Naruto 64 Screencaps

I'm still nursing that never-to-happen fanboy spiel about ep.22, but meanwhile I rewatched ep.64, one of the best single-episode battles. It involves secondary players, which nonetheless are often fan favourites. My word, the fanart I've seen to Temari... And it's easy to see why.

The above random screencap, I think, is good to grace every top rotation. Outstanding model and competent animation in action, never letting it slip. I've seen feature movies with less detail. The motion is as amazing as anything KyotoAni does, and the way Studio Pierrot lets us read the characters is appreciated. Despite watching Shikamaru in the preliminaries, Temari still does not understand completely what she's up against. But she's going to stop smirking pretty soon.

Another accidential catch is the creature we thought never existed: Temari fanservice. I did not even see it in the heat of battle. One thing students of martial arts often have difficulty getting is just how important legs are. They may even know it with their reason, but as soon as a little fatigue sets in, I see people standing up, and their technique unravels. Temari's proportions are result of correct training, but regardless these legs are a thing of beauty.

Her opponent is in many respects her opposite. Here's Shikamaru engaging into cloud-gazing instead of, you know, battling. How typical.

But thereafter, you see the above. It's an interesting approach by the creators to give a visual expression to an intellectual effort. Anime is a visual medium. BTW, Shikamaru's shirt is not a fishnet.

It's difficult for me to describe just how exciting the battle actually was without posting a frame-by-frame sequence, but there was more to the episode than just Temari's legs. The anime is conscious of it, and gives us a shot of spectators getting caught in the suspense (the above is the moment when Temari dug the last line). But even that reaction is dynamic in case of Chouji eating more and more as climax approaches. I would say, just watch the darn thing. It must be on Veoh somewhere.