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Gold Knight
September 27, 2006, 01:36 PM
http://img101.imageshack.us/img101/7479/00v3jv7.png
NO!!! DON'T KILL YOURSELF! I won't be late again! I think... >.>

Okay, I'll admit having considered doing my Comments this week without images. Heck, I came close to not doing Comments for Naruto at all. But then Twoshirou came to the rescue and cleaned some pages for me. He even typeset all the panels. So, a big thanks to Two this week!

Sorry for taking a while again before releasing my review, though. Well, at least I got it out one day before RAW Day! I guess that should help some impatient people wait for the next chapter tonight/today, hopefully. ;)

All the same, I've gotta say this. Even if the RAW may have been uber-LQ, we still used to have so many scanlators here doing some terrific work regardless with their cleans. Nowadays we only get one or two per week. I'm not sure what's up with that - maybe just that people are frustrated that the HQ Raw came out just as they finished their cleans - or maybe they're just busy with other projects now. But lately it's been taking forever for a decent scanlation to come out! For that, I'm really surprised.

I could certainly use some more MQ scanlations for my Comments (they don't necessarily ALWAYS have to be HQ caliber, this is just a review, after all) and I'll be sure to give credit where it's due. Just so everybody knows. Thanks. ;)

Please enjoy and comment away when you have time. :)


* * * Gold Knight's Ten Comments on Naruto Chapter 324: Shikamaru's Analysis! * * *


http://img243.imageshack.us/img243/451/01rm9.jpg
Yep. Crazy as a loon.

1. Raving Stark Mad...! We didn't get a cover this chapter, but this was possibly even better! A full-piece shot of Hidan in his horrifying "grim reaper" mode, as he pulls out a long stake out of his robes and fully prepares to unmercifully maim somebody to pieces. A cover within the story gives us one extra page, after all. ;)

(Why did he not just use his three-bladed scythe? I'll get to that later on.)

I have to say, I enjoyed Hidan's evil laughter of insanity here. I think it's one of the things about him that appeals to me so much. Itachi, Kisame, Sasori - none of them ever laughed so gleefully like that. Orochimaru and Kabuto didn't either. Hidan would qualify as the most emotional villain in the whole series to date, and he comes off as more of a psycopathic killer than a ninja, really. Now, what makes him tick, exactly? And is he really a great villain?

First consider this question: what makes a good villain? Hidan can't just be insane, because a writer will use that as a shorthand way of saying he doesn't know what makes the villain tick. That's no good. First, villains believe themselves to be heroes, and have to have believable motives. Hidan obviously feels that he's out to correct some sort of attitude about causing pain, though ironically he's inflicting some himself in the process. He may be driven or forced to it by his religion, however. Next, attitudes to killing are cultural. I have a feeling Hidan has no qualms about killing whatsoever due to the practices of whatever village he came from, hence the talk about "divine judgment." Finally, A good villain is a smart villain and must act plausibly. Not sure Hidan qualifies here, but we'll see.


http://img291.imageshack.us/img291/2694/02pu6.jpg
No more nice guy.

2. Asuma Means Business...! Heh, I don't blame Asuma for getting even more serious here, after being surprised by getting burnt in the last chapter. I had predicted a while ago (although not in one of my Comments) that Asuma would have by now learned how to extend the blades of his brass knuckles even further than when he fought Itachi and Kisame. Although I had initially thought that the edges would also be along Asuma's forearms and he would be a bit more Wolverine-like, but it didn't turn out that way.

All the same, imagine if the blade had been as long as a sabre when Asuma sliced Kisame's face, and I'm not so sure that Kisame wouldn't have been fishfood at that point!


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That's gotta hurt.

3. A True Mascohist...! And here we come back to exactly why Hidan took out that stake. Why did he use that weapon on himself instead of his three-bladed scythe in order to halt Asuma's charge and cripple him? Something tells me that if Hidan had used the scythe, he would have cancelled his own jutsu.

Another question that popped up here. Exactly why was Hidan so quick to stop Asuma, when he saw him coming at him? Wouldn't it just have been better to kill two birds with one stone, and let Asuma kill himself by doing whatever he wanted to do to Hidan?

Might be that the pentagram that Hidan drew on the ground may be important to his "divine judgment" - namely, being able to transfer the pain to Asuma and in exchange, get pleasure - and he didn't want to be shoved off it. If Asuma had succeeded in doing that, Hidan may have been more vulnerable to being wounded (say, getting a leg chopped off, etc). Although he still probably wouldn't be at risk of being killed.

If so, this is going to somewhat limit Hidan's versatility. If he can't move out of that space, he's not going to have very many options. There's probably something more to it.


http://img56.imageshack.us/img56/6137/04v2az9.jpg
IT'S BETTER THAN SEX!!!

4. Death Becomes Him? Well, if Hidan gets revitalized by the deaths of his enemies, no wonder he's been so ectastic about doing all the dirty work. Not to mention that also explains perfectly why Hidan would follow a religion of carnage if it in turn promised to satiate his hunger for some sort of drug-like stimulant!

It also fits with Hidan is depicted as a personification of Death. Why does the grim reaper collect souls? In some religions it may be merely a servant, forced to carry out a tedious task.

For Hidan it's obviously a fun job.


http://img234.imageshack.us/img234/3718/05uv4.jpg
We already know, Izumo.

5. Slow on the Uptake. Nothing against Izumo here, but I don't think it should have taken that many flashbacks and that much thinking in order to figure out what's going on here between Hidan and Asuma.

After the burn, and then seeing Asuma being crippled, I think I would have instantly figured it out. But I guess Konohagakure probably hasn't had that much experience with voodoo. It's a different world, after all...!

Unfortunately, that brings us to another issue. I do think Kishimoto is guilty sometimes of an overdependence on flashbacks in order to stall a continution of the story or a battle, and he did it here again. That way he only has to worry about drawing original scenes for around 13-14 out of 16-17 pages. That's definitely one of his biggest drawbacks right now as a mangaka, and a habit he hasn't broken since almost the beginning of the series.


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Just stay right there...!

6. Shadow Tag...! Well, good thing Hidan couldn't move from his spot. That gave Shikamaru a fair chance to catch him with his Kagemane. It's almost too convenient in fact, but I suppose Shikamaru, besides the other members of his Naga clan, was the only one who could have taken advatange of Hidan's situation like that.


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Oh, the drama!

Although, we have to give Shikamaru some props for being able to quickly switch from Kagenui to Kagemane and then being able to stretch it out to Hidan fast enough to stop him from piercing his chest. That would have been the end of Asuma otherwise. Also, Kishimoto was clever enough to have Hidan already say several chapters ago that he was the slowest Akatsuki of all physically, otherwise it would have been hard to believe that he would have been so delayed in his "suicide attempt."

Guess I was right in my prediction several weeks ago (before they even set off on the mission) that Shikamaru would save Asuma's hide at some point. But it's not the end of the game by far...!

Sidenote: I wonder if Kishimoto took a page out of Oda's sketchbook here. Hidan's mouth seemed pretty large here for Kishimoto's drawing style, but that would've been typical of an One Piece character. Heh.


http://img269.imageshack.us/img269/9335/08gx3.jpg
Ooo, nervous, eh?

7. Good call...! Sending for reinforcements right before they confronted Hidan and Kakuzu redeemed Asuma's team in my eyes, even though it'll take thirty more minutes for them to arrive. Must've sent some more birds to contact one of the other searching teams in the area so that they could at least tail down the Akatsuki if they managed to escape.

This means, though, that I don't think even if that happens, anybody will die now. Unless, of course, Hidan manages to destroy everybody's vital organs...!

I'm actually quite curious to find out what the team will be that arrives at the scene. Some believe that it'll be Kurenai's team, but I tend to think that won't be the case, because they weren't part of the squads that Tsunade sent out on the mission. Unless, of course, they decided to follow Asuma's team just in case, and just happened to intercept Izumo and Kotetsu's bird so that they would know where to go.

But I think it'll be one of the other squads, and I personally hope that it will involve some other jounins that we've seen in the past but never had much of a spotlight. Such as Ibiki's "Examiners." That'd be cool.


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Dammit, stop feelin' me up, kid!

