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Gold Knight
January 05, 2007, 05:35 PM
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Showtime! (Credits to Dynamic Dragon for the coloring.)

Sorry for the delay, guys. The first week of every month's always a busy time for me, but this month I also had to deal with PC problems as well... Fortunately, though, things are going well, and I was able to find some free time this Friday to do a Chapter 337 review. That's about three days earlier than I thought I'd be able to do one. Hope you guys enjoy it. :)

Thanks to Touch for finding the RAW, all our translators here for doing their usual bang-up job on smartly deciphering all the kanjis and kanas, and Dynamic Dragon for his MQ scanlation, which I will be using for this week's review, and also his terrific coloring of the last double spread, which made for a very nice header! And most of all, to all of you guys for being patient with me. ^^

And Happy New Year's, y'all! Hope 2007 has so far been a good one for you guys. As always, feel free to comment and I'll come back on Monday to join in on the discussion.



* * * Gold Knight's Ten Comments on Naruto Chapter 337: Shikamaru's Genius...! * * *

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Eat Your Heart Out, Bruce Lee!

1. [Insert War Cry!] So to commemorate the arrival of the new year, Kishimoto decided to allude to the "fresh look" of the latest Team 7, with Sai and Yamato as the newest members, doing the classic flying side kick all together in color. Okay, I guess. I would probably have liked it better if it didn't feel like it'd already been done before - but maybe I just watched a few too many karate movies.

Best thing about this double spread, though, is that we finally get some confirmation of Yamato's official colors. But again, it's nothing too earth-shaking - I think quite a few colorists had already guessed that his expanded forehead protector would be metallic silver in hue and that his hair would be a dark brown. Sometimes I wonder if Kishimoto wanted to wait to see how his fans would prefer Yamato to look like in color before actually deciding on the palette himself. Whatever the case, I had been waiting for Yamato be featured in color, and although I had hoped for him to appear on a volume cover instead of an interior colored double-spread, the wait's at long last over, anyway. Cheers!

(I'll admit, though, I got weird feelings about the fact that Kakashi wasn't considered one of "Team 7" anymore, though...)


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Talk about being a pain in the neck!

2. Never Say Die. There were some last week who suspected that Hidan was becoming nervous and suspicious due to his "voodoo make-up" not having dissipated, even after he had dealt an apparent fatal blow to Shikamaru. Since here his skin DID gradually return to normal, it seems as though that wasn't the case, and I guess it was just instinct that caused Hidan to look around just in time to barely escape a potentially decapitating sneak attack. And, pure and simple, luck.

Seems like it's just one close shave after another (literally in this case!) in these battles. Yeah, I know that's the way it usually goes when powerful ninjas do battle, but when it's done too often, you can't help but think that luck plays a major role in whoever gets the final victory, and I'm not too crazy about that.

I mean, I don't want luck to be too much of a deciding factor especially in THIS battle. Shikamaru's a strategist, not a gambler, and I always liked that about him - but he's lucky to still be even alive right now. And he still hasn't taken out either Hidan or Kakuzu for good, so that has to be considered a measure of defeat for him right now.

That being said, nice try Shikamaru. You nearly dealt what would have certainly been a winning blow to Hidan, if only you had cut his entire head off - not just half of his neck. Guess without strategy, Shikamaru wouldn't have even gotten this far, so there's something to be said for that.


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Staring death in the face? That's nothing new for this kid...!

3. Deft of Hand...! Speaking of which, hey, how exactly did Shikamaru get Kakuzu's blood on the scythe? That was a question I had been wondering about last chapter, because I couldn't believe that he had just relied on pure skill and quickness to get that blood on a blade that was aimed right at his face point-blank.

Good and bad news. First, the good news, Kishimoto did offer us an explanation for how Shikamaru got the blood on the scythe this chapter. Now for the bad. Unfortunately, pure skill and quickness seem to be exactly what happened.

On the one hand you have to admire Shikamaru for being as fast as he was in that kind of dire situation, and keeping his composure and calm enough to do something so tricky, not to mention having to fool Skull-face at the same time and keeping him unaware of what he had just done.

On the other hand, it's impossibly hard to believe. Even if it had been Kakashi who had performed such a feat, I think I would have been amazed regardless. I definitely would have liked a prior scene giving some insight into Shikamaru's deftness just to prepare us for such a possibility - possibly even a case of pick-pocketing an opponent - but I don't think we ever got one. Also, I'm disappointed that Shikamaru had to depend on such a risky gamble as part of his strategy, even though it wasn't his initial plan (which, you'll recall, was to quickly dispatch at least one of the two Akatsuki via his "chakra blades" and Kagemane at the beginning of the battle.)

But I guess the risk was the reason that 'Plan B' wasn't 'Plan A' in the first place. Again, though, luck played a big part, which I'm not too happy with... but Shikamaru certainly must have had extreme confidence in his skills to even think of trying it. Hope he's got a 'Plan C' up his sleeves, though!


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What's a few holes in the chest anyway?

4. Leggo My Heart! Aha, so Kakuzu did "drop dead" as a result of his "heart attack." I was wondering how the heck Kakashi would have gotten out of that situation alive, otherwise!

Short comment here, but felt it was worth the observation. Kakuzu had Kakashi on the ropes, and now it's becoming more obvious that Kakashi would have been a goner if not for Shikamaru's timely caper. It wasn't even one of his bunshins. And I doubt his Sharingan would have done him any bit of good there at all. Guess Kakashi's human after all.

But at least he was keen enough to recognize that Kakuzu's body going limp wasn't going to be the end of it, unlike naive Ino who seemed to think that the battle was over. Nope, nope, there's still the creatures to go...!


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Hey, big boy!

5. A Gigantic (But Futile) Effort...! Another short comment here, but worth it to do a few observations on Chouji's maturation process. One thing's for sure, he's still a growing boy!

Looks as though he doesn't need any more stinking pills, either, to get bigger and be intimidating. First, he was able to instanteously increase his size to at least five times (I would guess five, judging by looking at the panel above) his normal mass. And even then, he was still able to concenrate on doing another jutsu ("Mega Palm Thrust?") to attempt to knock away the creatures rushing to their fallen master's body.

Unfortunately anybody with the ability to burrow through the earth would probably be able to escape from that one, and I saw it coming from a mile away that the creatures would get through. But I guess at least Chouji finally did something.

Sidenote: Just something that bothers me a little, but Kishimoto only showed two of the three creatures approaching Kakuzu's body, but apparently all three did get to Kakuzu, as the Raiton creature sacrificed itself to be Kakuzu's new core heart (as shown by the bull mask crumbling to pieces). It's still a bit confusing.


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Don't be all heart-broken, Kakuzu.

6. Kakuzu's Seen Better Days. Ok, so Kakuzu wins the prize for being the most funkiest-looking member of the Akatsuki hands down! He looks even more like a real-life scarecrow than Kakashi. Or maybe a porcupine would be more like it.

I'm reminded of when Sasori revealed himself to Chiyo and Sakura as being a puppet body himself, with metal wings on his back, and said that it was the first time he had to resort to using "himself" since, apparently, his early days with the Akatsuki. Well, I get pretty much the same impression here when Kakuzu said that "it's been ages since he lost two hearts." I wouldn't be surprised if Kakuzu had to withstand the same kind of "entrance fee" the Akatsuki demands for membership, which I'm assuming is a battle with an incumbent member.

Also, both Sasori and Kakuzu, when they realized they were in a battle for their lives, also started to show different and more intimidating appearances. Hmm! Wonder if that'll be true for the rest of the Akatsuki as well? Does Itachi, for example, have an even more menacing appearance that he's yet to show us? Yikes! (Probably not, but it's still fun to think about.)

In any case, seems as though Kakuzu's going to be more careful now and keep all his three hearts within or close to his body for the time being. He's rather like a cornered animal, now...

Sidenote: No wonder Kakuzu likes to hide his face behind a mask, by the way! These cheek-to-cheek stitches can't be doing wonders for his love life...


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How he can STILL laugh with his neck about to fall off is beyond me...

7. It's Now or Never...!? Well, I mentioned that Shikamaru better have a 'Plan C' in reserve, and now would be a good time to employ it as Hidan's still definitely out for blood. I think it'll involve all the explosive tags that Shikamaru set up in the area, though. The question is, how, if he's out of chakra...?

Well, he wouldn't need too much chakra to put these tags to use, if he can still move around and throw kunais and such. Either way, here I think Shikamaru's just playing possum. Again. Hey, don't worry too much about the kid in any case, he'll live through this one. He's just too popular a character to die right now, and I think Kishimoto has too much fun with his unique style of fighting.

And I sure as heck don't think Shikamaru wants to go down to the guy who killed his sensei, either.


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What a way to go out... being killed by bad breath!

8. Trapped... AGAIN! Another thing I have a hard time believing is how Kakashi, Ino, and Chouji could have thought it was a good idea to keep staying in one spot where Kakuzu could easily entrap them all with his tendrils. Oy! Even Sasuke, Sakura, and Naruto in their first bell test instinctively knew it was a better idea to split up than tackle their opponent all at once.

Guess Kakashi and the guys were trying to regroup and figure out how to beat this particular incarnation of Kakuzu, but they sure took their sweet time doing so. Either Kakuzu has amazing reflexes and speed beyond them, or Kakashi was too tired to move away or was too concerned about Ino and Chouji to think about self-preservation. I'd probably go with the latter as being the most reasonable explanation, but these kids really haven't been all that much of a help, have they?

And yes, I know Kishimoto just wanted to amp up the drama for the cavalry's arrival, but even so, it was somewhat a rushed job (again). It was like Kakashi, Chouji, and Ino had just gone from the frying pan into the fire, almost obligingly!


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Kakuzu, you're all wet!

9. Cue the Dramatic Music! So we get a glimpse of Naruto's growing skill with the Rasengan here - and I'm not sure it's the final result of his training, either. In order to block Kakuzu's Katon/Fuuton elemental attack from finishing off Kakashi, Ino, and Chouji, out of nowhere Naruto conjures a water-infused cyclone barrier! (So does this mean Naruto's also attained mastery of water, as well?)

In any case, I've heard some complaints about Naruto still using his Rasengan. I think this is just the prelims, folks. There's still a lot more to come in this battle, it seems, and it would look as though as Naruto's definitely gotten stronger. Which is what a lot of people have been waiting for all this time, so just enjoy the show for now.

Personally I was impressed by the entrance - not only was Naruto utilizing a water jutsu instead of wind, it's also the first time I've seen Naruto use a defensive jutsu as well. And by clapping his hands together (presumably) with two different powers in each palm, that might look good in the anime, too, hey?

EDIT: Yes, I was mistaken in thinking it was Naruto that did a water jutsu, didn't realize it was Yamato. I apologize for the blooper :p - GK

Sidenote: Notice the Rasengan's infused with wind here, though. If nothing else, that confirms that Naruto's probably completed his training.


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All hail our heroes!

10. The Cavalry Has Arrived...! While not exactly the reinforcement team I had been hoping for, I guess it's just as well that the plot gets moving with Naruto and his crew now firmly on board again.

There's a big issue I have with this turn of events, though. How did Naruto's team get the OK from Tsunade after not seemingly meeting her deadline of finishing the training? If you guys will remember, she made the deadline of 24 hours for Yamato to complete Naruto's training right after Shikamaru's team had left Konohagakure, around the same time the Akatsuki started up on the Nibi extraction, and it's clearly been three days since then.

And remember the scene we saw of Naruto and Yamato chatting about elemental weaknesses and strengths a few chapters ago, at roughly the same time Kakashi had pierced Kakuzu's chest with his Raikiri. How the hell did Team 7 get over to the battlefield so quickly? They must have teleported there! Therein lies the contradiction - if they were still training even then, then they obviously didn't meet Tsunade's deadline.

