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Naruto Shippuuden – 5 – Keep The Car Running

The massive clash of Gaara’s sand vs. Akatsuki’s blonde bombshell Deidara rages ever on while Naruto and Sakura celebrate with a bowl of ramen having again teamed up with their perverted old sensei; anti-social bastard that he is, Kakashi declines their company, no doubt to finish off the latest volume of his favourite romantic yarn “Make Out Paradise”. In between the action, we glimpse a sun drenched flashback to a pre-Kazekage Gaara and Kankuro, striding atop a cliff that majestically looks over their endless desert, reaffirming their new found desire to work hard, protect the innocent and earn friendship the good old fashioned way – just like Naruto. The episode ends with a devastating explosion when what appears to be a clay-based nuke is dropped in the middle of down-town sand village by Deidara. Civilian casualties are expected.

I can see why people are already starting to complain about Naruto Shippuuden. It’s true that the story is slow going, just as it’s true that the animation has been mediocre since the superlative first two episodes. I’m still enjoying it though. As is the case with Death Note, it seems that reading the manga is key to our ultimate enjoyment of Naruto; I’ve steered clear of the manga for that very reason, I’d rather not spoil the story. I enjoy anime more than I enjoy manga.

Sometimes I wonder why I’m so compelled by Shonen Jump’s “fighting” anime; characters like Gaara are the answer. Over two hundred episodes plus and we’ve seen him dragged through hell; abused and isolated as a kid, lost in life and consumed by hatred, yet he finds salvation through friendship. That he changes so much through out the series and finally discovers a meaning to his existence, only a heart of stone would not feel a pang of attachment to him.

Next week’s episode is an hour long special. Here’s hoping something big and flashy happens!

Comments

Foshi says:

If the they keep it up like this I’m gonna get very bored, very quick, and then I’m gonna get very pissed. Five episodes in now and barely anything has happened. Gaara is a great character one of the most fleshed out in the series and along with Akatsuki one of the only reasons I watch anymore.

Dan says:

A reference to the new arcade fire track, right? Finally, two of my favorite things, anime and indie music, on a single post. Too bad both have been on the lackluster side as of late. But after 2 years of meaningless filler, I can plow through a few dozen of these eps from pure nostalgia. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

bateszi says:

>> Foshi: You know you love it really! :) I need more info on Akatsuki too.

>> Dan: You got me! I love "Keep The Car Running", it’s one of my favourite songs from Neon Bible. The new version of "No Cars Go" is wonderful too.

If you’re into anime like Naruto, I’d definitely recommend you take a look at the first few episodes of Shippuuden. It’s like, really good, and stuff.

Shahera5 says:

I’ve been enjoying Hurricane Chronicles. I’ve read all the manga chapters so it’s interesting to see them fleshed out in the anime. I don’t think this fight series is moving any more slowly than all the fights in the Sasuke retrieval arc. I’m not a connoisseur of anime but I thought the sun-drenched desert scene with Gaara and Kankuro was beautiful.

arkon says:

I’m surprised you haven’t been watching Busou Renkin which started last october-ish. 26 episode series apparently, and from the mangaka behind Kenshin. It starts off a little slowly IMO but just gets better especially if you’re into these kinds of shows which you do seem to be. The last few episodes (talking 20 and upwards) have been great. That’s not to say that the rest of the series was bad but it’s really come into its own in the past few episodes. I would advise you to look into it as it’s not long running so could be good filler just before the new spring season starts. It’s about alchemists vs homunculi but they’re different from the ones in FMA. Has some pretty inventive fights too.

On the subject of inventive fights, you might want to check out Law of Ueki too. 51 episodes long and has some pretty cracking fights in it. Think some of the Shikamaru fights in Naruto. Lots of inventive use of powers and so on. Plus there’s some really unique powers in there. I would say though that the first episode was awful, at least from what I remember. But it got steadily better. Same sort of character design as one piece. Extremely cheesy at times but that’s usually a given with these shows

I’m not quite sure if I’d put both in the same category as say the Narutos and One Pieces of the world but they’re worth checking out if you’re into the genre and can forgive it its flaws. Personally my favourite of the two is probably Busou Renkin. I suppose you could save them for a time when you are running out of stuff to watch. Just thought I’d recommend some stuff

bateszi says:

Nice to know I’m not the only one, Shahera5.

arkon: Thanks for the recommendations. When it comes to both Busou Renkin and Law of Ueki, I’ve steered clear of them because from what I’ve seen (screen caps) they look mostly generic and the reviews haven’t exactly been positive either – your brief rundown above is probably the first positive review of Busou Renkin I’ve read! I’ll definitely keep what you’ve said in mind though, especially once I’ve totally caught up with D.Gray-man and One Piece (shonen overload :| ).

arkon says:

Oh well. I suppose that is understandable since both shows were slow starters. In fact at the start I preferred D.Gray-man to Busou Renkin but it sort of turned round during the middle of the series.

I’m not so sure about the generic part though, although you did only say they looked generic. I can agree with that but there is stuff in both that sets them apart although I will admit that the plots involved the standard shounen fare. In fact one of the reasons I mentioned them was that they were slightly different to the normal shounen (at least I think so) in that they didn’t have quite as much of the power-up via training thing although Ueki does have a fair bit I suppose… Hmmmm… I think I’m just rambling now and not making much sense.

I guess perhaps I’m just a sucker for some of the romance elements in Busou and some of the inventive fights in both. I should also mention that due to its (Busou’s) short episode count the fights are usually short and sharp and to the point with little of the explaining-what-I’m-doing-for-10-minutes-whilst standing-still-in-the-middle-of-a-fight thing.

I guess perhaps you’re not into the shounen stuff as much as me (no offense intended if you could even call that offensive :p) in that I like to sample a bit of everything from the top tier stuff to the lower tier stuff (I suppose that mirrors my anime watching as whole since I like some of the moe/slice-of-life stuff that you detest). Or perhaps that just means I have a higher tolerance for crap :p

Anyway… yeah… I said I’d stop… *runs aways*

bateszi says:

You make a good case for Busou Renkin and to be honest I am struggling to sit through D.Gray-man at the moment so I may give it a chance. I loved Kenshin and since this is from the same Nobuhiro Watsuki, I’m very tempted to at least try out a few episodes.

When it comes to shonen anime, I think I need something to dramatize the action. That’s why I enjoy Naruto and One Piece so much, the action is beautifully reflected in the emotion behind it. I can’t stand Bleach because the characters strike me as utterly dull and well, dumb.

Anyway, thanks for the comment, and don’t run away!! If I do enjoy Busou Renkin I’ll be sure to post up about it since it seems to need the support.

emma says:

i miss sasuke i hope he goes baxck to naruto n sakura n stays and leaves the bad guiys i prefered it wen it was all 3 of them…does any of you klnow if he ever goes back?

Kikuyu says:

Na…someone definetely needs to get the soundtrack to Shippuuden, at least the main themes for the episode on discussion here. The soundtrack for Shippuuden outweighs the original anime so much that I’m sick of waiting already, and I only found it today.

me says:

i cant wait tilll i sasuke fight itch again

Naruto Gift Store says:

The thing that works with Shonen fights are the themes of loyalty and loss that echo trhoguh them. It’s never just about who has the biggest techniques (besides DBZ).

erza says:

i very like gaara……….he is handsome n cool
gaara as kazekage in sunagakure very cooooooL….

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