8. Stubborn to the End...? This scene had the same feeling of how Shikamaru struggled with Tayuya way back at the end of Part One. I actually wonder whether he had improved on the strength of his Kagemane or not since then, but I would wager that Hidan would probably have been at an even higher level of willpower than Tayuya had been. So maybe at first glance it would seem as though Shikamaru hadn't improved at all (besides the Kagenui, of course), but actually he may have. And that all may have been necessary for him to even hold Hidan in place here.

I'm somewhat surprised, though. Seems as though Hidan's willpower or strength didn't improve too much even after he had become the "grim reaper." Guess all that jutsu did was turn him in a voodoo doll, under the condition that he had tasted somebody's blood. I wonder if it was really just Asuma that Hidan can hurt, or that it was just a "blood sacrifice" required for him to be able to transfer his pain to anybody around him?


http://img243.imageshack.us/img243/5339/07v4jk9.jpg
Who's the greedy bastard here?

Well, you be the judge. Is Hidan a smart villain or not...? Probably not. Yes, maybe Kakuzu's interference might have somehow interrupted his ritual, but at the same time the Akatsuki would probably have wiped the floor with Asuma's team already if Hidan had at the very least allowed Kakuzu to take care of the other three. Without Shikamaru's Kagemane, there's no way Asuma would have survived this one.

But by the same token, Asuma may have made the same gaffe. With Izumo and Kotetsu joining in Asuma on his inital attack of Hidan's, there's a possibility Hidan may have been distracted enough not to have been able to sample Asuma's blood. But in Asuma's case, there's no way he could have known about that jutsu beforehand, I suppose. Hidan had already been affected by Shikamaru's Kagemane even before Kakuzu arrived, so he should have at the very least known that he needed help here.


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A tribute to a crazy mofo...!

9. Hidan Galore...! Despite what I said back there about flashbacks being a little too excessive in Kishimoto's manga, he surprised me here with a very nice montage of Hidan here. I didn't mind that at all. Especially since Hidan's been such a cool character so far...! Love all his varying expressions here. Really dramatic.

And of course it made sense that Shikamaru would be in his mind going through everything that he had witnessed Hidan do in order to formulate a strategy against him. For a while, we were actually in his mind. Wonder if he has a photographic memory - seems like it here!

Sidenote: Fnuck helped me with the greys for this image, so thanks, man. As for my own cleaning, I wasn't perfect but hey I tried. XD


http://img146.imageshack.us/img146/5774/finv2sa3.jpg
A genius at work...!

10. What's the Strategy...!? Guess we'll find out tomorrow, won't we?

But just in case, let me make a quick prediction here. I think Shikamaru is going to attempt to force Hidan out of the pentagram, first of all, and then have Izumo and Kotetsu participate by disarming him. That would keep him from doing Asuma any pain, at least. Sounds simple...? Maybe so, so I might be completely wrong. Shikamaru's strategy may even go as far to include a plan to take Kakuzu out, simulateously.

Because if they do capture Hidan, I can totally see Kakuzu yell, "YOU ALL DIE NOW!" and bash everybody's head in with his moneybag. >.>

I also think that the theory of having Hidan taste his own blood may in fact cancel the jutsu as well, too. Not sure, though...

My Crackhead Theory: I still do think Asuma has another trick in store and I believe that it may include a summon. In which case, I could see Asuma calling forth a lion. That's right, a lion. Hey, we'll see. ;) Just another one of my crackhead theories.

RATING: 4 out of 5 stars. As you can see by all the images I chose to post here, this was a very action-packed chapter. However, the flashbacks hurt the flow of the excitement and takes away from it a little bit for me. It's too bad that Kishimoto feels as though he needs to take us through the unfolding drama of Shikamaru's mind at work, because it would have just been as good if he had immediately acted on some strategy he had just come up with.

Predictions: Already said so in Comment 10. I'm almost certain that this will be Shikamaru's first chance to shine in Part II next time.

Credits: Like I said, a great thank-you to Twoshirou for his good work on the images. He worked with a crappy RAW, so the results were very impressive. Fnuck also helped me as well. Thanks to all our translators here at MH again for submitting their translations, too.

Hope you enjoyed, and looking forward to seeing what you think!

kyubisharingan
September 27, 2006, 02:47 PM
Cool GK-sama

ibra87
September 27, 2006, 02:50 PM
As usual great comments (a bit short but oh well :)) I kind of agree with you on most of the points.

One of the things I don't agree on is probably Shikamaru's plan. For some reason I think Shikamaru's plan won't be as good as Asuma thought it would be and (hopefully) we'll see asuma die sometime soon. Or at least get pretty injured before Akatsuki runs away after the backup team comes.

And about the backup team, I hope it'll be Kurenai's team or Gai's. I would love to see what Hinata has learned in the past few years apart from learning how to grow some more hair. Also seeing Neji do some more of the leet Hyuuga clan's jutsus won't hurt at all.

About Shikamaru, I for one think that he has improved a lot in these two years. When following Sasuke, he couldn't hold one of Orochimaru's lowly minions. Right now he's holding someone who's probably at the level of Shikamaru. I had just hoped he'd use another hidden jutsu he had instead of the shadow neck bind that he had used through part 1.

I for one thought the flashbacks were a great thing. All the time when Shikamaru was thinking, all we saw was him doing his usual stance. This is the first time we get to see how he actually thinks, so I kinda liked it. Though it's true that it disrupted the flow.

That's all. I hope next chapter will be as good as this one or even better.

Navid.
September 27, 2006, 02:55 PM
Great comments, enjoyed reading through them :)

Since I don't have time to comment on all the issues you have brought up, I will only comment on the one which I find most interesting, the Pentagram and my theory on it...

I think the jutsu only works between Hidan and the person who's blood he has tasted, so I doubt he can just take out anyone he wants once he has changed into his "vodoo doll" form, because if that was the case I would have thought that when he stabbed himself in the foot he could have made it work on everyone...

Now for my theory on the jutsu itself, and how the pentagram fits in, I think the jutsu creates a bond, or contract if you will, between the two (Hidan and Asuma), their body's are linked... but only the one that stand's in the pentagram can transfer his own damage to the other, and this does not only work one way, but both ways, so if Asuma get's into the pentagram with Hidan outside then he will recive the pain.

Therefor I think this will turn out to become a battle to see which one can throw out the one in the pentagramn and occupy it for long enough to inflict some serious damage upon the other...

Anyway, that just one big fat idea oof mine that will probably be blown out of the sky by Shikimaru when he hopefully will explain his plan in the next chapter :p :)

Also, nice to see that you also noticed that Hidan didnt use his scythe to stab himself, but instead pulled out a stake (don't know where he was hiding it though) to do this... very interesting.

Ayah
September 27, 2006, 03:08 PM
Hi! I know I told you before that I read your ten comments threads but never post. Now, I have :p I really liked your incorporation of images to your comments so leaving them out may seem weird because by now, we're used to seeing your ten comments that way it is. But, imageless ten comments > no comments at all.

1. Even if this page is not considered a cover, I like the fact that Kishimoto opted for a whole page panel to this chapter. You would expect that the first page is automatically the title page for coverless chapters, with its multiple panels. With a whole page dedicated to a panel of Hidan in all his voodoo-like glory, it still feels like a cover page to me except it is part of the ongoing storyline. I like this over some of his previous chapter covers that had nothing to do with the chapter itself. I find Hidan a very interesting character, but I won't go proclaiming that he's a good villain because of your last point.

2. If the chakra around Asuma's knives were to extend to look like Wolverine's claws, I bet some people would shout "LOL, that's so X-men!" I don't know if they'll take it nicely if it went the way you wanted.

3.

Exactly why was Hidan so quick to stop Asuma, when he saw him coming at him? Wouldn't it just have been better to kill two birds with one stone, and let Asuma kill himself by doing whatever he wanted to do to Hidan?

Aside from your speculation, which is plausible, I'm wondering that he probably may want to cause pain ASAP since it translates to pleasure for him. This leads to #4.

4. Hidan's a junkie for pain/pleasure?! :nuts

5.

After the burn, and then seeing Asuma being crippled, I think I would have instantly figured it out. But I guess Konohagakure probably hasn't had that much experience with voodoo. It's a different world, after all...!