Unless they had gotten the OK because Naruto had successfully combined wind with his Rasengan, but they were still working on fine-tuning Naruto's "ultimate jutsu" while travelling over to Shikamaru's team, which is the only explanation I'd go for at this point. Maybe Sai and Sakura were scouting for the whereabouts of Team 10 at this point, and Kishimoto made it appear as though Naruto was still trying to complete his "Wind Rasengan" at the time, when in essence he already had?

I also wish that Shikamaru's team hadn't had to be saved by the back-up team. I would have liked for at least one or two of the Akatsuki to go down without Naruto being a cause. Oh well.

RATING: 2 of 5 - Yes, it's the lowest rating I've ever given a Naruto chapter. Lately it's just been very poorly written, especially the battle. Though the series has pretty much hit bottom as far as it could possibly go for me, because as long as the art's still up to its usual standards (and I've always loved Kishimoto's art, even in this chapter), my rating will probably never go below 2, but it's a disappointment that the plot isn't as good right now.

Predictions: What else? Probably Team 7 going into action. Of course, I hope to see how Shikamaru resolves his problem with Hidan too, since he's still a ways from the others. Maybe he, at least, will be able to finish one of the Akatsuki by his lonesome self. I would love to see high-quality teamwork between Team 7 and Team 10, but since we didn't see a whole lot from either Ino or Chouji, I tend to doubt it. I wouldn't be surprised to see Sai and Sakura on the sidelines, either.

Credits: Thanks to Dynamic Dragon's MQ scanlation, Touch for the RAW, and our translators here. And all of you for your patience with me this week! ^^


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Talk about having a bad hair day?
Okay, comment away!

Garaku
January 05, 2007, 06:08 PM
Yay GK~!

I have two main questions from this chapter that really bother me. One, if Kakashi had to be healed, where is his wound? And second, isn't that rating a bit harsh :darn?

Hehe, anyway like some others, I actually think that water jutsu is being done by Yamato, since it does make more sense with the next page of him holding his arm as if it had just been strained pose. Also looking at that water cyclone, I'm wondering if Naruto maybe has the ability to release the power of his Rasengan as he chooses? That way for the crater, he released it all into the ground, and for the combo, he released it into the air.

Good comments as always!

Predator
January 05, 2007, 06:30 PM
Hehe, anyway like some others, I actually think that water jutsu is being done by Yamato, since it does make more sense with the next page of him holding his arm as if it had just been strained pose. Also looking at that water cyclone, I'm wondering if Naruto maybe has the ability to release the power of his Rasengan as he chooses? That way for the crater, he released it all into the ground, and for the combo, he released it into the air.


Yeah ..... Ken-san .... I agree with Garaku on this. :o
We all know that Tenzou/Yamato is good at Doton and Suiton and their combination- Mokuton. No surprise to see him using water and Naruto simply accelerating the flow and giving momentum to the storm. ;)

venicia777
January 05, 2007, 07:41 PM
Yeah ..... Ken-san .... I agree with Garaku on this. :o
We all know that Tenzou/Yamato is good at Doton and Suiton and their combination- Mokuton. No surprise to see him using water and Naruto simply accelerating the flow and giving momentum to the storm. ;)


Even better still-- look at the stances of Naruto and Yamato after the justsu was completed.

if you look at the panels with the images for the wind and water jutsus- water is being executed with the left hand while wind is by the right hand.

Now, Look at Yamato and Naruto's stance after the jutsu completion. Yamato clearly resembles Kakashi after executing a one-handed chidori :p
We all Know GK was tired when he was doing this :rofl



Also looking at that water cyclone, I'm wondering if Naruto maybe has the ability to release the power of his Rasengan as he chooses? That way for the crater, he released it all into the ground, and for the combo, he released it into the air.




yeah!! i honestly hope it is so. Because if it is then it falls in line perfectly with the idea that When we saw the crater Naruto was yet to reach the jutsus completion stage. As such it goes that we were probably looking at un-contolled power ergo crater as compared to the controlled= completed stage.

cno
January 05, 2007, 08:12 PM
I'm pretty sure that technique was preformed by Yamato and Naruto, not just Naruto.

As far as this battle is concerned, I hope it doesn't drag on, because that would probably mean that both Hidan/Kakuzu are going to die.

At this point its a 8 verses 2, with both Kakuzu and Hidan being in pretty bad shape, and I don't care who you are but dealing with a fresh yamato/naruto/sakura with a beat up kakashi/shikamaru is not something to be taken lightly, even for akasuki.

I loved this chapter, deffinatly more then a 2 atleast, and as far as the next is concerned, I really hope we see Kakuzu/Hidan retreating, or perhaps one of them (Hidan) being taken out.

Because I really doubt that Kishimoto will take away 2 Akasuki especially with Kakuzu being the important member he is.

conan
January 05, 2007, 08:22 PM
hey GK, I dont usually comment on your ten comments since most of the time I agree almost 100% with you, but this time I had a many different opinions, on points 2 and 3, cant you remeber shikamaru's fight with tayuya, I think it has the keys to dealing with shikamaru's fighting style, first move is always fake, basic strategy, all the first fight with kakashi's raikiri and the mess kakuzu and hidan made was just to test their abilities and get blood from hidan who they already know his most terrifiying ability, and you knowfights always depend on luck, but I think it was more of hidans senses picking up on shikamaru when he was slashing on the last second, if hidan wasnt who he was, shikamaru would have got him, so up til now I think shikamaru was messing around, and about what he did with hidans spike wasnt much of courage, he distantly sprinkled blood from a naruto world syringe, which isnt that hard being a shinobe, the distances arent as close as you would think, and the blood on shika's cheek made hidan think he actually got a very small slash, eventhough he didnt feel when he slashed, so shikamaru made it look like a very small surface wound, up to number 7 directly becuase its relevant, I am going to tell you from my understanding to shikamarus ability he definitely has a plan C, remeber when neji fought kidoumaru he said "I know my weakness better than anybody" shikamaru knows his jutsu and chakra better than hidan, and I think he is hiding something, shikamaru as always expects or plans for something, again go to his fight with tayuya and things might be much clearer for you.
finally points 8 and 9, with point eight, I think it was kakashi losing himself in battle under pressure and dropping his guard slightly, same with ino and chouji, but I mention kakashi since he is the most formidable and you would expect something different from him, I think the pressure kakuzu made upon them and his swift recovery like nothing happenned caught them offgaurd, its possible since akatsuki seems to dig up the worst of all weirdos in that worls, so even someone experienced like kakashi could have been done for, finally in point 9 I think the water jutsu was yamato's and not naruto, it was a comboniation for them both, at alst I still thank you for your wonderful effort and appreciate your circumstances.
thats all.

chvis002
January 05, 2007, 08:26 PM
2: It's true that this is sort of a crappy chapter (except last page). I mean Shikamaru didn't really think this trough. I mean why not throw anything with explosive tag on the back of his head? Why not act earlier?

3: Hidan may be a dummy, but he's f***ing Akatsuki! he would've seen what Shikamaru was doing!

4 and 5: Why not dispose of the body instead of the hearts? Or why not smash his head? Judging from what they've seen they could not expect Kakuzu would go down that easy. Totaly unninjaish...

7 and 8:Couldn't agree more. Look at Ino! It's as if she acepts her fate by not moving away. Why not do some confusing jutsu? Why is Choji not big anymore?

9: Isn't that a little to well teamwork considering that naruto only masterd his jutsu probably like an hour ago?

10: Probably only god page on this chapter, even if kakashi looks totaly disorientated. Naruto got some of that ninja net on his wrist. I guess that new jutsu of his puts alot of strain on it.
The page before when we got to se glimps of team kakashi however wasn't as good. Why was the fokus on Sais belly and on Sakuras ass?

Alot of "whys" in this post... I think this chapter would be a 3 out of 10

glasskatana
January 05, 2007, 08:39 PM
Yes, I'm rather certain that was a Yamato-Naruto combo jutsu as well. I have something else to add as well. If Shikamaru is indeed playing Possum (as I assume he is) then his plan probably has something to do with the fact that his shadow hand is currently wrapped around Hidan's arm. Perhpas he'll force Hidan to swing that stake straight into an explosive tag and hope that it takes off either his arm or his loosely connected head. Just putting possibilities out there.

Finally, I'm rather disappointed in this chapter. But the fact that we have to wait for quite a while before we get a (hopefully) good chapter to redeem this one only makes this chapter feel worse. I'm very disappointed with how this fight is going so far. That's all. Thanks for the comments GKsr, Hopefully the next chapter is good enough for you to give it 5 out of 5. :thumbs

Raseru
January 05, 2007, 09:13 PM
Thanks for the comments, GK. Great as always. Although I'm a little disappointed with the rating. Eh, anyway, keep it up!

SilveryShadows
January 05, 2007, 10:41 PM
Ah. Troublesome computer and technology that we can't do without.
Good that it's better now. ^^
Yay. Early comments to distract me from doing what I should be doing.

9. Won't repeat what others have said about Suiton by Yamato. (I know I'm contradicting myself here.)

(And going back to what I said in chapters before. Now, I think that theoretically, with Kakashi's or Yamato's, water and Naruto's wind, they can beat Sasuke! I'm still on that.. opinion/thought. ._.)

10. Maybe the timeline doesn't match up exactly? I don't know. The 24 hours limit might had been merely a warning.. Or all other available teams are out, so it had to be Team 7.


From Ino, we've seen a new way of using that mind jutsu; from Chouji we've seen his giant size, palm thrust, and spike roll; from Kakashi, we've seen usage of water jutsu without water around, Raikiri, (what else I've forgotten); from Shikamaru, we've seen the use of shadow + chakra blades, and Kagemane...
To sum it up, yet again, we've mostly seen remake of old jutsus. (Plus not so new Rasegan.) I remember that quote? Sasuke said, about what had he been doing all this time. (And something about how Naruto has improved, but they haven't, as much.. Or so it seems.)
(A better point was lost, from not being able to remember it, probably..)


I think I'd rather see Sai and Sakura stay on the sidelines, since we've seen some of their abilities already. Plus Sakura should heal Kakashi.


Shikamaru doesn't have a cut. We see him wiping his face, free of the blood.



Naruto got some of that ninja net on his wrist.
I'm pretty sure he's been wearing fishnets since TJ...

The page before when we got to se glimps of team kakashi however wasn't as good. Why was the fokus on Sais belly and on Sakuras ass?
What they're 'known' by? Naruto's scars, Sai's belly, etc.? Well, when I see belly, I think of Sai; scars = Naruto, etc.

Saifi
January 06, 2007, 01:04 AM
What they're 'known' by? Naruto's scars, Sai's belly, etc.? Well, when I see belly, I think of Sai; scars = Naruto, etc.

i didnt know sakura was known by her ass tho lol
****************************************
also Gk good koments but i think ur not doing justice to shika, i mean he made it this far against many unexpected things from the akatsukis , and i know he is lazy but he is a ninja so him using quick hands shouldnt be too much of a let down.

plus i was wondering why people think shika can only work on pre battle stratigies ? i mean if hes a stratagist shouldnt he be making stratagies as the situation develops and stay 10 steps ahead of his opponent rather than following a preset stratagies like a mindless bafoon.

so besides ur low opinion of shika and over crediting naruto(the character) and a rather harshrating of naruto(the manga/chapter) good koments !

SilveryShadows
January 06, 2007, 01:08 AM
i didnt know sakura was known by her ass tho lol

=/ Meh.... Well, she isn't (right?).. I don't know.

