The answer is sadly no, I feel it wasn’t quite up to the extraordinarily high standards of the previous episode, though that is by no means a slight on this week’s offering. This episode by normal Shippuden standards I would rate as excellent, it is indeed another great episode for the Anime and one you should make a point of watching.
As for the actual episode content, it picks up from last week with Naruto still trying to contain the massive power that is the Nine Tailed Fox, while also still in the company of his mother Kushina. Early on in the episode, with help from Kushina and her special Chakra chains, Naruto manages to defeat the Kyuubi by entering Sage Mode and smashing it with a barrage of Giant Rasengens as well as a Rasenshuriken. In doing so, Naruto is able to claim the Kyuubi’s power without the hatred that comes with it, and thus (as you can see in the above picture) takes on a new form before he seals the Kyuubi again, apologising at the same time and telling the Kyuubi it just has to wait.
After that is done, we go back to Kushina and Naruto talking. Kushina hits Naruto with the surprising news that she too was once the Kyuubi Jinchuriki, telling him that she had been brought to Konoha from a different village solely for that reason. Naruto is obviously surprised and also angry and questions why it couldn’t have been someone from Konoha, so Kushina explains that the people from her village were known for their powerful Chakra and stamina, as well as their mastery of sealing jutsu, and that the very first Kyuubi Jinchuruki – Mito Uzumaki – was also from the same village and was the wife of the first Hokage – Hashirama Senju. The Uzumaki clan from the village are revealed to be distant relatives of the Senju clan from Konoha, and their alliance is still shown to this day by the symbol on the Konoha vests etc.
Years later when Mito’s life was coming to an end, Kushina was chosen to be the next host due to her special Chakra that stood out even amongst her village. Kushina tells Naruto about how Mito told her that even as a Jinchuriki you can be happy as long as you fill yourself with love, with Naruto crying tears of joy upon hearing this. Kushina then realises that Minato must not have had time to explain all the events of 16 years ago with the attack on Konoha by the Kyuubi and Madara. Naruto says Minato mentioned a masked man from Akatsuki attacking the village, but that’s all he knew.
Kushina then goes on to explain that Madara stole the Kyuubi from her when he used it to attack the village, when Naruto asks how he could do it, she tells him that he did so by striking at the moment the seal is weakest in a Jinchuriki – during childbirth. Despite taking many precautions such as keeping the whole thing secret from the other villagers, hiding outside the village during the birth and inside a barrier, as well as having ANBU Black Ops as guards, we get to see Madara standing outside the cave she was giving birth in next to the body of a member of ANBU he had just killed, but then unfortunately the episode ended.
That’s what I found a little disappointing, the episode seemed to end a little abruptly for my liking. The majority of the episode was taken up by Kushina explaining to Naruto about how she became a Jinchuriki herself and about her village – which is fine – but then at the end it was left with little time for anything else. Next week we will get to see Madara’s actions in full most likely, so that’s definitely something to look forward to. However, I would feel bad if someone were to make the mistake of thinking this is a bad episode after reading this review, as the episode in itself was fantastic. After last week I admittedly went in to this episode with unfair expectations, so even though everything was yet again done well and put together brilliantly, it was always going to have a hard time of living up to what I expected. This of course was entirely my fault, and as I said previously, by normal standards this is a fantastic episode. So overall, this was yet another great week for fans of the Naruto Anime with some important things being revealed while at the same time keeping a lot of charm from the previous episode, mostly due to the wonderful chemistry between Minato and Kushina.