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Gold Knight
June 30, 2006, 08:52 PM
Here's some early Ten Comments from me...! Surprise, surprise...

First, I just wanted to thank you guys for all the comments! Please keep them coming, they're helping me see some things I haven't seen before! =) Thanks for reading in advance.


* * * Gold Knight's Ten Comments on Naruto Chapter 313: The New Team! * * *


http://i3.tinypic.com/16a8vo8.gif

1. Smile for the Birdy, Guys!... er, ok For once, we get a cover of new characters early on and just right after they make their first appearance in the series. (Unlike poor Zetsu, who STILL hasn't gotten his due.) Well, it's not that dazzling a cover... just another direct look at our new Akatsuki duo, Hidan and Kakuzu. And unlike in Deidara's and Sasori's respective covers, the sidetext didn't even reveal any interesting tidbits about these guys... like the bewildering mystery that is Hidan's original Hidden Village!

The only thing apparently confirmed now was that Kishimoto didn't just accidentally draw the four straight vertical lines of the familiar Rain Village symbol as a three-claw mark on Hidan's forehead protector. Interesting... Hidden Village of Fury? Hidden Village of Blood? ...Hidden Village of Religious Nuts? (Credit goes to Raine_Joybringer for that last one, btw. ^^ )

2. A Little Divine Protection Never Hurts... So, religion finally enters the story somewhere, and in the form of a crazed bloodthristy S-rank missing-nin criminal at that. This scene of Hidan pausing to pray despite Kakuzu's readiness to attack at first reminded me a little bit of another religious nut named Cross from 666Satan, the manga created by Kishimoto's twin brother, Seishi. So I was somewhat disappointed, thinking that Kishimoto Masashi was out of fresh ideas and "borrowing" a little material here from his bro, so I was happy to see later on that unlike Cross, Hidan wasn't working for anything resembling "justice," but rather was honest in that he was a harbringer of destruction and death. I'll comment on that more later.

Kakuzu's immediate retort, "You're always such a pain in the ass," did make me chuckle, by the way. No love for Hidan's religion there at all.

3. Who's Got Who? Though it turned out to be a fatal mistake of Yugito's in the end, I didn't blame her for believing it was an acceptable strategy to trap Hidan and Kakuzu inside a closed-in chamber so that she could freely take them out in her Nekomata form. That's a veteran jinchuuriki thinking right there - first, she didn't have to worry about injuring or killing any of her fellow countrymen (assuming that's the Hidden Village of Cloud that they're at) while in her berserked form. (Recall how Naruto nearly blindly killed Sakura with but a swing of a tail.) And second, as an avatar who apparently could "become" the bijuu inside her, she's probably never had any trouble before in similar situations. But this time, Yugito bit off more than she could chew - she evidently had never faced one of the Akatsuki before.

On the positive side, this also tells me that she was probably a very proud kunoichi, and probably never fled from a battle, no matter how overwhelming the odds might seem (she seemed to have heard of the Akatsuki, so she was probably aware of how dangerous they were). In that way, she's pretty similar to Naruto. But pride always cometh before a fall...

4. A Madman's Ranting. I actually kinda like it. It's different from the other Akatsuki, ya know? Especially guys like Itachi, Zetsu, Sasori, and now, apparently, Kakuzu. All these guys are reserved, stoic, and morbidly quiet... but this guy, Hidan... well, just look at all the different facial expressions he put on in the span of one fleeting chapter! That's more than we ever got from Itachi, whose face only changes when he looks at you funny. Anyway, Hidan obviously adds a different kind of crazed personality to the Akatsuki, which I think was sorely needed in the series for a villain. It's something we really haven't had in Naruto since the very first chapter when Mizuki nearly busted a gut laughing as he was taunting Naruto for being the "Nine-Tails Demon Fox".

It's also comedic in that Kakuzu can be so exasperated by his partner's incoherent ramblings, too. "Just shut up, Hidan, just shut up!" Not that I blame him. And he probably can't really complain about it, either. What did I ever do to deserve this?... Oh, that's right, I did slaughter a country here and there....

5. Wanna Join the Dark Priesthood? Okay, I said I'd comment more about Hidan's religion. Here's where he revealed a little something more about it:

Hidan: My point is that this mission conflicts with my beliefs.
In Jashin (literally "Evil God," the name of his religion), we believe in slaughter.
Anything less than utter destruction is a sin.
(Taken from Hisshou's Translation)

Obviously, it's not your typical benevolent deity that he worships. And this actually makes more sense to me in the context of Naruto's living in an often-violent world of ninja and assassins. Is it so hard to believe that somewhere in this world there resides a hidden cult of crazed shinobi worshipping a God of Slaughter?

And since I believe that "Dark Clerics," if you will, are a class that is severely overlooked in fantasy stories, even the ones that give you a polytheistic pantheon, I'm enjoying Hidan's character more than I thought I would because of what he represents. I like him more than I would have liked, say, a blind zealot who believed he was an instrument of a more benevolent God (another example of this type is the character Scar from Full Metal Alchemist - obviously, that idea's been done to death already.) I do tend to like villains who believe that they're not the bad guys, which is very realistic and normal. But... sometimes a guy who just likes to be bad can be an appealing villain, too. What makes me wonder is what exactly is Hidan's rationale in joining this religion? What led him down this path? Is it more access to more (unholy?) kinjutsu not normally taught to just any shinobi? Or was it just what his village was all about?

I also can't help but wonder if Hidan's "God" has a connection to that "King of Hell" chained statue that the Akatsuki summoned together for their rituals. That could help explain how Hidan would be of such great value to the others that they would tolerate his annoying personality.

6. Finally, A New Tailed Beast! Okay, last chapter I was obviously jazzed about the arrival of new Akatsuki. So much, in fact, that I think I overlooked the fact that something else also appeared that we hadn't seen since Gaara lashed madly at Sasuke in the outskirts of Konohagakure.