Or voodoo is completely unknown to them. I don't know if there's anything in Japanese culture that resembles voodoo at all.

6. I found a typo! Better fix that :amuse Finally, the fact that Hidan is slow-moving has been utilized. I was hoping that this tidbit would help explain why Hidan stabbed himself: he wouldn't be able to counter Asuma if he were too close. I never believed that he's immortal; just damn hard to kill.

7. Even if I support AsuKure, I doubt she would be part of the reinforcements since we last saw her in her apartment. If she were in the 20 squads meeting, she shouldn't be sitting around there. We don't know if it takes 30 minutes to reach the bounty station from Konoha. Give Genma, Raidou, Iwashi, Anko, maybe even Aoba (but is he reliable)? Ibiki reappearing would be awesome!

8. I didn't see Shikamaru as someone with little improvement since he's facing an Akatsuki member. You already mentioned that Hidan is very emotional but being too caught up with inflicting pain to his victim (you know he's passionate about it), I doubt his mind is clear enough to use common sense. I'm not saying he's dumb, just distracted and/or careless.

9. I love this panel! Fitting for a Hidan web shrine :D

10. I won't give a comment since I've seen the spoiler pics. Takes away the fun in predicting. I don't know why you want Asuma to summon a lion. No love for Enma?

I'm being rushed off here by my brother so if my thoughts seem sparse and incoherent, that's why. Plus I should go to sleep. I appreciate your effort in making this :amuse

kiddo7
September 27, 2006, 03:24 PM
I did not comment last week because I felt it was too much of an incomplete story at the time and I wanted to read a little more before I made a comment. So now the time has come for me to talk about my impressions...

Let's see, where to start?

it is always harder to make meaning full conversations when the topic is an unresolved battle being observed. I mean what more is there to say really than: "that was cool", or "that sucked", and the occasional "did you see that"?

Well for my that was cool section I must say that i did find it very apropriate of the team to suddenly attack hidan when they first saw him, especially now that I do not have to speculate on whether it was a rash desision to go into battle without calling reinforcements. We now know with out a boubt that they have already signaled for reinforcements but then also had enough sense to engage the enemy right away, this way they can stall them untill the reinforcements get here or if they are lucky even dispose of them or at least one of them quickly. even if they die, and I am know that shinobi always take that option into consideration, they are still giving the other teams a deffinate waypoint makrer to follow. naturally it is obvous that you leave many "signs" of your being have been there after a fight and often a skilled tracker can even deduce in what direction you left the battle field. On the other hand, if they take the time to clean up the mess and dispose of all the evidence, which we know that these two are famed not to do, that would mean that they are wasting even more time and that the other teams from konoha will surely catch up to them.

as for the actuall fight itself, so far it has been very captivating. This is definately one of the top five, if not the best fights in part two. Chiyo baa/Sakura vs Sasori would be another compettitior for best fight in my oppinion. anyway the action was fast we have many we have had a few surprises and revalations (think Hidan's abilities/Asuma's ash ninjutsu) and we have quite a lineup of interesting carachters in this one, with impending doom theories circulation for various members of this engagement. what more can you ask for? Well, less flashbacks for one thing, and we already know that shikamaru is a genious how many more times are you goin to tell us. also I stil do not see much rational behind asumas decision to rush into this battle on his own, except if he was suspecting that hidan has some kind of trap jutsu and did not want the others to get cought in it sothat they could come to his rescue after. I just hope that this fight does not have a sudden ending like most of the other ones so far. I always fear the limit of scalability, as I call it. it is a simple theory that states that for a character to be in anyway beleivable he and hanyone in contact with him must scale proportionally in other words if everyone in konoha has kept on training as they were before the time skip then even the skill s of those we have not seen must increase in proportion to the skills of those that have been formally reintroduced, but that is not all if the mangaka decides to make ssy the main character(or villan) disproportionally powerful he has to come up with somekind of balancing force opposing the character just inordrer to keep the story going. I think I am not making a lot of sense right now but in my mind it is all clear, if you can log/hack into there I am sure you will understand too. anyway where was I ?
Yeah so the problem with scalability is that if you dreastically increasy the powers of your characters then it takes more and more ingeuity to create the same kind of caliber fights as when they where weaker. because the "awesomeness" of the fights have to scale proportionally with the characters as well. Otherwise it will feel very stale and trite to the readers.
If the mangaka does not have enough inspiration to do this then you start getting fights that are suddenly brocken of in the middle or tottally illogical victories and losses. However, I still have hope that Kishimoto still have a lot in store and that he has not reached the limit of his scalability yet.

so back on topic, I was very much surprised by hiddans new look last week and that is probably the main reason I did not comment because i did not know what to think and i was sure that whatever the explanation for that is willbe more apparent in the next chapter. So now after reading the next chapter, I have come to realize a few things, for one thing both the nibi's jinchuuriki(whatever her name was), and chiriku are dead! sorry for those that where hoping they might still be alive in a coma or unconcious state. I do admit it would have been interesting to see a bit more of those but Hidan made it clear that his jutsu will KILL YOU. Speaking of witch, GK, you where wondering why he did not let asuma get to him, hurt him and get all the pain reflected back to himself right? Well I kinda have a theory on that too. I think hidan is the type of guy who likes to play with his victims a lot like a cat plays with a cornered mouse. He could have killed asuma right away too if he wanted to but he did not, why? well he himself said that he gains pleasure from pain. and considering your caption for that frame this whole stabing his leg to stop Asuma could be considered to be foreplay. Also I get the feeling that Hidan is not impervious to pain (see his reply to Kakuzu after the destruction of the fire temple, I think) he probably does not enjoy getting hurt from other peoples attacks as much as he enjoys inflicting pain on himself for ceremonial purposes.
And yes, psicopathic religious nutcases have a tendency to lose track of logic when they are involved in their sacred seremonies. he probably thinks he still has everything under controll and he is too proud to accept help from Kakuzu, this might be his down fall, If we can relly on shikamaru and the assumption that he has become even more smart than he was before. That said i cannot wait for the conclusion of this battle. I don't really care who it is that comes to rescue them i want to see them fight all out and I want to be amazed at all the suff kishimoto can come up with that none of us have even dreamed of.

Great comments Gold Knight! even if they come out two weeks late, I will still enjoy reading your comments because they add som much to the experiance of reading the manga.

ibra87
September 27, 2006, 03:35 PM
Oh and about the Izumo being slow part, I disagree there. Even if it seems like it took him long time, it's probably no more than one minute. Plus that he had just witnessed immortality, which makes it pretty excusable, right?

Twoshirou
September 27, 2006, 04:29 PM
As always great work on your comments. :thumbs



Heck, I came close to not doing Comments for Naruto at all.


It would be truly a loss if you would stop doing them, thus I hope you’ll go on for a very very long time.



I have to say, I enjoyed Hidan's evil laughter of insanity here. I think it's one of the things about him that appeals to me so much. Itachi, Kisame, Sasori - none of them ever laughed so gleefully like that. Orochimaru and Kabuto didn't either. Hidan would qualify as the most emotional villain in the whole series to date, and he comes off as more of a psycopathic killer than a ninja, really.


I fully agree with you at this point. I would even go so far to say that Hidan is not only the most emotional villain in the series but even one of the most emotional characters at all. Sure we had already many characters with a dramatic background but compared to Hidan the most of them are seeming to be somehow flat for me - and this though we almost do know nothing about Hidan. Heh…I’m cheering for Hidan to win the fight against Team Asuma. :D



It also fits with Hidan is depicted as a personification of Death. Why does the grim reaper collect souls? In some religions it may be merely a servant, forced to carry out a tedious task.

For Hidan it's obviously a fun job.


http://www.gamestar.de/community/gspinboard/images/smilies/atomrofl.gif



5. Slow on the Uptake. Nothing against Izumo here, but I don't think it should have taken that many flashbacks and that much thinking in order to figure out what's going on here between Hidan and Asuma.


