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View Full Version : Review Gold Knight's Ten Comments Special (Naruto Volume 32)



Gold Knight
August 12, 2006, 06:57 AM
http://img135.imageshack.us/img135/5720/headlineme7.jpg

Well, with the possible lack of a Naruto chapter this week, I figured this would be the perfect week for me to follow up on a poster's suggestion here and do something a little different... a retrospective review of a complete, older Naruto volume! Hey, why not! So, I hope you enjoy this special edition of my Ten Comments.

There's going to be some differences, though. Due to time constraints, this review won't be such an in-depth look at all the chapters individually but rather an overall, comprehensive look at the volume with an emphasis on its highlights and lows.

However, I'll still try to pinpoint certain parts of the volume that might have become more clear with the revelations of latter volumes, and also try to remind fans of questions that still haven't been answered. Because what is the point of a retrospective review, after all, if we're not looking for stuff that we may have missed? That's what makes us Narutards, after all. :D So with that being said, if you're expecting a spoiler-free review of Volume 32 here, think again. You'd be well advised to read to the latest chapter before reading. Just a warning. ;)

I'll also do some extra features which you guys may find enjoyable as well. One other thing, the covers, which usually I comment on at the beginning, will instead be at the end of this review. Finally, I'll also be rating the volume based on not only the entertainment value of the chapters contained within it, but also how well they flow together in order to make the reading experience a memorable one. For example, there'll be times where a particular chapter isn't so great as a stand-alone, causing fan impatience and the like, but coupled with previous and following chapters, one can gain more of an appreciation for the art and the writing. Woo.

Oh, and I'm starting with Volume 32, because it was the beginning of the most recently completed storyarc and it's always best to review these things from the start, right?

And that being said, let's get goin' already. :knk As always, feel free to comment when you have the time, and please enjoy!


* * * Gold Knight's Ten Comments on Naruto Volume 32 * * *

1. An Alliance in the Making...!

http://img141.imageshack.us/img141/1937/handshake281v2qv0.png
Blondie and Shorty - a team to be reckoned with!

Right off the bat, we witnessed the prologue of Team 7's mission to save Gaara from the Akatsuki, and we saw Tsunade finally revealing the reason to Shizune why she was so quick to appoint Naruto's team to rescue the Kazekage. "The only person capable of understanding a jinchuuriki, is another jinchuuriki."

So, just like Kakashi, Tsunade had also recognized Naruto's innate talent for making others trust in his abilities. Guess she wasn't such an airhead after all...! If you'll recall, way back in Chapter 251, (http://img143.imageshack.us/img143/4605/narutoch251p12fz0.png) Jiraiya seemed to almost admonish his former teammate for what seemed like a rash decision - a scene that I joked about in one of my older Ten Comments reviews at Tsunade's expense. Well, our Godaime proved that she wasn't just being silly, and to boot, may have indirectly successfully formed a long-standing alliance between Sunagakure and Konohagakure for as long as both Gaara and Naruto are alive and well. Of course, it was a rather dangerous gamble by Tsunade to be sure... which is scary, thinking about it, considering her horrible luck...! But guess what? Looks like she's got a winner in Naruto. I'll bet you anything that the resulting alliance will eventually play a potentially huge part in the series at some point, and one day may just save Konoha from total destruction.

Chapter 281 was actually packed full of highlights. Besides that touching moment, we also saw one of the funniest moments in the series so far (http://img98.imageshack.us/img98/3369/v32ch28113hw0.png) (see end of review for more on that), a bizarre encounter between Tobi and Deidara (http://img98.imageshack.us/img98/5195/v32ch28116zc8.png) when they met up in the forest (which would be the beginning of their strange partnership), and finally, of course, the first appearance of a new, mysterious character who was well on his way to becoming a mainstay in the series...!


2. Conspiracy...!?

http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/9610/firstappsai281wj3.png
Friend... or Fiend?

When Danzou announced (http://img87.imageshack.us/img87/1241/v32ch28118ax2.png) that Sai would be joining Team 7 in order to carry out a secret plan, I can still recall how fans went and dreamt up all kinds of wild theories about the truth of his mission, mostly believing him to be after Naruto's bijuu. Heh. But even knowing now that the "Root" organization actually had the best interests of Konohgakure in mind after all, the feeling of conspiracy from within Konohagakure early in these chapters was still something totally fresh and refreshing to the readers. We were all expecting an uprising at some point, weren't we? Fun times...!

But then again, Danzou did mention Naruto by name here, too, which was something of a red herring. It misled most of the readers in believing that Sai's mission had something to do with him rather than Sasuke. Then there's the part where Danzou's timing here was strange. If you'll recall, Sakura was still on her way back home from Suna, and obviously had not yet revealed to Tsunade the information she had won from Sasori about Orochimaru's spy at the Tenchikyou. Obviously, Danzou couldn't have known that they were going after them on their next mission. Does he now possess Sandaime's crystal ball, or something? Hmmm.

I guess the most reasonable explanation would be that Danzou must have been counting on Naruto and Sakura's intense desire to find their missing teammate, and had gotten information that they would depart on a search for him sooner rather than later. But all the same, I think Kishimoto jumped the gun here a little quickly on Sai's first appearance, all things considered, in order to get the next storyarc started...

Sidenote: When this chapter came out, I also remember the fans all wondering about Sai's sex. Most wanted him to be female rather than male, although there were some who pointed out his stomach as an obvious sign that he was a guy. It was still all quite entertaining, though - there was even a bet by one of the translators that he would shave his head if Sai had turned out to be female - lucky for him that he turned out to be right! :D


3. Making Concessions..!!

http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/7559/shizune282wg4.png
Shizune trying to act all innocent... Sorry, Tsunade's not buyin' it.

The next few chapters dealt mostly with Tsunade's problems convincing first Shizune and then the Konohagakure elders, Homura and Koharu, that Naruto should be allowed to have the freedom to leave Konohagakure on missions. Even despite the Akatsuki's search for the Kyuubi. The funny thing is that I think Shizune was actually already convinced, but she had already talked to the elders about the matter. Oops. No wonder she was so red-faced!

This whole scene, aside from pretty much confirming that Tsunade had the utmost faith in Naruto, did explain a little more of why Danzou would have been ready to incorporate Sai into Team 7. My guess would be that the elders had a conversation with the bandaged warhawk that went something like this:

Danzou: Yo, elders!
Koharu: What up dog?
Homura: You're looking good. Uh, not really, but you know.
Danzou: Shut up. I heard the Kyuubi brat had come back. How is he doing?
Homura: He just completed a mission in Sunagakure and is coming back.
Koharu: I swear, I don't know what Tsunade is thinking sometimes.
Homura: Yes, it's astonishing that Godaime-sama would put Naruto in such danger as that.
Danzou: Danger?
Koharu: Well, he does have that bijuu inside him, and the Akatsuki is all over. They may catch him one of these missions.
Homura: Indeed. Shizune just informed us that Naruto actually fought one on the last mission.
Koharu: We'll have to talk to Tsunade soon.
Danzou: What are you thinking?
Koharu: To keep Naruto in the village and in a four-man cell.
Danzou: Ah! May I make a suggestion?

Danzou may have predicted (correctly) that Tsunade wouldn't have stood for Naruto being kept at home, and decided to take the opportunity to put Sai in the team right then. He *knew* they would have gone after Sasuke eventually...

Of course, we already know that Tsunade took precautionary measures to make sure that Sai and Danzou would be kept in check by having Yamato be the field leader. And to kill two birds with one stone, she also picks somebody who can also suppress the Kyuubi's chakra as well. Again, she proves that she can think ahead.


4. Familiar Faces...!

http://img133.imageshack.us/img133/4766/team8and10vv5.jpg
The gang's all here...!

At the time these chapters were released, I thought Kishimoto was forced to show these characters before he was really ready. After all, he would've risked being lynched by angry and impatient fans! But considering that Sasuke was ALSO going to show up at the end of this storyline in similar fashion, I think Kishimoto had planned all along for this to happen.

Anyway, at it's at this point that we finally get to see the Part 2 versions of Shino, Kiba, Hinata, Chouji, and Ino (Shikamaru had already shown up in Chapter 246) as well as Akamaru, who's obviously been eating some biscuits since we saw him last.

I'll have to admit, when I first read these chapters, I was somewhat annoyed that Kishimoto was doing so many "splash pages" (when a panel fills the whole page) of these characters, feeling that it was slowing down the story pace. But within a volume, it's actually not so bad. Furthermore, now that we know they weren't intended to be a part of the next storyarc at all, so I suppose that it's just as well that he did take the time to give them all "highlight pages," just to satisfy the fans. The only minus was that the fans would be disappointed when they realize that the appearances would only be brief, and I think they took it out on poor Sai, a new, suspicious character that nobody at the time really cared about. Heh.

I think I'm still the most impressed by Shino and Ino here. Oh, Kiba and Chouji were fun, but I loved how Kishimoto decided to give Shino a "gangsta" look, and even gave him a little more of a personality as well by having him feeling slighted when Naruto didn't recognize him. And then there's Ino; she certainly looks even more feminine than ever (no wonder Sakura wanted input from Naruto (http://img150.imageshack.us/img150/452/narutoch245p15sp2.png) early on about her own femininity, she was probably still insecure because of Ino!)

Kiba looks more like a pimp, Chouji looks more of a warrior, and Hinata... hmm. Well, it's not that I don't like that Kishimoto stuck to keeping her looking a bit like a "dark, weird girl" (Naruto's words) because a radical change in personality would also be giving us a completely different character. And it appears that she's likely still the most insecure of all the girls in the series, since she still covers herself up the most. Hinata's body type was also probably intended to be totally different from the others. But at the same time I sure don't blame her fans for being disappointed.

I think this just proves that Hinata's story, however, is not yet done. She's still got some issues to work out, and I think the series will focus back on her again at some point, in a big way. She hasn't yet broken out completely of her cocoon, but if she had, then there wouldn't be much character development at all, would there? :)

And then there's the exciting part where Shikamaru and Chouji actually showed us some new stuff...!


http://img155.imageshack.us/img155/1017/clobberingmy6.jpg
Clobbering Time!

http://img140.imageshack.us/img140/4555/kagemanezd9.jpg
Pincushionin' Time!

It's probably because Shikamaru had already been revealed that Kishimoto felt that he should show us something else from him. But whatever the case, I was hyped up! I loved his Kage Nui no Jutsu, which apparently materialized his own shadow into sharp tendrils that could impale a target. And Chouji's "big fist" attack was fun, as well, a bonus. It all showed that Neji wasn't the only one that had improved his old tricks.

We now know that Shikamaru and Chouji's abilities have more to do with "yin and yang" manipulation rather than any basic element manipulation. It'll be good to find out more about that, eventually...

Team 10 certainly seems like it's going to be a force to be reckoned with now - it's so funny how they were once considered one of the weaker teams in Konoha.


5. A New Sensei!

http://img135.imageshack.us/img135/4220/yamatoog1.jpg
You just knew he was gonna be cool.

Yamato taichou is quite possibly the best new character to have appeared in the series since Jiraiya. It's interesting that Kishimoto has such a knack for writing sensei-type characters. (I'll be commenting on Yamato's awesomeness more at the end of the review.)

It was also good timing as well, because Yamato provided a nice alternate "new character" for fans to also get used to while they also had to deal with Sai at this point in the story. At the very least, we had somebody who was cool right off the bat. That's probably why Kishimoto worked so hard at having Yamato be both impressive and personable quickly instead of allowing his character to slowly develop like Sai. Although even now in recent chapters, Yamato continues to surprise us with something neat almost every week. Guess you just can't keep a good character down.


http://img140.imageshack.us/img140/8616/cageof8.jpg
Don't mess with him. He'll take you to the woodshed.

For a while, I even became as much of a fan of Yamato as I am of Kakashi. Hopefully we do get to see more of the Konohagakure jounins, because Kishimoto certainly does a good job with adult characters.

Sidenote: Just something I find interesting, but Tsunade assigned Tenzou his alias ego "Yamato" only for the duration of his mission with Team 7, yet even after its conclusion, Yamato still prefers that Kakashi call him by his codename. I suppose it's for whenever Yamato isn't working with the ANBU, but I tend to think he actually likes that name better than his own. XD


6. The Resolve of "Roots"...!

http://img141.imageshack.us/img141/8908/rootgc6.jpg
On guard!

We also got to learn more about the "Roots" organization in Chapter 285 when Sai's senpai came calling. Guess now we know the truth of the statement, "That which supports the great tree of Konoha, unseen from within the ground, is the resolve of our organization, Roots." They did indeed have Konoha's best interests in mind. Yeah, it's a vigilante group that works under the nose of the true government, but it feels pretty appropriate in a world of clandestine organizations.

And we also know what was concealed in the letter that he gave to Sai, and why Sai gave a dubious look (http://img83.imageshack.us/img83/3913/v32ch28509sn6.png) when he realized what it was. (http://img86.imageshack.us/img86/3266/narutov34ch301p12fs2.png) I would have, too!

