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.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Naruto Shippuden (Seasons Five & Six)

Episodes 90-112 represent season five (although you can throw 89 in there too even though that episode should by all rights be counted as being in season four). As far as filler goes, it's not entirely bad. I skipped the last Naruto Shippuden filler arc because I wanted to push farther into the "real" story, but I decided to watch all of season five because my spidey-sense began to twitch. 

As is the case with a lot of long-running popular anime (or media in general) some spoilers will inevitably come across your path. The internet makes this problem especially tricky. I personally hate spoilers. I love mysteries and plot twists and watching the plot machine at work. I can enjoy the journey more the second time around, but the first time around I want to know how everything really works. When I come across a spoiler out of the context of the media I'm going through I feel some of the air go out of my balloon. I figure some writer somewhere worked hard to make a damn good story that would pack some surprises and it sucks that I can't enjoy the fruits of his or her efforts because some idiot on a message board forgot how to use the fucking spoiler tags. Seriously, I hate that shit more than anything. Especially when it comes to my anime. Image searches on the internet are also a pain in the ass. So are search suggestions on Google. Didn't I mention that the internet can be a real pain in the ass when it comes to spoilers? If you have an interest in this show and don't like spoilers and haven't seen it then stay the fuck away from searching shit on the internet. Unless you've read the manga, that is.

If you have already watched it or you just like reading my blog that much then feel free to proceed beyond my review of the filler-filled season five. Just know I warned you and that my conscience is clean. 

Anyway, everything I am saying has little to do with season five itself and more to do with why I postponed watching season six immediately after finishing season four. I was watching a darker part of One Piece and watching season six at the same time would have been a bit too much so I decided to watch season five as a bit of a breather.

And yet despite watching a hundred or so episodes of One Piece for most of February I still managed to crank out 53 episodes of Naruto Shippuden during the final week. That's because I just couldn't not watch season six after I had finished season five. I just couldn't.

So while I was looking for a breather I ended up becoming even more frustrated and downright broken hearted than before. That's season six, though. Let's start with season five as well as a bit of a recap.

The Akatsuki: A group of pricks that want to control the world by capturing the nine tailed beasts. They consist of (as of the end of season four) Uchiha Itachi, Shark Guy Kisame (whatever the hell his name is I keep forgetting and don't feel like googling), Deidara, Tobi (A true clown with a funny as hell since of humor... and I'll talk more about him later), and Pain (I'll talk more about him later, too). They are the only members because Hidan is out of commision (buried somewhere in pieces) and Kazuka and Sasori (remember him from season one of NS?) are both dead.

The Other Pricks in Naruto Shippuden: Uchiha "Whiny Little Bitch" Sasuke, Kabuto, and Orochimaru. The most annoying of them is Kabuto although Sasuke is a close second. Pretty bad that Orochimaru (aka "the snake guy who spits up long phallic-looking objects") seems the most likeable from this bunch.

The Good Guys: Uzumaki Naruto (the nine-tailed beast is confined within him and that makes Naruto a "Jinchuriki"), Sakura (no longer as useless as she used to be), Kakashi Sensei (I'll dish some eye-opening info about him in a minute), Jiraiya (all around cool guy and father figure for Naruto), Yamato (has a creepy stare, but is really cool), and Sai (dresses creepy, but means well). There are other characters here and there as well, but they can wait.

The tailed beast at the center of season five is the three-tailed beast. He's a turtle-looking creature that lives in a lake and just likes to keep to himself and do shit that bigass three-tailed turtles do. According to this filler arc, there's a boy named Yuukimaru who can control the three-tailed beast. At least a little bit anyway. This boy is in the great care of Kabuto and Orochimaru, too.

By enlisting the help of a woman named Guren, Orochimaru plans to do some sort of screwed up shit that will involve taking control over the three-tailed beast. I think it was to use the beast to gain a foothold over the Akatsuki as well as the heros from the Hidden Leaf. Don't really remember at this point, but I know it was something diabolical.

Now for a quick word about Yuukimaru. Yes, he is a boy even though he sure sounds like a girl and kinda looks like a girl, too. This sort of thing is typically called a "trap" and the Japanese apparently love doing this type of thing. I've seen them in a few anime and it's kind of annoying, really. I think women like them and it is probably a "yaoi" appeal thing.

