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Gold Knight
September 18, 2007, 02:28 AM
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Akatsuki leaders Pain and Konan, as depicted by the amazing colorist Amaretti.

We're at Volume 40. Can you believe it?

I'm probably staying with volume reviews from here on, by the way. I did make an attempt to resume weekly reviews, but trust me when I say that I haven't been able to find the time in my life lately. Hope nobody minds the wait. You never know, I might try to make it more bearable by doing surprise reviews of older volumes. We'll see. ;) (No promises, though... I haven't even had the time to visit MH routinely lately!)

I'd like to thank the Japflap team for all their wonderful cleans again. They're doing their usual amazing work on a weekly basis, and they've been doing it for over a year now, even though their releases are only available temporarily. Despite that, their quality has never been anything less than great. What dedication, ya know? Week after week, they just keep on delivering the goods. I tell you guys, Eagle sure knew what he was doing when he started up this group!

But that's not all! Of course, we've gotta give Kylara the usual major props for helping with the RAWs each week. Just so everybody knows, this very generous scanner of ours was the first to actually provide higher resolution versions of the chapters to the public - which is a lot more convenient than when we used to have cam-raws or LQ RAWs every Thursday! Kylara, thanks once again, and may the Uchihas shower you with Mangekyou love forever.

And then there's all our very, very cool translators here who, for whatever reason, like to translate a little manga about an orange-clad ninja. Without them, we wouldn't have a clue what was going on! (Hey, in Chapter 367, did Jiraiya just say something dirty to Tsunade!? She sure seemed shocked...!) Some of them even routinely translate the vague spoiler summaries and blurry spoiler images that come out in advance of the chapter as well - now that's just impressive! Thanks to Hisshou, Iwanin, NJT, Nihongaeri, and everybody else who's contributed.

Gotta mention the amazing colorists we have here helping to further enhance our Naruto reading experience by turning covers, pages and panels into colored masterpieces. To which I can only shake my head and say that we're definitely fortunate fans to have such great artists with us. Keep it up, guys! ...Pretty please? (And, oh yeah... Zarosaki, Zarosaki, wherefore art thou? ;_; )

Last but not least, thanks to all my loyal and patient readers. You guys are the reason I even keep doing this at all - not that I don't have fun doing it - but it's nice to have people actually reading my stuff and encouraging me to do more. You guys are the best. ^^

Anyway, without further ado - let's see what this volume gave us. Boy, there was sure a lot to talk about this time around! Feel free to make your own comments, as always. I'll try to come around weekly to answer any questions. Doesn't actually have to be about this volume specifically, either - later chapters are okay, too.


* * * Gold Knight's Ten Comments on Naruto Volume 40 * * *

360: C4カルラ!!
1. C4 Garuda!!

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In this one, we get an immediate continution of the Deidara-Sasuke battle to start the volume. And we found out what exactly our flamboyant Akatsuki had been doing at the end of the last chapter - which was, of course, initating his "ultimate jutsu." In this case, something called "C4 Garuda," a gargantuan copy of himself that blew up, scattering itself into little pesky self-detonating cellular invaders. (You didn't think Deidara was just trying to break a Guinness World Record for uncontrollable projectile vomiting, did you?)

Sheesh! As if an ominious recent flashback wasn't enough to seal Deidara's doom already. We also had to have the high-flying assassin reveal his biggest jutsu - a sure signal that he was going to meet his end. I mean, after he's already shown all his stuff, what else is there left for him in the story? Okay, so it was already apparent that Kishimoto was looking to finish Deidara off by pitting him against the only other character in the entire series where his defeat would have been acceptable. Namely, Japan's most beloved character in Naruto, Uchiha Sasuke. It was only a matter of time.

This was fine with me, even if it was all a bit too predictable. But Kishimoto made a big mistake. He rushed this battle, which was supposed to be Deidara's final moment of glory. Starting with the fact that in this fight had become a perfect example of a standard shonen battle. You know, where the combatants raise their levels periodically throughout their battle, even though the best way to win would to have attacked at full power from the very outset. But instead, we get this sort of thing...

Akatsuki dude: I'm powerful.
Opponent: AHA I HAVE WON.
Akatsuki dude: Nope, still have this.
Opponent: Ok, now I've won.
Akatsuki dude: Forgot about this.
Opponent: What the hell, okay, I've managed to beat that too, win?
Akatsuki dude: Nope, you forgot about this.

Of course, I suppose what did you expect... Kishimoto did grow up being a huge fan of Akira Toriyama's mangas.

Goku: EAT THIS.
Frieza: Hah, only .1% of my power level.
Goku: Okay, enhanced kamehameha!
Frieza: Up to maybe a percent now.
Goku: This is kind of pissing me off.
Frieza: Hey, we're at 10% now!

To make things worse, it was a badly written shonen battle on top of everything else. And almost completely devoid of any significant drama - it was a fight between two shinobi that didn't even know each other. But I'll get into all that in the next couple of chapters.

So, was there anything good that I took out of this chapter? Okay, so Deidara's jutsu was impressive in theory - practically as dangerous as modern real-life chemical warfare. But if he was that powerful, it's a good thing Konohagakure doesn't have to worry about him anymore - he could have been an one-man army all by himself. But then, that's to be expected of any Akatsuki. They're all supposed to be the cream of the crop, right?

As usual, the art was terrific. And, don't kill me, but I DID take a perverse pleasure of seeing Sasuke with an expression of stark fear on his face - and seemingly meet his own end (even though I knew it wasn't happening ) - and I think Kishimoto must have, too. I can easily see our mangaka imagining how sweet it would be to never have to bother drawing Sasuke's hair anymore...

Well, it was just nice to see Sasuke finally acting human again, even if it had been a mere bunshin in the end that had been destroyed. The avenger was still obviously shaken up by his narrow escape from death, though... and that wouldn't be the last one, either, as we would soon see.

Rating: 3.5/5


361: 弱点... !!
2. The Weak Point... !!

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How bad was this chapter? Let us count the ways...

Aside from what I've already mentioned above, this was supposed to be a battle between two geniuses from separate countries, right? Deidara, the vaunted artistic genius of Iwagakure, going up against the prodigy of one of the mightiest clans of all Konohagakure.

We all expected an entertaining battle and you know what? It did start out with a whole lot of potential, surprisingly enough - which I think only made it all the more disappointing in the end. This battle was a joke.

I mean, Deidara actually came out of this fight looking more of a buffoon than a genius! And it wasn't the first time an Akatsuki has suffered such an one-sided defeat. Kakuzu and Hidan, anybody? Okay, Kishimoto probably didn't want Sasuke to be outdone by Naruto and Shikamaru, but by doing so, he effectively turned the Akatsuki into the laughing-stock of the shinobi world. Seriously, who needs to fear THIS bunch? They're doing a good enough job shooting themselves in their collective foot!

If Deidara had this hidden weapon all along, he should have used it right away, especially against a Sharingan user. And, considering Deidara had experience against one, as the flashback already informed us, he was even dumber for not doing it. He knew that Sasuke had the means to analyze, dissect, and understand his jutsu - even as Itachi had before in exploiting it for his own victory. And his "C4 Garuda" was certainly powerful enough that he had a serious advantage in surprising his opponent - and he blew it.

And to top it all off, Deidara also witnessed that Sasuke could harness lightning, as well, earlier in the battle - which just happened to be his Achilles' heel. After seeing that, Deidara should have become concerned enough to use "Garuda" before Sasuke had the time to realize what was happening to him, instead of playing a cat-and-mouse game with him. What good is it to wait until using your "trump card" if it only serves to give your opponent a chance? Genius... what?

If I had written this battle, I would have written it so that Deidara was completely unaware of both the full capabilities of the Sharingan AND Sasuke's habit of using lightning-based jutsus until the end. That way, at least he would have had an excuse for losing so badly. Here, though, Sasuke actually had to remind Deidara - as he did indeed forget just what made his opponent so dangerous. How could you forget something like that!?

I also would have used less of the curse seal and the Sharingan and more of Sasuke's other natural talents, as well - Chidori, alone, was enough to defeat this guy. Kishimoto is still, even after this time, hammering us all over the head about how seemingly invincible Sasuke's little doujutsu is - which, in my opinion, makes Sasuke seem even less of a genius, as it happens to be an inherited ability. I'll admit that I never minded Sharingan scenes before - as I'm a Kakashi fan - but it's now starting to annoy me, too. Wow. Enough, Kishimoto... enough.

As usual, the art was good, though, which is the only reason I'm giving the chapter any rating at all. This one almost convinced me that the series was going nowhere fast, and that I had better things to do with my time. Especially if the writing continued being this lousy... (Luckily, though, it did get better. ;) )

Rating: 1.5/5


362: 究極芸術... !!
3. Ultimate Art!!

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Could it have gotten any worse? You betcha.

Deidara, completely embarrassed and humiliated, suddenly ranted and raved about his defeat and the fact that the Uchihas didn't seemingly appreciate his art. (When did that ever stop him before? I'm sure the hundreds of people that he's blown up in the past didn't appreciate it either.)

As if this blatant display of being a sore loser wasn't enough, he also took a completely predictable approach towards an obviously stronger opponent that he wanted to take out no matter what. Can you say, KA-BOOM!

Hmm. Seems familiar. When have we seen this before? No, not the Mid-East suicide bombings, and let's not go into all that, please. (Though it probably did inspire Kishimoto.) The last time, it was only a clay bunshin designed to annihilate everybody within a 10-mile radius (I'm guessing here), while he made good on his escape. (Which was poor writing in itself, because wasn't he supposed to keep the Kyuubi container alive? He's lucky that Naruto did survive, but it was only thanks to Kakashi.)

Full circle here. This time, apparently not a bunshin, Deidara in a fit of rage literally explodes himself up... and takes out an even larger area than he did the last time. Whoa? Wasn't that a bit too rash, even for Deidara? Tobi's relative inactivity in this battle may have been explained later on (we'll get to that soon) but Deidara should have at the very least expected his partner to step in upon seeing what had transpired - and attempt to take out Sasuke himself. He didn't even bother to wait for that possibility. Well, he was in a rage, so I suppose that explains that, but... I ask you, what the heck good was having a partner, if you aren't even going to let them help you out? (Sure, Tobi wasn't going to help, but Deidara couldn't have known that.) At least Hidan and Kakuzu had an excuse - Shikamaru split them up. Deidara had no reason here to completely throw away his life. He didn't do it for religion nor for his country... but just for the sake of a petty victory over a young pup that he wouldn't even get to relish. Made him look even more of an idiot. Now if Tobi wasn't around, or Deidara irrevocably knew he was going to die either way, I could understand...

This whole battle just left a terrible, terrible taste in my mouth. Sasuke actually might have done the Akatsuki a favor, since he took out the one member that could have easily destroyed all their plans, just because he was that crazy. I must admit Deidara's suicide was nicely drawn, though, and it was fun again to see Sasuke suddenly realizing that he wasn't as invincible as he thought - for the second time now, in the same battle! Must have really been a shot to his ego.

But again, probably not.

I think I probably could speak for nearly everybody who wasn't a Sasuke fan when I say that I was just glad that this terrible battle was over. Though it really should have been an unresolved skirmish, without this kind of dramatic ending. Sasuke would have accomplished just as much as Naruto and Shikamaru if he just had defeated Deidara enough that he had to retreat. And Deidara could have gone down later on, perhaps even to another Akatsuki member (Itachi, likely), for trying too often to act on his own. So, for that reason... one more low rating coming up.

Rating: 2.5/5


363: サスケの死...!!
4. The Death of Sasuke...!!

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Death of Sasuke? Well, something died this chapter, and it sure wasn't Sasuke. What did poor, poor little Manda ever do to hurt anyone...

Ha, just kidding. Actually, Manda probably got what he deserved - considering he demanded human sacrifices in return for his help. This time, he was the sacrifice! You've gotta appreciate the irony there, guys. Wonder if their contract ever said anything about that...! (And don't worry, Sasukeophiles - your boy will likely pick up a different and more amiable serpent pal down the road, probably around the same time Sakura will be able to summon slugs. I mean, they've all gotta summon something, since they're supposed to be the next coming of the Sannin! It's almost certain to happen. And you've gotta admit, Manda probably wasn't ideal for Sasuke, anyway.)

Anyway, the best thing about the giant serpent's death was that it helped show that Sasuke still walked in darkness - despite his liberation from Orochimaru. If he would just take advantage of Manda's summoning like that - he basically murdered Manda, even if it was to save his own life - it showed that he didn't care about anything but survival until he killed his brother. Even at the expense of everything else. (Just like Itachi told him to do, huh? Sasuke's still got some growing to do.) So... it helped clarify that Sasuke was not yet out of the woods. Good. There's still some story yet to be told, folks...!

(I won't get into how exactly Sasuke was able to summon Manda in time to save his own skin, as he had to do it just as Deidara was self-destructing. That was definitely a bad artistic oversight on Kishimoto's part, but as the whole battle was horribly written, it figures.)

Things actually got much better in this chapter and the rest of the way. It helped that from this point on, each chapter kept delivering one startling revelation after another...!

Who could have predicted that the Akatsuki Leader himself - named Pein, or Pain, depending on your personal preference (I like Pein, because it sounds more like a name, even though Kishimoto probably intended for his name to be Pain; same reason I prefer Maito Gai over Mighty Guy, just sounds less corny!)... and his hitherto unrevealed blue-haired female friend would both show their faces at this point?

EDIT: It's now painfully obvious, from the *most* recent chapters, that Pein's name is indeed meant to be "Pain" as it is actually a nickname that he came up with for himself, to, I guess, indicate the pain that he's probably suffering in life in order to accomplish his objectives. So that being the case, I'm now calling him Pain, and I'm editing every reference to him here to reflect that. Sorry about that.

Without any warning at all... no cliffhangers or anything! They just plain right popped out of the shadows! After all the suspense of the last two years of waiting to see what the heck either one looked like... it was a much needed adrenaline boost after all the nonsense of the last few chapters.

