Set 14 really should be a no-brainer.

I wrote this review after watching a copy of Naruto Shippuden Box Set 14 that I checked out through the King County Library System.

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