Thursday, September 4, 2014

In which Naruto remembers my birthday...

So yes, today's my birthday. But even so, I started it out normally enough, catching up on the internet and that sorta thing. And this week's new Naruto chapter also just so happened to be delayed until today, in which I was greeted by a most surprising birthday wish from the Fourth Hokage himself:

Thanks, Minato!

Heh, yeah, so I got a bit of a kick out of the timing of this release, and though it was an otherwise mediocre chapter, one panel in particular does happen to kinda stand out as a nice summary on my feelings as to the direction this once great manga has sadly taken.

Sakura understands.

But anyways, not only was the manga seemingly out to amuse me on this day, but the latest episode of Naruto Shippuden also managed to wow me. I've mentioned in previous Naruto posts how the anime has a tendency to make "special" episodes that really expand on the source material in incredible ways, with movie-quality animation to really enhance things, and today's episode just happened to be one of those instances.

We were treated to the fight between two of my favorite characters, Kakashi and Obito, which ultimately lead to Obito becoming the Juubi Jinchuuriki at the end. But where there wasn't much to speak of concerning their scuffle in the manga, the anime went all out, giving us a full out spectacle with amazingly fluid animation and the kind of moments of inspired creativity that keeps me invested in this series to this day. Obito using Kakashi's hand to aid his own jutsu while the two were locked up stands as an especially awesome moment in this episode that was filled with them.

I even didn't mind the interweaving of their childhood fight with the current fight, as it added an extra emotional weight to the ongoings and told a beautifully tragic story, especially near the end when the current Obito pulls the past Obito away from interlocking fingers in a show of respect after his defeat at the hands of Kakashi.

This episode was just a real treat, and just another example of how the anime really can at times improve on the manga when they actually set out to put a little effort into it. And considering just how terrible the manga will only continue to go from here, here's hoping that the anime can continue to somehow find a way to make such moments bearable. But for now, I did get a kick how, just as Obito has become Jinchuuriki, the anime is going right back to filler again with the introduction of Mecha Naruto!

Naruto beam!

Anyways though, needless to say, this was a pleasant little surprise from Naruto this week, after a good long while of this series really doing a whole lotta nothing for me. Good timing on their part!