There's one thing, though. In order to keep up the drama, Kishimoto did have Senpai say THIS...


http://img149.imageshack.us/img149/8039/failurejf7.jpg
Apparently, it was...

...so gee, since Sai obviously didn't catch Sasuke, what would his punishment be? Hmm? And Danzou even let him stay with Team 7 as per his request, too. Tsk tsk.

Guess they did tolerate it this time... or were they just afraid that they couldn't stop Sai from doing what he wanted, especially with his newfound friends? He is pretty capable, after all, of reneging on the "Roots" completely and being able to expose them completely to the Godaime. Although, if Yamato had already filed about Sai's connection to the "Roots" in his report... it all kind of leads me to think that Danzou may have wanted to stay low for a while and just let Sai have his way Hmm.

And then there's still the question of the cat hiding in the bushes. (http://img149.imageshack.us/img149/442/v32ch28510yf4.png) I still firmly believe that wasn't just a cat, and was actually one of Yamato's summonings. Why, you ask?

Well, because we did see Yamato searching through Sai's things at the hot springs, and Senpai's mask was lying on the table. (http://img89.imageshack.us/img89/4578/v32ch28617vn0.png) Alright, it may have been Sai's, especially since it was right by his bag, and all the members of the "Roots" might wear these masks. Still, I can't help but feel that Yamato taichou had a run-in with Senpai before Team 7 even left on their mission, and while he wasn't able to get any information from him, they did have a battle, and Yamato won. In any case, don't expect to see Senpai again. If he shows up, I'm probably wrong.


7. Bad First Impressions.

http://img157.imageshack.us/img157/2487/suckerpunchci1.jpg
Amazing Sai didn't lose any teeth here.

As we all know, Sai had a pretty rough time trying to fit in with Team 7. Being able to smile genuinely was the last thing he really needed to worry about, 'cause he sure didn't have any social grace whatsoever.

But it wasn't just Sai that made a bad impression. Yamato came in fully expecting to see two very outstanding students based on his respect for Kakashi, and found two very temperental brats. Ouch.


http://img101.imageshack.us/img101/9171/scarymodehy5.jpg
Scary, isn't he? XD

So you can't really blame him for going the "Reign of Terror" routine. But it's all good and dynamic writing, though, so I liked it. After all, why should the Akatsuki hog all the fun in having bizarre teams?

Here we had four very different characters who were trying to work together. A strict taskmaster, an intense former troublemaker, an emotional kunoichi, and a detached assassin. When you think about it, even the original Team 7, with Kakashi and Sasuke, had less trouble getting to know each other. And something tells me THAT'S exactly why Kishimoto wanted to shake things up in the series a bit, having Sasuke depart Konohagakure, and Kakashi so often hospitalized. In order to keep the story interesting, Kishimoto knew he had to break up the team at some point and create new teams, and he had planned to do that from the beginning, because Sasuke did get his curse mark early on.

Of course, now the "new" Team 7 seems to be getting along well enough, but don't be surprised if Kishimoto also intends to break it up all over again at some point. Of course, since he seems to be starting to put the focus on other teams a little more, this version of Team 7 might be safe... for now!


8. Getting to Know an "Emotionless" Boy.

http://img138.imageshack.us/img138/5949/saiuf3.jpg
So distant, he doesn't even care that he's dripping ink on himself.

Alright, I've waited long enough to talk more about Sai here, who was obviously the centerpiece of the whole story... at least until Sasuke showed up. I waited because it took quite a while for the readers to get to finally understand Sai better, too - which we started to do a bit more when Sakura had the conversation with him at the docks. I'll be honest here. I initially didn't think much about Sai, the first time we were introduced to him, believing that he would soon become a little-used secondary character or even be killed.

Why? Well, he had all the makings of a villain - he seemed cold and distant, he was assigned a covert mission from a mysterious organization that seemed to be up to no good, and I've never seen a character insulting a protagonist's genitals and getting away with it! XD And even if he did eventually become good aligned, he didn't seem to have much of a future in Team 7 what with Sasuke possibly coming back at some point. In which case, I fully saw Sai sacrificing his life in much the same matter as Haku. But by the end of the volume, though, it had become clear that our new boy was meant to have a meaningful relationship with Naruto and Sakura, and in two volumes even more than a temporary teammate. Surprise, surprise...!

So now on re-reading the chapters in this volume and knowing how Sai was going to continue being a big part of the series, I do enjoy them a little more now. I don't feel as much anymore that Sai was a character just waiting to be written out. And it's always especially amusing to see again the first words Sai ever said to Naruto in particular...!


http://img95.imageshack.us/img95/6132/saichinpoej4.jpg
Easily the best taunt in the series thus far! XD

You know, for a guy who felt "nothing" at the time, he sure had a knack for getting others all heated up around him. But it even seemed like he was enjoying taunting them. Amusement is an emotion, isn't it? So these scenes sent me mixed signals the first time I read these chapters - is he devoid of emotion or what? I guess now we know he really wasn't as much as he was just depressed over the death of his brother without even knowing it. Withdrawal, depersonalization, unreality, and an anesthetizing of affect - all classic symptoms of grief. Sai had said here that he felt nothing when his brother died, but he quite likely was shell-shocked. He wasn't able to smile from the heart, but I don't think anybody can when they've lost all hope - and especially when it's only been a few years since their dream was shattered. So I can relate to him a bit more now knowing about his history, and these chapters are more fun to read now that we're not so puzzled by his attitude.

It was also still quite the contrast - Naruto and Sai - passion and apathy - and it's pretty fun to experience that all over again. The way Sai would always set Naruto off was completely different from how Sasuke did it. Naruto wanted more attention and recognition from Sasuke, but from Sai, he would just soon rather him keeping his mouth closed than not. Funny, eh?


http://img153.imageshack.us/img153/622/friendlv6.jpg
Aw, he wants to be your friend.

Gotta give Kishimoto some more credit here. By having Sai be such a strong but empty character to begin with, our manga-ka did a very unique introduction. Through their conversations, Sakura and Naruto actually molded Sai from a faceless killer to a dependable friend. Usually, any new supporting cast, you know, are supported to add to the main characters, not the other way around so much. So it was a totally different approach.

Also a slower process than usually seen in any manga to be sure, but a little more realistic than all these "sudden moments of enlightment" that change people without any warning (yes Sai had his own "moment" later on, but that was after a LOT of talking, wasn't it...)

Some people may see Sakura's conversation with Sai at the docks a little boring, but in the long run, when read with other chapters, and knowing what will happen, it's a much more enjoyable and makes more sense why Kishimoto would do a chapter like that. People aren't so easily changed, after all. One has to make an attempt to know them, first.


http://img139.imageshack.us/img139/8707/inkui6.jpg
Art knows no bounds...!

Now for his abilities! Well, now we have a character with the ability to bring "ink" to life through his drawings. You'd think that'd be something new in the series, but two Akatsuki "artists" were also introduced in Part 2 - Deidara, through his exploding clay creations and Sasori with his army of puppets. And now we have Sai, the inking wonder. You gotta wonder why Kishimoto all of a sudden went that route for a while, but at least he got it out of his system all at once, I suppose. Doesn't look like we're going to get any more "artists" now.

Even though any more artists would have been overkill after Sai, it was still a nice piece of ironic writing, to have an artist needing some kind of identity (though it's probably been done before).

Strangely, Sai's "drawings" seem to have the same look of the Nibi (http://img100.imageshack.us/img100/5145/ch313ukpage0809nt6.png), although the latter seems much in sharper focus. Wonder if there's anything to that...


9. What Would You Do to Save a Friend?

http://img147.imageshack.us/img147/9057/passiongz2.jpg
Wasn't expecting that, huh, Sai...!

Most fans might allude to the moment where Sakura lectured to Sai about the importance of bonds in Orochimaru's lair as the reason that he finally regained his emotions and the desire to do something for himself. But it actually started way before that.

Throughout the volume, Naruto had been acting somewhat like a spoiled brat and always complaining about Sai, making it known that he wanted nothing to do with him. His distaste for Sai was so strong that I wouldn't have been surprised to see him leap at him, strangle him with his hands, and tear his throat out with his teeth. So the moment where he, instead of doing just that in response to one of Sai's taunts (http://img147.imageshack.us/img147/3528/v32ch28815xg0.png), decides to declare that he would do anything, including working with Sai, if it meant getting his friend back - it was one of the MOST poignant scenes in the series so far. It stunned me. It impressed me. You could make the argument that it was quite possibly Naruto's most mature moment in the whole series.

If Kishimoto really wanted to get across a question of just how far you would go for a friend, he sure accomplished that here, and in spades. It's this one scene that literally "made" the whole volume for me! Just as I was starting to have some doubts about Naruto ever being a candidate for Hokage, just one sentence regained my whole faith in him as a worthy protagonist. Now that's dramatic writing for you.


http://img87.imageshack.us/img87/5290/lowlifemq4.jpg
I can just see Yamato getting all teary-eyed here.

It even impressed Sakura enough to quickly follow suit and say the same thing - and when was the last time you saw Sakura being inspired by something Naruto said to that extent?

Well, never. Yep. This is the first time.

Even though they came out of this mission having failed at their objective, I think Sakura came out of it with a whole lot more respect for Naruto than ever. I've always often wondered how Naruto could possibly become the Hokage if he's never considered a leader in his own team. But with more moments like these, it won't be very long at all.


10. Old Enemies...!

http://img100.imageshack.us/img100/8864/kabuorobh5.jpg
Uh-oh, they're back...!

The volume certainly ended on quite a nice cliffhanger, when Yamato, disguised as Sasori, discovered at the Tenchikyou that the spy was none other than Kabuto, followed quickly by a wonderfully drawn double spread, in which we see that all along, Orochimaru was lurking close by and just waiting for the right moment to strike...!

It's that kinda stuff that makes you want to come back for more. ;)

RATING: 4 out of 5. While it started great and also ended with a bang, it was still not one of the most exciting volumes ever, especially as most of the time, readers were struggling with having to deal with understanding Sai. The scene between Sakura and Sai, especially, felt a little bit dragged out. The comedy here and there and the poignant moments at the end of the volume, and especially the introduction of Yamato, made up for it, though.


* * * Star of the Volume * * *

Yamato

http://img138.imageshack.us/img138/5373/scarymode2pu4.jpg
What exactly is he doing there with his hand, anyway...

Now you guys know why I waited until the end of review to talk about Yamato more! He's easily the most impressive character in this volume, and ever since he took off that ANBU mask, he's done nothing but amaze us. Not only with his awesome Mokuton techniques, a skill that the only other person to ever possess was the first Hokage, but also with his quirky personality. He's the first character in the series to actually employ a "spooky manner" to emphasize that he means business. Quite effective in shutting Naruto up, something not even Kakashi could do very easily. Score one for Yamato. And he also possesses a stoic but calm manner even under pressure that you'd expect from any good veteran jounin who's been through a lot of battles.


http://img96.imageshack.us/img96/9087/campbe5.jpg
Now that's camping in style...!

But even the most skeptical of readers quickly became fans when Yamato demonstrated, for the first time to us readers, the amazing Four Pillars House Technique!

Of course we wouldn't learn more about his background until the next volume, so I'll save that for the next volume review. But either way, Yamato was easily the star of this volume far and away.

Runner-Up: Tsunade. (http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/2094/v32ch28407dp6.png) Somewhat overlooked since her moments happened so early in the storyline, but she proved for the first time (to the readers) that she was a capable Godaime.

Lamest Character: Hinata. (http://img152.imageshack.us/img152/8224/v32ch28219bf6.png) Sorry, but when your only appearance consists of running away when your crush is nearby, and then fainting when he finds you... tsk tsk.


* * * Best Scene * * *

"...Even Work with You."

My particular favorite scene in this volume would have to be one where Naruto tells Sai that he'd be willing to do anything to save his friend, including work with him. (http://img147.imageshack.us/img147/9057/passiongz2.jpg) That scene made the whole volume work for me. More details on that under Comment # 9. :)

Runner-Up: Chouji's showdown with Sai's animals. (http://img138.imageshack.us/img138/6696/v32ch2830809sa6.png) That scene was quite memorable, I think. Part of it was because it happened so suddenly without any warning. Also funny that at first, we all thought that he was about to strike Naruto down for calling him "Fatso!"

Worst Scene: Hinata's Fainting Scene. (http://img152.imageshack.us/img152/8224/v32ch28219bf6.png) Even if it was meant to be comedy, it made me groan rather than laugh. It was like Hinata's character hadn't changed whatsoever. I know I said that I liked that she remained much the same, but if Kishimoto was trying to be funny, he shouldn't have done it right after Hinata's first appearance in Part 2, which was enough already to give her fans a pause.


* * * Funniest Moment * * *

The Piggyback Training

http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/9765/funnymoment1di3.png
It's so funny 'cause they're so serious looking. XD

This was for me, personally, one of the most hilarious moments in the series so far! Coming off a sobering moment what with Chiyo's funeral, it was such an unexpected sight. Even now, I still laugh every time I read it - especially when Gai does his sparkly grin and Kakashi is just like, "Oh God, why me!" And he takes off across the desert. Priceless stuff.

