Naruto Shippuuden - Season 9 - Episode 177 - Review: "Iruka's Trials "

With Naruto having achieved a sense of true belonging in the Shippuden series after saving so many from Nagato and his attack on the village, we're now treated to several episodes reminding us exactly of hw shameful and hateful so many of these people were for years and years. Granted, we had some of that in the period when Naruto essentially came home after the fight as we saw flashbacks of everyone and how he was treated and gradually became a normal part of life there, but in these instances we're getting more of a look at how cruelly he was treated. Iruka's episode was decent in that it showed his change of approach in dealing with him, but you do have to wonder at the idea of having a great emotional high and then reminding everyone in "anime original" episodes that most of the Hidden Leaf villagers are mean and cruel dicks.

Iruka again is much the focus of this episode as we see him grappling with issues from his past when his parents died in an attack by the Nine-Tailed Fox and it's coloring his approach to dealing with Naruto. Not surprisingly, Naruto is starting to lash out more and more at those that are looking down at him with an almost cruel look and he has an obvious steadfast refusal to return to the academy, even though that's the place where he can actually earn some respect and gain position in the village. But children aren't exactly the strongest believers in reason so it's not a surprise that he's so conflicting with his emotions and what he really wants to do.

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