Naruto Shippuden 285-287: Pakura, Maki, Tsunade and Raikage have cool stories, bro; The mother of caption contests?
Before I wrap up three non-significant episodes of filler, let me show some compassion. Hurricane Sandy really devastated the east coast of the US, Cuba, Jamaica, and Haiti. While I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about the damage in New York, the media has seemingly disregarded the fact that it struck our Caribbean friends as well. Our thoughts are with you all and hoping you receive some sort of relief in your hard times.
From here, the mood will be on a lighter note. I liked the latest installments of anime, but I will say the value of the like factor depreciated in the recent “double anime week!” Also worthy of note, the breakdown will proceed much like that of a triple play: Short and quick with half of the audience cheering and the other half disappointed. That’s what I’d like to say, but 285 is worth a breakdown… Get ready for an adventure…or don’t. I don’t have any control over you…yet
As you may have deduced, this episode revolves around Maki. Maki debuted in the save Gaara ark in a border patrol team with names like Temari and Matsuri (the girl who Gaara trained in weapons and how they can protect instead of kill). In the war, she has more commonly been known for her cloth binding technique that greatly helped in the sealing of Zabuza and Haku. So, why is she getting an episode revolving around her? Simple: Pakura was from the sand, and whether it’s pre-planned or not, people want to know more about her and how she was apparently a brief sensei to Maki. Hopefully that was unnecessary information that will help you know literally everything Maki has done in this series. On to the breakdown.
We start with Pakura being praised as a hero of the sand for her awesome fighting ability in her endeavors against the Hidden Stone’s ‘schemes’, whatever that really means. Maki musters the courage to ask for training. Her persistence grants her a spar, in which Maki isn’t bad with her cloth binding technique already. Pakura gives her praise. Maki wants to get stronger to avenge her father’s death, who was slain by a Hidden Mist ninja. Pakura supports this, saying a strong desire to defend her village will make her powerful. It worked well for Sasuke…
Meanwhile, at the Suna round table, tensions with the Hidden Mist are escalating, despite several attempts for peace. They want nothing to do with a Hidden Mist conflict, as they need to focus on Hidden Stone. Time for Pakura of the Blaze Style to be useful again.
We cut back to Maki in the war, watching people get owned by a red haired shinobi. She isn’t supposed to fight, as her Captain Monga states. Makes sense, keep sealers away from combat. Guess who makes a dynamic entrance for the second straight episode? If you guessed Lee hahaha no. It’s Gari, exploding fist guy. Two fodder ninjas are killed and the fodder captain squares up to what I expected a fail. However, he is actually quite cool..
First, he creates a really dinky wall, prompting a charge by Gari. Next he plants explosive tags like they’re going out of style. Finally, he creates a much greater wall, jumps behind it, and smashes it into the smaller one. The tags explode out and rock chunks decimate Gari. Gari 0, fodder captain 1. Seriously, the duel was 19 seconds and made Gari look like an idiot. Just as I’m taking a shine to him, he gets a terrible case of scorch ball to the back. NOOOO-I’m over it.
Pakura levitates down, Maki see’s Pakura, Pakura recognizes Maki, Maki asked why she’s fight, Pakura is still mad about getting killed by Hidden Mist.
Curse you Walmart greeters! Always acting so friendly inviting us in but giving sinister looks when we walk by! Hidden Mist was upset about Pakura really devastating their forces, so sending her as a sacrificial pawn for political gain in foreign relations was what the Fourth Kazekage and his round table deemed necessary. Maki is teamed with a Hidden Mist shinobi, and surprisingly (by that I mean not surprising) she understands that blaming this generation or the next for past grudges is not ever going to grant peace to the land. However, Pakura is understandably one angry women with a whole lot of power. Maki makes a skilled escape, but that will not be enough to escape the blaze style.
So, the forest is obliterated within a crazy radius of her attack, but with the help of her cloth and Hidden mist bff Ruka, Maki survives the attack, only to be found by her sensei. Now, they can’t fight or run. Maki attempts to plead ideals, stating that Pakura died as a hero and ask her to remain one. Well, she’s no Naruto, as Pakura is still ready to kill. Luckily, Omoi and Zaji jump into the fray. Now we see some pretty cool combat and teamwork. Omoi acts as the tank with Ruka and Maki as support.
Of coarse, that won’t be enough to thwart a hero like Pakura. Omoi barely evades a fireball and continues to be stalemated. Pakura begins an attack and we see Maki take a quick tactical call to set up a win. Omoi goes for it, Ruka impressively stops the fireball forcing Pakura airborne, and Zaji makes a surprise attack.
And so, Pakura experiences a whole new world involving her arm exploding. Before They manage to seal her, Gari blows up the cloth and we are back to square one. However, it seems Pakura turns a new leaf and decides to fight for the future before her conscience is erased. She surrounds Gari in fireballs, allowing the team to escape. Soon after, Maki is the last thought resonating in Pakura’s mind as it slowly erases her into a zombie. Speech no jutsu takes a bitter sweet victory once again.
