Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Naruto (Season Three)

Fights. That is what this season is about. Sure, the previous seasons had some fighting, but there was also a little bit of story to go along with it. Aside from a little bit about Orochimaru's past and Gaara's past (neither of which are particularly gripping stories... interesting, yes, but not edge of the seat type of stuff) all we have are some badass ninja fights. Although some of these fights go on way too long. The fight between the Third Hokage and Orochimaru in particular comes to mind.

However, I am getting ahead of myself a bit. So I'll go back to the ending of the second season...

We left off with Naruto receiving some special training from Ebisu because Kakashi-sensei was busy training Sasuke. Then Jiraiya entered the picture. At the beginning of the third season Naruto ditched Ebisu and decided to make Jiraiya his mentor instead. After some petty back and forth, Jiraiya agreed to watch over Naruto's training before eventually teaching Naruto the Summoning Jutsu and a bit more about awakening his inner demon power.

Seven episodes later the Chunin Exams finally resume and Naruto gets his first real test by fighting Neji, the douchebag of the Hyuga clan. Of course, Naruto wins. It's close, but Naruto still wins. I hope that isn't spoiling everything for everyone, but it's not like this show is called Neji.

Then we see a few more fights, but the only one anybody really cares about is the fight between Sasuke and Gaara. Sasuke is late in arriving so the fights are rearranged to buy time until Sasuke can arrive. This happened at the insistence of the sinister-looking Kazekage and if that didn't send up any warning flags to the Third Hokage than I don't know what would have. Something like, "Gee, could this guy actually be Orochimaru in disguise?" should have occurred to him at some point. 

Well, the Third Hokage allowed Sasuke to have extra time to arrive and then the fight finally began. Then the shit hit the fan. Orochimaru launches his attack on the Hokage and then Gaara goes absolutely batshit and transforms into a sand demon. 

Okay, so a lot of stuff actually happened in this third season (episodes 53-78... going by Crunchyroll's season descriptions) and pretty much all of it was interesting. Although they stretched the fight between Orochimaru and the Third Hokage to an extreme level. Not even the fight itself, but just one freaking scene from the fight. For about seven episodes we are shown the Third Hokage with a sword through his chest grabbing Orochimaru by the shoulders. Seven episodes. No, it is far from the only thing that happened during those episodes, but why even show a minute and a half long scene each episode for seven straight that is essentially two characters grunting the same things over and over again with nothing else actually happening? It's like the animators couldn't think of any cool filler to help beef up the run time. They just used the same damn scene over and over again. I kind of felt bad for the voice actors for having to say the same stuff over and over again. Then I remembered that they're getting paid for it. What dicks. Seriously, the Hokage should have dropped dead six episodes ago. 

If there is any real problem I had with this season then that dragged out scene was it. Everything else was pretty killer. I think I should also mention that this season was the first season that actually felt it was about Naruto. The first season certainly had its moments, but the second season seemed to only be about Sasuke. That was pretty annoying. 

At the end of episode 78 Sasuke is down for the count (I know I can't be the only who thinks the guy is vastly overrated, right?), Sakura is being her typical useless self by being the damsel in distress, and Naruto is just starting to duke it out with Gaara. Chief Toad Gamabunta is also helping out. Good stuff. 

On to season four. 

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