Naruto SD: Rock Lee no Seishun Full-Power Ninden Episode 3 – A Competition with the Genius Ninja, Neji / TenTen’s Must Win Battle – Review / Thoughts

April 19, 2012

Apologies for the late review of Rock Lee this week, time has been lacking a bit recently for reviews. In any case, better late than never!

This is the 3rd week of the Rock Lee spinoff Anime, and I am happy to say it has been getting better and better each week. While unfortunately the second half of this week’s offering was only average, the first half / story was actually really funny. If they only made it an 11 minute episode per week, it truly would turn out amazing most likely.

The first story was all about Rock Lee’s rivalry with Neji. Of course as fans of the original Naruto series will know, they have had a long rivalry and Lee has always come up short in his efforts to beat the genius Neji. In this episode Lee gets annoyed by how everyone talks about how amazing and cool Neji is, while he gets no attention himself. Lee gets annoyed to the point where he eventually challenges Neji to a fight in one weeks’ time, which Neji accepts.

The episode consists of Lee trying to get stronger in the space of a week so that he can beat Neji, and it’s pretty hilarious. Before his challenge with Neji even came about, initially Lee was just seeing Neji and comparing himself to his standards (and Naruto was soon involved with helping Lee once he saw Sakura was also impressed by Neji). One of the things Lee does is tell TenTen that he also has Byakugan, so he lowers his head and closes his eyes, and when he looks back up at her he has tape on his eyelids that makes him look really silly, shocking TenTen who thinks Lee is being an idiot. When Naruto first sees Lee looking that way, he doesn’t even recognise who it is, as TenTen can’t believe anyone could be so dense.

The really funny parts were a bit later, including Lee saying he was even less of a man than Neji since he wore briefs while Neji wore boxers. And shortly after that, Lee, Naruto and Neji were all using some urinals, and Lee and Naruto come out and sit hunched over acting depressed. They then bemoan the fact that they are smaller than Neji, and “that it’s just one more gift god has bestowed upon him”! I swear I am not kidding, they actually did that and it was hilarious.

There were just plenty of really funny moments like that in the episode, and there are of course more moments that I haven’t mentioned which are almost if not just as funny that you can see for yourself if you watch it.

The second half is about TenTen trying to get Lee and Neji to act more like gentlemen around her, as currently they kept doing things like stripping down to their underwear in front of her and letting her fight the enemies by herself instead of protecting her. TenTen gets angry and whacks them both a few times throughout the episode as they misunderstand what she means about acting more like gentlemen, and there are a few humourus moments where Lee and Neji go over the top in trying to change their ways, including basically waiting hand and foot on TenTen for a while and wearing fancy white suits.

After numerous failed attempts, Lee and Neji realise things aren’t working, so instead they dress TenTen up as a boy saying things will be easier that way. TenTen first of all agrees before she realises what she’s saying, and then of course ends up whacking them both again and calling them idiots. In the end it just ends up with TenTen realising that she doesn’t want or need any special attention just because she’s a girl, and that she was happy with things the way they were before.

As I said, the first half was really good, I found myself laughing throughout the whole episode. Sure it’s pretty immature stuff most of the time, but who cares?  This Anime is supposed to be silly like that to get laughs, and anyone who is watching expecting anything different are just deluding themselves. As long as a comedy series is funny, I for one don’t care how it makes me laugh, as long as it does make me laugh, which Rock Lee does.

The second half was pretty average though. While there were a few laughs, they were pretty few and far between sadly. So far Rock Lee seems to always be like that, with one half standing out as much better than the other, and that’s what leads me to believe that maybe it would have been better as an 11 minute episode per week rather than splitting it up in to two stories. That said, since the show has been steadily improving each week, I do have faith that a bit further down the line we may start seeing the whole 22/23 minutes become entertaining.

Rock Lee has really impressed me, as I will admit I wasn’t expecting much from the series to begin with, but it is a really fun show to watch and gives me a good laugh most of the time. Rock Lee’s Anime has really been growing on me, and I can see myself beginning to look forward to it more and more each week. Hopefully this trend can continue, and if it does, then it will certainly be a series I will recommend to someone who is looking for a good comedy.


