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AxelCross
February 13, 2008, 05:25 PM
Well, it’s finally out, my first Naruto chapter review! I’ll lay out a few things I’ll be doing in this reviewing process before I actually begin. First, I’ll outline the chapter with my own thoughts, theories, and comments on different aspects of the chapter itself; artwork, plot, dialog, etc. Next, at the end of the review, I’ll break down into categories the scores of each. Now, I don’t like to use numbers for the scoring system, it’s far too in depth and specific, as opinions may be wide and varied and one might be “on the fence” about a certain topic, so I will label the “scores” as such: Bad, Mediocre, Good, Great, Amazing. Comments are more than welcome on how I should score them, but I like to keep things simple yet informative. The categories at the end of each review will be: Art, Dialog, Plot Progression, and for more specific chapters that may or may not have these next categories: Plot-Device-No-Jutsu? and New Introductions (a chapter that introduces a new jutsu, character, etc. will have this category). :p

So I’ll be going pretty in depth with the reviews themselves. Of course, discussion of the review afterwards with comments and constructive criticism is more than welcome. Without further adieu, let’s begin!

I don’t think this should have to be said with how talkative I usually am, but I’ll say it anyway: SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS.

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First and foremost, I love this cover page. Not because of the actual artwork, but because of the emotion is portrays. Knowing that Sasuke and Itachi’s bonds have been a complete mirage, even as they were children, is so saddening. Readers must confront the fact that not only do Sasuke and Itachi have a god awful blood lust for one another in recent years, but now the one thing that they had as children is gone, their past is now nothing but hate. They are left with nothing but will to murder. Emotional.

The Uchiha battle. Not just any battle, not even just an “amazing” battle, this is “THE” battle. The basis of Sasuke’s entire character since he was first introduced into the series, and what has been the foundation of his character since that time. To say the very least, this is an important battle. So far so good, I say. It’s been what most of us have expected: A genjutsu battle riddled with witty comments of hatred, power, detest, lineage, and will. However, Kishimoto has done a fantastic job in making these normally boring aspects of a battle into an involved and intricate one. He’s added in a few great flashbacks of Itachi and Madara’s past, as well as the Uchiha clan’s now even darker and blood drenched past.

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Itachi has just (yet again) mind raped Sasuke with Tsukuyomi, and plucked his eye from his head (in genjutsu of course), showing him what will be reality. Normally, I’d say this was completely expected, and for most people it was, but I don’t think most of us were expecting it to be as gory and sadistic as it was. Sasuke, looking down at his blood drenched hand, eye plucked, sweaty, panting from the pain, it was quite the scene, and for those of us with a bit more imagination than simply looking at the page and taking it as it is, this was a very powerful moment. Itachi has shown himself not only to be the original evil brother he was first introduced as, but has furthered his insanity and blood lust in the form of sadism and pure, unfiltered hatred. Many have seen this as a downgrade and to be clichéd. On the contrary, I see it as a huge development, considering Itachi was beginning to look like the “bad guy gone good”; which, in my eyes, would be fatal to Itachi’s character. Kishimoto has finally confirmed that his character is consistent and expecting, yet balanced and exciting.

As the battle rages, Sasuke, surprisingly (/sarcasm) breaks out of Itachi’s Tsukuyomi. As I’ve stated earlier, Kishimoto has quite the talent of taking the normally boring, clichéd aspects of manga and transforming them into exciting, involved moments. The same...kind of goes for this instance. It isn’t just Sasuke’s will (that no doubt has a factor, however), but the simple fact that…wow, he’s better. Never has such a simple explanation (thank you, Zetsu-san) been so awesome. This isn’t a twisted, complicated plot line, it isn’t a Plot-Development-No-Jutsu, and it’s not all that clichéd, in fact it goes against the norms. Plain and simple: Itachi underestimated Sasuke; Sasuke has a better control of the Sharingan and more hatred than Itachi could imagine. I love it. I was expecting a long, drawn out explanation of how and why, but it was so simple that it works so damn well. Granted, it could have been done with more enthusiasm in explanation, but that would have taken away from such realism and plain, in your face “life isn’t fair” lesson. From a manga perspective, it’s mediocre, from a perspective in plot, it’s amazing.

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As we move into the fight, things get interesting. Tsukuyomi, Amaterasu… Right eye, left eye… Sun, moon. It’s all wonderful, but what will come out of it? Will it be what we all expect, or will there be a small surprise for us waiting at the end? I’m hoping Kishimoto takes the high road and does a bit of both, flashing Amaterasu for all to gaze upon, but taking a hard left at “WTF!?” and going for some originality. I sometimes wonder when a member or two nearly predicts an entire chapter almost word for word… Is it that Kishimoto is getting so predictable, or that these members are insanely perceptive? I’ve seen, on more than one occasion, a few of our ingenious members predict a full chapter almost to a point, and that’s great, but Kishimoto, keep up with the surprises, huh?

All in all, I genuinely enjoyed this chapter. It wasn’t a ball buster, but it wasn’t a jaw dropper either. There will forever and always been a very distinct group of people that love the Uchiha battles, and ones that hate them. It all depends on how you look at it. I, on one hand, usually takes things far deeper than they should, which can be extremely bad or, I suppose, very good at times, considering I’ll enjoy something others would detest, such as a genjutsu battle (I’ll no doubt discuss this later on down the line :p). The most important thing is that Kishimoto must keep up with keeping things original and entertaining, not to make things overly complicated, but not so flat out simple (though the instance in this chapter was just the thing we needed). Balance.

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Overall: Good
Art: Great
Plot: Good
Dialog: Mediocre

Till next chapter…(Please leave comments and constructive criticism! :))





Alright, here we are back for another review, but this time it’s a double chapter. Due to time constraints, I had to push back the original release, thus the double chapter came to be. A huge thank you to JapFlap for their amazing work, I’ll be using these beautiful high def images for Chapter 389; and last but definitely not least, many thanks to Kylara and Binktopia for bringing us our addictive chapters each week. I won’t have an enormous introduction this time…:p So let’s get started!

Note: Added “Terrible” to the rating…Foreshadowing?

Naruto Chapter 389 - Sasuke Turns The Tide

Well here it is, ladies and gentleman. Sasuke’s wits and Itachi’s struggle. The longer this battle continues, the more Itachi seems to be losing his grip; his eyes are failing him tremendously, he’s actually been hit with one of Sasuke’s shuriken, and now it seems that one of his eyes is…um…bleeding profusely? Itachi’s got a boo boo! In all seriousness though, one would have thought that having your eye nearly bleed itself out would result in quite the powerful jutsu. I suppose in some ways it did, too; however, against Sasuke it seems to be just another run of the mill jutsu as opposed to the ominous, grand technique it was hyped up to be throughout chapters long ago, as well as just recently by Mr. Zetsu-san.

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I’d like to say, before I start a few more complaints I have, that this battle is great so far speaking in general terms. Yes, it’s got a few nasty surprises, an up and coming Plot-Device-No-Jutsu, and not everyone will be pleased. But all in all, Kishimoto has done a wonderful job considering the enormous, tremendous, terrifying amount of pressure and sheer impossible expectations he’s been enduring. That said, there are a few things in this fight that could have been done much, much better. One thing that has been irking me is the fact that in any given situation, Sasuke has an answer ready in the blink of an eye. As many members have stated, it seems that Sasuke has nothing more than dirt and soot spattering his clothing, as well as a loss of chakra, but physically speaking, he’s nearly pristine (save for a CS2 wing loss, but that's another form). Normally this would be a triumphant cry for Sasuke and his fans, but the way in which it’s being portrayed is less than stellar.

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One thing that is beginning to dull is the overuse of these shuriken seals. Now, I know that it’s completely plausible that Sasuke has created (with the help of Orochimaru, no doubt) these seals in preparation for a battle of this magnitude, but how much preparation can one do? It seems Sasuke has an endless amount of tricks up his sleeve for any given situation at any given time. Maybe I’m just hating on Sasuke, but I don’t think I’m the only one that would like to see Sasuke lose more than just a wing of his cursed seal 2 form. Itachi, the man that has conspired against the entire Uchiha clan and is seen even still as one of the most dangerous men in the Narutoverse is being, to be blunt, beaten to a pulp. He’s giving Sasuke quite the exercise, but that’s about it. All of the powerful, insane techniques are for naught. All of the rage, mystery, conspiracies; it’s all fading away quite fast due to the fact that, for some reason, Sasuke can get out of any situation at will with little effort. I suppose this is to be expected however, due to Sasuke’s immunity to death at this point in time, but Kishimoto could still make it more interesting.