I’m very disappointed of Izumo and Kotetsu to be perfectly honest. Since the real battle has begun they weren’t doing much more than standing around and having a chat with each other. Last chapter I still was hoping that Kishi will show us a little bit of the abilities of these two but now I have heavy doubts. I don’t think that they’ll have an important part in Shikamaru’s plan. Their “job” will most likely be to comment on what’s happening and to seem to be … errmmm … slow. :s



Because if they do capture Hidan, I can totally see Kakuzu yell, "YOU ALL DIE NOW!" and bash everybody's head in with his moneybag. >.>


Somehow it would be very logical if Kakuzu interferes anyway. Even though Kakuzu and Hidan won’t become best friends, Kakuzu knows about the many advantages of having someone like Hidan as his partner. On top of that it’s hard to imagine that Kakuzu would let the bounty for Asuma get away. ;)

Hmmm…no matter how hard I try I just can’t imagine how Shikamaru could put them all out of their misery. :neutral

Kratos
September 27, 2006, 05:59 PM
man finally.... thank you :thumbs

Luckas
September 27, 2006, 07:41 PM
Great comments as always Gold Knight.

1) I think Hidan as character is different from the others that Kishimoto showed us until now. Your points about a true villain are really interesting, but I'm not sure Kishimoto will give a good background capable to explain Hidan's attitude.

3) I absolutely agree with you about the importance of the pentagram and how it could limit the mobility of Hidan. But I think Hidan used the blade to hurt himself because it is surely more precise than the scythe. And I think it isn't the scythe connected to the rite but Asuma's blood which was on the scythe.

4) I think Hidand feels pain and his wounds are real, even if he feels that pleasurable.

5) Generally I don't like flashbacks, but until now I found them annoying in Naruto only when new team 7 meet Sasuke in orochimaru's lair.

7) Yes, I agree with you and maybe several squads will arrive together, but 20 minutes could be a very long time against 2 Akatsuki members.

8) I think Shikamaru clearly improved. Hidan should be far superior than Tayuya, even in her second level curse state. But I don't understand why Shikamaru is trying to strangle Hidan with his jutsu when he should only holding him, maybe he has to combine his jutsus, or something along this line, to hold Hidan.

9), 10) I loved the expression of Shikamaru when he came up with a plan, but I think the plan will be complex, his analysis make me think he found the weak point of Hidan's jutsu.

yeste
September 27, 2006, 07:43 PM
Okay, I'll admit having considered doing my Comments this week without images. Heck, I came close to not doing Comments for Naruto at all.
Eeee??? O_o ??? You’re joking, right GK?!


1. Raving Stark Mad...! We didn't get a cover this chapter, but this was possibly even better! A full-piece shot of Hidan in his horrifying "grim reaper" mode, as he pulls out a long stake out of his robes and fully prepares to unmercifully maim somebody to pieces. A cover within the story gives us one extra page, after all.

(Why did he not just use his three-bladed scythe? I'll get to that later on.)

I have to say, I enjoyed Hidan's evil laughter of insanity here. I think it's one of the things about him that appeals to me so much. Itachi, Kisame, Sasori - none of them ever laughed so gleefully like that. Orochimaru and Kabuto didn't either. Hidan would qualify as the most emotional villain in the whole series to date, and he comes off as more of a psycopathic killer than a ninja, really. Now, what makes him tick, exactly? And is he really a great villain?
Sometimes an extra page really comes in handy!!! I just had to say that… And I do believe that it was the case now! A lot of us ( fans ) really expected a lot from this chapter considering how the last one ended!!! So, I was very pleased with this. Also, Kishi is playing hot and could game with covers anyway, but then I guess it’s hard to always do something new and original… :)

Hmmm, he does show a lot of emotions! And his evil laughter!!! But that’s just the thing that pissed me of about him. I really didn’t know what to think about this guy, due to the fact that we didn’t actually see him fight until now, so I couldn’t say if his confidence is based on his skills or is he just another loudmouth. I’m still not entirely sure about this…


First consider this question: what makes a good villain? Hidan can't just be insane, because a writer will use that as a shorthand way of saying he doesn't know what makes the villain tick. That's no good. First, villains believe themselves to be heroes, and have to have believable motives. Hidan obviously feels that he's out to correct some sort of attitude about causing pain, though ironically he's inflicting some himself in the process. He may be driven or forced to it by his religion, however. Next, attitudes to killing are cultural. I have a feeling Hidan has no qualms about killing whatsoever due to the practices of whatever village he came from, hence the talk about "divine judgment." Finally, A good villain is a smart villain and must act plausibly. Not sure Hidan qualifies here, but we'll see.
Wow, you sure know a lot about this GK!!! I never really considered this angle… But let’s be fair, I never really gave this guy a chance that he’ll be someone with a major part in the series… But that’s just me. Maybe he’ll become one…

I was actually wondering about something that he said earlier… When he defeated two tailed beast – Nibi (???) and they had that talk with Zetsou, I think Hiddan said something like “ I’m the only one who believes in them…” or something like that that got me courious… But then again with all that my religion/don’t let your guard down talk, he just lost me!!!


2. Asuma Means Business...! Heh, I don't blame Asuma for getting even more serious here, after being surprised by getting burnt in the last chapter. I had predicted a while ago (although not in one of my Comments) that Asuma would have by now learned how to extend the blades of his brass knuckles even further than when he fought Itachi and Kisame. Although I had initially thought that the edges would also be along Asuma's forearms and he would be a bit more Wolverine-like, but it didn't turn out that way.
I was very amused by this also!!! It was a fair guess, and it worked out!!!
With this kind of things, Asuma kind of leaves an impression ( to me! ) like someone who is/was a real talent/genius but has decided not to develop that talents up to the level that is expected… ‘cause it’s more fun to be the underdog, right??? But, again that’s just me talking… and you know that I am more than capable of writing nonsense… :p ( sometimes I’m actually right! :) )



If so, this is going to somewhat limit Hidan's versatility. If he can't move out of that space, he's not going to have very many options. There's probably something more to it.

You should have put money on this one GK, ‘cause you’d WON!!!!!!!! Nice one!!! :)
***applause!!!***


After the burn, and then seeing Asuma being crippled, I think I would have instantly figured it out. But I guess Konohagakure probably hasn't had that much experience with voodoo. It's a different world, after all...!
Yes, you’re right, I was kind of disappointed with this also… Don’t know why he insisted on showing us this detail this much… If it was to point out this as something that is really unusual, then I have to say that it didn’t work this time… I mean we’ve seen a loot of unusual things so far, so somehow I didn’t see all this as a big shock or a revelation or something that great even… :p


6. Shadow Tag...! Well, good thing Hidan couldn't move from his spot. That gave Shikamaru a fair chance to catch him with his Kagemane. It's almost too convenient in fact, but I suppose Shikamaru, besides the other members of his Naga clan, was the only one who could have taken advatange of Hidan's situation like that.
This is the first time we get to see Shika in action after the time skip… So, like Naruto he really handles his “old” jutsus like a true master!!! And what has always been the best thing about Shika is that his jutsus are not his strongest thing!!! And we all know what is…


7. Good call...! Sending for reinforcements right before they confronted Hidan and Kakuzu redeemed Asuma's team in my eyes, even though it'll take thirty more minutes for them to arrive. Must've sent some more birds to contact one of the other searching teams in the area so that they could at least tail down the Akatsuki if they managed to escape.
I was really hoping of seeing other teams in action here, too!!! But now, I’m not sure that’s gonna happen!!! Too bad!!! I too also wanted to see other characters and their development!!! Ah, I don’t care, the characters in Konoha are so good that I just wanna see them involved in the plot more often!!!

I’m telling you, what would really killed the story would be showing up of team 7!!! Imagine Naruto ( wind powered!!! ) Kakashi and Tenzou showing up here… At the beginning I didn’t think like this, but now as the battle has developed, I kind of wanna see this guys get on their own!!!


I'm somewhat surprised, though. Seems as though Hidan's willpower or strength didn't improve too much even after he had become the "grim reaper." Guess all that jutsu did was turn him in a voodoo doll, under the condition that he had tasted somebody's blood. I wonder if it was really just Asuma that Hidan can hurt, or that it was just a "blood sacrifice" required for him to be able to transfer his pain to anybody around him?
This was interesting to find out about him actually!!! And refreshing!!! If this was a power up jutsu like those we’ve seen before ( which you already mentioned ), I don’t think anyone would be very amused!!! This way’s better!!! And it makes Hiddan a stronger character!!! ‘Cause lets face it, there’s no way that someone can be considered strong enough to be in the Akatsuki if he got his power trough some sort of jutsu power up like cursed seal… That would undermine the whole mystery thing revolving around Aka!!!


