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Gold Knight
April 02, 2006, 04:35 AM
I had originally intended to keep all my chapter reviews in one thread, but it seems somewhat inconvenient. So decided to start this one in its own thread and I'll merge the threads later on to avoid cluttering up the forum. Anyway, here's my thoughts on Chapter 301. Feel free to comment as you wish :)


* * * Gold Knight's 10 Comments on Naruto Chapter 301: Sai and Sasuke * * *

1. Long Time No See, Blondie! - A Yondy cover! Very unexpected, even though it still follows Kishimoto's Part 2 trend of close-up character covers. But I liked it.

Generally, I believe that Kishimoto just draws whatever he feels like for these covers. Still, I wouldn't be surprised if this time he had a purpose behind the Yondaime cover. After all it wasn't so long ago in the story that Yamato told Naruto straight up that he had the power to accomplish his objective without the Kyuubi's help.

This Yondaime cover may have been meant to remind the reader about the mystery of Naruto's origins as they related to him. And also to show what Naruto aspired to be, again - the ultimate Hokage. Whatever the reason, it was a nice change of pace.

(Request to any Translators reading this: I'd like to know what it says on his back, by the way. The Fourth Hokage of Konoha?)

2. Sakura's Determination... Reaffirmed (Again!) Okay, at first, when Sakura reminded Naruto that they're working together to save Sasuke, I almost expected him to answer "I know, shut up already!". (Probably something Ichigo would have told Rukia in Bleach.) But I suppose it's always been something that Sakura felt and thought on the inside, and we as the readers heard her thoughts more often than Naruto (who's always been a bit dense).

What I'm really wondering is how Sakura will react to Sasuke when she actually sees him again. They had an awkward parting the last time they saw each other. If Kishimoto is smart, he'll show us here how much Sakura has changed from then... perhaps by having her adopt a more neutral position and seeing him as somebody who's definitely walking a path of darkness, even though she still clearly likes him.

But that brings us to another question. Does she now have feelings for Naruto too? That seemed to be something Yamato was about to imply a few chapters ago. If that's the case, it's both funny and sad, at the same time, that Naruto is so focused on recovering Sasuke that he hasn't even been able to stop and take advantage of her interest (except possibly for a brief moment at the steam bath, before Yamato ruined that... but it was probably for the best!)

3. Have a Taste of Your Own Medicine, Sai "Get Lost." Yep, that's Sasuke all right! :smile-big ( Remember when Sasuke said that to Kankurou when the Sand Trio first appeared way back in chapter 35? ) Funny how he hasn't changed at all, but I'm glad that's the case, since his personality was already so well-established. So how does it feel, Sai, when you're trying to get to know somebody who doesn't care a whit about YOU?

On a side note, I found it almost hilarious how Orochimaru and Kabuto were just standing around, going ".........." ( Almost like they were thinking, 'Ouch, Sai, you just got dissed, my man.' )

4. Sai is Lousy at Bluffing. Seriously. I'm not sure what all Danzou has in mind, but I think it's pretty clear that Sasuke is just another objective on Sai's mission. Otherwise, Sai wouldn't have bothered trying to talk to him, considering that he seems to regard him as a traitor to Konohagakure.

Sai's trying too hard to get familiar with Sasuke here, and I believe it's for a reason (backstabbing him at some point would be my guess, if possible). And Sasuke saw right through him... literally! Which brings us to the next comment...

5. Another Itachi? While Sasuke still seems the same as ever, he's obviously more powerful. How could he not be, after all that time with Orochimaru? But so what exactly did he do to Sai, there?

My theory: I think that he's better able to control genjutsu through his Sharingan now. He's become just like Itachi in that he's using genjutsu more than ever to his advantage. He probably could turn himself into birds, too, to anyone affected by his doujutsu. Anyway, Sai certainly seemed to pay the price for trying to get too familiar with Sasuke here...

