This box set continues and concludes the story arc of Sora, the monk in training at the Fire Temple. The next story arc also begins on this set, and it introduces two more members of the Akatsuki organization: Hidan and Kakuzu. They are on a mission to find the tailed beast hosts. At the beginning of the arc, they are in battle with the host of the two-tail beast. After that battle, they come to the Land of Fire to look for other tailed beast hosts. While this is going on, Kakashi and Yamato are working with Naruto as he tries to devise a new, more powerful jutsu.
Tsunade receives word that the Fire Temple has been attacked, and that their leader, Chiriku, was killed during the fight. Suspecting the attack was launched by the Akatsuki, she sends out several groups of ninja in order to track down the culprits. Both of the stories in this set have a strong emphasis on Asuma, due to his connection with Chiriku.
The second storyline in this disc returns the series to "canon" material from Masashi Kishimoto's Naruto manga series. I have to give the anime writers a lot of credit for finding ways to tie in the "filler" story with the "canon" material; if a viewer didn't know better, they would assume that the Sora story arc wasn't "filler" material. Also, as you watch the second story arc in the set, the viewer can tell that a plot point is building for Asuma; however, that plot point doesn't appear in this set, since the arc just gets going in the last few episodes in the box. I'm really anticipating seeing Box 7 in order to see where the story is heading to.
When it comes to the actual DVD box set, it follows the same format that was introduced with Naruto Shippuden Box Set 5. Instead of including bonus features on all three discs, only the third disc has an "Extras" menu selection. The first two discs include trailers for Naruto Shippuden: The Movie and Bleach the Movie: The DiamondDust Rebellion when the disc first starts playing before proceeding to the main menu.
There are a total of six bonus features included on the third disc. The first is "New From Viz Media," which is four screens of ads for Shonen Jump magazine and various Viz Media manga releases. "Online Features" is comprised of two screens that show you where Viz Media titles can be purchased online. "English Credits" allows you to see the credits for the English dub of the series.
"Storyboards" contains five screens of storyboards from episodes in this Naruto Shippuden box set. Unfortunately, the storyboards have white lines on a black background, and it's actually harder to see it in order to be able to tell what scene the storyboards are for. I wish there was an option to view the scene being shown in the storyboards in order to help the viewer better understand what it is that they're seeing.
"Production Art" includes 15 pages of production sketches of the characters that appear in this Naruto Shippuden set. This is exactly like the "Production Art" feature that has been seen on previous DVD boxes for Naruto and Naruto Shippuden.
The final extra is labeled as "Omake." The omake are the short pieces included after the ending credits of Naruto Shippuden; while these tend to be comedic in nature, there are also a few that are on the serious side that provide additional information about aspects of the series. This feature takes all of the omake that are included in this box set and put them together back-to-back in one continuous piece; the English dub versions of the omake are included in this feature. I still believe this feature would have been stronger if there was a menu where a viewer could choose which omake they wanted to see, or choose to see them all back-to-back. The feature as it's done on the set seems rather pointless.
If you're a fan of the Naruto franchise and want to have all of the episodes of the series on DVD, then I would recommend purchasing this box set to add to your home video collection.
I wrote this review after watching a copy of this DVD box set that I checked out through the King County Library System.
Everyone's Struggle to the Death
Moment Of Awakening
The Quietly Approaching Threat
|Under the Starry Sky|
The Old Monk's Prayer
The Next Step