Pain's character design came under criticism almost immediately because he seemed too Naruto-like, but that all quieted down after a few more revelations in later chapters, which I will get into later on. Let's just say that I liked him from the start for the simple reason that I felt he would soon pose a challenge to Naruto similar to what Itachi and Sasuke had going on. You know, a "dark twin" if you want to think about it in comic book terms. Woot! Okay, so I like evil twins, don't mind me... anyway, Gaara used to have that role for Naruto, but since he's since turned into a do-gooder, somebody else had to take his place, huh?

As for Konan, whose name wasn't revealed until about a few chapters later, I had no real reaction either way. We all knew that Kishimoto said that he would include a female Akatsuki at some point from an interview. So this was hardly a surprise. And she seemed like your average beautiful Japanese girl wearing an Akatsuki cloak - a flower in her hair, a piercing there, and that was it. It wasn't until a few chapters later that I would begin to appreciate her character a bit more, but I still definitely liked this chapter. It felt like a good turning point for the series, and it had great timing.

So, just a minor deduction here for the little artistic oversight I mentioned (it wouldn't have hurt to NOT show Sasuke staring at Deidara exploding... motionlessly, I might add. I know Sasuke's fast, but that was pushing it...!) I admit that I did initially have huge misgivings about the fact that the mysterious Akatsuki ringleader (who would be revealed next chapter) seemed more interested in Sasuke than Naruto, but that was explained later on. Good chapter overall that finally had some excitement to it.

Rating: 4.5/5


364: 狙いは... !!
5. The Target is...!!

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Maybe it would have been interesting if Itachi had actually believed that his little brother was dead, and was mourning - either for his passing, or for the fact that his plans for him, nefarious or not, had apparently been ruined - but I actually didn't think it would have been good for story purposes.

For one thing, if Itachi had been fooled in the least, then Sasuke would have had the advantage of surprise on his side - which might have meant less suspense overall for that eagerly anticipated battle. Perhaps more importantly, Itachi might have changed to the point where he would abandon all whatever agenda he's got going on. I've always wanted to know what Itachi intended to do in the first place, so yikes! So I'm rather glad that Itachi knew, somehow, that Sasuke was still alive out there. Though I wonder how he did. He almost seemed to be searching for Sasuke's chakra, the same way that Karin had last chapter. Which would mean, you know, no matter how hard he tried, Sasuke would never be able to surprise him...!

As for Sasuke and his band of merry men, not much had changed on that front. Sasuke's still acting like their mighty leader, despite nearly being blown up in the previous chapter, and love-sick Karin always seems to both be offended and impressed by him at the same time. Suigetsu's still as insulting as ever and Juugo still turns into a psycho half the time. Which I guess was the point here - Kishimoto's showing that nothing has really changed for the team. Yet.

Kiba finally proves his usefulness by demonstrating the ability to track down Sasuke - even when Akamaru and all of Kakashi's pups couldn't. That's some nose that kid's got - it's a wonder how he didn't just drop dead after Naruto pulled a fast one on him in the Exams!

Okay. You've waited long enough. Yeah, at the end of the chapter, we get quite a whooper of a revelation...! Everybody's favorite good boy, Tobi, shows up as the real Akatsuki leader. Not only that... he's got the Sharingan under that innocuous orange shell mask (reviving, I might add, all the Obito theories), and... Uchiha Madara, I presume? Wait a minute... Uchiha Madara!?

Yep. All the translators swear that Tobi was indeed referring to himself as the granddaddy of all Uchihas. They were proved right by the latest chapter (which I unfortunately won't be able to cover in this review). Holy Toledo...!

Even fans not sure about the legitimacy of his claims, though - such as myself - was still shocked by how casually he was ordering missions to who we had all thought to have been the leader - Pain. Now this was unprecedented! And very tricky. Nice one, Kishimoto.

I'm actually still not sure whether Tobi is really Uchiha Madara. He may be masquerading as Madara. Who knows what's going on in his head right now? But one thing we all know for sure now - he's got the Sharingan.

Which actually is the only thing I didn't exactly like about this chapter. More Sharingan? Whoopee-dee-doo. But I won't hold it against this chapter - because it also helped explained why Tobi - being an Uchiha - had such an interest in Sasuke last chapter. Luckily, only as a secondary goal, and if he's really Madara, he likely wants Sasuke as a potential container, just like Orochimaru once did - which makes sense, considering he's probably ancient by now. Thankfully, Tobi's orders to Pain did affirm that the Akatsuki were still after Naruto and that he still was their primary goal for the time being. Imagine that - Naruto's not forgotten, after all!

Back to Tobi; also, keep in mind, we were already warned, from the mouth of Itachi himself long ago, that there was actually still a third potential Mangekyou Sharingan user out there besides Sasuke and Itachi (and not counting Kakashi). Well, looks like we got our man, fellas...! In addition, that Itachi even knew about Tobi back then, whether he's Madara or not, seems to highly imply that the latter may have had something to do with his betrayal of the clan as well... but since I could write a book on all my thoughts on that, we better move on! ;)

Though I almost wish we didn't - because the next item up, is whether Tobi, whether he's Madara or not, may be wearing Obito's skin. Oh no, could he actually be Obito? Could that crackpot theory actually be true? (Sorry, I've dealt with this discussion ever since my early days as a moderator at NF, so I'm a bit tired on the subject. :p )

You may ask, if he does indulge in body-swapping, then why not Obito? Well, for one thing, Obito was shown as partially crushed by a falling rock... so badly that he knew he didn't have long to live. For that reason, he gave Kakashi - via Rin's amazing surgical skills - his one remaining Sharingan eye before the rest of the cave fell on all their heads. Obito's body would have never matured, unless he had, somehow, miraculously survived that death trap, which I doubt very much. Even if Tobi/Madara had somehow come across his body, forget it. What made Obito's body any better than any other deceased Uchiha?

If anything, I believe Tobi is Danzou. Remember Sai's mentor? Yep, the same one who had been a warhawk and hated the Third Hokage, and by association, Tsunade as well. The head of the "Root" organization, who also just conveniently happens to have the same build as Tobi - as well as having his left eye covered by bandages, the one that probably has the Sharingan which we just saw here. I could easily imagine Danzou either having a schizophrenia issue as a result of all his arguments with the Hokages, and believing himself to be the reincarnation of Madara, the most prominent rival of the First Hokage. Either that, or having been killed and replaced by Tobi/Madara at some point. (Just as Orochimaru once had done to Gaara's father) But I do believe it's Danzou.

EDIT: Okay, I've changed my mind on the Danzou-Tobi-Madara theory. To find out more about why, read further in the thread ^^;

(And if I'm wrong and Tobi is Obito, I'll eat my hat. With ketchup. No guarantees on whether I'll continue reading the series or not...)

Yep, things were definitely heating up in this series.

Adding a little interesting drama at the end, Konan apparently addressed Pain as one would a beloved person, at least as how the Japanese would. Not that I'm a real stickler for romance dramas, but... it does make their relationship more interesting, so I liked it. It would be incredibly different from any of the other Akatsuki pairings we've seen so far - if they actually loved each other, instead of beating up on each other all the time!

Fun chapter overall. A lot of talk over the water cooler after this one!

Rating: 5/5


365: イタチを追え...
6. Chasing Itachi!!

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Ah, one of these transitory chapters... well, I guess we were due for a rather dull one.

Don't get me wrong. Sure, Naruto running into Itachi was an event, but that happened at the end of the chapter. Not to mention that Itachi had already known that Naruto was in the area even before he revealed himself, and could have easily taken Naruto by surprise if he had wanted to - so it was pretty obvious he wasn't exhibiting a belligerent attitude and that there wouldn't be much of fight coming up. Though, of course, everybody was interested in what Itachi had to say, but that's next chapter...

What about the rest of this chapter? Okay, so we got a better glimpse at how exactly Karin's powers of chakra sensing worked - not that much different from Neji's Byakugan, is it? Well, except she probably can only "see" chakra. But, just a lot of standing around and closed eyes, and presto! Strong people a-comin'!

I reckon that was a good enough reason for them to get out of town. Naturally, Karin alarms the rest of the group that they're probably being followed, they conclude rightly that they're from Konohagakure, and just like that, they're packin'. Not even a good-bye party.

We did get one particularly major revelation this chapter, though it wasn't really so world-shattering as the Tobi/Madara one - but that didn't make it any less important.

What was it, you ask? The confirmation that Sasuke did absorb Orochimaru within himself. Had to, since the healing powers of the white snake are now his, so he says - and that had aided in his quick recovery from Deidara's little accident. Surprising. I think everybody had all assumed by now that Orochimaru would be "resurrected" through Kabuto eventually. Now... I'm not so sure anymore.

Perhaps Kabuto has to be near Sasuke in order for the final transformation to take place. Maybe Sasuke has the essence of Orochimaru's spirit within himself, and that it will someday jump from his body to Kabuto's?

However it happens, and you don't have to believe me, but I'm saying it - Orochimaru will be back. Definitely.

I did enjoy the amusing episode Karin had with Juugo - one of the few scenes involving her that I've liked so far. I don't know whether I'm just getting used to her character or if it's just that Kishimoto is getting a better handle on drawing her, but her blushing, grinning face while she was holding up the remnants of Sasuke's old tattered clothes was just hilarious. No wonder Juugo had to ask about why she had them - I would have, if just to see her reaction! Rather good idea though - to confuse their tracker by scattering Sasuke's clothes across the forest, via Juugo's fine feathered friends.

Anyway, nothing much really happened, but at least this chapter kept the story moving. Everybody was certainly dying to find out what would happen between Itachi and Naruto in the next chapter - I know I was.

Rating: 4/5


366: 兄弟
7. Brothers

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And, as expected, Itachi did just want to talk. (Though, predictably enough, Naruto attacked and was quickly stopped.)

Brother, what a corny conversation. Itachi asks why Naruto is trying so hard to get Sasuke back. Naruto responds that it's because he's a better brother to Sasuke than Itachi will ever be. I knew Itachi would have a small smile at that. And whaddaya know... he did.

Maybe it's just that I've always wanted Itachi to be the big, bad wolf all along, but I'm disappointed at his almost cordial attitude. That Itachi didn't seem to want to fight Naruto at all... despite the Akatsuki's orders. That he almost seems to be showing some concern for Sasuke lately. That he smiled when Naruto said that bit. All tends to lead one to think that maybe Itachi's not all that bad, doesn't it? That he's not the... (gasp) boogeyman, after all.

Maybe he didn't murder his own clan, after all. Maybe it was Tobi/Madara all along. Maybe he was forced into the Akatsuki. Maybe he's actually looking out for Sasuke all along.

Well, I hope not, dammit. I want Itachi to be the murderous little bastard I've always imagined him to be, and I hope Kishimoto doesn't ruin that.

OK, thanks for listening to my mini-rant. I'll move on here. ;) At least Naruto represented himself well in that little talk - of course he wouldn't flee Itachi just 'cause he was alone! "HAH! I can be one man, or a thousand!" Believe it, pal! Naruto might be dumb, but at least he's not a coward.

Clever of Itachi to use his crow as a way to activate his genjutsu on somebody. I wasn't expecting that. First the finger, now this. Makes me afraid to imagine what would happen if Itachi ever takes his pants off...!

Next up! Oh wow, it's Jiraiya? Yeah, Jiraiya's scouting pays off again, and he finds out that Amegakure has been in a civil war, and that the Akatsuki leader resides there - nice going. I actually thought the conversation would have ended at that point, and I wish it had. Because, as if all the dire foreshadowing of Asuma's death hadn't been enough, now we get some with Jiraiya, too. Ugh.

Hopefully it's just a red herring. Or more foreshadowing a major battle for Jiraiya than anything else (which I wouldn't mind seeing.) Sure, the old people have to die sometimes to make way for the new generation. We *already* got that message with Asuma. It would be OVERKILL to do it again, so soon, and especially to a more fun character like Jiraiya! DON'T DO IT, KISHIMOTO!

Oh wow, two mini-rants for the same chapter. That's a record for me, isn't it?

So we get a surprise cliffhanger at the end - guess what, guess what - Sasuke, who is actually caught unprepared, is facing none other than Uchiha Itachi! Damn, so soon? I don't think *anybody* expected that. We all expected, I think, this to be a long journey for Sasuke as well as Naruto - and to have Itachi appear so soon...? Again, just another crazy cliffhanger in this very unpredictable volume.

This one was still a bit of an average chapter that somewhat disturbed me at several points, so... Kishimoto, if you're reading this, DON'T DO IT KISHIMOTO!!! DON'T!!! (And can I have your autograph, too?)

Rating: 3.5/5


367: イタチとサスケ
8. Itachi and Sasuke

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Kishimoto really needs to work on his chapter titles. This chapter really didn't have much to do with Itachi and Sasuke - only a tease, after all. Though the dialogue was fun, especially as translated by Hisshou. Almost exactly as I would have imagined their exchange to be - almost casually mocking each other.

Anyway, what the chapter DID tell us - are you kidding me? Wowee!

Even now, I'm still reeling from THIS chapter. I thought nothing else in this volume would top the Tobi revelations, but brother! This one FINALLY gave us some of the answers I think most of us have been wanting to know ever since, well, the very first chapter! And it only took over three hundred and fifty chapters...! Nearly eight years...! Okay, so if you weren't Japanese, you've probably only waited five years at the most, like me, but still!

This was the chapter that essentially saved the volume for me. The one that made me feel like the story was *finally* getting somewhere for sure.

What was so special about it? Well... of course, y'all probably already know by now. But in case one of you might have been living in a cave lately and decided to read my review to get a sense of what's going on in Naruto lately... I'll oblige ya! We finally got confirmation that Naruto's father was none other than Yondaime... or Namikaze Minato... as we discovered his name was in this one.

Okay, to find out that Naruto's father was Yondy wasn't a surprise, but to get his name at the same time definitely was - nice one, too. Also the knowledge that he wasn't an Uzumaki helped a bit in understanding why Naruto was never really directly connected to him, at least by his peers. And we also found out that Naruto also incidentally had a mother and that she may be equally as important in understanding his background. (Imagine that!) Not even a Konoha-born gal, either - apparently, Uzumaki Kushina was from somewhere called the "Land of the Whirlpool" and that her hair is red, and she was probably about as energetic as Naruto himself.