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Not all of this is a bad thing. This battle, more than anything, is to show how strong and ruthless Sasuke has become. There are no more spineless threats; sheer power and rage is left in the wake of Sasuke’s training and hatred. But that can only go so far. How many times will Sasuke use CS2 as a means of protection or a boost of power? How many times will Sasuke use his “get out of jail free card” by simply proclaiming his hatred for Itachi? It was bad ass to see Sasuke break out Tsukuyomi by will (a controversial subject, one which should not be discussed too much here), trump Orochimaru with will, but once again, this can only go so far before it becomes an annoyance. Hopefully that will be the last time it’s used as a character development for Sasuke, as well as slight plot progression, but I can see another one coming up soon lest Kishimoto gets original on us.

One thing that I truly loved in this chapter was the use of katon. Finally, after all those statements about fire being the Uchiha clan’s specialty, we see some results that aren't just for show. We’ve seen a few neat little moves before, but nothing on a grand scale; and so we are shown these two brothers literally fighting fire with fire, and it’s pretty amazing. In earlier chapters in the manga, these jutsu would take a lot out of said character, but now it’s second nature almost, and while it seems to come out of left field, it’s still a sight to see. As I mentioned earlier, many of Itachi’s legendary techniques seem to be a bit rusty against the shiny new generation, namely Sasuke. Amaterasu is finally shown, and oh how it is bad ass beyond all belief. But we are soon confronted with the fact that this might just be all show. With this we’ll transition into Chapter 390.

Note: In regards to the whole plot hole Kishimoto might have created, I’m going to assume one of two things: Zetsu was watching the Orochimaru battle without the reader’s knowledge, or the simple fact that Kishimoto screwed up (or took a fall purposely) to remind us of the fact that Sasuke has gained a bit of Orochimaru’s snaky skills. I won’t get into this because frankly, it doesn’t matter. Kishimoto screws up. If you want to comment, please do so, but I won’t as it doesn’t affect anything in the future as far as plotlines go.

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Naruto Chapter 390 - The Final Jutsu


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…and it is merely for show. Something so legendary, so feared, so perplexing…can be avoided by…um…running. Sure, Sasuke gets a wing taken off, which is nice and all, but it’s only a flesh wound, right? After all, in CS2, Sasuke seems to be a bit willing to take a few falls, and I honestly wouldn’t be surprised in the last if Sasuke grew back those wings somehow in later chapters. In fact, I’ll place my intranetz money on that. Not only that, but even with Zetsu-san proclaiming such fascination with Itachi black flame consuming Sasuke’s katon, what good does a jutsu do if it can’t even hit it’s target? Such an awesome technique with tremendous results sure is sporadic and floppy. Maybe I set myself up for this in hopes that Amaterasu would actually do some damage to Sasuke, but it’s becoming irritating how convenient things are for Sasuke.

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Now for the amazing escape! It’s exciting, it’s surprising, it’s a replacement! It’s…a replacement? Yeah. It’s bad. But it’s not all that bad I suppose, Kishimoto at least had the mind to make it so that Sasuke used up quite a large amount of chakra, as well as having Itachi proclaim to Sasuke (as if he didn’t already know) that it’s hard to detect. It’s cheesy, but I guess it could be worse. After all, Sasuke could just pull out the CS2 once again and…oh. Crap. It was expected, but if this battle is to show how much Sasuke has grown in potential and strength, it’s beginning to go downhill with all the CS2. All of the speeches of doing things his own way, not taking Itachi’s path to gain the Mangekyou, Sasuke still isn’t using his own strength to get the job done. It’s a bit boring, but it does add to Sasuke’s character a bit, as odd as it is. Throwing the CS2 use out in the open like this shows that Sasuke might not be such an individual after all. He’s strong, he’s cunning, but just as Naruto did in the past, he isn’t using his own power to overcome the problems he faces.

More Katon! This time something different, thank goodness. I’m glad Kishimoto changed it up a bit, though in the end it’s essentially a flashier version of the tried and true Goukakyuu. Of course, even as Itachi’s eyes see a blurred, distorted vision of what really is, he still manages to detect and escape a fully charred body, though he’s burned a bit in the process. Itachi is shown to be a trooper at least, but it’s a sad sight to see a man that before literally brushed his younger brother aside despite a full Chidori hauling towards him now degraded to being pushed around by a few calculated moves, preparation (which is being pounded into Itachi’s head at this point), and a few cheap shots from CS2. This battle is not all that I had hoped for, it did not meet my expectations, and so far I’m craving more. But it’s not over, and even if it is, it’s not so terrible. It’s not the best, but it’s definitely not the worst. The battle has been entertaining and fun, and in the end it’s merely meant to show how far Sasuke has come, despite the fact that Kishimoto seems to contradict himself with the constant overuse of CS2 and Orochimaru’s other powers, but that’s another discussion. I didn’t hate these chapters, but I’m not jumping for joy over them either. It is what it is at this point, and I’d just like to get it over with and move onto bigger and better things to be honest.

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Let's hope next chapter doesn't bring an unoriginal, Sasuke-like jutsu, but something that will truly show Sasuke's inner strength and growth. It's all up in the air at this point...pun?

Naruto Chapter 389

Overall: Bad
Plot Progression: Good
Dialogue: Mediocre
Art: Amazing



Naruto Chapter 390

Overall: Good
Plot Progression: Good
Dialogue: Terrible
Art: Great

Note: Alright, this next aspect is bad either way, but the rating of it will be based off of how it is used. For instance, if Kishimoto’s hand was shown to protect Sasuke and shout “He’s my man, Itachi, back off!”, that’d get a big, fat “Terrible”. But if the use of this aspect isn’t all that bad and is used in such a way that it furthers the manga, it’s rating will reflect that. Once again, I’m not rating how good or bad this aspect is, but how it is used and what comes of it…whether it be survival by sheer fact that it is a main character, or death because it is a main character’s arch nemesis.

Plot-Device-No-Jutsu: Mediocre







Chapter 391:…With The Thunder!

Here we are for the next review for Naruto, Chapter 391! No new updates on the actual reviewing process or anything like that. However, before I jump into the review, I do have some questions I’d like to ask for all of you reading my reviews, please give your opinion on the topic: What do you think of the images in the review, would you like to see panels as opposed to entire pages, or possibly no images at all? I say this because for those 56k users out there (are you all extinct yet? :p), as the reviews go on, the loading of the page will get longer and longer. I was thinking about deleting images of older reviews as we get further into this, but then it’d be an annoying Great Wall of China-text for those that would like to read past reviews. I’m on the fence about it, so any input from you all would be great. Here we go! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

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First and foremost, what an exciting chapter! This is the first time I’ve truly been excited and anticipating the next chapter since the Itachi V. Sasuke battle started. Sasuke has gone all out, showing that though he’s out of chakra, he’s still got some brains left in his head. It seems Kishimoto has finally taken his hand off Sasuke and let him rely on his own tactics and power instead of letting Kishimoto pull the strings. Finally, finally, finally! I’m really happy to see this, because for once, even though the old Cursed Seal is still used, it actually looks like this is Sasuke fighting and not Kishimoto. However, now Kishimoto’s hand rests on…Itachi! Now, this whole, “SURPRISE, BITCH!” ordeal could have gone very, very bad. But I have an immediate feeling that Kishimoto is going to explain this nicely. It has the potential to become a truly great and useful technique in Itachi’s arsenal…or stay in the box of deus ex machina Kishimoto has stored in his closet. I’m really rooting for this to become something great, but we’ll see, it’s all up in the air at this point.