Well, when Yugito transformed here into a huge two-tailed monster cat, it was hard to miss!

Fans have commented already that the Nibi looked very similar to Sai's drawings. I think that may be because the Nibi here wasn't actually in its original, physical form, but rather was made of pure chakra, and this may be the same type of chakra that Sai's drawings are built from. Naruto's Kyuubi obviously emulates a very different kind of chakra, a bubbling, fiery kind. Wouldn't it be interesting if Kishomoto had thought out his mythology to such an extent that all the bijuu would be the source of all chakra in the world, with each responsible for a different kind of energy. Maybe that's what the Akatsuki are going for in capturing all the bijuu: crippling the rest of the world.

Anyway, besides that, the Nibi sure doesn't act very differently from the Kyuubi... almost a mindless beast bent on wanton destruction. I had somewhat expected it to be a little... different, more intelligent, or at the very least not so evil-seeming. Or perhaps we're just looking at something alike 4-Tail Naruto: an in-between form between Yugito and the Nibi that's only bent on chaos and not really possessing any rational thought.

Its size and brutal strength, for example, in its original form, might be much more formidable. Regardless, it was pretty gutsy of Kakuzu to think he was able to withstand the force of the Nibi's paw. And despite Hidan's self-deprecating remark of being the "slowest of the Akatsuki" last chapter, he was still pretty quick to dodge her fireball. Must be experience working in their favor.

7. Kumogakure...? If that's the Hidden Village of the Cloud that was revealed when Nibi blew up the ground (it probably was, the clouds seemed very low), I expected it to be more... grand-seeming than a bunch of hospital-like buildings and spiral mountains. Not that I was expecting Kumogakure to be like the Cloud City of Bespin from Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. ...

Well, maybe I was. In any case, I still hope there's more to Kumogakure than what we saw there. I was left somewhat disappointed.

8. Here We Go Again...! I know this scene annoyed a lot of readers (except Asuma-Kurenai fans, you know who you are!) but I actually got a chuckle out of Kakashi being left in the dark, just like he did to Naruto. But it did disprove my prediction from last time that we'd learn more about what Asuma intended to do in this chapter, so that did irrirate me a bit. We didn't get to learn about Shikamaru's whereabouts, either. Phooey. And what's with all the visitors to Kakashi's hospital room in one day? Leave him alone people! He's sick! He's recovering from a very tiring episode of using his MS! And he's reading Icha Icha Tactics!

Still, just as well, because Kishimoto obviously wanted the focus to be on the Nibi's battle with Hidan and Kakuzu and for it to be over in one chapter. Answers should be forthcoming in the next few chapters from here on.

As for Kurenai and Asuma, they're definitely a couple. No doubt about that. (Either that, or Kurenai's stalking Asuma, which is still a distinct possibility, considering Asuma had an annoyed look here...!) But I think what Asuma wanted to tell Kakashi was probably something dangerous he didn't want Kurenai to know about, so to not involve her, too, and he was probably a bit perturbed that he shooed all the kids away for nothing. Oh well, at least it wasn't man-love.

9. Sacrifical Kinjutsu? Now this is something new: Hidan seemed to "sacrifice" himself to his God in order to get the necessary power he needed to beat Yugito. Definitely a kinjutsu if I ever saw one. Note that the symbol on the floor was the same shape as the pendant he was praying to in the start of the chapter.

We obviously missed all the important details of how Hidan accomplished this jutsu (I don't think it just took thirty minutes; that was just the ceremony itself), but I think Kishimoto is just saving it for when Hidan actually faces one of the characters we're already familiar with, so don't get too upset about that. Would the battle between Sasori and Sakura and Chiyo have been as interesting if Sasori had already shown all his tricks against Kankurou? Probably not.

Also, I liked that Hidan, unlike Deidara when he lost his arms, at least showed pain when he pulled a stake out of himself. Seems more human, anyway.

Anyway, my interest is definitely piqued by Hidan, and that's good. I was hoping these two Akatsuki would show something new, and at least one did.

10. Next, Naruto... ! I already commented on this in the 314 Predictions Thread, but I'll repeat myself here for the sake of anybody who didn't see my post. At first, I thought the markers on the map Kakuzu was studying at the end of the chapter might be representing the locations, not the captures, of all the jinchuuriki. I figured that would mean that Hidan and Kakuzu were actually on the hunt for another jinchuuriki in the area, not Naruto.

But then I saw that there was NOT a marker in the general area of Konohagakure for Naruto. No 'X' to mark his location. So it would seem that the Akatsuki has indeed captured all but one jinchuuriki (since there are seven 'X's' and Gaara's Shukaku has obviously already been captured.) If that's true, then we may be much closer to an epic all-out battle with the Akatsuki than anybody realized.

That may have been what the report to Tsunade was all about. If she knows that the Akatsuki only have Naruto to go now, then I'll be expecting her to pull out all the stops and have the whole village on guard. No more "messing around," as she so eloquently said to Shizune last chapter. And also, if, and only if, Naruto is the last jinchuuriki, then Hidan and Kakuzu may be acting as a decoy team while another team of Akatsuki sneaks in to capture him. I still fully expect this team to be Itachi and Kisame. Or just Itachi, in fact. Who better to sneak into a village unannounced than a master of genjutsu?

It also may be that somewhere on the way, Hidan and Kakuzu will likely pause in order to drop Yugito off at a hidden enclove and the whole Akatsuki team will appear again in order to aid in the extraction of her bijuu. However, she's not dead yet (otherwise the extraction wouldn't work, I expect), and I believe she will have a role later in the story, so in order for that to happen, they may just drop her off in a prison of sorts and save all that for later.