Naruto SD: Rock Lee no Seishun Full-Power Ninden Episode 2 – Love is a Part of the Springtime of Youth / Love Makes Both People do Crazy Things – Review / Thoughts

April 10, 2012

So in to week 2 of Rock Lee’s new Anime, and once again it was very much a tale of two halves, although this was still overall better than the previous episode in any case.

There were some genuinely hilarious moments this week which I am happy to say, including the best part of the entire episode(s) with Rock Lee repeatedly whacking Sakura as he was trying to aim for some Bees that were buzzing around and trying to attack her. The whole theme this week was involving Rock Lee’s love for Sakura and him trying to get her attention and go on a date with him.

Rock Lee firstly jumps out in front of Sakura and asks if she wants to go out on a date with him, which of course she turns down. Lee is crestfallen, while TenTen tells him he really must not know how girls really feel if that was the way he approached someone for a date.

Upon hearing it, we then go in to a skit where yet again Neji is a girl, and he is with both TenTen and Lee. Lee asks what TenTen thinks makes a guy cool, and so she says a few things like being kind, being honest about their feelings, and giving her presents etc. When the skit is finished, Lee decides to try out TenTen’s ideas on Sakura. Firstly he notices Sakura about to sit on a bench that is a little dirty, so he jumps out from behind the bushes and starts cleaning it super fast. Sakura thinks to herself that Lee must really love cleaning which I found pretty funny, as well as laughing at Lee with him thinking that the cleaning was a great chance to give his arms a workout.

Lee then comes back shortly after and presents Sakura with a bunch of flowers, only for a bunch of Bees to emerge and start buzzing around Sakura. Lee is surprised, but then tells her not to worry and begins trying to hit them all with supposedly precision accuracy, although in truth all his punches instead hit Sakura in the face. Knowing that things are a disaster, he then quickly moved on to the last point, that being confessing his true feelings. He tells Sakura that there is something he has to say to her, but that finding the words is hard. Sakura looks at Lee expectantly for what he will say next, but then another Bee appears and stings Lee just as he is about to say it, causing him to call the Bee a beast, only for Sakura to think he was talking about her and so proceeds to punch him.

The second half was all about Rock Lee writing a love letter to Sakura, only to notice that a different letter was sticking out of her handbag with no sign of his. Lee is obviously upset about it, and when Naruto walks along, he tells him about the different love letter she has. Naruto is annoyed too as he thinks it’s another rival to himself for Sakura’s love, and the whole episode is based around Lee and Naruto trying to retrieve the letter from Sakura’s bag so they can destroy it before she reads it.

Of course then they both go through with loads of silly ideas and schemes to try and get the letter with little success, the highlight of which involves them pretending they were officials checking the contents of various ninja’s bags since they had to make sure ninja tools etc weren’t being misused. Then they find what they think are a pair of Sakura’s black panties, and you can probably guess their reaction to this haha. Anyway, in the end the bag ends up being sent flying through the air and all the contents coming out, so Lee and Naruto both grab a love letter each and tear them to shreds, only to find out that they had both destroyed each other’s letter to her, as the other one was Naruto’s all along.

As I said at the start, this was a definite improvement over last week’s episode. The first half was actually pretty damn funny, and while the second half wasn’t great, it was still ok with the odd amusing moment in. I think Rock Lee is just finding its’ feet at the moment, and so will probably continue to improve with each episode. I was really glad to see Sakura involved this time as her antics with Lee were always good for a laugh even in the main Naruto series. Most confusing is why yet again they had a skit where Neji was a girl, even he commented on the fact he doesn’t know why he is doing it haha.

But yeah, the series continues to be really silly and goofy, but definitely in a good way. It’s starting to succeed at being a really fun comedy series, and to be honest I really enjoyed this episode. I definitely think that if it can keep getting gradually better each week like it has so far, it could be a really nice series for fans of Naruto or Rock Lee in general.


