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Gold Knight
June 13, 2006, 02:03 PM
Using NBST's scanlation, here's my thoughts on chapter 310. Not much to say this week really, but here goes.

As always, feel free to make your own comments!


* * * Gold Knight's Ten Comments on Naruto Chapter 310: Title * * *


http://img69.imageshack.us/img69/1622/chapter31001xero03tp.th.jpg (http://img69.imageshack.us/my.php?image=chapter31001xero03tp.jpg)

1. And the 'Road to Sasuke' leads back Home...! - For once I'm not going to start with a comment on the cover, but with a thought on the chapter as a whole. Bear with me for a moment ;)

I don't think some people exactly get that this chapter is designed to be an epilogue, and for that reason I think it wasn't supposed to be very exciting, nor was it supposed to do anything but wrap up a few loose ends and give us an idea of how the characters are reacting to their recent experience, and setting us for the next ride. That's all. Okay? I don't mean to insult anybody's intelligence, but some people seem to not to get that. I've heard a LOT of people complain about this chapter not being anything special, but I think people were also expecting for the next storyarc to start already and were left disappointed. Don't worry, it's not that long before the next storyarc starts, really! XD Anyway, so with that that being said...

The colored cover, well, I've said it before and I'll say it again, Kishimoto's imagination as far as Konohagakure architecture - it's excellent; sometimes I wonder where he gets his designs. At first glance, the cover doesn't appear to be all that dynamic, but I actually think his buildings are in themselves dynamic. It's just cool. I mean, you take a look at a detailed map of Konohagakure (http://img156.imageshack.us/img156/7465/naruto9022konohagakure4za.jpg) and it just blows your mind. I wonder where this particular building is on that map? XD

Also, I believe that this cover was just there to prepare us for a "tour" of Konohagakure, as we were going to jump from place to place throughout the chapter, which is just basic sequential storytelling. I don't actually think that we'll learn about the function of that particular building, who lives in it, or what, and that it's even all that significant. I could be wrong, but I think it's basically just a stage prop. But fun all the same.

2. Not So Proud Anymore - When I saw Naruto slumped over, believing that he was weak, I couldn't help but think back to what Hinata said to him at the outset of the Chuunin Exams. About how he may be a "failure, but a proud failure."

I think these failures are beginning to take their toll on him, though.

3. A Little Support Goes a Long Way... - Actually, I think Kishimoto is doing the best job of any mangaka of showing how friendship can be so crucial in life. I mean, that's the basic tenet of all Shonen titles, right? And it's a major theme in Naruto, and it's never been so obvious as in this chapter.

At the beginning of the series, Naruto felt that he didn't need anybody to accomplish his goals. Sasuke didn't feel like he really needed anybody either, but was more willing than Naruto to accept teamwork. Sakura wanted companionship of a different sort, so she had a different challenge, to become more independent and self-sufficient. But that's all in the past.

Now, Naruto's never been so depressed in his life before - so now, people are having to pick him up now, when he can barely stand on his own legs anymore.

Here, Sakura for one of his arms, Sai for the other arm.

Plus, I also think that depending on the support of others will go a long way towards making Naruto a little more humble as well, and possibly even better at teamwork. Which is definitely a characteristic that every great leader needs.

And then there's Sasuke. He, on the other hand, chose a different route, and for doing that, he's in far more danger from himself than any enemy he might have to face in the future... including Itachi... and now he's refusing friendship and the help it might offer. He's digging himself a deeeeep hole...

4. Good Response, Naruto! - And incidentally, if there's ONE person whose support that Naruto still absolutely needs, it's definitely Old Lady Tsunade's.

And, you know, Naruto saying "We're not gonna give up!" was probably the perfect response that he could have given the Godaime, considering how she had always put his faith in his confidence and bravado. In a way, that line probably saved Naruto's own freedom, too. I mean, think about it; if Naruto had said anything else, had expressed dismay and a feeling of powerlessness, then I really believe that Tsunade would have acquiesed to the Elders' demands and keep him on watch 24/7, and that would have basically been the end of the series, as Naruto would basically be reduced to garden tasks again. Scary thought!