This chapter could be the best chapter yet in the Itachi Vs. Sasuke battle, and one thing that has changed drastically that hasn’t changed much since the beginning of the fight is the scenery and atmosphere, two things that many people tend to overlook in a fight, yet pay great attention to without even knowing it. The scenery…wow woo wee woo. Props to the team for this one, the lightning, the stormy setting, the ominous clouds, everything. It all blends together to make such an evil and foreboding scene. At first the reader has no idea what is to come of this, will Sasuke light up the world in flame, will he bring upon God himself to cast judgment on Itachi? No…it’s a big ass lightning bolt! :D That. Is. Awesome. Sometimes simplicity is the only way to go. Anything more would have made it seem like Kishimoto’s hand was once again interfering with Sasuke’s character. Kirin, coming to call judgment upon Itachi (using Amaterasu against Itachi? Genius!), shown in the form of lighting, and striking him down with such a blow that it sends pieces of Earth flying in every single direction, creating a small crater. Now that is impressive. Not only that, but as I stated earlier, Sasuke is truly showing his brains at this point. I loved the scene in which Zetsu explains the whole point of the Katon blasted at Itachi. Which, by the way, was great how Kishimoto justified that. Ironically enough, I believe I complained last chapter how it was great that Katon was used, but was somewhat pointless. Ya got me, Kishimoto…ya got me. Love it.

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Which leads me to something that has been a complaint for most people since the beginning of the battle: Zetsu-san, AKA The spectator. I don’t see how this is a bad thing in any way, shape or form, and to be honest, it seems like something so miniscule and pointless to complain about. If anything, Zetsu’s presence is making this battle ten fold better than it would have been without him explaining certain things, such as Katon being used to heat the clouds to create cumulonimbus clouds in a surge of heat and energy. If someone can tell me how that would have possibly been explained without Zetsu, please do so. I don't see how it could have been explained any better without the oh so annoying "I used this against you, lemme explain how it works *pause fight*". Among other situations, though most are, yes, simply creative comments. He also serves as a sort of comedic relief throughout the battle. It’s quite funny to see the (I’ll refer to White and Black Zetsu from now on) white Zetsu questioning everything he sees while the black Zetsu explain to him in full detail what is going on. What piques my interest is pondering of whether this is just comedy, or whether this has true merit to it. Is the white Zetsu truly so ignorant? What is his purpose? For those of you that don’t notice this, go back and read the chapter and look at how white Zetsu is acting. He’s a child. “What is this?” “What is that” “How did he do that?” “I don’t understand!” He’s completely clueless. But he must have a reason for being. On the opposite side (literally), we have black Zetsu, a being that seems to know…well, everything. He questions nothing, he has an answer for everything, and it seems that he sees everything as well. Is he the brains of the two? Does white Zetsu have the strength and black Zetsu the intelligence? So many questions…I’ll definitely come back to these later, but I’ve already gone to in depth with this, so I’ll bring it up again later when more is explained on this enigmatic being.

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Going back to Kishimoto’s hand engulfing Itachi at this point…aside from the total surprise that Itachi had something up his sleeve (/sarcasm), it was done very well considering the options Kishimoto had. That said…WTF is this!? It seems to be an actual object as opposed to a chakra infused force field, there’s clearly a pillar of sorts in the middle of the shield, right behind Itachi, as well as object extruding from the pillar itself. So…is this Susanoo (forgive me if that’s spelled incorrectly, I’ve seen multiple ways)? If so, what else is there, and how does Susanoo create an object out of thin air? Or…is Susanoo coming up, and this a simple summoning technique, akin to that of Sasuke’s tried and true “pull the shuriken out of my ass” technique? We have no idea at this point, but suffice it to say I am very interested as to where Kishimoto takes this. I’m hoping so very much that this isn’t Susanoo, as I expect it isn’t, but if it is there had better be a good explanation and more to go along with that shield. In all honesty, I’m expecting the shield to be a “I, too have prepared for something for such an occasion, Sasuke.”, and Susanoo to be pulled off soon after, ending the next chapter. But we’ll see.

Overall: Great
Art: Amazing
Dialogue: Great
Plot: Great

All in all, this chapter was leaps and bounds better than any other of this battle. The artwork is outstanding, the dialogue was well written, plot development moved along nicely without feeling as if Kishimoto shoved his hand in the work itself to help someone out, and there were no severe cases of Plot-Device no jutsu, save for a possibility with the whole shield incident and Itachi. But that can be helped quite easily next chapter, which is why I’m not calling it. Indeed, I liked this chapter very much.

Well, that ends it for this review. See you next chapter for a big ‘ole Susanoo in YOUR FACE! :o


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Alright, from now on I’ll try a different posting method. I’ll post all newer reviews in a normal reply in this thread, so for all that are checking this now: Know that all reviews from this point forward will be posted as replies in the thread. The only downfall to this is that as people post in the thread, the review will be pushed back a bit, so a little searching might be in order. I think it’s better than having to put up with the loading and scrolling on the first post though. Once again, constant feedback is always helpful, as I have my hands quite full at the moment, so I can’t always ponder what method would be best.

Which brings me to my next point: My reviews will be quite sporadic for a few weeks. I’m nearing the final lap in my semester of college, meaning that work is tough and high in numbers. Not only that, but to be completely honest, Naruto is beginning to dull on me at this point. Don’t take that as I don’t like the series anymore or anything of the sort, but Kishimoto’s writing is a bit boring right now, and I’m sure things will get better once this Uchiha orgy is done with, but I’m simply beginning to doze off in Naruto land. That said, forgive me if my reviews are a bit shorter than usual or not as enthusiastic/in depth. Once the Summer months hit though, I’ll be back in full swing, but for now school takes priority. Thanks, everyone, if you have any questions or anything on the reviews, comments in general, don’t hesitate to PM me.

Update: Fwaha, alright everyone, apologies for changing the format so much. But after shuffling through my own thread so much and updating it, as well as taking comments into consideration, I've decided to simply have each review in it's own post. Before I figured it would be a hassle since, at the very least, I'll be doing bi-weekly reviews, and most of the time weekly, so I thought it'd get cluttered. However, once it does get cluttered, I'll either make an index and put them into one thread or simply leave it, I'm not sure. But for now, this will be the last update/post in this thread, I'll keep it for the sake of the old reviews however. But for now, if you'd like to read newer reviews, please look in the appropriate thread created for it. All old reviews will stay in this thread.

mrcongojack
February 13, 2008, 05:47 PM
Good review. I disagree about the cover, but a good review nonetheless. I like how in depth you got into the review.

So, cheers to your first review! :clap

igotthegoods
February 13, 2008, 11:34 PM
great review! i look forward to more in the future :)

i agree that itachi's character development is headed in the right direction. i have never wanted him to turn out to be a good guy in disguise, even though a lot of his biggest fans hoped for this to be true. it almost seemed too predictable that he would turn good.

your reasoning for sasuke breaking free from the tsukiyomi was intriguing. i thought it was plot-no-jutsu at first and i'm still not completely convinced it isn't. after all, wanting something bad enough is not necessarily going to make it happen. i could wish for a million dollars, but just wanting it bad enough will not make it appear in my bank account. however, maybe the reason really is as simple as "saskue got stronger." maybe the gap in power between the brothers simply isn't as big as itachi believes. i would certainly like this scenario better than the infamous plot-no-jutsu :darn

hitokugutsu
February 14, 2008, 08:40 AM
Great review, I like your perspective on the Naruto manga. Hope te see more in the future :p

Though I have to diagree with Sasuke breaking out of Tsukiyomi only based on his hatred and use of sharingan. There was a panel showing the CS engulfing Sasuke's sharingan and immediatly after that we saw the Tsukiyomi "breaking down". And I dont give a fuck what Zetsu says cause he wasnt in Tsukiyomi and therefore never saw Sasuke using his CS. No doubt that his "will of hatred" and use of sharingan were essential but I dont think Kishi showed us using his CS just for the fun of it
And it has been stated before but Zetsu could become annoying if he starts to "commentate" the match. Kishi should keep his panel count to a minimum
Also its really funny how people kept screaming in the past for more genjutsu-battles and now they start to hate on this battle....

kaylee
February 14, 2008, 01:19 PM
Thanks for the review, Axel! I completely agree with your thoughts on the cover -- the art is very simple, but it's still one of my favorites, just because of the sheer amount of emotion it conveys. Looking at those two smiling at each other, and then knowing what's coming up for both of them in the future... gah. Powerful stuff.

