Naruto Shippuuden - Season 5 - Episode 178 - Review: "Iruka's Decision"

As the side stories of Naruto's youth continue to be told, there are things that I do like about it. A lot of it comes in seeing some of the other characters, mainly the adults, and how they were at this stage with the future-history about them already written. With their arcs likely changed over the course of the manga being written, doing things like this allows them to be fleshed out a bit more and given some more background that helps to make them a richer character. The downside is that we continue to see Naruto at the young age which simply reminds me of why I disliked the show for so long, especially when he pulls out that awful Sexy Jutsu gimmick, something I can't remember seeing for an age now.

This episode keeps things on Naruto for a fair bit as he does his best to prove himself in the forest where he goes to grab something that will prove he was there. Unfortunately for him, there are some other ninjas in there that are fairly dangerous, enough so that even Kakashi has to get involved at one point to try and take them down before it gets worse. The group that's out there managed to figure out the patrol routine of the Leaf Village and Naruto's time out there caused it to be discovered. Thankfully, Naruto doesn't get to save that day and in fact is knocked out rather early on, allowing the real experienced ninjas to deal with it. This helps to reinforce that at this stage he still doesn't know a lot since he's not fully in the Academy and that he has such a long way to go to become who he is now. It also reinforces the way he feels about things since acts like this can still take him down as well.

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