5. Sai... What Happened to You!!? =O - Must've been what Danzou was thinking when he had that convo with Sai there and Sai smiled XD "Who's the sonuvabeeyotch who charmed you!?? It was that whippersnapper Naruto, wasn't it?? FEH!"

Anyway, I'm looking forward to learning more about Sai now that he doesn't have a hidden agenda and isn't an antipathetic member of Team 7 anymore. At first, I thought he would be an extremely temporary replacement, basically story fodder at some point, but it now appears he might be with Team 7 for quite a while, doesn't it! At least Naruto and Sakura won't be left short-handed when it comes to competing with other teams for special missions, if they ever have to.

6. Emotion Breeds War, Dammit! - Something tells me our ol' boy Danzou isn't completely without emotion and hatred himself. XD

Hope we'll hear his story sometimes, and especially about how he got so disfigured - but I'm relatively sure it's war wounds of some sort, though. It did surprise me to realize that Danzou was only working for the welfare of Konohagakure, not against it. Kishimoto did have us going there for a while.

But my thinking, after hearing Danzou's words here, is that he's not that different from Sandaime in that he wants to avoid war at all costs too, but instead of trying to negotiate treaties, he assassinates people. A true ninja?

7. My Young Padawan... - Speaking of what Danzou said, why do I get a feeling that Kishimoto is a Star Wars fan? Oh yeah...

Danzou: "Be warned, Sai. Emotions breed hatred... hatred breeds war!"
Yoda: "Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering."

Pretty similar... kinda.

In any case, it seems to me that Sasuke is becoming kind of Kishimoto's example of how strong feelings and hatred can ruin a man. I think that is why Sasuke has been shown, in recent chapters, to become somewhat less likeable. Also, because Kishimoto publicly confessed in an interview that he never liked anybody that seemed too "perfect," and since Sasuke fits that description for him... So... I have a feeling that he's going to make Sasuke appear extremely flawed in the chapters to come. =/

The silver lining though, is that I also think Kishimoto has actually gotten to like Sasuke a bit more throughout the story. Probably because he made Sasuke not perfect, plus he's in love with his character design. But he's probably still got a plan for the story that he has to follow, although I don't think Sasuke's character is going to be as decimated as he was intended to be at the start of the story. XD

8. But Emotion Can Be Good, Too - I think that's the whole point of Sai's flashbacks here, to Sasuke and Naruto, while pondering Danzou's words. Sasuke represents the worse side of passion. Naruto represents the best side. And witnessing the latter, that's what snapped Sai out of his emotionless state.

9. So That's What He Looks Like... - You know the saying, "A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words?" By showing that flashback of Sai's brother, we can pretty much deduce from his expression that the two obviously were close, that the brother was probably as mischevious as Naruto was, and probably possessed a lack of self-restraint as well. They were probably a couple of abandoned kids who had met up under pretty intense circumstances, and forced to work with each other, and came to respect each other after a while. But still kids, even working for the Root organization as assassins. There's a bunch of other things I could say about that picture, but Kishimoto has a knack for drawing characters and expressions that really can inspire your imagination to get carried away, even in a single appearance or panel, and he shows it again here.

And I guess Sai's not related to Kabuto or Deidara, after all. Sorry, guys.

10. And the Title is...! Although this was a more drawn-out scene than I think it probably should've been, it was still a pretty touching scene. Sai's a different person now from when we were first introduced to him; we had a "Untitled" chapter, and now we have a "Title" chapter.

And with that being the end of that storyarc, here's what I think the point of it was all about. While the "Rescue of the Kazekage" storyarc was obviously for developing Sakura's character, this one, "Road to Sasuke," was for developing Sai's character.

And now that THAT's over, I think we're in for a fun roller coaster ride with whatever's coming next. Stay tuned...!

RATING: 3 out of 5 Stars. Although an epilogue, that doesn't mean I think it was the BEST chapter ever. I do agree that there wasn't that much going on. But I did like how it closed up the storyarc.