Erm.. My explanation makes sense for the other three. *nods* Maybe not for Sakura... ^^'



plus i was wondering why people think shika can only work on pre battle stratigies ? i mean if hes a stratagist shouldnt he be making stratagies as the situation develops and stay 10 steps ahead of his opponent rather than following a preset stratagies like a mindless bafoon.
He does(or we've seen him done it before) make strategies as the battles go. when first fighting an opponent, it isn't possible to make prebattle strategies.

fremeer
January 06, 2007, 03:27 AM
actually in the little intro panels it starts off from the bottom and goes up. butt, abdomen, upper back and then face. And yamato isnt know for his chuunin suit that every1 wears.

ophidial
January 06, 2007, 04:33 AM
well, i don't normally reply here but
i do read most of your comments and on a large part agree
with them, however as with quite a few people i feel the
2/5 was somewhat harsh as well...

anyways to make my post meaningful i just want to
mention a few things about your comments;

firstly for 3. don't forget that hidan has the slowest attack of all akatsuki
memebers, as well as the fact that from chapter 336 shika saw the attack
pretty early, so he would of had a bit of time to prepare.

no.5 if you check the last chapter you'd notice that the fire and wind
creatures have combined, hence all three masks reaching him.

for 8. i think it's been shown that kakazu is quite a bit faster than kakashi on
at least two ocassions and on both easily out maneuvered him,
so no surprise that they got caught easily.

lastly on a sidenote, for the next chapter i really hope to see that shikamaru
telling hidan about his techniques was a physcological ploy
into getting hidan into second guessing himself, seeing as hidan seems to
think highly of his analystical skills.

bax
January 06, 2007, 04:36 AM
:amuse Sorry for not commenting on 336, been too busy lately with personal stuff ^^



(I'll admit, though, I got weird feelings about the fact that Kakashi wasn't considered one of "Team 7" anymore, though...)


Yes, it's a pity. But I guess, it's for the betterment of Naruto though. Kakashi probably doesn't have anything more to teach Naruto, or should I say, everything? Naruto is in the phase of empowering himself. To do that, he needs to take care of the biggest enemy (ironically, that enemy is sealed inside his own body). So, Yamato would probably the best next caretaker of Naruto after Kakashi and Jiraiya.



I mean, I don't want luck to be too much of a deciding factor especially in THIS battle. Shikamaru's a strategist, not a gambler, and I always liked that about him - but he's lucky to still be even alive right now. And he still hasn't taken out either Hidan or Kakuzu for good, so that has to be considered a measure of defeat for him right now.


I don't think so GK. Shikamaru always learn from his previous battles. He is a genius at that. The only think that Shikamaru did is that vial of Kakuzu's blood plus hanging all those exploding tags around himself and Hidan (but I guess, most of them are fakes, like in the movie #2). As for me, I don't think after losing a battle (and lost a sensei), he will come to this battle fully prepared. As I see it, a vial and exploding tags are not enough, Shikamaru is still hiding something. And yes, for a guy who can think 200 moves at a time in Shougi, if his equipments failed him, he still has his brain ^^



3. Deft of Hand...! Speaking of which, hey, how exactly did Shikamaru get Kakuzu's blood on the scythe? That was a question I had been wondering about last chapter, because I couldn't believe that he had just relied on pure skill and quickness to get that blood on a blade that was aimed right at his face point-blank.


Since when Shikamaru is so nimble? o.O



Also, both Sasori and Kakuzu, when they realized they were in a battle for their lives, also started to show different and more intimidating appearances. Hmm! Wonder if that'll be true for the rest of the Akatsuki as well? Does Itachi, for example, have an even more menacing appearance that he's yet to show us? Yikes! (Probably not, but it's still fun to think about.)


Yesh.. I thought about the same line :amuse
Kakuzu most probably still hiding his one final trump card. Besides, I like to know what his body is made of. I wonder what will be his last move ^^ But his ability reminds me of when Sasori use Satetsu Kaihou of the thrid Kazekage ^^

http://img138.imageshack.us/img138/9623/narutoch270p1112dp2.jpg


Itachi? You should probably know what will I say :D
But I acknowledged that Itachi is strong and powerful, just I still don't agree with the "charm and smex part" like Kado :rofl



8. Trapped... AGAIN! Another thing I have a hard time believing is how Kakashi, Ino, and Chouji could have thought it was a good idea to keep staying in one spot where Kakuzu could easily entrap them all with his tendrils. Oy! Even Sasuke, Sakura, and Naruto in their first bell test instinctively knew it was a better idea to split up than tackle their opponent all at once.


Not very like Kakashi now, is it? Even if he can't move because of exhaustion, he should still have the streangth to order Ino and Chouji to take evasive maneuver. Aaahh... Kakashi... He's been disappointing in Part 2, seriously. Really disappointing. What is the last battle that Kakashi really made an impact? His battle against Itachi? Nope. His MS revelation didn't go that awesome either. His fight against Itachi's clone is ordinary. The last one is the battle against Zabuza, which is like 300 chapters ago :notrust This is my personal opinion though, no offense to anyone ^^

Plus, Ino is the most dissapointing charcater there :notrust



9. Cue the Dramatic Music! So we get a glimpse of Naruto's growing skill with the Rasengan here - and I'm not sure it's the final result of his training, either. In order to block Kakuzu's Katon/Fuuton elemental attack from finishing off Kakashi, Ino, and Chouji, out of nowhere Naruto conjures a water-infused cyclone barrier! (So does this mean Naruto's also attained mastery of water, as well?)


Yesh I agee...... but you miss one point to say GK. That is Futon Rasengan, but noticed how easy Naruto made it? In that situation, Kakuzu is attacking Kakashi and the others, he surely didn't have the time, but he managed to create one in that nick of time. It really amuses me :amuse

As for Water mastery, I think he needs one right? Sasuke = Fire & Lightning. Naruto = Wind. In this case, Naruto can only beat Lightning, not fire. But if Naruto gained Water, he can beat Fire too... Talk about elements.. the story has shifted completely from Shougi to Element Circle :s



There's a big issue I have with this turn of events, though. How did Naruto's team get the OK from Tsunade after not seemingly meeting her deadline of finishing the training? If you guys will remember, she made the deadline of 24 hours for Yamato to complete Naruto's training right after Shikamaru's team had left Konohagakure, around the same time the Akatsuki started up on the Nibi extraction, and it's clearly been three days since then.


It seems like Naruto did managed to get Tsunade's approval and in my mind, I don't think Tsunade actually wanted to send a team other than this team ^^ She really puts her trust in Naruto. Bwaaahhh.. why do we get this kind of shots latley :s One Piece also has a shot like this not long ago :s


Good comments as always :kkthumbs

Rurouni Gio
January 06, 2007, 05:41 AM
2&3.- Yeah... i don't recall Shikamaru being such a quick ninja...


8.-Yeap... i also thought of it like you,... it was just too lame a method to rise the drama... i mean.. c'mon... One Elite Jounin + 2 Chuunin making such basic mistakes? x god's sake xP.


9.- Naruto wasn't the one using water here, it was Yamato, they combined their jutsus and make that defensive water gust like jutsu, as a Prove in the next Chanel, see as how Naruto has one hand risen in the same position as Yamato who is next to him.


Rating: Agreed here, in my opinion this has been the worst Naruto chapter ever... i'd say this chapter has even damaged a lot from the series as a whole, and i expect thing don't get lamer from here on.

As for predictions... i hope Teams split up, Sai + Ino + Chouji go to help out Shikamaru (as i don't want to see a chuunin taking down alone an Akatsuki inmortal member), and Sakura + Kakashi + Yamato + Naruto Fight Kakuzu, Sakura provides healing, and the three other do the fighting.

ibra87
January 06, 2007, 07:00 AM
I think the lat part of Kakashi's battle with Kakuzu was rushed too. Kishimoto either didn't have the time or the will to draw more pages and had to make the battle end as fast as possible. I mean... what the hell, "Die now" and they get caught? I don't think it's because he was worrying about the kids here; the "too fast" line means just that he couldn't see it coming, even with the sharingan that made him survive Itachi's attacks to some point. That's why I say it's rushed :s

Also it seems like Kishimoto wanted to do a "special entrance" for the new year, which perhaps made him forget about the timings and all, but where are all his assistants? :o
And about the Yamato+Naruto combination, it reminded me of the time Sandaime combined his earth and fire jutsus together, althought I have to admit this one is just a bit bigger ^^;

Hopefully we'll get to see how Shikamaru would save himself from Hidan... Either by tactic, but with his chakra I can't see him beating an immortal up, unless that's a trick of course (doubt it). Who knows... another backup team perhaps? Let's not forget there are still Konoha ninja after the 2 Akatsukis.
And seeing Shikamaru pour the blood on the weapon was very... dare I say, stupid? How can someone like Shikamaru pour the blood on a weapon + evade getting hit + tricking Hidan without having a special eye i.e Byakugan or Sharingan? He must have some serious taijutsu training there, wonder why he's never used it before? Then again, Hidan started his very first entrance with saying that he has the slowest attacks in Akatsuki. It was still amazing of Shikamaru though...

(and yay, we finally get to see Sai again!)

Raseru
January 06, 2007, 07:40 AM
I've got a question for you, GK. If Team 8 (or any other team) had arrived to save the day, would that have helped or hindered the plot? Would you have given this chapter better rating?

chvis002
January 06, 2007, 03:07 PM
Well it's obvious that Kashimoto meant to draw up the heat by having Kakashi & Co but it was a damn lousy atemt. On page 12 (when Kakuzu have a bad hair day) Ino and Kakashi should try to jump away instead of standing still, but cought anyway on page 14 from ounderground by his tentakles or that Kakuzu does some strong earth jutsu. I believe that would be a more realistic scenario.

Luckas
January 06, 2007, 03:39 PM
Glorious comments GK, I agree with you almost about everything. Said so I enjoyed very much the chapter and I believe the first double spreaqd is such a waste.

Just a curiosity recentely I had some difficulties to follow the last fights as Kishimoto would forget to drawn some panels/as the manga would lack some parts, am I the only one?

SilveryShadows
January 06, 2007, 10:21 PM
actually in the little intro panels it starts off from the bottom and goes up. butt, abdomen, upper back and then face. And yamato isnt know for his chuunin suit that every1 wears.

Ah. Ok. Makes more sense than my assumption. ^^'
Thanks.

Gold Knight
January 07, 2007, 02:37 AM
I still don't have the time to respond to everything just yet, but since this seems to be a point that was brought up a lot, I'll address it now-

Nope, I didn't even think about it being Yamato doing the water jutsu. As it's been a busy week for me I didn't really get many chances to reread and think about the chapter that carefully. Makes sense, but even so I don't think it was THAT obvious, and that's still a bit of a detriment from the story that even a Narutard like me can be so easily confused by the vagueness of the action.

But I agree with you guys now that you guys brought it up, it was probably Yamato, yes.

I'll try to make more of a reply to everybody on Monday or so ^^

CupofDice
January 07, 2007, 03:23 AM
3. I had no problem with this. If you are fast enough to dodge the sword, dropping some blood on it from a vial should be pretty easy. The fact that Hidan didn't notice is what bothers me.

9,10. I personally think the jutsu is finished and like someone else said there may be variations of it. The combination jutsu with Yamato was probably a strong hint that Naruto is going to learn suiton jutsus so he can make that jutsu his own, and there are loads of Konoha ninjas who use fire he can end up working with. Right now Naruto and Yamato together are as powerful as Kakuza. I also think he can do variations of it like someone else said, so the new jutsu is good enough for me, if not mind blowing.

About the time difference, once again they don't seem to be that far from Konoha, and Yamato could have explained it earlier before Kakashi attacked Kakuza. Kishi could have arranged it just for dramatic effect.

I personally thought the chapter was a 4 by your score. I am okay with time differences. Better than the author spending ages to keep things perfect.

cno
January 08, 2007, 03:51 AM
I guess i'm one of the few who don't think Shikamaru is playing possum. I think both of them are in pretty bad shape atm. Who knows how much Hidan can even do in that condition. That's why I was so surprised to see nobody missing from the group shot in the hopes that someone was going to be looking after Shikamaru, however I guess they just don't know the situation well enough to predict that, and I'm sure thats where this manga is guna end up.