As for Sasuke breaking Itachi's Tsukuyomi, this is one point where I would've liked more of an explanation. Sasuke's stronger and uses his sharingan better... ok, that works, I guess, but how did he get so good? 3 years ago he wasn't even close to narrowing the gap between himself and Itachi. Did his training with Oro have that much of an effect? Or has Itachi been slacking off in comparison? Or maybe the power of the Tsukuyomi has weakened, due to Itachi's worsening eyes?

@hitokugutsu -- I'm not so sure that Sasuke's CS2 had anything to do with him breaking out of Tsukuyomi though... he only went CS2 within the genjutsu, not in the "real" world, so wouldn't the power boost from CS2 be illusion? But, like you, I'm confused as to why Kishi actually showed Sasuke in CS2 at all then....

Gold Knight
February 15, 2008, 06:54 AM
So you got your review out eh? It's still a mite shorter than I expected, but I guess this is your first attempt. :XD

There's not much for me to comment on though. The cover, I loved, for the "old Kishimoto" feel of the art, the juxtaposition of the innocence portrayed in the past with, as you said, the bloodlust of the contents of the actual chapter.

Interesting perspective you have on Sasuke's breaking of Itachi's Tsukuyomi. Well, if Itachi accidentally triggered the 'hatred' to Sasuke to such a high level that it actually works against Itachi rather than works for him, it's probably what Itachi deserves. I don't think I let this really bother me as much after reading the chapter itself, but before reading it I was pretty irritated at the spoilers. I suppose we'll just have to leave this as something that, I guess, was covered during his apprenticeship to Orochimaru as much as we missed Naruto's training under Jiraiya. But I really would have liked for Kishimoto to show us more of what exactly went on over the two years that we missed. Heck, I think we've even seen more from how Sakura did under Tsunade's guidance in that time!

Hope to see more.

lordHokage
February 15, 2008, 09:48 AM
Very good review and please continue. :occa:kkthumbs

Since Sasuke can’t get enough of CS powers, I agree with hitokugutsu that CS played a huge role in Sasuke breaking out of Itachi’s Tsukuyomi. If what Zetsu said was based on his knowledge of Mangekyou Sharingan powers then all the information we learned from Kakashi-sensei and Itachi about Sharingan’s abilities is just one great big lie after another. :D

IchigoSoul
February 16, 2008, 01:37 AM
@Kaylee. As evident, itachi is much weaker now than ever before. Although sasuke might have improved, i think itachi dependance on the sharingan have left him stagnent, relying too much on MS and now, his MS is weakening as well.

AxelCross
February 16, 2008, 11:32 AM
Thank you all very much for the comments!

:tem I thought I'd get some feedback opposing my own on the subject of Sasuke. As others have said, I really don't think that CS2 was used to directly break the genjutsu itself, but more of a show that Sasuke is letting go, releasing, maybe even getting a bit angry at the fact that Itachi has just plucked his eye out (albeit in the mind). :p As for Itachi's character, that subject will always be divided, and it's really just a matter of pure opinion on who likes what kind of character. Personally, I like a character that is consistent yet intriguing, and Itachi is just that; he's changed, but he's only changed in a way that furthered his own background and confirmed what we've thought from the start, but haven't quite tasted yet.

I'm going to start working on 389 sometime today or tomorrow.

ornis
February 16, 2008, 05:00 PM
Axel, I was thinking of what you post above, and I wonder, maybe Sasuke being in CS2 represents Sasuke's willful hate (his impetus). I think that makes sense, being it a sign of his will's control, of the curse seal serving under his vengeful desire to stop his brother. Not a bad personification.
[hr]
Since, through "expressing" CS2, Sasuke defies Itachi's attempt to even control an illusion, Sasuke's control of reality is all that needs to follow. I guess that's a rite that signifies his promise of confident relief. Moreover, Sasuke going CS2 evokes a proud ceremony to me. He's dancing because he intends to win, and the persevering dance frees him of the illusion: that he'll lose.

Sarmad
February 18, 2008, 07:44 AM
Thanks Axel for this great Review!

I don't have much to say, just that i hope that you'll keep this up until one or two good chapters appear!
Then it would actually be more fun to read the chapter, than Review for that chapter ^^

Gold Knight
February 24, 2008, 09:10 PM
I think I pretty much agree with your observations on Chapter 390, AxelCross, though you seemed a tad more disappointed than I did ^^

Marq
February 24, 2008, 09:37 PM
Nice review. I dont really have any opposing views on your stance really. I agree, kishi contradicts himself so much. Under "their own power". Tecnically Naruto/Sasuke never beaten anyone under their own power, just on the powers of others. heh.

Sarmad
February 24, 2008, 11:43 PM
Nice Review on 390!
I really do agree on most of your statements, but i personally just can't enjoy the "plot" right now. I mean evenutally we'll get past this fight and move on to another story, but it's rather a wasted opportunity than plot progression. It's ridiculous to acknowledge, that Naruto and Sasuke both practiced their skills for 3 years, because it seems that they've just improved their physical strength and dexterity, instead of being able to pull out a hundred new Jutsus!

One could forget the fact that Naruto didn't learn any new Jutsu, but to see Sasuke lacking Jutsus is unforgiveable, since he was trained by Orochimaru (!!!), the guy who wanted to learn ALL the Jutsus in world.
I mean it doesn't need much creativity to create some weird Justus.
But oh well .. the worst revelation though is Itachi's weakness and stupidity! Itachi's only talent lies in throwing shuriken and using the Sharingan, and with that, a total of three Jutsus, including Katon Goukyaku!
That really sucks since he's been portrayed as this mysterious, really strong and pretty smart character!

Anyway i hope that all these negative developments will be flushed down by a "Part 3", as in the time when they're all grown up. I'd like to think that Kishimoto saved up all his hopefully brilliant ideas for a "Part 3".
I mean it's not unlikely, since we haven't explored the whole Narutoverse! It would really destroy the whole manga if Kishimoto wouldn't explore the other countries or at least let one big war break out!

hitokugutsu
February 25, 2008, 06:04 AM
Good to see your reviews again Axel, was looking forward to it.
I agree with you that during this fight Sasuke seems to have the upperhand the ENTIRE time wich becomes quite annoying, since it makes Itachi lookes like a noob. Especially the fact that Itachi's OWN jutu's seem to cause him more damage to himself than Sasuke has done to him....

But as for the legendary Amaterasu: it didn't exactly dissapoint IMO. You didn't mention it in your review but I like to point out that Itachi uses Amaterasu TWICE (also confirmed by Sasuke)

- he used the first Amaterasu to counter Sasuke's Goukayu (or rather to reduce it to nothing). Important to note is that Itachi immediately closed his eye after the Goukayu was gone. I honestly believe he did this to save Sasuke. Otherwise he would have burned Sasuke entire body wich means he wouldn't get his precious eyes
- he uses the second one when he opens his eye again en when we see Sasuke running and when he finally catches him (or at least he thinks so)

My point: Zetsu wasn't overrating this jutsu. The flame forms on the spot where the eye focuses on. When a person is running (Uber-speed God Sasuke in this case) it makes it harder to focus your eye on the spot. Especially since itachi had to save Sasuke's upper part of his body.

So for the Itachi-fans among us: take comfort in the fact that he could have BBQ-ed Sasuke with the first Amaterasu

The Flash
February 27, 2008, 12:07 PM
ok review. I've seen better. I missed the days of Gk's reviews..*sigh*

but to be honest with myself. i'll give this a 6.9(close to 7) out of 10. But i'm looking forward to see more of you reviews.

ornis
February 27, 2008, 12:14 PM
I am curious as to how the review doesn't suit your taste. Also, I wonder how that information can constructively cirtique Axel's reviewing style for the better. Care to elaborate accordingly?

The Flash
February 27, 2008, 04:04 PM
I am curious as to how the review doesn't suit your taste. Also, I wonder how that information can constructively cirtique Axel's reviewing style for the better. Care to elaborate accordingly?

sure.

