Anime DVD Review: Naruto Shippuden Set 36

Naruto Shippuden Set 36 includes Episodes 459-472 on two DVDs. Audio options for the set are the original Japanese audio with English subtitles and the English dub.

Naruto Shippuden Set 36
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Format: DVD
Release Date: December 4, 2018

Set 36 starts off with Kaguya Ōtsutsuki being resurrected through Madara’s body, and her sensing that Naruto and Sasuke are the reincarnations of her grandsons. The truth about Black Zetsu is also revealed, and then time is spent providing backstory on Kaguya, as well as of her sons, Hagoromo (aka the Sage of the Six Paths) and Hamura, and Hagoromo’s sons (Ashura and Indra).

While the backstory is nice to know, these episodes felt like they were here more to kill time in order to help stretch out the series to 500 episodes than anything else. To be honest, the information that was revealed in these flashbacks could have easily been said in a few lines of dialogue, so the final battle could move faster. When all was said and done, eight out of the 14 episodes in this box set were devoted to these backstories. At one point during these flashback episodes, my husband quipped that for a series that’s supposed to be about Naruto, we were hardly seeing the title character in this box set.

There was also a filler episode included that seemed to be a retread of the “Gotta See! Gotta Know! Kakashi-Sensei’s True Face!” For those who don’t know or who don’t remember, this is the infamous filler episode from the first Naruto series where Naruto, Sakura, and Sasuke try to trick Kakashi into pulling down his mask so they can see what his face looks like. It wasn’t until the very end of the episode why this “filler” was even here. This episode was done so a special Naruto manga chapter that was released could be animated, and the truth of what Kakashi looks like could be revealed in the anime as well as in the manga.

After this “filler,” the big battle with Kaguya progresses at a decent pace, and a major event happens on the final episode of the set.

When it comes to the bonus features on this set, there was something in addition to the usual storyboards, clean opening and closing, art gallery, and English credits. There’s a roughly seven-minute interview with the voice actress for Sarada in the Boruto anime. This is now the second interview with a Boruto voice actor to be included on a Naruto Shippuden set. I have a feeling that this is being done to try to build some more interest in Boruto. What better way to reach a potential audience for a spin-off than to include material to hype it up on a release for the original series? While I did like this one a little more than Robbie Daymond’s interview on Naruto Shippuden Set 35, it was still hard to keep my interest while watching it since I haven’t really cared to start watching Boruto at this point.

In the end, Set 36 is worth it for the few episodes that actually progress the overarching story. But if you only care about seeing what comes from the canon storyline for the manga, you’ll only have to watch five episodes. Oh, and if you want to know what Kakashi looks like without his mask, you’ll have to watch that episode as well.

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