And of course it made sense that Shikamaru would be in his mind going through everything that he had witnessed Hidan do in order to formulate a strategy against him. For a while, we were actually in his mind. Wonder if he has a photographic memory - seems like it here!
This is somewhat new!!! And I liked this a lot!!! It really shows the process of thinking, right…. Very nice!!!



10. What's the Strategy...!? Guess we'll find out tomorrow, won't we?
I certainly hope so… :)

Great review GK!!! And I didn’t mind that it came out this late… I’m just glad that you did it!!! Thanks!!!

Raine_Joybringer
September 27, 2006, 08:19 PM
Yay! I’m glad you were able to finish the comments before RAW day! I was also worried that you’d finish them after I left and I wouldn’t be able to read them until Monday. :< Let’s hope the next chapter gets a quicker HQ release.

1. Oh, I agree about Hidan. I just adore and really appreciate a good villain like that, since in a lot of storylines, good villains always seem to take the Darth Vader cookie-cutter shape (evil, but not sadistic evil... as well there’s ALWAYS a chance of redemption for them).

Hidan is extremely different from that mould in that, like you said, he has believable motives- He believes himself to be a judge, working under the guise of divinity. That is why he doesn’t hesitate when he kills, because he sees it as “doing good” to the world.

I think that Hidan is actually quite smart, just that he has a superiority complex and that clouds his judgement. If he truly were a maniac, he would not have such a good judge of his own abilities (ie. He knew his attacks, out of all the other Akatsuki, were the slowest). I think he would also have some medical knowledge... well, maybe...

2. Hm... I was wondering if perhaps Asuma knew how to extend the chakra blade even before he fought Kisame. It’s possible that he knew how, but the blade would use more chakra up. It’s just now that he’s desperate.

3. The stake does seem to be more handy a weapon than his scythe to use. There’s less chance of cutting your leg off at least. And perhaps the stake has some significance to him?

Hidan seems to want to keep Asuma at a distance, so chances are that he doesn’t want to fight in close quarters where it means he won’t have control over Asuma’s pain so much. If Asuma got in close, he could prevent Hidan from shish kabob-ing himself again.

Also, there’s the wonder if it’s a specific weapon Hidan has to use to get that pain to transfer? If Asuma used his chakra blade on Hidan, would it still transfer? The pentagram seems to only be part of it all, seeing as Hidan needed to taste Asuma’s blood to link them together.

I don’t see how Hidan’s pain could psychically become pleasure, sensation-wise. It’s more a mental thing- definitely a true masochist.

4. Yup, I can’t add more to that :3

5. Well, it’s obvious Izumo has never seen anything like this before. Unlike Asuma, he’s not as battle-hardened and hasn’t imagined such techniques to be possible. He does spend a lot of time as a chuunin examiner, doesn’t he? So he wouldn’t be used to seeing such a powerful jutsu when he mostly hangs around kids...

D: D: D: Flashbacks can be a pain in the neck...

6. It’s possible that Hidan would have been caught eventually anyway, even without the circle. He got caught before coming outside, and he is the slowest one after all. And also, even without Shikamaru’s Kagemane, there are other options, such as ninja wire.

7. I want to see who arrives! Though it’s possible it’ll be all over one way or another before the other teams arrive... Most ninja battles aren’t supposed to take that long... even twenty minutes is supposed to be quite a while.

8. It seems that Hidan’s new look is purely just aesthetic. For some reason I wouldn’t be surprised if Hidan did it “just to look cool”. Heh...

But yes, it is awfully reminiscent of Shikamaru’s battle against Tayuya. It’s possible Hidan could fight it off, if he didn’t need to concentrate so much on Asuma and the jutsu already. We need to remember that Shikamaru, though smart, doesn’t seem the type to train extensively to improve his stamina...

9. The collage of Hidan here was rather nice, despite being a flashback. It helps to piece things together. But, perhaps it’s being used in another context as well... like a tribute as you’ve said in the caption?

10. I hope Shikamaru wipes the floor with Hidan... as much as I love Hidan, I want to see more of Kakuzu and his super-awesome crazy strength (which makes me wonder if we’ll see some kind of face-off between him and Sakura/Tsunade).

To the crackhead theory: “OH GEEZ IT’S A LION!” :o

XD

Now let’s hope the RAW and a translation comes out before I leave >.<

Gold Knight
September 27, 2006, 09:17 PM
Regarding all the comments about Shikamaru's plan, I have seen the spoilers (and wished I hadn't, I was spoiled so bad >< ) so I can't really respond to these knowing what's gonna happen. Don't wanna spoil anybody by accident. Thanks all for commenting, though :)



As usual great comments (a bit short but oh well :)) I kind of agree with you on most of the points.

Sorry about being short, I'll try better next time. ^^;


And about the backup team, I hope it'll be Kurenai's team or Gai's. I would love to see what Hinata has learned in the past few years apart from learning how to grow some more hair. Also seeing Neji do some more of the leet Hyuuga clan's jutsus won't hurt at all.

I wouldn't be surprised if Hinata had just acquired some of the same skills as Neji, although that would be formidable enough on its own.


About Shikamaru, I for one think that he has improved a lot in these two years. When following Sasuke, he couldn't hold one of Orochimaru's lowly minions. Right now he's holding someone who's probably at the level of Shikamaru. I had just hoped he'd use another hidden jutsu he had instead of the shadow neck bind that he had used through part 1.

Agreed - and he may have something else. Still, the Kage Nui was cool enough...


I for one thought the flashbacks were a great thing. All the time when Shikamaru was thinking, all we saw was him doing his usual stance. This is the first time we get to see how he actually thinks, so I kinda liked it. Though it's true that it disrupted the flow.

Wasn't quite talking about Shikamaru's thoughts (I even praised that part) but when Izumo came to recognize what was going on. ^^



Great comments, enjoyed reading through them :)

Thanks :)


Since I don't have time to comment on all the issues you have brought up, I will only comment on the one which I find most interesting, the Pentagram and my theory on it...

I think the jutsu only works between Hidan and the person who's blood he has tasted, so I doubt he can just take out anyone he wants once he has changed into his "vodoo doll" form, because if that was the case I would have thought that when he stabbed himself in the foot he could have made it work on everyone...

Yeah, I was thinking perhaps Hidan had to think directly about who he wanted to hurt. But you're probably right.


Now for my theory on the jutsu itself, and how the pentagram fits in, I think the jutsu creates a bond, or contract if you will, between the two (Hidan and Asuma), their body's are linked... but only the one that stand's in the pentagram can transfer his own damage to the other, and this does not only work one way, but both ways, so if Asuma get's into the pentagram with Hidan outside then he will recive the pain.

I agree.



Anyway, that just one big fat idea oof mine that will probably be blown out of the sky by Shikimaru when he hopefully will explain his plan in the next chapter :p :)

We shall see ;)


Also, nice to see that you also noticed that Hidan didnt use his scythe to stab himself, but instead pulled out a stake (don't know where he was hiding it though) to do this... very interesting.


That does make me think that there is something about the scythe related to his jutsu...



Hi! I know I told you before that I read your ten comments threads but never post. Now, I have :p I really liked your incorporation of images to your comments so leaving them out may seem weird because by now, we're used to seeing your ten comments that way it is. But, imageless ten comments > no comments at all.

Thank you :glomp


1. Even if this page is not considered a cover, I like the fact that Kishimoto opted for a whole page panel to this chapter. You would expect that the first page is automatically the title page for coverless chapters, with its multiple panels. With a whole page dedicated to a panel of Hidan in all his voodoo-like glory, it still feels like a cover page to me except it is part of the ongoing storyline. I like this over some of his previous chapter covers that had nothing to do with the chapter itself. I find Hidan a very interesting character, but I won't go proclaiming that he's a good villain because of your last point.

Sometimes imperfect villains can still be fun, though. That last bit just made me hesistate to call Hidan a "master villain."


