My Impressions of Anime I’ve Recently Watched: Naruto Shippuden Set 30

Naruto Shippuden Set 30 includes episodes 375-388 of the series on two DVDs. Audio options available for the set are the original Japanese audio with English subtitles and the English dub.

Naruto Shippuden Set 30
Publisher: VIZ Media
Format: DVD
Release Date: April 4, 2017

Set 30 sees the continuation of the Fourth Great Ninja War, with much of the focus being on the Ten Tails and its Jinchuriki. Unfortunately, early on in this set, this story arc is interrupted by two filler episodes that focus on “Mecha Naruto.” Quite frankly, I hated these two filler episodes. First off, the story may be set in the past, but some of the characters and interactions that take place in the episodes cannot have happened at the point in time that this filler was set in. Secondly, the tone of these episodes is so far off, not only from the canon arc that the series is currently in, it’s off for the Naruto Shippuden series entirely. This filler is comedic and exaggerated, and honestly felt like it would have worked much better in the Rock Lee and His Ninja Pals spin-off than in Naruto Shippuden.

But those two episodes aside, though, this set does a great job of advancing the storyline. Naruto’s interactions with the Ten Tails’ Jinchuriki are especially noteworthy. With the last few episodes on this disc, we have primarily backstory episodes. At first, there’s new backstory and footage for the Ten Tails’ Jinchuriki. But with the last couple of episodes in the set, the backstory is primarily made up of footage already seen in the series for the Ten Tails’ Jinchuriki and for Gaara. However, these last couple of episodes do include some previously not seen before backstory for both of these characters. For Gaara’s backstory episode, it was nice to see how Kankuro and Temari reacted to Gaara after seeing him transform into Shukaku for the first time. This new footage helps to illustrate why Kankuro and Temari acted the way they did toward their little brother when these characters were first introduced, back in the original series’ Chunin Exam arc.

When it comes to the animation in this set, there were a couple of instances where some really poor animation was used. For this bad animation, I thought it came off as bad as what was seen in the battle between Naruto and Pain. But my husband, however, thought the poor animation here looked a little worse than that. Fortunately, the animation in this set is primarily on the good to decent side, and outweighs the few shots of poor animation that appear in these episodes.

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

Naruto Shippuden Set 30 needs to be in the anime home video collection of any Naruto fan that wants to have all of the canon storyline. However, if you do get this set, I would advise skipping over episodes 376 and 377 (the “Mecha Naruto” ones), because you won’t be missing much if you do.

VIZ Media to Showcase Netflix’s Live-Action Adaptation of Death Note at Licensing Expo 2017

VIZ Media will be featuring top titles from its broad catalog at the upcoming Licensing Expo 2017. This year, the top highlighted property for merchandising opportunities will be the live-action feature film Death Note, streaming globally Summer 2017 on Netflix. VIZ Media will be located in Booth #J236.

VIZ Media publishes the Death Note manga and anime the film is based on. Both have been continual bestsellers since their debut in the mid 2000’s, captivating millions of fans around the world. The Death Note film will debut globally on August 25, 2017, exclusively on Netflix, and the adaptation is directed by Adam Wingard, starring Nat Wolff, Lakeith Stanfield and Margaret Qualley.

In addition to Netflix’s live action Death Note, VIZ Media will be highlighting the following flagship titles at the show this year:

  • Death Note, the anime inspiration for Netflix’s live action feature
  • Naruto Shippuden, the #1 title in Hulu’s anime category
  • One-Punch Man, the hottest anime debut in 2016
  • Hunter X Hunter, new season coming soon on Adult Swim
  • JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, a multi-generational action-adventure currently airing on Adult Swim
  • Bleach, one of the most successful international multimedia brands

VIZ Media highlights at Licensing Expo 2017 include:

Netflix Original Film Death Note
Based on the famous Japanese manga written by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, Death Note follows a high school student who comes across a supernatural notebook, realizing it holds within it a great power; if the owner inscribes someone’s name into it while picturing their face, he or she will die. Intoxicated with his new godlike abilities, the young man begins to kill those he deems unworthy of life.

