Naruto Shippuden
Episode 473

by Amy McNulty,

How would you rate episode 473 of
Naruto Shippūden ?

It's been a veeery long time coming, but it looks like we're finally in the homestretch of Naruto's tale. Although there's undoubtedly more filler in the pipeline, the producers have mercifully decided to wrap up the Kaguya fight (probably) before bombarding us with more anime-original content. It may not sound like much, but by modern Naruto standards, this is quite the accomplishment.

Despite the obvious handicap of being dead, Obito is able to use chakra to contact Kakashi from the hereafter and imbue him with dual Sharingans that have a limited shelf life. This enables Team 7's laidback leader to summon a Kamui-infused Susano'o and aid his former students in their ongoing battle with Kaguya, who uses the Root Time-Space to steal chakra from the people currently imprisoned in the Infinite Tsukuyomi. Fortunately, a crafty shadow clone fake-out enables Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura to get the drop on her and (hopefully) commence the Six Paths Planetary Construction.

To its credit, this week's episode doesn't spend too much time harping on Obito's passing. Last week's post-credits preview created the impression that this latest installment would be another unwanted Obito love fest. Seeing as Obito hasn't experienced anything approaching happiness since childhood, he and Kakashi assuming their 12-year-old appearances in their final exchange was a nice touch. I kept expecting the show to roll out another Obito-laden flashback, but in my defense, I've basically been conditioned to expect that.

Kakashi and Sakura, who have largely served as onlookers until this point, playing a pivotal role in Kaguya's downfall helps illustrate that Naruto and Sasuke can't do it all alone. With the focus consistently being placed on world-building and secondary characters, it's been a while since Team 7 worked together like this. The show's world has expanded exponentially since its inception, and this episode does a decent job of taking things back to basics despite the stakes being higher than ever. Still, it's a little jarring to see the famed Copy Ninja Kakashi be outdone by every one of his students.

Animation-wise, this is one of the show's less impressive efforts from recent memory—which is a shame, since the majority of the episode is devoted to combat. All things considered, this is a solidly mid-range episode as far as movement and visuals go, but I'm disappointed that Kaguya's penultimate outing didn't warrant a little more effort on those fronts.

As the least meandering episode in weeks, the latest Naruto Shippūden moves the story along at a brisk pace. Unfortunately, as is often the case, some of the action sequences and techniques are more complex than they need to be, and certain scenes are difficult to follow as a result. Minor flaws aside, episode 473 almost brings the Kaguya fight to a close—and that alone is cause for celebration. Odds are we'll be back in Filler Land in a few weeks, but until then, let's all bask in the Rabbit Goddess' forthcoming demise.

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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