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taimoor2
January 06, 2008, 06:07 AM
Hi all! I am back with my review. I am sorry for being so late but I initially thought that this week we are not going to have any chapter. I am glad that I was wrong. Thanks Kylara for the raw, HisshouBuraiKen Translation and all the wonderful translators at Binktopia whose scantalation I am using for this review. Now lets move on to the chapter.

Ninja Art no. 1, Taijutsu:
The battle between the brothers has now started. It begins with some simple taijutsu. In the first panel, we can easily see that Itachi outmatched Sasuke here and was able to land a kunai on his hand. Even though in a normal battle this would not mean much but because a writer avoids useless scenes and this IS the first panel, I believe Kishi wants to hint here that Itachi is superior to Sasuke otherwise there was no need to draw this panel.




http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/2261/nothidinghisangernowishbu3.jpg


Not Hiding his anger now is he?



From this panel we can easily see that Sasuke is fighting in a state of extreme anger while Itachi is completely calm. In a battle between ninjas, this can be the deciding factor. Sasuke has suffered a lot because of Itachi and his anger is not without reason but if he doesn’t fights with a relaxed and calm mind, victory is out of question. It always amazes me that the usually calm Sasuke who knows fully well that in a serious fight losing concentration by focusing on the past can only do harm fails to hide his emotions from Itachi. Itachi always said in the past that Sasuke is weak because he lacks hatred. From these panels we can clearly see that Sasuke is not lacking in hatred at all now.



http://img160.imageshack.us/img160/8723/gettingagoodspankingbo3.jpg


Getting spanked by the big brother!



The difference in Power:

Now Sasuke takes out his Kasungi sword but still fails to land a hit. Itachi defends with precision. It can be clearly seen in the panels that follow that Sasuke is not having much success with Itachi in their little skirmish. Itachi easily dodges all the attacks and than throws Sasuke down on the floor. The last panel on page 8(bottom right panel on the picture above) shows Sasuke in a beaten up position. By judging the expression on Sasuke’s face we can easily come to the conclusion that Sasuke is not measuring Itachi’s strength and is not holding back anything at all.





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Kakashi's Gift


Ninja Art no. 2, Ninjutsu:


After trying Taijutsu, now Sasuke switches to his signature Ninjutsu, Chidori. Kishi now uses up 3 pages to show Sasuke activating Chidori, running towards Itachi and slamming the Chidori in the ground to attack. Here Sasuke proves his worth as the number one rookie in his batch. Chidori is Kakashi’s attack but Sasuke has taken it to new heights. First the chidori sword, then the chidori needles and now a very wide range ground attack. I doubt this chidori current is very strong because it disperses but still this gives Sasuke some middle range attack which Naruto lacks. It appears that Sasuke has mastered the lightning element. Naruto, on the other hand isn’t yet using his wind element to full potential but this is understandable given the fact that Sasuke has lightning long before Naruto even knew there is a thing called elemental recomposition.



Here we must note an interesting point though. Sasuke is using Raiton(lightning) a lot and we haven’t really seen him do any Katon(fire) attacks in a while. This combined with the fact that wind is stronger than lightning might mean that Sasuke will have serious trouble against Naruto next time they meet.



Anyways, Sasuke does his Raiton attack, surprising Itachi.



http://img221.imageshack.us/img221/1001/whoexactlyisthebeasthervl0.jpg


Who exactly is the beast here?




Itachi does the most obvious thing now and jumps to avoid getting electrocuted. Even though it is quite predictable but in such a situation you cannot really do anything else except to leave the ground to avoid the attack. If we, the readers, were expecting Itachi to Jump, Sasuke off course also guessed the reaction and impaled Itachi in mid air with his Kasungi. His swordsmanship is exemplary as he is using the sword to full potential without much trouble. He could have only mastered his sword skill while he was with Orochimaru as before the time skip we never really saw him use swords.


As Sasuke skewers Itachi, we see a close up of the two. In this panel atleast (bottom left in the picture above), Sasuke appears much more blood thirsty than Itachi. Again, we see that Sasuke is only thinking about revenge and nothing else.


It is well known to the masters that those who think of the conclusion in the middle of battle lose. Sasuke comments here that, “It is over.” Again, Kishi tells us quite straight that Sasuke is not really concentrating on the battle but is only thinking of the outcome. I don’t expect Itachi to go down against such an opponent.


If we seriously think about it, Sasuke’s plan was too simple. Distract with an attack and force Itachi to Jump. As soon as the opponent is in the air, stab him with a sword. From what I can see, he went for the heart. Even though this plan is not bad, against an opponent of Itachi’s level, he seriously cannot be expecting to finish the battle with this alone. We, as readers, should also know then Sasuke has something else in his mind too.





http://img221.imageshack.us/img221/2126/siblingsti0.jpg
People of the same breed!