Well first and foremost, I'm so use to reading Gk's Reviews (only), because in my opinion his reviews for Naruto is the Best reviews I've read in a while. I completely love the way he expresses himself when he writes his reviews and how he tackles in every point he makes.

(Side note: Ever since he stopped i haven't been reading reviews as of late.)

Most (not all) of Gk's reviews are usually longer, and his logic has always been valid.

As for Axel's Review
I felt the review was good in a general aspect, but could have used more "flavour". He missed some really good points that i thought he should have put in or elaborate on. To be honest with you, I also felt that half the time he was rushing to make his point.

What i liked from Axel review was the layout and how organized it was. And that he brought some valid and yet interesting points. The part i liked the most. was his personal reflection on the pictures. To put it short, I liked the first half of the review. The other half.. not so much.


Don't get me wrong i liked his review,and thought it was an OK review. But I've seen better. However I'm looking forward to see his reviews and rate it.

Please that this is my personal rating..AND as you know ratings can differ from peers to peers

To Axel: To know that this is your first review.. i thought you've done an excellent job. But i believe the more you write reviews, the better you will be. that is why i'm looking forward to see more reviews from you.

My rating : B = 7/10

AxelCross
February 27, 2008, 06:09 PM
Thank you all very much for your input on my reviews. Know that when writing reviews, I will definitely keep these comments in mind so that I can better my own writing and hopefully make it more entertaining for you all to read while still being informed of thoughts/theories/etc.

My apologies for not responding to these comments specifically, I'm being beaten into the ground with school work right now, so once I get some free time on my hands I'll definitely have a nice discussion about the chapters. For now, please accept my thanks and apologies and hype up for the next chapter! I think I'll be able to get this one out earlier, but we'll see how things go. Once again, thank you all very much.

Smudj
March 02, 2008, 03:42 PM
Good reviews.

On review for chapter 391: You forgot to mention the change of appearance of Sasuke's left eye.It looks exactly like Orochimaru's eye now.
It probably has to do something with the CS and the price you have to pay for using it.Kishimoto revealed very little about the CS,so I hope we get good explanations.

MH member "drcitan" posted this page in the discussion thread :

http://www.onemanga.com/Naruto/179/07/ --->that's about the only info we got on the CS but I think it has to do something with orochimarus' eye appearing.

So I think that the appearance of orochimaru's eye doesn't mean that orochimaru's actually going to reappear but that it shows the corupting influence of the CS on Sasuke's mind which is being corrupted by the overuse of the CS and Sasuke's probably slowly falling into darkness and maybe even losing his personality.Kishi mentioned somehting about Sasuke's future being dark in his interview so maybe it will have something to do with the CS and orochimaru's soul locked up inside him.



I think there's also a connection there between Sasuke and Naruto.

Someone(Kakashi?) said to Naruto that he shouldn't rely on the kyuubi but on his own strenght and capacities and develop them.Naruto has a natural high stamina and chakra capacitites, he learned a jounin level techinique from the forbbiden scroll when he was not even a genin just by studying it for like a minute.He learned the Rasengan really fast and developed it further with some guidence from Kakashi.That is real talent.
So, although the kyuubi helped him a few times if he neglects his own talents and relies on the kyuubi it will eventually devour him.

The same thing actually can be applied to Sasuke.Sasuke showed his genius talent already at a young age + he inherited the powerful sharingan.He learned the chidori form Kakashi but developed it even further into various lightning manipulations.His sharingan grew even stronger than Itachis.Even Orochimaru said that his own genius can't be compared to Sasuke's talent.
But Sasuke obviously made a mistake by getting the CS, which gives you a big power boost and he relied a lot on it but after chapter 391 it seems that there's a high price for using it,that it will corupt his mind and make him loose himeself.

It seems that a big struggle awaits Sasuke because of the CS,just like Naruto is struggling against the devouring power of the kyuubi inside him.

AxelCross
March 02, 2008, 03:53 PM
Ah, yes, I forgot to write up a note on that. I left the whole "Orochimaru eye" out simply because, well, I have absolutely no Earthly idea what to think of it at this point. I'm dumbfounded. There are simply too many possibilities at this point. It could be that Orochimaru is taking over his body, or that the cursed seal is integrating Orochimaru's genotype into Sasuke's system, or even that Orochimaru is being "powered up" by the cursed seal, letting a bit of his power leak out into Sasuke's actual body, as opposed to mind.

Not only that, but I'd be making baseless assumptions. So, while it piques my interest tremendously, I'd rather save the discussion for when it's brought up again. It is definitely interesting though, to say the very least, and I'm glad Kishimoto is bringing it up, as it was looking like the whole "cursed seal side affect" was thrown out the window due to Sasuke's God-like status in the manga. Thank you for the reminder though, that slipped my mind completely.

bezna4alo
March 03, 2008, 04:55 PM
sure.

Well first and foremost, I'm so use to reading Gk's Reviews (only), because in my opinion his reviews for Naruto is the Best reviews I've read in a while. I completely love the way he expresses himself when he writes his reviews and how he tackles in every point he makes.

(Side note: Ever since he stopped i haven't been reading reviews as of late.)


To actually crituque some ones review. you have to read More reviews, otherwize we will get what we see here. you liking GK style over Axel's.






Most (not all) of Gk's reviews are usually longer, and his logic has always been valid.



compared to GK's review ie. http://mangahelpers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12787

Or, if u like more recent reviews- http://mangahelpers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=18486

Gk's review and Axel's are almost exactly the same lenght(actually copy pasted into word to see the lenght of each review minus the pictures and spaces.).





As for Axel's Review
I felt the review was good in a general aspect, but could have used more "flavour". He missed some really good points that i thought he should have put in or elaborate on. To be honest with you, I also felt that half the time he was rushing to make his point.


As you pointed out , a person needs to elaborate and not rush, while you did the same thing in your post. What is this flavour your talking about that he needs to add?
And espiacily a good idea was to add points... as to what kinda flavour he needed to add.



What i liked from Axel review was the layout and how organized it was. And that he brought some valid and yet interesting points. The part i liked the most. was his personal reflection on the pictures. To put it short, I liked the first half of the review. The other half.. not so much.


Thats exactly the reason you didnt like Axel's..... if you compare them both(the two reviews) GK focuses on the pictures and writes small amounts of text to explain what he thinks/feels towards it [link is above for refferance]. as he does this to many pictures and he spaces out his text. It looks HUGe. but in reality his writing is not that much longer than Axel's.



Don't get me wrong i liked his review,and thought it was an OK review. But I've seen better. However I'm looking forward to see his reviews and rate it.

Please that this is my personal rating..AND as you know ratings can differ from peers to peers


you like to space out things - just as GK did at the above link ... thefore your critism of Axel's review has barely anything to do with Axel's actuall review writing skills.
Its not better or worse you just got to used to GK reviews you shut down a new way or a diffrent way of writing reviews.And you also admire/like GK, okie nothing wrong with that, but also no reason to post irrelevent criticism.]



To Axel: To know that this is your first review.. i thought you've done an excellent job. But i believe the more you write reviews, the better you will be. that is why i'm looking forward to see more reviews from you.

My rating : B = 7/10



Finaly im not pro ither GK or Axel , i enjoy reading diffrent peoples reviews as they offer diffrent points and diffrent styles ... w.e thx everyone.


and a nice review it flowed really nicely... maybe thats why it appeared short :P
good things end fast. :)

AxelCross
March 07, 2008, 04:38 PM
Alrighty, I've just read the chapter and have started the review. However, I have two essays to write up, as well as working the night shift for the Super Smash Bros. Brawl release at Gamestop, as well as going home and playing it all nigh long afterwards. (Yes, Brawl takes priority over reviews :p) So I'll have the review up anywhere from Sunday night to Monday evening, no earlier and no later.

chvis002
March 10, 2008, 03:23 PM
Gosh I'm glad that someone picked up reviewing Naruto, and it keeps High quality.
About the image-"problem", why not split down the thread into one chap each?
Looking foward for the next review

kiddo7
March 11, 2008, 07:58 AM
...
About the image-"problem", why not split down the thread into one chap each?
Looking forward for the next review

I have to say I agree with this notion. I makes it much easier to find updates and it feels more organized.
on the other hand you might be worried that your reviews will get spread all over the place or get buried under a bunch of new threads, or maybe you just do not like the idea of the forums getting flooded with everyones version of the latest chapter as more people start reviewing.
In that case you could still post your new reviews as the latest post (as opposed to the first post) in the same thread. That way your reviews would not all have to load on the same page and there is no trouble.