DEATH NOTE Anime (Rated “TV-14”)
Light Yagami is an ace student with great prospects- and he’s bored out of his mind. But all that changes when he finds the Death Note, a notebook dropped by Ryuk, a rouge Shinigami death god. Any human whose name is written in the notebook dies, and now Light has vowed to use the power of the Death Note to rid the world of evil. But when criminals begin dropping dead, the authorities send the legendary detective L to track down the killer. With L hot on his heels, will Light lose sight of his noble goal… or his life?

NARUTO SHIPPUDEN (Rated “TV-14”)
Created by Masashi Kishimoto, Naruto was first introduced in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine in Japan in 1999 and quickly became one of the most popular manga properties. The manga series (rated “T” for Teens, in print and digital editions) and animated counterpart (Naruto and Naruto Shippuden) are some of VIZ Media’s most successful titles and have captivated millions of fans across North America, Europe and South America.

ONE-PUNCH MAN (Rated “TV-14”)
Nothing about Saitama passes the eyeball test when it comes to superheroes, from his lifeless expression to his bald head to his unimpressive physique. However, this average-looking guy has a not-so-average problem – he just can’t seem to find an opponent strong enough to take on. Every time a promising villain appears, he beats the snot out of ’em with one punch. Can Saitama finally find an opponent who can go toe-to-toe with him and give his life some meaning? Or is he doomed to a life of super-powered boredom?

JOJO’S BIZARRE ADVENTURE (Rated “TV-14”)
The legendary Shonen Jump classic (latest season currently streaming) is a groundbreaking series with multiple story arcs whose creation has already spanned 25 years. It’s famous for outlandish characters, wild humor and frenetic battles. Join the Joestar family as they fight the evil Dio and his legacy across continents and time.

HUNTER X HUNTER (Rated “TV-14”)
Hunters are a special breed, dedicated to tracking down treasures, magical beasts and even other people. But such pursuits require a license, and less than one in a hundred thousand can pass the grueling qualification exam. Those who do pass gain access to restricted areas, amazing stores of information and the right to call themselves “Hunters.” Can Gon, a country boy, follow his father and join their ranks?

BLEACH (Rated “TV-14”)
Ichigo Kurosaki was born with the ability to see ghosts. When his family is attacked by a Hollow – a malevolent lost soul – Ichigo encounters a Soul Reaper and absorbs her powers. Now he has dedicated his life to protecting the innocent and helping the tortured souls find peace.

My Impressions of Anime I’ve Recently Watched: Naruto Shippuden Set 29

Naruto Shippuden Set 29 includes episodes 362-374 of the series on two DVDs. Audio options include the original Japanese audio with English subtitles and the English dub.

Naruto Shippuden Set 29
Publisher: VIZ Media
Format: DVD
Release Date: January 17, 2017

Set 29 starts out with the deaths of three members of the Allied Shinobi forces from the Hidden Leaf Village. While I don’t want to provide spoilers as to which characters die, what I will say is that these deaths affected at least three of the characters who are currently on the battlefield.

Sasuke, Jugo, Suigetsu, and Orochimaru arrive at the Hidden Leaf Village. While they are there, Orochimaru is able to use his Reanimation Jutsu to bring back the four previous Hokage, so Sasuke is able to get some answers about the Hidden Leaf Village and why Itachi felt the need to be loyal to it. Many of the episodes in Set 29 are backstory episodes that focus on Hashirama and Madara, as well as on the founding of the Hidden Leaf Village. As a long-time viewer of Naruto, I appreciated finally getting this backstory. Throughout the series, so many references have been made about Hashirama, and it was good to finally get an understanding of exactly what kind of person Hashirama was, the events in his life that shaped him, and what ultimately caused him to found the Hidden Leaf Village.

There’s also some backstory for Kakashi and the team from his youth. The revelation as to exactly how Rin died caught me by surprise. I never would have guessed what led up to her death.

Right near the end of the set, the story returns to the main battlefield of the Fourth Great Ninja War, and something very surprising happens. I don’t want to provide any spoilers, but I will say that as someone who’s been following this series for so long, the event that takes place at this point was something that I had hoped would somehow happen. This particular event doesn’t end in this set, so I’m looking forward to seeing what happens when I get a chance to watch Set 30.