6. No Fear? For whatever reason, I didn't think that Sai's lack of emotions included fear. That was interesting. Of course, if Sasuke is able to bring fear to Sai's heart when nothing else does - and with only a glance at that - I'm thinking Sai is headed for a very bad week! XD

7. No Longer Brothers? Yep, looks like Sasuke's still committed to his quest, that is, to defeat and kill Itachi. But that's no surprise. He wouldn't have been with Orochimaru all this time if that wasn't the case.

What I'm wondering, though, is if Sasuke has completely discarded all feelings of friendship for Naruto as well. When he assured Sai that the only brother he had was one he was seeking to kill, I think he was ALSO telling him that he currently no longer cares about Naruto or Sakura at all.

I'm thinking Team 7 might need to watch out because Sasuke may be completely fine with butchering them in cold blood, if he sees them.

8. The ANBU is screwed... Maybe? Danzou, you bastard. You gave Orochimaru ALL the secrets to the ANBU's roster? No wonder that envelope was so important. I can completely see why Oro was so quickly convinced that Sai was on their side! I'm really enjoying the little conspiracy subplot that Naruto has at the moment, my only hope is that Kishimoto doesn't forget it as he writers later chapters and I have enough faith that he won't, despite whatever big battles may be coming ahead.

Concerning the rosters, what I'm wondering about is if Yamato came across that envelope while they were at the onsen, and did he exchange the information for false information? After all, he did browse through Sai's bag.

If that's the case, one might wonder, "if Yamato knew Sai was going to betray them, why didn't he just take him back to the Konohagakure authorities?" I think that might have been why Yamato asked Naruto and Sai to train with him. He wanted to test Sai's abilities and determine whether he could defeat him at the time. Since Sai successfully caught Yamato without any problem, I think Yamato at this point was like "heck, Danzou would probably have done something eventually anyway, let's just go through with this and see what happens." Regardless, I think the information may be counterfeit.

But man, Danzou had better watch out when Yamato and company returns to Konohagakure (assuming, of course, if they do...)

9. Yamato, Why Aren't You Hokage Yet? Seems like every single chapter, Yamato does something to win a few more fans over. This time, it's tracking seeds - which completely makes sense considering his affinity for wood. So convenient.

I also think this means we're likely to see separate battles being fought in upcoming chapters, since Kishimoto seems to be foreshadowing some separation at some point.

10. Time for a Showdown? Or Not? Some people are predicting that it'll still be a few chapters before we see Sasuke fully revealed, but I think it's this coming week. It's possible Orochimaru COULD have set up some traps, though, just as the Akatsuki did for Gai's team, but I don't think they've had time to do that.

RATING: 4 out of 5 Stars. The ANBU rosters, the conversation between Sai and Sasuke, and Yamato's preparation gets my vote for a good story so far. I also don't think it's a bad thing that Kishimoto is holding off on revealing Sasuke yet because I think he's saving it for maximum dramatic impact for when Naruto and Sakura first sees him.

P.S.

I got a PM related to my Chapter 300 Comments, a question asking about my opinion on Sai's brother possibly being Shisui.

I'll quote my response here if anybody's interested. :)

I think it's a plausible theory.

The only gaps in that theory would be:

1) Sai hasn't shown any Uchiha abilities yet, and being the brother of a renowned guy like Shisui, I'd think he would at the very least show some Sharingan ability at this point. It seems to appear with experience, and Sai seems like he's had plenty of that.

2) I'd think Konohagakure would know if there was still another Uchiha still alive.

It's possible that Danzou kept it a secret somehow by tossing him into the 'Roots' organization and saying he was somebody found on the streets whose past isn't known, though.

I know there's plenty of ways to explain both these away and if it does turn out to be the case, it'll be interesting. Though I think having any more Sharingan users in the series would be a bit overkill at this point, and I don't know if Kishimoto wants to go that route.