Naruto SD: Rock Lee no Seishun Full-Power Ninden Episode 1 – Rock Lee is a Ninja Who Can’t Use Ninjutsu / Rock Lee’s Rival is Naruto – Review / Thoughts

April 3, 2012

I’ve had a few requests to review this new Rock Lee Anime,  and with the first episode out today I thought I might as well give it a try and at least see what it’s like. So, aside from very long episode titles, what else is there to expect from Rock Lee and His Ninja Pals?

Well as you probably guessed, it is very silly.  All the characters are in chibi form, and it is very light hearted from start to finish as expected. It lasts 23 minutes, but is split in to two different stories. The first one was about Rock Lee helping someone who was getting hassle from some loan sharks, while the second half was about Rock Lee and Naruto having a competition to try and get the last voucher for a special delicacy food for an old woman who requested it as part of a mission.

I definitely enjoyed the second story more, as adding a more recognisable figure like Naruto rather than some generic one-off character made it more fun, at least early on anyway. Now don’t get me wrong, I definitely don’t want the whole show focused around someone like Naruto or Sasuke, that’s what the main show is for, but if used every now and then it will probably work better.

It also didn’t help the first episode that most of the jokes / humour were based around Rock Lee either standing in (or just narrowly avoiding standing in) some golden poo. Yes, you read that right, golden poo. Maybe the first time you could have a little chuckle or raised a smile, but it was very overused to the point you’re just wondering why it keeps happening. There were a couple of funny moments, but it was far too repetitive.

The second half was a definite improvement as I said. The addition of Naruto really helped, as then Lee had someone else acting silly to bounce off of instead of just being silly and crazy by himself. The two standout moments being the way Rock Lee was supposedly training, while he was just literally wrapping his whole body round a stump and spinning around (I can’t explain it well, but think Orochimaru slivering and coiling about in his snake form and you get the picture). The other being the little skit with Rock Lee acting as the mother of Neji – who is a girl in it and his daughter – and TenTen, who is Rock Lee’s baby daughter (as you can see in the pic at the top).

Of course it didn’t make any sense, but it was genuinely funny and stood out as the best moment in the 23 minute show. One other thing I want to mention is, despite this supposedly being about Rock Lee becoming the star, in actual fact I found both Neji and TenTen to be far better and more amusing. Neji especially was funny with his reactions to Rock Lee’s antics, and I am definitely hoping this continues as the series progresses.

Overall I have mixed views over the show so far. At times it falls flat, while later in the same episode you can get a laugh or two (usually from Neji or TenTen as I said). I don’t really know how it will turn out in the end, as this type of show doesn’t really lend itself to being stretched out over a lot of episodes or as full episodes for that matter, though fortunately they did have the sense to split the 23 minutes in to two seperate episodes (if you will).

I will definitely be giving the show another chance next week before I can make a fair and honest judgement of it, but I do hope it steps up its’ game a bit. If you’re unsure whether to watch this or not, I say you might as well give it a try as it’s not offensively bad or anything, and it does seem like a fun way to spend 23 minutes even if only for Neji and TenTen.


Bleach Anime Cancelled in March

February 23, 2012

Some more bad news for fans of Tite Kubo’s popular series Bleach – in March the Anime series is being cancelled.

Bleach will be ending on the 27th March, with its timeslot being filled by the Naruto spinoff featuring Rock Lee.

“A recent television program listing in Japan reports that the Bleach television anime series will end its run in TV Tokyo‘s 6:00 p.m. Tuesday timeslot on March 27. When a Twitter follower of Bleach animation director Hiroki Takagi sent him an image of the listings, Takagi responded by saying, “So quick. I was going to paste it… /(^o^)\”

Shueisha, the publisher of Tite Kubo‘s original manga, had already announced that the weekly Naruto SD: Rock Lee no Seishun Full-Power Ninden anime will premiere on TV Tokyo on Tuesday, April 3 at 6:00 p.m.”

With Kubo already confirming this to be the final arc in the Manga and now the Anime being cancelled, 2012 has seen a very bad start to the year for fans of the Bleach series.

*Credit to Anime News Network for the info*

 

*Please visit Tokyo Shonen , my current site where I review weekly chapters and episodes of Naruto and Bleach*