Naruto Shippuden 101 and 102: Endless Regrouping
Hey, all, this is Mollie (Ibiki Teishi) with a late review of Shippuden 101 and 102. I’m getting really tired of this arc and very much looking forward to Sasuke devouring Orochimaru, er, so to speak.
On the plus side we open with Rock Lee, Ten Ten, Ino, Shizune and Pakkun making tracks to rendezvous with the rest of the crew. Everyone but Shizune rips on Rock Lee a bit, for being wasteful with his energy, for being too enthusiastic, for wanting to run too fast. Shizune explains that speed is important, so they can beat Oro’s attempts at sealing sanbi, so she encourages Pakkun to accept Lee’s challenge. We will go at three times the speed!!!
Meanwhile, Yamato builds a clubhouse from wood and seems pretty proud of himself. He’s a little bothered Kakashi doesn’t notice his efforts and just keeps reading. The same page. Yeah, I’ve done that. Sometimes it’s less reading than a staring contest with the words and they always seem to win.
We find out that Kakashi’s bugged by something, and it has to do with Yuukimaru…and Naruto. This little double ep really gives depth to Kakashi’s understanding of Naruto. In some ways, he understands him almost as well as Jiraiya. He realizes that Naruto’s really bothered by the kid, and starts to get that Naruto’s worry is important to the situation. So, this is the way it goes. First Kakashi acknowledges his growth in the field, but emotional/mental growth gets acknowledged later. I think that’s the way the Hokage race will go, too. Everyone knows Naruto’s jutsu kicks hiney, but it will be some time before anyone figures he’s got brains.
Meanwhile, tender moments with Yuukimaru and Guren just make you need a flouride treatment and some novacaine to kill the ache in your teeth. Naruto goes off to find Yuukimaru and a moment of chaos sets in with the rest of the team who have to go looking for him.
He and Guren exchange a little jutsu and a lot of words. I wish it was the other way around. >.<
But Naruto says some things about Orochimaru that get Guren thinking…and we keep seeing her replay the moment as she worries about Yuukimaru. This clip shows when they pretty much stop jawing and start the fu part. And damn if Yamato hasn’t got the worst timing ever! WTF?
Kakashi and Yamato acting good cop and bad cop on Naruto is priceless. Yamato gives a Japanese style lecture/appeal to responsibility. Kakashi soothes emotions and questions Naruto about the kid. But…it’s Sakura who takes it home…
She knows how to get through to him when no one else can, and that’s because she gets down on his level. It’s all about the physical with him and she is willing to accomodate. Huh. Give me time skip and I’ll be writing about them I’m sure. But for now, they’re both just too…young.
Guren and Kabuto exchange words while Kabuto messes around with Yuukimaru’s insides. Yeah, Kabuto just reaches out and increases the kid’s stamina. Hmm. Sounds like a malpractice suit waiting to happen. Guren gets Kabuto to reveal the plan…and we finally get some definitive poop on Yuukimaru.
So, at least, a bajillion eps into this arc we have confirmation: Yuukimaru is there to trap Sanbi. How many episodes now? Yeesh, this is the thing, the tidbit of information that has kept me tuning in. They’d better get to making with the jutsu before I fall into a coma. Naruto’s happy to see the ‘other guys’ arrive. So nothing really happens here, although the snips of silliness are funny. But poorly placed. I was hoping for an action-packed double ep and instead I got two strung together psycho filler eps…that can’t decide if its all about the comedy or all about the angsty drama.
So there are some funny moments here, in between Naruto getting angsty about Yuukimaru and Guren getting attacks of guilt and Kakashi pulling Naruto aside. Then there are strategy meetings. Yes. Very nice. Where is the jutsu? Is there no damn jutsu left? I’m hoping for a crazy episode next time, since we spent so much time blathering about strategy this time. I mean, seriously, if you’ve missed most of this arc and need a serious recap without going back to catch up, 102 is a good one to catch you up to speed.
The Konoha adults go off to discuss their opponents. The kids engage in comic relief, and Naruto steps outside to sulk about Yuukimaru. I have to say, I asked for him to act like a real teenager just once, this filler is giving it to me. Yeah, he has a reason to be worried and preoccupied…just wish it was over a girl.
Team Guren isn’t thrilled about fighting a Bijuu. Rinji reveals he’s got a sick kid sister he’s working for…seems like convenient lies, because he also starts to blackmail Kabuto. Rinji, the bat guy, the most normal looking of Guren’s freakshow crew, has apparently been Kabuto’s inside man, but now he wants to belong to Orochimaru. He may look all normal, but he’s a freaky boy.
Sai slips about Naruto being a Jinchuuriki and everyone stares. Niiiiiiice. Hinata gets added to the medical ninjutsu sealing team, but this time they acknowledge she’s not a medical nin (thank you very much). And…that’s it really. No more fu. Just a lot of meetings. They called this one Regrouping. Yeah…I’m gonna go regroup and wait for the next one. If this is any indication, the next one should move fast and furious. Hang on, babies…