Naruto Shippuden
Episode 483

by Amy McNulty,

How would you rate episode 483 of
Naruto Shippūden ?

The fourth and final installment in the Boyhood arc represents a slight improvement over last week's sparsely-animated snooze-fest, though it suffers from the same glacial pacing, choppy movement, and lack of substance. After spending the last three weeks exploring the childhoods of younger characters, Boyhood shifts the focus to Jiraiya and Kakashi, two of Naruto's most important mentor figures. These stories have a little more meat to them than last week's, but like the other segments that make up this miniseries, they don't really add much to the mythos or show us anything we don't already know.

The Jiraiya segment is comprised of three smaller segments, each of which takes place during a different period of the Pervy Sage's youth. The first finds a preteen Jiraiya attempting to peek at naked women at the public bathhouse, the second involves teenage Jiraiya enlisting Orochimaru's aid in a harebrained scheme to impress Tsunade, and the third centers on the three young adult Sannin discussing their aspirations around a campfire. Despite being the most humor-focused segment in the entire miniseries, this story's jokes are only mildly amusing at best. Most of the humor is derived from Jiraiya's perviness, and that comedy cow has been milked dry for years. The first and second mini-segments in particular are rife with lengthy setups for obvious punchlines. In keeping with Boyhood's minimalist approach to actual movement, character reactions are drawn out for far too long, and the battle the segment ends on features almost no visible action—the screen simply pans upward to a tree as the audience is left to listen to the pained grunts of the combatants.

The Kakashi portion of the episode takes place during the titular character's time at the Ninja Academy, placing him between the ages of seven and twelve. Featuring a distinctly slice-of-life feel, the segment walks us through a typical day in the adolescent Copy Ninja's life. Wishing to learn the secret of his ninja prowess, Obito and Rin decide to tail him after class, only to discover that he leads a rather humdrum existence. They are, however, surprised to learn that their mysterious classmate is a first-rate chef and housekeeper. Even though the other two thirds of Team Minato are present in this story, I'm glad the screenwriters decided to keep the focus largely on Kakashi. (I've had enough of Obito at this point.) The slow pacing also kind of works to this segment's benefit, as it nicely conveys how repetitive and lonely Kakashi's childhood was. The attempts at humor fall a little flat, particularly in the scenes featuring Guy. Like Jiraiya's lecherousness, the one-sided rivalry between Guy and Kakashi has been used as a vehicle for comedy so often that it no longer merits amusement.

On the technical front, this episode is teeming with replayed animation and still shots—some of which are from other episodes in the miniseries. Various still shots of the village, complete with the same background extras that appeared in previous episodes, can be found throughout the second segment. Apparently, the same two gossiping housewives habitually stood in the exact same spot during the respective childhoods of both Naruto and Kakashi (who are roughly 14 years apart in age)—which I could buy, if not for the fact that neither one of them has aged a day.

Although it had its strong points, I'm not particularly saddened to see the Boyhood series come to an end. Despite its expansive catalogue of anime-original content, this series rarely experiments with different tones and visual styles, so I'll give the staff credit for trying something new and temporarily turning an action-packed battle anime into a reflective slice-of-life show. The results weren't spectacular, particularly in the latter half of the arc, but since the show is continuing past its source material's end point, I can appreciate the attempt to change things up.

Rating: C+

Naruto Shippūden is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

Amy is a YA fantasy author who has loved anime for over two decades.


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