The beginning of Naruto Shippuden takes place two-and-a-half years after the end of the first Naruto series. We see Naruto return to the Hidden Leaf Village, and he and Sakura are tested against their former teacher, Kakashi, to see how much they have progressed in their training during the past two-and-a-half years. We also learn that Gaara has become the Kazekage (the leader) of the Hidden Sand Village, and we see him kidnapped by the Akatsuki organization.
On each disc, you can choose to watch all of the episodes, choose which episode you want to start with, you can set your language and subtitle options, and you can also view the extras included on the disc.
The first disc has three extras included. The first is a set of trailers, which start automatically when you select the trailers option. The trailers included on this disc are for Naruto Shippuden, Naruto Shippuden: The Movie, Naruto Shippuden: Ninja Council 4, and Bleach the Movie 2: The DiamondDust Rebellion.
The second feature is listed as "New From Viz Media." The link takes you to three pages of advertisements: one page for Shonen Jump, one page for Naruto, and one page for other Shonen Jump titles. The third link is "Online Features"; all this contains is a screen that shows where to purchase Viz Media titles online.
The second disc also has three extras. The first one is "Trailers," and it includes the exact same trailers that are included on the first disc. "New From Viz Media" is the same, except that it uses different pictures. The "Online Features" screen included on this disc is the exact same as what appears on disc one.
The third disc has seven extras. The first is "Trailers"; included in this batch are trailers for Naruto Shippuden: Ninja Council 4, Naruto Shippuden: Legend Akatsuki Rising, Naruto Shippuden, Naruto Shippuden: The Movie, and Bleach the Movie 2: The DiamondDust Rebellion. "New From Viz Media" is the same as on the previous two discs, but it uses different pictures. "Online Features" is exactly the same as what appeared on the first two discs.
"Voice Actor Featurette: Return of a Ninja" is a 14-and-a half minute documentary that includes interviews with some of the English dub actors and the ADR Director. The documentary talks about the change in tone between Naruto and Naruto Shippuden, and the voice actors talk about how their characters have changed and evolved from the first series.
"Relationship Chart: Team Kakashi" has the user select an image to see how the characters on the team connect. Included in this feature are Naruto, Sakura, and Kakashi. "Production Art" has 15 screens of production sketches of the characters. The final extra is "English Credits," where you can see the credits for the English dub.
On the one hand, I have to give Viz Media credit for trying to go to a little more effort with the extras on this set when compared to the Naruto Uncut box sets. However, I really don't understand why they decided to include extras on all three discs, especially since a lot of the extras are the same between discs. Also, I'm at a loss as to why more extras were included on the disc with five episodes, instead of trying to spread out the extras a little more between the three discs and cutting down on the overlap.
As for the series itself, I thoroughly enjoyed the episodes I saw on this set. I especially liked being able to see the changes and growth the characters have gone through since the end of the first series. Naruto Shippuden is definitely off to a good start, and I'm looking forward to seeing more. I would definitely recommend this DVD box set to anyone who is already familiar with and enjoys the original Naruto series.
In order to write this review, I checked out a copy of this DVD box set through the King County Library System.
The Akatsuki Makes Its Move
The Results of Training
The Jinchuriki of the Sand
|The Kazekage Stands Tall|
Team Kakashi Deployed
|The Jinchuriki's Tears|
Sealing Jutsu: Nine Phantom Dragons
The Medical Ninja's Student
The Retired Granny's Determination
A Meeting With Destiny