Naruto Shippuden Box 27 covers the last thirteen episodes of season 15 of the long running anime. It picks up at a point where the characters are in the middle of a great war, and the tone of the episodes reflects that. Naruto Shippuden is dark, but it isn't gritty. The themes and issues present within the episode always feel like they are treated as they deserve, without the need for the mood to be forced or to be either cheesy, or overly serious.
These episodes also have a reflective quality to them. There are several points among the episodes in which characters have long overdue talks about their past, and the Nine-Tails even tells everyone what it thinks of Naruto. Long time fans will particularly appreciate the conversation that Sasuke has with his brother, and the return of a certain character whose identity won't be spoiled in this review.
The episodes move at a good pace, and there is generally a good mixture of action and dialogue amongst them. The only time this balance really fails is when one of the characters explains one of their techniques (or jitsus as they are called in the anime). As appreciated as the explanations are, they do tend to get close to being lectures and this does interrupt the flow somewhat.
Another flaw in the pacing of the episodes is the appearance of filler. The filler isn't bad, it provides backstory to one of the factions and is told well. The characters within the filler all benefit from solid characterisation, and the episodes have the feel of a classic tragedy to them. The problem is that the filler interrupts a battle that previous episodes spent so much time building up to. It is rather jarring when the battle stops in favour of episode after episode of backstory, with no mention of the transition. This filler affects this box in the same way it would have been affected if a handful of episodes had been taken from another season and mixed in with the other episodes present in this collection.
Naruto Shippuden Box 27 brings closure to old story lines, and allows previously written off characters a chance to have a final moment in the spotlight. It also sows the seeds of new storylines, with the revelation of a certain character's identity, and the exploration of how he is connected to the already established cast. Some episodes feel more like an interruption than an addition but they make up for that by being engaging character pieces. Overall the episodes within are good additions to the series and are well worth watching.
NARUTO SHIPPUDEN BOX 27 / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: HAYATO DATE / WRITERS: VARIOUS / STARRING: MAILE FLANAGAN, YURI LOWENTHAL, DAVE WITTENBERG, SKIP STELLRECHT / RELEASE DATE: 6TH FEBRUARY