Hmm, though these revelations did raise more questions. What happened to Naruto's mother? Was she there when the Kyuubi was sealed into Naruto? What happened to the Land of Whirlpool? Was Kushina a war refugee that had to reside in Konohagakure and become a citizen there?

Something else, too... who else in the series has red (ok, admittedly auburn) hair? Hey, how about Pain? Yep - *that*, for me, explained the resemblance... I may get my "dark twin" wish more literally than I imagined! After this chapter, though, I think it's a no-brainer that Pain is indeed related to Naruto in some way - perhaps an uncle, or even a brother. (Of course, later on, we would find out that Pain may not have been born in that body, so that's another intriguing question... could Naruto possibly have a brother, or uncle, that had been enslaved all this time?)

We also learned Jiraiya, unfortunately, didn't have a relation to either Minato or Naruto. No kids of his own, either. Well, I guess you can't have everything. Though, I could imagine Jiraiya having children that he wasn't made aware of yet - he is a rascal, after all - so who knows. Well, I just had to toss that out for all you fan-fiction writers, that the idea isn't quite dead yet. ;)

We also got a hint from Jiraiya here that Tsunade should watch out for the Root organization as well - foreshadowing that I did like. It supported my Tobi/Danzou theory, for one thing. Even if Danzou doesn't turn out to be Tobi, it means that Naruto will have new villains to contend with at some point, at least. And it means that Sai isn't completely an forgotten character - he may actually have some significance to the plot again at some point. Okay, I'm not a big fan of Sai per se, but I did want to see exactly what Kishimoto had in mind for him besides making him a temporary replacement for Sasuke in Team 7. And last but not least, the whole "conspiracy within Konoha" subplot that had appeared to be so interesting, back when Sai and Danzou were first introduced, is apparently making an unexpected comeback. I'm definitely excited about that.

We also found out just exactly how Jiraiya gets around so much to do his scouting - by travelling through the mouths of his toads! Weeeird, but cool. Guess these summons really come in handy. And of course, where else would Jiraiya go but to the very heart of Amegakure, where Pain's waiting for him, having already sensed his presence with his "rain"? Oy.

But, all in all, this chapter was awesome.

Rating: 5/5


368: 情報収集
9. Reconnaissance

http://img527.imageshack.us/img527/4207/frame9yl7.png

So that's how Jiraiya catches his prey, huh? Just like flies around a toad. Except in his case, he disguises a huge toad as a tavern... and promises beer. He probably promises women sometimes, too. Guess it's all dependent on the situation, since Jiraiya wasn't exactly familiar with his surroundings. But hey, everybody likes beer. Can't go wrong there!

There's actually not really that much to talk about in this chapter. Of course we did get our first idea of what kind of ninja Konan is - an origami one. Who would have thunk it?

Actually, it's a rather nice idea - but did you ever get the sense that the Akatsuki are nothing more than glorified puppeteers?

Basically what Sasori, Hidan, Kakuzu, and Deidara all could do involves puppetry to some point - whether it's through wood, other people, masks, or clay. Konan's puppets are obviously going to be made of paper. And as we would see later on, Pain can move from body to body. Zetsu's is probably plant-life. Itachi can control people through his genjutsu. Hmm... that leaves Kisame. Sharks? Ah well.

Oh well, moving on. Like I said, really not that much to talk about - very few words. The art did most of the talking, as an anime would. Luckily, it's more of Kishimoto's spectacular artistic talent on show. And Konan's jutsu was pretty cool.

Rating: 4/5


369: ペインについて
10. Concerning Pain

http://img172.imageshack.us/img172/7265/frame10qz2.png

Well, I guess we're finding out everything about Jiraiya's scouting techniques that we wanted to know. Dunno how I expected it to be anything more than silly interrogations... especially since it's, well, Jiraiya himself doing it! Figures! (He should really take Ibiki along with him sometimes if he doesn't really like doing it, though! Now there's a face that wouldn't brook any resilience...!)

So, here, we got a glimpse into Jiraiya's past... uh-oh, a flashback, just what we need... and learned a bit more about Amegakure's history - especially its leaders. I wasn't expecting the Rain to be the next country that we'd learn more about following the Sand, but hey, one land is as good as another, I guess!

So, Hanzou the Salamander, a legend himself, was the one who bestowed the title of "Sannin of the Leaf" on Jiraiya, Tsunade, and Orochimaru, eh? You would have thought it'd have been one of the Hokages who did that to honor them for their victories - not an enemy who had defeated them! But oh well.

Or maybe Hanzou actually didn't want to fight them - especially as he realized his own battle was futile against Konoha, anyway, and didn't want to risk losing his life in a final showdown with them? So recognizing that, he also realized how powerful the three were, and decided that if he had to pass on fighting them, at the very least he would acknowledge them? Though, Jiraiya did seem to be shocked here - guess he really respected the old codger.

I have to say that the whole story about Pain defeating Hanzou didn't really impress me, though. It was just too obvious that the story was trying to demonize Pain, and I expected it all along, I guess. I think it would have worked better if we had seen more from Pain personality-wise or talent-wise to that point. Think Zabuza. He was already fighting Team 7 when Kakashi revealed the sordid history of the Mist's graduation exams. To see Zabuza relish in the memories as the story was being told, and looking evilly at the children, too - was particularly effective.

This story about Pain killing Hanzou's whole family - and conquering Amegakure as a result - was not. It's all hearsay, about a character we've just come to barely know. Not to mention... DAMN, Hanzou the Salamander had a terrific character design. I think I was actually more impressed by Hanzou - that he was able to stand up to the Sannin - than Pain here! Shame he's apparently dead.

At the end of the volume, we get a glimpse into just how Pain's able to be so mysterious. He actually can transfer his subconsciousness from body to body - I'm assuming they're all different bodies here - and I'm guessing each one has powerful, but different, powers. I suppose that could make it easier on a guy when he's trying to be inconspicuous!

Rating: 4/5

What a volume. It started out on a terrible note, but had some great chapters later on to really bolster its rating. A great writing come-back on Kishimoto's part. Now if Jiraiya just doesn't die... DON'T DO IT KISHIMOTO!!!

OVERALL VOLUME RATING: 3.7

(P.S. Hope you enjoyed this review! Unfortunately, Chapter 370 wasn't part of this volume, so that one will have to wait... sorry! Gotta apologize for the week-long delay of the posting of this review too... I just had difficulties finding time to just sit at the computer and actually type out the whole darn thing! 'Til next time! ;) )

Credits:

All Scanlations used in this review were by Japflap.

Fan Colorings used in Images:
Chapter 360 Page 5 Sasuke by Yondaime
Chapter 363 Page 16 Pain & Konan by Amaretti
Chapter 363 Page 17 Konan by Dynamic Dragon (Great work!)
Chapter 366 Itachi Cover by Patrik_h88
Chapter 369 Pain Cover by Amaretti (wow!)

biotech_vertigo
September 18, 2007, 03:45 AM
Thanks for the review Gold Knight! Been waiting for this.

Gold Knight
September 18, 2007, 06:06 AM
Hope it was worth the wait. =)

Dhazard
September 18, 2007, 06:45 AM
Hope it was worth the wait. =)
Of course it was! Thanks for the review!
One thing that did stick in my head... if Itachi in the past said that there was a third potential mangekyou sharingan user AND that means that he did not count Kakashi, I suppose that Madara was, after all, born as an Uchiha. I mean, he can't possibly have his sharingan eye transplanted as occurred to Kakashi (because Itachi thought that Kakashi would be unable to acquire the mangekyou because of his body being not an Uchiha's).
So, I support your theory about Danzou being killed by Madara rather than the first that says he is crazy :amuse
Ps.: Sorry about my English XD

Stiluz
September 18, 2007, 06:49 AM
AWESOME, thanks for this! <33333

Will edit in comments later, just wanted to give my love. <3

The Flash
September 18, 2007, 07:40 AM
Great Review GK! Your reviews are amazing. Good job.

ibra87
September 18, 2007, 09:15 AM
Awesome review GK! I hope you keeping doing volume reviews whenever you have the time for them, not having read your review for so long made me forgot the pleasure of doing so. Anyway for the comments:

- I agree on the CS2 and especially the Sharingan being overused. That's why the Deidara vs Sasuke fight literally sucked (well, maybe not lit. The only one until now who's used it effectively has been Kakashi. Itachi isn't as bad as Sasuke but he keeps doing crows all the time, meh. Although I look forward to Madara using the Sharingan. What does the founder of the Uchiha have in store for us?


- Disagree with you on Tobi being Dazou. Just can't see it. I do however agree that he's probably replaced his body by now, most probably with Obito before he did. But one thing you forgot to comment was AL's line about how Tobi could be replaced easily. Did he use his body copy technique or? Maybe he's using the deceased bodies of the Uchiha's. Well not.


- I can see how there's a chance that Itachi did not kill his clan but I hope not. Remember how angry he was with the police/important Uchihas who came to him and almost killed him? So it's probably him who killed him, and probably per Madara's order who can not understand how they could betray him and take Konoha's side instead of helping him.


- And yep, Orochimaru will be back. I hope. All that life force and absorbing of him isn't probably just for fun, is it? I hope it's when Sasuke finally meets Kabuto that their "parts" combine. But Kishi probably got something in store for Kabuto, or else why would he have him talk about surpassing the old snake?
Talking about sannin, don't you dare die Jiraiya! ... But since Kishi, he probably will let Pein kill him to show how strong he actually is.

- Last but not least, I wonder how ROOT will try to overtake Konoha? That is of course while assuming that Madara = Danzou. But that would give us one more possiblity: Madara has somehow contacted Danzou and is planning to create chaos within Konoha as soon as his powers return! We'll see how the story unfolds!

Robotic Red
September 18, 2007, 10:11 AM
One thing about the Danzou theory.

Tobi has two arms.

Danzou has one.

;P

lordHokage
September 18, 2007, 10:46 AM
Great review GK. Once again, I’m very pleased. Keep up the good work. :kkthumbs

I agree with overall volume rating and that Danzou would be the next set of villains that Naruto has to deal with. I don’t think Tobi is Danzou. :blink

iThePirate
September 18, 2007, 10:59 AM
awesome reading as usual, ya really hit the spot with this one, lookin forward to the next one!

wykowsuki
September 18, 2007, 11:42 AM
Thanks Again Gold Knight

After Jiyiaya's flashback of The Sannin fighting Hanzou,
I was thinking the flashback maybe foreshadow of Naruto's upcoming battle with Pain.
Perhaps Sasuke will rejoin Naruto and Sakura for a showdown with Pain (or another insanely strong opponent), where they will earn respect as "The New Sannin".

In a past chapter in an earlier volume Kisame alluded to Itachi being reluctant to kill (or most Konoha Shinobi being reluctant to kill weaker ninja), just as Orochimaru commented to Sasuke. Now Itachi wants to have a talk with Naruto, whats up with this, I agree with Gold Night, we want Itachi to remain an evil SOB.

I agree that that I don't think Tobi is the original Madara (perhaps a reincarnation or a mind transfer)
also, I don't think Danzou is Tobi, (just because Danzou is too old) but The Theory has made me think of a potential Root-Tobi-Madara connection.

The warnings about 'Root', remind of Tenzou(Yamato) I've always questioned his loyalty (probably just because his real name is a secret), Danzou is old, younger 'Root' members must be lurking somewhere.
On the other hand Tobi standing on statue of Madara (sorry next volume) reminds me of Yamato's connection with the 1st Hokage, and I wonder if he will have a larger part to play.

matsyes
September 18, 2007, 11:50 AM
Awesome review GK ... tho I was surprised u didn't comment more on Jiraiya just strange comments to Tsunade abt her boobs. I think those are the wierdest statements I've ehard in Naruto :D... The deidra fight seemed more like fanfiction to me than actual kishi dtory. it was too obvious , the methods used were cool but the layout was very predictable ... Its true that the possibility of jiraiya's death is being foreshadowed out here ... But its also very likely that kishi might surprise us wit jiraiya escaping with his life barely and in the last chapter Jiraiya does say that it will not take long .. so perhaps he does not intend to fight ... After all it is just plain idiocity to go to a village alone and fight its leader.

kadoman
September 18, 2007, 01:09 PM
Awesome review GK! As always, I pretty much agree with you on everything. Don't get me started on Itachi's position though, as I still am far too emotional to debate objectively over him. :amuse I'm glad you said that you still want for him to be the baddie he's always been and I also hope that Kishi doens't ruin that for us. I don't mind if he's redeemed in some way - I just don't want all those bad things to not have been done by him. It'd be disastrous if he turns out to have been good all along.

kiddo7
September 18, 2007, 01:44 PM
yay for volume reviews!

will comment later...

Coup
September 18, 2007, 03:30 PM
Good review, enjoy the read, keep them coming:thumbs

Clash:
- Danzou=Tobi(reason; old and arm)
- Jiraiya will die(good guys have to die sometimes:bye )
- I still don't like Karin, though that part you mentioned was funny:amuse

Concur:
- Also not a fan of Obito=Tobi
- Itachi still having that murderous intent!
- Looking forward to Oro "comeback"

Someone posted the possibility of Sakura, Naruto, Sasuke being the new sannin which I would disagree with since the name didn't derive from their own village and I'm not a fan of Sakura either way.

Gold Knight
September 18, 2007, 04:23 PM
About Danzou's arm, good point guys, but... he COULD just be faking it. >_> It's pretty easy to tuck your arm away so that you seem to only have one arm.