Meijin no Kori
April 02, 2006, 04:50 AM
My theory: I think that he's better able to control genjutsu through his Sharingan now. He's become just like Itachi in that he's using genjutsu more than ever to his advantage. He probably could turn himself into birds, too, to anyone affected by his doujutsu. Anyway, Sai certainly seemed to pay the price for trying to get too familiar with Sasuke here...
Actually, I think that's just a killer intent technique that Sasuke picked up from Orochimaru; similar to the one Oro used on Team 7 in the Forest of Death.

Gold Knight
April 02, 2006, 09:19 AM
True, but the way Kishimoto portrayed it, it seemed to me like Sasuke was activating his Sharingan a bit.

Whatever the case, it certainly did the trick.

walkie
April 02, 2006, 10:40 AM
1. Long Time No See, Blondie!  - A Yondy cover!  Very unexpected, even though it still follows Kishimoto's Part 2 trend of close-up character covers.  But I liked it.

for cover i will say, yondi looks like "you can only watch my back, i am always a step ahead of you"...


9. Yamato, Why Aren't You Hokage Yet? Seems like every single chapter, Yamato does something to win a few more fans over. This time, it's tracking seeds - which completely makes sense considering his affinity for wood. So convenient.


yamato is an interesting one. i wonder if he surpasses first hokage about use of wood jutsus...those wood jutsus needs "special" chakra, which was first hokages chakra and if i remember right, first hokage is grandfather of tsunade so that chakra type is not a bloodline. first hokage should trained on it and created it himself, i guess. that shoud take some years. but yamato got that chakra type while he was baby, after test of oro. so he had long time to master that chakra type.

we didnt see yamato at a real battle yet but until now what he did with his wood jutsus, are really good ones. no wonder why he had highest stats in ANBU before tsunade comes.

Manji Yoshimitsu
April 02, 2006, 12:17 PM
Very nice essay GK :amuse.

I think most of the points are correct, but I think that the 5th is also already onto Danzou, but that the information on the ANBU members is correct.

It is a good reason for Yamato to postpone the batlle of Naruto & Sasuke, and head after Kabuto to retrieve the valuable information. And we finally get to see a surprised Yamato :P. (I do like him very much though, I've always been a fan of Shodai's techniques).

Also, I think Sasuke hesitated a bit too long (say: One talk-cloud with "...." too long :P) to not have any feelings towards Naruto, he still wasn't able to kill him, and acquire Mangekyou Sharingan through it, though he said he would get it through another method as Itachi...

Anyways, great post :)

Tamerlane
April 02, 2006, 02:39 PM
Thanks! I always enjoying reading these. :amuse



What I'm really wondering is how Sakura will react to Sasuke when she actually sees him again. They had an awkward parting the last time they saw each other. If Kishimoto is smart, he'll show us here how much Sakura has changed from then... perhaps by having her adopt a more neutral position and seeing him as somebody who's definitely walking a path of darkness, even though she still clearly likes him.

But that brings us to another question. Does she now have feelings for Naruto too? That seemed to be something Yamato was about to imply a few chapters ago. If that's the case, it's both funny and sad, at the same time, that Naruto is so focused on recovering Sasuke that he hasn't even been able to stop and take advantage of her interest (except possibly for a brief moment at the steam bath, before Yamato ruined that... but it was probably for the best!)

I would think that after all this time that Sakura has matured to some degree. And because of that she will take a very neutral stance with Sasuke. Though I have to admit that I am not a fan of the Sakura / Naruto pairing but I really do not see her feelings getting thru to Sasuke at this point. Her feelings would be ill timed at best.


3. Have a Taste of Your Own Medicine, Sai "Get Lost." Yep, that's Sasuke all right! :smile-big ( Remember when Sasuke said that to Kankurou when the Sand Trio first appeared way back in chapter 35? ) Funny how he hasn't changed at all, but I'm glad that's the case, since his personality was already so well-established. So how does it feel, Sai, when you're trying to get to know somebody who doesn't care a whit about YOU?

You know while it was great to see Sai get put in his place at the same time it was almost god to see that perhaps Sasuke has not changed too much.



Sai's trying too hard to get familiar with Sasuke here, and I believe it's for a reason (backstabbing him at some point would be my guess, if possible). And Sasuke saw right through him... literally!