Runner-Up: The Onsen Fiasco. (http://img83.imageshack.us/img83/2604/v32ch28615jj2.png) When Sai commented on Naruto's penis at the hot springs... I'm sure you all remember that moment, and how he reacted to that comment. The funniest part was Sakura's expression compared to all the other laughing women next door.

Saddest Moment: The Good-Bye to Chiyo-baa. (http://img149.imageshack.us/img149/8386/v32ch28107od5.png) Funerals are always sad, but this one was especially so because we had gotten so attached to Chiyo. Just think of how Sakura must have felt - she was the last one Chiyo ever fought with.


* * * Volume 32 Cover Gallery!! * * *

http://img133.imageshack.us/img133/3740/coversct8.jpg
Credits: Eagle colored Chapter 282, while Dynamic Dragon did the rest of the chapters.

Note: These colorings are my favorite versions of all the covers. I thought it'd be nice to show them in color instead of the black & white ones for a volume review.

Best Cover: I'd have to go with 281, the "Chained Naruto" double spread that Kishimoto himself colored. It was such a nice composition. Something else: the text there said "Countdown to Rampage," which foreshadowed that Naruto would go berserk when he met up with Orochimaru. So sometimes you do have to pay extra attention to what Kishimoto writes on the double spread.

Runner-Up: There's not really any one that really stands out, because they're all profiles. Still, my next favorite would have to be the Sakura one. That's actually probably my favorite cover of her.

Runner-Up # 2: Gotta admit too that the Shizune one is cute.

Worst Cover: I'd have to say the Naruto one from above. That's just Kishimoto running out of any good ideas and just trying to find a different perspective on Naruto, but this one wasn't exactly much to look at - even colored.

Volume Cover: Well, not that I don't want to see Shikamaru, Chouji, and Ino in color, but I would have far preferred to see the "new" Team 7. Especially Yamato in color. But oh well.

Phew, that certainly took some time! Hope you enjoyed, and looking forward to seeing what you think!


http://img148.imageshack.us/img148/40/xpks4.jpg
Gotcha!

destinator
August 12, 2006, 07:02 AM
Thats a cool idea...love it!

CheckMate
August 12, 2006, 07:13 AM
That's stunning


You know GK, now I a not only wait for Naruto everY week, but also your 10 Comments :D

Adam_xx
August 12, 2006, 07:18 AM
Woah, that was such a worth-it read...
Must've taken up alot of your time eh?
Around 5 or so hours ago, I saw on the online list "Posting in GK's Ten Comments", I didn't expect this though...
Very well done!

A deservarable 10/10 stars!

Gold Knight
August 12, 2006, 07:51 AM
Thanks guys ^_^

Luckas
August 12, 2006, 09:21 AM
Awesome!
GK, your Ten Comments shine, you analized everything.
Just two details: what do you think about Sai look and his clothes? I don't like his bare belly/abdomen, it is excessive IMHO.
And Shizune, I was shocked she "betrayed" Tsunade in that way. I think it would be unrealistic if there will not be consequences. What is your opinion?

Another thing, you should advertise your "Ten Comments Special". I saw them only a couple of hours after logging in to MH and I knew your intention to write them.

Raine_Joybringer
August 12, 2006, 09:23 AM
:D I just adore your analysis of Sai there, GK. Looking back on him like this really makes his character start to make sense. I would have never thought about him in those ways before.

*presents a basket of muffins for the wonderful work*

jabbament
August 12, 2006, 09:52 AM
I don't know though. Yamato is awesome that's for sure, but Sai isn't that bad of a character either. He makes for a good replacement for Sasuke...though I suppose he only starts to grow on one in the recent chapters, during his entire attempt to learn about emotions.

Still, nice review, Paladin. :thumbs

Gold Knight
August 12, 2006, 10:29 AM
Just two details: what do you think about Sai look and his clothes? I don't like his bare belly/abdomen, it is excessive IMHO.

Nope, I didn't like it, and still don't. He looked like a show-off. I actually liked Sai's more recent attire better, where he's covering his stomach. But I guess that's only his off-duty clothes.

But it makes sense that a guy without much social grace wouldn't have much of a fashion sense, either.


And Shizune, I was shocked she "betrayed" Tsunade in that way. I think it would be unrealistic if there will not be consequences. What is your opinion?

Well... it's not the first time Shizune has defied Tsunade (http://img105.imageshack.us/img105/9761/16206sq4.jpg). Both times she did it out of concern for others, so it's not all that bad. Considering that Tsunade used to only care about herself... habits probably die hard. XD


Another thing, you should advertise your "Ten Comments Special". I saw them only a couple of hours after logging in to MH and I knew your intention to write them.


Eh, I don't worry about advertising so much as I like to share my reviews with my friends. I figure if you know about my Comments, then you're somebody who gets around on MH, and I like that ;)



:D I just adore your analysis of Sai there, GK. Looking back on him like this really makes his character start to make sense. I would have never thought about him in those ways before.

*presents a basket of muffins for the wonderful work*


Cool! Thanks ^_^ *eats muffins* =D



I don't know though. Yamato is awesome that's for sure, but Sai isn't that bad of a character either. He makes for a good replacement for Sasuke...though I suppose he only starts to grow on one in the recent chapters, during his entire attempt to learn about emotions.

Still, nice review, Paladin. :thumbs


Oh, he had his share of cool moments, but Sai still had his bumps in this volume. For instance, he got sucker-punched by Sakura, he's being ordered around like a errand boy, and most often than not he really didn't have any personality at all besides his tendency to insult others. And he didn't really have a particularly good reason to attack Naruto, Shikamaru and Chouji at all. That was a rather... brash approach towards what was supposed to be a mission where he would try to earn the trust of others. It's kinda amazing he's survived to this point.

Sure, he's becoming more of an appealing character now, but reading this volume, Yamato was clearly meant to shine more than Sai right now.

If it's any consolation, Sai definitely would have been Runner Up # 2 in this particular volume. It's only until later on that he becomes more of a star.

white silver
August 12, 2006, 11:22 AM
[b][font=verdana][color=green][size=1]OOhhhh, didn't expect you to do a volume review here. Very very nice. Gosh I wish chapter 319 would come soon. Don't you agree? Or does this have something to do with the Movie 3?

yeste
August 12, 2006, 11:36 AM
Yes!!! I've been waiting for this... And you picked a great volume!!! :smile-big

Thanks GK!!! I'll add my comments on this later!!! :)

One Eyed Sharingan
August 12, 2006, 11:56 AM
Whoah really nice review....great analysis as always, really worthy of toughts

Just wanna ask what are your thoughts about how Yamato stopped Naruto's intention to peep at Sakura (back in the hot spring) by telling Naruto about Jiraiya's near death exprience due Tsunade's wrath, that moment amuse me even now (oh the ananlogy)...

Daniee
August 12, 2006, 12:39 PM
Nice comments. Though I've never really understood why people enjoy Yamato so much... He never grew on me. Are you ever going to do volume 33? You started at chapter 300, and that one goes up to 299. Plus that's a really awesome, action-packed volume ^___^

Luckas
August 12, 2006, 01:51 PM
Just wanna ask what are your thoughts about how Yamato stopped Naruto's intention to peep at Sakura (back in the hot spring) by telling Naruto about Jiraiya's near death exprience due Tsunade's wrath, that moment amuse me even now (oh the ananlogy)...

That scene is ..... I can't find words.
I love it. It's hilarious,the expression of Naruto and Yamato, then Kishimoto tell again the episode when Jiraya talk about Naruto's tail, very well thought.

Gold Knight
August 12, 2006, 02:08 PM
Whoah really nice review....great analysis as always, really worthy of toughts

Just wanna ask what are your thoughts about how Yamato stopped Naruto's intention to peep at Sakura (back in the hot spring) by telling Naruto about Jiraiya's near death exprience due Tsunade's wrath, that moment amuse me even now (oh the ananlogy)...


Fun story but one I wasn't too surprised at, so I have to admit I don't quite understand why so many readers got a kick out of that.

Though it sure was good advice to Naruto.



Nice comments. Though I've never really understood why people enjoy Yamato so much... He never grew on me. Are you ever going to do volume 33? You started at chapter 300, and that one goes up to 299. Plus that's a really awesome, action-packed volume ^___^


Yeah, will be doing 33 next. :thumbs

When I get time again...

And you're talking to a guy who started a Yamato fanclub at Naruto Forums when he first appeared, as well as drew Yamato fanart (http://img61.imageshack.us/img61/2193/yamato1skx1.jpg) the same day - so I also loved his design as well... obviously, heh.

ibra87
August 12, 2006, 02:09 PM
great gk. This will certainly ease my "waiting for naruto" pain. I especially like the most star of the volume, but I don't think it will work with chapters, since they are so small.


He's the first character in the series to actually employ a "spooky manner" to emphasize that he means business. Quite effective in shutting Naruto up, something not even Kakashi could do very easily. Score one for Yamato.
What are you talking about?

http://img129.imageshack.us/img129/8118/kakashimm4.jpg

The art might be a bit crappy (considering it was one of the first chapters) but it's pretty spooky, I guess. This should settle the score ^^



Strangely, Sai's "drawings" seem to have the same look of the Nibi, although the latter seems much in sharper focus. Wonder if there's anything to that...
yeah, also the nibi lady reminded awfully much of sai. Talking about the design of her clothes.
[/quote]


What exactly is he doing there with his hand, anyway...
Pervert :confused

And about the Hinata scene, I can't really understand you. Would you have been overjoyed if she came all confident and gave naruto a hug and took him to the ramen store? :S I think it's better that's way, a least in my opinion. Though I agree on that it should have been showed in a different way.

Gold Knight
August 12, 2006, 02:37 PM
What are you talking about?

http://img129.imageshack.us/img129/8118/kakashimm4.jpg

The art might be a bit crappy (considering it was one of the first chapters) but it's pretty spooky, I guess. This should settle the score ^^

Heh, that's just Kakashi being his usual kickass self, but I guess you're right. But I don't think he was so much spooky as he was just being menancing. He did have the fate of these 3 students - whether they would graduate from the Academy or not - in his hands, after all.

Here's a better version of that page, btw (http://img105.imageshack.us/img105/9069/naruto8011ra2.jpg) ( don't tell Viz. >.> )


yeah, also the nibi lady reminded awfully much of sai. Talking about the design of her clothes.

That's true too o.O


Pervert :confused

Huh? There's nothing wrong with... scratching himself =P


And about the Hinata scene, I can't really understand you. Would you have been overjoyed if she came all confident and gave naruto a hug and took him to the ramen store? :S I think it's better that's way, a least in my opinion. Though I agree on that it should have been showed in a different way.

Of course not, but Kishimoto didn't have to do a scene that took advantage of Hinata's obsession with Naruto so soon, either. He could have just as easily have Naruto walk off, and have Kiba and Shino walk to Hinata asking her if she's alright. And she'd be like - (whew, I didn't embarass myself) and then she suddenly gets mad at herself for not talking to him. That'd probably have been better.

yeste
August 12, 2006, 02:54 PM
Well, with the possible lack of a Naruto chapter this week, I figured this would be the perfect week for me to follow up on a poster's suggestion here and do something a little different... a retrospective review of a complete, older Naruto volume! Hey, why not! So, I hope you enjoy this special edition of my Ten Comments.

Enjoy it we shall… It is my opinion that things and events do show them selves in a new light when you look at them as a whole. Chapters do get more sense, jokes get funnier (sometimes?) and some of the things I thought were a bit boring, do get a whole other meaning when looked at as a part of a bigger story! After all chapters do have some big limitations, but when you look at the volume, things just do get a certain natural order…

So, thanks for devoting the time to do this GK!!! Can’t even imagine how long it took… But nevertheless, I do appreciate this kind of effort!!! :beer



Chapter 281 was actually packed full of highlights. Besides that touching moment, we also saw one of the funniest moments in the series so far (see end of review for more on that), a bizarre encounter between Tobi and Deidara when they met up in the forest (which would be the beginning of their strange partnership), and finally, of course, the first appearance of a new, mysterious character who was well on his way to becoming a mainstay in the series...!

This is probably the best way to describe that chapter, after all that has happened so far in the story, it was something like a closure and an easy way to get us to the next story arc… It did have a feeling of accomplishment wrapped in it, but at the same time a new beginning. Job well done, but that was only one small part… Moving on…


I guess the most reasonable explanation would be that Danzou must have been counting on Naruto and Sakura's intense desire to find their missing teammate, and had gotten information that they would depart on a search for him sooner rather than later. But all the same, I think Kishimoto jumped the gun here a little quickly on Sai's first appearance, all things considered, in order to get the next storyarc started.

