Naruto Shippuuden 186 Breakdown: This one’s tight!!! *Coughs*
I have to say, after watching one dreary episode after the next following this current arc, I was starting to lose any remaining hope I had for the integrity of these fillers, especially after the dreadful episode 185, which nearly made me fall into a deep and very unpleasant coma.
To be completely honest, this filler arc has had its fair share of ups and downs, much like a roller coaster ride has its rises and its falls, and much like a roller coaster, we began our journey with a nice, calm, upward journey towards a bright and happy sunshine. It started off pleasantly enough, with an interesting look back into the lives of Iruka and Naruto and the beginnings of their fruitful relationship and that was followed by an equally decent adventure with the likes of Inari. The animation was crisp, the story telling palatable and the overall feeling left after each journey was fulfilling enough to be satisfying despite everything.
Unfortunately, after that, we went down our first, big fall and boy was I screaming. It almost felt as if I was riding without my safety harness and I am quite sure many of my fellow viewers feel the same way. And just when I thought all hope was lost, as the light of my life flashed ever so poetically in front of my watering eyes, a small glimmer of hope and salvation suddenly brought everything to a screeching halt.
Finally, after suffering for so long, we finally have an episode that is worth at least some reasonable degree of attention. I almost cried when I watched it, and believe me when I say that such tears were not evoked by any form of melodrama, so much as simply an overwhelming sense of relief.
For those wondering what the story is about this time around, we are basically taken on another trip back through time, only this time with the focus landing marginally on a hospitalized Lee, who is currently preparing for his surgery to help him recover from his wounds following his battle with Gaara. Having learned of a certain special medication that may help the green-clad genin recover faster, or in the least, help keep his spirits up, Naruto sets out on a quest, along with Ino and Sakura, to find the fabled ‘Jofuku Flower’ in an effort to aid their comrade.
The plot may not sound very cohesive, and, admittedly, it doesn’t serve much of a purpose beyond giving our heroes a reason to go on another random, crazy adventure, but let me assure you that even though it may feel a bit shallow, this is a fun ride that you will definitely enjoy. If that isn’t enough to convince you, we get to see Naruto in green spandex the entire time. <_<
Okay, so I will admit, that may not have been the best encouragement I could have given, but I will stick to my stance nonetheless. This episode, surprisingly, manages to deliver well enough on just about every level. It has a pleasant amount of humor, great animation, music that will evoke a sense of nostalgia and even a fair amount of action near the end.
I found myself giggling more than once as I watched each scene go by and it almost felt like we had the good old Naruto back again, as it was pre-timeskip. Ah yes, fond memories. This is how a flashback filler should be.
Of course, we can’t have an episode with Naruto wearing green spandex without a poll to go with it, so here it is.
Speaking of action, we get a nice treat in the form of a brief battle between Naruto and a clone of Gaara, whose presence is explained in the body of the story, thankfully. The scene was actually quite fun to watch, which should please action buffs, but more importantly, it represents a hurdle of sorts and the symbolism behind it soon becomes apparent.
With Naruto wearing Lee’s outfit, battling the foe that his bushy-browed companion could not fell, it’s almost seems as if he is taking on the burden of his friend’s hardships and trying to help him overcome them.
His subsequent victory, is also a representation of Lee’s ultimate triumph as well and clearly represents what can be achieved through faith and perseverance, while simultaneously having the right friends at your side to share that heavy and seemingly unbearable load.
At the end of the day, I enjoyed this episode quite a bit. I’m not sure if everyone else agrees with me, but at the very least, it is worth taking a try and seeing for yourself, for those who have yet to take the plunge.
All I can hope is that the next episode is just as pleasant, because as it stands right now, we aren’t out of the filler woods just yet.
That’s it for me this week. I hope you enjoyed the episode and the breakdown.
And just in case you didn’t, I’ve decided to reintroduce the cation contest to you all again this week, just for a bit of fun.
In any case, here is this wees screen.
I hope you all find some inspirational captions to submit this week.
In the meantime, here is next weeks preview as well. Hopefully it will be at least as good as this one was, but the fact that it has Jiraiya in it is already a good sign in my books.
See you all in the comments! ^ ^