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DVD Review: Naruto Vol. 13 The Uncut Box Set Special Edition

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The adventures (and misadventures) of ninja-in-training Naruto continue with Naruto Volume 13: The Uncut Box Set Special Edition. While this series tends to follow most of the typical shonen (for boys) archetypes and plot lines, it's an exciting and fun thrill ride through the world of a young boy and his friends learning various types of "ninjitseou" to become the best ninjas out there.

The episodes included in this set are primarily episodic with a decent amount of infamous "filler" that detracts from the overall plot arc because the anime is waiting for new editions of the manga to come out. In this set, Naruto and his team complete their mission in the Land of Birds — but soon find out the true agenda of their client and must stop him. After this, there's an absolutely hilarious interlude at the local ramen restaurant, where the viewers learn about the art behind making the perfect ninja food. Finally, there is the beginning of Naruto's mission with Shino, Ino and the Jonin Anko as they solve the mystery of ship attacks off the coast.

Despite all of the "filler" in these episodes, they are incredibly funny and entertaining episodes filled with amazing action and top-notch character development that'll make views want to run off and become ninjas. While this series seems to have trouble appealing to older audiences, the uncut version does a considerably better job of this while still staying true to the anime's intended audience. Naruto does a particularly good job of balancing action and character emotions with well-timed and amply utilized humor.

This Three-disc Special Edition boxed set includes a mini-pack of Naruto cards and one of six limited edition collectible "mininja" figurines. The episodes in this set are 164–177. Viewers also have the option of watching the English dub or the original Japanese version with English subtitles.

Anime purists will fall all over the Japanese version with English subs, while younger, more casual fans will enjoy the English dub. The English voice cast does a decent job with the material, even though Naruto manages to sound like a smoker. The Japanese version is better, but may be a shock to fans who just aren't familiar with the original Japanese or are uncomfortable with reading subtitles.

This version of Naruto is uncut, it is not that different from the version aired on Cartoon Network, but it definitely includes more violence and packs a considerably stronger punch. This version of the anime is much closer to what the original creators intended and tends to have stronger emotion and greater character depth. The set is definitely a must-have for fans of the series.

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