Still, it looks like he doesn't have much room for an arm there, does it? Heh, well, I still think it's better than the Obito=Tobi theories out there >_> <_<

matsyes, these comments by Jiraiya prove that he's about as romantically intelligent as Naruto. It also shows why Tsunade never really wanted to date him. So that was a nice touch by Kishimoto to show just how awkward Jiraiya can be around women. Funny thing though was that Tsunade was too drunk to even get irritated at the time. XD (Tho' the Dan comment next chapter definitely did the trick. :p )

BLANKedOut
September 18, 2007, 05:53 PM
Wasup GK, good to see that you are doing reviews again (even if by volumes). Your reviews used to serve as one of my Naruto “fixes” – another way to get through the week until that next chapter. Being busy is a blessing though, with only an hour or two each week free for online stuff, my need for Naruto is less insatiable.

~Sorry for the long reply, although your great reviews deserve a lot. I type fast and the review brought up so much.~

-I agree with you on the point pertaining to Sasuke using more of his natural abilities. The Sharingan-Genjutsu and repeated use of CS2, as opposed to clever Taijutsu or even his beloved sword, are perfect examples of repetitive powers that are inherently too Uchiha or cursed seal based.

-Deidara’s personality is not very conducive towards asking for help. Hence, he would rather take out Tobi with Sasuke then admit he is so weak as to lose to some punk that didn’t appreciate art, was cocky, and conceited.

-Sasuke essentially killing Manda doesn’t really justify Sasuke’s perpetuation of darkness, in my opinion. Considering his express orders not to even kill Orochimaru’s cursed seal freaks and his choice to not kill any of the hundreds of people during his training while still under Orochimaru’s wing, his actions clearly put him on the angelic side still. Granted, he is no saint, but the majority of his darkness is expressed through his dialogue and not his actions. I don’t hold a Sasuke bias by the way. My stance towards him is impartial; this is just my objective opinion on his character. If the series wanted to be extremely cyclical and ironic, Sasuke would grow to be the next villain just as Orochimaru turned on Jiraiya and Konoha. His actions just don’t seem to justify that though.

-I also agree that summoning Manda in a situation where Sasuke was already out of chakra wasn’t very pragmatic. What really interests me here is Suigetsu; did he summon Manda back from the other dimension (meaning Sasuke summoned Manda, got inside him then released the summon) or did he summon him from the battlefield. If it’s the ladder then Suigetsu’s fast thinking really saved Sasuke’s ass. Granted there was a plan to meet up, but it didn’t involve the checking of the scroll and re-summoning. The fact that it happened does indicate that this plan was, at some point discussed, but it probably wasn’t right before the fight, especially since Sasuke didn’t know he would be having one with an Akatsuki member.

-I disagree with your assessment of the last stages of Sasuke vs. Deidara fight. Taking into consideration Deidara’s desperation and Sasuke’s calm, calculating demeanor, the fight proceeded logically. Deidara’s ability to jump to more powerful attacks is limited considering each attack depletes his supply of clay. Deidara underestimated Sasuke despite overwhelming evidence that supported Sasuke’s victory (which he should have put more significance to), this in conjunction with most Ninja’s natural hesitation to use very powerful attack (if they require tedious replacement or bodily rejuvenation) might be a reasonable explanation for the seemingly lame loss on Deidara’s part. He lost because he was not being his clear-headed. His emotions were the death of him and I think Kishi wanted to portray that to some extent.

Also, I don’t think it is fair to judge Kishi’s writing based off his favorite Mangas. You obviously love Naruto and yet you, yourself, say that you would write this fight differently. I liked DBZ, but it suffered a chronic anime problem; it came down to power and not skill (something bleach has had a recent tendency to degrade into). One reason Naruto is my favorite Manga is because it so vehemently uses tactics and skill as a foundation for fighting instead of just raw power. Kishi is by no means infallible, but your interpretation of the Sasuke vs. Deidara fight as a reflection on the series is more cynical than mine. =)

-Your Danzou = Tobi / Madara theory is interesting. I’m inclined to believe that Madara took means to preserve his life (presumably after his fight with Shodai) other than body snatching, but it would be the runner up as far as reasonable explanations go. Despite your well-made points towards their similarities I am still reluctant to accept that Madara is Danzou. I am very against the Tobi / Obito argument too. It is a circumstantial connection at best that isn’t pragmatic.

-Recently I’ve been indecisive on my split theory. Theory (A) is that Itachi is indeed the evil sinister guy we’ve grown to know and love. As you mentioned, recent events point elsewhere. Hence, my theory (B) is along the lines of what you said. Madara killed the clan, Itachi wants/needs Sasuke to become strong so he made him an Avenger (makes me think back to flashback where Itachi says something along the lines of: we are special brothers and must become strong even if we hate each other).

-Gentile Genjutsu…yea I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of that either. Let’s hope Itachi keeps his pants on. I always presumed that significance of the crow there was an indication that he was already under the Genjutsu.

I loved your review (as usual). Please do more.

Gold Knight
September 18, 2007, 06:35 PM
Thanks for the VERY nice response, Blanked. I'll definitely have to check out your reviews.

About Sasuke's choice to not to dispose of Orochimaru's freaks and prisoners showing that he's still not all that bad, very good point. But on the other hand, his life was also not in any danger at that point. ...but I agree that he's not all that deep into the darkness - at least not as much as I think most people would be from having such a long relationship with somebody like Orochimaru! But he's still in danger of crossing the line - and well, if you'll permit me to quote Yoda from Star Wars... "Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering." It's obvious that Sasuke feels like somehow he's got to hate Itachi more than anyone has ever hated somebody in the history of the world. I want to see some more negative backlash from that as far as his personality is concerned.

Good observation about Suigetsu and the summoning scroll - that whole scene wasn't really explained thoroughly, was it? I believe Suigetsu did summon the Manda from some sort of dimensional limbo - Sasuke must have conferred with him at some point that he may use Manda or a similar serpent if he ever felt like he had to escape a situation, and to teleport to where Suigetsu might be at the time. Which would also help if they were ever separated. That's why the symbol on the scroll must have disappeared - it indicated that Sasuke did teleport within one of his summonings and needed to be summoned again to be free. I do think it's pretty interesting just how much he trusts Suigetsu in that case. I think he's going to regret that trust at some point, but it paid off here.

As for the final stages of Deidara and Sasuke's battle, I actually did not expect Deidara to be emotional, much less stupid. We saw how he was able to calmly capture Gaara, no mean feat, back then - he had lost a hand (or had it crushed) and didn't even whimper. He also suffered a crushing defeat due to Kakashi's MS, yet he was clear-minded enough to be able to escape via an exploding bunshin. If he was going to use the C4 Garuda as his trump card in order to defeat Itachi, then he should have used it on Sasuke from the start. Granted, he may have been trying to test whether he could penetrate the genjutsu the Sharingan eye could cast on him, but at the same time he had to know that Sasuke's Chidori would have given him a very deadly advantage - and also marked him as being radically different from Itachi at the same time. That's where I felt the writing fell apart. It'd be easy to say that Deidara got carried away with the situation, but he really did end up seeming an idiot. This was not the same Deidara we saw against Gaara.

I don't usually base Kishimoto's writing off DBZ's, but I have seen a lot of parallels lately as far as battles. That's all I'm saying. I do think Kishimoto is a better writer overall than Akira, especially as far as character interaction and plot twists. Sometimes battles, as well. Many people complained that the Sasori battle was too DBZ-like, but at the same time, I still enjoyed it. But this one, I didn't enjoy.

My Danzou=Tobi / Madara theory may be considered a circumstantial connection not pragmatic, either. I actually don't know what I really want on that point anymore. I actually would like to see Danzou and his "Root" emerge as a wholly different villain organization, to tell the truth. I wouldn't be surprised if Tobi turns out to be no one we know, at least in appearance.

I think Kishimoto is definitely leaning towards the Madara somehow manipulating Itachi theory. I hope not, though - I want Itachi's character to be more complex than that.

Gentile Genjutsu, ha. Thanks for the responses, I enjoyed reading it. :)

MadDog
September 18, 2007, 08:44 PM
Great review as always.

Good pick up on the Orochimaru/Sasuke revelation. I overlooked how signifigant his comment may have been when I first read the chapter. I think you're right, Orochimaru's most likely not out of the picture just yet.

Danzou being Madara/Tobi is definetly possible. They were introduced within a chapter of each other, if that means anything (Tobi in 280 and Danzou in 281). Who knows, that could be a hint in itself.

DON'T DO IT KISHIMOTO!!!


and may the Uchihas shower you with Mangekyou love forever.

This line made me spit my drink on my keyboard. Good stuff.

Saifi
September 19, 2007, 12:07 AM
well I was expecting people to comment that konan and her abilities seem somewhat of a rip off off Read or Die series with a twist .... but anyway i guess ROD isnt all that popular anymore !

Gold Knight
September 19, 2007, 01:12 AM
Nope, can't say I've ever read Read or Die, Saifi. I'm sure that Kishimoto takes his inspiration for all his characters from something though... so your guess is as good as mine on Konan, Saifi.

Mad Dog, actually, the fact that Danzou and Tobi showed up within a chapter of each other might mean that they aren't the same person, if just because Tobi was obviously busy at the time getting to know the rest of the Akatsuki. Eh. The more feedback I get about my theory, the more I end up not liking it - but I don't like the Obito theory either. Oh well. XD

Stiluz
September 19, 2007, 09:05 AM
I just lost 25 minutes of writing a reply. I might kill someone.

juUnior
September 19, 2007, 11:37 AM
hmm what I can say... if Pein is called God in Amegakure, Your GK defiently my god of reviews :wtf

Awesome review, it was so biiigggg pleasure to read it, oh man, its like ectasy to my eyes and my mind :wtf

I hope You will be doing reviews on volume style heh :D

I don;t know what to say, it's nice to see you again with superb-amazing-fantastic-wonderful review xD

Gold Knight
September 19, 2007, 06:50 PM
I just lost 25 minutes of writing a reply. I might kill someone.

Oh NOES. What happened? :wtf


hmm what I can say... if Pein is called God in Amegakure, Your GK defiently my god of reviews :wtf

Awesome review, it was so biiigggg pleasure to read it, oh man, its like ectasy to my eyes and my mind :wtf

I hope You will be doing reviews on volume style heh :D

I don;t know what to say, it's nice to see you again with superb-amazing-fantastic-wonderful review xD

Thanks! I can always count on you for moral support :amuse

matsyes
September 20, 2007, 02:27 AM
I think kishi is setting up naruto more and more as a counterpart to naruto's powers. Now with the white snakes ability apparently sasuke can heal fast too also like naruto. HOwever i hope naruto also gets some kind of ability because the entire sasuke fandom is getting annoying and sasuke yet has the edge with the entire sharingan thing.

I dont agree with your interpretation of the deidra battle. Even in the battle with gaara deidra got quite annoyed with him as gaara did not show any expression. Also diedra is a meglomaniac who though analytical yet gives into his emotion. Also considering his history with itachi who defeated him in less than a minute without a single movement, It is to be expected that he would have a lot of frustration with sharingan users. Though on a sidenote it is interesting how many toes itachi has managed to step on he got both orochimaru and deidra pushed to the limit. Of course the fight did not progress as well as it should but never the less as considering how painful c4 is to diedra and how much it exhausts him I dont think he would want too pull it out initially. Also he did immediately upgrade to c2 as soon as he saw sasuke's ability. Further you make the point that sasuke should not use the sharingan and cs2 so much but one has to consider that sasuke is going into battle no holds barred immediately pulling out his big guns as soon as possible and that is what we wish diedra had done.

One thing I dont get is shouldn't sasuke be a missing nin and hunted by konha. After all he did betray them.
Also when is naruto going to get a chance to grow up!!! They keep going on about how he has changed and what not. However he gets to meet itachi who wants to talk gets the perfect oppurtnity to collect information from the mouth of an akatsuki member and he tells him to shut up!!!! Further what was that inane conversation the two of them had. THere was absolutely no content. Though the conversation between itachi and sasuke made up for it. And itachi's crow jutsu is just beautiful.

I was hoping we would have some mention of the FRS perhaps how naruto can use it without injury to himself but nothing on it so far. Everybody seems to be improving apart from naruto and it is getting to be annoying hell we haven't even seen is new perverted jutsu!!!

On the jiraiya topic I completly agree kishi cannot kill jiraiya!! It'll be just overkill on stressing the theme of the old becoming stronger than the younger.
However pein seems to be a really interesting character and I wonder if konan as any connection with shoidame after all paper is nothing but mashed wood, perhaps a change in the moukton jutsu.

The outcome o fthe jiraiya pein matchup however is very important to the story line. If pein loses then akatsuki becomes nothing more than a measuring stick to show the power ups of the old characters. Akstsuki would however lose its punch completly. If jiraiya dies well that'll totally chage the storyline as he'll be the first major character to die after sandaime.

Gold Knight
September 20, 2007, 02:39 AM
I completely agree, matsyes - Kishimoto IS setting up Sasuke as more of a counterpart to Naruto as far as having beasts inside him. We've been given hints that Sasuke might actually possess a demon of his own - at least, a "evil that rivals Madara's," according to the Kyuubi. And that was before he absorbed Orochimaru... gotta wonder just what exactly Sasuke had been doing over the timeskip!

I don't remember Deidara ever getting annoyed at Gaara because he never showed any expression. He seemed remarkably in control of himself in that battle despite losing one of his hands, right to the end. He even called the battle "easy" at the end.

I still think Kishimoto really gave Deidara a bum deal - not unlike the way he did with Asuma.

And keep in mind, that Deidara-Itachi flashback did not have to be part of the story. Deidara did not have to ever be frustrated with Itachi to the point where he'd get so angry at his little brother. It's that kind of writing that I didn't like here, because Deidara was ultimately turned into a raving idiot because of it. Although, it's probably true at the same time that Deidara could have just destroyed Sasuke if he hadn't been so emotional. (Guess that's why these shinobi frown on emotions, huhn?)

It's true that Sasuke did use every one of his skills in that battle, though and it did make him seem the smarter combatant by far. I'm just complaining about the fact that the Sharingan has been used as a crutch so much in the series.

Sasuke IS a missing nin - Itachi said it himself. But I think that he's also still a kid, so there is still some hope for his redemption - which is probably why Tsunade allows Naruto and Sakura to try to search for him. At the same time, we certainly found out that SOME of Konohagakure wants Sasuke dead - as Sai proved, as he was sent on a mission to assassinate him, before Naruto managed to change his mind.

