The Naruto Uncut Season Four Box Set Volume 1 box set is a six DVD set that contains episodes 164 through 191 of the Naruto anime series. The first disc contains four episodes, the second disc contains five episodes, the third disc contains five episodes and bonus features, the fourth disc contains four episodes, the fifth disc contains five episodes, and the sixth disc contains five episodes and bonus features.
This set begins with Naruto, Neji, and Tenten being sent on a mission to the Land of Birds to investigate a ghost known as “The Cursed Warrior” that’s terrorizing the people. While this is a “filler” story and doesn’t truly advance the overall plot, I kind of liked this storyline; to me, it ranks up there as one of the better filler stories to appear in the first Naruto television series.
There’s a five-episode arc that sees Anko, Naruto, Shino, and Ino being sent to the land of the sea to investigate an ocean demon. This particular storyline provides some backstory about Anko and her time training with Orochimaru. While the main part of the story really isn’t terribly important, these episodes are worth seeing to get a glimpse into Anko’s character.
The only other story arc worth much of anything sees Neji, Rock Lee, Tenten, and Naruto going on a mission to the Land of Greens to protect a star belonging to the Hidden Village of Star. While the main character that is introduced in these episodes is never seen again, his backstory is kind of riveting; this makes this particular filler story more interesting than a number of the filler stories that appeared in this portion of the series.
There’s also a story arc about Naruto, Choji, and Hinata helping peddlers move out of the Land of Greens. Unbeknownst to the peddlers and the Genin, there is someone in their midst who is more than what they seem; unfortunately, this person is being pursued. While it’s a longer story arc, I didn’t like this one as much as some of the longer arcs that appear in this set; this is probably due in large part to the fact that the person who is hiding their identity comes off as rather unlikable for most of the story arc.
The rest of the episodes are either stand-alone stories or are two episodes long: coming up with an ultimate ramen recipe, Naruto babysitting a rich brat, Naruto and some of the other Genin going on a treasure hunt, Naruto and Jiraiya trying to get something back that was accidentally mailed out, Akamaru being infected with a biological weapon, Naruto becoming a “mother” to a creature called an Onbaa, and Naruto and Shino helping a chief mourner so he can receive his inheritance. Of these stories, the only one that’s really worth much is the one about Akamaru being infected with a biological weapon; this episode gives Kiba a chance to be in the spotlight and gives the viewer a chance to see Kiba’s relationship with his trusted companion.
This DVD set is just like the previous six boxes; it’s a “bare bones” release, and there are no booklets or inserts included in the box. When it comes to the actual discs included in this set, they are exactly the same as the discs that were released in the Naruto Uncut Box Set 13 and Naruto Uncut Box Set 14 box sets.
The first bonus feature on the third disc is labeled as “Production Art,” which consists of 15 pages of model sketches for some of the Naruto characters. There is a sneak preview of Naruto Uncut Box Set 14, which runs for four minutes. Next is “From Sketch to Screen,” which contains eight pages of storyboards from episode 173; for each storyboard, you can choose to see the clip that the storyboard is for. In the “Extras” menu, you can also see the English credits, advertisements for Shonen Jump magazine and other manga titles that Viz was promoting, trailers for two releases that Viz Media was promoting, and trailers for five Naruto videogames.
The first bonus feature on the sixth disc is labeled as “Production Art,” which consists of 15 more pages of model sketches for some of the Naruto characters. There is a sneak preview of Naruto Uncut Box Set 15, which runs for four minutes. Next is “From Sketch to Screen,” which contains eight pages of storyboards from episode one 182; for each storyboard, you can choose to see the clip that the storyboard is for. In the “Extras” menu, you can also see the English credits, advertisements for Shonen Jump magazine and other manga titles that Viz Media was promoting, two trailers for releases that Viz was promoting, and trailers for five Naruto videogames.
If you enjoy Naruto and haven’t already purchased the Naruto Uncut sets, this would be an economical way to get the episodes on DVD in order to add them to your collection. You get double the amount of the content of the original sets, but you pay about the same amount as you would have for the original Naruto Uncut DVD box sets. However, if you do purchase this set, just be aware that this is simply a repackaging of Naruto Uncut Box Set 13 and Naruto Uncut Box Set 14; all Viz Media really did to change the discs was to make minor changes to the labels on the physical discs included in the set.
When it comes to the filler material in this set, it’s a mixed bag of decent filler material and filler that’s a waste of time. However, if you’re wanting to acquire all of the Naruto anime series on DVD, then you’ll need to purchase this set to help you achieve that goal.
I wrote this review after watching a copy of Naruto Uncut Season Four Box Set Volume 1 that my husband and I purchased.