Naruto Episode 41 Review

Maybe it’s the amount of time that’s passed since Naruto episode 41 first aired, but at this point there’s nothing in the story here that shouldn’t feel familiar. A surprising power revealed? Check. Two former friends turned rivals having their big match? Check. I guess the only question is “How well does it hold up?”

Naruto Episode 40 Review

Where can I watch Naruto episode 41?

I made the attempt to watch this episode over at Crunchyroll. I’ve been watching it at Netflix and even tried Funimation for a short time. I thought, “Might as well give them a shot. What could go wrong?” Unfortunately, I quickly found out that Crunchyroll only had the English sub of Naruto instead of the dub. That was pretty disappointing.

So there you have it, you can watch episode 41 over at Netflix, Funimation and Crunchyroll. You can also see both subbed and dubbed episodes at Hulu. If you’ve found this blog then I’m assuming you have a subscription to at least one of those services. If you go the Crunchyroll route like I tried, just know that you won’t be getting the dubbed version. You have been warned.

You could also try your luck at one of the myriad of illegal pirated sites that are around. I know it’s probably tempting, because it’s “free” but be cautious. Nothing is ever “free.” You don’t know what these sites are doing to your device or what type of information they’re collecting. If you’re willing to take that risk then that’s up to you. Don’t expect me to point you in the direction of any of these places though.

Watch Naruto Episode 41 at Netflix, Funimation, Crunchyroll or Hulu

How was the story in Naruto episode 41?

The episode starts with the fight between Kankuro and Kimimaro. This fight was over quickly and that’s exactly what needed to happen. Gaara is being built up as the fearsome opponent during the Chunin exam, so his teammates need to be presented as being strong in their own right. It’s possible that Naruto or Sasuke will have to go through them prior to getting to Gaara. Had Kankuro been defeated here, then there would be less hype surrounding the coming fights.

The main focus of Naruto episode 41 was the fight between Sakura and Ino. The two former friends turned bitter rivals finally have to face off. For those who may not be aware of the backstory, the two girls had a falling out over their feelings for Sasuke. The friendship that they sacrificed has kept their feud from becoming too heated, but this episode is where that’s meant to change.

What do you mean?

At the start of the fight, Ino pulls a punch even though she had the perfect chance to take the upper hand. This leads us into a flashback of Sakura and Ino as children. The two girls share a deep level of respect for each other even though Sakura is harboring an inferiority complex and they’ve been feuding over Sasuke. Those feelings are interfering in the match and are about to be set aside.

The way in which this is done is through Sakura tying her headband around her forehead. This was explained in the flashback that when Sakura took this step, she’d consider herself a true shinobi. In becoming a true shinobi, all attachments become secondary to the main mission.

This is easy enough to follow. Naruto episode 41 didn’t try to add any complexity to Sakura’s decision or the fact that the two girls have a history together. I wouldn’t call Sakura stepping up her game anything groundbreaking though. The “I’m going to fight you seriously now” transition is like most of the plot in this anime, old news. It’s been done to exhaustion since episode 41 came out so the impact of watching it today is much less. It’s still good, just not as good as it was.

What did Naruto episode 41 get right?

The first thing I have in my notes is that Sakura and Ino didn’t waste time talking prior to their fight. We did get a good bit of conversation later, but I was pleasantly surprised that they started fighting right away. My expectations were that we were going to get a good 10 minutes of nothing but catty banter. Basically, I was expecting the two girls to insult each other like we’ve seen every time they’ve crossed paths in Naruto.

Instead, Ino and Sakura fight until they get to the point where Ino slaps Sakura instead of full on punching her. That’s when the action takes a break. It was nice. It was also nice to see Sakura actually do something. Sakura can actually fight if need be. You wouldn’t know it from the first 40 episodes or so.

Once the action slowed down was the momentum lost?

I actually didn’t mind the flashback that much. I wouldn’t go out of my way and say that it’s a must-see moment in Naruto episode 41. It contributes to the story but the flashback won’t be mentioned in any grand retelling of the Naruto plot. There is one thing from the flashback that did catch my eye, or I guess I should say my ear, and made me like it.

The piano music during certain big moments of Sakura’s flashback and her confrontation with Ino was done very well. I’m not going to sit here and pretend to be a music critic. All I know is that when that piano music was playing, I could feel the emotion behind Sakura and Ino’s fight. I felt the history between the two and what a big moment this was for them.

That’s what all forms of entertainment need to do. Causing the audience to be emotionally moved is the point. If an audience can feel the emotion that a movie, song, play or anime is trying to convey then they’ve done their job well. Sakura and Ino have accomplished that here in Naruto episode 41. I guess a better way to say that is the music has helped Sakura and Ino reach that level.

What did Naruto episode 41 get wrong?

The most annoying thing to me about this episode was the lack of subtitles on the board when the contestants are selected. This might just be a Netflix thing, but just the fact that it happens bothers me. Once again, I was left to wonder who was going to fight. The potential emotional moment of having Sakura and Ino’s names pop up at the same time is lost. All I get are the residuals when the result can finally be pieced together.

Besides that, I don’t really have any complaints. Like I mentioned earlier, there’s not really anything here that’ll “Wow” you or be revolutionary. Naruto’s popularity has ensured that anything the anime did well was beaten into the ground by a flood of imitators. If Naruto came out today, I don’t know if it would hold the same place in the anime world. That’d actually be a good question to talk about sometime.

Is Naruto episode 41 worth watching?

Yes, Naruto episode 41 is worth watching. It holds up well enough since it’s debut but don’t come here thinking you’ll see anything new or revolutionary. Episode 41 has the story elements that have become standard. What this anime episode does have going for it is that it gets the basics right. There aren’t any glaring plot holes and what we do get is interesting enough to keep you wanting to watch. If you’re feeling nostalgic and you want to go through Naruto again, you’ll be happy with this one.

Now go watch some anime!

Naruto Episode 42 Review

Written by: