These episodes of Naruto Shippuden
continue the "Konoha's Legacy" story arc, which originally ran during the seventh and eighth broadcast seasons in Japan. The short adventures mix material from Masashi Kishimoto's manga with original anime content to reveal how Naruto Uzumaki influenced the people around him, going back to the original Naruto
series. Inari, a young carpenter helping to rebuild the Hidden Leaf Village after Nagato's attacks, recalls how Naruto's example and his late father's training gave him the strength to fight the gang of two-bit thugs who threatened his village. His testimonial reduces ramen-slurping bad boy Naruto to a blubbering heap of sentimentality. Many of the stories have a small but powerful emotional core: Naruto realizes he could never grasp the pain Sasuke experienced when his family was murdered, and resolves to communicate his greater understanding at their next meeting. But the episodes also feature the rollicking silliness fans expect from Naruto
. In "Ah, Medicinal Pill of Youth," Naruto sets out to find the rare flower Guy-sensei needs to make medicine for Rock Lee, so he dresses up in the green suit "Bushy Brow" usually sports. Naruto and his cohorts have to face a variety of "ninja animals," including a bad-tempered ostrich who bedevils Naruto and a boxing kangaroo who squares off against Rock Lee. Obtaining the paw print of the boss of the "ninja cat underworld" requires Sasuke, Sakura, and Naruto to don kawaii
cat ears and speak in meows. Episodes 187 and 188, which recount an early mission with "Pervy Sage" Jiraiya, were originally shown as an hour-long special. Naruto may be a self-proclaimed knucklehead, but as these episodes prove, his dedication to his friends never falters, which explains why he has so many friends and admirers--on and off the screen. (Rated T+ Older Teen, but suitable for ages 12 and older: violence, violence against women, minor risqué humor, grotesque imagery, alcohol and tobacco use) --Charles Solomon
(180. Inari's Tested Courage, 181. Naruto's School of Revenge, 182. Gaara "Bonds," 183. Naruto Outbreak, 184. Set Out! Team Tenten, 185. Animal No Man's Land, 186. Ah, Medicinal Pill of Youth, 187. Gutsy Master and Student: The Training, 188. Record of the Ninja Gutsy Master and Student, 189. Sasuke's Paw Encyclopedia, 190. Naruto and the Old Soldier, 191. Kakashi Love Song, 192. Neji Chronicles)
After Pain's attack, the Leaf Ninja set about rebuilding their village. Naruto and Sakura are thrilled to be reunited with Tazuna and his grandson Inari from the Land of Waves, who have come to help. While the restoration proceeds, the Leaf Ninja and their friends reflect on past events that influenced the village and helped gain allies like the Sand. Plus, we get a glimpse back into Naruto's training journey with Jiraiya, and join the original Team 7 on a mission when Sasuke was still with them!