Throughout most of my anime-watching career, I’ve always been plagued by my Naruto nostalgia, the piece that got me involved in the diverse medium of anime. After reading The Wave Country Arc in slightly over a day around 5 years ago, I still haven’t been able to forget this part of the story, since it contained the battle which started it all. So in this episode, I will be dissecting possibly one of my favourite arcs in the battle-shounen genre, looking at why the arc is so competent structurally, the emergence of the power system, the endless pursuit of power in the shinobi world and more. On the side I discuss The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.: Reawakened (2019) and my experience with Masaaki Yuasa’s latest film, Ride Your Wave (2019).
I will be making an appearance on the podcast, Build Casters (@BuildCasters) next week to discuss Hoshi no Koe (2002)! Be sure to tune in – it’s a really good mecha discussion podcast that I would highly recommend.
THERE ARE SPOILERS IN THIS EPISODE AND THE SHOW NOTES:
Thanks for reading the show notes.
Special Announcement: I will be making an appearance on the podcast, Build Casters (@BuildCasters) next week to discuss Hoshi no Koe (2002)! Be sure to tune in – it’s a really good mecha discussion podcast that I would highly recommend.
Also, concerning this episode, I just wanted to make something slightly different and that will probably be the case for the next few episodes. Arc analyses are still my primary focus (there will be one next week on a show I don’t discuss prolifically yet), but I wanted to challenge myself by striving to make some ‘more researched’ content on these two shows that I have some things I wish to share with you guys. It’s more of a creative decision if anything, but just don’t be worried! Have fun with the show this week – hopefully you feel as nostalgic as I do.
Plot Summary: Team 7, guided by Kakashi Hatake embark on their first mission! (You probably know the drill by now, but for those who aren’t familiar with Naruto by now, I shall continue). The team are assigned to help a bridge builder, Tazuna and his grandson Inari, return to the Wave Country (Land of Waves). The problem is that the shipping magnate, Gatō, has taken over the ports where they live and has even hired shinobi, Haku and Zabuza to stop anybody from undoing this action.
Pursuing Power: The arc reflects Naruto & Sasuke’s twisted system of interdependence and the pursuit of power / dominance that characters, nations, etc. go through within the shinobi world. Furthermore, the power system emerges as an enigma, which creates an exciting first fight while introducing us to the fundamental concepts of the narrative.
Blurred Lines: I feel as if Zabuza and Haku teach us about the futility of the ‘sides’ within the shinobi world. What makes one side an antagonist to another? In this case, material items. In the end, their deaths reveal that they are only just people and nothing more. In the process they became caught up in the blurry pursuit for power and dominance, which many have fallen victim to.
MUSIC IN THIS PRODUCTION:
Sunny Side Up by Alex McCulloch
Intensity Buffer (Guitar) by Alex McCulloch
Difference by chasersgaming
Go Lucky by chasersgaming
Mandatory Overtime by Joth
8-Bit Title Screen by Joth
Prologue – Land of Waves (Naruto Wiki)
Gatō (Naruto Wiki)
Naruto (Anime) (MyAnimeList)
Naruto (Manga) (MyAnimeList)