This is a really good point that I has not considered. It would make a lot of sense though. I just do not see the handing over of the Konoha ANBU list as the whole mission. It would be kind of anti-climatic in a way. =/



What I'm wondering, though, is if Sasuke has completely discarded all feelings of friendship for Naruto as well. When he assured Sai that the only brother he had was one he was seeking to kill, I think he was ALSO telling him that he currently no longer cares about Naruto or Sakura at all.

I'm thinking Team 7 might need to watch out because Sasuke may be completely fine with butchering them in cold blood, if he sees them.

I really hope not! What I would really like to see is Sasuke just putting up a front for Orochimaru because anything less then contempt for Naruto and Sakura would put him in danger there. Then again it is not looking too good for that...... =(



10. Time for a Showdown? Or Not? Some people are predicting that it'll still be a few chapters before we see Sasuke fully revealed, but I think it's this coming week. It's possible Orochimaru COULD have set up some traps, though, just as the Akatsuki did for Gai's team, but I don't think they've had time to do that.

I think that he is going to be shown completly in the next chapter when Naruto and Sasuke finally come face to face again. To me it just seems like that would be the proper moment for it....not to mention very dramatic.

Tanuki-dono
April 03, 2006, 02:50 AM
1. Fanservice, indeed. It's all a plot to keep Iruka in the favorite characters poll. 

2. I too was expecting her to be looking at something *specific.* Instead, it wall all generalized into being a minor revelation about the art within.  Perhaps the drawings will more illuminating in the future.  I'd like to think Kishimoto's dangling meat in front of us for now rather than feeding us.

3. And what's more, Kabuto seems like a child on Christmas when dealing with such themes.  Morbid, indeed.  It almost cements that he's going to play a part later on.  At least, I hope so.  He's certainly cold-blooded enough.

4. Sai, Sai... You're not as emotionless as you seem.  [I'd like to see him go to pieces over that book.] :p

5. I wonder about that as well.  Perhaps Sai killed his brother.  It'd certainly be in keeping with the theme running in Sasuke's story.

6. YES.  Though not many seem to like him for some reason... Sometimes I feel like part of a minority group. >.>

7.  Ew.  *imagines Sai peeling the clothes off his opponents*  I wonder about that...  It's interesting that there is a record of the fights - and the record is *art*... I wonder if it can be used to his advantage?

8. Actually, it would be pretty cool if it were Kabuto. *laughs* 

9. Yamato, thus far, has proved to be a good mentor for both Naruto and Sakura.  Both are so emtional, they need someone like him. =D

10. Haha. Very true.

GK, that was really enjoyable, even though it took me a while to get around to commenting.  Still, you should do this more often if you can. :D

Gold Knight
April 03, 2006, 05:36 AM
Glad you enjoyed it, Tanuki! And yes, I'm intending to do this for a while :) ( 301 comments already up ^.^ )

Gold Knight
April 03, 2006, 06:00 AM
for cover i will say, yondi looks like "you can only watch my back, i am always a step ahead of you"...

Very poetic observation, Walkie and I quite agree ^.^


yamato is an interesting one. i wonder if he surpasses first hokage about use of wood jutsus...those wood jutsus needs "special" chakra, which was first hokages chakra and if i remember right, first hokage is grandfather of tsunade so that chakra type is not a bloodline. first hokage should trained on it and created it himself, i guess. that shoud take some years. but yamato got that chakra type while he was baby, after test of oro. so he had long time to master that chakra type.

Good points. I agree that Mokuton's not a bloodline because the jutsu used to be exclusive to Shodai and it's pretty well-established that he DID have a family. So Yamato's mastery of Mokuton seems like it would have exceeded everybody's expectations, so I agree he must be a genius. (He must have escaped from Orochimaru somehow so he must have been able to tap into his abilities at a very young age.)

That and he was teamed up with Kakashi on the same ANBU team, must have made for some interesting teamwork where he probably developed his abilities at a stunning pace.

