A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this compelling anime series about the adventures of a teenage apprentice ninja and his friends picks up two years after the popular Naruto series left off. There’s plenty of action, though it’s not excessive, and some episodes have no fight scenes at all. Nor is there any swearing or drinking, and the few hints of romance are quite tame. That said, the story is complex and heavily dependent on the previous series, making it tough for new viewers to catch on to what’s happening.
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What's the story?
After an extensive training journey with Jiraiya, Naruto Uzumaki (voiced by Maile Flanagan) returns to the village, slightly more mature and with much improved jutsu skills. Much has changed during his long absence, and Sakura (Kate Higgins) and many other friends have been promoted ahead of him to become higher-ranked ninjas. But some things are the same, including the growing threat of the Akatsuki, and the lingering sadness caused by Sasuke’s (Yuri Lowenthal) decision to betray the team.
Is it any good?
If all of plot synopsis makes sense, then you’re the exact audience for NARUTO SHIPPUDEN. This sequel to the wildly popular anime series Naruto picks up more than two years after where that show left off, and people unfamiliar with the original will have trouble following along here.
A large part of the reason is that, unlike many animated kids’ shows, the Naruto story has a rich and evolving story and takes pains to make all of its characters fully developed people instead of generic archetypes. That gives the series depth and impact, and many fans have devoted extensive viewing hours to following along as Naruto, Sakura, Sasuke, and the others develop both their relationships and their fighting skills. But it also makes it hard for newcomers to jump in. Bottom line? People who liked the original Naruto will like this series, as will those willing to invest some time to get caught up.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Naruto's perseverance and determination pay off in his ninja training, and how this can apply to real-life school subjects and topics as well. Naruto sometimes breaks the rules, but always with a reason and usually to help people. Is it important to always follow the rules, or are there times when you should follow your instincts -- such as if a friend is in danger?
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