See ya next week!

Dracul
June 13, 2006, 03:33 PM
Great Comments!

I have one comment, and then I'm off to go find the "10 comments" posts regarding the other chapters! I just found out that you did this!

In regards to the character development of Sai during this arc: I posted somewhere else that i thought this arc had several different purposes. one of them that i listed was sai's characterization. 2 other major purposes that i think were included were showing sasuke's increase in power (and yeah, we all know sasuke is kishi's little lap dog :s ), and to formally show the end of naruto's reliance on kyuubi (YESSSS).

i am guessing the next arc is probably going to start showing some of naruto, sai, and yamato's power (and hopefully some more from sakura-chan :smile-big ).

Anyways, I really enjoyed your post!

destinator
June 13, 2006, 04:21 PM
Damn its so nice to read your 10 comments. A pleasure as always. I love it :)

Gold Knight
June 13, 2006, 05:09 PM
Great Comments!

I have one comment, and then I'm off to go find the "10 comments" posts regarding the other chapters! I just found out that you did this!

In regards to the character development of Sai during this arc: I posted somewhere else that i thought this arc had several different purposes. one of them that i listed was sai's characterization. 2 other major purposes that i think were included were showing sasuke's increase in power (and yeah, we all know sasuke is kishi's little lap dog :s ), and to formally show the end of naruto's reliance on kyuubi (YESSSS).

i am guessing the next arc is probably going to start showing some of naruto, sai, and yamato's power (and hopefully some more from sakura-chan :smile-big ).

Anyways, I really enjoyed your post!


Agreed on all counts, very good points.

And thanks!

conan
June 13, 2006, 07:49 PM
very good analysis GN, I agree with your discussion, I was a bit surprised when some people mentioned that the chapter was bad,awful,etc....
the chapter was an epilogue to an arc we have been following and thats why it didn't have much action or didn't add much to the story, naruto manga goes on a slow pace but when the action comes it is really good,I just wanted to confirm that point.

Gold Knight
June 13, 2006, 08:08 PM
Thanks, conan. ^^

(Sidenote: by the way, I just opened that cover again, and noticed Naruto standing on the clothline on the cover, which I didn't see before! XD And 'Naruto' written in two places. Kinda telling, huh, that Naruto would have recovered so quickly and be back to his old self, standing proudly above everybody? XD

Should've taken a closer glance to it when I wrote my comments.)

Anyway, I feel like I SHOULD add one more thing, since it IS the end of this storyline. While I didn't mind THIS chapter, there WERE a couple of chapters that I didn't like at all this storyarc. It was the first flawed Naruto storyarc I've seen, in my honest opinion. (For details, see previous Ten Comments.)

But I'll cut Kishimoto some slack since nobody's perfect, but I certainly hope this upcoming storyarc will be a better one. ^^

Sariachan
June 13, 2006, 09:15 PM
This chapter was an epiloque, but an important turning point for the manga, too, imho.
We have a new Team 7 that is going to stay, after all, and I like the new team.

Maybe I never liked the rivality theme so much (I saw it in too many manga or other media), anyway I think that Naruto, Sakura and Sai interaction is refreshing.

I liked Kakashi more that Yamato, but Kakashi would shift the attention more on Sasuke, so I like Kishimoto's choice after all.

Finally, I'm not against new characters, actually I usually like them as much as the old ones (even more sometimes, like what happened with Sasori and Chiyo).

About Naruto's characterization, I like how Kishimoto showed his dark side too... the dark side isn't about the Kyuubi at all imho, but more about Naruto being less "proud" than before, like Gold Knight said.
But I think this is only a temporary state for him, since I'm quite sure that he'll coming out of this stronger than before.

I only disagree about a couple of things that you said, GK.
One, that the "Save Gaara" arc was to show Sakura's growht. Imho, it was more about showing the deep of the new alliance between the Leaf and the Sand.
The other, about this arc being the development of Sai. It was even more about the development of Naruto, imho.