I'm pretty sure Hidan/Kakuzu are going to have to leave at this point, and Kakuzu is going to have to gain his new hearts elsewhere. I don't see 2 Akasuki dieing and being replaced at this point and a 8 verses 2 with Kakuzu and Hidan being in the shape is pretty much impossible, we've seen so far that atleast Kakuzu is not dumb enough to do something like that. If anyone does die though I'm going to say it'll be Hidan. Just because of the huge revenge factor involved.

The only other way this next manga could go is if Akasuki back up comes to the rescue, but I don't know, I don't see a big fight going on at this point either.

Iwanin
January 08, 2007, 05:16 AM
I still don't have the time to respond to everything just yet, but since this seems to be a point that was brought up a lot, I'll address it now-

Nope, I didn't even think about it being Yamato doing the water jutsu. As it's been a busy week for me I didn't really get many chances to reread and think about the chapter that carefully. Makes sense, but even so I don't think it was THAT obvious, and that's still a bit of a detriment from the story that even a Narutard like me can be so easily confused by the vagueness of the action.

But I agree with you guys now that you guys brought it up, it was probably Yamato, yes.


When I first saw those panels I thought it was Naruto too, but then when you look at final page, it becomes clear it was both of them. They're each have one arm in the air, as if they've just used them.

What wasn't very clear to me was the drawing of the jutsu itself. At first I thought the tornado like column was just Naruto's jutsu, and that the mass below it was Yamato's. Then it hit me that the column itself was made of water and that the mass below is actually Kakuzu's fire + wind jutsu... which is confusing, because considering how close Kakashi and co were to Kakuzu at the time, you'd think they would have been hit by his jutsu anyway, or at the very least crushed between the two jutsus.

Of note is that the reason Naruto's jutsu is still "rasengan" is because, well, that's always been the idea: that rasengan was incomplete without an element to go with it, and that Naruto's now completed it. Thus, it's now "fuuton rasengan."

I personally wasn't disappointed by the battle... I wish it had been less confusing, but I'd be a bit disappointed if luck *didn't* play a part in a battle against an opponent as formidable as Akatsuki... or to put it another way, Akatsuki would seem less menacing to me if all it took was a single team of Konoha Ninjas to bring them down.

Deidara and his "ultimate art" would have done away with both team Guy and Team Kakashi had it not been for Kakashi's mangekyou sharingan (which is what they used to put him on the defensive in the first place), and Sasori *chose* not to dodge the *legendary* Chiyo's final attack.

These guys are supposed to be S Rank (kage level) criminals... they *shouldn't* go down easily. The only ninja in Konoha who should be able to stand toe to toe with them is Tsunade. Why they send scores of potential fodder after them instead of just asking Jiraiya to take them out is beyond me, but then the manga wouldn't be any fun... :p

The main potential sticking point I see in the manga right now is the notion that by simply acquiring a new Jutsu Naruto's should be able to stand toe to toe with Sasuke. The latter was considerably faster and more powerful in all regards. One additional Jutsu, no matter how powerful, should not make that much of a difference.

But what Kishi sayeth, goeth.

One more thing: I'm not sure if anybody's brought it up yet, but I like the motif they used for Kakuzu. If Hidan's the Grimm Reaper, Kakuzu's Frankenstein: a stitched together amalgam of other beings.

Ah! And two more "one more thing": 1) this chapter's issue of JUMP contains (among other goodies) a poster showing Naruto atop what may be assumed to be a "grown up" Gamakichi (about the size of the frog Jiraiya summoned to take out Ebisu). I wonder if we'll eventually see Naruto summon him again. 2) Tomorrow a special edition of Naruto goes on sale here in Japan...somethig like a "Kanzenban" or "Perfect Edition", only they're calling it "compilatory edition." Whatever. The point is that it's the size of Shounen Jump, covers the Haku / Zabuza arc, and contains the original colored pages as they appeared in serialization. Yippie!

venicia777
January 08, 2007, 06:39 AM
Of note is that the reason Naruto's jutsu is still "rasengan" is because, well, that's always been the idea: that rasengan was incomplete without an element to go with it, and that Naruto's now completed it. Thus, it's now "fuuton rasengan."

absolutely right. I really wasnt expecting much of a name change here.


I personally wasn't disappointed by the battle... I wish it had been less confusing, but I'd be a bit disappointed if luck *didn't* play a part in a battle against an opponent as formidable as Akatsuki... or to put it another way, Akatsuki would seem less menacing to me if all it took was a single team of Konoha Ninjas to bring them down.

Deidara and his "ultimate art" would have done away with both team Guy and Team Kakashi had it not been for Kakashi's mangekyou sharingan (which is what they used to put him on the defensive in the first place), and Sasori *chose* not to dodge the *legendary* Chiyo's final attack.

These guys are supposed to be S Rank (kage level) criminals... they *shouldn't* go down easily. The only ninja in Konoha who should be able to stand toe to toe with them is Tsunade. Why they send scores of potential fodder after them instead of just asking Jiraiya to take them out is beyond me, but then the manga wouldn't be any fun... :p

Well put.

I honestly expected those two akatsuki to massacre soo many of the teams that they wewre going to encounter irrespective of who it was. Seeing what they did at the fire temple and how they defeated the fully transformed yugito-nibi. Except that with Kishimoto sending two of the most favorite characters (kakashi and Shika)-- all my expectations of a massacre went into thin air. IF kishi wasnt going to kill them (Team 10) while at the same time making the story credible- why not bring in the element of Luck.

i think the Luck part was partly critical to ensuring some form of credibility in this arc. although i still understand and agree that it still wasnt convincing at all. the story seems kinda rushed now.



Ah! And two more "one more thing": 1) this chapter's issue of JUMP contains (among other goodies) a poster showing Naruto atop what may be assumed to be a "grown up" Gamakichi (about the size of the frog Jiraiya summoned to take out Ebisu). I wonder if we'll eventually see Naruto summon him again. 2) Tomorrow a special edition of Naruto goes on sale here in Japan...somethig like a "Kanzenban" or "Perfect Edition", only they're calling it "compilatory edition." Whatever. The point is that it's the size of Shounen Jump, covers the Haku / Zabuza arc, and contains the original colored pages as they appeared in serialization. Yippie!

i think there is a thread already on this material. Thanks for sharing-- this makes it official now.

Luckas
January 08, 2007, 01:25 PM
What wasn't very clear to me was the drawing of the jutsu itself. At first I thought the tornado like column was just Naruto's jutsu, and that the mass below it was Yamato's. Then it hit me that the column itself was made of water and that the mass below is actually Kakuzu's fire + wind jutsu... which is confusing, because considering how close Kakashi and co were to Kakuzu at the time, you'd think they would have been hit by his jutsu anyway, or at the very least crushed between the two jutsus.I'm still asking myself how Naruto and Yamato appeared between Team 10 and Kakuzu, considering also the tendrils, and performed the jutsu. There wasn't the phisycal space.


Of note is that the reason Naruto's jutsu is still "rasengan" is because, well, that's always been the idea: that rasengan was incomplete without an element to go with it, and that Naruto's now completed it. Thus, it's now "fuuton rasengan."I agree, graphically nothing new but I like the theory.


I personally wasn't disappointed by the battle... I wish it had been less confusing, but I'd be a bit disappointed if luck *didn't* play a part in a battle against an opponent as formidable as Akatsuki... or to put it another way, Akatsuki would seem less menacing to me if all it took was a single team of Konoha Ninjas to bring them down.

Deidara and his "ultimate art" would have done away with both team Guy and Team Kakashi had it not been for Kakashi's mangekyou sharingan (which is what they used to put him on the defensive in the first place), and Sasori *chose* not to dodge the *legendary* Chiyo's final attack.

These guys are supposed to be S Rank (kage level) criminals... they *shouldn't* go down easily. The only ninja in Konoha who should be able to stand toe to toe with them is Tsunade. Why they send scores of potential fodder after them instead of just asking Jiraiya to take them out is beyond me, but then the manga wouldn't be any fun... :pI again agree.


The main potential sticking point I see in the manga right now is the notion that by simply acquiring a new Jutsu Naruto's should be able to stand toe to toe with Sasuke. The latter was considerably faster and more powerful in all regards. One additional Jutsu, no matter how powerful, should not make that much of a difference.That confrontation between Naruto and Sasuke disappointed me, but maybe it could be in part explained considering that when Naruto meet Sasuke was completely drained of chakra and he has started since very less time to consider the issue about relying too much to kyubi chakra giving the fox the chance to control Naruto.

SiretaInDisguise
January 09, 2007, 09:28 AM
I thought it was Yamato who used the water element and he and naruto joined their techniques together :/

kunai-knight
January 10, 2007, 08:43 PM
JUst a quick point here.

I'm not TOO disapointed with the fact that Kakashi was caught by Kakuzu becuase after all he is human. He was caught by zabuzu too, who i'm sure isnt anywhere on akatsuki level. He was almost tricked by sasuke during the bell test, got schooled by kabuto, even outsmarted by naruto during the second bell test. All i'm sayin is i'm not too concerned with him not being a god-like ninja like itachi, who probably wouldnt have fell for any of those tricks but...lol

Robotic Red
January 10, 2007, 09:53 PM
Plus, Kakashi's used his Sharingan the whole time, an as-of-yet unseen Suiton jutsu, and Raikiri at least three times; once when he skewered Kakuzu, and twice when he BLOCKED those attacks of Kakuzu's with a Raikiri on BOTH arms.

So yeah, I'm not surprised that he might be tired.

Rurouni Gio
January 11, 2007, 05:00 AM
If i remember correctly he was out of fit when caught by Zabuza, also he was caught by a technique that in any case at all would let Zabuza kill him, so is understandable. as for Sasuke and the bell test, He was using one eye and taking the three of them too lightly, plus it wasn't an actual fight, nor there was a chance for him/his comrade of getting killed. Kabuto is beyond Jounin level, and Kakashi almost stop him without using sharingan. It sure took time for Grown up Naruto + Grown up Sakura to pass the bell test.

And the points are these, Kakuzu + Hidan weren't able to even touch him while fighting, with their teamwork and crazy-like attacks, also as you said Kakashi may not be a god-like ninja like Itachi, but the reason is most likely power, chakra, stamina, and the Uchiha blood when using sharingan, i don't think Itachi is more experienced nor more inteligent than Kakashi, and what bothered me was not the fact that kakashi was caught, it was the way he was caught, i mean he just stood still waiting for the enemy to get up and use those freaky like hair attack and catch him, and then he just stood as if giving up his life o.O?... That goes for Ino and Chouji as well, they might've been quite useless 'till now, but even konohamaru would've tried to avoid Kakuzu while he was still in pain (if then they had gotten caught even after trying yo evade it, i wouldn't be bothered at all -Except from the fact that it was Naruto team that came xP).

cno
January 11, 2007, 08:34 PM
I don't understand how anyone can be dissapointed with the fact that Kakashi and the rest were grabbed up by Kakuzu. First off Kakuzu has been around since the Shodai Hokage, as he said in the manga, his battle experance trounces the whole group let alone Kakashi. Secondly Kakashi is fighting with a handicap, the fact that he has to care for Chouji, Shikamaru and Ino.

All of this is too his disadvantage, not to mention the fact that Kakuzu can die up to 5 times, and he can use every element, well not at this point but he is capable of doing so. If this were any normal fight, Kakuzu would already be dead.

Gold Knight
January 12, 2007, 04:18 AM
Oh boy, I probably shouldn't have put off responding so long >.> One reason I waited was because I realized there wouldn't be any RAWs this week either. It's been a long wait for the next chapter so far, huh, guys?