RATING: 4.5 out of 5 stars. Very intriguing chapter. The only minus would be that the "tease" of Asuma leaving Kakashi in the dark is a little bit of a low blow on Kishimoto's part to the readers. And also to add to that, that scene made us miss the part of how Hidan defeated Yugito, no doubt making some readers groan two times in a row.

Predictions: I think the training arc will start next chapter, or at least show us Naruto's thoughts before he meets up with Kakashi, and that we won't see Hidan and Kakuzu again for a while, since they do have some travelling to make.

Veeery interesting chapter, overall... ^^

La_Muerte
June 30, 2006, 09:10 PM
i dont think hidan and kakuzu are going after naruto, y u ask?? because naruto was sasoris jinchuuriki and he couldnt capture him so im guessing they are either gonna send a new member (tobi) or itachi and kisame like they had in the first arc.

also i think there is a kanji behind yugito when shes nailed to the wall. anybody that can read japanese can u please tell me wat it is??

oh and gold knight i love ur comments theyre very good to read, i wish i had ur intellectual knowledge to post something like this, keep it up

Gold Knight
June 30, 2006, 09:24 PM
i dont think hidan and kakuzu are going after naruto, y u ask?? because naruto was sasoris jinchuuriki and he couldnt capture him so im guessing they are either gonna send a new member (tobi) or itachi and kisame like they had in the first arc.

Actually, Itachi was the one who had been assigned to capture the Kyuubi (hence why he was annoyed that Deidara and Sasori wanted Naruto), and as Sasori said at the end of chapter 251, he had no idea who he was supposed to capture, but "as long as I get a jinchuuriki, it shouldn't matter, right?"

But I agree that they aren't actually trying to capture Naruto themselves, like I said in my Comments, I think Kakuzu and Hidan are going to be a decoy team, allowing Itachi and Kisame to have their chance at Naruto.


also i think there is a kanji behind yugito when shes nailed to the wall. anybody that can read japanese can u please tell me wat it is??

That did look like a kanji drawn with Yugito's blood, but I'm afraid it was too obscured by her body for anybody to really make it out... I'll ask NJT about it, though.


oh and gold knight i love ur comments theyre very good to read, i wish i had ur intellectual knowledge to post something like this, keep it up


Ah, thanks ^^

Raine_Joybringer
June 30, 2006, 11:37 PM
^_^ Hehe, 'Village of Religious Nuts'...

Anyway, interesting insights as usual. Especially about Hidan. I don't like him as a person, but I like him as a character, if you understand that. I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot more from in the future.

I never thought about Yugito as being a veteran Jinchuuriki like that. I thought she dived in more blindly, but I didn't think about the reasons behind it after she blew up the tunnels. Though I did see that she had made a mistake going all Neko-Mode like that. Hidan's jutsu was just something that couldn't be fought off with her abilities.

Now, point 10. That's really the big thing out of this chapter that concerns me. I've been wondering where the Akatsuki would have gotten the time. Sasori and Deidara are pretty much out of the picture, what with Sasori being dead and all and Deidara's arm... Itachi and Kisame seem to like to take their time doing things as well. Also, there's the lack of markers in the big countries and more markers in the smaller countries. Maybe it's just my optimism, but it just seems so out of place and illogical to me. And the markers seem to create a trail, pointing the possible places where Hidan and Kakuzu have been travelling.

La_Muerte
June 30, 2006, 11:54 PM
6. Finally, A New Tailed Beast! Okay, last chapter I was obviously jazzed about the arrival of new Akatsuki. So much, in fact, that I think I overlooked the fact that something else also appeared that we hadn't seen since Gaara lashed madly at Sasuke in the outskirts of Konohagakure.

Well, when Yugito transformed here into a huge two-tailed monster cat, it was hard to miss!

Fans have commented already that the Nibi looked very similar to Sai's drawings. I think that may be because the Nibi here wasn't actually in its original, physical form, but rather was made of pure chakra, and this may be the same type of chakra that Sai's drawings are built from. Naruto's Kyuubi obviously emulates a very different kind of chakra, a bubbling, fiery kind. Wouldn't it be interesting if Kishomoto had thought out his mythology to such an extent that all the bijuu would be the source of all chakra in the world, with each responsible for a different kind of energy. Maybe that's what the Akatsuki are going for in capturing all the bijuu: crippling the rest of the world.



i just remembered something that i was gonna comment about this and that was that maybe she looked like this because shes the a type nekomata cat, i think maybe kishimoto tryed to show her body as ghostly and full of aura or chakra instead of looking like sais drawings, even though it does look like sais drawings i think her body is trying to be presented as ghostly

Gold Knight
July 01, 2006, 12:30 AM
Something I wanted to say in the first post but forgot to at the time... I also enjoyed the "cat themes" we saw throughout the chapter. That was something Kishimoto clearly wanted to be part of this chapter - first, we had the "mousetrap," and then the cat-and-mouse games. And Hidan making that somewhat off-beat remark about the Nibi's fireball belching occuring as a result of her "cat tongue" - a dislike for anything too hot or cold. Having a pet cat myself, I definitely can attest to that.



^_^ Hehe, 'Village of Religious Nuts'...

Anyway, interesting insights as usual. Especially about Hidan. I don't like him as a person, but I like him as a character, if you understand that. I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot more from in the future.

That's the same feeling I'm getting about Hidan too ^^ I can always appreciate a good villain, if done right. But even if his motivations turn out to be kind of sketchy, or he's actually just some psycho nut, he's still a pretty nice change from the others. I mean, he's got his mysteries, but you get the sense he's just crazy for the sake of being nuts.

Compare that to Itachi... we STILL don't know his motivations even after all this time, and I have to admit that in itself is starting to sour me on his character.


I never thought about Yugito as being a veteran Jinchuuriki like that. I thought she dived in more blindly, but I didn't think about the reasons behind it after she blew up the tunnels. Though I did see that she had made a mistake going all Neko-Mode like that. Hidan's jutsu was just something that couldn't be fought off with her abilities.

