Konoha Crush

A complete Naruto re-watch podcast, hosted by Velvet and Gwen. 720 episodes, 11 movies, and a commitment to the beautiful idea that all of it is worth our time.

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Sunday Apr 09, 2023

Putting all that Fuma clan business behind us, we head back to the leave for a brand new adventure much closer to the Hidden Leaf, with a different assortment of guys and the return of an old foe - that one guy from the first episode of Naruto! Has he become a credible threat in the intervening months? Will his new associates bring an interesting texture to the coming action? Hm. Hmmmmm. Hmmmmmmmmm.
Covered this week: Naruto Episodes 142-144

Sunday Apr 16, 2023

Our landmark 50th episode sees us through to the conclusion of the Mizuki arc! These may be a bad three episodes but with new revelations about Mizuki's past that adamantly refuse to complicate his character, further elaborations on the arcs thematic goals confound and frustrate, and an inability to construct a compelling fight that surpasses our lowest expectations, we have plenty to talk about.
Covered this week: Naruto Episodes 145-147

Sunday Apr 23, 2023

Naruto is back in his second movie, with ambitious ideas like gesturing at parts of the world beyond ninjas, more involved arcs for the movie only cast than last time, and trying to make Shikamaru cool! After 60 minutes of truly bad Naruto last week, we settle in for 40 minutes of pretty breezy and enjoyable theatrical animation. How long are these movies anyway. 40 minutes, right? Just 40 minutes?
Covered this week: Naruto the Movie 2: Legend of the Stone of Gelel

Monday May 08, 2023

We settle in for the first of a duo of comparatively light episodes as we step forth into a new (shorter than usual) arc. All seems promising as the show takes a strong step towards incorporating its supporting cast in a meaningful way, but a new problem looms on the horizon, threatening to derail things: the main character.

Tuesday May 16, 2023

Hinata's bug quest comes to an end! Can they cash the checks they wrote at the beginning of the arc? Can they wrap things up without undercutting her ability to do anything? Can they justify Naruto's presence in the arc? Listen for the answers to all these questions and more. 
Covered this week: Naruto Episodes 150 + 151

Sunday May 28, 2023

A new arc pits Naruto and an unsupervised Team Guy against a new and dangerous sicko, and gives us cause to think about just how hard it must be to balance anime-original stories that ultimately can't matter but still need to have in the moment emotional stakes. Stories that need to tie brand new characters you'll never see again in with characters we've known for 100+ episodes without just hollowly calling back to character beats and events that the audience is already invested in. Because if it was easy then we'd kinda expect the anime team to be better at it than this.
Covered this week: Naruto episodes 152-154

Monday Jul 24, 2023

We are back, and stronger than ever! The same can unfortunately not be said of the show. We do our best to chart the conclusion of the tale of Raiga, Ranmarua, and Karashi which somehow covers three more episodes in spite of basically being over last time, with characterization that inverts from episode to episode, curry that maybe matters a little too much, and our most perfunctory final confrontation yet.

Konoha Crush 56: Cowboy Arc

Sunday Aug 06, 2023

Sunday Aug 06, 2023

We step back from six episode arcs to finish everything we start in the span of a week. Join us as we take on a weird and aimless attempt at standard kids show "everybody learns a lesson by the end of the episode" and a breezy two episode adventure with a much more immediately agreeable message: Shuichi Ikeda is pretty fucking cool, right?
Covered this week: Naruto Episodes 158-160

Sunday Aug 13, 2023

Folks. Sometimes there is just no way around it and you have some Scooby-Doo bullshit going on. But is that such a bad thing? After a truly disposable first episode, we head to the Land of Birds for a ghost-based mystery and talk about taking on genre conventions for an arc, speculate in the intersection between everybody having ninja magic and general mystery conventions, and ponder what exactly Neji is capable of seeing.
Covered this week: Naruto Episodes 161-163

Thursday Aug 24, 2023

The goofy ghost mystery arc hits a rocky stretch as we slam head-first into variably avoidable problems. Can enthusiasm for lighthearted genre sendups hold up our engagement in the face of increasingly severe structural issues? Probably not, but at least Naruto character gender engineer Down is here to do her best to make something interesting out of this.Covered this week: Naruto episodes 164-166

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