Naruto Shippuden

Season 8 Episode 5

Surpassing the Master

Aired Thursday 8:30 PM Apr 15, 2010 on TV Tokyo

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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out of 10
62 votes
  • Naruto, the Sennin!!

    This episode was really very good. I simply cannot understand the low average rating it has got, the only explanation I can come up with is that people only want to see mindless fight scenes each week, instead of seeing the story and characters develop. Another explanation could be that it differs from the manga slightly, so the ratings are from purists who cannot see how great developing the existing story can be.

    A lot happens in the episode. Naruto achieves his own Sennin Mode, taking it further than Jiraiya ever could, and begins to train in Frog-Fu, a fighting style using the natural energy he has learned to harness. We learn that Sasuke and Taka have been trailed by cloud ninja, who they kill for his efforts, and that Sasuke is beginning to feel the effects of the Mangekyo Sharingan, just as Itachi and Madara had foretold. We are introduced to Team Samui, the cloud ninja who Raikage sends to Konoha to obtain Intel on Sasuke, and that he has called for a Gokage Summit. Phew, that was a lot in 20 minutes!

    Purists will not like this statement, but I loved the fact that the anime developed the story in the manga and took it further. This is where the series stands up for me. I like seeing new scenes, extended elements to what I have read in the manga, because I know that a lot can happen between panels. Kishi has to squeeze his story onto 17 pages each week, so why can't the anime show more of what he was trying to tell?

    One of these extended elements was the flashback to Jiraiya and his training as a boy. I love seeing Jiraiya on screen, and this was told in a poignant way that reflected the similarities between both master and student. Another was with Naruto using his shadow clones to train on top of the spiky mountains. This was believable given the time frame (Pain is on his way...) and that this approach had already been used in the previous episode. Why not use more clones like this? The scenes where both Fukasaku and Naruto were eating were both funny and, once again, believable. And I loved seeing Fukasaku kicking Naruto into a wall at the end of their session, that made me smile. The little guy sure can fight!

    In true Rocky fashion, the episode has a montage of scenes with Naruto training over a period of time. I love seeing Naruto training and getting stronger, plus the music in the background is just brilliant. I was very happy with the way this was handled by the animators, the pace was good, and seeing Naruto finally learn to absorb natures energy (BTW I always thought it was green, not blue!), with Fukasaku giving a commentary of the achievement, satisfied me greatly. This is why I wanted to see the episode, why I loved volume 418 and it delivered. A true spine tingling moment. We are also treated to some Frog-Fu action, with Naruto now using his Sennin Mode to fight. More of this please!! I loved the surprise on Fukasaku's face when Naruto produced a shadow clone, in Sennin Mode. So he can now duplicate the effects?!

    Finally the scene with Naruto training in secret was a highlight for me. His change from Sennin Mode back to normal was just as I had imagined it, given that he had just used up all of his Senjutsu chakra on whatever caused that suspiciously non realistic cloud (an instance of where the anime should have done it differently from the manga) to cover the mountain top. We all know what he is doing (if you don't, read the manga, volume 432!!), and I cannot wait to see it in action against Pain. (NB: animators please make it look like it did at the end of the third film, that was truly epic!!)

    The scenes with Sasuke were also very presented. His arrogance at not needing the Bijuu was evident, but his dependence on Taka was also apparent, shown during the flashbacks to their fight with the Hachibi, and expertly summed up by Juugo. I note that in the manga this fight was happening at the same time as this training arc with Naruto, with Sasuke obtaining his new power whilst Naruto got his, but this sequence of events just works. I must say very well done to the writers who have translated the story from the manga to TV. Personally I would have liked to have seen more of Jay, the Cloud ninja trailing Sasuke. The animators missed a trick here for a fight scene that would have given some action. I'm sure he had some crazy lizard techniques that we will never know about, poor stupid lizard guy.

    Finally the Raikage has called the Gokage Summit, setting up nicely the next arc in the story. I always figured the Raikage was an older guy, say in his late 40s early 50s, i.e. the same as Tsunade, but I'm not sure on his voice yet. For me the Raikage should have a deep, commanding and authorative voice, able to convey his passion for his brother, which ultimately drives his actions. I'll need to hear more before I'm certain. I was unsure to begin with about Killer Bee's voice, but after his fight with Sasuke I now think it fits perfectly - it was only his rapping that had me concerned but when he's not rapping he sounds like a bad-ass.

    Finally my rating! Drum roll please...I give this episode 8 larva onigiri out of 10 (it could have been an 8.5 if we had seen Jay the lizard guy fight Sasuke and Juugo!). See you next time! SK