Naruto Episode 44 Review

It’s finally time! Naruto is going to get his chance to show off what he can do. Naruto episode 44 is the start of the fight between our title character and Kiba Inuzuka. Kiba is the ninja from the village hidden in the leaves who has a dog for a companion. He’s a member of Team 8 along with Shino and Hinata. He was also a classmate of Naruto’s at the Academy. It should be an interesting fight so let’s see how it holds up.

Naruto Episode 43 Review

Where can I watch Naruto episode 44?

With Naruto being as popular as it is, there’s no shortage of places to stream this anime. The place I personally go is Netflix. They have the English dub of the anime while also having the all-important “Skip Intro” button. You might think that’s a silly reason to go to Netflix to watch rather than Funimation or Crunchyroll, but I appreciate when companies do things to make my life easier. I want to spend as little effort as possible skipping that awful opening music.

If it weren’t for Netflix, Funimation would be my next choice for watching Naruto. They carry the English dub just like Netflix. The only reason why I don’t go there is because of Netflix’s “Skip Intro” button. Really, that’s the only reason. If you’re fine with manually skipping the intro, then Funimation might be the place for you. They have more anime at their site after all.

My third choice for streaming Naruto would be Crunchyroll. Crunchyroll only has the English sub available to stream. While that’s typically not an issue for me, in the case of Naruto it is. There are certain anime out there where I’ve become more familiar with the English voice cast than their Japanese counterparts. One Piece, BLEACH, Sword Art Online and Rurouni Kenshin are a couple of examples. I want to watch these anime in English so I’ll default to a site that carries the dub.

The last choice on my list is Hulu. The level of membership I have at Hulu does not allow me to skip past the commercials. That’s pretty frustrating considering I pay a similar amount for their services as Crunchyroll or Funimation. With those other two options not forcing me to watch commercials, why would I go to Hulu? They have Naruto though, so I wanted to let you know that it’s an option.

Watch Naruto Episode 44 at Netflix, Funimation, Crunchyroll or Hulu

How was the story in Naruto episode 44?

This was a story meant to garner sympathy for Naruto while also showing us just how much he’s grown. Lest anyone should forget, Naruto was the annoying class clown. He was incompetent, loud and most of all lonely. Naruto took that loneliness and turned it into motivation to improve his ninja skills and get to where we’re at in episode 44. It is somewhat inspirational when you think about it.

Kiba is meant to provide a measuring stick for how much Naruto has grown. He’s one of the other rookies from the village hidden in the leaves and was one of Naruto’s classmates. Kiba’s always looked down on Naruto. Naruto was never on the same level as him. Now that’s not exactly the case.

All this makes for a pretty decent story. Kiba continues to knock Naruto down, thinking he’s won. Naruto keeps standing back up, ready for more. You can sense the frustration growing on Kiba’s side while on the other side Naruto is doing his best impersonation of Rocky. It’s not much more complex than that. Naruto episode 44 is round 1 in the title fight.

Did they do a lot of talking or was the fighting more in line with what you’d expect in real life?

I’m glad to say that unlike some of the previous episodes, most of the talking was done through flashbacks. Kiba and Naruto didn’t just sit there and telegraph their moves to each other. They didn’t try to pull off a sneak attack only to blow it by opening their mouths once they got the advantage. I don’t know how many times that’s happened in Naruto and it always frustrates me.

Instead, Naruto episode 44 is more of what you’d expect from a real fight. It has it’s issues, but it’s definitely progress.

What did Naruto episode 44 get right?

As I was just saying, the way the fight was handled was a lot better than what we’ve seen in other parts of this anime. I’m thinking of how Kiba opened the fight in particular. We might’ve been able to hear his thoughts when he was saying what jutsu he was using, but he didn’t blurt it out. What came next was a swift attack that left Naruto lying on the floor.

That’s what I’d expect from a ninja fight. Attack quickly and catch your opponent off guard. Leave them laying in a heap on the floor and claim victory. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work out for Kiba, but it’s not for a lack of trying.

Naruto even surprised me by pulling off a sneak attack that’s worthy of a ninja. Using his clones to disguise himself as the dog and attacking Kiba was ingenious. I guess Naruto is actually learning how to be a ninja. He just needs to get hit in the head a few times before he actually learns.

What did Naruto episode 44 get wrong?

Is it just me or did Hinata come off as a creeper in this episode? We know that she has a crush on Naruto, but does that mean she needs to follow him around and hide around corners and bushes? That’s what Naruto episode 44 showed us. I’m not too sure if they thought this one through.

If you want, go back and look at the flashbacks that we saw of Naruto’s past. Focus on the ones where Hinata was narrating on how hard Naruto has worked to improve. She’s always watching Naruto from a distance. That’s not normal behavior.

I would understand if we got shots of her getting flustered every time that she comes across Naruto training, but these are scenes of her intentionally seeking Naruto out. That’s stalker behavior. All it did was make me less sympathetic to Hinata. It’s not a good look for her even if she is a ninja.

Anything else?

There’s one more thing that’s more of an annoyance than anything. It has to do with how Kiba failed to show a killer instinct during his fight with Naruto. You’d think that after the first time Naruto stood back up after an attack Kiba would make sure to finish the fight, but he didn’t. It’s not like there’s a rule where you have to back off your opponent when they’re down.

All I could think of was one of the rules from the movie Zombieland. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a movie about a zombie apocalypse that follows a nerdy character. He has rules to survive and one of them applies here. “Double Tap.” Don’t assume that your opponent is done for when they’re on the ground. Make sure of it by taking the extra step while they’re vulnerable.

Think of how many fights in anime would’ve ended up differently had this rule been applied. How many times have Shonen anime protagonists gotten back up from the dirt when their opponent has been gloating? You’d think someone would catch on at some point. Kiba’s guilty of that here and it may just cost him the fight.

Is Naruto episode 44 worth watching?

If you want to go on a trip down nostalgia lane, yes, Naruto episode 44 is worth watching. The anime episode overall isn’t that bad. Longtime fans of anime will be used to how everything plays out from a story’s perspective. The animation and voice acting holds up well. You can tell that anime has improved since this episode first aired, but it’s still not bad. At least Naruto gets you to care about the characters. That’s more than a lot of newer anime can say.

Now go watch some anime!

Naruto Episode 45 Review

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