Naruto Shippuden
Episode 466

by Amy McNulty,

How would you rate episode 466 of
Naruto Shippūden ?

Things continue to heat up between Ashura and Indra in this week's Naruto Shippuden. With Indra acting like an even more Sasuke-ish version of Sasuke, the consequences of naming him Ninshu's successor are becoming increasingly apparent to Hagoromo. A while back, we were given a bare-bones rundown of what transpired during this time period, but this detailed account of how things went down is interesting, if slightly underwhelming. The anime-original story elements introduced thus far have done a decent job of fleshing out the Otsutsuki family's history.

Now that's Indra's gone into full-on “uptight jerk” mode and taken it upon himself to start enforcing laws on the village's populace, Hagoromo decides that making him his successor might not be the wisest course of action. This prompts the Sage to organize a competition between his sons whereby each young man must travel to an area ravaged by Hagoromo and Hamura's battle with Kaguya and set things right. After seeing how the boys fare in the outside world, their father will decide which one is better suited to carrying on his work. Indra seems surprisingly cool with this arrangement, although his brother's clearly-stated lack of interest in becoming the successor probably contributes to Indra's complacency. After bidding farewell to Indra, Ashura, with wacky sidekick Taizo in tow, makes his way to the farming village where his father and uncle lived with their mother. Upon their arrival, the duo discovers that a mysterious illness—one that's immune to Ashura's supernatural healing powers—is sweeping the village. In all likelihood, the Divine Tree is to blame.

The parallels between Ashura & Indra and Naruto & Sasuke (and even Hagoromo & Hamura, to a lesser extent) are clearer than ever this week. Despite exhibiting an enviable mastery of chakra, Indra is almost completely devoid of empathy. On the flip side, the decidedly less skilled Ashura wears his heart on his sleeve. (Like Naruto, his hand seal-weaving skills leave much to be desired.) As their father explained to Naruto many episodes ago, the boys' diametrically opposed personalities will give way to an epic conflict in the near future. Indra would certainly throw down against his brother without a second thought, but I'm interested to learn what inspires the laidback pacifist Ashura to answer the call of battle.

By filler standards, this week's installment is entertaining enough, but it's essentially a set-up episode. Even though nothing major is accomplished, we're left with the distinct impression that big things are on the horizon. We know that the boys will eventually engage in a large-scale smack-down, but the Sage left the circumstances surrounding the battle fairly vague, giving the anime staff plenty of room to fill in the blanks. With any luck, this will turn out better than the show's previous attempts at enriching the manga's canon. As things stand, I'm genuinely curious to see what next week's episode holds in store—that's a sentiment this show's filler offerings seldom merit.

Rating: B-

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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