Naruto Shippuden has just aired Episode 473, effectively closing the Princess Kaguya arc. While fans of the long-running anime were left wanting in numerous aspects, the series nonetheless delivered. With Kaguya finally sealed once more, however, it would seem like Naruto Shippuden would now enter its final, definitive arc.
Episode 473 Review - Satisfying but Flawed
Episode 473, Sharingan, Once More, delivered in many ways. For one, it definitely had the gravity and scope of one of the Naruto Shippuden manga's most epic battles, with Princess Kaguya doing everything she can to survive the onslaught of Team 7. One thing that definitely pleased fans were the scenes involving Kakashi's Susanoo, which played a vital role in the episode.
While fans of the anime were unanimous that the episode's soundtrack was on point, a significant number of viewers have expressed disappointment about the way the Sharingan, Once More was drawn and animated. Over the course of the episode, numerous frames that were imbalanced, colored badly, and animated poorly were noticed by viewers, much to the chagrin of fans. Some even liked the poor animation to the infamous Dragon Ball Super Episode 5 controversy, where the animated sequences were so bad, it completely removed any tension from the fight.
Episode 474 - The Beginning of the End
The preview of Episode 474, Congratulations, would deal with the aftermath of Princess Kaguya's defeat, as Kurama's peers congratulate Naruto and his peers for finally sealing the powerful chakra users once more. As fans of the manga would know, however, this point also heralds the beginning of Naruto Shippuden's final arc, which involves a brutal rematch between Naruto and his greatest rival and friend, Sasuke.
Recent episode title leaks for Episode 475 have shown the episode's title to be Valley to the End, which is a clear reference to the site where the final battle between the series' most powerful and loved characters will take place. Though it is almost certain that Studio Pierrot would bleed the final arc for all its worth, many fans are nonetheless thankful that the anime would not be stuffing another filler arc this late into the series.
Naruto Shippuden Final Arc - Fan Concerns and Release Date
While fans are very thankful that Naruto Shippuden has so far stuck to the events of the manga for the last few episodes, many are apprehensive about the diminishing quality of the anime's animation. In the battle with Princess Kaguya alone, many of the most definitive scenes of the fight, such as Sakura's iconic punch, were animated and drawn so poorly that the episode seemed like filler. Avid fans of the franchise even lamented that scenes, such as when Sasuke was falling from the sky, looked almost like a lazy sequence done completely in Adobe AfterEffects.
Thus, the final fight of the long-running Naruto Shippuden seems to be at risk of becoming a half-baked, substandard series of episodes. Nevertheless, the premise of Naruto Shippuden finally ending is quite exciting or fans, and based on the pace of the anime thus far, there is a pretty good chance that the series would end Winter 2016. Fans can only hope that when Naruto Shippuden finally does end, it would be with a bang, not with a whimper.