Anime DVD Review: Naruto Shippuden Set 38

Naruto Shippuden Set 38 includes the final 14 episodes of the series on two DVDs. Audio options for the set are the original Japanese audio with English subtitles and the English dub.

Naruto Shippuden Set 38
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Format: DVD
Release Date: June 11, 2019

The first two episodes in this set conclude the story arc that was taken from the novel that was about Sasuke on his journey to atone for his sins. This was an OK story arc, but I was kind of glad that it didn’t last for very long on this set.

The remaining five episodes on Disc One focuses on Shikamaru, and the story comes from one of the Naruto novels that was released that help to fill in the time between the end of the final battle and the start of the “next generation” stories featuring the children of the main characters that we got to know and love in Naruto. Between the Sasuke story and the Shikamaru story, I have to say that I liked Shikamaru’s story a little better. In a lot of ways, I think Shikamaru’s story showed how he’s grown as a character. Sasuke’s, not so much.

All the episodes on the second disc are leading up to Naruto’s wedding. But what’s interesting here is that the focus is more on Iruka than it is on Naruto. I was glad to see Iruka being the focus of these episodes, because he really turned into more a background character during Naruto Shippuden. In fact, I think that Iruka, along with Naruto’s actual wedding, were the best parts of these episodes. When Kakashi sends the ninja in the village on a mission to find wedding presents to help determine who will attend the reception and who will perform guard duty, it leads to mainly goofy episodes that are meant to be comedic but really aren’t that funny. And having Yamato tracking Orochimaru in the background as a running gag was just pointless. It wasn’t amusing, and I felt it was a waste for both these characters.

Having said that, though, there were a couple of decent episodes in here. The most memorable was “The Last Mission,” which had a strong focus on Shino. Considering how little focus Shino received during the series, it was good to see him being the star of this one. He also goes through some important character development that leads him to decide what he wants to do in the future.

The final episode was good. In fact, I nearly shed a tear during it. It really lays the foundation for the future of the main cast and is also done to get the audience ready for the “next generation” series that premiered right after Naruto Shippuden ended.

When it comes to the bonus features on this set, the highlight is a 10-minute interview with Maile Flanagan, the English dub voice for Naruto. Of the interviews that have appeared in the most recent Naruto Shippuden sets, this one by far was the most interesting. She spends a lot of the interview looking back over the years that she has voiced Naruto. While a little bit of the “next generation” series is touched on, the focus of the interview was on the Naruto and Naruto Shippuden series. Of course, the set also included the usual storyboards, clean opening and closings, art gallery, and English credits.

Set 38 brings the Naruto franchise to a close, with mixed results. Getting to see Naruto getting married is great, but I wish the episodes leading up to it were better in quality, both in storytelling and animation style. The Shikamaru story also makes the first disc in this set worth it.

If you’re a fan who’s been following Naruto from the beginning, you’ll want to see these episodes in order to see how the series ended. If you’ve been collecting the DVD releases of the franchise, you’ll want to add this one to your collection in order to have a complete set.

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