I actually loved this episode, as I like Pakura. I’m glad we finally got some background information that didn’t bore us to death and we really got a couple more awesome fight scenes that were shockingly well thought out for a filler fight. Dare I say Naruto fillers are taking a turn for the better!
Shippuden 286 & 287
So, Naruto fillers are 2-0 on being pretty good. I’m excited for another action packed, progressive story to unfold in a double anime release! We start out with basically Bee & Naruto and Tsunade & Aye running their perspective ways. Then, A wants to know when Tsunade began to believe in Naruto. And so, we flash back to when Tsunade and Aye first met. The episodes revolve around issues we already know about Tsunade and how her phobia started…NOOOO! Right when I was respecting filler stories, we have to go back to a drinking, gambling Tsunade! WHY????
Good news, this will not take much to ‘double breakdown’. In fact, I’m going to be quite brief, so hopefully it will look more like a picture book rather than an explanation.
Ok, Tsunade goes to a town in the Lightning country. Gambling owners are stoked and proceed to sucker her out of her money. In other news, Raikage and his fodder nin team have just stolen a scroll. One of the other members died in tragic self-explosion, the other looks like this.
Well there’s your problem. I’d say the chunky friend blew up after releasing chakra, which is caused by the insect siphoning it as fuel until it goes boom. But you’re right, let’s wait and figure out common sense things later. They bring him to a bed in a nearby village, and we find out Lightning’s medical ninja sucks. He’s not ‘skilled’ enough to heal this. However, rumor has it someone in town IS skilled enough.
Rumor spreads quickly, as bill collectors are ready to demand money back from Tsunade. They break into several rooms (admittedly, I laughed) before finding a little girl with gold.
Now, child Tsunade fools the collectors into thinking she stumbled into a crap ton of gold. Bill collectors are stupid/smart so they have a private meeting and want to lend Tsunade more money to rack up interest cause she’ll obviously be able to pay them back. Tsunade swindles the swindlers, and yes, I was admittedly still laughing. Now, Tsunade gets drunk, Shizune passes out, and Tsunade flashes back to her brother and would-be husband. SKIP!
Tsunade is visited by Raikage and crap healer. Raikage demands her assistance, she refuses, and they mutually appear to want to resolve this through a fight. Raikage waits outside for his challenger…the whole night. This part made had me in stitches, it’s actually what made the episode tolerable to me. Shizune is scared to death when an angry Raikage burst in and yells at Tsunade. They decide to arm wrestle on whether she will help or not. The match was a stalemate at first, but Tsunade gained the edge steadily. However, Raikage lets up and quickly counters.
A bet is a bet, Tsunade goes to the ill shinobi and is shocked. She needs an explanation.
They explain. Tsunade thinks Raikage was affected as well. The agressors were known as ‘Nokizaru’. Basically merc nins for higher. All three members were affected by microscopic bugs that feed off built up chakra and blow. Raikage didn’t blow because he doesn’t build up reserves of chakra before he releases his chakra. Tsunade claims you do indeed need a skilled medical ninja for healing the visable one, but she can’t exactly fix Raikage, as his is microscopic. Spoiler alert, Raikage is going to live. Anywho, she smashes a fly next to him. Guess they don’t know it was a spy…somehow for Nokizaru.
Moving on, she has Shizune do it. After griping, Raikage accepts. She tells him to relax, shows some leg, and begins surgery. Blood squirts out and hits Tsunade who still isn’t over hemophobia at this point, and she leaves. Now, a bunch of flashbacks as to why…again. Raikage seems to mock the condition and essentially calls Tsunade an incompetent healer with that. Well, Shizune will show him!
Mission success. Tsunade talks about Naruto being her next bet and blah blah stuff we’ve seen a million times.
End 287. Seriously!
Good news or bad news.
We’ve reached the end! I want to try something extreme to at least maintain some level of interest through the fillers, but first, let’s get on to Caption Contest winners:
5th by kevinphoenix: I’m afraid we ran out of toilet paper, so all I have is this.
4th by Coolbeans: Ya, I know where I was looking, and?
3rd by Tanwir Ahmed: There is no secret jutsu. It’s just you
2nd by Tigerpalm: This scroll states that Yoshino has a bad temper and you are kept on a short leash.
And 1st goes to Ashesreignited:
Congrats on the first win under my belt! I really appreciate the entries and they really made it a bit tough to decide who to place where, but I think prostate exam really nailed it this time.
This may be overkill, but I think it’s robbery to keep this down to one picture for three episodes. I don’t think it’s ever been attempted before, but I’m just crazy enough to do it. Triple Caption Contest! All you over-achievers can attempt to be labeled as a triple crown master of captions this week. But be warned, it would have to be the best of the best in all three to earn such an awesome title. The format remains the same: You may label them as demotivational or caption, but try to keep them down to two entries per picture. You will have until Sunday (unless there is a break this week). Show me your A game, WRA! These will cover decently different spectrum.
Have fun with those, have fun in the comments, and remember: Fillers usually suck, but it’s all about your outlook. I’d say their 2-2 in the last three weeks, but there are things to enjoy in all of them. It’s why we love to hate the anime 😉
I promise, you won’t see post this long anymore.
Peace out WRA!