With so much build up over the last, what, twenty weeks or so, Naruto really hit its stride in the Shippuden series by giving us an event that, like those talked about in the past, is a game changer. The destruction of Hidden Leaf by Pain and his followers was a beautiful series of moments when it came to the action and tension but also the emotion as they fought back as best they could. The tragedy that unfolded was singlehandedly the best section of the franchise I've seen. And trying to cap it off with Naruto and Nagato actually talking it out, with the context of the past brought into it and the similarities between them in what they really want to achieve, it was the moment when Naruto was ready to grow up and face hard things but also deal with it realistically. Well, as realistically as it could considering what the series is.
The conclusion to the events between Naruto and Nagato itself is good as Nagato brings it all to an end in a way that puts the onus on Naruto to make the path for the future. It's appropriately solemn and brings a bit of closure to things when it comes to Jiraiya as well. The whole arc has been difficult on Naruto and seeing it all finally take its toll is a welcome scene, with the right people greeting him along the way to bring him back to the village. It's a time like this that realizing how much he has changed since the beginning has its impact, especially when they get back to the remains of the village and everyone is cheering for him. Though some of it should go towards Nagato as well who corrected what he did, which is where the cheapness of the episode comes in for me as stated earlier, but the overall impact for Naruto cannot be understated. After years of problems with everyone and slowly winning over a few key friends here and there, he's now completely accepted there. It only took him saving everyone and bringing the dead back to life.
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