That's true, Naruto certainly didn't show much maturity in his battle with Itachi. Sigh. Good point there.

You're probably right that a death of a major character like Jiraiya is necessary to sort of bring some credibility back to the Akatsuki, as much as I hate to say it. I'm just hoping right now for a situation where Jiraiya goes down and is believed to be dead, but returns at a later point. (A little like Orochimaru might.) Though, we haven't really been given any hints of that possibility yet.

kluzman
September 20, 2007, 05:10 AM
Thanks a lot for the review GK!

matsyes
September 20, 2007, 08:53 AM
I think when kyuubi said that sasuke resembles madara, i think he meant it more in atavistic terms rather than an internal source of power. I think that is why they say that sasuke's sharingan is better than itachi's coz he is closer to madara , tho how u can get better is beyond me.
I went back to the gaara rescue arc and yeah deidra never shows any emotion... Further you make a very good point that the flashback was not at all important to the story. It did not contribute in any way at all except as an excuse to make the battle tougher for sasuke and glorify him further. Also how did deidra train an eye to see thru sharingan genjutsu. Isn't that the same as being able to see thru any genjutsu and if that's possible wont more ninjas be trained in it.
I agree that the sharingan has been praised excessively but the sharingan is not as much of a crutch as the other kekkei genkai. At least its users use other jutsus that dont revolve around it for example katon jutsus,raiton jutsus and so on. If you take other kekkei genkai, all jutsus revolve around the particular ability of the user. Deidra uses only clay jutsus, yamato only moukton jutsus(primarily), Neji only jutsus that can be used with byakugan,haku only ice jutsus,kimimaru and the list goes on. So despite the fact that the sharingan is being elaborated, it is not as much of a crutch as the other jutsus. Its getting annoying only because well one of the major characters is a sharingan user. However it also shows why neji annoyed a easy going character like rock lee so much, after each fight between the two it must have ended like "because I have the byakugan"!! :)
It'll be really interesting if jiraiya's battle doesn't end in a death and actually there is a hint that might happen. Jiraiya does say that it shouldn't be too long pg 10 ch370 so perhaps he does not intend to fight him at all but rather only go gather some information. After all he would not think a fight against someone so higly vaunted will get over fast nor can he rate himself so low that It'll get over very fast for him.

Mendes
September 20, 2007, 09:01 AM
Clever of Itachi to use his crow as a way to activate his genjutsu on somebody. I wasn't expecting that. First the finger, now this. Makes me afraid to imagine what would happen if Itachi ever takes his pants off...!

LOOOOOOOL xD
Anyway, Amazing review as always GK. Unlike you, I kinda enjoyed the fight between Deidara and Sasuke, even tough it was fanservice, it was a nice and interesting match. Of course that Deidara could have just used his finishing move as he ambushed Sasuke, but that would take away every strategy moves that this fight enabled. Also, by that time in the manga, I was thirsty for a hard fought strategy match that we lacked since Shikamaru vs Hidan

CupofDice
September 20, 2007, 04:04 PM
Great review GK, though I liked the Sasuke/Deidari battle a bit more than you. I definitely agree it's a shame Hanzo seems to be dead. Kishi ripped us off a bit by not showing more of a battle and his techniques. I guess we can just wait for the databooks. I also think both Pein and Hanzo have equally great designs, though Hanzo definitely wins.

kaylee
September 20, 2007, 04:28 PM
Excellent review -- I always enjoy reading your analyses. I miss the chapter-by-chapter reviews, but it's almost more fun (and makes much more sense in the long run) to analyze them in bigger chunks.



As far as the Deidara/Sasuke battle goes, I have to agree with you. The fact that we knew what the outcome had to be before the battle barely started, that Deidara didn't recognize his severe elemental disadvantage (well, he did recognize it, just didn't do anything about it), and that Deidara became so irrationally emotional for seemingly little reason all contributed to my frustrations with this battle.

You can give a little credit back to Deidara though, because he apparently didn't fully understand the elemental relationship or the power of the sharingan. Sasuke explained that he'd needed to test his theory that his lightning jutsus would deactivate Deidara's bombs. Deidara didn't have a response to this, so maybe he didn't realize that it was possible either. Also, Deidara definitely showed surprise when Sasuke mentioned that he could "see" the bombs buried underground, so I guess he didn't really understand the sharingan as well as he thought he did. But while these things help explain Deidara's loss (a bit), it doesn't make him look like any less of an idiot for losing. In fact, I think it makes him look more weak that he didn't understand these things.

On top of that, while Sasuke was explaining his whole strategy, Deidara asks him what he would have done if his theory was wrong, and that chidori-impaled bomb exploded anyway. Sasuke responds that he would've been forced to use his so-called "other" option. Hmm. So, Sasuke had something up his sleeve to escape a huge, chain-reaction bomb explosion. So why the hell would Deidara use a kamikaze bomb technique without first trying to figure out what Sasuke was talking about, or at least trying to tie him down or something.

Oh well. I wasn't a big fan of Deidara anyway.

While I don't fault Sasuke for using the sharingan and curse seal (it's always more interesting to me to see a ninja use all the techniques in his arsenal, rather than just over-using one or two), I've been waiting to see some negative consequences of him using the curse seal for a while now. I still think it'll happen (just have to wait for the crucial moment I guess), along with (possibly?) Oro taking over Sasuke's consciousness at some point. It could be interesting if we somehow ended up with two pseudo-Oros for a bit -- one in sasuke and one in Kabuto...



I'm not sure I understand your Danzou = Madara theory. Are you saying that Danzou is an unrecognized Uchiha that Madara transferred into, or that Danzou has an implanted sharingan and psychotic delusions of grandeur? Either way, it seems kinda unlikely, and I think I prefer Danzou as a separate villian with his own goals and agenda anyway.

That said, I'm not a fan of Madara = Tobi = Obito either, as I think it diminishes Kakashi's backstory (and obito's sacrifice). If Madara does have the ability to transfer bodies (thus explaining why he's still alive), why would he pick obito anyway? If he transferred immediately after Obito was crushed (while still alive), then it seems that he could have picked any other non-crushed uchiha, as they all hadn't yet been killed off at that point. And if he transferred to another body much later (after obito died) then, like you said, why pick him over all the other dead Uchihas available?

But if Madara = Tobi = Obito does turn out to be true, I won't be too disappointed, because at the very least it will be good motivation for Kakashi to be more involved, and that's always a good thing, right? And also, if Madara does turn out to be a body switcher, it could explain why he's so interested in Sasuke. (not that that hasn't been done before).


As a final note, I'll add to your pleas -- DON'T DO IT KISHIMOTO!!! Kishi's making it soooo incredibly obvious that Jiraiya's a goner, that I really, really hope he's trying to trick us (not just because I love Jiraiya, but also because I really don't want the manga to be that predictable). Just leave Jiraiya incapacitated (still gives Naruto an excuse to get the key) or pretend to kill him off! Please?

Manior
September 21, 2007, 03:34 PM
I don't remember Deidara ever getting annoyed at Gaara because he never showed any expression. He seemed remarkably in control of himself in that battle despite losing one of his hands, right to the end. He even called the battle "easy" at the end.

Deidara: "To be stopped from below would put me in such a bad mood. That, and I'm tired of your expressionless face." (Chapter 249p10)

Deidara: "Not killing him was a bit harder as I imagined but..." (Chapter 249p19)

Deidara got annoyed a little bit. But he still kept his cool against Gaara, that's what he was lacking in the battle with Sasuke. And, as badass his win against Gaara was, he was "unprepared" (he stated this himself), going against a Kazekage with enough clay for a few attacks - this supports the Deidara isn't the smartest theory.

Be the most important thing - as much as I enjoyed the Sasuke vs Deidara battle in some way (two great characters) - it's also a battle of two characters that don't know each other as you stated GK. No real conmnection! The reason for Deidara to fight Sasuke (because he killed Orochimaru) seemed rather weak for me all the time. Well, the fights in part two aren't so symbolic and deep as in part one in some way...



That's true, Naruto certainly didn't show much maturity in his battle with Itachi. Sigh. Good point there.


Absolutely. Naruto was one of the best characters in part one. Now we're only hearing from others how good he is...how he will surpass Yondaime, has the potential. But Naruto hasn't really grown. The FRS? Hm...
When it comes to him, his acting, his speech...he hasn't changed. He was a little kid in part one, but now he is really becoming a candidate for Hokage (Tsunade stated it), there is no excuse - so it's kind of sad that he's so immature. I'm so sorry for Naruto in some way. On the other hand - I wish for Naruto to know who his father is after all...it would be huge for him. I think that with the death of Jiryaya this could be the most shaping moment for him in the series.


I also think the revelation and focus on Pein and Madara took away the spot from the Uchiha brothers meeting each other. This was the moment I waited the most for to happen in the manga...Sasuke versus Itachi. And it came so quick and unexcepted...Kishimoto will give as the Jiryaya - Pein battle first as it seems anyway...


Thanks for the review GK! I love to read it when waiting for a raw...

Obxist
September 21, 2007, 04:31 PM
just one word ,.. wow,.....

thats a very2 good review and summary of v40,..you got all the keypoints of each chapter,.. i must say its time consuming to make it, but it worth it,.. thank you very much :D

LotusBlade
September 21, 2007, 11:15 PM
Great Summary GK,

Just thought that credit should be give to proper people, the coloring that was used for the 363 review is by Dynamic Dragon.

Cheers,

-L.B.

juUnior
September 22, 2007, 06:25 AM
Great review GK, though I liked the Sasuke/Deidari battle a bit more than you.
Oh yeah, when I read that, I forgot to mention similar thing in my post, that I really enjoyed the fight Deidara vs Sasuke. The only, really big thing which annoyed me was that it had no tension at all.. probably everybody thought: when Deidei will die :x

Tha Uchiha
September 23, 2007, 11:52 AM
THanx GK, it was a pleasure again reading your awesome reviews!

Yarias
September 23, 2007, 09:19 PM
Thanks again for your absolutely spectacular reviews!

Gold Knight
September 27, 2007, 01:20 AM
Great Summary GK,

Just thought that credit should be give to proper people, the coloring that was used for the 363 review is by Dynamic Dragon.

Cheers,

-L.B.

Thank you! Figures it was Rogie who did that amazing piece! :D I've added the credits to the first post.

Keep these comments coming everybody! I'm slow at responding, but I'll get to it all eventually.
[hr]
OK, here goooes.

@ matsyes - good points you're making there. The Kyuubi might indeed have simply been comparing Sasuke's Sharingan to Madara's. Furthermore wouldn't it be interesting if just because the Sharingan is distasteful to him (and presumably has served somehow in controlling it in the past) he'd see it as "evil" - and that might be the reason why he saw Sasuke as being "evil." Because the Sharingan IS an evil, at least to him. That would explain that line, I think.

And you're certainly right about that kekkai genkai has been usually used as the primary abilities of most people who possess them in the series so far. If everybody else, why not Sasuke too? Can't argue there. I just think Kishimoto's a bit off on the definition of "genius." And I suppose from a reader's viewpoint, it's getting old.

Thanks for your opinions! :)

@ Mendes - Shikamaru vs Hidan wasn't THAT long ago, man. XD And even that battle, I think, was much better than this one, because at least it made sense and Hidan stayed in character throughout. (I wasn't fond of it, though.) I may be compelled to change my mind, though, on the Kakuzu fight being worse.

@ CupofDice - I think I'm going to put up a poll regarding whether people liked the Deidara v. Sasuke battle or not. ^^

@ kaylee - Thanks for your thoughtful post. VERY good observation about Sasuke's "other option." I missed that, but you're right, Deidara didn't even take it in consideration as he was preparing his suicide bomb. Question is, was Sasuke's option that he was talking about there his last-second escape via Manda? Or something else?

I'd like Danzou to be another villain with his own agendas, myself, actually. I suppose I was just trying to point out, more than anything, that Danzou is more likely to be Tobi than Obito. I think Jiraiya's warning about the Root organization was what alerted me more to that theory than anything else, and made me speak up about my thoughts there - but there's, of course, no proof whatsoever (not to mention the little detail of Danzou's missing arm...) >>> I'm going to edit the first post and mention that I've changed my feelings on this theory ^^

I do agree that Kakashi would definitely get more involved if Tobi does turn out to be inhabiting Obito's body, though. That's probably the only thing that would keep me reading the series (if I don't die from choking on eating my hat, first, anyway XD )

Ahhh! DON'T DO IT KISHIMOTO! Don't steal our beloved Toad Sage away from us!!!

@ Manior - Thanks for pointing out these... I had completely forgotten Deidara's thoughts regarding Gaara's facial features. I suppose that does tend to point to Deidara potentially being angry if somebody doesn't appreciate his art, but then, at the same time, he never really got upset with Sasori - who was probably more forward than anybody else about it. >.>

Good thinking that finding out more about who his parents were, or the death of Jiraiya, MIGHT lead to Naruto becoming more mature in some ways. If that's so, I'll be happy. (Though I'd prefer it to be the discovery of his lineage instead of Jiraiya's death, though. Don't do it, don't do it, Kishimoto!)

@ Everybody! Thanks for all your support!!! ^^

ornis
September 27, 2007, 02:26 AM
Great review!

How's Tobi/Madara feeling to you, GK? I personally want to go with Madara in every reference to the guy, but beyond the preference, how do you think he's handled Akastuki so far? I feel there's been a "catharsis" of the organization, less in a theatric and "ideally" beneficial sense, moreso in a front of fake immortals involving the deaths of foolish men who can't quite manage living.

