Since this is essentially a restart of the series they needed to reconnect us to the characters. I don’t want to give too much away if you are still watching the original series, but at this point Sasuke is with Orochimaru and Naruto has gone off to train for two and a half years.
The series starts with Naruto’s return and his reconnection to his friends (and vicariously us). At this same time; to keep the action moving, two members of the group that are after the tailed demons are moving in on the village of sand. Their goal is Garra.
Battles abound throughout this Arc, since they wanted to keep the action fans happy. The real story is in the new maturity level of Naruto, and the rest of the characters. Sakura has advanced considerably under the eye of Lady Tsunade, and an early segment with Kakashi testing Naruto and Sakura is very fun.
The only complaint I have, is that they jumped back into the action a little too fast for my taste. Even one or two more episodes with more of naruto reconnecting with his friends, would have added to the restart of the series. As is, they still did pretty well. Letting several of the supporting cast; including team guy and some old friends from the Sand Village, get some good air time.
Naruto’s ability to change even the most jaded individuals comes into play, and some interesting things are set up for later. The biggest revelations in this arc involve Akatsuki (the group after the tailed demons). We get to see something of what they’re up to and the extreme methods they are using. We also get to see the whole group for the first time.
I will give this story Arc the Following ratings:
Story Development: B+ -Several important events occur in this story arc, but they could have spent more time in some areas.
Action: A -I doubt I will ever rate this under A, the action is superb as always.
Arc Story: C+ -They should have spent a bit more time on Naruto’s return, and some less important parts seem to drag on forever.
Overall I will say it’s a B+ story Arc.