Anime DVD Review: Naruto Shippuden Set 18

Naruto Shippuden Box Set 18 is a two-disc set that contains Episodes 219 through 231 of Naruto Shippuden. The first disc contains seven episodes, and the second disc includes six episodes and the set’s special features.

Naruto Shippuden Box Set 18
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Format: DVD
Release Date: April 8, 2014

The first four episodes are the only episodes with canon material that’s included in this set. It looks like Kakashi will be appointed to serve as the next Hokage, but Tsunade awakens from her coma before that can happen. Naruto, meanwhile, is Reverse-Summoned to Mt. Myoboku by Fukasaku. The Great Elder tells Naruto that he will meet an octopus and an enemy that uses the power of its eyes. Naruto is asked to sign a scroll that will allow him to Kyuubi’s chakra, which he signs after some initial hesitation.

Kabuto meets up with Madara and uses the Impure World Resurrection Technique to revive five caskets which contain Itachi, Sasori, Deidara, Kakuzu, and Nagato. Kabuto also offers a sixth of Madara’s choosing, in return for receiving Sasuke’s body. When it looks like Madara will refuse, Kabuto summons a sixth casket. The audience doesn’t see who’s in it, but Madara does. This forces Madara to accept, but on the condition that Kabuto can have Sasuke’s body after the war.

Now that Tsunade is up and about, she’s been briefed about the upcoming war and meets with the other Kage. At first, it looks like Killer Bee and Naruto will be kept out of the war. After Tsunade talks with the Raikage, they decide to have Yamato escort Naruto to a “resort,” which is actually an island in the Raikage’s land where Naruto can learn how to control the Nine Tails with instruction from Killer Bee.

After this, the remaining episodes in the set are all filler material that shows Naruto’s travel by sea as he heads toward the island. Naruto ends up being escorted by Yamato, Guy, and Aoba. Throughout these filler episodes, there’s a running gag of Guy being seasick. While this was amusing right at first, it quickly got old.

During these filler episodes, Naruto and his companions help a fisherman; the group runs into some of their comrades on another island and joins them on their mission to gather medicinal herbs and ointments for the upcoming war; Naruto and the others encounter a ghost ship; they encounter a group of pirates at a place called Battleship Island that feels like it came straight out of One Piece; Guy is kidnapped by a large bird and he has to be rescued by Naruto and the others; Guy tells Naruto a story about the “visualization” training he did with Lee; Naruto and the others end up with poisoned mushrooms on their ship; Naruto’s Shadow Clones get tired of being ordered around by Naruto and rebel; and after having some reservations about leading his comrades into war, Shikamaru is sent to somehow catch up with Naruto with supplies.

I have to say that most of the filler episodes weren’t very good, and they progressively got worse as the set continued. To me, the worst story was the one about the poisoned mushrooms. And the story with the worst logic in it was the one about Shikamaru, because how did he realistically catch up with Naruto? What kind of route did Naruto take if Shikamaru had used a direct route? I understand that they needed some filler in order to allow Kishimoto to get a little further ahead in the manga, but couldn’t the writers for anime have come up with better filler material than this?

When it comes to the DVD set itself, there are five bonus features included. The first is “Art Gallery,” which is three screens of beach scenes that are in color; these scenes have nothing to do with the episodes that appeared in this set. Next is “Storyboards,” which contains three pages from Episode 228.

“Clean Openings and Clean Endings” includes three versions of both of the openings and the closings that appeared on this set: a version without any text, a version with English subtitles, and a version with Romaji subtitles. The English credits are also available.

“More From VIZ Media” includes links to a lot of trailers for properties that VIZ Media was promoting at the time this DVD set was released.

After watching this set, I can only truly say that the only episodes worth watching are the first four. If you don’t watch the remaining nine episodes, you really aren’t missing much.

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