AxelCross
March 15, 2008, 03:02 PM
I have to say I agree with this notion. I makes it much easier to find updates and it feels more organized.
on the other hand you might be worried that your reviews will get spread all over the place or get buried under a bunch of new threads, or maybe you just do not like the idea of the forums getting flooded with everyones version of the latest chapter as more people start reviewing.
In that case you could still post your new reviews as the latest post (as opposed to the first post) in the same thread. That way your reviews would not all have to load on the same page and there is no trouble.

Ah, great idea. Hmm...I'll think on this more, but for now an update: I had a bit of a delay over the weekend due to a computer crash, and sadly I had literally just thrown away all my old backup CD files, and was about to create new ones when this happened. So no backup files, all data deleted save for a few here and there. So... the new review won't be up until the next one, AKA another double chapter. I'm doing this for two reasons: I have so many opinions and ideas on this chapter that fitting them into one chapter would be odd because there would be so many predictions for the next, thus I will wait for the next to finalize those thoughts. Also, I'll say already so far with my train of thought I absolutely hate this chapter. To make it look a little less (or more, depending on the next chapter) harsh, I'll wait.

Not to mention school is terribly terrible terribable, and it's not even in session for another week. = ( See you for the next review.

sahugani
March 15, 2008, 03:58 PM
hehe. sorry it took me so long to get around to replying to these. i've been bored with Naruto for a long time and my annoyance with the Uchiha family didn't help when trying to reinvolve myself in the section.

as for your format, i can kinda see where you're going with it, but i have to disagree with it. if someone wants to read through an older chapter review, its convenient to have it labeled as its own thread rather than search for it through one massive thread.

as for chapter 392, i have to agree that this was a distinct low point in the series. while Susanoo was visually awesome, i hated the way it was just pulled out as one final MS trick. i didn't see the same thing as you regarding it being a seperate being that Itachi just used chakra to create because that is the definition of all the summoned beasts as well but we don't call them cheap. instead i have a problem with the fact that this type of thing was born from a dojutsu. Tsukuyomi, Amaterasu, and Kakashi's warp thing are understandable as MS techniques because they require targeting by sight, but i'm irked that the sharingan can produce something like this

the big thing though is Orochimaru's pathetic little appearance. you just can't build up an enemy like that, kill him off, and then put his glorious return and second death within the same chapter. that was just flat out wrong. in addition, the way Kishi incorporated a sword that was supposedly superior to the Kusinagi in such a minuscule scene was also just terrible.

as for Zetsu, i've always considered him quite intriguing. i don't really care about his input on the Uchiha fight but hope that when it is over he'll play a bigger part and we may actually learn something about him

onto the next chapter. i doubt that the cursed seal is gone since it was not really connected to Orochimaru. it was just that when Sasuke no longer had the strength to hold back Orochimaru, the bastard was able to escape with his own chakra.

as for Susanoo's continued existence i agree fully that it is completely ridiculous. a technique born from the MS that still works when the eyes are dead, the body lacks chakra to sustain it, and yet its completely invincible...i can't even begin to say how cheap that is. it's one thing having a character who supposedly lacks the strength to fight rising back up for a final attack since that highlights the strength of a person's will but its another thing for a defensive ability to exist in this situation because it bear more of an impossibility factor but less of the value to character development

as for the head poke, i think you got it spot on. Kishi clearly intended it but it was by no means a sign of him gaining an ounce of good in the moments of death. the fact is that Itachi simply missed his intended target and by chance hit that spot. by hitting that spot though, Sasuke and the readers are forced to remember the past between the brothers and view it in the current light

true the ending of the fight is its high point due to the intense emotions of the final moments, but to be entirely truthful, i'm happy it is over just so we can move on to other things. at this time we are also supposed to have a fight between Suigetsu and Kisame as well as another fight between the Leaf nin and Tobi. while Suigetsu's fight seems to lack the emotional edge of this one, a duel between two swordsman promises some of the best cinematic fight scenes in a damn long while

igotthegoods
March 15, 2008, 05:07 PM
yeah, i'm going to have to go ahead and agree that 392 was truly sucktastic. probably my least favorite chapter of naruto so far. :notrust orochimaru's brief return seemed so pointless and just as anti-climactic as his "death" at the hands of sasuke earlier in the series (which i also disliked). and how the f*ck did itachi just happen to have the ultimate weapon to defeat orochimaru already out before his grand reappearance? ugh, i just hated this chapter. kishi, you got some 'splainin to do :yelling

393 was much better for me basically just because of the head poke. it absolutely loved it. i don't think itachi just missed. if you look at this page (http://www.onemanga.com/Naruto/393/13/) you'll see that itachi's expression changes in the top three panels from serious to the mysterious whispering/unintelligible words to a smile.....then we have the head poke. i can't tell if it's a change of heart or if itachi knew that his body was giving out and just wanted to put that last little jab in. i think the latter is more likely, but it's hard to say. i do agree, though, that itachi is dead. the emotion in the last scene was beautifully done :)

ok, so also in 393 we see that sasuke seems to be minus his cursed seal. it made me feel a bit better about the previous chapter knowing that there actually was a point for the return and demise of orochimaru (even though i still think it was done terribly). very intriguing...

all in all, i'm very anxious to move away from this fight and on to other things :nuts

AxelCross
March 15, 2008, 08:02 PM
@Sahugani:

That is true, it probably would be much more troublesome to shuffle through a thread full of posts rather than simply looking for the title on the main page. Hmm...darn it! Alright, next chapter I'll change it yet again and see how it goes, or hell...I might do that right now before the comments pile up.

Indeed, I'm looking forward to the Suigetsu V. Kisame battle oh so much. I've always been very intrigued by the idea of the Seven Swordsman of the Mist, and they've never been expanded upon in the least (I don't count that pathetic attempt in the fillers), so hopefully they'll do just that. Along with having a bad ass dual between two sadistic swordsman, it looks to be a wild battle. Of course, if anyone can screw it up, it's Kishimoto...but at the same time, it could be awesome. We'll see about that...but I too am glad this is done with.

@Igotthegoods:

Yes, the Orochimaru ordeal was terrible, but at this point I'm actually hoping the cursed seal is gone just so I can have justification for that disgusting appearance. Then it would have just a bit of a point, but if the only thing Sasuke lost is the few skills he gained by absorbing Orochimaru...it'll be sad, so, so sad. I really do just want to move on though. I don't even care about Kishimoto staying on Sasuke this whole year, I just want something different other than the usual crap we've been hearing, I'd like at least some small change in Sasuke, and this is the best moment to get just that. Having Itachi dead, his main goal is complete, even if it wasn't how he envisioned it, it's still done, so what now? Hopefully something deeper than "NOW I MUST HATE MADARA!", though I fear that's just what it will become...and that'll be one of the last straws for me if it is. Other than that, making it interesting will be the savior, but I'm still hoping for more.

Update: Fwaha, alright everyone, apologies for changing the format so much. But after shuffling through my own thread so much and updating it, as well as taking comments into consideration, I've decided to simply have each review in it's own post. Before I figured it would be a hassle since, at the very least, I'll be doing bi-weekly reviews, and most of the time weekly, so I thought it'd get cluttered. However, once it does get cluttered, I'll either make an index and put them into one thread or simply leave it, I'm not sure. But for now, this will be the last update/post in this thread, I'll keep it for the sake of the old reviews however. But for now, if you'd like to read newer reviews, please look in the appropriate thread created for it. All old reviews will stay in this thread.

-I also updated the first post with this just in case you see it. I'll be deleting my post with the newest review in here so it doesn't get cluttered.