2. If the chakra around Asuma's knives were to extend to look like Wolverine's claws, I bet some people would shout "LOL, that's so X-men!" I don't know if they'll take it nicely if it went the way you wanted.

Actually, it wasn't quite Wolverine-like, but well, I drew it on MSN to DZ. Hang on here it is:

http://img142.imageshack.us/img142/8780/asumachakrari0.jpg


3.
Aside from your speculation, which is plausible, I'm wondering that he probably may want to cause pain ASAP since it translates to pleasure for him. This leads to #4.

4. Hidan's a junkie for pain/pleasure?! :nuts

5.
Or voodoo is completely unknown to them. I don't know if there's anything in Japanese culture that resembles voodoo at all.

Hidan looked startled and anxious though.


6. I found a typo! Better fix that :amuse

What typo >.>?


Finally, the fact that Hidan is slow-moving has been utilized. I was hoping that this tidbit would help explain why Hidan stabbed himself: he wouldn't be able to counter Asuma if he were too close. I never believed that he's immortal; just damn hard to kill.

Like a cockroach, eh?


7. Even if I support AsuKure, I doubt she would be part of the reinforcements since we last saw her in her apartment. If she were in the 20 squads meeting, she shouldn't be sitting around there. We don't know if it takes 30 minutes to reach the bounty station from Konoha. Give Genma, Raidou, Iwashi, Anko, maybe even Aoba (but is he reliable)? Ibiki reappearing would be awesome!

I think Aoba might surprise, given the chance :aoba :fan


8. I didn't see Shikamaru as someone with little improvement since he's facing an Akatsuki member. You already mentioned that Hidan is very emotional but being too caught up with inflicting pain to his victim (you know he's passionate about it), I doubt his mind is clear enough to use common sense. I'm not saying he's dumb, just distracted and/or careless.

Yeah XD


9. I love this panel! Fitting for a Hidan web shrine :D

XD


10. I won't give a comment since I've seen the spoiler pics. Takes away the fun in predicting. I don't know why you want Asuma to summon a lion. No love for Enma?

I don't think Enma would be Asuma's summon because he did go on a different path from his father's for a while.


I'm being rushed off here by my brother so if my thoughts seem sparse and incoherent, that's why. Plus I should go to sleep. I appreciate your effort in making this :amuse


It was a wonderful post, thanks! :glomp



I did not comment last week because I felt it was too much of an incomplete story at the time and I wanted to read a little more before I made a comment. So now the time has come for me to talk about my impressions...

Let's see, where to start?

Kiddo.. first of all, please don't be offended if I don't respond to everything. XD


it is always harder to make meaning full conversations when the topic is an unresolved battle being observed. I mean what more is there to say really than: "that was cool", or "that sucked", and the occasional "did you see that"?

Yeah, that's pretty much why my Comments were kinda short this time around, sorry about that guys ^^;


naturally it is obvous that you leave many "signs" of your being have been there after a fight and often a skilled tracker can even deduce in what direction you left the battle field. On the other hand, if they take the time to clean up the mess and dispose of all the evidence, which we know that these two are famed not to do, that would mean that they are wasting even more time and that the other teams from konoha will surely catch up to them.

Asuma did worry that Konoha might lose out if they allowed Hidan and Kakuzu to escape. Since it takes thirty minutes for the reinforcements to arrive, it probably would be enough time for them to "lose" the trackers so to speak. The Akatsuki are probably pros at that.


as for the actuall fight itself, so far it has been very captivating. This is definately one of the top five, if not the best fights in part two. Chiyo baa/Sakura vs Sasori would be another compettitior for best fight in my oppinion.

There hasn't been that many yet, though XD Though I have to say I enjoyed the Kyuubi Naruto-Orochimaru fight a lot... even if it wasn't conclusive.


what more can you ask for? Well, less flashbacks for one thing, and we already know that shikamaru is a genious how many more times are you goin to tell us.

I agree on the 'no flashbacks' but I like to watch Shikamaru at work. He's the best strategist-type character I've seen in manga.


I just hope that this fight does not have a sudden ending like most of the other ones so far. I always fear the limit of scalability, as I call it. it is a simple theory that states that for a character to be in anyway beleivable he and hanyone in contact with him must scale proportionally in other words if everyone in konoha has kept on training as they were before the time skip then even the skill s of those we have not seen must increase in proportion to the skills of those that have been formally reintroduced, but that is not all if the mangaka decides to make ssy the main character(or villan) disproportionally powerful he has to come up with somekind of balancing force opposing the character just inordrer to keep the story going. I think I am not making a lot of sense right now but in my mind it is all clear, if you can log/hack into there I am sure you will understand too. anyway where was I ?

Well, I think I understand what you're trying to say, and unfortunately by all accounts it does look as though this fight is going to have a sudden ending ( see spoilers section for more details ) but actually, I find it rather realistic that we'd have battles every now and then where there would be a quick ending. Although, I expected all the Akatsuki to be very formidable and problematic. Well, Hidan has proved to be so far, I suppose...


Yeah so the problem with scalability is that if you dreastically increasy the powers of your characters then it takes more and more ingeuity to create the same kind of caliber fights as when they where weaker. because the "awesomeness" of the fights have to scale proportionally with the characters as well. Otherwise it will feel very stale and trite to the readers.

I agree with you in a sense, although I think the mangaka still has to keep the story in mind while doing these battles. Is this battle going to be important to the rest of the story, etc? So... the Sasori-Chiyo-Sakura fight was important because it served to give Sakura some more battle experience and a new mission afterwards, for example, whereas the Deidara-Kakashi-Naruto battle was not all that contributive to the rest of the storyline, so Kishimoto could afford to speed through it a little more.


If the mangaka does not have enough inspiration to do this then you start getting fights that are suddenly brocken of in the middle or tottally illogical victories and losses. However, I still have hope that Kishimoto still have a lot in store and that he has not reached the limit of his scalability yet.

Well, Shikamaru was probably the worst opponent Hidan could have had, I think. Ditto goes for Sakura and Chiyo for Sasori. I kind of wish we'd get a battle where the Akatsuki would be the worst opponent for somebody, or at least an even battle. It's just a little too coincedental... 'plot no jutsu,' I guess.


so back on topic, I was very much surprised by hiddans new look last week and that is probably the main reason I did not comment because i did not know what to think and i was sure that whatever the explanation for that is willbe more apparent in the next chapter. So now after reading the next chapter, I have come to realize a few things, for one thing both the nibi's jinchuuriki(whatever her name was), and chiriku are dead! sorry for those that where hoping they might still be alive in a coma or unconcious state. I do admit it would have been interesting to see a bit more of those but Hidan made it clear that his jutsu will KILL YOU.

Actually, Yugito isn't dead, because if you'll recall, Hidan said that it was problematic for him to fight an opponent without killing her/him from the start at the outset of their battle. Said it was almost sacrilege to his religion. As for Chiriko I agree though, he's dead.


Speaking of witch, GK, you where wondering why he did not let asuma get to him, hurt him and get all the pain reflected back to himself right? Well I kinda have a theory on that too. I think hidan is the type of guy who likes to play with his victims a lot like a cat plays with a cornered mouse. He could have killed asuma right away too if he wanted to but he did not, why? well he himself said that he gains pleasure from pain. and considering your caption for that frame this whole stabing his leg to stop Asuma could be considered to be foreplay. Also I get the feeling that Hidan is not impervious to pain (see his reply to Kakuzu after the destruction of the fire temple, I think) he probably does not enjoy getting hurt from other peoples attacks as much as he enjoys inflicting pain on himself for ceremonial purposes.

As I said before in one of the responses, Hidan's expression didn't show that he was about to play a cat-and-mouse game, though. He actually looked a little surprised that Asuma was coming at him so fast, and rushed to stab himself.


And yes, psicopathic religious nutcases have a tendency to lose track of logic when they are involved in their sacred seremonies. he probably thinks he still has everything under controll and he is too proud to accept help from Kakuzu, this might be his down fall, If we can relly on shikamaru and the assumption that he has become even more smart than he was before. That said i cannot wait for the conclusion of this battle. I don't really care who it is that comes to rescue them i want to see them fight all out and I want to be amazed at all the suff kishimoto can come up with that none of us have even dreamed of.