Thinking of Tobi truly heading this leads me to imagine the whole organization as a hack. Eh, I don't know, just a thought. Maybe he's too stubborn to realize Akatsuki has nothing on "true strength...?" It seems like every contention had between the next generation and a group of mavericks pursuing ideal actualizations of some sort of life and liberty carries Akatsuki's face through the ground... I get a funny feeling the Shinobi feels dead, in light of the Red Dawn, or rather the group has little clue of what a current shinobi entails, Naruto-verse sense... it's not just about wars, right? Strife is endless to Shodai though... unless upon being risen against Sandaime (http://www.onemanga.com/Naruto/118/06/), the notion spewed, though true, doesn't have to define a ninja (again, Naruto-verse sense)... though its less of "ninja" here and more of philosophy, with fantastical ninja toted as the medium through which Kishi ponders life... or whatever....

Anyhow, are you embracing an allegory in this, especially the Madara-and-Kyuubi centric bit, maybe even a reference to past ones (Miyazakian/Miyazaki-esque... or person-influencing-Miyazaki-esque, even then, that-guy-who-influenced-the-guy-influencing-Miyazki...esque)? How deep do you take the Yin and Yang event, even though, fact for fact, we know very little abut Kishi's terms for Yin and Yang? He could use it multi-purposely.... I mean there's face value then there's poeticism... perhaps I'm "looking for nothing" here >.> Still, everywhere I turn in Naruto, some interpretation of Nature is being somewhat handled more or less than it should be, the act just feels "right there...."

kaylee
September 27, 2007, 09:29 AM
@ kaylee - Thanks for your thoughtful post. VERY good observation about Sasuke's "other option." I missed that, but you're right, Deidara didn't even take it in consideration as he was preparing his suicide bomb. Question is, was Sasuke's option that he was talking about there his last-second escape via Manda? Or something else?


I had assumed that Sasuke's "other option" was indeed his summoning of Manda, since he went to the trouble of setting up everything with Suigetsu before the battle. But you're right, there could still be another "other option", given Kishi's tendency to stretch out the "that justsu" / "that power" / "that [whatever]" for months on end.... I really hope not though. I'm still waiting for Sasuke's "that jutsu" from when Naruto first met up with him post-timeskip to be revealed. He doesn't need another one.

And in your poll, I voted for "It started good, but ended badly." After rereading the fight, I realized I actually did like the early chapters (356, 357, and 358), none of which were in this volume though, unfortunately.

Gold Knight
September 28, 2007, 12:09 AM
@ ornis

Re: Feelings on "Tobi/Madara"

I think there's a big possibility that Tobi may only be pretending to be Madara. Or Tobi has Madara's Sharingan - much like Kakashi does Obito's - and I think I'm more inclined to believe that than his own claims to be Madara.

For one thing, I can't see Madara himself idly sitting on the head of a statue that marked a defeat at the hands of the first Hokage at the Valley of the End, cheerfully plotting the capture of one of his descendants.

I always assumed the founder of the Uchiha clan would be... well... more serious than that. Either Madara's lost all his marbles over the years, or it's somebody else entirely.

And I suppose that's why I don't want to go with Madara in every reference to the guy. Yet. ;)

Re: How he's handling Akatsuki:

While he's manipulating them all from the shadows in order to get what he wants, it's obvious Pein and Konan are onto his schemes though, and are helping him. Does this mean that he needs them both to succeed? Is there something about him or his schemes that if the other Akatsuki found out about, would they have turned on him? It wasn't like none of the others had their own personal agendas to begin with, or that they were particularly trusting of each other in the first place. Makes you wonder...

Re: Akatsuki as "Shinobi"

I think that since these Akatsuki are mavericks, as you said, they believe that they can handle themselves on missions. It's not as though the "shinobi ideal" is dead for them, but since they've already abandoned their countries, they're pretty much free to believe whatever they want to. Including that their power is better than anybody else's. I'd be pretty interested in finding out just how Pein managed to get them all to travel in pairs. Especially Hidan and Kakuzu.

Must be the bijuus - Pein must have told them that if they do manage to defeat and capture a bijuu, especially in its natural state, it'd be pretty tough for just one person to carry it back to the hideout. (Though Deidara certainly seemed to do all the work on his own with the Sanbi!)

Re: Madara/Kyuubi

Well, I think BlankedOut's theory about the Yin/Yang thing is good in his 370 review... I agree with it. (See my first response in that thread.) I'm not quite sure what you're asking about on the allegory of Miyazki, though... I don't even know who that is.

@ kaylee

Oh, Sasuke WILL have another ace down his sleeve... he's going to have one for the final battle with Itachi, or his next confrontation with Naruto, you just know he's going to!

You know, I completely forgot about when Sasuke mentioned "that jutsu" from when Orochimaru stopped him. That could be it. Though, I'm not entirely sure whether it was a defensive or offensive jutsu that he was talking about. The one he was about to use on Naruto back then definitely seemed like it was going to be offensive. But with Deidara, he wasn't trying to kill him - since he wanted to extract the info about Itachi from him. And to do that, Deidara had to still be alive.

I also voted "It started good, but ended badly" myself. Poll results are interesting so far! ^^

macherie
September 28, 2007, 07:42 AM
Great review GK, always a pleasure to read. Felt like i was in those battles just reading through it again, haha. I think volume 40 was definitely full of explosions (ah pun XD), many revelations and a lot of unfolding.
Thanks for the great reviews, keep up the hard work ! =]

weixiaobao
September 28, 2007, 04:47 PM
hmmm... it seem that i've been ignorant of this part of the forum ever since the site change..
anyway great review...

I must say agree that the fight between Deidara and Sasuke wasn't all the way super but it was much better in someway than the previous hidan/kakuzu matches... but the summoning of manda .. did surprise me..

*hmm, Kakuzu fought the 1st hokage... the 1st hokage defeated Madara... .... hmmm i have no idea where i am going with this ... srry
What ever happen i think it better that Jiraiya not going to die anytime soon ... he could die after get back and inform the village all about the infos he gathered .. but i am pretty sure he will die before tsunade....

EDIT: i forgot that he tried to inform Ibiki... :scry .. Jiraiya going to be killed off by kishimoto... :crying

I also disappointed at the fact that Pein was portrayed to be way stronger than the leaf sannins in this volume... But Kishimoto did made a comeback after revealed the secret relationship between him and Jiraiya.. ..

Gold Knight
September 28, 2007, 05:21 PM
Great review GK, always a pleasure to read. Felt like i was in those battles just reading through it again, haha. I think volume 40 was definitely full of explosions (ah pun XD), many revelations and a lot of unfolding.
Thanks for the great reviews, keep up the hard work ! =]

Thanks XD


hmmm... it seem that i've been ignorant of this part of the forum ever since the site change..
anyway great review...

I must say agree that the fight between Deidara and Sasuke wasn't all the way super but it was much better in someway than the previous hidan/kakuzu matches... but the summoning of manda .. did surprise me..

The beginning of many surprises to come, eh?



I also disappointed at the fact that Pein was portrayed to be way stronger than the leaf sannins in this volume... But Kishimoto did made a comeback after revealed the secret relationship between him and Jiraiya.. ..

I'm not disappointed at that - in fact, quite the opposite. If Jiraiya could handle Pein himself, there wasn't going to be much drama with the Akatsuki at all.

hayateblitz
September 28, 2007, 06:18 PM
Great Review! Thanks heaps ^^ It was very concise and amusing at times ^^

I've never thought of the possibility of Tobi=Danzou.. though its a bit hard to swallow, I'd suspect that they are at the very least, working together to overthrow the hokage or what not >.<

Looking forward to ur other reviews :)

strongarm85
September 29, 2007, 12:17 AM
Very nice review GK. I probably would have given the Sasuke and Deidara fight a higher rating than you did though. Personally I felt like they both came out looking strong in the end, even if Deidara did snap and blow himself up in the end. But then again, everyone is entitled to their opinions. I'm really wondering how C4 is going to look when they get around to animating it.

Anyhow I know my theory may not exactly be everyone's cup of tea, but I really don't see Pein being related Naruto. Naruto's mother was described as having Red Hair, as well as being a Tomboy who talked like one of the guys. In the last oh, say 20 or so chapters we've been introduced to someone who exactly matches that description. Personally, I think its going to turn out that Karin is actually Naruto's sister.

ornis
September 29, 2007, 09:24 PM
@ ornis

Re: Feelings on "Tobi/Madara"

I think there's a big possibility that Tobi may only be pretending to be Madara. Or Tobi has Madara's Sharingan - much like Kakashi does Obito's - and I think I'm more inclined to believe that than his own claims to be Madara.

For one thing, I can't see Madara himself idly sitting on the head of a statue that marked a defeat at the hands of the first Hokage at the Valley of the End, cheerfully plotting the capture of one of his descendants.

I always assumed the founder of the Uchiha clan would be... well... more serious than that. Either Madara's lost all his marbles over the years, or it's somebody else entirely.

And I suppose that's why I don't want to go with Madara in every reference to the guy. Yet. ;)

I take Tobi's oddities to be intentionally ironic, as if he's eccentric, or I see them as self-absorbed to a painful degree... sadistic and self-mocking. Now that you've mentioned it, he is oddly sitting on the head of a statue that signifies the end of his ties with Shodai and seemingly Konoha.

It's as if he forces himself into a position that evokes how he's numb to even an epic defeat that must have concluded a friendship and clearly concluded that Madara was far from a god.

Let me further explore the possible extent of his attitude. Tobi has taken a mask resembling a whirlpool and made its center the Sharingan. The detail hints to his sense of humor, as if even in costume, Tobi's eye is presented as a focus that a naruto swirls around and of course, leads to... it's so essential.

If Madara was a supervillain, these self-adherent qualities point to Tobi being him, imho, but not necessarily any more than they point to Tobi being Tobi.

But I say, I see Tobi faking Madara as a twisted blow; it'll just completely blow me away. I mean it feels pretty pathetic to mimic someone else to the degree he evidently has (If he's not Madara). It displays a great sign of insecurity, imo... yet, I could find myself empathizing with him for that simple intimation to his own vulnerability. Such a human villain just seems so fragile, though that sense of how he's weak makes him open to be pitied where he can candidly fool a heart that cries for him. *Sympathy for the Devil*



Re: How he's handling Akatsuki:

While he's manipulating them all from the shadows in order to get what he wants, it's obvious Pein and Konan are onto his schemes though, and are helping him. Does this mean that he needs them both to succeed? Is there something about him or his schemes that if the other Akatsuki found out about, would they have turned on him? It wasn't like none of the others had their own personal agendas to begin with, or that they were particularly trusting of each other in the first place. Makes you wonder... One person not too trusting of Akatsuki at all to me, just advantageous enough to invest his time in it to advance his own purposes, was Orochimaru. Who knows what Tobi needs, but Orochimaru nearly got away with murder.

I think his goal to learn everything to his level of gratification may have conditions we can only speculate about. Sasuke questioned this definition of Oro's aims to a reasonable and surprising measure of disgust. Still, Oro's purpose seems threatening to Akatsuki, and he even out right considered them a problem. Why didn't Akatsuki whack him off when he defected from the org? Maybe they could "inherit" his accomplishments? But what was Oro's ambition following Oro's ambition? What would he do after learning all the jutsu in the world, even after he already lost part of his soul in the effort!

It's a gorgeous irony that Oro already lost a literal portion of his soul before he even reached his goal. And that Sasuke could question Oro's peculiarity and do the judgmental work I'd expect Akatsuki to. You know, Sasuke really sentenced Oro. But here's how it's surprising: Sasuke used his own insecurities to judge the Snake and he aptly found a way to convict Oro, but Sasuke never considered Oro as anything more than a mirror of his brother!

Sasuke completely whitewashed Oro's apparent independent stance as his own person with his own ideals. As if Oro had no "soul" at all! He became something short of a puppet: he became a useless image in the mirror. Not even a reflection of a separate being from what was being reflected. He was damn there Itachi with another "excuse," as Sasuke has it.

Interestingly enough, I see Oro's ability to be so less unique as something that possibly defined him from the beginning. He was just to blinded by his "different intentions" that he let them lead his mind into conjuring ingenious plans that weren't irrefutably desired to happen. But possibly desired and to a sound extent. And all said means that even as less than a puppet, he may have been more than welcomed as one.

In the case's truth, Oro's plans let Akatsuki waste less resources to watch Orochimaru ruin himself, "by himself," all over Konoha. A practical description would be to say Oro was just a splinter that Akatsuki let lose so that he could defeat himself and assess two Nations of people in the process... Suna and Konoha. Not to say it's true but that it's so pragmatic and possible...

In the case's truth, Oro was a diversion who didn't know he was a diversion to me. Just a transient doll on many different strings. Even though, as Pinocchio, he wanted to be so real, in Oro's sense of the word. Well, what is a real boy? Immortal? Didn't Kakuzu spit a good two cents about immortality? How magnificent is it to see that most of the mock-immortals have fallen short of truly living! Like they shoot to be beyond what life is and "somehow" never live at all. Mmm, tastes like a contropasso! There's a contropasso!

At once, all this leaves me to guess how real Akatsuki is...



Re: Akatsuki as "Shinobi"

I think that since these Akatsuki are mavericks, as you said, they believe that they can handle themselves on missions. It's not as though the "shinobi ideal" is dead for them, but since they've already abandoned their countries, they're pretty much free to believe whatever they want to. Including that their power is better than anybody else's. I'd be pretty interested in finding out just how Pein managed to get them all to travel in pairs. Especially Hidan and Kakuzu.

Must be the bijuus - Pein must have told them that if they do manage to defeat and capture a bijuu, especially in its natural state, it'd be pretty tough for just one person to carry it back to the hideout. (Though Deidara certainly seemed to do all the work on his own with the Sanbi!) I'm thinking, when Madara challenged Shodai, he stood against everything Shodai stood for as a shinobi, even if it was a simple disagreement over consulting with each other before either one attempts to take a cookie from a cookie jar. Madara may have solely defied a principle that Shodai upheld. But that disrespect could've been the ultimate betrayal. Or at least enough of a pity to question.

