All good things come to an end.
The long Chuunin exams into Invasion of Konoha arc had just finished, and the Search for Tsunade was successful. Things were finally settling down in the Naruto series and it seemed like a return to the status quo. But things can’t ever be the same, can they? Naruto’s desire to be something greater didn’t match with Sasuke’s single purpose. And so began what is probably the best arc of Naruto and one of the best arcs in shounen anime.
This was a turning point for the series, where rather than reverting back to the way things had been normally, the series evolved into something different and ultimately better. Suddenly, Naruto wasn’t just about a kid who wanted to be a Hokage and the events that led upto that, it became something more character driven, something worth watching week after week. It was in this time that the seeds of the future series were laid, from the introduction of Itachi and the Akatsuki, Sasuke’s joining of Orochimaru, the (first revision) of the Uchiha history to the evolution of the side characters of the Chuunin exams into important characters for the series. It had some of the best fight scenes (Rock Lee!) and the highest stakes in the entire series (could Sasuke really turn into a bad guy?). And it also had the best intro music.
Seishun Kyousoukyoku is the fifth OP to Naruto and, unsurprisingly, my favourite OP. Its an example of when a great song, by Sambomaster, meets a great intro animation for an anime in fine form. Watching this OP will tell you everything you need to know about the mood, the emotion and the desperation in the series. It hits home with the nostalgia, showing just how far this little anime had come and why it was so much better than almost anything else: The characters.
And with less than a week left in my term in anime@uts, and with a 10th Anniversary Party and an AGM coming up in a few days, its nice to remember that. It’s been a long time since I joined the club and its become a large part of my life. I’ve met so many awesome people and even become friends with a few of them. And while all good things must come to an end…that doesn’t mean it wasn’t fun.
For more literal and less metaphor, tune in next week for Dom’s last Music Monday :o