My last Naruto review was a video after realizing that I hadn't filmed a review for Naruto in months. This time I'm going to go ahead and do another blog post (but I still plan to not wait as long to do one as a video again).
Of these five episodes, two of them fit together pretty well, and the other three are completely unrelated. That being said, I actually enjoyed episode 281 and how it focused on the kids sticking back in the village. At least, I liked it more than expected. I would still have preferred no filler at all. It was more lighthearted, which often feels out of place to me as filler, but I appreciated it for what it was.
Episode 284 focused more on Sai. However, not only was this filler, I also didn't feel like I got anything from it. I'm saying this as someone who adores Sai as a character. I think I got more out of episode 281 than 284. I can't pinpoint the exact reason that is. There was the stuff about Sai using emotions as a weapon and him realizing that Lee uses them differently. That was nice, and I even think it was a good realization for Sai to have. I feel like I should have enjoyed that episode more than I did, and I haven't quite been able to pinpoint why I didn't.
Episode 285 was surprisingly touching. I don't typically enjoy episodes that center around one-shot characters that much, and while I probably would have preferred something else, I thought this one was a good one, if sad.
The other two episodes in this set of five center around Naruto and Bee attempting to get past the Raikage and Tsunade. I appreciated these episodes mostly for the background we got on Bee and his brother, namely the fact that they're not actually brothers.
I find their story interesting, and while I'm not the biggest fan of the Raikage all things considered, I do really like Bee so far.
The other thing I liked about these episodes had to do with Tsunade and Naruto's relationship. I appreciated her declaring that he needed to be allowed to pass. There were some nice moments in those episodes. I'll be careful about saying more though. I've watched episode 286, and I could easily go into some of the stuff that happened in this episode.
Overall, these episodes were hit or miss with me. None of them were bad. They were infinitely better than some of the other filler I've watched in the decent past, but they weren't great either. We'll see what the next five episodes hold.