Genjutsu:
Along with the declaration of victory, Sasuke declares that he has a question for Itachi. At this point, Itachi raises his arm in the same old way when he used to poke Sasuke in the head whenever Sasuke asked anything. I almost felt he would poke Sasuke but then Itachi stopped himself and pointed Sasuke to “another” him.
He also corrects Sasuke and tells him that it is far from over and he cannot really be expected to go down so easily. He is yet again willing to talk and yet again his opponent refuses to listen! Now all the Naruto haters who said Naruto is such ahot head and rushed straight at Itachi instead of listening to him should now note that Sasuke is doing exactly the same thing. Itachi is clearly in a mood to talk and we readers are all to eager to listen to what he has to say!
Apparently, Sasuke was caught in a genjutsu and he never really hit Itachi. This makes me wonder how much developed Sasuke’s Sharingan is as compared to Itachi’s, not talking into account the MS. It would appear than Itachi is using his Sharingan better than Sasuke’s but now Sasuke did a counter genjutsu.

And the Counter-Genjutsu:
Here Sasuke pulled a Naruto and placed a replica of himself and snuck behind Itachi to impale him yet again. The replica turned into snakes made of clay a la Orochimaru. Itachi said it’s a genjutsu so I would stick with that but to me it appeared like a simple snake Bunshin. If it was a genjutsu, we must really give credit to Sasuke for his planning skills as this genjutsu has to be planned about the time Sasuke activated Chidori. If that is the case than Sasuke anticipated his first attack to fail and only used it to create an opening. As Shikamaru once said, it is the basic of all strategies to strike with the second attack. If Sasuke can plan this much, it means he has calmed down, at least a little.
Here, I wonder, is Itachi really deaf? Sasuke snuck behind Itachi which should not be very easy given the level of Itachi and his superiority in Taijutsu. Even if he snuck behind without making any noise, which is possible given the fact that Itachi was distracted by Sasuke’s genjutsu, how the hell Itachi didn’t noticed a sword piercing a rock chair 4-5 inches thick! Even if it is the sword of Kasungi, the rock chair is no butter! If anything, this shows how much better Sasuke has gotten.
Again, Sasuke declares I haste that the battle is indeed over. If we go by the signs so far, he will be proved wrong again. He also repeats his desire to ask a question from Itachi. What this question will be about is anyone’s guess but I will tell what I think.
This question cannot be “Why you killed everyone?” or “Why you left me alive,” Sasuke has asked those questions many times and Itachi has answered them. Repeating them will not serve any purpose. I think the question will be about Naruto or MS. It is less likely that the question will be about Akatsuki because Sasuke has spent long time with Orochimaru so he can be expected to know a lot about Akatsuki and its goals. His brother is in Akatsuki so we can say that he would be extremely interested in the organization and would learn all he can from Orochimaru about it. If Sasuke has achieved the MS he might ask Itachi why he lied about the fact that MS can only be achieved by killing your best friend. That is off course if Sasuke has achieved MS. I guess we will have to wait at least till next chapter to find out.

Prediction:
Probably everyone will agree at this point that battle cannot be over. Itachi hasn’t even activated his MS yet which will be the real challenge for Sasuke. Even though in Naruto long term predictions are often wrong, I expect the battle to pass many more stages. First stage, the warm up is over. In the next stage Itachi will show his superiority. In the third stage Sasuke will show what secret jutsu he has up his sleeves and force Itachi to use the MS. The fourth stage will involve Sasuke defeating/handling the MS. The fifth stage will be the conclusion. At any stage some revelation by Itachi or some interference from outside will change the course of the battle. Each stage will take around 1-3 chapters and between them there will be a lot of talking and flash backs so we have at least around 8-15 chapters dedicated to this fight alone before the battle ends. Oh boy! How wrong can Sasuke get when he said the battle is over?

Rating (3.5/5):
I am a little disappointed with this chapter. Kishi wasted many panels on useless or repetitive stuff and we didn’t even get to know anything about the other fights going on around the area. I wonder what Konoha 8 and Hebi are up to. There was no real new information or jutsus from any character but the revelation that Sasuke wants to ask some question and Itachi’s quasi "head poke" got me all excited.

fenix2012
January 06, 2008, 08:08 AM
Taimoor2 , simply put, a very good review.Keep up the good work.We're in into some interesting(and serious) story developement right now.

lordHokage
January 06, 2008, 08:25 AM
Good reveiw and keep it up too. :D

Tha Uchiha
January 07, 2008, 01:14 AM
Thanx again for an awesome review. I too believe that the question is about the MS, Sasuke doesn't give a rat's ass for Itachi's reasons for killing the clan, he only cares about revenge and more power. Also the only reason I believe Kishi didn't expand on the other battles occuring was $$$ and major cliff hanger for the SJ double issue and the beginning of the new year. I thought I read somewhere that this would be the year of Sasuke. The annoucement of the new Shippuden movie which features Sasuke as one of the characters, the Shippuden series getting closer to Sasuke, which they horribily spoiled on the first episode!!! And the current storyline of the Leaf chasing Sasuke. I do hope that Kishi gives this battle the attention it derserves. I myself am a Sasuke fan and even though many do hate him, Kishi has a reason for everything and all will be explained and why Sasuke is so important!!!