If I was a shinobi living in Naruto's world, I'd definitely be more cautious to enter battle with ANYBODY until learning more about them, their techniques, and their skills. That's why Yugito reminds me a bit of Naruto. All I will say is it's a darn good thing that Naruto and Kakashi weren't facing off against Sasori, or the series would be over.


Now, point 10. That's really the big thing out of this chapter that concerns me. I've been wondering where the Akatsuki would have gotten the time. Sasori and Deidara are pretty much out of the picture, what with Sasori being dead and all and Deidara's arm... Itachi and Kisame seem to like to take their time doing things as well. Also, there's the lack of markers in the big countries and more markers in the smaller countries. Maybe it's just my optimism, but it just seems so out of place and illogical to me. And the markers seem to create a trail, pointing the possible places where Hidan and Kakuzu have been travelling.


I still wouldn't count Deidara out, because he certainly seemed nonchalant about the loss of his arms, and his ring is still in his possession. Likely he'll have new arms the next time we see him. Plus, he already got his bijuu, the Shukaku. Itachi and Kisame likely went on the hunt for Naruto again after their first retreat, but couldn't find him during the next two years and half, thanks to Jiraiya, so I wouldn't say they "took their time doing things." In fact, Itachi seemed overly anxious to get Naruto when they learned about his coming in chapter 256. They're probably desperate about right now, actually, especially since they're still unsure of whether Naruto is back in Konohagakure or not, and time's almost up for whatever they want to do with the bijuus.

That's true about most of the markers being in the smaller countries being strange. Hmm. Yeah, it does resemble a trail... oh well, huzzah for yet another mystery Kishimoto's created for us. :eyeroll



i just remembered something that i was gonna comment about this and that was that maybe she looked like this because shes the a type nekomata cat, i think maybe kishimoto tryed to show her body as ghostly and full of aura or chakra instead of looking like sais drawings, even though it does look like sais drawings i think her body is trying to be presented as ghostly


Maybe so...

destinator
July 01, 2006, 04:02 AM
10 Comments so fast this week =) ? Thanks for the weekly reading/analysing pleasure =)

Gold Knight
July 01, 2006, 09:34 AM
No prob. ^^

ibra87
July 01, 2006, 09:58 AM
Excuse me for not being able to speak japanese, but what is a kinjutsu? :O

La_Muerte
July 01, 2006, 10:14 AM
i was reading the street fighter comic book right now and i just saw the kanji that akuma has on his back, pertaining to my question about the kanji behind yugito i think its the same or it looks similar.

Gold Knight
July 01, 2006, 12:05 PM
Excuse me for not being able to speak japanese, but what is a kinjutsu? :O


Forbidden jutsu, the same kind of stuff that Orochimaru used to revive the Hokages and use them against Sandaime. It's Naruto terminology, you got taijutsu, you got ninjutsu, you got genjutsu, and then you have kinjutsu XD

And interesting, La Muerte - didn't Akuma's kanji mean "evil?"

But I did hear from NJT, though, and he said that it wasn't recognizable.

njt
July 01, 2006, 01:09 PM
hmmm it could be... but there are a few characters that look like that... so...

天・・・・
hmmm :s

but if it was, the balance is a bit too off... so hmm I kinda doubt it... it's probably best not to think it is^^

ibra87
July 01, 2006, 02:40 PM
thx. It's kinda weird that kinjutsu is always translated to english (in the scanlations I read) while all the other jutsu-types never are. That might explain why I neva knew it.

It wouldn't surprise me if it says "Evil". After all, his religion is called jashin.

Gold Knight
July 01, 2006, 08:25 PM
Hmm, sorry about that, I guess kinjutsu is a relatively more obscure term compared to the others. Oh well, you know what it means now. ;)

La_Muerte
July 01, 2006, 08:31 PM
maybe when we see hidan fight next time and he tries to use this kinjutsu well be able to see what it says, cause im sure its a kanji and im glad i notice it, yay for me. but i dont think its evil cause there would be no point to putting it on the wall, idk.

Strangehat
July 03, 2006, 09:30 AM
:wanders in. He's -- almost done cleaning! This whole spring cleaning stuff is nuts:

Great insights, as usual. :> I do have to note.. re: Raine's comment and the general businesslike fashion of this particular team, I'd be sorely, sorely amused if Hidan and Kakuzu were the only ones actually succeeding at catching jinchuuriki out there. (other than Deidara's catch, obviously) I'd laugh forever. :|

I also have to mention that there seems to be a trend of humanizing the Akatsuki's relationships with one another on Kishimoto's part. Itachi and Kisame were cold with one another, give or take the occaisional comment from Kisame about Itachi needing to put in his eyedrops or something (j/k u.u). To contrast, Sasori and Deidara had their debate about art and the Hidan/Kakuzu team apparently bicker as if married.

Let's not mention the whole scene with Deidara strangling Tobi with his feet.

This is kind of refreshing for me. While I still enjoy Itachi as one of my favorite characters, a certain level of humanization, even in your villains, isn't entirely out of place, I think. That's good character design and whiel I had my initial doubts, this has largely told me on Hidan. So far, he's managed to be a human character without being stupid or unintimidating. I do get the feeling Hidan is either equal to or measurably stronger than Kakuzu, tho. Otherwise, logically speaking, Kakuzu wouldn't be so obliged to put up with Hidan's babble. :|

Overall, a very good chapter. ._. Even if we were totally de-NIED what must have been an awesome fight scene. :| I'll be patient. ... for a few chapters anyway. :|!