Anyway, it annoyed the shit out of me when everyone who looked at Yuukimaru and naturally assumed he was a boy. I honestly wouldn't have guessed by looking at him. Even if the fucker was naked I still don't think I would have guessed unless I squinted. Yeah, it's anime and anime defies logic, but still it gets on my nerves. For a show that has a lot of folks using their eyes for really cool and powerful shit, I swear that everyone in this show must be blind. Yuukimaru looks, acts, and talks like a girl. Maybe a slightly odd girl with a severe mental condition, but a girl nonetheless.

And yet he is a guy. Go figure.

With this trap placed in her care now and a formidable team of Orochimaru's thugs at her disposal, Guren journey's to the location of the three-tails to use Yuukimaru's power to control the beast.

Of course, the good folks from the Hidden Leaf are in the area, too. Things certainly won't be easy for Guren. Especially when she starts to grow fond and overly-protective of Yuukimaru. She might just end up betraying Orochimaru and losing her shot at becoming his new "vessel" again if she isn't careful.

By chance, Yuukimaru and Naruto run into each other at a hot spring without either one of them realizing the importance of their meeting. Sensing the boy seems lost, Naruto tells him a bit of advice imparted to him by Jiraiya, "Home is wherever someone thinks of you and that is the place you can always return to."

I rather like that phrase. I'm not sure it is verbatim, but that is the jist of it. The phrase will get repeated a lot during season five (to the point of pure annoyance), but it is kind of cool advice.

The moment Jiraiya and Naruto share under a tree is a real sweet moment. That part has to be canon material, at least I hope it is. Jiraiya seems like a real father in that moment and Naruto seems like his son. I'd say it's worth seeing season five just for that. Although I really don't want to look at the picture for too long.

That's really all I want to say about season five. As far as filler goes it's not too bad. The ending is kind of annoying because the Akatsuki manage to do in five minutes what Naruto and co. couldn't do in ten episodes, but that's one of the downfalls of filler. In order for it to tie back into canon material at the end some hokey battles have to be fought in between.

Season six, though... I've got to think about where to begin. I should probably start with Sasuke killing Orochimaru and absorbing him because that is how season six started, but I want to talk about Jiraiya and Itachi first.


I honestly don't think a single character's death in any show I've ever seen affected quite as much as Jiraiya's. I've seen a lot of sad stuff, too. Hell, I've been to funerals where I was nowhere near as sad as I was when I watched Jiraiya take his final breath.

It made me think of what it would be like if I were to lose my own dad and that was just unbearable. God, watching Jiraiya die was brutal. I don't think I had been that emotionally drained since I had watched Silenced.

I honestly don't want to admit that Jiraiya is in fact dead and it is driving me crazy that Naruto still hasn't found out as of the end of season six. And season seven is more filler! Short filler, but still filler. I don't want to think about how he'll initially react to that news.

I'd rather not go over the fight between Pain and Jiraiya too much right now. It's pretty epic and Jiraiya puts on a show, but Pain is just something else. Jiraiya discovers too late that there are actually six Pains walking around. One versus six just aren't good odds. Not even when Jiraiya upgraded to the complete badass Sage Mode.

There were times when Jiraiya had a chance to escape but rather than go back with no idea how to defeat Pain he chose to go out like a boss before sending a frog bearing a secret code back to the Hidden Leaf. This code, once deciphered, just might be the key to defeating Pain.

I miss Jiraiya bad. Pain better sleep with one eye open from now on, though. Naruto won't take this lying down.


Taking place just after the battle between Pain and Jiraiya is the battle between the Uchiha brothers, Sasuke and Itachi. Sasuke had been wanting to kill his older brother Itachi for a long time because Itachi had killed just about all of the Uchiha clan on one night when Sasuke was young. However, Itachi had let his younger brother Sasuke live that night with the promise that Sasuke would hate and resent Itachi and do everything he could to try and grow stronger than him.

Up until this point Itachi was considered to be a bad guy: stoic, badass, and evil to the core. Sasuke, on the other hand, seems to have a just cause in wanting to take down Itachi even though resorting to defecting from the Hidden Leaf and getting taught by Orochimaru doesn't exactly make Sasuke out to be a good guy, either. One of them seems to be an out and out villain while the other seems to be a misguided avenger on his way to becoming and out and out villain.

Then Itachi starts acting weird. A chance encounter with one of Naruto's shadow clones is the first real indication that maybe Itachi isn't all he seems to be. Itachi approaches Naruto, claiming that he just wants to talk, but Naruto is typically bullheaded and goes out and attacks Itachi. Itachi gets away without a problem, but whatever he wanted to tell Naruto never ends up being said because Naruto just had to be such a dick. To be fair, Naruto didn't know that Itachi really was one of the good guys. In fact, almost nobody knew that Itachi was really a good guy at heart.