When it comes to the DVD set itself, my husband and I noticed that in the setup menu, there’s a new option under audio. You can choose English, you can choose Japanese, and you can choose to have translations for signs and text. We didn’t really explore this new option, but we get the impression that if you choose that option, you won’t be able to hear the Japanese audio. We could be wrong on that, though.

When it comes to the bonus features included in this set, it’s basically the same kind of extras that I’ve come to expect from these sets: storyboards, art gallery, clean opening, clean ending, and English credits.

Overall, Naruto Shippuden Set 29 includes some very important canon episodes that not only progress the current story, but provide important backstory as well. If you’re a fan of the Naruto franchise, this set is a “must get” in order to have all of canon storyline from the manga.

VIZ Media Celebrates the Launch of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations With a Special Simulcast Premiere on Hulu

VIZ Media invites audiences to catch the premiere of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations in a special simulcast on Hulu on April 5, 2017, the same day the series premieres in Japan.

The new series focuses on the adventures of the son of the celebrated ninja. Episodes of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations will be available to stream at: hulu.com/boruto. New subtitled episodes will premiere weekly on Wednesdays.

As the series opens, the life of the shinobi is beginning to change. Boruto Uzumaki, son of Seventh Hokage Naruto Uzumaki, has enrolled in the Ninja Academy to learn the ways of the ninja. Now, as a series of mysterious events unfolds, Boruto’s story is about to begin.

VIZ Media plans to create an English dub for the series’ episodes that will feature the voice cast highlighted in Boruto: Naruto the Movie, including Amanda Miller in the lead role of Boruto, Cherami Leigh as Sarada, the daughter of Sasuke from the original NARUTO series, and Robbie Daymond as the mysterious shinobi, Mitsuki.

VIZ Media further invites fans to dive into the action in the home media edition of Boruto: Naruto the Movie, which is available now on Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack and also as a Standard Edition DVD. The anime feature film adventure is based on the Naruto anime and manga series created by Masashi Kishimoto and depicts the rebellious son of the legendary ninja who seeks to become an even greater ninja.

VIZ Media also follows the release of Boruto: Naruto the Movie with the debut of the Boruto manga series on April 4, 2017. The series is rated “T” for Teens and will be published in print as well as digital editions.

VIZ Media Announces New Manga Acquisitions at 2017 Anime Boston Convention

VIZ Media detailed the acquisition of several notable new Shonen Jump manga properties this past weekend during its official panel event at Anime Boston 2017.

One of the most successful manga of all time will receive premium collectible treatment in the Death Note All-in-One Edition, debuting in Fall 2017. The monstrously large edition collects the complete 12-volume series in one massive book, and includes an epilogue chapter never before seen in English.

Two titles currently serialized on the Shonen Jump site will receive a digital-first full volume debut followed by a print release. Fans can look forward to Naruto: Chibi Sasuke’s Sharingan Legend, an action-packed comedic spin-off focusing on one of the most-loved characters from the best-selling manga series created by Masashi Kishimoto. The science fiction survival epic Astra Lost in Space will also receive a digital-first and print volume release. Continuing chapters of both series are available for free on VIZ.com/ShonenJump/chapters/all.

In addition, the chilling suspense drama The Promised Neverland will make the leap from the pages of Weekly Shonen Jump digital magazine to a full manga volume release. The first volume will debut first digitally in October 2017, followed by a print debut in December 2017.

Additional information on each of these titles will be announced in the near future.

New Fall & Winter 2017 VIZ Media Publishing Acquisitions

DEATH NOTE (All-in-One Edition)
Rated “T+” for Older Teens · Debuts Fall 2017

This hefty omnibus combines all 2,400 pages of the megahit thriller into a single massive tome, presented in a beautiful silver slipcase. A perfect collectible conversation piece and a must-have for Death Note fans. Also contains an epilogue chapter never before seen in English.

