In this collection, we finally catch up to the teaser set forth during this series' initial scenes. You remember that right? Before Naruto even returns to the Hidden Leaf Village, we see him running down a hall and into a bright area with a much older Sasuke standing above him. Sakura is staring up at her former teammate while some unknown character is next to her looking up as well. After a very brief dialogue, Sasuke jumps down and holds a sword to Naruto, and then we cut back to Shippuden's actual start, with our favorite knuckle-headed ninja returning from his years of training.
Well, it's in Box Set 4 where those pieces finally come together. Everything up until now has been leading up to this point. The attack on the Sand Village by the Akatsuki led to the puppet master Sasori telling Sakura of a spy in Orochimaru's camp. That knowledge led to Team Kakashi's new mission, not to mention the fight that led to Kakashi himself being hospitalized for a while. As a result, Team Kakashi needed two replacement members, Captain Yamato and the previously-mentioned mysterious character named Sai, an emotionless fighter with a secret agenda put on the team by a rival faction in the Hidden Leaf.
Naruto Shippuden: Box Set 4 kicks off with a bang as Team Kakashi confronts none other than Orochimaru himself, and when Naruto's emotions get the better of him, the power of the Nine-Tails seeps out. In this fight, we see Naruto go further than we've ever seen him go before, not only sprouting two or three tails, but four, and as a result, his whole body transforms into a strange monster. The ensuing fight between he and Orochimaru is massive, and when the former Akatsuki member is forced to flee, Team Kakashi follows him to his hideout.
At the same time, it seems Sai's hidden agenda starts to come out as he approaches Orochimaru with a proposition from his boss, Danzo. Sai's turncoat nature only serves to fuel Naruto, Sakura and Yamato's desire to track down Orochimaru and bring him to justice. As the team attempts to infiltrate Orochimaru's base, they learn more and more about their teammate, Sai, and they find themselves constantly wondering what his real motives could be. Is his plan really to act as a go-between for Danzo and Orochimaru? If so, to what end? Or is Sai's real task something far more sinister. These events naturally lead to Team Kakashi finally encountering Sasuke for the first time since he left the village three years prior in search of more power so he can kill his older brother, Itachi.
This DVD collection is one of the better groupings to come out to date, for both parts of the Naruto story. Not only does it have a lot of good action in it, but the special features aren't bad either. One of the extras is an interactive game that has you trying to guess which voice actor is playing the role of which character. First, it introduces the series' main actors like Maile Flanagan as Naruto, Kate Higgins as Sakura, Dave Witenberg as Kakashi, Troy Baker as Yamato, Roger Craig Smith as Deidara, Johnny Young Bosch as Sasori and Ben Diskin as Sai. Then it goes through 10 clips and asks you to identify which of the actors is doing the voicework in this particular scene.
Another interactive extra lets you choose between Kabuto, Orochimaru and Sasuke to learn about the relationships between the three characters, and the final special feature is a set of production notes and drawings.
Like I've said a couple of times, this DVD boxed set has some major events from the series in it, and even if you've only been casually watching Naruto Shippuden, this three-disc set is a must see. You won't want to miss what happens when Naruto fights Orochimaru, twice actually, and how the team's reunion with Sasuke turns out.