All right, here's my replies to everybody that I can do right now. I may have to stop/post and resume at a later point though. I'll try to get to everybody's posts eventually though.

BTW, I already replied in general to Yamato's water jutsu. Thanks for catching my mistake though guys ;)

_________________________________________________

@ Garaku:



Yay GK~!

I have two main questions from this chapter that really bother me. One, if Kakashi had to be healed, where is his wound? And second, isn't that rating a bit harsh :darn?

Hehe, anyway like some others, I actually think that water jutsu is being done by Yamato, since it does make more sense with the next page of him holding his arm as if it had just been strained pose. Also looking at that water cyclone, I'm wondering if Naruto maybe has the ability to release the power of his Rasengan as he chooses? That way for the crater, he released it all into the ground, and for the combo, he released it into the air.

Good comments as always!


1. I believe that Kakashi's chest might have been wounded by Kakuzu when he was trying to reach Kakashi's heart through the usage of his tendrils. The wounds aren't obvious yet because Kakashi's shirt wasn't shredded in the process.

2. My rating reflects my initial impressions of the chapter more than any long thoughts about it, I'll admit. Last week I only had a two-hour frame to write a review and previously I had only seen the RAW once, and then read it with Dynamic Dragon's scanlation before writing the Comments. Given more time to absorb it, I may have knocked the rating up to 3 at least. But regardless I'll let it stay as 2 for now. That was how disappointed I personally was with the chapter after reading it, but I feel a little better about it now.

And yeah, I agree with you and I totally missed that Yamato was helping with his control of water. As Iwanin said the sequence of panels were still a bit confusing regardless.

Thanks and hope you keep checking in :)

_________________________________________________

@ Predator:



Yeah ..... Ken-san .... I agree with Garaku on this. :o
We all know that Tenzou/Yamato is good at Doton and Suiton and their combination- Mokuton. No surprise to see him using water and Naruto simply accelerating the flow and giving momentum to the storm. ;)


Yeah. The main thing that threw me was that Naruto was so prominent in the last double spread, I think.

_________________________________________________

@ venicia777




Even better still-- look at the stances of Naruto and Yamato after the justsu was completed.

if you look at the panels with the images for the wind and water jutsus- water is being executed with the left hand while wind is by the right hand.

Now, Look at Yamato and Naruto's stance after the jutsu completion. Yamato clearly resembles Kakashi after executing a one-handed chidori :p
We all Know GK was tired when he was doing this :rofl

yeah!! i honestly hope it is so. Because if it is then it falls in line perfectly with the idea that When we saw the crater Naruto was yet to reach the jutsus completion stage. As such it goes that we were probably looking at un-contolled power ergo crater as compared to the controlled= completed stage.


Heh, yeah, I was tired.

_________________________________________________

@ cno



I'm pretty sure that technique was preformed by Yamato and Naruto, not just Naruto.

As far as this battle is concerned, I hope it doesn't drag on, because that would probably mean that both Hidan/Kakuzu are going to die.

At this point its a 8 verses 2, with both Kakuzu and Hidan being in pretty bad shape, and I don't care who you are but dealing with a fresh yamato/naruto/sakura with a beat up kakashi/shikamaru is not something to be taken lightly, even for akasuki.

I loved this chapter, deffinatly more then a 2 atleast, and as far as the next is concerned, I really hope we see Kakuzu/Hidan retreating, or perhaps one of them (Hidan) being taken out.

Because I really doubt that Kishimoto will take away 2 Akasuki especially with Kakuzu being the important member he is.


To be honest I didn't expect so many positive posts about this chapter, so I'm taken aback by it. I suppose I just didn't like the way the plot was heading.

But in any event, I don't see any way that both Hidan and Kakuzu can escape from this one. Hidan maybe, because he only has Shikamaru to deal with, but that'd be a sort of personal failure for Shikamaru (after all, he set out with Team 10 with revenge on his mind).

I suppose the thing is: would we all be impressed if Sasuke had as much help when he had to deal with Itachi? I don't think so...

Anyway, I wouldn't be surprised if one does escape. Deidara faced worse odds and got away. But there are enough Akatsuki to go around, I think either Kishimoto needs to have them all being taken out one by one or have a major confrontation between Konoha and the Akatsuki to get the plot moving a little faster.

Not that I mind if Naruto goes another 400 chapters, but I do want to see something new eventually.

_________________________________________________

@ conan



hey GK, I dont usually comment on your ten comments since most of the time I agree almost 100% with you, but this time I had a many different opinions, on points 2 and 3, cant you remeber shikamaru's fight with tayuya, I think it has the keys to dealing with shikamaru's fighting style, first move is always fake, basic strategy, all the first fight with kakashi's raikiri and the mess kakuzu and hidan made was just to test their abilities and get blood from hidan who they already know his most terrifiying ability, and you knowfights always depend on luck, but I think it was more of hidans senses picking up on shikamaru when he was slashing on the last second, if hidan wasnt who he was, shikamaru would have got him, so up til now I think shikamaru was messing around, and about what he did with hidans spike wasnt much of courage, he distantly sprinkled blood from a naruto world syringe, which isnt that hard being a shinobe, the distances arent as close as you would think, and the blood on shika's cheek made hidan think he actually got a very small slash, eventhough he didnt feel when he slashed, so shikamaru made it look like a very small surface wound, up to number 7 directly becuase its relevant, I am going to tell you from my understanding to shikamarus ability he definitely has a plan C, remeber when neji fought kidoumaru he said "I know my weakness better than anybody" shikamaru knows his jutsu and chakra better than hidan, and I think he is hiding something, shikamaru as always expects or plans for something, again go to his fight with tayuya and things might be much clearer for you.
finally points 8 and 9, with point eight, I think it was kakashi losing himself in battle under pressure and dropping his guard slightly, same with ino and chouji, but I mention kakashi since he is the most formidable and you would expect something different from him, I think the pressure kakuzu made upon them and his swift recovery like nothing happenned caught them offgaurd, its possible since akatsuki seems to dig up the worst of all weirdos in that worls, so even someone experienced like kakashi could have been done for, finally in point 9 I think the water jutsu was yamato's and not naruto, it was a comboniation for them both, at alst I still thank you for your wonderful effort and appreciate your circumstances.
thats all.


I don't disagree with you on Shikamaru's fighting techniques, and yes strategy sometimes includes a little luck, but if you read Batman at all, you know whenever he has "preparation time" he always makes sure that there are no loose ends and that his plan will work perfectly (of course, it doesn't always, but he's managed to get the drop on even Superman with his super strategizing skills.)

I see Shikamaru as the same sort of individual, but he walked right into the face of incredible danger and from the first second he would have been clearly beaten if he hadn't had Kakashi coming along. I know he couldn't have foreseen everything that the Akatsuki could have done, especially Kakuzu, but I expected at least his strategy to take one out fast (Hidan) even without Kakashi's aid, because he was so confident to have walked out of Konohagakure with only his two partners in tow. If he was that confident, why would he risk his partners' lives after saying that he would never do such a thing again at the end of Part One?

Another thing: what Shikamaru should have done from the beginning was have Kakuzu move to attack Hidan instead of Kakuzu attacking Hidan. Behead Hidan. Render him immobile. Take the head or hide it so that Kakuzu can't help him. Then they only have Kakuzu to deal with. I know Shikamaru didn't expect Kakuzu to be able to free himself in time, but I would have thought he'd go for the immortal's neck first regardless.

That's the problem I have with the whole battle. As much as I like Kakashi pulling the kids' butts out of the fire, I don't understand what Shikamaru is thinking. Even now. Putting himself in a situation without any help at all nearby against Hidan. Yeah, it took care of one of Kakuzu's hearts, but Shikamaru's high reaction time to Hidan's blade is still a bit too much for me to believe, and I don't like that it was even necessary in the first place.

And I still hate that Kakashi eventually was made to look like a fool by Kakuzu so easily - when Kakuzu went down, Kakashi should have had the kids spread out to avoid being all caught at once. Must've been spending too much time in the hospital lately :/

Thanks for your response :)

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@ chvis002



2: It's true that this is sort of a crappy chapter (except last page). I mean Shikamaru didn't really think this trough. I mean why not throw anything with explosive tag on the back of his head? Why not act earlier?

3: Hidan may be a dummy, but he's f***ing Akatsuki! he would've seen what Shikamaru was doing!

4 and 5: Why not dispose of the body instead of the hearts? Or why not smash his head? Judging from what they've seen they could not expect Kakuzu would go down that easy. Totaly unninjaish...

7 and 8:Couldn't agree more. Look at Ino! It's as if she acepts her fate by not moving away. Why not do some confusing jutsu? Why is Choji not big anymore?

9: Isn't that a little to well teamwork considering that naruto only masterd his jutsu probably like an hour ago?

10: Probably only god page on this chapter, even if kakashi looks totaly disorientated. Naruto got some of that ninja net on his wrist. I guess that new jutsu of his puts alot of strain on it.
The page before when we got to se glimps of team kakashi however wasn't as good. Why was the fokus on Sais belly and on Sakuras ass?

Alot of "whys" in this post... I think this chapter would be a 3 out of 10


Well, looks like you agree with me on most points xD LoL @ focus on Sakura's ass. As for disposing of the body, I think the creatures were probably chasing after them too fast. I don't know why Chouji thought he could demolish them just like that though.

And even the last page I was kind of disappointed in despite the nice group shot, because I didn't want Naruto's team to arrive to help at all - I wanted at least one of the Akatsuki being taken of without Naruto's help. Although that could still happen since Hidan's still facing Shikamaru only.

Thanks for dropping by. ^^

_________________________________________________

@ glasskatana



Yes, I'm rather certain that was a Yamato-Naruto combo jutsu as well. I have something else to add as well. If Shikamaru is indeed playing Possum (as I assume he is) then his plan probably has something to do with the fact that his shadow hand is currently wrapped around Hidan's arm. Perhpas he'll force Hidan to swing that stake straight into an explosive tag and hope that it takes off either his arm or his loosely connected head. Just putting possibilities out there.

Finally, I'm rather disappointed in this chapter. But the fact that we have to wait for quite a while before we get a (hopefully) good chapter to redeem this one only makes this chapter feel worse. I'm very disappointed with how this fight is going so far. That's all. Thanks for the comments GKsr, Hopefully the next chapter is good enough for you to give it 5 out of 5. :thumbs


I didn't notice that Shikamaru's shadow was wrapped around Hidan's arm. Good catch and very plausible theory. You're right, Shika is most likely baiting Hidan so that he can pull some shadows, er, strings...

I'm definitely taking more time to look at the chapter next time. Thanks GKjr ^^

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@ raseru



Thanks for the comments, GK. Great as always. Although I'm a little disappointed with the rating. Eh, anyway, keep it up!


Heh, my rating can't do anything but go up from here on (I've never seen Kishimoto do two chapters in a row that I didn't like.) You're welcome.

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@ SilveryShadows



Ah. Troublesome computer and technology that we can't do without.
Good that it's better now. ^^
Yay. Early comments to distract me from doing what I should be doing.

9. Won't repeat what others have said about Suiton by Yamato. (I know I'm contradicting myself here.)

(And going back to what I said in chapters before. Now, I think that theoretically, with Kakashi's or Yamato's, water and Naruto's wind, they can beat Sasuke! I'm still on that.. opinion/thought. ._.)

10. Maybe the timeline doesn't match up exactly? I don't know. The 24 hours limit might had been merely a warning.. Or all other available teams are out, so it had to be Team 7.