Anyway, this could be my last fav story arc so far, but I'm still unsure... I never really liked the "Save Sasuke" arc either (expecially since other than Kimimaro, Kishimoto didn't give the other villans a real background).
After all, Danzou, Yamato and Sai are better character than Jiroubu, Kidoumau, Tayuya and Sakon/Ukon (sorry if I mispelled some names).

Oh, I forgot: I really like the way this chapter ended... it was expected, but it was perfect for Sai's story and characterization.
I already said this somewhere else: Sai is a pretty normal characters compared to many other who had more troubled past or a more original personality, but I like Sai this way. If everyone is too "special" there is no fun anymore, imho. ;)

Adam_xx
June 13, 2006, 09:19 PM
Lol, niceness GK...
I found number 7 quite amusing... xP

Tanuki-dono
June 13, 2006, 09:43 PM
Well said. I liked how it tied everything up as well. Sort of a closure for what is about to come. :D

Gold Knight
June 13, 2006, 10:17 PM
Hey Saria... :D



This chapter was an epiloque, but an important turning point for the manga, too, imho.
We have a new Team 7 that is going to stay, after all, and I like the new team.

Maybe I never liked the rivality theme so much (I saw it in too many manga or other media), anyway I think that Naruto, Sakura and Sai interaction is refreshing.

I liked Kakashi more that Yamato, but Kakashi would shift the attention more on Sasuke, so I like Kishimoto's choice after all.

I like what you said about the rivalry thing getting old. It's definitely true that's getting to be a cliche. And it's getting in the way of Naruto learning the importance of teamwork, too, anyway. =x Sai should help with that now.


I only disagree about a couple of things that you said, GK.
One, that the "Save Gaara" arc was to show Sakura's growht. Imho, it was more about showing the deep of the new alliance between the Leaf and the Sand.
The other, about this arc being the development of Sai. It was even more about the development of Naruto, imho.

I still think the "Rescue of the Kazekage" arc was more about Sakura's development than anything else, and that the alliance of the Leaf and the Sand, if ya think about it, really couldn't have happened if Sakura and Chiyo had not defeated Sasori. I mean, yes Naruto sealed the deal, but it took Sakura's courage and maturity to really get them to that point. Plus, the alliance happened as a result of the story. What happened until then? It was pretty much all Sakura.

Anyway, but as for this storyarc, Dracul touched on what you said already about it being more about Naruto too. I suppose Naruto realizing that the Kyuubi was harmful rather than benetifical WAS a pretty important part of this storyarc, but other than that, it was mostly centered around us getting to know and seeing Sai change. I guess you can see it either way, though. I still think it was more about Sai than Naruto, but I won't argue that that mission had a profound effect on Naruto as well.


Anyway, this could be my last fav story arc so far, but I'm still unsure... I never really liked the "Save Sasuke" arc either (expecially since other than Kimimaro, Kishimoto didn't give the other villans a real background).
After all, Danzou, Yamato and Sai are better character than Jiroubu, Kidoumau, Tayuya and Sakon/Ukon (sorry if I mispelled some names).

I found that storyarc fascinating because it was our first real look at some of the characters (Shikamaru, Chouji, Neji, Naruto, Kiba) teamed up on a real mission. And anyway, the Sound Four were essentially Orochimaru's slaves - they had no minds and wills of their own anymore. I agree that we learned more about the new characters in this storyarc, though.


Oh, I forgot: I really like the way this chapter ended... it was expected, but it was perfect for Sai's story and characterization.
I already said this somewhere else: Sai is a pretty normal characters compared to many other who had more troubled past or a more original personality, but I like Sai this way. If everyone is too "special" there is no fun anymore, imho. ;)


Yeah, that's true. Now that he's regained his emotions back, he is kinda normal. Kinda funny. Good artist, though :D
Thanks for reading and commenting!