Thanx again Taimoor for the review, it has helped me with my Naruto withdrawls. Keep it up! :D

hitokugutsu
January 07, 2008, 06:09 AM
Very good review and keep it up :). I agree with you on almost every point, except the part where Sasuke placed itachi in a genjutsu. During the "battle" he never looked at the real Itachi wich makes me believe that Sasuke placed him in a genjutsu before the battle even started (a la Itachi style)

Also nice to see is that having the Sharingan haxx eye doesnt make you immune to genjutsu since it was a populair believe that sharingan could automatic see trough this
(Although Sharingan still has that exclusive counter-genjutsu, wich Itachi used against Kurenai)

Anyway thanx for the review

igotthegoods
January 07, 2008, 05:36 PM
thanks so much for the great review! i was hoping for the forehead poke as well :amuse

i think you gave this chapter a fair assessment. i kind of feel for kishi because this fight is so anticipated by almost every reader, especially the many rabid uchiha fans. i'm NOT one of the aforementioned fangirls, but even i am excited to see this fight. it's going to be difficult to please everyone.

jittat
January 07, 2008, 11:52 PM
Great one. Thank you.

Saifi
January 08, 2008, 03:00 AM
nice review man , but to be honest this chapter really doesn't inspire me at all , plus there isn't much going on in it except the genjutsu battle sooo ya i agree with most of what you said, even tho it was itachi biased , but then again , i like itachi so its all good.

Anyway good work , i may or may not give a detailed reply (prolly not since i am being lazy) always a pleasure to read.


ps: i like the pics and the arrangement:jir_thumb

IchigoSoul
January 08, 2008, 04:01 AM
Good review...However, i just have a question for anyone who reads this to answer.
This thought strike me. The battle cannot be all-out if not next time when naruto and sasuke were to fight, it wont be anything intersting or has Kishi make it so that they wont fight.

taimoor2
January 08, 2008, 06:46 AM
@jittat, Lord Hokage, fenix2012
Thanks a lot for your encouragement and comments!

@Uchiha
Kishi said in his interview that this year he will concentrate on Sasuke, Sakura and especially Kakashi. In the beginning though, I know it will only be Sasuke because of the most anticipated fight of the series.

@hitokugutsu
I think the level of genjutsu is the real factor. Sharingan does help you against genjutsus but the proficiency of Sharingan user and the level of genjutsu caster determine whether genjutsu will work or not. In Chapter 141, pg 14, Itachi says "A genjutsu at this level has no effect on me." The key words are "at this level".

@Saifi
Nice to know you liked it. The review was Itachi biased because if you really read this chapter it was Itachi biased too! Off course, as I am a Itachi fan, I just noticed in more than many others!!!

@IchigoSoul
Naruto and Sasuke rematch need not happen in the immediate future you know! Jiraya said naruto is far from being a Hokage. He will probably have to go through training and learn more things. Off course, if he gets training, Sasuke will get something too! I believe Madara and Itachi will play a major part in that...So, the fight might happen after another training/time skip when both of them have learned many new techniques....Not going all out and showing Sasuke can defeat Itachi while still hiding some of his jutsus will make Itachi fan send hate mail to Kishi!!

ornis
January 08, 2008, 02:49 PM
Good review, Taimoor. So far, one thing I'll add. Sasuke might be stabbing another bushel of crows. But I don't think this will reveal his growth and for necessary effect: Itachi wants to talk and see how Sasuke's grown, so the communication probably will come to measure the best of Sasuke, and Sasuke has it confused enough to show how unlikely it is for him to forfeit revenge for any sensitive counseling.

That's what it would be... advice and/or encouragement. If Itachi wanted Sasuke dead, Itachi would've either killed him already or never told Sasuke, "I killed the clan".
[hr]
So Sasuke is kind of mocking Itachi here to fall for the same trick twice, assuming the Itachi in the throne is a clone. Meaning Itachi's elusiveness is king and common. So simple yet so awesome. All this occurs while Sasuke knows he's not hitting Itachi period and just playing the brazen, bloodthirsty brother wanting to be better, wanting to be above his secondary circumstance, etc. End-game preoccupied but out of focus with what's current.

In the end, Sasuke may show how aware he was of the whole charade of crows and that Sasuke is more calculating and less hasty than he seems. He may have the audience in a genjutsu after all.

gfire2
January 11, 2008, 02:36 AM
nice review, always nice to see what other ppl think abt the chapters and the minor details i somehow miss on my first read :D

Uchiha Slayer
January 17, 2008, 04:12 PM
Really good review, not to long not to short but has just the right words to peek interest. When you said the Kishi wasted panels on repetitive stuff, I kinda disagree because you have to set the battle up some kind of way. I think the panels full of taijutsu was pretty good, because it was very basic and it tested Sasuke growth.

taimoor2
January 17, 2008, 06:56 PM
I agree, taijutsu panels were very good. I am talking about the pages where Sasuke activated chidori, charged at Itachi, and sent it through the ground...that could have been achieved in 1 page while kishi wasted about 3 pages....