Agreed XD


Great comments Gold Knight! even if they come out two weeks late, I will still enjoy reading your comments because they add som much to the experiance of reading the manga.


Thanks ^^



Oh and about the Izumo being slow part, I disagree there. Even if it seems like it took him long time, it's probably no more than one minute. Plus that he had just witnessed immortality, which makes it pretty excusable, right?


Maybe I was being a little harsh on Izumo, but I still think Kishimoto spent too much time having Izumo figure it out. It was just a page where nothing really happened.



As always great work on your comments. :thumbs

It would be truly a loss if you would stop doing them, thus I hope you’ll go on for a very very long time.

I'll try my best :fan


I fully agree with you at this point. I would even go so far to say that Hidan is not only the most emotional villain in the series but even one of the most emotional characters at all. Sure we had already many characters with a dramatic background but compared to Hidan the most of them are seeming to be somehow flat for me - and this though we almost do know nothing about Hidan. Heh…I’m cheering for Hidan to win the fight against Team Asuma. :D

>.> *refrains from spoiling anything* XD The responses to my next Naruto Comments should be interesting :fan


I’m very disappointed of Izumo and Kotetsu to be perfectly honest. Since the real battle has begun they weren’t doing much more than standing around and having a chat with each other. Last chapter I still was hoping that Kishi will show us a little bit of the abilities of these two but now I have heavy doubts. I don’t think that they’ll have an important part in Shikamaru’s plan. Their “job” will most likely be to comment on what’s happening and to seem to be … errmmm … slow. :s

Yeah, they haven't done much at all. *Sighs*


Somehow it would be very logical if Kakuzu interferes anyway. Even though Kakuzu and Hidan won’t become best friends, Kakuzu knows about the many advantages of having someone like Hidan as his partner. On top of that it’s hard to imagine that Kakuzu would let the bounty for Asuma get away. ;)

>.> *Refrains again from spoiling*


Hmmm…no matter how hard I try I just can’t imagine how Shikamaru could put them all out of their misery. :neutral


RAW, RAW, where are you? XD



man finally.... thank you :thumbs


No problem ^^

* * *

Will answer other posts later ^^;

Chiru
September 27, 2006, 09:39 PM
You fail GK. T_T I loved the comments, as usual, but you had no snazzy picture at the bottom demanding I respond.

Gold Knight
September 27, 2006, 10:32 PM
Great comments as always Gold Knight.

Thanks ^^


1) I think Hidan as character is different from the others that Kishimoto showed us until now. Your points about a true villain are really interesting, but I'm not sure Kishimoto will give a good background capable to explain Hidan's attitude.

I wish he would, because we don't know too much about his background at all. And I DON'T want to wait until the Databooks...


3) I absolutely agree with you about the importance of the pentagram and how it could limit the mobility of Hidan. But I think Hidan used the blade to hurt himself because it is surely more precise than the scythe. And I think it isn't the scythe connected to the rite but Asuma's blood which was on the scythe.

I suppose it would have been awkward trying to injure yourself with a scythe, heh.


4) I think Hidand feels pain and his wounds are real, even if he feels that pleasurable.

Actually I wonder if that's the case... I don't think he feels any pain at all, but it seems as though he was saying that the vital points was what gave him the most pleasure.



7) Yes, I agree with you and maybe several squads will arrive together, but 20 minutes could be a very long time against 2 Akatsuki members.

We'll see.


8) I think Shikamaru clearly improved. Hidan should be far superior than Tayuya, even in her second level curse state. But I don't understand why Shikamaru is trying to strangle Hidan with his jutsu when he should only holding him, maybe he has to combine his jutsus, or something along this line, to hold Hidan.

Makes me wonder how big the power gap is from Level 2 curse state to an Akatsuki...


9), 10) I loved the expression of Shikamaru when he came up with a plan, but I think the plan will be complex, his analysis make me think he found the weak point of Hidan's jutsu.


Yup, I felt that way too. And he didn't even have to do the usual meditation stance :fan[br]Posted on: September 27, 2006, 10:54:23 PM_________________________________________________

You fail GK. T_T I loved the comments, as usual, but you had no snazzy picture at the bottom demanding I respond.


XD Actually you know what. It was supposed to be that Izumo pic at first. But I forgot, and turned it into a Comment of its own. By then, it was too late to ask Twoshirou to clean something else. Oh well.

I was wondering if anybody would notice though :fan[br]Posted on: September 27, 2006, 10:55:18 PM_________________________________________________

Eeee??? O_o ??? You’re joking, right GK?!

Nope. I really came close this time around. Because it was already almost RAW Day, and I doubted that anybody would care enough by this time to give this thread any attention. Looks like I was wrong though :fan

Still, I think Twoshirou helped a lot by giving us some great images to inspire comments, I think.


Sometimes an extra page really comes in handy!!! I just had to say that… And I do believe that it was the case now! A lot of us ( fans ) really expected a lot from this chapter considering how the last one ended!!! So, I was very pleased with this. Also, Kishi is playing hot and could game with covers anyway, but then I guess it’s hard to always do something new and original… :)

Heh, yup.


Hmmm, he does show a lot of emotions! And his evil laughter!!! But that’s just the thing that pissed me of about him. I really didn’t know what to think about this guy, due to the fact that we didn’t actually see him fight until now, so I couldn’t say if his confidence is based on his skills or is he just another loudmouth. I’m still not entirely sure about this…
Wow, you sure know a lot about this GK!!! I never really considered this angle… But let’s be fair, I never really gave this guy a chance that he’ll be someone with a major part in the series… But that’s just me. Maybe he’ll become one…

Well, you'll be glad soon, I have a feeling...


I was actually wondering about something that he said earlier… When he defeated two tailed beast – Nibi (???) and they had that talk with Zetsou, I think Hiddan said something like “ I’m the only one who believes in them…” or something like that that got me courious… But then again with all that my religion/don’t let your guard down talk, he just lost me!!!

? You'd have to search down the exact line for me, sorry. Not sure what you're talking about.


I was very amused by this also!!! It was a fair guess, and it worked out!!!
With this kind of things, Asuma kind of leaves an impression ( to me! ) like someone who is/was a real talent/genius but has decided not to develop that talents up to the level that is expected… ‘cause it’s more fun to be the underdog, right??? But, again that’s just me talking… and you know that I am more than capable of writing nonsense… :p ( sometimes I’m actually right! :) )

Lol XD



You should have put money on this one GK, ‘cause you’d WON!!!!!!!! Nice one!!! :)
***applause!!!***

>.> Heh


Yes, you’re right, I was kind of disappointed with this also… Don’t know why he insisted on showing us this detail this much… If it was to point out this as something that is really unusual, then I have to say that it didn’t work this time… I mean we’ve seen a loot of unusual things so far, so somehow I didn’t see all this as a big shock or a revelation or something that great even… :p

Yeah. :/ Although I have to say Kishimoto has been getting better in that area in Part II. Though the "lonely Gaara" scenes was kinda overdoing it sometimes.


This is the first time we get to see Shika in action after the time skip… So, like Naruto he really handles his “old” jutsus like a true master!!! And what has always been the best thing about Shika is that his jutsus are not his strongest thing!!! And we all know what is…

Yep. His mind. ^^


I was really hoping of seeing other teams in action here, too!!! But now, I’m not sure that’s gonna happen!!! Too bad!!! I too also wanted to see other characters and their development!!! Ah, I don’t care, the characters in Konoha are so good that I just wanna see them involved in the plot more often!!!

Well, we might see it soon enough.


I’m telling you, what would really killed the story would be showing up of team 7!!! Imagine Naruto ( wind powered!!! ) Kakashi and Tenzou showing up here… At the beginning I didn’t think like this, but now as the battle has developed, I kind of wanna see this guys get on their own!!!

Agreed. I'm glad to see a different team do something for once.


This was interesting to find out about him actually!!! And refreshing!!! If this was a power up jutsu like those we’ve seen before ( which you already mentioned ), I don’t think anyone would be very amused!!! This way’s better!!! And it makes Hiddan a stronger character!!! ‘Cause lets face it, there’s no way that someone can be considered strong enough to be in the Akatsuki if he got his power trough some sort of jutsu power up like cursed seal… That would undermine the whole mystery thing revolving around Aka!!!
This is somewhat new!!! And I liked this a lot!!! It really shows the process of thinking, right…. Very nice!!!

