We've got a double-blast of Naruto Shippuden for you this week as Naruto begins his fearsome training to learn the Sage Jutsu! You can bet that toads and weird happenings will ensue! Plus, you get a nice little katakana lesson as Naruto and his comrades decode Jiraiya's final message! Who says that you don't learn anything watching anime?
Catch the latest episodes and more in the Naruto Shippuden section.
Episode 154: Decryption
Naruto and his friends successfully decipher the code Jiraiya left behind with the help of some information Naruto has. The crew immediately calls Fukasaku over, but the message is not enough to solve the mystery of Pain.
Episode 155: The First Challenge
At Mount Myoboku, Naruto begins his Sage Jutsu training under Fukasaku. The first challenge is “Don’t move.” Fukasaku explains that an extensive amount of time is necessary in order to take in nature energy.
You know about the SHONEN JUMP Card Tournament that's going on this spring and summer (and if you don't check out the official site) -- you know, the tourney that offers some free prizes, even if you aren't competing. But how do you earn those prizes, you ask? Simple. Get the three new Naruto Shippuden CCG trading cards now available (not that you'd need extra incentive to get three cool new cards, but nothing wrong with something extra on top). All the official details, including links to the rules, are below. Have fun!
To discuss this and other Naruto games, visit the naruto.com forum.
Official Press Release:
VIZ MEDIA ANNOUNCES A TRIO OF NEW TRADING CARDS FOR THE OFFICIAL NARUTO SHIPPUDEN COLLECTIBLE CARD GAME FROM BANDAI
VIZ Media delights fans with the announcement of the forthcoming release of three exclusive new NARUTO trading cards for Bandai America’s official NARUTO SHIPPUDEN Collectible Card Game (CCG).
In April, the first card featuring the series’ main character, Naruto Uzumaki, will be included in Bandai's Series 17 Hobby Booster Boxes. Another exclusive card featuring Sakura Haruno will be bundled as a special bonus in Volume 48 of the NARUTO manga series (rated ‘T’ for Teens), set to be published in June. A third card will feature Kakashi Hatake and will be included in the August issue of SHONEN JUMP magazine, the best selling monthly manga anthology in North America. The issue hits retailers on July 6th, 2010. These cards will only be available as exclusives for these products.
Fans that collect all three NARUTO cards are eligible to receive a special fourth card at one of Bandai's numerous SHONEN JUMP Championship Tournament locations. This fun tournament allow players to test their skills against other opponents to win special prizes, and culminates in the National Championships to be held at the Gen Con Indy taking place in Indiana on August 7th and 8th.
In addition, attendees at selected Tournaments will have a chance to win the special fourth card with the autograph of Masashi Kishimoto, author of NARUTO.
NARUTO SHIPPUDEN CCG, Bandai America's top selling collectible card game, is a game of strategy where players construct card decks of Ninja that use their powerful Jutsu to complete missions and protect their villages. The NARUTO SHIPPUDEN CCG currently has hundreds of tournaments held each week at local hobby retailers throughout the United States. For the most up to date information on the NARUTO SHIPPUDEN CCG and to see the official rules, Naruto CCG SHONEN JUMP Championship Tournaments or Bandai America Inc., please visit: naruto.viz.com/sjtourney. Or www.bandaicg.com/shonenjump. For more information on NARUTO and NARUTO SHIPPUDEN please visit www.NARUTO.com.
We have a break in our usual Naruto Shippuden episode schedule this week (don't worry, next week we have a double-episode spectacular), but in the meantime, why not catch up with the new Naruto Shippuden Vol. 8 DVD? First, the "rescue Gaara" saga comes to a stirring, bittersweet conclusion, and then Naruto gets to meet up with some old Leaf Village buddies (including a shy, blushing Hinata, natch). And then, as you might guess from the DVD cover, we get to meet the newest member of Naruto's team, a certain reserved ninja who has a way with ink and making brutally cutting statements... Get a copy for a discount at the VIZ store, and while you're there check out the other Naruto DVDs, manga and games. And sound off about the series in our naruto.com discussion forum.