Raine_Joybringer
July 03, 2006, 10:49 AM
re: Raine's comment and the general businesslike fashion of this particular team, I'd be sorely, sorely amused if Hidan and Kakuzu were the only ones actually succeeding at catching jinchuuriki out there. (other than Deidara's catch, obviously) I'd laugh forever. :|


As would I :P

I actually would really like to know what Shark Boy and The Weasel Wonder are up to right now. Even a hint at what they've been doing could solve wether or not the other Jinchuuriki are safe.

kadoman
July 03, 2006, 12:50 PM
8. Here We Go Again...! I know this scene annoyed a lot of readers [snip]

Yes, I am one of the annoyed! :D I don't have time to write the essay I would like to (everyone breathes a sigh of relief) so in a nutshell...since it revealed nothing, I don't see the point in including it, apart from Kishi using it as a stalling tactic. Now I am not against using 'pointless' panels as stalling tactics in general, but I think this has possibly come off the back of one too many to be tolerable. In any case, even judging the chapter on its own merits, this scene was out of place and interfered with the pacing. It added nothing to the chapter overall. According to Hisshou's translation, it even used exactly the same dialogue as the week before. I really don't like that.

P.S - wonderful comments as usual GK! Love to read what you have to say!

Gold Knight
July 03, 2006, 03:21 PM
Yeah - but you gotta remember Kishimoto probably just needed something story-related in order to "distract" the readers from Hidan's battle...

Kishimoto: "Look! It's Kurenai!"

*Readers' heads turn around*

Hidan: "Whew, we did it"

Readers: *GROAN!* WE MISSED IT, DAMN YOU KISHIMOTO!!! ( DZ in background: Wheeee! Kurenai! <3 )

Kishimoto's a tricky devil. XD


@ Strangehat - yes, you're definitely right. Each Akatsuki team has shown something new, but I think if Kishimoto "humanized" Itachi, it would make people have a harder time sympathizing with Sasuke's goal. Oh well...

@ Raine - yeah, I want to know what they're up to as well, but I still say that they'll be arriving in Konoha along with Hidan and Kakuzu too.[br]Posted on: July 03, 2006, 02:19:50 PM_________________________________________________* * *

Well, since you guys DO seem to like my work enough... lol... on kunai jutsu's suggestion I decided to go ahead and create a sub board for my Ten Comments stuff. Now I won't be merging any threads together anymore. I'll keep posting my Ten Comments here first, tho!

kadoman
July 03, 2006, 04:02 PM
Excellent! Bout time too! Give yourself some credit there mate. :D

Strangehat
July 04, 2006, 05:17 AM
@ Strangehat - yes, you're definitely right. Each Akatsuki team has shown something new, but I think if Kishimoto "humanized" Itachi, it would make people have a harder time sympathizing with Sasuke's goal. Oh well...
[br]Posted on: July 03, 2006, 02:19:50 PM_________________________________________________* * *


Yeah, I concur. Itachi needs to stay kind of a -- what's the word I'm looking for.

Ah, yes.

Jerkpunkgoober.

Else it sort of steals Sasuke's thunder. While Sasuke may one day be able to defeat Itachi, he will never be able to out-jerk him. :| I suppose that's best, really. S'why I dig Itachi. Besides, Akatsuki needs a few cold mamma-jammas in it. Otherwise people might think they're soft. It's a PR thing. :D

<i>and yes I totally got whiplash from Kishimoto's swing-back routine there. that sneak u.u</i>

Sariachan
July 06, 2006, 06:20 PM
[...]
1. Smile for the Birdy, Guys!... er, ok For once, we get a cover of new characters early on and just right after they make their first appearance in the series. (Unlike poor Zetsu, who STILL hasn't gotten his due.) Well, it's not that dazzling a cover... just another direct look at our new Akatsuki duo, Hidan and Kakuzu. And unlike in Deidara's and Sasori's respective covers, the sidetext didn't even reveal any interesting tidbits about these guys... like the bewildering mystery that is Hidan's original Hidden Village!
The only thing apparently confirmed now was that Kishimoto didn't just accidentally draw the four straight vertical lines of the familiar Rain Village symbol as a three-claw mark on Hidan's forehead protector. Interesting... Hidden Village of Fury? Hidden Village of Blood? ...Hidden Village of Religious Nuts? (Credit goes to Raine_Joybringer for that last one, btw. ^^ )
Nice cover but not among the best ones imho. It served the purpose of presenting the new duo, though.



2. A Little Divine Protection Never Hurts... So, religion finally enters the story somewhere, and in the form of a crazed bloodthristy S-rank missing-nin criminal at that. This scene of Hidan pausing to pray despite Kakuzu's readiness to attack at first reminded me a little bit of another religious nut named Cross from 666Satan, the manga created by Kishimoto's twin brother, Seishi. So I was somewhat disappointed, thinking that Kishimoto Masashi was out of fresh ideas and "borrowing" a little material here from his bro, so I was happy to see later on that unlike Cross, Hidan wasn't working for anything resembling "justice," but rather was honest in that he was a harbringer of destruction and death. I'll comment on that more later.
Kakuzu's immediate retort, "You're always such a pain in the ass," did make me chuckle, by the way. No love for Hidan's religion there at all.
Actually, religion was already in the story. But is was a Shinto-like one, really different from the ones we see in western Countries and it doesn't affect so much people lives. Or, at least, it affects them in a really different way.
For example, a Shintoism (sp?) symbol was the one around the 4th Hokage's neck (in Japan, it usually used around trees in sacred places). Another exemple of religion feelings was the third Hoikage funeral, and Gaara's words when Chiyo died.
Actually, Hidan brought in the manga the dark side of religion, which how all other religions has dogmi, prayers and rituals, but for once the god he believes in is an evil one. This makes him a really interesting character, imho, and a pretty original one too.
Anyway, the Hidan-Kakuzu duo make me really think about the characters we could see in a Quentin Tarantino movie: the paranoic, psychopath and short-tempered guy paired with the cold, calm but not less evil villain is a formula taken from that great director, I think.