From Ino, we've seen a new way of using that mind jutsu; from Chouji we've seen his giant size, palm thrust, and spike roll; from Kakashi, we've seen usage of water jutsu without water around, Raikiri, (what else I've forgotten); from Shikamaru, we've seen the use of shadow + chakra blades, and Kagemane...
To sum it up, yet again, we've mostly seen remake of old jutsus. (Plus not so new Rasegan.) I remember that quote? Sasuke said, about what had he been doing all this time. (And something about how Naruto has improved, but they haven't, as much.. Or so it seems.)
(A better point was lost, from not being able to remember it, probably..)


I think I'd rather see Sai and Sakura stay on the sidelines, since we've seen some of their abilities already. Plus Sakura should heal Kakashi.


Shikamaru doesn't have a cut. We see him wiping his face, free of the blood.

I'm pretty sure he's been wearing fishnets since TJ... What they're 'known' by? Naruto's scars, Sai's belly, etc.? Well, when I see belly, I think of Sai; scars = Naruto, etc.


Yeah, stupid technology. Glad that's over with and done.

What were you supposed to be doing in the first place? Heh - well, hope it's a fun distraction still.

Yeah, Yamato and Naruto together could beat Sasuke, but I'm sure Naruto wants to do it by himself.

Tsunade asked Shizune to prepare a back-up team in case Naruto couldn't go, and I think Konohagakure's recovered enough that they can get a team ready to go within 24 hours. I doubt they lacked people... but anyway, the timeline is still weird here and it bothers me, but maybe it bothered me too much. I might have let a minor annoyance get the best of me. All Kishimoto could have done to alleviate that was just have Tsunade be vague in when she wants Naruto to be a ready. But somehow the way she said it with such emphasis made me think that Kishimoto intended to explain what happened to have Naruto arrive so far, so maybe that's coming up next chapter. If not, will have to just call it a glaring plot hole and leave it at that. But you'd be hard-pressed to find any story that doesn't have at least a few confusing details, I guess.

Good observation btw about Sasuke commenting on Naruto's "slow development" but I have a feeling Sasuke is also just going to show some "remakes" himself too...

I'm always up for Sai demonstrating his ability because of the "cool factor" of his drawings coming to life (a power I've always personally imagined having) and I also want to see Sakura continue to improve - it'd be interesting if Ino became kind of alarmed at Sakura's rapid growth at this point. Wonder how long it's been since they've last actually been together and talked. Their reunion here I'm looking forward to if Kishimoto chooses to do something with it.

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@ Saifi


also Gk good koments but i think ur not doing justice to shika, i mean he made it this far against many unexpected things from the akatsukis , and i know he is lazy but he is a ninja so him using quick hands shouldnt be too much of a let down.

plus i was wondering why people think shika can only work on pre battle stratigies ? i mean if hes a stratagist shouldnt he be making stratagies as the situation develops and stay 10 steps ahead of his opponent rather than following a preset stratagies like a mindless bafoon.

so besides ur low opinion of shika and over crediting naruto(the character) and a rather harshrating of naruto(the manga/chapter) good koments !

Like I said, Shikamaru walked into this battle a lot more unprepared than I had thought he would, and that's still enough to disappoint me :/ I still like him because he's made tremendous leaps in improving his jutsus and such, but I think he had a definite lapse of judgment here.

But yeah, I won't argue that the Akatsuki are just tough opponents and it's tough for anybody to be flawless against them.

And Shikamaru can make strategies and stay ten steps ahead of his opponent IF he has time to concentrate and think about his situation (hence his meditation pose). He's not an on-the-spot improviser like Naruto.

Glad you still enjoyed reading my Comments despite disagreeing with me so much xD

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@ fremeer



actually in the little intro panels it starts off from the bottom and goes up. butt, abdomen, upper back and then face. And yamato isnt know for his chuunin suit that every1 wears.


Yeah, that's just basic sequential storytelling. My only problem with that is it's overused and not that particularly effective in increasing the drama after seeing it used so many times by Kishimoto throughout the series.

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@ ophidial



well, i don't normally reply here but
i do read most of your comments and on a large part agree
with them, however as with quite a few people i feel the
2/5 was somewhat harsh as well...

anyways to make my post meaningful i just want to
mention a few things about your comments;

firstly for 3. don't forget that hidan has the slowest attack of all akatsuki
memebers, as well as the fact that from chapter 336 shika saw the attack
pretty early, so he would of had a bit of time to prepare.

no.5 if you check the last chapter you'd notice that the fire and wind
creatures have combined, hence all three masks reaching him.

for 8. i think it's been shown that kakazu is quite a bit faster than kakashi on
at least two ocassions and on both easily out maneuvered him,
so no surprise that they got caught easily.

lastly on a sidenote, for the next chapter i really hope to see that shikamaru
telling hidan about his techniques was a physcological ploy
into getting hidan into second guessing himself, seeing as hidan seems to
think highly of his analystical skills.


Hey and thanks for posting, heh. Maybe I should do more harsh ratings to pull the lurkers out of the shadows to speak their opinions, eh? Just kidding.

Good point about Hidan being slow. That could have helped Shikamaru.

As for the masks, ahh, that explains it. Thanks. In doing this Comments I didn't reread the previous chapter either. My memory's getting a bit bad of late, I guess.

Kakuzu isn't that fast. Otherwise he would have knocked out Shikamaru from behind when he snuck up on him on the rooftop in the first fight. Still I don't know how fast his tendrils are, so I guess that's a different thing.

Heh, a psychological ploy eh? I'd like that.

Thanks for posting ophidial ^^

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@ bax



:amuse Sorry for not commenting on 336, been too busy lately with personal stuff ^^

Don't worry about not commenting last week, bax ^^ You had a lot of excitement recently, I know :p


Yes, it's a pity. But I guess, it's for the betterment of Naruto though. Kakashi probably doesn't have anything more to teach Naruto, or should I say, everything? Naruto is in the phase of empowering himself. To do that, he needs to take care of the biggest enemy (ironically, that enemy is sealed inside his own body). So, Yamato would probably the best next caretaker of Naruto after Kakashi and Jiraiya.

True about Kakashi having nothing more to teach Naruto or Sakura I suppose. Though there's always the basic ninja skills of "infiltration" which I don't think Naruto quite has gotten the hang of yet >.>

Could be a hopeless case anyway.


I don't think so GK. Shikamaru always learn from his previous battles. He is a genius at that. The only think that Shikamaru did is that vial of Kakuzu's blood plus hanging all those exploding tags around himself and Hidan (but I guess, most of them are fakes, like in the movie #2). As for me, I don't think after losing a battle (and lost a sensei), he will come to this battle fully prepared. As I see it, a vial and exploding tags are not enough, Shikamaru is still hiding something. And yes, for a guy who can think 200 moves at a time in Shougi, if his equipments failed him, he still has his brain ^^

Well, I certainly hope he's got some other card to pull out.


Since when Shikamaru is so nimble? o.O

Exactly >.>


Yesh.. I thought about the same line :amuse
Kakuzu most probably still hiding his one final trump card. Besides, I like to know what his body is made of. I wonder what will be his last move ^^ But his ability reminds me of when Sasori use Satetsu Kaihou of the thrid Kazekage ^^

http://img138.imageshack.us/img138/9623/narutoch270p1112dp2.jpg


Heh, yeah that Satetsu scene was awesome. (Zarosaki-colored too... mmm.) I do hope for something a bit like that too. I think Sasori's "1000 puppets" was fun, too. Amazing how many twists that battle took :p But as long as that battle was, I think I was definitely more entertained by it than I have been in this battle.


Itachi? You should probably know what will I say :D
But I acknowledged that Itachi is strong and powerful, just I still don't agree with the "charm and smex part" like Kado :rofl

Heh


Not very like Kakashi now, is it? Even if he can't move because of exhaustion, he should still have the streangth to order Ino and Chouji to take evasive maneuver. Aaahh... Kakashi... He's been disappointing in Part 2, seriously. Really disappointing. What is the last battle that Kakashi really made an impact? His battle against Itachi? Nope. His MS revelation didn't go that awesome either. His fight against Itachi's clone is ordinary. The last one is the battle against Zabuza, which is like 300 chapters ago :notrust This is my personal opinion though, no offense to anyone ^^

Plus, Ino is the most dissapointing charcater there :notrust

Well, Kakashi did help with Deidara and save our protagonists from Deidara's bunshin suicide explosion. But I agree, Kakashi hasn't really been a deciding factor in any meaningful battle since the Zabuza arc *sighs*

And Ino is turning into another Ten-Ten at this point...


Yesh I agee...... but you miss one point to say GK. That is Futon Rasengan, but noticed how easy Naruto made it? In that situation, Kakuzu is attacking Kakashi and the others, he surely didn't have the time, but he managed to create one in that nick of time. It really amuses me :amuse

Heh... as if I needed to know any more flaws xD >.> Didn't think about that. But yeah... a lot of suspending belief.


As for Water mastery, I think he needs one right? Sasuke = Fire & Lightning. Naruto = Wind. In this case, Naruto can only beat Lightning, not fire. But if Naruto gained Water, he can beat Fire too... Talk about elements.. the story has shifted completely from Shougi to Element Circle :s

Maybe that's why Kishimoto decided to keep Yamato as a permanent sensei for him.


It seems like Naruto did managed to get Tsunade's approval and in my mind, I don't think Tsunade actually wanted to send a team other than this team ^^ She really puts her trust in Naruto. Bwaaahhh.. why do we get this kind of shots latley :s One Piece also has a shot like this not long ago :s

Good comments as always :kkthumbs
[/spoiler]

Thanks ^^

Well, that's all I can do right now ( all the first page of this thread :p ) I'll try to tackle the second and third pages in one go next time ^^ Again thanks all for posting.[br]Posted on: January 12, 2007, 04:05:05 AM_________________________________________________Also, should've done it before, but I've edited into my Comments that Yamato did the water jutsu. Hopefully that's the end of that >.> XD

One Eyed Sharingan
January 14, 2007, 04:26 AM
hello! good comments GK!!!

01. heh, i feel somewhat thrown off too, thinking that Kakashi could be not a part of team 7 anymore, just felt like something's isn't right.
And the header of the double spread said that team 7 is in good synch, so it re-amazes me that team 7 has really changed. Couldn't help it but remember what Naruto said when he had his objection about Sai being part of team 7 back then -"I will not acknowledge this person as a part of team 7"-or so Naruto said

And that Yamato's joined the "rookie caretaker"-jounin before i realize it. (does he still work as Anbu??)

well there are saying that goes like this "to live is to change", so with my opinion said about this double spread, i felt good with this cover for new year, it reminds me that everything's changing


True about Kakashi having nothing more to teach Naruto or Sakura I suppose. Though there's always the basic ninja skills of "infiltration" which I don't think Naruto quite has gotten the hang of yet >.>

Could be a hopeless case anyway.
kekekkeke that's true, it's hopeless... the boy's too loud, the best use of him in infiltration is DISTRACTION for enemies j/k :p


08. heh, caught again.. i can't think up of good excuse here >_<, except fatigue (what the heck, the only one supposed to be tired is Kakashi, not Chouji and Ino, Ino even said that she's the one with most chakra left). But i'd like to point something about those tendrills, there's gotta some effect they inflict, since Kakashi, Ino adn Chouji couldn't move. When Kotetsu and Izumo got caught by those tendrills, they couldn't move too. That way, it's more convenience for Kakuzu to rip someone's heart alive.


10. i, too confused about the timeline here (24 hour Tsunade gave, 3 days sealing sanbi+3 days sealing nibi, and the time when Yamato explained elemental advantages to Naruto), no matter how i think about it, they just don't add up...

about the 24 hours time limit Tsunade gave, well Tsunade said that she would send another team to back up team 10, but she never said anything about not allowing team 7 to back up team 10 even when the 24 hour has passed.

But then why team 7 was the first to arrive?? The only thing i can think up is Yamato's ability, remember when he made Naruto, Sakura and Sai eat some wood-thingy (was it wood??) so that Yamato can track them down whenever they concentrate their chakra??

