Naruto offers up a double episode special this week that takes us back to the days of old, back before Naruto was partaking in the Chunin exam. Going back to this period of time is amusing in some ways but frustrating in others. While watching an earlier segment of the series via the DVD release, they had some flashbacks to when Naruto and Sasuke were first meeting and fighting across the period of their relationship pre-Shippuden. Watching the characters from them, their designs and the overall feel of the show reminded me why I had a hard time with a lot of the first Naruto series when it wasn't dealing with a key arc.
Of course, I know my issues with it revolve around the fact that it was a show and manga aimed at young boys. The franchise has certainly grown up over time and having Naruto and the others age a few years at the start of Shippuden was a big plus in getting me more interested in it since it offers up new story potentials. What happens though is that when you do go bak to the younger story material, like here, it all feels incredibly childish and you question why you might have liked it the first time around. There are plenty of silly moments and childish things that Naruto is already doing in Shippuden, both in the early episodes I'm seeing on DVD for the first time and the recent weeks when I've picked up the streaming episodes as well, but they don't come across as badly as material from this time period does.
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