New 'Naruto' episodes land at Disney XD


POSTED: Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Marvel Entertainment wasn't the only heavy hitter that Disney picked up earlier this month. Turns out they scooped up a bunch of ninjas, as well.

“;Naruto Shippuden”; follows the same ninjas whose adventures fans feverishly followed, then tolerated and finally merely endured over 220 episodes of the earlier “;Naruto”; series. In “;Naruto Shippuden,”; everyone returns a few years older, and the story, which veered off track as production on the anime outpaced creator Masashi Kishimoto's work on the manga, regains a focus more closely tied to Kishimoto's vision for the series.

The Disney move shuts out anyone who watched “;Naruto”; on Cartoon Network since 2005, as the English-dubbed episodes will debut in October on Disney XD. The problem is that Disney XD is available locally only on Oceanic Time Warner digital cable channel 445 — sorry, analog cable viewers.

Perhaps the biggest question that remains for those who end up seeing “;Naruto Shippuden”; on Disney XD is how heavily Disney plans to edit the episodes for violent content. Fan reaction online has been predictably mixed, with some welcoming the opportunity for anime to reach a wider audience and others worried that the violence will be toned down or eliminated completely. Unedited, English-subtitled episodes are still available online at naruto.viz.com.



Speaking of “;Naruto Shippuden,”; the first four-episode DVD, is scheduled to go on sale next Tuesday, but Suncoast Video stores at Pearlridge and Windward Mall will have it on Sunday as part of Animania festivities. Also along for the ride are the usual discounts: Buy one anime-related item — DVDs, wall scrolls, T-shirts, toys — and get a second item at half price. There will also be trivia contests and a cosplay contest at 3 p.m.



» Oahu Anime Explorer: 6 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday at HMC Academy, 555 N. King St. Visit www. oahuanimeexplorer.com for details.

» “;Anime Saturday”;: 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Liliha Public Library, 1515 Liliha St., meeting room. This month, young-adult librarian Linda Mediati will be screening the first volume of “;Ragnarok.”;



ADV Films of Houston, an anime publisher that also dabbled in manga, died earlier this month. Survivors include many anime and manga series worth picking up. A corporate obituary remembering some of the more memorable ADV series will be written by yours truly in “;Drawn & Quartered”; in Sunday's Today section. No need to bring flowers ... just, perhaps, some popcorn for some marathon viewin' and readin'.


Jason S. Yadao is the author of Rough Guides' “;The Rough Guide to Manga,”; available this fall. For more anime and manga news and commentary, check out “;Otaku Ohana”; at blogs.starbulletin.com/otakuohana. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/jsyadao or e-mail him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).