tek's rating:

Mission: Protect the Waterfall Village!
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Well, this is the second OVA based on the TV series Naruto, but it's the first to be released in America, so it's the first I've seen (on Cartoon Network). I don't know if it's really supposed to be canon or not, but it's not really important to the main story of the series, anyway. It starts out with Naruto doing an introduction, but he did it too soon and nothing's ready, as Konohamaru tells him, so of course Kakashi and Naruto's teammates aren't happy; Sakura is especially annoyed. It's really funny. But that's just a brief little skit type thing that has nothing to do with the OVA's actual story.

Squad 7 is escorting a boy named Shibuki, the leader of the Hidden Waterfall Village, back to his home. Once they get there, Kakashi gets called away, but Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura stick around awhile. But before long, a group of rogue ninja led by Suien (a jonin who used to live in the village) attack, so Squad 7 have to fight them off alone. Suien is after a bottle of "hero water," which it is Shibuki's duty as the village leader to protect. Anyone who drinks this water will have their chakra greatly increased, but at the same time it will drain them so much that they'll end up dying sooner because of it. This happened some years ago to Shibuki's father, the former village leader, who drank some of the hero water to protect his village when it was attacked before.

Anyway, Shibuki is made out to be something of a coward, despite the fact that the people of his village think him a hero because he is their leader. And watching Naruto fight the rogue ninja, he finds his own courage and helps fight the attackers, though ultimately it seems Naruto and Sasuke are a bit more instrumental in defeating Suien. Still, Shibuki does become more heroic than he was at the outset of the story. And that's about all I can say. I didn't love the story or anything, and I think most of my appreciation of it comes from already loving the series. But it was still reasonably good on its own merits. Some nice ninja action as well as funny moments. Not bad.

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