We’re covering Naruto, starting this Saturday! We have all of the best moments during the week to catch you up! Believe it!
Season 12 of Naruto: Shippuden is coming to Bubbleblabber this weekend, and to warm us up, I give to you a top 10 list of the most memorable moments that have come so far. This will go up until season 12, which premieres Saturday night on Hulu. This is purely subjective, and is my opinion. So, without anymore bullshitting, here’s number 10!
10: Zabuza and Haku Take on Team 7
Naruto Episodes 6-19
For the first major arc of the series, you wouldn’t think that Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura have to go up against anything that can kill them, right? I mean, they only graduated from the Ninja Academy an episode or two ago. Well, they were supposed to only do an escort mission, until one of the members of the Legendary 7 Swordsman of the Mist shows up to ratchet this up to an S-ranked mission. Zabuza first meets Team 7, wielding his legendary sword, Kubikiribōchō. That is better known as the “Decapitating Carving Knife.”
Fighting Zabuza will do that, considering he can do this:
That’s a water dragon he summoned, fighting a water dragon Kakashi copied. This was before the actual fight we mention, because the real star of the fight, Haku, was off waiting for her moment to snatch up Zabuza after the first scuffle. But him and his ice mirrors come in full effect on the bridge.
The ice mirrors act as a barrier to keep Naruto and Sasuke away from Kakashi so Zabuza can fight one on one. That doesn’t last too long, because after the apparent death of Sasuke after he awakens his Sharingan eyes, Naruto is enveloped in what will be known as the Fox Demon Cloak. So, right there, you have the Demon Fox chakra taking over Naruto, and Sasuke awakening his Sharingan. Both of these are the defining traits to the respective characters, and can define this arc as the true introduction of the series.
It also shows the Game of Thrones tendencies that Masashi Kishimoto loves to show his characters. After Naruto turns the tides, Haku tries to flee. Just as Haku shields Zabuza from Kakashi’s Chidori, Zabuza feels the burn of the death of his friend. Gato, the local lord who hired Zabuza to stop the bridge from getting built, shows up, and treats the fallen Haku like a dog. That enrages Zabuza, who can’t even fight with his arms anymore. So, that means he gets a kunai in his mouth, and he goes to town on the gangsters. In the end, he validated his life, and his friendship with Haku.
Like I said before, this arc is the true introduction to the series, only because everyone gets their roles defined rather quickly. Naruto gets his demon chakra, Sasuke gets his Sharingan, Sakura is useless, and Kakashi is so badass he covers for Sakura. We also get how deep a character can be with only a 13 episode window to showcase. If we get this deep with only 13 episodes, imagine close to 300. Oh wait, that’s number nine.
9: The Death of Jiraiya
Naruto Shippuden Episodes 127-133
This man has been the surrogate father of Naruto ever since he took over Naruto’s training between the Forest of Death and the Chunin Exam finals. Hell, Jiraiya taught Naruto the one ability his father couldn’t even master fully, the Rasengan. Because of that, Naruto has a Rasengan for every possible scenario, combines it with his senjutsu, wind chakra, and then some. They have been through so much: the 80 episodes of filler, all of the training between series, Itachi, and Orochimaru trying to destroy the village. There was no one better for Naruto to look up to than Jiraiya. He is one of the three legendary ninja, along with Orochimaru and Tsunade, and trained the Fourth Hokage. That man happens to be Naruto’s father. And then everything happened when Pain got involved.
The creator, Masashi Kishimoto, has made Shippuden worse than Game of Thrones. That is in the sense that every character you ever develop a connection to or feelings for will die in the worst way possible. Look at this picture! Everyone you love dies!
This didn’t seem entirely helpless, though. It started out fairly good for Jiraiya. He travels to Amegakure, to infiltrate Pain’s hideout and figure out who or what he actually is. He comes up against two people claiming to be Paths of Pain, who have different abilities, but all have the same eyes as a kid he trained, and the hair color of another. Those eyes are the Rinnegan, and they belong to Nagato. These are the strongest eyes, even stronger than the Uchiha’s Sharingan and the Hyuga’s Byakugan. The trademark orange hair belongs to Yahiko. It starts with a flashback to when Jiraiya starts training Yahiko, Nagato, and Konan. He works his way into an opening where he gets a nice case of shit-whipped, because all of the Paths of Pain show up, including what Jiraiya mistook for the actual Pain. There was a grown up Yahiko, who turned out to be dead, and only animated to serve as the the main Path.
Well, after getting nowhere with the fight, the Pains decimate Jiraiya, crushing his throat, and making him into a chakra rod pin cushion. Luckily, before he dies, he sends a coded message on the back of Fukasaku, the chief toad sage from Mt. Myoboku. Just as Fukasaku gets out, the Pains finally deliver the death blow to Jiraiya, who falls into the depths of Amegakure.
This small chain of episodes just ripped my soul out the first time I read it, let alone watch it. I liken Jiraiya’s death to Opie’s murder in Sons of Anarchy or Ned Stark’s beheading in Game of Thrones, because it’s so shocking when you first see it. And, just like those episodes, I have trouble watching them, because those feels I have for the characters still run deep. If there’s one thing this show does well, it’s making you feel for different characters not named Naruto, and this is the proof right here.
That’s all for now. Check back tomorrow for numbers eight and seven, and don’t forget to comment your favorite moments from the show as well!