NARUTO: CHIBI SASUKE’S SHARINGAN LEGEND · Rated “T” for Teens
Volume 1 Digital First Debut July 2017, Print Debut September 2017

Uchiha Sasuke, the brooding loner who will do anything to avenge his clan and kill his older brother… Yes, this is that story, but with a hilarious twist. In Naruto: Chibi Sasuke’s Sharingan Legend, the characters and story have been flipped on their heads, all for the sake of comedy. With his Taka teammates Suigetsu, Karin and Jugo, Sasuke travels the land and gets into all kinds of wacky adventures. This is a side of Sasuke you’ve never seen before. One bit of advice: do not mock the Uchiha.

ASTRA LOST IN SPACE · Rated “T” for Teens
Volume 1 Digital First Debut October 2017, Print Debut December 2017

In the year 2063 interstellar space travel has become the norm. Eight students from Caird High School and one child set out on a routine planet camp excursion. While there, the students are mysteriously transported 5,000 light-years away to the middle of nowhere. Will they ever make it back to Earth?

THE PROMISED NEVERLAND · Rated “T” for Teens
Volume 1 Digital First Debut October 2017, Print Debut December 2017

In this masterful suspense story, life at Grace Field House has been good for Emma and her fellow orphans. While the daily studying and exams they have to take are tough, their loving caretaker provides them with delicious foods and plenty of play time. But perhaps not everything is as it seems.

Anime Soundtrack Review: Naruto Super Sounds

Naruto Super Sounds is a 13-track CD that includes some of the opening and ending themes for the Naruto Shippuden anime series, as well as the ending theme for the Road to Ninja film. There is also a bonus DVD that contains the textless versions of the opening and ending themes that appear on this release; however, since the DVD was manufactured for a Japanese audience, it is a Region 2 disc.

Naruto Super Sounds
Publisher: Sony Japan
Release Date: November 26, 2014

The disc opens with THE CRO-MAGNONS’ “Assault Rock,” which is the 11th opening theme from the Naruto Shippuden anime. It’s an upbeat and catchy track, and it’s a song I recognized as soon as I heard it. This is one of the memorable theme songs that appears on this disc. While I know the song is at the beginning due to where it falls chronologically, I still think it works well as the opening song for the CD.

Next is “Cascade” by UNLIMITS, and it’s the 21st ending theme for the series. It’s another upbeat track, and it’s another one I recognize as soon as I hear it. I love how it builds in intensity as it reaches the chorus, and when it reaches the chorus, there’s almost a sense of urgency that can he heard in the vocals. “Cascade” ranks up there among the memorable ending theme songs for Naruto Shippuden.

This is followed by “Shout This Voice Dry” by AISHA featuring CHENON, and it’s the 22nd ending theme for the anime. It’s another upbeat and catchy ending theme for the series, and it’s another one I recognize as soon as I hear it. I really like the sound of this one, and I can start conjuring up some of the visuals from the closing animation that accompanies this music.

Next is “Even If” by Daisuke, which is the 12th opening theme for Naruto Shippuden. This is another upbeat and catchy song on the disc. While I may not recognize this one right when it starts, I recognize it once the chorus kicks in. This isn’t a bad song at all, but it just isn’t as easily memorable to me when compared to the previous three songs on the disc.

“Mother” by MUCC is the 23rd ending theme for the series. Compared to the previous themes, it’s a midtempo song. It’s not a bad song at all, but it’s just not terribly memorable compared to the other theme songs on this disc. It’s not until I hit the chorus where I go, “Oh, yeah, this does sound kind of familiar.” But I do have to say that having a midtempo track is a nice change of pace at this point in the disc. While I like the upbeat songs that appeared on the disc up to this point, it’s nice to have a theme that isn’t another uptempo track.

This is followed by “Sayonara Memory” by 7!!, and it’s the 24th ending theme for the anime. We’re back to another catchy and upbeat theme song, and it’s also one of the very memorable themes on this release. As soon as the song started, I recognized it instantly. The chorus for “Sayonara Memory” makes me want to move and groove when I hear it.

Next is “Not Even Giving In To The Sudden Rain” by NICO Touches The Walls, and it’s the 13th opening theme for Naruto Shippuden. This is another upbeat, catchy, and memorable theme song that appears on the disc. As soon as the opening notes start, I recognize the song instantly.

