Naruto: Shippuden Episode #186 Anime Review

The episode prior to this with the ostrich ninja, which I think managed to surpass the cooking filler episode from the first series by a fair amount, was the kind of episode that was practically waving the flag of surrender in saying, 'Skip this show until we get back to the real show.' While I can understand why some folks would find it fun, it's the kind of filler piece that completely alienates a lot of long time fans and does nothing helpful to the reputation of the series. Naruto has certainly gotten rather intense for awhile now and that's helped to elevate it, but by going the route it has for the fillers, for as long as it has, only reminds people of how low the whole franchise can actually go.

This episode takes us back again to a younger and more orange clad Naruto when Sasuke hadn't flown the coop yet. Thankfully, it also takes us to a bit more of an interesting time as it deals with Rock Lee when he was injured and working to get himself fully healed and back on track. The tie to the present with him understanding some of the pain that Sakura is going through in dealing with Tsunade is small at best, but it launches us into this story where we see Lee struggling with his situation. He's doing his best but is trying to get Guy's help in going the final distance which requires a particular ingredient that Guy doesn't have. Naruto being the helpful sort that he is sometimes and wanting to see Lee back in the game, he decides to go and find it.

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