You’re right on that! It was just a little to soon… But then again, IMO he had to introduce Sai in this chapter for the development in the next one!!! ( I can be wrong on that one, but this is what I mean when I talk about the limitations of chapters. If you look at this particular thing from a “volume’s perspective!???!” id doesn’t stand up that much…). He,he it’s funny now when I think about all the theories and all the possibilities of this newly introduced character…

( just for the record, I knew he was a boy from the start, despite his feminine look! On the other hand, I’m still not convinced about Diedra… :p )


The next few chapters dealt mostly with Tsunade's problems convincing first Shizune and then the Konohagakure elders, Homura and Koharu, that Naruto should be allowed to have the freedom to leave Konohagakure on missions. Even despite the Akatsuki's search for the Kyuubi. The funny thing is that I think Shizune was actually already convinced, but she had already talked to the elders about the matter. Oops. No wonder she was so red-faced!

IMO this is the first time we’ve seen a political influence in this series!!! I appreciated this very much, as it added some seriousness to the manga, and it helped show Tsunades abilities as a leader in a higher level, therefore adding a lot to her character. ( don’t know ‘bout you guys but I do love to see a independent, capable and determined woman… :p that’s just me! )


He, he, he, the dialog that you gave us is probably the way it happened!!! Nice!!!



I think this just proves that Hinata's story, however, is not yet done. She's still got some issues to work out, and I think the series will focus back on her again at some point, in a big way. She hasn't yet broken out completely of her cocoon, but if she had, then there wouldn't be much character development at all, would there?

Ah yes, it was great to see the gang… Much anticipated!!! I kind of always liked them… And Kishimoto was probably afraid for his life, so there you go angry fans… I can say I’m quite satisfied for the new look everyone got!!! Kind of always been a fan of Kiba, but then one girl told me he looks like Bam Margera and ruined that… :-)

As for the Hinata situation, maybe he was forced to make a solid joke at the end of the chapter, something familiar that the fans will recognize, and did this introduction like that… Well didn’t work for me…

But your expiation saves it, adding a new perspective to that moment! Hmmmmmmm….


Team 10 certainly seems like it's going to be a force to be reckoned with now - it's so funny how they were once considered one of the weaker teams in Konoha.

That was great to see… What a turnover!!! Now, find me someone that will say otherwise!!!

It was around this point that I saw a very interesting thing, and just thought it was worth mentioning… That drawing of Sai, when he attacked Naruto and the gang… After the initial attack, right before they started countering, there was a drawing of Sai in something of an artist thinking pose… I just loved that!!!



Nothing to add on the subject of captain Yamato!!! He turned out to be such a great character right from the start!!!


Well, because we did see Yamato searching through Sai's things at the hot springs, and Senpai's mask was lying on the table. Alright, it may have been Sai's, especially since it was right by his bag, and all the members of the "Roots" might wear these masks. Still, I can't help but feel that Yamato taichou had a run-in with Senpai before Team 7 even left on their mission, and while he wasn't able to get any information from him, they did have a battle, and Yamato won. In any case, don't expect to see Senpai again. If he shows up, I'm probably wrong.

I actually brought up this exact subject in one Yamato discussion, and for some reason was ridiculed for it… Cant figure out even now why!?!! But, nevermind, it’s great to see someone else noticed this detail… A very confusing image indeed!!!

OK for the cat, but not sure about the Yamato killing Senpai… Still, very confusing moment…


Of course, now the "new" Team 7 seems to be getting along well enough, but don't be surprised if Kishimoto also intends to break it up all over again at some point. Of course, since he seems to be starting to put the focus on other teams a little more, this version of Team 7 might be safe... for now!

Probably right about that… “New” team 7 did get to be interesting enough as the time passed, but the fears of breaking them are there… Man, was I relived to see Yamato in the new chapters… Of topic, but still it was great to see him being a part of the story. His position in team 7 was the weakest… But he stayed, so I suppose Sai will be around for quite some time!!!


Now for his abilities! Well, now we have a character with the ability to bring "ink" to life through his drawings. You'd think that'd be something new in the series, but two Akatsuki "artists" were also introduced in Part 2 - Deidara, through his exploding clay creations and Sasori with his army of puppets. And now we have Sai, the inking wonder. You gotta wonder why Kishimoto all of a sudden went that route for a while, but at least he got it out of his system all at once, I suppose. Doesn't look like we're going to get any more "artists" now.

You did the intro on Sai quite well, nothing to add there… But this observation was very interesting!!! Nice call GK!!!


So the moment where he, instead of doing just that in response to one of Sai's taunts, decides to declare that he would do anything, including working with Sai, if it meant getting his friend back - it was one of the MOST poignant scenes in the series so far. It stunned me. It impressed me. You could make the argument that it was quite possibly Naruto's most mature moment in the whole series.

Oh, yea, this was definitely the highlight of the volume… Such a great scene… So unexpected of Naruto… Sudden remark leaving Sai confused… And we know what came out of this…


The volume certainly ended on quite a nice cliffhanger, when Yamato, disguised as Sasori, discovered at the Tenchikyou that the spy was none other than Kabuto, followed quickly by a wonderfully drawn double spread, in which we see that all along, Orochimaru was lurking close by and just waiting for the right moment to strike...!

A cliffhanger as only Kishimoto makes them… It was great!!! There was some debate over this moment, as if it was better to show Orochimaru in the next chapter/volume, or not… But even dough Oro was shown to be there, we didn’t know what his intentions are… And it turned out that they were not what it was expected at that point!!! A great ending to a great volume!!!




Ahhh, you left us some sweet for the end, GK?

It’s a nice idea, I like it… And I agree with your choices…

Star of the volume Yamato, definitely the star of the volume, but I give you credit for putting Tsunade on runner up position!

Best scene Also agreed on this one!!!

Funniest moment Well it’s a tie for me there, just because of the face Naruto made in that scene…



Huh, I think I said all I wanted… for now, anyway… It sure took me a while to answer!!!

Great work GK, really well done!!! *applause*

Luckas
August 12, 2006, 05:03 PM
For a long time I was convinced that Naruto will not become Hokage for his characte/behavior, but now seeing so many people believing that the manga will end with Naruto Hokage I'm starting to reconsider my opinion.
That's the greatness of discussion, they allow you to know to see things from a different angle.

For this I thank you, GK and your review. :eyeroll (I hope my phrasing isn't too strange)

kiddo7
August 12, 2006, 05:14 PM
geniously awesome idea! An entire volume review, I was so disapointed that there would be no SJ this week but for some reason I still dropped by MH to check things out, and what do I find? I know this must take up a lot of time but I still hope that you continue making these special volume reviews in the future. Maybe monthly or bianualy. If I had money I would give you a bunch of it, just to show my "appreciation" ;-)

Anyway, as usual your analasis brought to light some details that I was not aware of when i first read the chapter, for instance, I never gave much tought to yamato's request to be called by his fake name and I tottaly forgot the fact that the Godaime only assigned him the fake name until the end of that mission. Makes you wonder if he has something in his past that he does not fell comfortable being reaquainted with (most of kishimotos main characters do). And also I know that you have already replied to a comment stating essentially the same thing but I was reminded again of that time when shizune went behind tsunades back and talked to the "council", shall we call them? I never thought too much of her before that but that one just made her drop infinately low in my eyes. I would have to admit that I hated her for it to the point where I started going through old chapters and various reference works trying to find proof to suporrt my theory that she was actually a traitor working for the bad guys. I also disliked the the old cuple. but I kinda attributed their behavior to their being old and liking to do things the way things have always been done.

Neverthe less thank you again for giving us something to brighten our week.

glasskatana
August 13, 2006, 12:21 AM
Great work GK. As expected from such a seasoned reviewer. You should dfinitely do volume reviews as often as possible. You COMPLETELY changed the way I looked at, read, and thought about this volume. Very nice.

Gold Knight
August 13, 2006, 12:45 AM
Your compliments are all very much appreciated <3

Will reply to all comments later ;)

glasskatana
August 13, 2006, 12:46 AM
Your compliments are all very much appreciated <3

Will reply to all comments later ;)

I will be waiting. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to work on recruiting people for the FMA project. Adieu.

Also GK, you seem to have higher quality scans of the first chapters, where did you get them?

Luckas
August 13, 2006, 05:28 AM
I will be waiting. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to work on recruiting people for the FMA project. Adieu.

Also GK, you seem to have higher quality scans of the first chapters, where did you get them?

Maybe, they're Viz.

Gold Knight
August 13, 2006, 05:46 PM
Maybe, they're Viz.


They are. I scanned the first 38 chapters to show to close friends in order to introduce them to Naruto, then had them read the rest from downloads. However I won't give them to you guys so don't ask - sorry; I don't want to get in legal trouble. I'll only be showing pages every now and then for review purposes.

Well I said I'd reply to you guys so here goes:



Enjoy it we shall… It is my opinion that things and events do show them selves in a new light when you look at them as a whole. Chapters do get more sense, jokes get funnier (sometimes?) and some of the things I thought were a bit boring, do get a whole other meaning when looked at as a part of a bigger story! After all chapters do have some big limitations, but when you look at the volume, things just do get a certain natural order…

So, thanks for devoting the time to do this GK!!! Can’t even imagine how long it took… But nevertheless, I do appreciate this kind of effort!!! :beer

It did take more effort than my usual review, luckily it's only something I have to do every once in a while, so it's no trouble. However I did have a problem - perhaps one of you could help me out, since I'm lazy. I accidentally saved the Kabuto image that you see for comment # 10 "over" its original format instead of as a separate file, so lost the original page. It's Shannaro's page 12 of chapter 289. If anybody would be willing to upload that page to Imageshack so that I could re-save it, I'd much appreciate it <3


This is probably the best way to describe that chapter, after all that has happened so far in the story, it was something like a closure and an easy way to get us to the next story arc… It did have a feeling of accomplishment wrapped in it, but at the same time a new beginning. Job well done, but that was only one small part… Moving on…

Yep, it was the epilogue. A rather good one as well, because it gave us a little of everything. I have to admit that the last epilogue we experienced (Sai's joining Team 7 for real) wasn't nearly as good as that one.


You’re right on that! It was just a little to soon… But then again, IMO he had to introduce Sai in this chapter for the development in the next one!!! ( I can be wrong on that one, but this is what I mean when I talk about the limitations of chapters. If you look at this particular thing from a “volume’s perspective!???!” id doesn’t stand up that much…). He,he it’s funny now when I think about all the theories and all the possibilities of this newly introduced character…

That's exactly why Kishimoto did it, but all the same he could have given us a little something, a report by Shizune for example, that let Danzou know that it was time to act. Just one panel of something like that would have more than sufficed. But instead Kishimoto takes us completely "to" Sai's scene without any warning, and while that's effective for drama, it does make for plot holes...


( just for the record, I knew he was a boy from the start, despite his feminine look! On the other hand, I’m still not convinced about Diedra… :p )

I had hoped that he was a girl when I first saw the RAW, but when it was cleaned I didn't think he was, either. Basically I was just hoping for a new female character at some point (for some reason Kishimoto kind of avoids writing about women and girls besides Sakura and Tsunade).


IMO this is the first time we’ve seen a political influence in this series!!! I appreciated this very much, as it added some seriousness to the manga, and it helped show Tsunades abilities as a leader in a higher level, therefore adding a lot to her character. ( don’t know ‘bout you guys but I do love to see a independent, capable and determined woman… :p that’s just me! )

Agreed. ^^


He, he, he, the dialog that you gave us is probably the way it happened!!! Nice!!!

There's more! I just neglected to add them...

Danzou: Team 7 needs a new member, you say? How about me? I'm still young, and this one arm of mine can still perform amazing, superhuman feats...
[color=red]Koharu: No.
Homura: No.
Danzou: Bastards. Fine, how about my boy Sai, then?


Ah yes, it was great to see the gang… Much anticipated!!! I kind of always liked them… And Kishimoto was probably afraid for his life, so there you go angry fans… I can say I’m quite satisfied for the new look everyone got!!! Kind of always been a fan of Kiba, but then one girl told me he looks like Bam Margera and ruined that… :-)

Seems like Kiba has enough fans to go around, anyway. ;)


As for the Hinata situation, maybe he was forced to make a solid joke at the end of the chapter, something familiar that the fans will recognize, and did this introduction like that… Well didn’t work for me…

It bombed for me.


But your expiation saves it, adding a new perspective to that moment! Hmmmmmmm….

Well, I was talking mostly about Hinata's appearance, not that fainting scene. That was overkill imo. ;)


It was around this point that I saw a very interesting thing, and just thought it was worth mentioning… That drawing of Sai, when he attacked Naruto and the gang… After the initial attack, right before they started countering, there was a drawing of Sai in something of an artist thinking pose… I just loved that!!!

The first pic I added for comment #8? Yeah, that was a nice pose. ^^ It was like he was trying to visualize for his next drawing.

Well, when you think about it he probably was doing just that, since he wasn't exactly sure of the abilities of Shikamaru, Chouji, and Naruto, and if they came a lot closer than he expected, he'd have to ink another series of monsters before it was too late. So perhaps he was preparing for that moment.

Of course, seems like he decided just to take Naruto on with his kunai blade in the end, since it was just him that came.