But don't forget that Shodai seemed to have no problem whatsoever controlling Jinchuuriki, and Yamato seems to need the help of Naruto's necklace. ... I'm not sure if that's the only difference in power between the two, but I would bet that Yamato doesn't have as much chakra as the Shodai did.

And by the way, when I said, "Yamato, why aren't you Hokage yet," I was only half-kidding. ^_^ Though he certainly seems to be a good future prospect at this point.



Very nice essay GK :amuse.

I think most of the points are correct, but I think that the 5th is also already onto Danzou, but that the information on the ANBU members is correct.

Thanks ^_^

I thought over it last night actually and I'm starting to think you're right. Yamato would have had to be prepared to replace all that ANBU paperwork ( though it's possible he could create paper out of wood... o.O ) but also, I think Orochimaru and Kabuto would instantly know they were fakes. I don't think Yamato would have wanted to risk getting Sai killed, just in case that it was a top secret mission that was benetifical to Konohagakure.

Also, Yamato did seem surprised a while ago about Sai meeting Orochimaru and Kabuto. So yeah, I guess he didn't see the envelope.

But I wouldn't be surprised if he did...



I really hope not! What I would really like to see is Sasuke just putting up a front for Orochimaru because anything less then contempt for Naruto and Sakura would put him in danger there. Then again it is not looking too good for that...... =(


Well, don't forget Sasuke hasn't seen them for two years, and he's likely been focusing on almost nothing but improving himself. I didn't mean that Sasuke would always feel that way, if he indeed does, but at the moment he's very dangerous to Naruto and Sakura.

I expect lots of drama where Sasuke constantly says that he no longer cares for Naruto and Sakura, but at some point he'll finally gain some feelings back for them both.

Glad you enjoyed ^_^

walkie
April 03, 2006, 03:16 PM
But don't forget that Shodai seemed to have no problem whatsoever controlling Jinchuuriki, and Yamato seems to need the help of Naruto's necklace.  ... I'm not sure if that's the only difference in power between the two, but I would bet that Yamato doesn't have as much chakra as the Shodai did.

And by the way, when I said, "Yamato, why aren't you Hokage yet," I was only half-kidding.  ^_^  Though he certainly seems to be a good future prospect at this point.


i knew you were kidding  :amuse i also want to say yamato may/can surpass first hokage only about wood jutsus. in general first hokage should be better than him. otherwise sandaime would select yamato as godaime :) no one is better than kakashi, kakashi is the 6th hokage

first hokage is the one who settled things and established hokage. that requires very good skills and very good leadership. i dont think wood jutsus are enough for that....

Tanuki-dono
April 03, 2006, 08:26 PM
1. You just <i>know</i> how happy that one in particular made me.

2. I hope Kishimoto makes Sakura's attitude towards Sasuke very...stern. She needs to reel in her emotions since she's been getting pretty emotional in the past few chapters, and I think making her be "tough" towards Sasuke would be a nice fix.

3. Orochimaru and Kabuto looked so amused while they stood around - like they were watching a play. Maybe that "experiment" was just seeing how Sasuke would react? (That'd be disappointing...) As for Sai...methinks he's a might bit uncomfortable with the mission Danzou gave him, even if he himself is not yet aware of it.

4. Maybe it's one of those deals where he's so lousy that he totally misdirects everyone with what we think will happen, when his objective is really totally different?

5. I get the feeling that Sasuke in monstrously powerful, and yet...Orochimaru seems too much at ease and too amused with playing Sasuke as a puppet to make me really worry. I'd be really shocked, though, if there was a turnaround and Sasuke managed to kill Orochimaru. Right now, though, I think Oro has created some weaknesses, or at least knows them, so another Itachi, in the terms of being stronger than Orochimaru, is not here.

6. Yay. Perhaps a mental breakdown for Sai is in sight, and that would be very interesting to watch.

7. Hmm. We shall see. Though I think he may injure them badly, I don't know about killing them in cold blood. (Mainly because he spared Naruto that one time.)