After that the fight between Sasuke and Itachi begins. I was honestly rooting for Itachi to win even though I kind of knew he wouldn't. Itachi didn't want to win either. The whole point of the fight was so that he could push Sasuke to the very edge. With that goal succeeded, Sasuke began to channel Orochimaru's power and Itachi used a super awesome jutsu to absorb Orochimaru and the Curse Mark. With Sasuke free from Orochimaru's grip phase two of Itachi's brilliant plan could begin.

As hard as it may be to believe, Itachi loved his little brother very dearly. At the end of their battle, Itachi approached Sasuke and poked him in the forehead (something he used to do when they were children) and told him, "Sorry, Sasuke. There won't be a next time." This is a reference to how Sasuke would always want to train with Itachi but Itachi would always apologize and tell him that maybe they could train next time. It was also at this poignant moment that Itachi gave Sasuke a gift that only he could give. Again, all part of Itachi's plan.

It is certainly true that Itachi killed 99.9% of the Uchiha clan, but Itachi did what he felt he had to because the Uchiha clan was planning a coup d'etat against the Hidden Leaf Village. The only one Itachi couldn't bring himself to kill was his little brother Sasuke.

At Itachi's insistence, no one in the Leaf would ever know the truth about the Uchiha clan or the reason behind Itachi's slaughter. Itachi, instead of becoming a hero of the Hidden Leaf, became a wanted man. Itachi infiltrated the Akatsuki to keep an eye on it and even though he did attack a few of the Leaf Village heros (Sasuke, Naruto, Kakashi, etc.) every now and then to maintain his cover he never killed them. Especially when he could have done so with great ease.

Itachi's one true goal was to help his little brother and to protect the Leaf. The biggest illusion Itachi created was the one he made to push Sasuke to become stronger than anyone thought possible. Itachi wanted Sasuke to be strong enough to defeat "Uchiha Madara" (aka Tobi).

Sasuke finds out about all of this, too. From the lips of Tobi himself. Tobi twists things a bit, though. Important advice: Never trust a villain wearing a mask.

Thanks to Tobi's manipulative ways, Sasuke and his group of ragtag followers become a sub-group within the Akatsuki with the goal of destroying the Elders of the Hidden Leaf. Sasuke wants to punish the Leaf for pushing the Uchiha and Itachi to such dramatic extremes. Quite the change in tune considering how badly Sasuke had wanted to kill his brother for so long.

Sasuke's wish to destroy the Leaf is rather disappointing considering how much Itachi sacrificed for the Leaf. It really makes Sasuke out to be even more of a shithead.

I guess I can't really blame Sasuke, though. He now feels an intense guilt over killing his own brother and he doesn't know how to deal with it. He's obviously taking the easy way out and shuffling the blame on the Leaf even though that's tantamount to spitting on Itachi's grave.


This happened at the very beginning of season six and I don't buy it. At all. His appearance later on before Itachi proved me right, but even though Itachi sealed him away I still don't buy it. For one thing, Kabuto augmented his own body with a bit of Orochimaru's corpse. So Orochimaru is still out there in some form. The guy is a royal prick and a pain in the ass to kill. He'll be back. Believe it. Jiraiya is gone forever, but Orochimaru will surely show up again. That's the way of the world. 


Kakashi has a sharingan even though he isn't an Uchiha. I've always wondered about that. In season six the answers are given. Kakashi got his sharingan from an Uchiha named Obito. They were members of the same squad. That gives a whole new meaning to "eye for an eye." 

In that same story we get to meet Naruto's dad Namikaze Minato for the first time. Minato was the legendary Fourth Hokage who died sealing the nine-tails within his very son Naruto. 

We also meet Naruto's mom Kushina during one of Jiraiya's flashbacks and discover how Naruto got his name. 

I had always kind of figured that since the picture of the Fourth Hokage shown always resembled Naruto a bit that he very well could have been Naruto's father. It just fit the storyline since all Naruto can remember from early childhood is being a shunned orphan. It's good to know for sure, though. 

I think this is all I've got to say about season six. Man, was it draining. Jiraiya and Itachi dying back to back like that was tough watching. 

I hope Pain and Tobi and Sasuke all get some serious just desserts. 

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