3. Who's Got Who? Though it turned out to be a fatal mistake of Yugito's in the end, I didn't blame her for believing it was an acceptable strategy to trap Hidan and Kakuzu inside a closed-in chamber so that she could freely take them out in her Nekomata form. That's a veteran jinchuuriki thinking right there - first, she didn't have to worry about injuring or killing any of her fellow countrymen (assuming that's the Hidden Village of Cloud that they're at) while in her berserked form. (Recall how Naruto nearly blindly killed Sakura with but a swing of a tail.) And second, as an avatar who apparently could "become" the bijuu inside her, she's probably never had any trouble before in similar situations. But this time, Yugito bit off more than she could chew - she evidently had never faced one of the Akatsuki before.
On the positive side, this also tells me that she was probably a very proud kunoichi, and probably never fled from a battle, no matter how overwhelming the odds might seem (she seemed to have heard of the Akatsuki, so she was probably aware of how dangerous they were). In that way, she's pretty similar to Naruto. But pride always cometh before a fall...
I really like how Kishimoto showed a lot of Yugito's personality in so few pages, or I should say panels. Like you said she seems very proud and brave, and she could resemble Naruto in a way. But I bet Kishimoto introduced her to show more the differences with Naruto than the similiarities, for once.
She fought like a jinchuuriki is supposed to fight, but we already saw with Naruto that that way is wrong. What is going to happen when Yugito and Naruto will meet?
I still wonder if the town we saw was Kumogakure or another Cloud Country town... anyway, she (remained) was alone. Did Hidan and Kakuzu killed every one in the town, or did everyone run away? Anyway, it's a really different scenario from Naruto's, who has many friends who would help him, the Hokage among them, or even Gaara, who at least had some people who cared for him.
Seeing Yugito's defeat, made me remember Deidara's words about how jinchuuriki were hated by their own people... but I think the Raikage cared about Yugito, at least, for the words she said to Hidan.



4. A Madman's Ranting. I actually kinda like it. It's different from the other Akatsuki, ya know? Especially guys like Itachi, Zetsu, Sasori, and now, apparently, Kakuzu. All these guys are reserved, stoic, and morbidly quiet... but this guy, Hidan... well, just look at all the different facial expressions he put on in the span of one fleeting chapter! That's more than we ever got from Itachi, whose face only changes when he looks at you funny. Anyway, Hidan obviously adds a different kind of crazed personality to the Akatsuki, which I think was sorely needed in the series for a villain. It's something we really haven't had in Naruto since the very first chapter when Mizuki nearly busted a gut laughing as he was taunting Naruto for being the "Nine-Tails Demon Fox".
I really like Hidan, too. Deidara was crazy, too, but in a way I didn't like.
Hidan seems to live in a world of his own, and I find it funny.



It's also comedic in that Kakuzu can be so exasperated by his partner's incoherent ramblings, too. "Just shut up, Hidan, just shut up!" Not that I blame him. And he probably can't really complain about it, either. What did I ever do to deserve this?... Oh, that's right, I did slaughter a country here and there....
Well, it's quite clear that Hidan is the priminent character in their duo, and Kakuzu is his shoulder. It worked really well until now. ^^



5. Wanna Join the Dark Priesthood? Okay, I said I'd comment more about Hidan's religion. Here's where he revealed a little something more about it:
Hidan: My point is that this mission conflicts with my beliefs.
In Jashin (literally "Evil God," the name of his religion), we believe in slaughter.
Anything less than utter destruction is a sin.
(Taken from Hisshou's Translation)
Obviously, it's not your typical benevolent deity that he worships. And this actually makes more sense to me in the context of Naruto's living in an often-violent world of ninja and assassins. Is it so hard to believe that somewhere in this world there resides a hidden cult of crazed shinobi worshipping a God of Slaughter?
And since I believe that "Dark Clerics," if you will, are a class that is severely overlooked in fantasy stories, even the ones that give you a polytheistic pantheon, I'm enjoying Hidan's character more than I thought I would because of what he represents. I like him more than I would have liked, say, a blind zealot who believed he was an instrument of a more benevolent God (another example of this type is the character Scar from Full Metal Alchemist - obviously, that idea's been done to death already.) I do tend to like villains who believe that they're not the bad guys, which is very realistic and normal. But... sometimes a guy who just likes to be bad can be an appealing villain, too. What makes me wonder is what exactly is Hidan's rationale in joining this religion? What led him down this path? Is it more access to more (unholy?) kinjutsu not normally taught to just any shinobi? Or was it just what his village was all about?
I also can't help but wonder if Hidan's "God" has a connection to that "King of Hell" chained statue that the Akatsuki summoned together for their rituals. That could help explain how Hidan would be of such great value to the others that they would tolerate his annoying personality.
I don't have anything to add, you already said it all. ;)



