Anime DVD Review: Naruto Shippuden Set 32

Naruto Shippuden Set 32 includes Episodes 403-416 on two DVDs. Audio options available for the set are the original Japanese audio with English subtitles and the English dub.

Naruto Shippuden Set 32
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Format: DVD
Release Date: October 10, 2017

Set 32 primarily focuses on the Chunin Exam that took place in the timeskip between Naruto and Naruto Shippuden. In fact, 11 out of the 14 episodes take place during this filler section.

During these first 11 episodes, Naruto himself is barely seen outside of characters having flashbacks about him. However, there was one episode where we briefly saw what Naruto and Sasuke were doing during this time period. Unfortunately, the transitions between their stories and the Chunin Exam were kind of awkward and weird. While it was nice to see what Naruto and Sasuke were doing, it felt like their stories were being forced into a particular episode. Honestly, I think it would have worked better if an entire episode had been devoted to Naruto and Sasuke during this time, rather than trying to transition between the main Chunin Exam story and their stories.

Overall, while I liked the idea of trying to fill in the timeskip, I thought that the Chunin Exam was stretched out a little too much. This was especially true for the story focusing on Ino, Choji, and Sakura during the second test. The other characters had one or two episodes as most, while this trio got more than that. And then, the final episode of this Chunin Exam story felt rushed to me, after how much the rest of it had been stretched out. What I liked best about the final episode of the Chunin Exam story was how much it managed to show facts that we were just told about, and there was at least one revelation that made me go, “Ah ha!”

Episode 12 in this set finally returns to the canon storyline from the manga. As the story is just finding its rhythm in the 13th episode in the set, it suddenly switches to a flashback story of Kakashi, Rin, and Obito about halfway through. The flashback continues on into the final episode of this set, and the preview for the first episode that will appear on Set 33 will be continuing this flashback. While the flashback does contain some elements we’ve seen on these three characters’ relationship in the past, it does embellish more on their dynamic. While I do like and appreciate this flashback, it’s just coming too soon after spending so much time in a filler section. Really, only one and a half episodes out of the 14 on this set do anything to progress the main canon storyline.

When it comes to the animation, there was some attempts at including CG in the story. The worst of the CG though was a big sandstorm that takes place during the second test. It just did not mesh in with the rest of the animation at all. And speaking of animation, I thought that some of the footage in both of the ending credit sequences that appeared on this disc looked as if the animators “phoned it in.” The static shots weren’t bad, but most of the action shots had little or no definition to them. While this animation wasn’t quite as painful as the animation in the Naruto vs. Pain battle, it felt as if the footage in these ending credit sequences was trying to give that one a run for its money.

The bonus features on this set are the same as what has appeared on the other Naruto Shippuden sets: storyboards, art gallery, clean openings, clean endings, and the English credits.

When all is said and done, this was an OK release, primarily due to the episodes that are on it. However, Naruto Shippuden Set 32 really needs to be in the anime home video collection of Naruto fans for what little bit of the canon storyline progresses, as well as for the additional backstory for Kakashi, Obito, and Rin.

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