Nothing to add on the subject of captain Yamato!!! He turned out to be such a great character right from the start!!!

:thumbs


I actually brought up this exact subject in one Yamato discussion, and for some reason was ridiculed for it… Cant figure out even now why!?!! But, nevermind, it’s great to see someone else noticed this detail… A very confusing image indeed!!!

OK for the cat, but not sure about the Yamato killing Senpai… Still, very confusing moment…

Sorry you were ridiculed. I guess some people are just opininated.


Probably right about that… “New” team 7 did get to be interesting enough as the time passed, but the fears of breaking them are there… Man, was I relived to see Yamato in the new chapters… Of topic, but still it was great to see him being a part of the story. His position in team 7 was the weakest… But he stayed, so I suppose Sai will be around for quite some time!!!

Kakashi is likely going to take over Team 7, though. I'm still wondering what exactly Yamato's role will be for the rest of the story, after the training's over. I think something will definitely happen that Yamato will be thrown into action, just as Kakashi and Naruto.


You did the intro on Sai quite well, nothing to add there… But this observation was very interesting!!! Nice call GK!!!

Thanks! :)


Oh, yea, this was definitely the highlight of the volume… Such a great scene… So unexpected of Naruto… Sudden remark leaving Sai confused… And we know what came out of this…

Indeed - it's surprising moments like these that make me like Naruto so much. :)


A cliffhanger as only Kishimoto makes them… It was great!!! There was some debate over this moment, as if it was better to show Orochimaru in the next chapter/volume, or not… But even dough Oro was shown to be there, we didn’t know what his intentions are… And it turned out that they were not what it was expected at that point!!! A great ending to a great volume!!!

True, I should have mentioned that. At this point people were wondering if Kabuto was going to betray Orochimaru or not. I guess it skipped my mind because I was getting a little bit tired at the end of writing that review ;)


Ahhh, you left us some sweet for the end, GK?

Yes ;D Glad you enjoyed ^^



For a long time I was convinced that Naruto will not become Hokage for his characte/behavior, but now seeing so many people believing that the manga will end with Naruto Hokage I'm starting to reconsider my opinion.
That's the greatness of discussion, they allow you to know to see things from a different angle.

For this I thank you, GK and your review. :eyeroll (I hope my phrasing isn't too strange)


No problem ^^

You're talking about where Sakura follows Naruto's lead, eh? Yeah, that was much needed... the only other time we've seen them work together was in the second bell test against Kakashi, but that was more out of desperation. This time Sakura chooses to say something even though she didn't have to.



geniously awesome idea! An entire volume review, I was so disapointed that there would be no SJ this week but for some reason I still dropped by MH to check things out, and what do I find? I know this must take up a lot of time but I still hope that you continue making these special volume reviews in the future. Maybe monthly or bianualy. If I had money I would give you a bunch of it, just to show my "appreciation" ;-)

Well, if you ever get rich, feel free to make all checks payable to... no, just kidding. ;) Glad I helped.


Anyway, as usual your analasis brought to light some details that I was not aware of when i first read the chapter, for instance, I never gave much tought to yamato's request to be called by his fake name and I tottaly forgot the fact that the Godaime only assigned him the fake name until the end of that mission. Makes you wonder if he has something in his past that he does not fell comfortable being reaquainted with (most of kishimotos main characters do).

Well, you could also make the argument that Yamato has to use a codename whenever he's not under his ANBU mask. Which is why Orochimaru was so pleased with Danzou's ANBU information.

Heh, funny to think about it though - usually wearing a mask is meant to conceal your real name, but ANBU members apparently do it differently.


And also I know that you have already replied to a comment stating essentially the same thing but I was reminded again of that time when shizune went behind tsunades back and talked to the "council", shall we call them? I never thought too much of her before that but that one just made her drop infinately low in my eyes. I would have to admit that I hated her for it to the point where I started going through old chapters and various reference works trying to find proof to suporrt my theory that she was actually a traitor working for the bad guys.

I suppose it was pretty shocking that Shizune would go behind Tsunade's back *again* after she had just become the leader of Konohagakure.

I suppose she's never really gotten over her fears that Tsunade was actually considering Orochimaru's offer, though. Sometimes when a friend, somebody who you respect, scare you and worry you for days with a potentially dangerous decision - even though she ultimately did the right thing, you realize that you don't trust her quite so much anymore.

Even so, I would have thought that over a course of two years and half, Shizune would have regained all her faith in Tsunade again. But I guess not.


I also disliked the the old cuple. but I kinda attributed their behavior to their being old and liking to do things the way things have always been done.

They did seem pretty full of themselves. I was surprised that they would deign to even order the Godaime around. Guess they still consider Tsunade as more of a "figurehead" than not. (But that's what makes that moment so special - Tsunade proved to them that she's not.)


Neverthe less thank you again for giving us something to brighten our week.


No problem. :)



Great work GK. As expected from such a seasoned reviewer. You should dfinitely do volume reviews as often as possible. You COMPLETELY changed the way I looked at, read, and thought about this volume. Very nice.


Thanks :)

yeste
August 13, 2006, 06:49 PM
Here U go!!! :p

Gold Knight
August 13, 2006, 10:30 PM
Thanks! <3

Sariachan
August 17, 2006, 10:42 AM
* * * Gold Knight's Ten Comments on Naruto Volume 32 * * *

1. An Alliance in the Making...!

http://img141.imageshack.us/img141/1937/handshake281v2qv0.png
Blondie and Shorty - a team to be reckoned with!

Right off the bat, we witnessed the prologue of Team 7's mission to save Gaara from the Akatsuki, and we saw Tsunade finally revealing the reason to Shizune why she was so quick to appoint Naruto's team to rescue the Kazekage. "The only person capable of understanding a jinchuuriki, is another jinchuuriki."

So, just like Kakashi, Tsunade had also recognized Naruto's innate talent for making others trust in his abilities. Guess she wasn't such an airhead after all...! If you'll recall, way back in Chapter 251, (http://img143.imageshack.us/img143/4605/narutoch251p12fz0.png) Jiraiya seemed to almost admonish his former teammate for what seemed like a rash decision - a scene that I joked about in one of my older Ten Comments reviews at Tsunade's expense. Well, our Godaime proved that she wasn't just being silly, and to boot, may have indirectly successfully formed a long-standing alliance between Sunagakure and Konohagakure for as long as both Gaara and Naruto are alive and well. Of course, it was a rather dangerous gamble by Tsunade to be sure... which is scary, thinking about it, considering her horrible luck...! But guess what? Looks like she's got a winner in Naruto. I'll bet you anything that the resulting alliance will eventually play a potentially huge part in the series at some point, and one day may just save Konoha from total destruction.

Chapter 281 was actually packed full of highlights. Besides that touching moment, we also saw one of the funniest moments in the series so far (http://img98.imageshack.us/img98/3369/v32ch28113hw0.png) (see end of review for more on that), a bizarre encounter between Tobi and Deidara (http://img98.imageshack.us/img98/5195/v32ch28116zc8.png) when they met up in the forest (which would be the beginning of their strange partnership), and finally, of course, the first appearance of a new, mysterious character who was well on his way to becoming a mainstay in the series...!

Chapters 279-281 are my fav ones in the whole series (being a fan as Naruto and Gaara this isn't a surprise, is it? ^^ ).
Furthermore, chapter 281 is really important for the reasons you pointed out... it's the end of a story arc and the beginning of another, so Kishimoto had to do it in the right way, and he did imho.
As you said, the alliance between the Leaf and the Sand is something that will affect the plot later, and for this reason I believe that we'll see Gaara and his siblings again in the story, unlike who says that their role in the manga is completely fullfilled. I don't think so. Gaara has to repay a debt (for the second time, lol) to Naruto, and most of all he has to show that he still is an amazing fighter even without Shukaku. Finally, why to miss the chance to make him and Naruto fight together against Akatsuki, at one point?
About the introduction of Sai, I liked him from the first time I saw him, but you know that so I don't have anything to add about that matter (if not that I mistaken him for a girl ^^' ).
Finally, the new team in Akatsuki, Deidara and Tobi, is proving to be really funny in the latest chapters (but I still despise Deidara). XD




2. Conspiracy...!?

http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/9610/firstappsai281wj3.png
Friend... or Fiend?

When Danzou announced (http://img87.imageshack.us/img87/1241/v32ch28118ax2.png) that Sai would be joining Team 7 in order to carry out a secret plan, I can still recall how fans went and dreamt up all kinds of wild theories about the truth of his mission, mostly believing him to be after Naruto's bijuu. Heh. But even knowing now that the "Root" organization actually had the best interests of Konohgakure in mind after all, the feeling of conspiracy from within Konohagakure early in these chapters was still something totally fresh and refreshing to the readers. We were all expecting an uprising at some point, weren't we? Fun times...!

But then again, Danzou did mention Naruto by name here, too, which was something of a red herring. It misled most of the readers in believing that Sai's mission had something to do with him rather than Sasuke. Then there's the part where Danzou's timing here was strange. If you'll recall, Sakura was still on her way back home from Suna, and obviously had not yet revealed to Tsunade the information she had won from Sasori about Orochimaru's spy at the Tenchikyou. Obviously, Danzou couldn't have known that they were going after them on their next mission. Does he now possess Sandaime's crystal ball, or something? Hmmm.

I guess the most reasonable explanation would be that Danzou must have been counting on Naruto and Sakura's intense desire to find their missing teammate, and had gotten information that they would depart on a search for him sooner rather than later. But all the same, I think Kishimoto jumped the gun here a little quickly on Sai's first appearance, all things considered, in order to get the next storyarc started...

Sidenote: When this chapter came out, I also remember the fans all wondering about Sai's sex. Most wanted him to be female rather than male, although there were some who pointed out his stomach as an obvious sign that he was a guy. It was still all quite entertaining, though - there was even a bet by one of the translators that he would shave his head if Sai had turned out to be female - lucky for him that he turned out to be right! :D

You're right, the whole Danzou's plan was less important and less dangerous for Konoha, after all. But I don't think the Root Anbu have fullfilled its role yet... maybe Sai will unificate the Anbu again if he won't die before the end of the story.




3. Making Concessions..!!

http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/7559/shizune282wg4.png
Shizune trying to act all innocent... Sorry, Tsunade's not buyin' it.

The next few chapters dealt mostly with Tsunade's problems convincing first Shizune and then the Konohagakure elders, Homura and Koharu, that Naruto should be allowed to have the freedom to leave Konohagakure on missions. Even despite the Akatsuki's search for the Kyuubi. The funny thing is that I think Shizune was actually already convinced, but she had already talked to the elders about the matter. Oops. No wonder she was so red-faced!

This whole scene, aside from pretty much confirming that Tsunade had the utmost faith in Naruto, did explain a little more of why Danzou would have been ready to incorporate Sai into Team 7. My guess would be that the elders had a conversation with the bandaged warhawk that went something like this:

Danzou: Yo, elders!
Koharu: What up dog?
Homura: You're looking good. Uh, not really, but you know.
Danzou: Shut up. I heard the Kyuubi brat had come back. How is he doing?
Homura: He just completed a mission in Sunagakure and is coming back.
Koharu: I swear, I don't know what Tsunade is thinking sometimes.
Homura: Yes, it's astonishing that Godaime-sama would put Naruto in such danger as that.
Danzou: Danger?
Koharu: Well, he does have that bijuu inside him, and the Akatsuki is all over. They may catch him one of these missions.
Homura: Indeed. Shizune just informed us that Naruto actually fought one on the last mission.
Koharu: We'll have to talk to Tsunade soon.
Danzou: What are you thinking?
Koharu: To keep Naruto in the village and in a four-man cell.
Danzou: Ah! May I make a suggestion?

Danzou may have predicted (correctly) that Tsunade wouldn't have stood for Naruto being kept at home, and decided to take the opportunity to put Sai in the team right then. He *knew* they would have gone after Sasuke eventually...

Of course, we already know that Tsunade took precautionary measures to make sure that Sai and Danzou would be kept in check by having Yamato be the field leader. And to kill two birds with one stone, she also picks somebody who can also suppress the Kyuubi's chakra as well. Again, she proves that she can think ahead.

Your theory is really believable.
I would like to add that too many people understimate (sp?) Tsunade... she is a great Hokage imho, the best one after Sandaime in my chart. ^^




4. Familiar Faces...!

http://img133.imageshack.us/img133/4766/team8and10vv5.jpg
The gang's all here...!

At the time these chapters were released, I thought Kishimoto was forced to show these characters before he was really ready. After all, he would've risked being lynched by angry and impatient fans! But considering that Sasuke was ALSO going to show up at the end of this storyline in similar fashion, I think Kishimoto had planned all along for this to happen.

Anyway, at it's at this point that we finally get to see the Part 2 versions of Shino, Kiba, Hinata, Chouji, and Ino (Shikamaru had already shown up in Chapter 246) as well as Akamaru, who's obviously been eating some biscuits since we saw him last.