8. Let's hope that Yamato exchanged that information for fakes. :darn I really don't want Yamato to die, even if it would create a weakness in Naruto Kyuubi-control.

9. I agree with the separation bit. Perhaps someone is going to go after Sasuke? And I adore Yamato to pieces, by the way.

10. Maybe a minor skirmish at least. It's time for Team 7 Drama, is more like. :p

I'm ready for a dramatic meeting! :dance

Strangehat
April 06, 2006, 07:59 AM
(Hey, it's the guy supporting the crazy Shisui theory, not being a lurker, imagine that! O.O)

I need to make some quick comments here in regards to points 6 and 9.

6 - Just--yeah. Yeah. Sai got owned. Badly. I was not previously aware someone could get owned in Naruto the way Sai got owned. Certainly an Itachi-level own job. Sasuke just gave him a look. '...I'll kill the idea of you. e.e' and Sai just sat. I went '..whoa.' at that point. It'll be interesting to see just what exactly Sai's mission is. He is becoming a character of some intense interest to me. And, as previously noted.. it's awful funny to see Orochimaru giggle at it. 'Heheh. Kids. n_n'

9 - He so needs to be Hokage. And--Yamato's bunshin. .. I noticed it was talking to him. I was previously aware that it was possible due to the radio contact he kept with the bunshin that that could happen, but it's so much more surreal when you actually see it for yourself. Yamato is cool in ways no character before was cool in Naruto. I .... I hate to say it, but Yamato might actually be, to me, cooler than Kakashi. That's a stunning revelation for me to make, but it's true. ;.;

Altogether, the chapter was pretty sweet. Looking forward to the next one. I have a small fear that Sasuke might not be showing up for a while yet due to the fact that Sasuke and Orochimaru were on their way out but either way, what happens next is probably going to be slick.

(wish: more Akatsuki plz)
(..preferably a new one)

Gold Knight
April 06, 2006, 07:22 PM
Hey Strangehat, welcome to MH XD

"'...I'll kill the idea of you. e.e' " Haha... I like that. e.e

Your comments are pretty cool, you should look into doing your own commentary too ^^

kadoman
April 07, 2006, 07:29 AM
Oh, hey, I didn't know this place existed.  GK, I enjoyed reading your veiws (and everyone else's).  You're a talented writer!

I'll just throw in my 2 cents worth on a couple of points:


Sakura: Like your thoughts on this one.  I agree that now is the time for Kishi to firmly establish Sakura's strength of character, that is indeed, if she is going to be a strong character.  Her reaction when they see Sasuke will make or break her for many, you can bet.  For too long, she has been a hit and miss character, as though Kishi cannot decide if he likes her enough to pay her full attention.  I will be disappointed if, upon seeing Sasuke, Kishi pulls his usual trick and writes her as Sad and Regretful.

Sai: Man...it's testimony to how good Kishi is with characterisation that I actually felt damn sorry for Sai at that point.  I did.  I've found it hard to warm to his character but he got sympathy points from me when Sasuke tells him to 'eff off'  and then crushes what little spirit the boy possesses with a look.  I do think however, that we shouldn't underestimate Sai's strength.  Why?  Because we haven't yet seen what he can do.  We've seen him whip out a few drawings and a bird and that - man, that was awesome stuff.  If that is a taste of what is to come...should see some sparks fly between Sasuke and Sai.

Sasuke: What can I say, but the guy is still cool.  And still suffering from tunnel vision.  Obsessed doesn't cover it.  We can see from this that the last few years for him have consisted of, wake up, learn new jutsu, sleep, wake up, learn new jutsu, learn new jutsu, learn new jutsu...it's a wonder Oro can keep up. ;)  He's now gone down the road that Kishi was always pushing him along and I think without a doubt, he will not give a crap about Naruto and Sakura.  He cannot afford to.  If he cares, he is weak, by his reasoning.  He will cold shoulder them both, and after three years of searching, this will be a mighty hard slap in the face for Naruto (who, let's face it, kinda needs it).