“I Can Hear” by DISH// is the 25th ending theme for the series. This song starts out as a midtempo track, but once it hits the chorus it becomes very upbeat and catchy. When I hear the chorus, I’m like, “Yes, I recognize this!” Of course, it probably helps that several lines in the chorus are in English.

This is followed by “Embrace Your Dreams ~Crossroads Of The Beginning~” by Rake, which is the 26th ending theme for the anime. It’s a midtempo track, and it’s a good song. However, at least for me, it’s not as memorable right away when compared to many of the theme songs released for this series.

Next is “The Size Of The Moon” by Nogizaka46, which is the 14th opening theme for Naruto Shippuden. It’s an upbeat and catchy song, and it’s one I recognize as soon as I hear it. It really reaches its level of catchiness when it hits the chorus. This ranks up there among my favorite songs that appears on this disc.

“Black Night Town” by Akihisa Kondo is the 27th ending theme for the series. It starts out kind of slow, but after the intro, it picks up into a more upbeat and catchy song. But even with its slow intro, I recognize this song as soon as I hear it. It’s another one of the themes where I can remember some of the visuals from the opening that go with this theme. It’s another song that ranks up there among my favorite songs that appear on this release.

Next is “Rainbow” by Shinku Hollow, and it’s the 28th ending theme for the anime. This is more of a midtempo track, but it’s still memorable to me as soon as I hear it. It’s also another theme on the disc where I can remember some of the visuals that accompany this music. It may not be as catchy as some of the other themes, but it’s still a strong song and is very memorable.

The final track on the disc is “Well Then, See You Tomorrow” by ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION, which was used as the ending theme for the Road To Ninja film. It’s a very upbeat and catchy rock song, and it’s another one of these themes that’s memorable to me as soon as I hear it. When I watched the Road To Ninja film, I remember thinking that this song worked great as an ending theme for a movie.

If you’re wanting to collect the various opening and ending themes for the Naruto franchise, then I would highly recommend acquiring this CD, along with Naruto Best Hit Collection, Naruto Best Hit Collection 2, Naruto Super Hits 2006-2008, Best Hit Naruto, and Naruto Greatest Hits!!!!!. The best way to acquire these discs is to look around at sites that sell Japanese import CDs and trying to find the best deal.

I wrote this review after listening to a copy of Naruto Super Sounds that my husband purchased for me as a birthday gift.

VIZ Media Acquires Rights to Boruto: Naruto Next Generations Anime Series

VIZ Media has announced the acquisition of digital, broadcast, home media and master merchandising rights to Boruto: Naruto Next Generations. VIZ Media acquired the rights for the anime series for the North American and Latin American markets.

In partnership with VIZ Media, the first episode of the new series will make its U.S. simulcast premiere on Hulu beginning April 5, 2017, the same day as its premiere in Japan. New episodes will continue to premiere weekly on Wednesdays.

Boruto: Naruto Next Generations is the continuation of the famed Naruto anime series and focuses on the adventures of the son of the celebrated ninja. Ahead of the next installment of the Naruto Shippuden franchise, Hulu subscribers can catch up on the entire Naruto Shippuden collection beginning March 23, 2017 by visiting the official show page, and future episodes of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations will become available to stream here: hulu.com/boruto.

As the series opens, the life of the shinobi is beginning to change. Boruto Uzumaki, son of Seventh Hokage Naruto Uzumaki, has enrolled in the Ninja Academy to learn the ways of the ninja. Now, as a series of mysterious events unfolds, Boruto’s story is about to begin.

“We are very excited to announce the acquisition of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations and know that fans everywhere will be looking forward to the debut of these new episodes,” says Charlene Ingram, VIZ Media’s Senior Manager of Animation Marketing. “The stage is set for intense adventures featuring a fresh cast of ninjas from the Hidden Leaf Village!”

VIZ Media plans to create an English dub for series episodes featuring the cast highlighted in Boruto: Naruto the Movie including Amanda Miller in the lead role of Boruto, Cherami Leigh as Sarada, the daughter of Sasuke from the original Naruto series, and Robbie Daymond as the mysterious “synthetic human” shinobi, Mitsuki.