Yeah, I agree it is nice that it's not like a "Curse 2 level" sort of thing or anything like that. Hidan's still himself, he just put a twist on things...


Great review GK!!! And I didn’t mind that it came out this late… I’m just glad that you did it!!! Thanks!!!


No problem :) Thanks for keeping up with them ^^

glasskatana
September 27, 2006, 10:45 PM
Good job. I have one problem with this chapter of Naruto. No Naruto. Don't get me wrong, I like chapters that focus on things besides Naruto, but I keep getting the horribly sinking feeling that next time we see him he'll have mastered something that is completely left out of the story because it happened at the same time as this. You know, the scenario where the climax of a battle finishes, and it flips back to Naruto going yes, I DID IT and suddenly having a new jutsu. :notrust

Of course, I could be a horrible pessimist. :D

HOORAY for (hopefully) no more late comments!

Gold Knight
September 27, 2006, 10:59 PM
Yay! I’m glad you were able to finish the comments before RAW day! I was also worried that you’d finish them after I left and I wouldn’t be able to read them until Monday. :< Let’s hope the next chapter gets a quicker HQ release.

XD :glomp


1. Oh, I agree about Hidan. I just adore and really appreciate a good villain like that, since in a lot of storylines, good villains always seem to take the Darth Vader cookie-cutter shape (evil, but not sadistic evil... as well there’s ALWAYS a chance of redemption for them).

Yep. There are so many ways you could describe Hidan...


Hidan is extremely different from that mould in that, like you said, he has believable motives- He believes himself to be a judge, working under the guise of divinity. That is why he doesn’t hesitate when he kills, because he sees it as “doing good” to the world.

I think that Hidan is actually quite smart, just that he has a superiority complex and that clouds his judgement. If he truly were a maniac, he would not have such a good judge of his own abilities (ie. He knew his attacks, out of all the other Akatsuki, were the slowest). I think he would also have some medical knowledge... well, maybe...

I suppose a superiority complex would be a problem with most villains, good point.


2. Hm... I was wondering if perhaps Asuma knew how to extend the chakra blade even before he fought Kisame. It’s possible that he knew how, but the blade would use more chakra up. It’s just now that he’s desperate.

Another good point.


3. The stake does seem to be more handy a weapon than his scythe to use. There’s less chance of cutting your leg off at least. And perhaps the stake has some significance to him?

Agreed, now that I think about it.


Hidan seems to want to keep Asuma at a distance, so chances are that he doesn’t want to fight in close quarters where it means he won’t have control over Asuma’s pain so much. If Asuma got in close, he could prevent Hidan from shish kabob-ing himself again.

Also, there’s the wonder if it’s a specific weapon Hidan has to use to get that pain to transfer? If Asuma used his chakra blade on Hidan, would it still transfer? The pentagram seems to only be part of it all, seeing as Hidan needed to taste Asuma’s blood to link them together.

Yeah o.O Questions, questions... ^^;


I don’t see how Hidan’s pain could psychically become pleasure, sensation-wise. It’s more a mental thing- definitely a true masochist.

Hehe.


5. Well, it’s obvious Izumo has never seen anything like this before. Unlike Asuma, he’s not as battle-hardened and hasn’t imagined such techniques to be possible. He does spend a lot of time as a chuunin examiner, doesn’t he? So he wouldn’t be used to seeing such a powerful jutsu when he mostly hangs around kids...

But he does work for Tsunade...


D: D: D: Flashbacks can be a pain in the neck...

I didn't use to mind them at all, but it has gotten a little more noticeable at times.


6. It’s possible that Hidan would have been caught eventually anyway, even without the circle. He got caught before coming outside, and he is the slowest one after all. And also, even without Shikamaru’s Kagemane, there are other options, such as ninja wire.

Maybe so. :/ Although, just how much speed does it take for somebody to stab themselves? >.>


7. I want to see who arrives! Though it’s possible it’ll be all over one way or another before the other teams arrive... Most ninja battles aren’t supposed to take that long... even twenty minutes is supposed to be quite a while.

True.


8. It seems that Hidan’s new look is purely just aesthetic. For some reason I wouldn’t be surprised if Hidan did it “just to look cool”. Heh...

The grim reaper look is in vogue, huh? He'd be popular at Halloween parties, alrite...


But yes, it is awfully reminiscent of Shikamaru’s battle against Tayuya. It’s possible Hidan could fight it off, if he didn’t need to concentrate so much on Asuma and the jutsu already. We need to remember that Shikamaru, though smart, doesn’t seem the type to train extensively to improve his stamina...

Yep, Shikamaru's biggest advantage is his mind to start with anyway :/ Although if he hadn't made that promise that he'd never fail again, I wonder if he would have learned the Kage Nui.


9. The collage of Hidan here was rather nice, despite being a flashback. It helps to piece things together. But, perhaps it’s being used in another context as well... like a tribute as you’ve said in the caption?

Yeah. And now that I know what's going to happen soon, it seems appropriate. >.>;


10. I hope Shikamaru wipes the floor with Hidan... as much as I love Hidan, I want to see more of Kakuzu and his super-awesome crazy strength (which makes me wonder if we’ll see some kind of face-off between him and Sakura/Tsunade).

Haha XD


To the crackhead theory: “OH GEEZ IT’S A LION!” :o

XD

D: But just imagine it!!! Asuma, with that awesome beard of his, standing alongside a lion, with its awesome mane! And the lion would be a smoker too...



Now let’s hope the RAW and a translation comes out before I leave >.<


Yar!!!

:glomp[br]Posted on: September 27, 2006, 11:57:47 PM_________________________________________________

Good job. I have one problem with this chapter of Naruto. No Naruto. Don't get me wrong, I like chapters that focus on things besides Naruto, but I keep getting the horribly sinking feeling that next time we see him he'll have mastered something that is completely left out of the story because it happened at the same time as this. You know, the scenario where the climax of a battle finishes, and it flips back to Naruto going yes, I DID IT and suddenly having a new jutsu. :notrust

Of course, I could be a horrible pessimist. :D

HOORAY for (hopefully) no more late comments!


Actually I think Naruto won't show up until he's completed that jutsu. For change, I think that's a good move on Kishimoto's part. We've always followed Naruto's trainings but this time I'd like to see Naruto appear and do something amazing without us knowing what it will be like.

Let's read about other people in the meanwhile and get to know some of the people around Naruto a little better. Kishimoto's doing a good job with Asuma so far.

glasskatana
September 27, 2006, 11:24 PM
Actually I think Naruto won't show up until he's completed that jutsu. For change, I think that's a good move on Kishimoto's part. We've always followed Naruto's trainings but this time I'd like to see Naruto appear and do something amazing without us knowing what it will be like.

Let's read about other people in the meanwhile and get to know some of the people around Naruto a little better. Kishimoto's doing a good job with Asuma so far.

That's fine as long as in some flashback (actual flashback, not re-used scenes) they explain how he figured it out. :notrust

Perhaps, Sakura will ask him/be impressed. Or Kakashi. Or someone from team Asuma. That's my crackhead theory for the week.

Gold Knight
September 27, 2006, 11:28 PM
That's fine as long as in some flashback (actual flashback, not re-used scenes) they explain how he figured it out. :notrust

I'm sure they will.


Perhaps, Sakura will ask him/be impressed. Or Kakashi. Or someone from team Asuma. That's my crackhead theory for the week.


Probably just flashbacks, heh.

Btw, you need to do more FMA reviews ;)

glasskatana
September 27, 2006, 11:44 PM
I'm sure they will.

Probably just flashbacks, heh.

Btw, you need to do more FMA reviews ;)

oh yeah. I forgot about those. :blink

And it will be better now that TMI is making HQ scans. Maybe you can expect one for this chapter. And if not for this one, definitely next one. Thanks for the reminder. :thumbs

yeste
September 28, 2006, 06:43 AM
Nope. I really came close this time around. Because it was already almost RAW Day, and I doubted that anybody would care enough by this time to give this thread any attention. Looks like I was wrong though
GK, I think you underestimated us… We all love your reviews!!! And we enjoy reading them!!!