Naruto Shippuden 18×408 Review: The Cursed Puppet


This week’s episode of Naruto Shippuden, “The Cursed Puppet”, was about Sakura Haruno and her effectiveness at chakra control. The manga didn’t explain what she went through while she trained under Tsunade, so it was good to see her experiences, even if it was through filler.

I was curious as to why Sakura looked tired after her team’s battle with opponents from the Sand Village. It turned out that in order for her to store massive amounts of chakra for the Byakugo, her normal chakra levels would be depleted considerably. This revelation threw some light on why Sakura remained passive during battles. Getting into a fight or even performing surgery would kill her.

But Sakura didn’t let this stop her entirely. Even though Tsunade told Sakura that she couldn’t perform surgery or battle for three years, Sakura started to maintain another chakra reserve meant for the tasks she was told not to do. Of course creating two reserves dangerously depleted her normal chakra level but, being a stubborn character, she refused to give up.

11148662_379665785550562_8751672074855187879_oSasuke and Naruto are the two major reasons behind Sakura’s motivation to grow strong. Ever since Part I, those two have been protecting her and increasing their power levels. Sakura hasn’t had it easy from the start like her two team members. Sasuke belonged to the Uchiha clan, while Naruto was an Uzumaki and the vessel for the nine-tails.

Compared to them, Sakura belonged to a normal family, and she didn’t have some genetic gift handed down to her. That’s why I like her as a character. She had to put in a lot of hard work to catch up to Naruto and Sasuke. Her hard work finally paid off, and she got herself regarded as one of the strongest ninjas in the entire shinobi world.

The opponents Sakura’s team had to fight were quite strong, especially the one controlling a creepy puppet doll. The female opponent’s jutsu was similar to the Mind Transfer Technique of the Yamanaka Clan. She entered Choji’s mind and Ino also went in to drive her out, leaving Sakura to defend herself against their enemies.

The episode also showed what Sasuke had been up to. While training under Orochimaru, he made up his mind to recruit Karin Uzumaki and Suigetsu, which he later did in the manga. We also got to know a bit about Karin’s past and why she decided to work for Orochimaru.

“The Cursed Puppet” was an enjoyable episode, and showing a bit of Sasuke helped change the pace of the filler we’ve been seeing for some weeks now. I’m looking forward to how Sakura holds up against her opponents because storing chakra is far harder than it looks.

Did you watch this week’s episode of Naruto Shippuden? What did you think of seeing Sasuke? Let us know!

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.

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