The antagonists of this arc are surprisingly better than I expected. Although Shino is clearly a leader that is on the chuunin level already, his plans were upped one by the Kamizura clan. The planning done on both sides at the exchange point was pretty intense to watch. When you'd think that Shino's plan worked, he was outdone, and when they thought that they finally found Hinata, he was once again outdone. And what the last episode was missing was some Hinata character development. Despite being captured, she had her few moments of spotlight, such as when she was able to strategically kill the bees--where she still failed--and the flashback of how she suggested doing the mission in the first place.
Hinata has been kidnapped by three ninja from the Kamizuri clan. They are bug handlers too like Shino's clan, but they specialize in bees. It seems they wish to find a certain scroll in order to restore their clan's rank at the Hidden Leaf Village. They want to trade Hinata for the Bikouchuu bug so that they can find the scroll, but Naruto and Company need the Bikouchuu bug to find Sasuke. After a failed attempt at trying to track down the ninjas, Shino decides that they must attempt a trade in order to rescue Hinata. The guys go to make the deal, but things go amiss.....
You know, it's funny how we all get tired of Sakura's many "turning points" but we never seem to tire of Hinata's? Why is that? Simple. Hinata is a more likeable character than Sakura, and this is only like the second time Hinata has changed herself. And she really wanted to change, too. Sakura has wanted to change billions of times, but she really didn't do so until she took on the position of Tsunade's apprentice. OK, so here's what went down in the episode. Shino, leading Hinata, Kiba, and Naruto, is on a mission to find the rare Bikochu beatle that will track down Sasuke's scent. But there's a rival clan from the Stone Village that's looking for it too! The buys plus Hinata managed to capture one, but the Kamizuru kidnapped Hinata and demanded the bug for her safe return! Now the boys are faced with a hard choice. The Bikochu and Sasuke? Or sweet and lovable Hinata? Naruto decides on both. Shino sends his bugs out to find where they are keeping her, but no such luck. Meanwhile, Hinata slowly regains conciousness and hears the Kamizuru talking about how they were thrown out of power by the Aburame Clan, and how the Bikochu will bring them recognition. She realizes that they aren't so different from her. All Hinata really wants is recognition from her father and Naruto. A trade is proposed, and the boys use this opportunity to take back Hinata. However, instead of teh Bikochu, they bring a Goliath Beatle instead. The enemy is not fooled, and they battle. However, the Kamizuru and Hinata were not actually there; they were honey clones. Meanwhile, one of the Kamizuru wraps Hinata in a honey cacoon and places her in the river. As she nears a waterfall, she must figure out how to break free.
This definetly has to be one of the greatest filler arcs. This episode was chalk full of twist and turns and plot and all of that good stuff. The beggining was strong, the whole trade off ordeal was exciting and fast paced. Shino was really smart realizing that the real Hinata would pass out after hugging Naruto like that, and it was funny when Kiba said the whole are you trying to blow Naruto up thing lol. That lady has a sick mind, get eaten by larva, or get eaten by a big disgusting uglier form of larva. Nice decision. Also, poor Hinata. I hope she doesn't die or something lol. Hinata rules! Even though she missed one of those bugs. Whatever.
This episode captivated my interest on how Hinata really gets esteem from Naruto. And I never expected that move she did in the river. But yeah she kind of did get in the way. Now Shino, kiba and naruto are trapped. Their werent that many flashbacks in this episode, which made it a blast to watch.
Focusing on mostly Naruto, Kiba, and Shrio this episode uses action with Team 8 while the last one uses humor. The writers make it work well, but it is becoming just too absurd that Naruto cannot sense Hinata's feelings for him.
Bugs...Bugs...Bugs everywhere! This episode, as the Japanese title indicates, is one large bug battle with Shiro doing most of the heavy lifting versus the rival Rock Village bug clan.
This episode gives us a few treats: we see how adept Shiro has become, and Hinata can even improvise! Deception is the key in all the confrontations as nothing appears what it seems.
This turn of play makes for an enjoying episode, and while the episode has a few slow parts, it is generally entertaining and rises above the "filler" level that it has been grouped into by some. One weakness: it does start a little slow, but it ends on a climactic note and is a worthy Naruto episode.
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