DVD Volume Synopsis:
Supported by Naruto's powerful chakra, Granny Chiyo performs the Reanimation Ninjutsu to revive Gaara, but the cost is high. Back in the Leaf Village, Kakashi must spend time in the hospital to recover from his use of the Mangekyo Sharingan. With two open spots on Team Kakashi, Naruto is prepared to recruit some of his friends from the village. But unbeknownst to him, the replacements are being chosen by the village elders, and at least one of them he's really going to hate!
Features: Episodes 31-34
Today sees a double-whammy of two pivotal episodes as we rejoin the manga story arc. In episode 152 and episode 153 Sasuke continues his plans for invasion and domination (muahaha) while Naruto gets the heartbreaking news about his mentor... it chokes us up a bit just talking about it. In the next few weeks, there will be plenty of high drama, mind-blowing action and game-changing events taking place -- we hope you're looking forward to it as much as we are... and be sure to leave some comments on individual episode pages!
Seems only fitting that we're closing out winter with Sakura's birthday, since she tends to get the last word much of the time -- usually with a fist to Naruto's jaw! Let's wish her the happiest of birthdays with a character data wallpaper and the following tribute... [Be sure to also send in your birthday wishes in the naruto.com forum!]
Happy Birthday to SAKURA, the not-so-delicate flower…
Don’t be fooled by her lack of tragedy.
Even Sakura’s creator Masashi Kishimoto has said that she is one of the few “normal” ninja. And when we first meet her, it’s easy to dismiss her as “the girl” at the Ninja Academy, and later, on Naruto’s team. I mean, she’s got a disastrously hopeless crush on Sasuke, she’s annoyed by Naruto, and she’s such a goody-goody that she can’t handle Naruto and Konohamaru’s joking around. Not to mention she just wants to do well in school and gets some serious anxiety when she’s not sure if she will. And she even has an ongoing girl-issues rivalry over Sasuke with Ino. But if you look deeper, even in those early episodes, you’ll see the seeds of the powerful Kunoichi she was destined to become in Naruto Shippuden…
When Sakura punches Naruto in the face in Episode 20 (A New Chapter Begins: The Chunin Exam!), he’s knocked for a serious loop. And what about when Inner Sakura makes her first appearance in Episode 1 (Enter: Naruto Uzumaki!)? She may not be from as dysfunctional a family as Naruto or Sasuke or even Kakashi, but Sakura is by no means ordinary. Her inner voice is tough, direct, and seriously not to be trifled with.
Skip a few years ahead to Shippuden: When we meet Sakura after the two-year jump from the original Naruto series to the first Shippuden episode, we see that although she may not have been off plotting revenge like Sasuke, or training to become the greatest ninja ever like Naruto, she's definitely not been resting on her laurels.
When she teams with the venerable Granny Chiyo in Shippuden Episode 20 (Hiruko vs. Two Kunoichi!) and takes on Sasori, one of the first Akatsuki we truly see in action, she proves that her training with Tsunade, the Fifth Hokage (and first woman to hold that title in Konoha!) has been intense and worthwhile. Not only does she help take down Sasori, but she ends up even healing Kankuro and others when she’s finished. And her girlhood crush on Sasuke? I’m not sure if she’s over it, but it’s not bothering her anymore. In fact, when Sasuke tells her that she’s annoying, this new Sakura’s reaction doesn’t make us agree with him anymore; we actually start to wonder what his problem is. I mean, she’s pretty, powerful, smart, and dare we say it, even interesting…I mean she may not have a slaughtered family or tortured soul. But she’s already been likened by some to the first female Hokage ever…In Episode 24 (The Third Kazekage), Chiyo even says “Tsunade sure has one good student”!
So what boy wouldn’t want to date her? And, really, does she even care anymore? And why should she...
Seriously, what’s so wrong with not having a tragic background anyway? Look at the path she’s on now.
Tsunade might be the first female Hokage. But the way Sakura’s shaping up, she might not be the last.
-- Joel Enos (Editor, SHONEN JUMP)
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