Naruto Shippuden Episode 97 Recap: “The Labyrinth of Distorted Reflections”

Original Airdate: 2/19/2009

Hey everyone, welcome back to another Naruto Shippuden recap. If you follow me on Twitter, then you know that we are still stuck in what I like to call “Shippuden filler hell.” And when I mean stuck, I mean WE ARE STUCK HERE FOR ANOTHER 16 GODDAMN WEEKS!! One Piece is already halfway through its filler arc. We are just 1/3 of the way through on here. Anyway, last week was one of the better episodes. How did this one stack up? Read on and find out.

We start the episode with scientists back in the Leaf checking on Shino’s insects and how everything crystallized in it and everything is already boring right away. But I digress. Apparently, this jutsu already exist, according to Tsunade. It was a jutsu called the Crystal-Style. It appeared that it was used to wipe out a village in the past, but for some reason, the nations dismissed it as a rumor. Cause wiping out a village with a rare jutsu is ho-hum to ninjas. Anyway, Orochimaru is involved with this, and his body-swapping with Sasuke is approaching. They figure they will use the Crystal-Style user to find the emo traitor. Captain Yamato’s group is looking for Kakashi and co., but can’t find any signs of him. They guess something happened to them, so they send Sai to investigate in the air. This gives Naruto a chance to go away for a bit, and train some more. As Sai is still searching, he doesn’t see Kakashi, but sees a creek filled with camellias. Naruto is about to start training, but he too sees a camellia. Then a weird fog appears out of nowhere, and out from it pops out Yukimaru. Naruto ask what he is doing, and the little shit goes on again about camellias, home, and other stuff that makes me send out tweets like this.

Since Naruto sees he’s all alone, he wants him to join his group to go back to the Leaf. Well, at least after he’s done with his mission. Yukimaru though wants to wait because of Guren. Naruto tells Yukimaru to follow that person, and to not let them go. As Sakura and the others spot him, Yukimaru disappears, and Sakura goes into her annoying self saying she doesn’t believe Naruto actually talked to anyone.

Guren, with her squad, sizes up her competition and doesn’t worry too much, except for Kakashi. She well set the stuff up by herself, which she does. She uses the jutsu Crystal-Style: Jade Crystal Labyrinth, and a giant crystal starts to form. Shino finds his insects to be interrupted or something. Akamaru himself is itching to fight, but before they can, Shino stops them, because his insects he senses are all confused and lost like Zoro. Hinata uses her Byakugan to see if there is a jutsu or barrier around, but when she uses it, she only sees her and the others, and her vision gets affected. Guren sets up a crystal mirror to watch the others, and makes crystal clones to attack the team.

“Mirror, mirror, on the wall. Who’s the baddest bitch of them all? ME, THAT’S WHO!!”

Kakashi’s team gets surrounded and attacked by the clones. The clones use Jade Crystal Blades and other crystal jutsu to attack and fight in the trees. The Crystal Jutsu can apparently crystallize moisture in the air, so it can get anything. Also, the jutsu can’t be copied, so Kakashi can’t do crap about it. Hinata, even without her Byakugan, still has the Gentle Fist she can use. She will still fight, so that her senpai will notice her I mean, for Naruto to be amazed. She uses 8 Triagrams, 32 Palms, and gets Guren. However, it being a clone, it goes away. Guren uses the Jade Crystal Prison jutsu on Hinata. As the others clones go bye-bye when facing the group, they then see poor Hinata’s been crystallized herself.

Naruto and others arrive and see the giant crystal in the way. Sai flies up to see, and the crystal is really huge. 1 kilometer wide to be exact. Naruto wants to break the thing down, but Yamato stops him. They know Kakashi and co. are stuck in it, so they try to find a weak spot since it’s so tough. Tunneling underground doesn’t work, and they need a wide-ranging and powerful jutsu to break it down, so Naruto has an idea. He will use the new jutsu he’s been trying on. He summons the frogs out (UGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!) He hasn’t perfected the jutsu yet, but sure why not try? The others sit back to see what Naruto can do. His first attempt with the big yellow guy? A gigantic failure. But after going through the motions again Naruto, with the frog, unleashes his new move: Wind-Style: Toad Water Pistol (yeah, he sucks at names.) It seems that Naruto is confident it worked.

Overall, this was kinda a step back. Anytime Yukimaru is talking about camellias and home and want not, it goes on forever and makes me do this.

Head desk gif

Other than that, there were some nice action, and we got to see Hinata at her best again, until she got Han Solo’d herself. Then again, the frogs were on. I will let fellow writer RobBarracuda explain the frogs as best as he can.

Couldn’t have had it any better myself. Overall, I give this episode 2.5 giant crystal fortresses/5


Naruto Shippuden can be seen at 2 AM Saturday on Toonami


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