I think Kakashi ate one of them too, so Yamato can track him down when Kakashi concentrate his chakra to perform jutsu (if you think about it, Kakashi has performed 4 raikiri and a Suiton, if i were Yamato... i'd definitely think there's gotta be bad situation that that "low chakra" Kakashi had to perform many hi-class/chakra consuming Ninjutsu... so they'd better hurry)... That's why i think Yamato's team could find Kakashi & co faster

Gold Knight
January 15, 2007, 11:25 PM
Well, here goes, my second and probably final post here, in an attempt to answer everybody else who's posted so far. Thanks all for commenting and I'll see y'all for the 338 Comments ;) Hopefully it'll be a chapter I like a lot better next time.

_________________________________________________

@ Rurouni Gio:



2&3.- Yeah... i don't recall Shikamaru being such a quick ninja...


8.-Yeap... i also thought of it like you,... it was just too lame a method to rise the drama... i mean.. c'mon... One Elite Jounin + 2 Chuunin making such basic mistakes? x god's sake xP.


9.- Naruto wasn't the one using water here, it was Yamato, they combined their jutsus and make that defensive water gust like jutsu, as a Prove in the next Chanel, see as how Naruto has one hand risen in the same position as Yamato who is next to him.


Rating: Agreed here, in my opinion this has been the worst Naruto chapter ever... i'd say this chapter has even damaged a lot from the series as a whole, and i expect thing don't get lamer from here on.

As for predictions... i hope Teams split up, Sai + Ino + Chouji go to help out Shikamaru (as i don't want to see a chuunin taking down alone an Akatsuki inmortal member), and Sakura + Kakashi + Yamato + Naruto Fight Kakuzu, Sakura provides healing, and the three other do the fighting.



I think I would have liked Shikamaru's quickness better if he had been aided by his own 'shadowy tendrils' which might have been the case, but Kishimoto didn't really show it.

Kakashi I could understand being slow to react because he had just been all over the place trying to keep Ino and Chouji from dying. But Ino and Chouji, it's astonishing how useless they both have been so far in battle. It's sickening to see :/

I admit I can't think of a Naruto chapter I didn't like more than this one so I'd have to agree with you that it's the worst one so far. However, the series itself is still golden, and just one bad chapter won't ruin it for me. I just hope things improve from here on and that Kishimoto was just in a writing slump at this point.

Hopefully the teams do split up, rather than having Kakuzu capture them all over again.

Thanks for dropping by!

_________________________________________________

@ ibra87:



I think the lat part of Kakashi's battle with Kakuzu was rushed too. Kishimoto either didn't have the time or the will to draw more pages and had to make the battle end as fast as possible. I mean... what the hell, "Die now" and they get caught? I don't think it's because he was worrying about the kids here; the "too fast" line means just that he couldn't see it coming, even with the sharingan that made him survive Itachi's attacks to some point. That's why I say it's rushed :s

Also it seems like Kishimoto wanted to do a "special entrance" for the new year, which perhaps made him forget about the timings and all, but where are all his assistants? :o
And about the Yamato+Naruto combination, it reminded me of the time Sandaime combined his earth and fire jutsus together, althought I have to admit this one is just a bit bigger ^^;

Hopefully we'll get to see how Shikamaru would save himself from Hidan... Either by tactic, but with his chakra I can't see him beating an immortal up, unless that's a trick of course (doubt it). Who knows... another backup team perhaps? Let's not forget there are still Konoha ninja after the 2 Akatsukis.
And seeing Shikamaru pour the blood on the weapon was very... dare I say, stupid? How can someone like Shikamaru pour the blood on a weapon + evade getting hit + tricking Hidan without having a special eye i.e Byakugan or Sharingan? He must have some serious taijutsu training there, wonder why he's never used it before? Then again, Hidan started his very first entrance with saying that he has the slowest attacks in Akatsuki. It was still amazing of Shikamaru though...

(and yay, we finally get to see Sai again!)


Sai fan eh? Yeah, I'm (weirdly) glad to see him again, now that he's not as much a jerk as he used to be.

I do think Kishimoto rushed the end of that battle. And it was just a big mistake on his part considering he tried to draw it out so much earlier by "explaining" things. I expected a better pay-off.

You could be right about a New Year's entrance - he might have decided "gee wouldn't that be cool" out of the blue and say, "well, to hell with what I had planned earlier, let's do it!" Sigh.

At least Shikamaru's still in his own personal little battle with Hidan I suppose, as you said, but I agree with you 100% on this:


And seeing Shikamaru pour the blood on the weapon was very... dare I say, stupid? How can someone like Shikamaru pour the blood on a weapon + evade getting hit + tricking Hidan without having a special eye i.e Byakugan or Sharingan? He must have some serious taijutsu training there, wonder why he's never used it before? Then again, Hidan started his very first entrance with saying that he has the slowest attacks in Akatsuki. It was still amazing of Shikamaru though...

Exactly what I'm so perturbed about. Shikamaru isn't Rock Lee. That kind of sneak attack would have been a lot better for Rock Lee. In fact, now that I think about that, I feel as if Rock Lee's just been cheated of a golden moment.

_________________________________________________

@ Raseru



I've got a question for you, GK. If Team 8 (or any other team) had arrived to save the day, would that have helped or hindered the plot? Would you have given this chapter better rating?


Probably not. The entrance wasn't my main problem with the chapter. Whatever the backups do next chapter will determine that chapter's rating for me, I think, but this chapter it was more of what had went on before they had arrived.

_________________________________________________

@ chvis002



Well it's obvious that Kashimoto meant to draw up the heat by having Kakashi & Co but it was a damn lousy atemt. On page 12 (when Kakuzu have a bad hair day) Ino and Kakashi should try to jump away instead of standing still, but cought anyway on page 14 from ounderground by his tentakles or that Kakuzu does some strong earth jutsu. I believe that would be a more realistic scenario.


Yeah, a strong earth jutsu would have been far more believable (and one that Kakashi couldn't easily break out with despite his own knowledge of earth jutsus) but I think Kishimoto was probably afraid he had already done that several times before and wanted to showcase Kakuzu's bizarre powers instead.

Still, in that case, even a little bit of cunning on Kakuzu's part would have been a lot more appreciated - for instance, having his tendrils go through the ground to grab Ino, Chouji, and Kakuzu from below unexpectedly and trap them. Then I wouldn't be so surprised that they didn't even try to avoid it altogether.

_________________________________________________

@ Luckas



Glorious comments GK, I agree with you almost about everything. Said so I enjoyed very much the chapter and I believe the first double spreaqd is such a waste.

Just a curiosity recentely I had some difficulties to follow the last fights as Kishimoto would forget to drawn some panels/as the manga would lack some parts, am I the only one?


No, you're not alone on thinking that. But Kishimoto has always been kind of vague when it comes to his battle scenes, dating back to when Sasuke and Kakashi first had to stave off the Demon Brothers. I do think Kishimoto has improved greatly since then, but I suppose every now and then he still has his lapses - especially when it seems as though he has a deadline in his mind that he's trying to meet in ending the battle, and I think he got a bit carried away on writing some chapters for this battle.

I would not be surprised at all if this is one of the few points in the series that might translate much better to the anime screen.

_________________________________________________

@ CupofDice



3. I had no problem with this. If you are fast enough to dodge the sword, dropping some blood on it from a vial should be pretty easy. The fact that Hidan didn't notice is what bothers me.

9,10. I personally think the jutsu is finished and like someone else said there may be variations of it. The combination jutsu with Yamato was probably a strong hint that Naruto is going to learn suiton jutsus so he can make that jutsu his own, and there are loads of Konoha ninjas who use fire he can end up working with. Right now Naruto and Yamato together are as powerful as Kakuza. I also think he can do variations of it like someone else said, so the new jutsu is good enough for me, if not mind blowing.

About the time difference, once again they don't seem to be that far from Konoha, and Yamato could have explained it earlier before Kakashi attacked Kakuza. Kishi could have arranged it just for dramatic effect.

I personally thought the chapter was a 4 by your score. I am okay with time differences. Better than the author spending ages to keep things perfect.


Hidan not noticing I actually don't have as much a problem with as Shikamaru's Rock Lee-like taijutsu prowess. Hidan seemed to be in quite a blood lust at that time.

Good point about the combo-attack being a strong hint that Naruto probably learning suiton jutsus at some point.

I do hope that they'll explain how they got there so fast. The impression that I had was that Hidan and Kakuzu were located on the outskirts of Konohagakure when they were meditating, but the different route that they picked to head to Konohagakure might have been a more direct one.

4 is a pretty high rating for this chapter I think. 3 is still as far as I would go if I were to change my initial rating. But that's your opinion. :)

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@ cno



I guess i'm one of the few who don't think Shikamaru is playing possum. I think both of them are in pretty bad shape atm. Who knows how much Hidan can even do in that condition. That's why I was so surprised to see nobody missing from the group shot in the hopes that someone was going to be looking after Shikamaru, however I guess they just don't know the situation well enough to predict that, and I'm sure thats where this manga is guna end up.

I'm pretty sure Hidan/Kakuzu are going to have to leave at this point, and Kakuzu is going to have to gain his new hearts elsewhere. I don't see 2 Akasuki dieing and being replaced at this point and a 8 verses 2 with Kakuzu and Hidan being in the shape is pretty much impossible, we've seen so far that atleast Kakuzu is not dumb enough to do something like that. If anyone does die though I'm going to say it'll be Hidan. Just because of the huge revenge factor involved.

The only other way this next manga could go is if Akasuki back up comes to the rescue, but I don't know, I don't see a big fight going on at this point either.



I wouldn't want Shikamaru to be saved by anybody at the last minute anyway. That's happened with him far too often in the past. Asuma, Temari, etc. I want to see him finish a fight more decisively this time.

I still think at least one of the Akatsuki will go down in this battle, and I wouldn't mind if they both went down, as it would probably alarm the Akatsuki and cause them to try to counterattack. But yeah, I do see another Akatsuki (probably Zetsu or Itachi) possibly coming to their rescue.

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@ Iwanin



When I first saw those panels I thought it was Naruto too, but then when you look at final page, it becomes clear it was both of them. They're each have one arm in the air, as if they've just used them.

Yeah, that's what made me realize in the end y'all were right and I was wrong. ;) Score GK's readers 1, GK 0, heh.


What wasn't very clear to me was the drawing of the jutsu itself. At first I thought the tornado like column was just Naruto's jutsu, and that the mass below it was Yamato's. Then it hit me that the column itself was made of water and that the mass below is actually Kakuzu's fire + wind jutsu... which is confusing, because considering how close Kakashi and co were to Kakuzu at the time, you'd think they would have been hit by his jutsu anyway, or at the very least crushed between the two jutsus.

Agreed totally.


Of note is that the reason Naruto's jutsu is still "rasengan" is because, well, that's always been the idea: that rasengan was incomplete without an element to go with it, and that Naruto's now completed it. Thus, it's now "fuuton rasengan."

Yeah. It's still a Rasengan in appearance. But we haven't quite seen its effect yet. We saw how three different forms of the Rasengan could lead to three different results on the bark of a tree. So it'll be interesting if we see an example of what this one does.


I personally wasn't disappointed by the battle... I wish it had been less confusing, but I'd be a bit disappointed if luck *didn't* play a part in a battle against an opponent as formidable as Akatsuki... or to put it another way, Akatsuki would seem less menacing to me if all it took was a single team of Konoha Ninjas to bring them down.

Nevertheless I don't like that Shikamaru's plan included a lot of luck like that. I can understand it if luck forced itself into the battle due to the incredible strength of the Akatsuki as you said, but not Shikamaru depending on it.