I'll have to admit, when I first read these chapters, I was somewhat annoyed that Kishimoto was doing so many "splash pages" (when a panel fills the whole page) of these characters, feeling that it was slowing down the story pace. But within a volume, it's actually not so bad. Furthermore, now that we know they weren't intended to be a part of the next storyarc at all, so I suppose that it's just as well that he did take the time to give them all "highlight pages," just to satisfy the fans. The only minus was that the fans would be disappointed when they realize that the appearances would only be brief, and I think they took it out on poor Sai, a new, suspicious character that nobody at the time really cared about. Heh.

I think I'm still the most impressed by Shino and Ino here. Oh, Kiba and Chouji were fun, but I loved how Kishimoto decided to give Shino a "gangsta" look, and even gave him a little more of a personality as well by having him feeling slighted when Naruto didn't recognize him. And then there's Ino; she certainly looks even more feminine than ever (no wonder Sakura wanted input from Naruto (http://img150.imageshack.us/img150/452/narutoch245p15sp2.png) early on about her own femininity, she was probably still insecure because of Ino!)

Kiba looks more like a pimp, Chouji looks more of a warrior, and Hinata... hmm. Well, it's not that I don't like that Kishimoto stuck to keeping her looking a bit like a "dark, weird girl" (Naruto's words) because a radical change in personality would also be giving us a completely different character. And it appears that she's likely still the most insecure of all the girls in the series, since she still covers herself up the most. Hinata's body type was also probably intended to be totally different from the others. But at the same time I sure don't blame her fans for being disappointed.

I think this just proves that Hinata's story, however, is not yet done. She's still got some issues to work out, and I think the series will focus back on her again at some point, in a big way. She hasn't yet broken out completely of her cocoon, but if she had, then there wouldn't be much character development at all, would there? :)

And then there's the exciting part where Shikamaru and Chouji actually showed us some new stuff...!


http://img155.imageshack.us/img155/1017/clobberingmy6.jpg
Clobbering Time!

http://img140.imageshack.us/img140/4555/kagemanezd9.jpg
Pincushionin' Time!

It's probably because Shikamaru had already been revealed that Kishimoto felt that he should show us something else from him. But whatever the case, I was hyped up! I loved his Kage Nui no Jutsu, which apparently materialized his own shadow into sharp tendrils that could impale a target. And Chouji's "big fist" attack was fun, as well, a bonus. It all showed that Neji wasn't the only one that had improved his old tricks.

We now know that Shikamaru and Chouji's abilities have more to do with "yin and yang" manipulation rather than any basic element manipulation. It'll be good to find out more about that, eventually...

Team 10 certainly seems like it's going to be a force to be reckoned with now - it's so funny how they were once considered one of the weaker teams in Konoha.

I didn't mind the splash pages to re-introduce the old characters, instead, since I knew they wouldn't have a role in the plot until later (I hope).
Among the new design, I like Chouji's and Hinata's the best. Even Kiba's was a lot improved imho. And about Hinata's body, I think she is the most feminine among the kunoichi... she is more rounded. ;)
Poor Sai, I still remember how many members on Narutofan blamed him for the lack of sceen time of their fav characters! I'm lucky though, since my fav characters are Naruto (no need to explain ^^ ), Gaara (the first post time-skip story arc was mainly about him!) and Shikamaru (he appears a lot in the manga!).
Finally, I think that Shikamaru's and Chouji's teamwork is the best one in Konoha.




5. A New Sensei!

http://img135.imageshack.us/img135/4220/yamatoog1.jpg
You just knew he was gonna be cool.

Yamato taichou is quite possibly the best new character to have appeared in the series since Jiraiya. It's interesting that Kishimoto has such a knack for writing sensei-type characters. (I'll be commenting on Yamato's awesomeness more at the end of the review.)

It was also good timing as well, because Yamato provided a nice alternate "new character" for fans to also get used to while they also had to deal with Sai at this point in the story. At the very least, we had somebody who was cool right off the bat. That's probably why Kishimoto worked so hard at having Yamato be both impressive and personable quickly instead of allowing his character to slowly develop like Sai. Although even now in recent chapters, Yamato continues to surprise us with something neat almost every week. Guess you just can't keep a good character down.


http://img140.imageshack.us/img140/8616/cageof8.jpg
Don't mess with him. He'll take you to the woodshed.

For a while, I even became as much of a fan of Yamato as I am of Kakashi. Hopefully we do get to see more of the Konohagakure jounins, because Kishimoto certainly does a good job with adult characters.

Sidenote: Just something I find interesting, but Tsunade assigned Tenzou his alias ego "Yamato" only for the duration of his mission with Team 7, yet even after its conclusion, Yamato still prefers that Kakashi call him by his codename. I suppose it's for whenever Yamato isn't working with the ANBU, but I tend to think he actually likes that name better than his own. XD

I'm neutral about Yamato. He isn't among my favourite characters but I don't despise him, either, as too many people do. I think his introduction and his role in the story is really important though, and I wouldn't mind to have him around for another volume or two (yes, even if he takes Kakashi's place).
The things I like most about Yamato are his alias (but I'm growing curious about his real name, "Tenzou"... it must have some hidden meaning!) and his mokuton ninjutsu.




6. The Resolve of "Roots"...!

http://img141.imageshack.us/img141/8908/rootgc6.jpg
On guard!

We also got to learn more about the "Roots" organization in Chapter 285 when Sai's senpai came calling. Guess now we know the truth of the statement, "That which supports the great tree of Konoha, unseen from within the ground, is the resolve of our organization, Roots." They did indeed have Konoha's best interests in mind. Yeah, it's a vigilante group that works under the nose of the true government, but it feels pretty appropriate in a world of clandestine organizations.

And we also know what was concealed in the letter that he gave to Sai, and why Sai gave a dubious look (http://img83.imageshack.us/img83/3913/v32ch28509sn6.png) when he realized what it was. (http://img86.imageshack.us/img86/3266/narutov34ch301p12fs2.png) I would have, too!

There's one thing, though. In order to keep up the drama, Kishimoto did have Senpai say THIS...


http://img149.imageshack.us/img149/8039/failurejf7.jpg
Apparently, it was...

...so gee, since Sai obviously didn't catch Sasuke, what would his punishment be? Hmm? And Danzou even let him stay with Team 7 as per his request, too. Tsk tsk.

Guess they did tolerate it this time... or were they just afraid that they couldn't stop Sai from doing what he wanted, especially with his newfound friends? He is pretty capable, after all, of reneging on the "Roots" completely and being able to expose them completely to the Godaime. Although, if Yamato had already filed about Sai's connection to the "Roots" in his report... it all kind of leads me to think that Danzou may have wanted to stay low for a while and just let Sai have his way Hmm.

And then there's still the question of the cat hiding in the bushes. (http://img149.imageshack.us/img149/442/v32ch28510yf4.png) I still firmly believe that wasn't just a cat, and was actually one of Yamato's summonings. Why, you ask?

Well, because we did see Yamato searching through Sai's things at the hot springs, and Senpai's mask was lying on the table. (http://img89.imageshack.us/img89/4578/v32ch28617vn0.png) Alright, it may have been Sai's, especially since it was right by his bag, and all the members of the "Roots" might wear these masks. Still, I can't help but feel that Yamato taichou had a run-in with Senpai before Team 7 even left on their mission, and while he wasn't able to get any information from him, they did have a battle, and Yamato won. In any case, don't expect to see Senpai again. If he shows up, I'm probably wrong.

Again, imho the Root Anbu will be involved into the plot again, later... about the cat, I think it was a Yamato's summon, too. We'll know soon or later, Kishimoto doesn't left his hints unexplained.




7. Bad First Impressions.

http://img157.imageshack.us/img157/2487/suckerpunchci1.jpg
Amazing Sai didn't lose any teeth here.

As we all know, Sai had a pretty rough time trying to fit in with Team 7. Being able to smile genuinely was the last thing he really needed to worry about, 'cause he sure didn't have any social grace whatsoever.

But it wasn't just Sai that made a bad impression. Yamato came in fully expecting to see two very outstanding students based on his respect for Kakashi, and found two very temperental brats. Ouch.


http://img101.imageshack.us/img101/9171/scarymodehy5.jpg
Scary, isn't he? XD

So you can't really blame him for going the "Reign of Terror" routine. But it's all good and dynamic writing, though, so I liked it. After all, why should the Akatsuki hog all the fun in having bizarre teams?

Here we had four very different characters who were trying to work together. A strict taskmaster, an intense former troublemaker, an emotional kunoichi, and a detached assassin. When you think about it, even the original Team 7, with Kakashi and Sasuke, had less trouble getting to know each other. And something tells me THAT'S exactly why Kishimoto wanted to shake things up in the series a bit, having Sasuke depart Konohagakure, and Kakashi so often hospitalized. In order to keep the story interesting, Kishimoto knew he had to break up the team at some point and create new teams, and he had planned to do that from the beginning, because Sasuke did get his curse mark early on.

Of course, now the "new" Team 7 seems to be getting along well enough, but don't be surprised if Kishimoto also intends to break it up all over again at some point. Of course, since he seems to be starting to put the focus on other teams a little more, this version of Team 7 might be safe... for now!

I don't think Team 7 will change agan, unless Sasuke comes back.
I like the new team more though, since I like Sai more than Sasuke, and even if Kakashi is one of my favs I can bear not having him in each chapter.
Even if Sai gets along well with Naruto and Sakura now, I think the team still feels new and refreshing, since he's really different from Sasuke (and thanks to the other new character, Yamato, too).




8. Getting to Know an "Emotionless" Boy.

http://img138.imageshack.us/img138/5949/saiuf3.jpg
So distant, he doesn't even care that he's dripping ink on himself.

Alright, I've waited long enough to talk more about Sai here, who was obviously the centerpiece of the whole story... at least until Sasuke showed up. I waited because it took quite a while for the readers to get to finally understand Sai better, too - which we started to do a bit more when Sakura had the conversation with him at the docks. I'll be honest here. I initially didn't think much about Sai, the first time we were introduced to him, believing that he would soon become a little-used secondary character or even be killed.

Why? Well, he had all the makings of a villain - he seemed cold and distant, he was assigned a covert mission from a mysterious organization that seemed to be up to no good, and I've never seen a character insulting a protagonist's genitals and getting away with it! XD And even if he did eventually become good aligned, he didn't seem to have much of a future in Team 7 what with Sasuke possibly coming back at some point. In which case, I fully saw Sai sacrificing his life in much the same matter as Haku. But by the end of the volume, though, it had become clear that our new boy was meant to have a meaningful relationship with Naruto and Sakura, and in two volumes even more than a temporary teammate. Surprise, surprise...!

So now on re-reading the chapters in this volume and knowing how Sai was going to continue being a big part of the series, I do enjoy them a little more now. I don't feel as much anymore that Sai was a character just waiting to be written out. And it's always especially amusing to see again the first words Sai ever said to Naruto in particular...!


http://img95.imageshack.us/img95/6132/saichinpoej4.jpg
Easily the best taunt in the series thus far! XD

You know, for a guy who felt "nothing" at the time, he sure had a knack for getting others all heated up around him. But it even seemed like he was enjoying taunting them. Amusement is an emotion, isn't it? So these scenes sent me mixed signals the first time I read these chapters - is he devoid of emotion or what? I guess now we know he really wasn't as much as he was just depressed over the death of his brother without even knowing it. Withdrawal, depersonalization, unreality, and an anesthetizing of affect - all classic symptoms of grief. Sai had said here that he felt nothing when his brother died, but he quite likely was shell-shocked. He wasn't able to smile from the heart, but I don't think anybody can when they've lost all hope - and especially when it's only been a few years since their dream was shattered. So I can relate to him a bit more now knowing about his history, and these chapters are more fun to read now that we're not so puzzled by his attitude.

It was also still quite the contrast - Naruto and Sai - passion and apathy - and it's pretty fun to experience that all over again. The way Sai would always set Naruto off was completely different from how Sasuke did it. Naruto wanted more attention and recognition from Sasuke, but from Sai, he would just soon rather him keeping his mouth closed than not. Funny, eh?


http://img153.imageshack.us/img153/622/friendlv6.jpg
Aw, he wants to be your friend.

Gotta give Kishimoto some more credit here. By having Sai be such a strong but empty character to begin with, our manga-ka did a very unique introduction. Through their conversations, Sakura and Naruto actually molded Sai from a faceless killer to a dependable friend. Usually, any new supporting cast, you know, are supported to add to the main characters, not the other way around so much. So it was a totally different approach.

Also a slower process than usually seen in any manga to be sure, but a little more realistic than all these "sudden moments of enlightment" that change people without any warning (yes Sai had his own "moment" later on, but that was after a LOT of talking, wasn't it...)

Some people may see Sakura's conversation with Sai at the docks a little boring, but in the long run, when read with other chapters, and knowing what will happen, it's a much more enjoyable and makes more sense why Kishimoto would do a chapter like that. People aren't so easily changed, after all. One has to make an attempt to know them, first.


http://img139.imageshack.us/img139/8707/inkui6.jpg
Art knows no bounds...!

