Anime DVD Review: Naruto Shippuden Set 35

Naruto Shippuden Set 35 includes episodes 445-458 on two DVDs. Audio options for the set are the original Japanese audio with English subtitles and the English dub.

Naruto Shippuden Set 35
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Format: DVD
Release Date: August 28, 2018

Set 35 continues the terrible filler story that started near the end of Set 34. In fact, the first six episodes of the set are part of this filler. It’s such a bad filler story, that my husband and I ended up starting to make commentary about it to make fun of it as we watched. To be honest, that was the only way we made it through those six episodes. But after suffering through that horrible filler, we were rewarded with a brief return to the canon storyline, and then having the remaining episodes of the disc focusing on backstory for Itachi.

At first glance, it might sound strange to have backstory for Itachi at this point in the series. But, as Sasuke, along with the other members of Team 7 are trying to stay protected from the Infinite Tsukuyomi, Sasuke is seeing the memories that Itachi left for him so he could learn the truth. This backstory for Itachi was quite enlightening, because we learn that Itachi was actually on the tortured side since he was a kid. He struggled with the idea of life and death since childhood, when he kept seeing both sides of the coin. At the beginning, we see him walking through a battlefield, wandering amongst the dead bodies on the ground. There’s a dark moment after he hears Orochimaru tell him about the futility of life while at a memorial service, and it’s like… damn, kid, this questioning of life and death is such a huge burden for someone his age. Not long after, he learns of his mother’s pregnancy and experiences the arrival of Sasuke.

Another thing I appreciated about this backstory for Itachi was seeing just how far the Uchiha had planned to go if they had succeeded with their coup. Prior to this, we only knew that the Uchiha were unhappy and were planning to rise up against the village. But to hear just what Itachi and Sasuke’s father was planning to do was very eye-opening. It’s not long after this that Danzo offers Itachi the assignment of slaughtering the Uchiha clan, minus Sasuke. We get to see Itachi’s agony as he deliberates his actions, and in the end, the audience can finally truly understand why Itachi chose to side with the village over his clan.

This backstory also shows Itachi joining the Akatsuki, and we also get to see Orochimaru betray them and leave. While we had seen some footage of Deidara joining in the group earlier in the series, we get to see a little more of this. These episodes also let the audience see how Hidan joined the Akatsuki.

When it comes to the bonus features on this set, we got something extra in addition to the usual storyboards, clean opening and closing, art gallery, and English credits. There’s an almost five minute interview with Robbie Daymond, the English voice of Mitsuki in the Boruto anime. To be honest, I wasn’t terribly impressed with the interview. And while I understand that Boruto covers the next generation of the Naruto franchise, I found myself wondering why this interview was included in this set for Naruto Shippuden. If there was going to be an interview included, I would much rather have seen an interview for a voice actor from Naruto Shippuden.

In the end, Set 35 is worth it for the eight episodes with Itachi’s backstory. However, you can skip the first six episodes and not miss anything. I would recommend owning this set if you want to own every episode in the Naruto franchise, or if you’re an Itachi Uchiha fan.

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