AxelCross
March 15, 2008, 08:15 PM
Update about my Index thread: Fwaha, alright everyone, apologies for changing the format so much. But after shuffling through my own thread so much and updating it, as well as taking comments into consideration, I've decided to simply have each review in it's own topic. Before I figured it would be a hassle since, at the very least, I'll be doing bi-weekly reviews, and most of the time weekly, so I thought it'd get cluttered. However, once it does get cluttered, I'll either make an index and put them into one thread or simply leave it, I'm not sure. But for now, if you'd like to read newer reviews, please look in the appropriate thread created for it. All old reviews will stay in the index thread

Thank you so very much from both Japflap and Binktopia for working your asses off to bring us Naruto every week!! Every page looks wonderful, and without this, us addicted little fanboys would not be able to gaze at every detail of every panel. :tem Props, homies, props.

Chapter 392 - Susanoo…!!

http://img88.imageshack.us/img88/8024/ch392ukpage02xp5.png

For me, this chapter started as crap and ended as crap. Not to be harsh, but truly, I was disappointed in nearly every way. Anyone that knows me and my Naruto ways will tell you that I’ll likely defend Kishimoto’s writing to the grave, but it’s even beginning to go rusty on me. We’re confronted at first with Madara (I’ll call him as such from now on since Kishimoto has been calling him that for a while now) and once again confronted with his mysterious ways. I’m assuming this is just a chapter cover to show the overall man responsible for all of this, but it could also be a hint at his appearance in upcoming chapters, I’m not too sure. So…Susanoo… *Rubs chin* Interesting…mmmyesss. NOT! The chapter kicks in with Itachi pulling out one last technique out of his bloodied, half-dead ass, only to have an actual…erm, “being”/”spirit”/”entity” come out. I’m not too sure what to call it, but I see this as more of a pseudo-summoning than an actual technique used from Itachi’s own power. Which is why I didn’t like it much at all. I was still disappointed a bit with the last Amaterasu and Tsukuyomi, but at least that was from Itachi’s own power and skill. It seem as though with this technique, the only thing that Itachi has to do with it is using his chakra to summon up this beast. Which doesn’t diminish the actual power of the technique, but it makes it look as though Itachi can’t get the job done himself and must rely on the power of others, such as Susanoo, rather than his own skill. Maybe I interpreted it wrong or just flat out don’t know, but that’s the impression I got.

http://img87.imageshack.us/img87/5717/ch392ukpage0405fc9.png

After this beast is brought out in all it’s glory, which was pretty bad ass, I must say (all complaints aside, Kishimoto has one thing down to perfection: the art), we see Sasuke struggling with what seems to be Orochimaru, tearing and gnawing at his conscience. Here is one aspect I was so, so excited for. It was like Christmas: “Oh yay! It’s Orochimaru!! WOOOOOT!”…only to find that this year for Christmas…we’re getting shit thrown at us by monkeys wearing Orochimaru masks. Which is what I’d rather have than what Kishimoto did. This was…just terrible. The Yamata no Jutsu, those amazingly evil, ominous snakes, and then…here he is, the man himself: Orochimaru. We see him using his usual tactics speeches, hoping for some sort of great revelation or development in the story…to have him sucked up by…What? The Sword of Totsuka!? Well golly-gee, Kishimoto. You fucked that up. Excuse the frustration, but bringing back a character that was once revered as the most powerful and evil being in all of Naruto, only to have him basically cock slapped is so degrading and “disappointing” (that word just doesn’t do justice). If you’re going to bring back a character this popular and loved by all the villain fans out there, you’d better have something better than a short pity fest on how he searched all his life for this sword, only to be disposed of by it a few seconds after his reintroduction. Now, the only reason I’m not going on even more of a rampage here is that, once again, I’m giving Kishimoto the benefit of the doubt and hoping to the mangaka Gods that he explains this very, very thoroughly and/or brings Orchimaru back again in a different fashion. I just want it explained, basically. The only thing I see that came from this is that Sasuke has lost his powers, which was quite the development, that took a lot away from him, but it wasn’t enough, not to justify such a pathetic comeback from such an amazing character.

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Now, am I the only one that finds Zetsu extremely intriguing in this fight? He’s the only aspect of the Uchiha battle that I actually love, which is ironic considering he has almost nothing to do with it besides gathering information (or so it seems). Many, for whatever reason, seem content to whine again and again about Zetsu’s presence. I see Zetsu as an amazingly interesting aspect of the battle, however. For one, something that strikes me as completely amazing and odd is something that I mentioned last review: That the black Zetsu seems to know, once again, everything. There is absolutely NOTHING he questioned, he is stumped by nothing, he understands all, he explains all. While the white Zetsu is questioning all (explained by the black Zetsu soon after) and seems to be a child in terms of knowledge. This, to me, is amazing. What the hell is this guy? How doe he know so much? Are they two entities trapped in one single physical body? They actually talk to one another inside their minds, thus the question of them having two actual minds is brought up. There is so much surrounding this being that I’m inclined to keep reading the Uchiha battle solely for the fact that Zetsu has input. More on this later. Either way, a fairly disappointing chapter. A huge character brought back from the “almost dead” only to be disposed of for good (hopefully not), and Itachi’s ultimate technique seen as a big ass shield and sword. Meh. The chapter ends with Itachi supposedly winning the battle and going after Sasuke’s eyes….which leads us to…

Chapter 393 - My Eyes…!

The chapter begins with Orochimaru’s powers being completely ripped from Sasuke. It seems that, oddly enough, the cursed seal is also gone. Now, this is debatable considering we haven’t seen a full on shot of Sasuke’s complete left side, but from what we can tell so far, it’s gone. We’ve gotten a few good shots of his left shoulder, and the seal is on (whichever you prefer to call it) the back of his shoulder, or the upper part of his shoulder blade. Either way, it’s a bit hidden by his hair. So it could be that we simply can’t see it, but from the bird’s eye view we get multiple times, I’m betting after this battle it will be explained in detail by someone after Sasuke sees the seal isn’t there any longer. So, Itachi is finally going after the kill, he’s going to take his brother’s ey…Oh, it seems there are complications. Somehow, Susanoo has taken quite the toll on Itachi! Note that this is explained by the black Zetsu (the white one commenting on the obvious and asking questions). Susanoo is fading slowly, Itachi is hacking up blood, and at this point, Sasuke is cowering like a beaten pup (oh how sweet that is).

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At this point Kishimoto is beating a dead horse. Susanoo is somehow, despite Itachi’s near death state, working in full order. It’s fading, Itachi is basically blind and dying, and somehow Susanoo is still working perfectly fine. Sasuke throws explosive kunai again and again, uses his katana, and it still is a perfect shield. This can be seen one of two ways: 1. That this technique is amazingly powerful and even when the user is near dead, it works at it’s fullest until it’s completely gone, or 2. Kishimoto is content with being completely hollow minded and doesn’t want to have to explain how the hell Susanoo is still working, thus having the black Zetsu (again x one million) explain that “he’s invincible with this technique”. Which is what happens…it’s getting dull, Kishimoto, real dull. I’m bored at this point. The last bit of the fight is Sasuke cowardly trying to shut down Susanoo with petty kunai attacks and a pitifully desperate cry of shame only to be thrown back by the shield, as I stated before.

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After all these trivial attacks, Itachi slowly creeps towards Sasuke like the reaper… He reaches for the eyes, murmuring “My eyes…my…”, and one last line of incomprehensible words…only to poke Sasuke’s forehead, just as he did when they were kids. Now, here is where the controversy is with this chapter. It seems people are on one extreme or the other. I’m hearing “Shut up about the forehead poke, it’s nothing” and “Itachi is trying to tell Sasuke something indirectly by poking is forehead!”. I’m saying both are wrong. First and foremost, this action is here for a reason, Kishimoto did not draw this very emotional scene for nothing, it’s here for a single purpose and reason, and is even hinted at the end of the chapter with a “…but why!?”. It’s going to be explained. However, at the same time, this doesn’t mean that Itachi has gone good, it doesn’t mean Itachi was relating back to the days of old when they were kids and all was well. Face up: Itachi is an evil, psychopathic, disgusting, sadistic man. Kishimoto has been beating that into the reader’s heads since the beginning of this fight, and more so than that, since his introduction to the series. If you, the reader, haven’t gotten that yet…Godspeed and good luck. Now that that’s been diffused, we have to question, just as the chapter ending says “Why!?”. Yes, it might not be an emotional reunion, or a pity act, but it’s there for a reason. I highly doubt that it’s as simple as “Oh, Itachi missed…”, but it’s a possibility.