Now for his abilities! Well, now we have a character with the ability to bring "ink" to life through his drawings. You'd think that'd be something new in the series, but two Akatsuki "artists" were also introduced in Part 2 - Deidara, through his exploding clay creations and Sasori with his army of puppets. And now we have Sai, the inking wonder. You gotta wonder why Kishimoto all of a sudden went that route for a while, but at least he got it out of his system all at once, I suppose. Doesn't look like we're going to get any more "artists" now.

Even though any more artists would have been overkill after Sai, it was still a nice piece of ironic writing, to have an artist needing some kind of identity (though it's probably been done before).

Strangely, Sai's "drawings" seem to have the same look of the Nibi (http://img100.imageshack.us/img100/5145/ch313ukpage0809nt6.png), although the latter seems much in sharper focus. Wonder if there's anything to that...

As you like Yamato most of all the new (and still alive) characters, Sai is the one who takes that place for me.
If he'll keep growing on me in the next chapters, he could even enter in my top-10! I like his looks, personality (he changed, but the personality his still there... only he acts in a good way now), role in the story, technique and his character development too. Some people say that he changed too quickly, but I reply that there wasn't so much to change to begin with. He was shoked by his "brother"'s death, and was trained to be emotionless by Root Anbu, but other than that he didn't have an as tragic past as other characters as Gaara.
I'm completely satisfated with Kishimoto's work on this character, so far.




9. What Would You Do to Save a Friend?

http://img147.imageshack.us/img147/9057/passiongz2.jpg
Wasn't expecting that, huh, Sai...!

Most fans might allude to the moment where Sakura lectured to Sai about the importance of bonds in Orochimaru's lair as the reason that he finally regained his emotions and the desire to do something for himself. But it actually started way before that.

Throughout the volume, Naruto had been acting somewhat like a spoiled brat and always complaining about Sai, making it known that he wanted nothing to do with him. His distaste for Sai was so strong that I wouldn't have been surprised to see him leap at him, strangle him with his hands, and tear his throat out with his teeth. So the moment where he, instead of doing just that in response to one of Sai's taunts (http://img147.imageshack.us/img147/3528/v32ch28815xg0.png), decides to declare that he would do anything, including working with Sai, if it meant getting his friend back - it was one of the MOST poignant scenes in the series so far. It stunned me. It impressed me. You could make the argument that it was quite possibly Naruto's most mature moment in the whole series.

If Kishimoto really wanted to get across a question of just how far you would go for a friend, he sure accomplished that here, and in spades. It's this one scene that literally "made" the whole volume for me! Just as I was starting to have some doubts about Naruto ever being a candidate for Hokage, just one sentence regained my whole faith in him as a worthy protagonist. Now that's dramatic writing for you.


http://img87.imageshack.us/img87/5290/lowlifemq4.jpg
I can just see Yamato getting all teary-eyed here.

It even impressed Sakura enough to quickly follow suit and say the same thing - and when was the last time you saw Sakura being inspired by something Naruto said to that extent?

Well, never. Yep. This is the first time.

Even though they came out of this mission having failed at their objective, I think Sakura came out of it with a whole lot more respect for Naruto than ever. I've always often wondered how Naruto could possibly become the Hokage if he's never considered a leader in his own team. But with more moments like these, it won't be very long at all.

To be honest, even before Sai's chaged for the good I agreed more with him than with Naruto (or Sakura) about Sasuke. But I thought that Naruto was doing the right thing anyway, trying everything to save one person he considers his first and best friend.
I don't know if Naruto will save Sasuke later, or if Kishimoto will take a completely different approach showing Naruto's maturity to accept the loss of a former friend; anyway, one who has regrets can't be a good Hokage... What I'm trying to say is that Naruto must resolve his story with Sasuke and that it's good for the plot even if the relationship firends/rivals never interested me too much in the first place. If it was for me, I would find a real best friend in Gaara, but seeing the matter from Naruto's POV I can understand why he goes so far for Sasuke, too.
About Sakura's behaviour, she sounds too much like Naruto sometimes, but like a watered-down version of him. This is why I don't really like her... she doesn't stand enough as a character, not having a really original personality. I would like to see more inner-Sakura scenes from her... those were really funny. ^^




10. Old Enemies...!

http://img100.imageshack.us/img100/8864/kabuorobh5.jpg
Uh-oh, they're back...!

The volume certainly ended on quite a nice cliffhanger, when Yamato, disguised as Sasori, discovered at the Tenchikyou that the spy was none other than Kabuto, followed quickly by a wonderfully drawn double spread, in which we see that all along, Orochimaru was lurking close by and just waiting for the right moment to strike...!

It's that kinda stuff that makes you want to come back for more. ;)

RATING: 4 out of 5. While it started great and also ended with a bang, it was still not one of the most exciting volumes ever, especially as most of the time, readers were struggling with having to deal with understanding Sai. The scene between Sakura and Sai, especially, felt a little bit dragged out. The comedy here and there and the poignant moments at the end of the volume, and especially the introduction of Yamato, made up for it, though.

Orochimaru's re-introduction was great, and I like seeing Kabuto more in the plot as well.
I would give this volume a 4/5 rating too.




* * * Star of the Volume * * *

Yamato

http://img138.imageshack.us/img138/5373/scarymode2pu4.jpg
What exactly is he doing there with his hand, anyway...

Now you guys know why I waited until the end of review to talk about Yamato more! He's easily the most impressive character in this volume, and ever since he took off that ANBU mask, he's done nothing but amaze us. Not only with his awesome Mokuton techniques, a skill that the only other person to ever possess was the first Hokage, but also with his quirky personality. He's the first character in the series to actually employ a "spooky manner" to emphasize that he means business. Quite effective in shutting Naruto up, something not even Kakashi could do very easily. Score one for Yamato. And he also possesses a stoic but calm manner even under pressure that you'd expect from any good veteran jounin who's been through a lot of battles.


http://img96.imageshack.us/img96/9087/campbe5.jpg
Now that's camping in style...!

But even the most skeptical of readers quickly became fans when Yamato demonstrated, for the first time to us readers, the amazing Four Pillars House Technique!

Of course we wouldn't learn more about his background until the next volume, so I'll save that for the next volume review. But either way, Yamato was easily the star of this volume far and away.

Imho the star of the volume is Sai, instead. If you really think about it, Kishimoto spent more time on him than on Yamato.



Runner-Up: Tsunade. (http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/2094/v32ch28407dp6.png) Somewhat overlooked since her moments happened so early in the storyline, but she proved for the first time (to the readers) that she was a capable Godaime.

The runner-up is Yamato, in my opinion... ^^'



Lamest Character: Hinata. (http://img152.imageshack.us/img152/8224/v32ch28219bf6.png) Sorry, but when your only appearance consists of running away when your crush is nearby, and then fainting when he finds you... tsk tsk.

There aren't lame characters in Naruto, and Hinata was cute! -__-'




* * * Best Scene * * *

"...Even Work with You."

My particular favorite scene in this volume would have to be one where Naruto tells Sai that he'd be willing to do anything to save his friend, including work with him. (http://img147.imageshack.us/img147/9057/passiongz2.jpg) That scene made the whole volume work for me. More details on that under Comment # 9. :)

Mine is, without doubt, the handshake between Naruto and Gaara. I just loved that... especially the way Gaara used his sand to pull Naruto's hand (Kishimoto found the best way to show that he could still control sand, imho).



Runner-Up: Chouji's showdown with Sai's animals. (http://img138.imageshack.us/img138/6696/v32ch2830809sa6.png) That scene was quite memorable, I think. Part of it was because it happened so suddenly without any warning. Also funny that at first, we all thought that he was about to strike Naruto down for calling him "Fatso!"

I agree... but more because I like Sai's art. ^^



Worst Scene: Hinata's Fainting Scene. (http://img152.imageshack.us/img152/8224/v32ch28219bf6.png) Even if it was meant to be comedy, it made me groan rather than laugh. It was like Hinata's character hadn't changed whatsoever. I know I said that I liked that she remained much the same, but if Kishimoto was trying to be funny, he shouldn't have done it right after Hinata's first appearance in Part 2, which was enough already to give her fans a pause.

Again, I liked that scene... :(




* * * Funniest Moment * * *

The Piggyback Training


http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/9765/funnymoment1di3.png
It's so funny 'cause they're so serious looking. XD

This was for me, personally, one of the most hilarious moments in the series so far! Coming off a sobering moment what with Chiyo's funeral, it was such an unexpected sight. Even now, I still laugh every time I read it - especially when Gai does his sparkly grin and Kakashi is just like, "Oh God, why me!" And he takes off across the desert. Priceless stuff.

Runner-Up: The Onsen Fiasco. (http://img83.imageshack.us/img83/2604/v32ch28615jj2.png) When Sai commented on Naruto's penis at the hot springs... I'm sure you all remember that moment, and how he reacted to that comment. The funniest part was Sakura's expression compared to all the other laughing women next door.

Saddest Moment: The Good-Bye to Chiyo-baa. (http://img149.imageshack.us/img149/8386/v32ch28107od5.png) Funerals are always sad, but this one was especially so because we had gotten so attached to Chiyo. Just think of how Sakura must have felt - she was the last one Chiyo ever fought with.

I agree about everything, but among the funny scenes I would add the first interaction between Deidara and Tobi, too. XD




* * * Volume 32 Cover Gallery!! * * *

http://img133.imageshack.us/img133/3740/coversct8.jpg
Credits: Eagle colored Chapter 282, while Dynamic Dragon did the rest of the chapters.

Note: These colorings are my favorite versions of all the covers. I thought it'd be nice to show them in color instead of the black & white ones for a volume review.

Best Cover: I'd have to go with 281, the "Chained Naruto" double spread that Kishimoto himself colored. It was such a nice composition. Something else: the text there said "Countdown to Rampage," which foreshadowed that Naruto would go berserk when he met up with Orochimaru. So sometimes you do have to pay extra attention to what Kishimoto writes on the double spread.

Runner-Up: There's not really any one that really stands out, because they're all profiles. Still, my next favorite would have to be the Sakura one. That's actually probably my favorite cover of her.

Runner-Up # 2: Gotta admit too that the Shizune one is cute.

Worst Cover: I'd have to say the Naruto one from above. That's just Kishimoto running out of any good ideas and just trying to find a different perspective on Naruto, but this one wasn't exactly much to look at - even colored.

Volume Cover: Well, not that I don't want to see Shikamaru, Chouji, and Ino in color, but I would have far preferred to see the "new" Team 7. Especially Yamato in color. But oh well.

Phew, that certainly took some time! Hope you enjoyed, and looking forward to seeing what you think!


http://img148.imageshack.us/img148/40/xpks4.jpg
Gotcha!

I like that Naruto cover a lot instead... it's completely different from the other ones, and more dynamic. :)
I like Shizune's one and Shikamaru's one too, other than the double spread with Kyuubi Naruto, of course.

ibra87
August 17, 2006, 04:04 PM
319 is out, there's no running from it now, GK :p
I found it actually to be pretty entertaining and good (could possibly because it's been 2 weeks since last chapter) so I'm looking forward to your comments.

Gold Knight
August 17, 2006, 06:05 PM
Chapters 279-281 are my fav ones in the whole series (being a fan as Naruto and Gaara this isn't a surprise, is it? ^^ ).
Furthermore, chapter 281 is really important for the reasons you pointed out... it's the end of a story arc and the beginning of another, so Kishimoto had to do it in the right way, and he did imho.
As you said, the alliance between the Leaf and the Sand is something that will affect the plot later, and for this reason I believe that we'll see Gaara and his siblings again in the story, unlike who says that their role in the manga is completely fullfilled. I don't think so. Gaara has to repay a debt (for the second time, lol) to Naruto, and most of all he has to show that he still is an amazing fighter even without Shukaku. Finally, why to miss the chance to make him and Naruto fight together against Akatsuki, at one point?

Agreed completely. Gaara and the Sand will come into the story again at some point, I can almost guarantee it. And good point about Kishimoto having to show Gaara in battle without the Shukaku at some point. It would also serve a good purpose in showing how he still deserves the title of Kazekage.


I didn't mind the splash pages to re-introduce the old characters, instead, since I knew they wouldn't have a role in the plot until later (I hope).

I'm sure they will, but I also expect them to appear in unexpected situations too. It won't be a gathering again like it was at the Chuunin Exams. This latest storyline has convinced me Naruto isn't going to take part in another Exam for a long time now.


Among the new design, I like Chouji's and Hinata's the best. Even Kiba's was a lot improved imho. And about Hinata's body, I think she is the most feminine among the kunoichi... she is more rounded. ;)

I agree ^^ But all the same, even though I don't mind Hinata's design so much, I did think the others shined more when they appeared. When Shikamaru, Temari, Gaara, Kankurou, Rock Lee, Neji, TenTen, Shino, Kiba, Chouji, and Ino all appeared, the fandom went "YAY!" almost every single time. With Hinata it was a big "HUH?" So I do think Kishimoto goofed up there.