6. Finally, A New Tailed Beast! Okay, last chapter I was obviously jazzed about the arrival of new Akatsuki. So much, in fact, that I think I overlooked the fact that something else also appeared that we hadn't seen since Gaara lashed madly at Sasuke in the outskirts of Konohagakure.
Well, when Yugito transformed here into a huge two-tailed monster cat, it was hard to miss!
Fans have commented already that the Nibi looked very similar to Sai's drawings. I think that may be because the Nibi here wasn't actually in its original, physical form, but rather was made of pure chakra, and this may be the same type of chakra that Sai's drawings are built from. Naruto's Kyuubi obviously emulates a very different kind of chakra, a bubbling, fiery kind. Wouldn't it be interesting if Kishomoto had thought out his mythology to such an extent that all the bijuu would be the source of all chakra in the world, with each responsible for a different kind of energy. Maybe that's what the Akatsuki are going for in capturing all the bijuu: crippling the rest of the world.
Anyway, besides that, the Nibi sure doesn't act very differently from the Kyuubi... almost a mindless beast bent on wanton destruction. I had somewhat expected it to be a little... different, more intelligent, or at the very least not so evil-seeming. Or perhaps we're just looking at something alike 4-Tail Naruto: an in-between form between Yugito and the Nibi that's only bent on chaos and not really possessing any rational thought.
Its size and brutal strength, for example, in its original form, might be much more formidable. Regardless, it was pretty gutsy of Kakuzu to think he was able to withstand the force of the Nibi's paw. And despite Hidan's self-deprecating remark of being the "slowest of the Akatsuki" last chapter, he was still pretty quick to dodge her fireball. Must be experience working in their favor.
Actually, I was more interested in a new, female jinchuuriki than in two new Akatsuki members, and I still am. :P
About her biju appearence, there could be connections with Sai, and then we'll discover them later, or Kishimoto just like that drawing style.
As for me, I love it.



7. Kumogakure...? If that's the Hidden Village of the Cloud that was revealed when Nibi blew up the ground (it probably was, the clouds seemed very low), I expected it to be more... grand-seeming than a bunch of hospital-like buildings and spiral mountains. Not that I was expecting Kumogakure to be like the Cloud City of Bespin from Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. ...
Well, maybe I was. In any case, I still hope there's more to Kumogakure than what we saw there. I was left somewhat disappointed.
Maybe that only was the outskirt of Kumogakure, or we would have seen the Raikage palace with the "rai" kanji on it. Kishimoto loves showing those signs, when he draw the hidden ninja villages.



8. Here We Go Again...! I know this scene annoyed a lot of readers (except Asuma-Kurenai fans, you know who you are!) but I actually got a chuckle out of Kakashi being left in the dark, just like he did to Naruto. But it did disprove my prediction from last time that we'd learn more about what Asuma intended to do in this chapter, so that did irrirate me a bit. We didn't get to learn about Shikamaru's whereabouts, either. Phooey. And what's with all the visitors to Kakashi's hospital room in one day? Leave him alone people! He's sick! He's recovering from a very tiring episode of using his MS! And he's reading Icha Icha Tactics!
Still, just as well, because Kishimoto obviously wanted the focus to be on the Nibi's battle with Hidan and Kakuzu and for it to be over in one chapter. Answers should be forthcoming in the next few chapters from here on.
As for Kurenai and Asuma, they're definitely a couple. No doubt about that. (Either that, or Kurenai's stalking Asuma, which is still a distinct possibility, considering Asuma had an annoyed look here...!) But I think what Asuma wanted to tell Kakashi was probably something dangerous he didn't want Kurenai to know about, so to not involve her, too, and he was probably a bit perturbed that he shooed all the kids away for nothing. Oh well, at least it wasn't man-love.
I wasn't disappointed, since I loved to see a canon AsumaxKurenai moment! I know, I'm a fangirl... ^^'



9. Sacrifical Kinjutsu? Now this is something new: Hidan seemed to "sacrifice" himself to his God in order to get the necessary power he needed to beat Yugito. Definitely a kinjutsu if I ever saw one. Note that the symbol on the floor was the same shape as the pendant he was praying to in the start of the chapter.
We obviously missed all the important details of how Hidan accomplished this jutsu (I don't think it just took thirty minutes; that was just the ceremony itself), but I think Kishimoto is just saving it for when Hidan actually faces one of the characters we're already familiar with, so don't get too upset about that. Would the battle between Sasori and Sakura and Chiyo have been as interesting if Sasori had already shown all his tricks against Kankurou? Probably not.
Also, I liked that Hidan, unlike Deidara when he lost his arms, at least showed pain when he pulled a stake out of himself. Seems more human, anyway.
Anyway, my interest is definitely piqued by Hidan, and that's good. I was hoping these two Akatsuki would show something new, and at least one did.
I agree.



10. Next, Naruto... ! I already commented on this in the 314 Predictions Thread, but I'll repeat myself here for the sake of anybody who didn't see my post. At first, I thought the markers on the map Kakuzu was studying at the end of the chapter might be representing the locations, not the captures, of all the jinchuuriki. I figured that would mean that Hidan and Kakuzu were actually on the hunt for another jinchuuriki in the area, not Naruto.
But then I saw that there was NOT a marker in the general area of Konohagakure for Naruto. No 'X' to mark his location. So it would seem that the Akatsuki has indeed captured all but one jinchuuriki (since there are seven 'X's' and Gaara's Shukaku has obviously already been captured.) If that's true, then we may be much closer to an epic all-out battle with the Akatsuki than anybody realized.
That may have been what the report to Tsunade was all about. If she knows that the Akatsuki only have Naruto to go now, then I'll be expecting her to pull out all the stops and have the whole village on guard. No more "messing around," as she so eloquently said to Shizune last chapter. And also, if, and only if, Naruto is the last jinchuuriki, then Hidan and Kakuzu may be acting as a decoy team while another team of Akatsuki sneaks in to capture him. I still fully expect this team to be Itachi and Kisame. Or just Itachi, in fact. Who better to sneak into a village unannounced than a master of genjutsu?
It also may be that somewhere on the way, Hidan and Kakuzu will likely pause in order to drop Yugito off at a hidden enclove and the whole Akatsuki team will appear again in order to aid in the extraction of her bijuu. However, she's not dead yet (otherwise the extraction wouldn't work, I expect), and I believe she will have a role later in the story, so in order for that to happen, they may just drop her off in a prison of sorts and save all that for later.
At that point I was a bit disappointed. I think Kishimoto is moving the plot a little too fast, he could have showed more than only 3 jinchuuriki, and maybe a mission to search them before Akatsuki found them could have been done by Tsunade and Gaara. The Leaf and the Sand, as allied villages, could have done more to mess with Akatsuki plans, imho.
Of course, we can't know what Kishimoto is planning to do, and showing too many jinchuuriki could have made them less special, in a way, so I still trust him. ;)
I only hope than the manga won't end too soon, it has so much potential imho...


