Anime DVD Review: Naruto Uncut Season One Box Set Volume 1

Naruto Uncut Season One Box Set Volume 1 is a six DVD set that contains the first 25 episodes of the Naruto anime series. The first disc contains five episodes, the second disc contains four episodes, the third disc contains four episodes and bonus features, the fourth and fifth discs contain four episodes, and the sixth disc contains four episodes and bonus features.

As one would expect, Naruto Uncut Season One Box Set Volume 1 begins at the beginning of the series, when the character of Naruto Uzumaki is introduced becomes a member of Squad 7 with Sakura Haruno and Sasuke Uchiha. The majority of this set, however, focuses on the Land of Waves arc, when Squad 7 is sent on a mission to escort the bridge builder named Tazuna. However, the mission becomes more than just a simple escort after it’s learned that Tazuna withheld important information in order to keep the cost of the mission down.

When I first saw the early episodes of the series, I liked the first few episodes that established Naruto and Squad 7. However, at the time, I thought the Land of Waves arc was stretched out too long, went on for too long, and dragged on. However, when I re-watched the Land of Waves arc after seeing the Dragon Ball Z television anime series, I realized that the Land of Waves arc was nowhere near as long or drawn out as I had originally thought.

The final six episodes in this set begin the Chunin Exam arc. The Chunin Exam is a test and competition of the Genin from several villages; at the end of the exam, the ninja who are deemed worthy enough are promoted from the Genin rank to the Chunin rank.

This is the arc in the storyline that really expands the world of that the Naruto series takes place in, and it also expands on the number of characters for the series. Many of the characters introduced during this arc are important characters later in the story. This set ends with the first exam, which is the written portion of the Chunin exam. The Chunin Exam arc is what ultimately sold me on the Naruto anime series.

When it comes to the actual DVD box set release, it becomes readily apparent when you open the box that this is a “bare bones” release; there are no booklets or inserts included in the set. When it comes to the actual discs themselves, they are basically the discs from Naruto Uncut Box Set 1 and Naruto Uncut Box Set 2, with minor changes made to the bonus features included on discs three and six.

The first bonus feature on the third disc is labeled as “Production Art,” which consists of model sketches of some of the Naruto characters. The next feature is a preview for Naruto Shippuden. This is followed by “From Sketch to Screen Episode 1,” which is eight pages of storyboards; for each storyboard, you can choose to see the clip that the storyboard is for.

In the extras, you can also see the English credits, trailers for other releases that Viz Media was promoting at the time this DVD box set was released, as well as promotion for Shonen Jump magazine and various manga titles released by Viz.

The first bonus feature on the sixth disc is “Production Art,” which includes more model sketches of some of the Naruto characters. The next feature is the exact same preview for Naruto Shippuden that appears on the third disc. After that is “From Sketch to Screen Episode 22.” Like the “From Sketch to Screen” on the third disc, this feature has eight pages of storyboards, and you can choose to see the clip that the storyboard is for. The remaining extras are exactly the same as what appeared on disc three of this set.

When it comes to the bonus features on the two discs in this set that include bonus features, they’re what I’ve come to expect from Viz Media’s releases. While they may not be anything terribly unique or interesting, at least this release has bonus features. And since Naruto Uncut Season One Box Set Volume 1 is essentially the repackaging of two previously released DVD box sets, I really wouldn’t have expected Viz to go to much effort for the bonus features.

If you enjoy the Naruto series and haven’t already bought the original Naruto Uncut box sets, then this would be worth your money to consider purchasing. You get double the amount of content of the original sets, but pay about the same amount as you would have for one of those original sets. However, if you do purchase this set, just be warned that Viz Media didn’t go to a lot of effort when combining the first two Naruto Uncut box sets together to make this set.

I wrote this review after watching a copy of the Naruto Uncut Season One Box Set Volume 1 box set that I purchased.

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