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This war’s ending is the only reason I’m even writing this review. I loved it. It was emotional, COMPLETELY unexpected, and emotional (not a typo). Emotion. The one thing missing from this battle until now. Emotion! Good Lord, finally. Kishimoto’s one true talent is writing with emotion, the sad thing is that he rarely does it in a battle of such magnitude, which is a pity because it makes it all the better. However, this was the saving grace for this legendary (or once legendary) battle. A brother, grasping for his younger kin’s eyes, falls forward after an assumed playful poke on the forehead, supposedly dead. I know, I know, we don’t know for sure if he’s dead. But name one other time that Itachi has had such an emotional ending to a battle and fallen, literally, flat on his back on the ground and lived through it, and I’ll consider he’s still alive. But as of now, Itachi is dead. R.I.P., wondrous being of darkness. Next chapter, we’ll see what the hell is up with that slithering white snake that got away (Orochimaru…COMEBACK!), and what Sasuke is thinking and what the hell happened to Itachi at the end of this battle: How he died, if he’s even dead, and if that stupid little forehead poke that ails us so was what it seemed to be.

All in all, I liked this chapter a lot just because of the ending. Other than that…it was mediocre. And as for the Uchiha war all around…utter shit. If this were a normal battle, it’d be amazing, but the fact that THIS is what has been Sasuke’s entire character, the core of his being since the beginning of Naruto…it doesn’t even come close to the hype that Kishimoto brought with it. It’d be different if the readers hyped it up, which they did, but Kishimoto did too, and he didn’t deliver. Here’s hoping for an explanation the next few chapters and more Uchiha goodness. /enormous rant and sarcasm.

Chapter 392

Overall: Bad
Plot progression: Terrible
Dialog: Bad
Art: Amazing

Chapter 393

Overall: Good
Plot Progression: Great
Dialog: Bad
Art: Great

And of course…

Plot-Device no jutsu: Terrible…anyone that argues the hand of Kishimoto himself didn’t come into these chapters, and for that matter, the fight itself…is kidding themselves. Thanks, Kishimoto, that’ll do, that’ll do!!


NOTE: If it sounds like I’m being far too harsh, apologies all around. However, I’m being critical because of what this battle was and is. That said, I was still entertained and look forward to more chapters, but Kishimoto’s writing seems to be dulling on even his own mind, let alone on mine.

Till next time...try not to beat it to Uchiha yaoi too much. :p... :oh...I'm serious. :notrust

asuka
March 18, 2008, 10:14 PM
im totally agree with you 393 chapter is awesome now im wondering if the 394´s spoilers that i've seen are true if that happends there will be a lot of flashbacks and i love nostalgic!:o:oh

vader87
March 21, 2008, 07:46 AM
You should expand your vocabulary.

AxelCross
March 21, 2008, 03:41 PM
You should expand your vocabulary.

Care to give an example or expand a bit? I personally think my vocabulary is fine, I don't take writing review for a forum to the level I would if I were to write an essay for my English 1302 class. So yes, it might be redundant at times or dulled down, but I don't see it as a problem. If you were to explain a bit more or give me a few tips, maybe I'll better myself.

ornis
March 22, 2008, 10:50 AM
I can't find myself agreeing with the idea that Susano'o was a cheap play. In the context that it was a response to Sasuke's "brilliant" use of advantages (as per tussle with Deidara and Orochimaru), Sasuke is forced, back-to-wall, to cower before Itachi's uncanny and illegitimate advantage (that Itachi wields {in the sense of it being his decision to "release" Susano'o against Sasuke} but with which he can't save himself). This sort of condemns Sasuke's abuse of power to the extent that it surreally deteriorates his face twice: through provoking him into the expression of Orochimaru's eye and through the loss of his control of powers once conveniently available to him. There goes his conditions in a flash; regardless if it's permanent, it can happen: Sasuke can run out of a good deal of cards. However, as he chose to extend his hand unfortunately greatly, but not great enough for his death, I am brought back to the fact that Sasuke depleted his own chakra in futile defiance to Itachi's stubborn pursuit of "better eyes". And such released Orochimaru, such left Sasuke seemingly dependent on bombs and slashes that were needless (in the context that Kirin already provided Itachi with the choice to stamper to his death or be fried)... but with CS2, could Sasuke have even gotten through Susano'o's defense? We could only speculate, though we know much of Oro was easily removed, easily omitted... as if he doesn't matter in lieu of this struggle between "fans". And on Chokuto and kunai (explosive), Sasuke was terrified... he was nearly broken.

Furthermore, Chapter 392 and 393 work in incredible and grave tandem to display what Itachi means to say in the words, "forgive me... maybe next time." It feels like he said them so loudly without the need of one legible word... just a tap. This development, this striking though minimalistic parade of two bloody fingers leads me to expect Sasuke's death on one hand, though this is not ensured. Consider Itachi's words... maybe in this figurative head poke of dogged determination (perhaps determinism), Itachi exclaims that maybe next time Sasuke will learn from Itachi, but not today, not in the context of this place in time. For this passionate event may blind Sasuke to a perhaps better reality: where Sasuke doesn't have to face Madara, where Sasuke's eyes are gone and he doesn't have to worry about their usefulness... because Itachi never believed Sasuke was capably useful in the face of Madara, unless Itachi's measure was fully weighed---and that capacity has yet to be claimed "tested to its fullest potential". Though, we can be led to think it has been.

Which brings me to question whether Itachi was good enough to have his fullest capacity measured. Could he have underestimated what "capacity" means? Thus, perhaps in admitted denial, Itachi utters illegible words that we may rather not believe: he may express that he could never train Sasuke, that he could never help him; he could only imagine that in his hubris, only Itachi would be good enough to be shaped to oppose Madara, to oppose the metaphorical and perchance literal corruption of Uchiwa--Madara Uchiha, who aroused the Uchiha to this day.... But was that pursued for Itachi's betterment? To any betterment? And to what extent could he be supra-uchiha? Not necessarily good or evil.
[hr]
Itachi has probably said "maybe next time" in psychopathic, poignant hilarity at his incompetence to ever have a next time, to do what he could've the first time.... Was it embracing family... was that what he failed to do? How could we define him, goal oriented, in reference to the perception of what we may deem good and evil? What is the good way to chase a goal? Moreover, what goal did he have to chase eyes... to attempt to conquer Madara? How would he conquer him, and on what terms does this need to occur? Forgo the idea of good or evil... how could we respond?

kiddo7
March 22, 2008, 04:50 PM
Honestly. I often have trouble understanding all the depth of what you say. But let me thank you for for being the first one to defend itachis victory. Iwas begining to think I was the only one who saw nothing but pure awesomeness in itachis victory and a wonderfull nod to an age of (apparently) false innocence in the head poke. I Loved the chapters because they felt like a very poetic ending to a legendary character.

on another note, I just wanted to commment on the most recent chapter:

Shino ROCKS!!!!

thank you

AxelCross
March 24, 2008, 03:23 PM
Hey, sorry I haven't been responding much recently (Ornis, I'll respond as soon as I can, but your posts always take a bit more thinking :amuse:tem). Due to exams, essays, and art pieces, I have to postpone this chapter and do another double chapter. So the review will be out Sunday or Monday of next week. I simply have too much right now to write a review, and I don't want to half ass it either. Until then, thank you for reading and see you then!

EDIT: Oh yes, and I'll also be closing this thread after the next chapter releases and won't be updating it any longer. I'm simply going to have each chapter review as it's own thread, it's simpler that way, and simple is good. So, discussion can continue until Monday of next week, but after that I'll leave it as a resource for older chapters, and after that I suppose people will have to sift through the forum for the reviews, but that shouldn't but too big of a problem.