Thanks for the compliments, Tanuki and aDamZ ^^

conan
June 14, 2006, 04:20 AM
one more thing I was thinking about throught the last few chapters, it was obvious that they were going to fail, and well it was narutos the first time naruto would go through such a hard failure, since I didnt think there would be a second chance becuase time was running out for the orochimaru's juts could be used in six months, so I thought sasuke was maybe gone, and it would be a way for naruto to mature much more by facing such an ordeal, but it turned out completely different, they didn't give up at all instead they were more determined and bonded well as a team, I guess thats a better ending than what I had in mind.

Raine_Joybringer
June 14, 2006, 04:32 AM
Hm... I really enjoyed this chapter, just for the fact that it shows a new side to Sai and shows he has been handed the banner of friendship from Naruto. It confirms what the others say about Naruto 'mysterious power' to make friends with nearly anyone (makes me wonder if it's working on Kyuubi too).

I agree with you on the building designs by Kishimoto. I've aways loved that picture of Naruto when he's standing on top of that building looking down over Konohagakure. It gives you the feeling that Kishimoto's really put the effort in to make Konoha more than just a place. And the designs for all the other countries as well! They're all so suited to the environment that they're in and in turn they reflect the people who live there. Same goes for the clothes that the different shinobi wear. It's all so diverse and awesome...

Haha, I was also surprised by Danzou's real intentions... At first I really did think he wanted to bring Konoha down... seems I sould have paid more attention to his words about what the 'Root' organisation stood for.

It's kind of amazing to see the different ways Naruto and Sasuke have grown up. If you think about it, they were essentially the same when it came to the topic of loneliness, which was the centre of their worries. Eventually however, they both split off to become such different people, though they both have passions and the want to become strong.

I do hope to see more flaws in personality from Sasuke. It'd be wrong to expect that after so much time he has become closer to perfection staying with Orochimaru. Somehow, I think he'll never recover from his hatred. It may turn into guilt at some stage, but the hatred will always be there in the back of his mind, even if it's hatred against himself. It seems he can't survive without something to anger against.

Anyway, awesome comments ^_^ Can't wait for next chapter's when it comes!

Gold Knight
June 15, 2006, 04:22 AM
True, conan. I would have been disappointed if Kishimoto had kept Naruto and Sakura depressed and feeling overwhelmed for longer than this chapter, but it seems like they just came out of it even more determined. "Why do we fall? So that we can pick ourselves up." [/Bruce's father or Alfred from "Batman Begins"]

And hey, Raine, ya know what, one of my favorite differences between Naruto and Sasuke is the source of their respective loneliness. Like Naruto, he never knew his parents; for Sasuke, he actually lost his parents. So subtle a difference, but it can create such different minds. In a way I can kinda relate to Naruto more than Sasuke that way; it's not too unlike the difference between a deaf person who was born without hearing, and a deaf person that had lost it. As a deaf man born without hearing, I never missed sounds, but was more curious about it and knowing people. Most deaf people I've known who had lost their hearing - man. They HATE not being able to hear anymore. It's probably something I'll never entirely understand because I haven't experienced it, which I think is Naruto's problem with Sasuke.

Anyway, it'll be interesting to see what Kishimoto has in store for Sasuke, but right now I'm just hoping to learn more about the rest of the teams ^^

Oh, and by the way guys, I wasn't thinking when I made that post, but I may miss some weeks of Ten Comments for a while, due to moving. I'll try to make some time to do it next week, though, but just a warning. When I come back in July, I'll try to comment on all the chapters I've missed. See ya guys later, and thanks for taking the time to read my thoughts and letting me know what you think ^^

Raine_Joybringer
June 16, 2006, 07:24 AM
I hope the move goes smoothly for you then, GK, and I can't wait to have you back! ^_^

conan
June 16, 2006, 01:02 PM
I hope the move goes smoothly for you then, GK, and I can't wait to have you back! ^_^


same here GN, I know how bad moving can be sometimes, but if you plan it well before hand it might not be that bad, so good luck with that and dont overdo yourself.

Gold Knight
June 16, 2006, 04:27 PM
I'll try not to, and thanks Raine and conan ^^

Might be doing a 311 ten comments tonight (since I did read the chapter and loved it). Gotta go out to eat first, though... ^^