Anything "Shodai," including a subject influenced by him (like the Leaf Village), could've been of fairly low concern to Madara, if Madara could so readily threaten Shodai until they both created the battle that made the Valley Of the End. Perhaps Madara had a problem with solely Shodai rather than the village, seeing that the battle was away from the village... but who knows how the greater landscape could have changed over time. Maybe more ruins were covered with forest in Shodai's own shame for what Madara did to Konoha. Or they were covered due to Shodai's want and need to return life to many areas that Madara destroyed. I wonder how powerful Madara's Katon jutsu was... or is... it seems he did so much to help form one valley for most likely his ideal of what he as a shinobi should do. He probably had the urge to express himself, in idea and person, in a not too sightly way (compared to Shodai's ideals).

Though neither Shodai or Madara add up a universal point of view that reaches every ninja, Hokage after Hokage has been paramount in shaping the history of many ninja in Naruto, and overall, each one's influence may directly buck with Madara's intended influence. In Madara's eyes, Shodai's nindo may be considered a death sentence in contrast to Madara's nindo.

EDIT: Eep! Coming back to this point, I forgot to add that all said assumes that Madara is possibly Tobi. Effectually, if he is the chief of Akatsuki, his ideal may trickle down to his subordinates as if Madara's that influential or more likely to impress other shinobi with a "vision" nearly on par with Madara's own. While he's against Shodai's sense of Shinobi... so too is Akatsuki in this condition.



Re: Madara/Kyuubi

Well, I think BlankedOut's theory about the Yin/Yang thing is good in his 370 review... I agree with it. (See my first response in that thread.) I'm not quite sure what you're asking about on the allegory of Miyazki, though... I don't even know who that is.Please watch Princess Mononoke if you haven't. The movie is one of Hayao Miyazaki (http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/people.php?id=51)'s works. I see a parallel between it's thematic problems and the bijuu issues in Naruto. It may offer a clue as to why Kyuubi is so hateful.

Gold Knight
October 02, 2007, 06:17 AM
Great Review! Thanks heaps ^^ It was very concise and amusing at times ^^

I've never thought of the possibility of Tobi=Danzou.. though its a bit hard to swallow, I'd suspect that they are at the very least, working together to overthrow the hokage or what not >.<

Looking forward to ur other reviews :)

You're welcome ^^ And yeah, I'm sorta of leery on that theory myself now too.


Very nice review GK. I probably would have given the Sasuke and Deidara fight a higher rating than you did though. Personally I felt like they both came out looking strong in the end, even if Deidara did snap and blow himself up in the end. But then again, everyone is entitled to their opinions. I'm really wondering how C4 is going to look when they get around to animating it.

Anyhow I know my theory may not exactly be everyone's cup of tea, but I really don't see Pein being related Naruto. Naruto's mother was described as having Red Hair, as well as being a Tomboy who talked like one of the guys. In the last oh, say 20 or so chapters we've been introduced to someone who exactly matches that description. Personally, I think its going to turn out that Karin is actually Naruto's sister.

That would be interesting. As I don't like Karin all that much, I don't know if I want that to happen, but it would be a nice twist.


I take Tobi's oddities to be intentionally ironic, as if he's eccentric, or I see them as self-absorbed to a painful degree... sadistic and self-mocking. Now that you've mentioned it, he is oddly sitting on the head of a statue that signifies the end of his ties with Shodai and seemingly Konoha.

It's as if he forces himself into a position that evokes how he's numb to even an epic defeat that must have concluded a friendship and clearly concluded that Madara was far from a god.

Let me further explore the possible extent of his attitude. Tobi has taken a mask resembling a whirlpool and made its center the Sharingan. The detail hints to his sense of humor, as if even in costume, Tobi's eye is presented as a focus that a naruto swirls around and of course, leads to... it's so essential.

If Madara was a supervillain, these self-adherent qualities point to Tobi being him, imho, but not necessarily any more than they point to Tobi being Tobi.

You may be right, but that would be some eccentricism indeed. I could understand it if Madara had lost his marbles somewhere along the way, I suppose.


But I say, I see Tobi faking Madara as a twisted blow; it'll just completely blow me away. I mean it feels pretty pathetic to mimic someone else to the degree he evidently has (If he's not Madara). It displays a great sign of insecurity, imo... yet, I could find myself empathizing with him for that simple intimation to his own vulnerability. Such a human villain just seems so fragile, though that sense of how he's weak makes him open to be pitied where he can candidly fool a heart that cries for him. *Sympathy for the Devil*

That's why I'm still hoping for that angle, I suppose. We've never actually seen Tobi use his "Sharingan" - for all we know, he could be a pretender. Although Itachi does seem to imply that he is the third Sharingan user.


One person not too trusting of Akatsuki at all to me, just advantageous enough to invest his time in it to advance his own purposes, was Orochimaru. Who knows what Tobi needs, but Orochimaru nearly got away with murder.

It's looking like Orochimaru was smart in the end to have left the organization, even if it was mostly because of his setback with Itachi.


I think his goal to learn everything to his level of gratification may have conditions we can only speculate about. Sasuke questioned this definition of Oro's aims to a reasonable and surprising measure of disgust. Still, Oro's purpose seems threatening to Akatsuki, and he even out right considered them a problem. Why didn't Akatsuki whack him off when he defected from the org? Maybe they could "inherit" his accomplishments? But what was Oro's ambition following Oro's ambition? What would he do after learning all the jutsu in the world, even after he already lost part of his soul in the effort!

I think the Akatsuki did try to catch him, though. Oro was just too elusive for them. He's a fast slitherer, I guess. :p


It's a gorgeous irony that Oro already lost a literal portion of his soul before he even reached his goal. And that Sasuke could question Oro's peculiarity and do the judgmental work I'd expect Akatsuki to. You know, Sasuke really sentenced Oro. But here's how it's surprising: Sasuke used his own insecurities to judge the Snake and he aptly found a way to convict Oro, but Sasuke never considered Oro as anything more than a mirror of his brother!

Sasuke completely whitewashed Oro's apparent independent stance as his own person with his own ideals. As if Oro had no "soul" at all! He became something short of a puppet: he became a useless image in the mirror. Not even a reflection of a separate being from what was being reflected. He was damn there Itachi with another "excuse," as Sasuke has it.

Yeah, that was one of the thing I really enjoyed about that little scene, how Sasuke compared Oro to his brother. He's absolutely right...



Interestingly enough, I see Oro's ability to be so less unique as something that possibly defined him from the beginning. He was just to blinded by his "different intentions" that he let them lead his mind into conjuring ingenious plans that weren't irrefutably desired to happen. But possibly desired and to a sound extent. And all said means that even as less than a puppet, he may have been more than welcomed as one.

Maybe. After his parents' death, he seemed to start thinking that immortality was the key to making his existence more significant. He may have obsessed over that, to the point where he felt that he would not have been worth anything if he didn't accomplish his goals, even at the expense of other people. By doing so, he saw others as expendable puppets. Kinda sad.


In the case's truth, Oro's plans let Akatsuki waste less resources to watch Orochimaru ruin himself, "by himself," all over Konoha. A practical description would be to say Oro was just a splinter that Akatsuki let lose so that he could defeat himself and assess two Nations of people in the process... Suna and Konoha. Not to say it's true but that it's so pragmatic and possible...

Here I disagree. I don't think the Akatsuki wanted to let that ring get away from them. As one of the Akatsuki once said in the manga while they were extracting Gaara's Shukaku, they had less of their combined power without that ring (so no calling Captain Planet, I guess!)


In the case's truth, Oro was a diversion who didn't know he was a diversion to me. Just a transient doll on many different strings. Even though, as Pinocchio, he wanted to be so real, in Oro's sense of the word. Well, what is a real boy? Immortal? Didn't Kakuzu spit a good two cents about immortality? How magnificent is it to see that most of the mock-immortals have fallen short of truly living! Like they shoot to be beyond what life is and "somehow" never live at all. Mmm, tastes like a contropasso! There's a contropasso!

At once, all this leaves me to guess how real Akatsuki is...

Yeah, immortality seems to be the theme of the villains in Naruto, but what's odd is that Kishimoto seemed to only have recently decided on that - and the writing is awkward, because he almost seems to be forcing the secondary theme right now (first with Asuma and now Jiraiya). I don't think that Kishimoto really planned out the Akatsuki's objectives THAT far ahead of time, but now he's trying to make some last-minute points with it.


I'm thinking, when Madara challenged Shodai, he stood against everything Shodai stood for as a shinobi, even if it was a simple disagreement over consulting with each other before either one attempts to take a cookie from a cookie jar. Madara may have solely defied a principle that Shodai upheld. But that disrespect could've been the ultimate betrayal. Or at least enough of a pity to question.

It doesn't take much to betray somebody, especially if they're supposed to be your commander, yeah. Though I hope it's a disagreement over how to lead Konohagakure effectively. If so, Shodai was right since he had won and Konoha did become a great nation, and maybe, if it is Madara, he can't stand that he was wrong.



Please watch Princess Mononoke if you haven't. The movie is one of Hayao Miyazaki (http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/people.php?id=51)'s works. I see a parallel between it's thematic problems and the bijuu issues in Naruto. It may offer a clue as to why Kyuubi is so hateful.

Oh, I have seen it, though it's been a long while. I just forgot the name of the director, but I know who you mean now. You're right, Princess Mononoke does bear some similarities to Naruto - I never thought about that before, though. (Heh, Kiba almost has the same facial markings as San... then there's the Forest Spirit.) Aside from that though, the themes are different (Naruto emphasizes friendship, I'm not even sure what Princess Mononoke was trying to say... care to help me on that?)

I think there was another different director that influenced Kishimoto recently, though.

www.yamato-works.com - check the second screenshot to the bottom. (Click on it and you can see some more illustrations.) That 25-minute movie is called "Kakurenbo." It has a LOT of coincidences with Naruto. It came out before Yamato was introduced in the manga, but it's obvious that there's a lot of similarities between the masks to the Anbu, and these kids are very much like jinchuuriki - as they were stolen by demons and used to illuminate the city by being put into light generators. They all die in the end, though >.>

Check it out. :) ( There's a bit more info at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kakurenbo )

WaveBossa
October 02, 2007, 07:35 AM
Great Review. Very analytical. You read naruto like an actual book, which is very good.

Like other people stated, I think you were just a bit hard on the sasuke/diedara fight. I honestly never precieved him to be a calm character to begin with, but w/e I enjoy your insight.

I personally think not killing off Jiraya would be a huge mistake by Kishi (Aaaaaah, don't Hate). I dont care if its obvious, its obvious cuz it needs to happen. SOMETHING needs to happen for naruto to get his a$$ in gear. Jiraya did train him for 3 years, maybe his sensei dying will wake him up to whats really going on. Cuz he is the most oblivious ninja in all of freakin konoha. (Naruto's mind = ........SASUSKE!!........RAMEN!!.......SASUSKE!!...... RESENGAN!)

And whats with this rescue sasuke mission? Does it make sense to anyone else? Shouldn't they be trying to kill him? He is a villian rite?

My only problem with this volume is that in "Naruto" naruto has become less and less of an interesting character. Kishi is not even trying to hide his favoritism for sasuske now (which i dont mind, but it is called "Naruto").

Tobi=Danzou... uhhh. I can't see that one. one of them has one arm. I know you can fake that, but y go through the effort if no one in konoha even knows who tobi is?? Tobi=Obito=Madara's Power is more believable (unfortunately) and prolly true (kinda like the 4th being naruto's dad). And do you know what the BA weapon was that tobi had? Has that been somewhere else in the manga yet?

Anyways, Great review on a great volume. Now i just have to sit and wait for Jiraya to die so that Naruto will grow up and be a real ninja.

Gold Knight
October 02, 2007, 10:01 AM
I personally think not killing off Jiraya would be a huge mistake by Kishi (Aaaaaah, don't Hate). I dont care if its obvious, its obvious cuz it needs to happen. SOMETHING needs to happen for naruto to get his a$$ in gear. Jiraya did train him for 3 years, maybe his sensei dying will wake him up to whats really going on. Cuz he is the most oblivious ninja in all of freakin konoha. (Naruto's mind = ........SASUSKE!!........RAMEN!!.......SASUSKE!!...... RESENGAN!)

Yeah, Manior here pointed that out too a while ago, and thinking about that, I do have to agree that it should certainly open Naruto's eyes. He's never had any of his friends die on him before - Gaara was the only one that came close to it. I suppose Jiraiya's death, if it does come to that, should do to Naruto what Asuma's death did to Shikamaru. If that's the case, then okay, I won't be too negative about it. Though, I would have thought that Tsunade would be dying at some point. Nothing against Tsunade, but I would much prefer her over Jiraiya.



And whats with this rescue sasuke mission? Does it make sense to anyone else? Shouldn't they be trying to kill him? He is a villian rite?

Not yet, Sasuke has never really done anything directly to Konohagakure that we know of, besides becoming a missing-nin and an accomplice of Orochimaru's.

Now take Itachi, for example, he mass-murdered his whole clan. Sasuke didn't do anything like that. He's shown admirable restraint in holding off from killing other people. So I think Konohagakure (at least Tsunade's faction) is taking a neutral stand on that and waiting to see if Sasuke's former teammates can convince him to be a Leaf again. But there ARE those, like the Root, that are definitely out to kill Sasuke. There will be an inevitable confrontation with the Root organization if Sasuke reunites with Team 7 again.

But I do agree that Naruto's team has obsessed too much over him. I suppose they know that if they don't do anything about Sasuke, then he'll likely be branded a villain and there'll be wanted signs put up all over for him WITHOUT the "Alive" part. Still, Sasuke's departure has definitely stunted the growth of Naruto in particular. At least Sakura stayed home and became a valuable assistant to Tsunade. Naruto didn't really accomplish much over the timeskip.


My only problem with this volume is that in "Naruto" naruto has become less and less of an interesting character. Kishi is not even trying to hide his favoritism for sasuske now (which i dont mind, but it is called "Naruto").

I don't think Kishimoto actually favors Sasuke. He actually sees himself as more like Naruto, and he's always despised "geniuses" himself. It's just that Sasuke is one of the central three characters and he's getting his spotlight right now, just as Sakura did early on in Part 2, and then Shikamaru (an important character himself, I think).