P.S. Where are the older threads about your ten-comments, Gold Knight? I wanted to see if you or someone else replied to what I wrote in the 312 one, but I can't find the thread anymore... :(

Tamerlane
July 06, 2006, 07:15 PM
P.S. Where are the older threads about your ten-comments, Gold Knight? I wanted to see if you or someone else replied to what I wrote in the 312 one, but I can't find the thread anymore... :(


All the older reviews were moved to the new child board. You can find them all here (http://mangahelpers.com/forum/index.php?board=170.0)

:amuse

Gold Knight
July 06, 2006, 07:18 PM
It's in a sub board here reserved for all the old stuff ;) Tammy gave you the link in the above post. Cheers!

( I'll reply later - gotta go to bed now. Thanks for commenting, though! :glomp )

Dragonzair
July 08, 2006, 07:35 AM
I wasn't disappointed, since I loved to see a canon AsumaxKurenai moment! I know, I'm a fangirl... ^^'

*bows down to Saria*

Tanuki-dono
July 08, 2006, 04:32 PM
Love the observations about the Bijuu having different energies. In any case, things are certainly startng to backbuild. Which is very exciting. Well done, Firu-kun. :thumbs Another spectacular 10 comments! You were right about them not knowing specific locations, after all, you know. It seemed they were looking for Naruto at the temple in the most recent chapter.

Gold Knight
July 09, 2006, 12:17 PM
Okay Sariachan! :glomp Time to answer your comments :D



Actually, religion was already in the story. But is was a Shinto-like one, really different from the ones we see in western Countries and it doesn't affect so much people lives. Or, at least, it affects them in a really different way.
For example, a Shintoism (sp?) symbol was the one around the 4th Hokage's neck (in Japan, it usually used around trees in sacred places). Another exemple of religion feelings was the third Hoikage funeral, and Gaara's words when Chiyo died.
Actually, Hidan brought in the manga the dark side of religion, which how all other religions has dogmi, prayers and rituals, but for once the god he believes in is an evil one. This makes him a really interesting character, imho, and a pretty original one too.
I stand corrected, but this is still the first time religion of any kind has kind of come to the forefront in the series. You've got a good eye, though.


Anyway, the Hidan-Kakuzu duo make me really think about the characters we could see in a Quentin Tarantino movie: the paranoic, psychopath and short-tempered guy paired with the cold, calm but not less evil villain is a formula taken from that great director, I think.

314 definitely gave us even more of a perspective on their relationship. Check my Comments out for my thoughts on that.


I really like how Kishimoto showed a lot of Yugito's personality in so few pages, or I should say panels. Like you said she seems very proud and brave, and she could resemble Naruto in a way. But I bet Kishimoto introduced her to show more the differences with Naruto than the similiarities, for once.
She fought like a jinchuuriki is supposed to fight, but we already saw with Naruto that that way is wrong. What is going to happen when Yugito and Naruto will meet?

True. Yugito was probably also meant to show us that, yes, overdependence on the bijuu can be disaster too, and to confirm that Yamato did the right thing by telling Naruto that he shouldn't fight that way all the time.


I still wonder if the town we saw was Kumogakure or another Cloud Country town...

Could be.


anyway, she (remained) was alone. Did Hidan and Kakuzu killed every one in the town, or did everyone run away? Anyway, it's a really different scenario from Naruto's, who has many friends who would help him, the Hokage among them, or even Gaara, who at least had some people who cared for him.
Seeing Yugito's defeat, made me remember Deidara's words about how jinchuuriki were hated by their own people... but I think the Raikage cared about Yugito, at least, for the words she said to Hidan.

Maybe. But it also probably helped that Yugito seemed to be much in more control of herself than any other jinchuuriki we've seen so far, even Naruto, so the townspeople didn't have to fear her? That was unexpected. The seal must have been impressive for her and the Nibi.



Actually, I was more interested in a new, female jinchuuriki than in two new Akatsuki members, and I still am. :P

Still one last chance for that.



Maybe that only was the outskirt of Kumogakure, or we would have seen the Raikage palace with the "rai" kanji on it. Kishimoto loves showing those signs, when he draw the hidden ninja villages.

Very good point.


I wasn't disappointed, since I loved to see a canon AsumaxKurenai moment! I know, I'm a fangirl... ^^'

Haha.


At that point I was a bit disappointed. I think Kishimoto is moving the plot a little too fast, he could have showed more than only 3 jinchuuriki, and maybe a mission to search them before Akatsuki found them could have been done by Tsunade and Gaara. The Leaf and the Sand, as allied villages, could have done more to mess with Akatsuki plans, imho.
Of course, we can't know what Kishimoto is planning to do, and showing too many jinchuuriki could have made them less special, in a way, so I still trust him. ;)
I only hope than the manga won't end too soon, it has so much potential imho...

I also hope the manga isn't going to end anytime soon either. It looks as though from the events that happened in the next chapter that Hidan and Kakuzu may actually have been commenting about a bounty, not a jinchuuriki.


Erin :glomp



Love the observations about the Bijuu having different energies. In any case, things are certainly startng to backbuild. Which is very exciting. Well done, Firu-kun. :thumbs Another spectacular 10 comments! You were right about them not knowing specific locations, after all, you know. It seemed they were looking for Naruto at the temple in the most recent chapter.


I don't think they actually were looking for Naruto, but you can read more about that in my 314 comments. :)


P.S. Where are the older threads about your ten-comments, Gold Knight? I wanted to see if you or someone else replied to what I wrote in the 312 one, but I can't find the thread anymore... :(


See Tammy's post above. ;)