Naruto Spin-off: Rock Lee & His Ninja Pals (First Impressions)

So this is what replaced Bleach, huh? Personally, I think that Naruto is way better than Bleach. Although I’m cool with Rock Lee, he isn’t one of my favorite characters (That would be Shikamaru), so let’s see if the bushy-browed ninja’s spin-off series is worthy of Bleach‘s timeslot.

Rock Lee & His Ninja Pals (also known as Rock Lee’s Springtime of Youth) is a manga written by Kenji Taira, which is a spin-off of the popular manga series Naruto, written by Masashi Kishimoto. It follows the adventures of the three-man squad led by Might Guy, which consists of our three main characters: Rock Lee, the titular ninja who makes up his lack of ninjutsu and genjutsu skills with taijutsu skills; Neji Hyuga, a serious prodigy ninja who’s all work and no play; and Tenten, a weapons expert. Yep, that’s about all I can say about Tenten; Although I hear she gets more character focus here than in the original series…

The series follows a two half-episodes format, kinda like what you would see in most western animation. The first episode basically consists of a trio of ne’er-do-well debt collectors harassing a woman, and Lee fends them off by… dropping their pants down while trying to avoid stepping into dog shit. In the second episode, Team Guy is sent to retrieve bamukuchen cake, which they only bake 50 a day, but as it turns out, Naruto was sent to retrieve one as well.

I haven’t really watched any Naruto anime outside of movies ever since I dropped the first series after the Sasuke Retrieval arc (No way was I gonna waste my time on 85 episodes of filler.) so watching this felt quite strange to me. I can’t say for certain whether or not this is worthy of replacing Bleach, but let’s be honest: What with how that show dragged on, you’d watch almost anything that replaces it. To be fair, I was on the fence about whether I should watch this, but I figured “Sure, why not”. I did get a good laugh out of it, so I guess that it succeeds there.

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