Right now we seem to be seeing Jiraiya's last moments, but I'm sure Naruto's big part is coming up - as well as, possibly, Kakashi's. And then Sai's. The biggest problem with the series is there's so many darn interesting characters to go around. XD

But I do agree that Naruto has become less interesting of late, unfortunately...



Tobi=Danzou... uhhh. I can't see that one. one of them has one arm. I know you can fake that, but y go through the effort if no one in konoha even knows who tobi is?? Tobi=Obito=Madara's Power is more believable (unfortunately) and prolly true (kinda like the 4th being naruto's dad). And do you know what the BA weapon was that tobi had? Has that been somewhere else in the manga yet?

Nope, that was the first we saw his weapons. They look like some sort of extending grappling hooks to me, but I have no idea what they are.



Anyways, Great review on a great volume. Now i just have to sit and wait for Jiraya to die so that Naruto will grow up and be a real ninja.

Heh, alright. Thanks for coming by, and welcome to MH incidentally.

Mirror
October 03, 2007, 09:02 PM
Wow, what a review!! 8D
My first time reading your reviews, and dang, it kept me up till 4pm (must.go.to.bed.now.!)
But I really was worth it!! :D I hadn't seen the whole Danzou-relations comming up, not as in him being Tobi/Madara, but as a sort of relation towards him. (At one point I was wondering if I had been reading the signs alt all, if I had been reading Naruto... >_< )

Nothing to say that haven't allready been up and turnaround inhere, but at least I'll just say how much I enjoyed the reading, and how I had a great laugh in the very end of your chap.7 reveiw "(and can I have your autograph?)" lol XD (which would have been soo my words too ;) )

Anyways, really big thanks for taking out the time for this!!

(sry bout any language-curls ^^; )

Gold Knight
October 04, 2007, 05:10 PM
IMPORTANT: I have edited the review to change all references for Pain's name from "Pein" to PAIN, which is now all but officially confirmed to be the proper spelling of his name - judging by the revelations of the latest chapter.

I also added an edit explaining why, in my fourth chapter review. Basically, the proper way to address him IS Pain - besides his real, recently revealed, name, of course. ^^

* * *

@ Mirror, thank YOU for reading and the kind compliments, and glad you liked it! :) I love your DA, btw.

* * *

Wow, the poll results are interesting. 22 people liked the battle all the way, 12 liked it except for Deidara's death, 17 says it started good but ended badly, 4 says it started badly but finished strong, and 6 didn't like it at all. 61 votes so far. I appreciate all the participation ^^ It seems like the majority did like the battle for the most part, so I guess I'm in the minority ^^; I'll have to go back and reread the whole thing again and see if my opinions change. Though I doubt it :p

kaylee
October 04, 2007, 08:16 PM
Wow, the poll results are interesting. 22 people liked the battle all the way, 12 liked it except for Deidara's death, 17 says it started good but ended badly, 4 says it started badly but finished strong, and 6 didn't like it at all. 61 votes so far. I appreciate all the participation ^^ It seems like the majority did like the battle for the most part, so I guess I'm in the minority ^^; I'll have to go back and reread the whole thing again and see if my opinions change. Though I doubt it :p

It's even more interesting if you combine some of the results. For example:

combining 1, 2, and 3: 51 out of 61, or 84% liked the beginning of the fight
combining 1 and 4: 26 out of 61, or 43% liked the end of the fight
combining 1, 2, and 4: 38 out of 61, or 62% liked the end of the fight except for deidara's death.

Gold Knight
October 04, 2007, 08:47 PM
Thanks for doing the math for me, kaylee (I'm terrible at math) XD

I found the combinations interesting, too. I almost mentioned that it could be possible to combine enough of these results to show that the majority actually didn't like the battle just like me, but decided that it could actually be true too that you could combine enough for those who liked the battle to come up with an even more overwhelming majority. ^^;

EDIT: And I see now that even combining the results wouldn't work for me, since 2 more people just voted in favor of the battle =P

Leos~
October 05, 2007, 03:17 PM
I actually agree with you on the idea of the Sasuke vs. Deidara battle sucking, for lack a better word :amuse. It wasn't needed; it further degraded akatsuki (both in physical numbers and in how "strong" we as the reader view them as), served no real purpose in showing Sasuke's strengths (as he defeated Orochimaru, and that was plenty enough to show Sasuke's strength-even if Orochimaru was weakened), and turned Deidara into a more 1 dimensional character, obsessed with art and the sharingan to a degree that's even creepier than Gai's obsession of youth. When I think of Deidara now, I think of a wasted opportunity; just like how i think of Kabuto (he was much MUCH more interesting in part 1, when we didn't really know his true thoughts/alliances. In part 2 he is just an Oro fanboy/henchman, although that may change....only time will tell whether Kabuto attains his new "dream" or if he loses himself completely to Orochimaru)

matsyes
October 10, 2007, 06:29 AM
Deidara into a more 1 dimensional character, obsessed with art and the sharingan to a degree that's even creepier than Gai's obsession of youth. When I think of Deidara now, I think of a wasted opportunity; just like how i think of Kabuto (he was much MUCH more interesting in part 1, when we didn't really know his true thoughts/alliances. In part 2 he is just an Oro fanboy/henchman, although that may change....only time will tell whether Kabuto attains his new "dream" or if he loses himself completely to Orochimaru)
What I dont understand is why keep oro alive in Kabuto in any form. He is a defeated character, but whatever development kishi is planning with him should be something apart from an oro clone. Otherwise it'll be as good as never killing him off.


I take Tobi's oddities to be intentionally ironic, as if he's eccentric, or I see them as self-absorbed to a painful degree... sadistic and self-mocking. Now that you've mentioned it, he is oddly sitting on the head of a statue that signifies the end of his ties with Shodai and seemingly Konoha.

It's as if he forces himself into a position that evokes how he's numb to even an epic defeat that must have concluded a friendship and clearly concluded that Madara was far from a god.

Let me further explore the possible extent of his attitude. Tobi has taken a mask resembling a whirlpool and made its center the Sharingan. The detail hints to his sense of humor, as if even in costume, Tobi's eye is presented as a focus that a naruto swirls around and of course, leads to... it's so essential.

If Madara was a supervillain, these self-adherent qualities point to Tobi being him, imho, but not necessarily any more than they point to Tobi being Tobi.

But I say, I see Tobi faking Madara as a twisted blow; it'll just completely blow me away. I mean it feels pretty pathetic to mimic someone else to the degree he evidently has (If he's not Madara). It displays a great sign of insecurity, imo... yet, I could find myself empathizing with him for that simple intimation to his own vulnerability. Such a human villain just seems so fragile, though that sense of how he's weak makes him open to be pitied where he can candidly fool a heart that cries for him. *Sympathy for the Devil*


I agree tobi is right now one of the most fascinating characters, he is completly different from the uchiha's that we have been exposed to till now. He is goofy and yet completely sinister. He arguably leads the akatsuki and yet was content to play the fool with Deidra.

Also If kishi can make tobi a villain to whom we are sympathetic it'll put a whole new angle to the entire story. Also it would also make tobi such a twisted character that he would be completely unpredictable.


Sasuke used his own insecurities to judge the Snake and he aptly found a way to convict Oro, but Sasuke never considered Oro as anything more than a mirror of his brother!

Sasuke completely whitewashed Oro's apparent independent stance as his own person with his own ideals. As if Oro had no "soul" at all! He became something short of a puppet: he became a useless image in the mirror. Not even a reflection of a separate being from what was being reflected. He was damn there Itachi with another "excuse," as Sasuke has it.

Please watch Princess Mononoke if you haven't. The movie is one of Hayao Miyazaki (http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/people.php?id=51)'s works. I see a parallel between it's thematic problems and the bijuu issues in Naruto. It may offer a clue as to why Kyuubi is so hateful.

I really like the part where sasuke compared oro to itachi and totally rejected him. I think Sasuke's hatred for everything Itachi is going to be ironically the thing that will redeem him. Sasuke is willing to do anything to beat itachi apart from becoming itachi himself in the process and that automatically precludes sasuke from ever becoming irrevocably evil.

Do you have any DDL link for Princess Mononoke ?


Though I think almost every problem the Naruto world could be solved by a little counselling. Imagine how different Sasuke would be if he handled his clan's slaughter in a slightly less morbid way. Of course the story wouldn't be half as interesting. I wonder if anyone has made a cartoon with a psychiatrist talking to the naruto characters. :D

Gold Knight
October 12, 2007, 03:21 AM
I actually agree with you on the idea of the Sasuke vs. Deidara battle sucking, for lack a better word :amuse. It wasn't needed; it further degraded akatsuki (both in physical numbers and in how "strong" we as the reader view them as), served no real purpose in showing Sasuke's strengths (as he defeated Orochimaru, and that was plenty enough to show Sasuke's strength-even if Orochimaru was weakened), and turned Deidara into a more 1 dimensional character, obsessed with art and the sharingan to a degree that's even creepier than Gai's obsession of youth. When I think of Deidara now, I think of a wasted opportunity; just like how i think of Kabuto (he was much MUCH more interesting in part 1, when we didn't really know his true thoughts/alliances. In part 2 he is just an Oro fanboy/henchman, although that may change....only time will tell whether Kabuto attains his new "dream" or if he loses himself completely to Orochimaru)

On the battle, I couldn't agree more, you said it all. And I've always liked Kabuto as a villain - he's an excellent ninja, he's mysterious and creepy, and lately, he's been psychotic and he's actually showing his true colors (he doesn't care about Oro right now, despite whatever loyalties he may have had in the past). What more could you want in a bad guy?


What I dont understand is why keep oro alive in Kabuto in any form. He is a defeated character, but whatever development kishi is planning with him should be something apart from an oro clone. Otherwise it'll be as good as never killing him off.


There's likely some history that Kabuto has with the Kyuubi that we *still* don't know about. He definitely implied that he had some loathing for the nine-tails fox - and whoever was the container for it - back in the Chuunin Exams.

My theory is that his family was likely killed by the Kyuubi at some point in the past, something like that, when he was a kid. He was later picked up by Sasori as an underling after that.

kleomarlo
October 12, 2007, 04:35 AM
Thanks for the review.

Twar
October 14, 2007, 11:18 AM
Good one GK, I really enjoyed reading the summary, taking the entire volume up into a manageable post is a good idea, especially when we're dealing with such a shocker.
Thanks again.

ornis
October 15, 2007, 05:32 AM
Do you have any DDL link for Princess Mononoke ?


Sorry, I don't :s But I'll seek one for you.



Though I think almost every problem the Naruto world could be solved by a little counselling. Imagine how different Sasuke would be if he handled his clan's slaughter in a slightly less morbid way. Of course the story wouldn't be half as interesting. I wonder if anyone has made a cartoon with a psychiatrist talking to the naruto characters. :DLOL That'd be great!

Just for kicks, how about an internal-reference interlude? Say there's a point where the characters can bash themselves for being exploited for plot issues at a ramen shop. Then Kishi comes in, and they all give him the look.

Gold Knight
October 15, 2007, 03:43 PM
Well, since the poll has reached over 100 votes, I'm closing it. Pretty interesting results.

You're welcome kleomarlo & Twar.

I'm considering doing half of a volume in a 10 Comments. For one thing it'd probably be easier to go over all the points I want to, and for another thing it takes too darn long to wait until the end of the volume! Anyway, if I get it out, it'll likely be sometimes this week. :)

EDIT: Or next week. Just realized we don't have five chapters yet. Still, I'll get started anyway.

EDIT2: Oh wait, we DO have five chapters. I forgot about the 374 RAW. Should be this weekend!

juUnior
October 16, 2007, 01:02 PM
Awesome GK, awesome :wtf I can't wait to read your half-volume review :wtf Can't wait for that <yeah, now I wait for the new chapter of Naruto along with other titles, and review of GK - oh man xD>

Franckie
October 16, 2007, 05:54 PM
I've been a lurker on this site for quite sometime, somewhere around two years actually; and, I have always enjoyed reading your reviews. Also, I have to agree with a few sentiments you have in regards to the Deidara fight. It wasn't shabby, but it could have been handled better.

I look forward to reading more of your reviews if you ever have the time to write them. They're excellent reads.

GPZrag
October 17, 2007, 05:51 PM
Best reviews i've ever read... very nicely done :)... hope you'll get time to do the next ones :)...

Gold Knight
October 19, 2007, 06:56 AM
Thank you, guys ^^

Most of the review is finished, I'm just waiting on Japflap's 374 right now. I'm actually not sure if I will be able to post it today, but we'll see... if not, it'll be Monday then. But I actually might add some thoughts about 375 too in that case, though.

kiddo7
October 19, 2007, 07:08 AM
this weeks chapter is going to be awesome, simply because it will be accompanied by a commentary from GK-sama.

Gold Knight
October 22, 2007, 10:56 PM
Now that I've had the chance to proofread what I wrote for my next review, it wasn't very well written (that is, I went off on way too many tangents) so I'm going back and fixing it so that's why it's taking a bit longer than I thought. It'll be out for sure sometimes today (Tuesday) though. Sorry for the delay.

Tha Uchiha
October 22, 2007, 11:06 PM
Awesome my man, I know a lot of us are looking forward to reading your review!!!

sahugani
October 22, 2007, 11:29 PM
Now that I've had the chance to proofread what I wrote for my next review, it wasn't very well written (that is, I went off on way too many tangents) so I'm going back and fixing it so that's why it's taking a bit longer than I thought. It'll be out for sure sometimes today (Tuesday) though. Sorry for the delay.

completely different method from my reviews. i embrace the tangents :p. since most of my ideas come to me while i'm actually writing it, i simply follow the chain of thought to a conclusion and determine afterward whether i like the thought or not

Gold Knight
October 23, 2007, 03:13 AM
The problem here is that some of my tangents went off on directionless routes. Too much of that is a bad thing, especially in an argument about ideas. You can lose the attention of readers pretty quickly that way. Well, I'm still embracing the ideas I had, but I'm just re-writing it so that it all flows together better. ;)

Anyway, almost done =p Should be up soon.