Poor Sai, I still remember how many members on Narutofan blamed him for the lack of sceen time of their fav characters! I'm lucky though, since my fav characters are Naruto (no need to explain ^^ ), Gaara (the first post time-skip story arc was mainly about him!) and Shikamaru (he appears a lot in the manga!).

I'm also lucky in that Naruto, Shikamaru and Kakashi are my three favorite characters as well :) I guess I didn't mind Sai's appearance so much as some for that reason, either.


I'm neutral about Yamato. He isn't among my favourite characters but I don't despise him, either, as too many people do. I think his introduction and his role in the story is really important though, and I wouldn't mind to have him around for another volume or two (yes, even if he takes Kakashi's place).

I don't think Yamato is despised by a lot of people, or at least I haven't heard so...


The things I like most about Yamato are his alias (but I'm growing curious about his real name, "Tenzou"... it must have some hidden meaning!) and his mokuton ninjutsu.

Yeah :)


Again, imho the Root Anbu will be involved into the plot again, later... about the cat, I think it was a Yamato's summon, too. We'll know soon or later, Kishimoto doesn't left his hints unexplained.

I do think the Root will appear again sometimes, too. Maybe next time they won't be so threatening, though, and be helping Konohagakure in a time of crisis.


As you like Yamato most of all the new (and still alive) characters, Sai is the one who takes that place for me.
If he'll keep growing on me in the next chapters, he could even enter in my top-10! I like his looks, personality (he changed, but the personality his still there... only he acts in a good way now), role in the story, technique and his character development too. Some people say that he changed too quickly, but I reply that there wasn't so much to change to begin with. He was shoked by his "brother"'s death, and was trained to be emotionless by Root Anbu, but other than that he didn't have an as tragic past as other characters as Gaara.
I'm completely satisfated with Kishimoto's work on this character, so far.

You have to remember that I'm only talking about the events of volume 32, though, not volumes 33 and 34. Sai in this volume wasn't as impressive as he would eventually be in 34, at least for me. Yamato seemed strong right off the bat.


To be honest, even before Sai's chaged for the good I agreed more with him than with Naruto (or Sakura) about Sasuke. But I thought that Naruto was doing the right thing anyway, trying everything to save one person he considers his first and best friend.

True, Sasuke doesn't really deserve all that. Nevertheless it was still a poignant moment, and Sai changed because of his realization that he wanted to help Naruto rescue his comrade as much as he would have liked to rescue his own comrade who died. But I do have to say that I think Naruto and Sakura are incredibly loyal to their friend, somebody who has constantly treated them like dirt.



Imho the star of the volume is Sai, instead. If you really think about it, Kishimoto spent more time on him than on Yamato.

That he did, but Sai wasn't impressive in this volume as much as he was later on.


There aren't lame characters in Naruto, and Hinata was cute! -__-'

It's just a saying ^^ If not for Hinata's fainting scene, I think it would have been Shizune, who totally betrayed Tsunade behind her back. It doesn't mean that I don't like either character.



I agree about everything, but among the funny scenes I would add the first interaction between Deidara and Tobi, too. XD

That probably would have been No. 3 for me ^^


I like that Naruto cover a lot instead... it's completely different from the other ones, and more dynamic. :)

I see your point there, I guess it was good that at least Kishimoto did get away from a frontal profile. It just didn't do much for me.


I like Shizune's one and Shikamaru's one too, other than the double spread with Kyuubi Naruto, of course.


^^






319 is out, there's no running from it now, GK :p
I found it actually to be pretty entertaining and good (could possibly because it's been 2 weeks since last chapter) so I'm looking forward to your comments.


Yeah. I'll whip something up for you guys soon enough ;)

Luckas
August 17, 2006, 07:56 PM
True, Sasuke doesn't really deserve all that. Nevertheless it was still a poignant moment, and Sai changed because of his realization that he wanted to help Naruto rescue his comrade as much as he would have liked to rescue his own comrade who died. But I do have to say that I think Naruto and Sakura are incredibly loyal to their friend, somebody who has constantly treated them like dirt.

I diasgree about this: if you have a friend, if you consider him as a brother, if you have the kind of feeling Naruto has for Sasuke, you should do everything to help him, except betraying yourself, your nature, the person you are.
Generally I consider annoying the emphasis put on certain type of emotions, for example I skipped the part about the speech in which Sai explained Sasuke why he(Sai) sided with Naruto, I found it forced and ripetitive. But the battle at the Valley of the End, when Sasuke and Naruto slowly expose their feelings, when I understand how under their rivalry there was that brotherly love, for me that was a pivotal moment, it changed my view of the manga "Naruto". Sasuke did a lot of things (we all know them), but, except the events at the Valley of the End, he never betrayed Naruto, and maybe never in that occasion, it depends of your point of view (maybe). And Naruto has only one chance to convince Sasuke to change his mind, so if Naruto consider Sasuke his best friend, obviosuly he wants another chance, and what Sasuke did to Naruto I think his something a friend can forgive.
I'm not a forgiving people, much the opposite, I think there are things that cannot be forgiven, but I think that the beheviour of Sasuke towards Naruto isn't a betrayal, so I think I can understand Naruto about this subject. (I hope this last sentence makes sense, I'm sure I explained myself horribly)

PS: Rereading my post, I'm not very sure it does make any sense :eyeroll

Gold Knight
August 17, 2006, 08:23 PM
I diasgree about this: if you have a friend, if you consider him as a brother, if you have the kind of feeling Naruto has for Sasuke, you should do everything to help him, except betraying yourself, your nature, the person you are.
Generally I consider annoying the emphasis put on certain type of emotions, for example I skipped the part about the speech in which Sai explained Sasuke why he(Sai) sided with Naruto, I found it forced and ripetitive. But the battle at the Valley of the End, when Sasuke and Naruto slowly expose their feelings, when I understand how under their rivalry there was that brotherly love, for me that was a pivotal moment, it changed my view of the manga "Naruto". Sasuke did a lot of things (we all know them), but, except the events at the Valley of the End, he never betrayed Naruto, and maybe never in that occasion, it depends of your point of view (maybe). And Naruto has only one chance to convince Sasuke to change his mind, so if Naruto consider Sasuke his best friend, obviosuly he wants another chance, and what Sasuke did to Naruto I think his something a friend can forgive.
I'm not a forgiving people, much the opposite, I think there are things that cannot be forgiven, but I think that the beheviour of Sasuke towards Naruto isn't a betrayal, so I think I can understand Naruto about this subject. (I hope this last sentence makes sense, I'm sure I explained myself horribly)

PS: Rereading my post, I'm not very sure it does make any sense :eyeroll


Like I said, Sasuke constantly treated Naruto and Sakura like dirt. I agree that in the case that you consider somebody an irreplaceable friend and feel any love for them that you should make any sacrifice to save them. The problem is that in this case, Sasuke did not prove himself as a irreplacable friend to Sakura and Naruto. Sakura had already considered Sasuke as an important friend even before they ended up on the same team, and Naruto had already felt an emotional connection to him before they even spoke to each other. To me, it seems as though Sasuke refused friendship over and over - preferring revenge to it. To me, that is not friendship. It's just a dream.

I recognize that Sasuke has been affected by Naruto's brotherly feelings for him, but it's more or less a result of their rivalry with each other, and a growing respect for each other. Still not friendship.

Sometimes, I think Kishimoto's doing an incredibly in-depth look at the true value of friendship - and he will show what it really is from Sasuke's perspective one of these days, after he learns it himself and comes to accept it.

But if a friend ever did to me what Sasuke did over and over - threaten to kill me - I wouldn't consider him or her a friend at all. Love and friendship are two completely different things. In this case, I think Sakura and Naruto are operating on love, and a dream. Sometimes that'll work out, but Sasuke doesn't deserve their friendship right now.

This is not to say that I don't think of Sasuke as a bad character, though - I consider him a very complex, and interesting, character. It's not often that I see a character looking for revenge in a series and it's written so well.

Luckas
August 18, 2006, 05:04 PM
Like I said, Sasuke constantly treated Naruto and Sakura like dirt. I agree that in the case that you consider somebody an irreplaceable friend and feel any love for them that you should make any sacrifice to save them. The problem is that in this case, Sasuke did not prove himself as a irreplacable friend to Sakura and Naruto. Sakura had already considered Sasuke as an important friend even before they ended up on the same team, and Naruto had already felt an emotional connection to him before they even spoke to each other. To me, it seems as though Sasuke refused friendship over and over - preferring revenge to it. To me, that is not friendship. It's just a dream.

I recognize that Sasuke has been affected by Naruto's brotherly feelings for him, but it's more or less a result of their rivalry with each other, and a growing respect for each other. Still not friendship.

Sometimes, I think Kishimoto's doing an incredibly in-depth look at the true value of friendship - and he will show what it really is from Sasuke's perspective one of these days, after he learns it himself and comes to accept it.

But if a friend ever did to me what Sasuke did over and over - threaten to kill me - I wouldn't consider him or her a friend at all. Love and friendship are two completely different things. In this case, I think Sakura and Naruto are operating on love, and a dream. Sometimes that'll work out, but Sasuke doesn't deserve their friendship right now.

This is not to say that I don't think of Sasuke as a bad character, though - I consider him a very complex, and interesting, character. It's not often that I see a character looking for revenge in a series and it's written so well.

Yes, I think I understand your point of view, but I believe that what Sauske did to Naruto isn't unforgiving, mostly considering the rules of Naruto world. Simply we have two different opinions.

Gold Knight
August 19, 2006, 08:52 PM
Well, Sasuke not only threatened to kill Naruto, he nearly did too. The only thing that would redeem him for me is if he was influenced by the curse seal twisting his mind.

In case anybody is curious, I'm working on the next 10 comments; I lost internet for about a day and a half so I wasn't able to really muster any enthusiasum for it until I got it back up. They'll be up tomorrow evening ^^

Luckas
August 20, 2006, 04:33 AM
Well, Sasuke not only threatened to kill Naruto, he nearly did too. The only thing that would redeem him for me is if he was influenced by the curse seal twisting his mind.

From a certain point of view, before Itachi and then Orochimaru, twisted the mind of Sasuke. When Orochimaru asked Kabuto to kidnap Sasuke he said he was preoccupied about the Naruto's influence, and then Orochimaru sent to Sasuke the "Sound Four", knowing they were stronger Sasuke and the impact that this fact would have to Sasuke.

Maajinn_kakashi
August 20, 2006, 11:24 AM
HOLY CRAP

So I avoided MH this week knowing ahead of time there would be no jump and assuming there would be no TEn cooments.
Come back the following week to look for GK's take and 319 and what do i see. Tha i probably missed the best ten comments ive'had the pleasure of reading ever.

I don't really post much on forums (I'm always wrong with my theories and suspicions) but i just had to give you the props you deserve GK. Excellent all I can say is excellent. This has now become my 2nd most look forward to posting at MH

1. New Naruto
2.GK's Top Ten
3. New bleach

Thanks again keep up the good work.

P.S. do u write these on a particular day or just whenever you have time




Maajinn - Yamato FTW!!!!!

Gold Knight
August 20, 2006, 12:05 PM
HOLY CRAP

So I avoided MH this week knowing ahead of time there would be no jump and assuming there would be no TEn cooments.
Come back the following week to look for GK's take and 319 and what do i see. Tha i probably missed the best ten comments ive'had the pleasure of reading ever.

I don't really post much on forums (I'm always wrong with my theories and suspicions) but i just had to give you the props you deserve GK. Excellent all I can say is excellent. This has now become my 2nd most look forward to posting at MH

1. New Naruto
2.GK's Top Ten
3. New bleach

Thanks again keep up the good work.

Thanks! ^_^ Yeah, I'll likely do this again the next time there's a week's break in the series.


P.S. do u write these on a particular day or just whenever you have time

Whenever I have time. Usually I ideally would like to do it on Friday, but sometimes I don't have the time to do it until Monday. So just the weekend.



Maajinn - Yamato FTW!!!!!


I like you :D

Luckas
August 20, 2006, 12:31 PM
In case anybody is curious, I'm working on the next 10 comments; I lost internet for about a day and a half so I wasn't able to really muster any enthusiasum for it until I got it back up. They'll be up tomorrow evening ^^

I'm sorry for your internet, when it happens to me I feel very sad.

Gold Knight
August 20, 2006, 12:53 PM
I'm sorry for your internet, when it happens to me I feel very sad.


Indeed. That sums up my feelings on the matter too.

Look for 319 Comments sometimes tonight guys.

Luckas
August 20, 2006, 03:57 PM
Indeed. That sums up my feelings on the matter too.

Do you want to laugh? Afher that post I opened too much tabs in Firefox, my pc crashed, I rebooted it and I discovered my connection was down. Only now I coluld log in to MH.


Look for 319 Comments sometimes tonight guys.

Surely.

yeste
August 20, 2006, 05:03 PM
Look for 319 Comments sometimes tonight guys.


He, he, as allways!!! We're ready!!!