Deidara and his "ultimate art" would have done away with both team Guy and Team Kakashi had it not been for Kakashi's mangekyou sharingan (which is what they used to put him on the defensive in the first place), and Sasori *chose* not to dodge the *legendary* Chiyo's final attack.

These guys are supposed to be S Rank (kage level) criminals... they *shouldn't* go down easily. The only ninja in Konoha who should be able to stand toe to toe with them is Tsunade. Why they send scores of potential fodder after them instead of just asking Jiraiya to take them out is beyond me, but then the manga wouldn't be any fun... :p

I agree with you there, though. I was more than pleased with Sasori's battle for that reason. And I was pleased that Deidara got away. And I wasn't surprised that Hidan and Kakuzu managed to kill Asuma. But I expected more from Shikamaru, I suppose you could say. Guess he's still young.


The main potential sticking point I see in the manga right now is the notion that by simply acquiring a new Jutsu Naruto's should be able to stand toe to toe with Sasuke. The latter was considerably faster and more powerful in all regards. One additional Jutsu, no matter how powerful, should not make that much of a difference.

But what Kishi sayeth, goeth.

Well, it wasn't just a jutsu that Naruto learned. He also learned how to control wind manipulation. Hopefully he'll learn more along the way. I don't think we're due for another Naruto and Sasuke confrontation until at the very least the end of Part 2, anyway.


One more thing: I'm not sure if anybody's brought it up yet, but I like the motif they used for Kakuzu. If Hidan's the Grimm Reaper, Kakuzu's Frankenstein: a stitched together amalgam of other beings.

Good way to summarize up their bizarreness, heh.


Ah! And two more "one more thing": 1) this chapter's issue of JUMP contains (among other goodies) a poster showing Naruto atop what may be assumed to be a "grown up" Gamakichi (about the size of the frog Jiraiya summoned to take out Ebisu). I wonder if we'll eventually see Naruto summon him again. 2) Tomorrow a special edition of Naruto goes on sale here in Japan...somethig like a "Kanzenban" or "Perfect Edition", only they're calling it "compilatory edition." Whatever. The point is that it's the size of Shounen Jump, covers the Haku / Zabuza arc, and contains the original colored pages as they appeared in serialization. Yippie!


I just now saw that poster a while ago when it was entered into the Art Contests, heh. That was a cool illustration, and I do hope that Naruto has learned how to work with his frogs more.

Sounds awesome. I hope to see something like that come over to America. Well, enjoy :D

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@ venicia777



I honestly expected those two akatsuki to massacre soo many of the teams that they wewre going to encounter irrespective of who it was. Seeing what they did at the fire temple and how they defeated the fully transformed yugito-nibi. Except that with Kishimoto sending two of the most favorite characters (kakashi and Shika)-- all my expectations of a massacre went into thin air. IF kishi wasnt going to kill them (Team 10) while at the same time making the story credible- why not bring in the element of Luck.

i think the Luck part was partly critical to ensuring some form of credibility in this arc. although i still understand and agree that it still wasnt convincing at all. the story seems kinda rushed now.


Maybe I should have been more clear in explaining that I wouldn't have minded luck being a factor in this battle, but just not in Shikamaru's plan.

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@ SiretaInDisguise'



I thought it was Yamato who used the water element and he and naruto joined their techniques together :/


Yeah, I was wrong there. Already edited into my Comments that I was mistaken.

Hope my mistake this time won't keep you from reading my Comments in the future, heh.

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@ =...dArK SaSuKe... and Robotic Red



JUst a quick point here.

I'm not TOO disapointed with the fact that Kakashi was caught by Kakuzu becuase after all he is human. He was caught by zabuzu too, who i'm sure isnt anywhere on akatsuki level. He was almost tricked by sasuke during the bell test, got schooled by kabuto, even outsmarted by naruto during the second bell test. All i'm sayin is i'm not too concerned with him not being a god-like ninja like itachi, who probably wouldnt have fell for any of those tricks but...lol




Plus, Kakashi's used his Sharingan the whole time, an as-of-yet unseen Suiton jutsu, and Raikiri at least three times; once when he skewered Kakuzu, and twice when he BLOCKED those attacks of Kakuzu's with a Raikiri on BOTH arms.

So yeah, I'm not surprised that he might be tired.


I don't mind Kakashi being caught by Kakuzu as much as I am Ino and Chouji as well. Ol' Kakashi was obviously tired at this point, yeah. But even so, Kakashi didn't see Zabuza's water jutsu coming, but he should have seen that they were too close to Kakuzu for comfort.

But maybe moving back to make more distance wouldn't have mattered though. If that's the case, I would have liked for Kishimoto's art to have shown that it wouldn't have mattered either way.

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@ Rurouni Gio



If i remember correctly he was out of fit when caught by Zabuza, also he was caught by a technique that in any case at all would let Zabuza kill him, so is understandable. as for Sasuke and the bell test, He was using one eye and taking the three of them too lightly, plus it wasn't an actual fight, nor there was a chance for him/his comrade of getting killed. Kabuto is beyond Jounin level, and Kakashi almost stop him without using sharingan. It sure took time for Grown up Naruto + Grown up Sakura to pass the bell test.

And the points are these, Kakuzu + Hidan weren't able to even touch him while fighting, with their teamwork and crazy-like attacks, also as you said Kakashi may not be a god-like ninja like Itachi, but the reason is most likely power, chakra, stamina, and the Uchiha blood when using sharingan, i don't think Itachi is more experienced nor more inteligent than Kakashi, and what bothered me was not the fact that kakashi was caught, it was the way he was caught, i mean he just stood still waiting for the enemy to get up and use those freaky like hair attack and catch him, and then he just stood as if giving up his life o.O?... That goes for Ino and Chouji as well, they might've been quite useless 'till now, but even konohamaru would've tried to avoid Kakuzu while he was still in pain (if then they had gotten caught even after trying yo evade it, i wouldn't be bothered at all -Except from the fact that it was Naruto team that came xP).


Good observation, Kakashi felt like he was out of shape after his confrontation with Kabuto so I guess he had allowed himself to slack off a bit before that fight with Zabuza. I wouldn't say Kabuto is beyond Jounin level though. Remember Orochimaru said that Kabuto and Kakashi were on equal terms. But still, that's why Kabuto ran away, heh.

Yeah, what bothered me the most as well was that Ino, Chouji, and Kakashi were watching almost in abject stark terror at Kakuzu getting up and then conveniently allowing themselves all to be caught like trapped rats. You hit it on the head there Gio.

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@ cno



I don't understand how anyone can be dissapointed with the fact that Kakashi and the rest were grabbed up by Kakuzu. First off Kakuzu has been around since the Shodai Hokage, as he said in the manga, his battle experance trounces the whole group let alone Kakashi. Secondly Kakashi is fighting with a handicap, the fact that he has to care for Chouji, Shikamaru and Ino.

All of this is too his disadvantage, not to mention the fact that Kakuzu can die up to 5 times, and he can use every element, well not at this point but he is capable of doing so. If this were any normal fight, Kakuzu would already be dead.


Well, who knows how good Shodai was back then when Kakuzu fought him though. And anyway, I expected more of a reaction by Kakashi, Ino, and Chouji to start with, they had plenty of time to get out of the way and separate.

But you have a good point in that Kakashi wouldn't just willingly abandon Ino and Chouji. I'm still more disappointed in Ino and Chouji than I am Kakashi at this point. Kakashi did everything he could to keep them out of danger and he was probably just pooped.

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@ One Eyed Sharingan



hello! good comments GK!!!

01. heh, i feel somewhat thrown off too, thinking that Kakashi could be not a part of team 7 anymore, just felt like something's isn't right.
And the header of the double spread said that team 7 is in good synch, so it re-amazes me that team 7 has really changed. Couldn't help it but remember what Naruto said when he had his objection about Sai being part of team 7 back then -"I will not acknowledge this person as a part of team 7"-or so Naruto said

And that Yamato's joined the "rookie caretaker"-jounin before i realize it. (does he still work as Anbu??)

well there are saying that goes like this "to live is to change", so with my opinion said about this double spread, i felt good with this cover for new year, it reminds me that everything's changing
kekekkeke that's true, it's hopeless... the boy's too loud, the best use of him in infiltration is DISTRACTION for enemies j/k :p


08. heh, caught again.. i can't think up of good excuse here >_<, except fatigue (what the heck, the only one supposed to be tired is Kakashi, not Chouji and Ino, Ino even said that she's the one with most chakra left). But i'd like to point something about those tendrills, there's gotta some effect they inflict, since Kakashi, Ino adn Chouji couldn't move. When Kotetsu and Izumo got caught by those tendrills, they couldn't move too. That way, it's more convenience for Kakuzu to rip someone's heart alive.


10. i, too confused about the timeline here (24 hour Tsunade gave, 3 days sealing sanbi+3 days sealing nibi, and the time when Yamato explained elemental advantages to Naruto), no matter how i think about it, they just don't add up...

about the 24 hours time limit Tsunade gave, well Tsunade said that she would send another team to back up team 10, but she never said anything about not allowing team 7 to back up team 10 even when the 24 hour has passed.

But then why team 7 was the first to arrive?? The only thing i can think up is Yamato's ability, remember when he made Naruto, Sakura and Sai eat some wood-thingy (was it wood??) so that Yamato can track them down whenever they concentrate their chakra??

I think Kakashi ate one of them too, so Yamato can track him down when Kakashi concentrate his chakra to perform jutsu (if you think about it, Kakashi has performed 4 raikiri and a Suiton, if i were Yamato... i'd definitely think there's gotta be bad situation that that "low chakra" Kakashi had to perform many hi-class/chakra consuming Ninjutsu... so they'd better hurry)... That's why i think Yamato's team could find Kakashi & co faster


First off, thanks for the compliments :)

Change is inevitable, but maybe it's a good thing that Kakashi isn't part of Team 7 anymore - possibly it might mean that Kakashi gets more freedom to go off on his own to spy on the Akatsuki as well, who knows what Kishimoto has store in for us now? After all, Kakashi was Yamato's ANBU senior, it makes sense that Tsunade would rather have Kakashi go off on missions than Yamato at the moment. Additionally Yamato does seem to be doing a good job taking care of Naruto and teaching him.

But I agree, it still feels funny.

Fatigue is a good excuse for Kakashi but not for the others. I don't think the tendrils has any kind of poisonous effect though. I think we would have seen the effects before now. And Kotetsu and Izumo weren't quite caught by the same attack, they were both being choked by Kakuzu's extended hands. I think we saw the scene of Kakashi, Ino and Chouji being attacked, they just looked surprised as it happened so fast for any of these senses to register. And they were all thinking "OH CRAP." They hadn't really tried to move yet.

You could be right, heh. Maybe Tsunade did send out another backup team, but they could never find Shikamaru's team. So Tsunade finally decided to let Naruto's team go after all. If that's the case, that could explain everything.

But by jove, you could also be right about Kakashi's having swallowed one of Yamato's wood trackers though. Very good point. That would explain how they got there so fast, and that might explain why Sakura said that they had a closer connection to Shikamaru's team than any others. Nice observation. I'll remember your post if that proves out to be how they got there so fast.

Well, that's it from me this week heh... keep up the comments, they do help me see the chapter in a whole new light.

diegocfq
January 21, 2007, 09:57 PM
Can't wait to see the 338 review =P

Gold Knight
January 23, 2007, 09:08 PM
Working on it now diegocfq. ^^; Went through some PC problems Sunday-Tuesday (again...) but I would have done one sooner if it hadn't taken so long to get a decent RAW, ah well. Better late than never, I think.

SiretaInDisguise
January 23, 2007, 10:35 PM
Working on it now diegocfq. ^^; Went through some PC problems Sunday-Tuesday (again...) but I would have done one sooner if it hadn't taken so long to get a decent RAW, ah well. Better late than never, I think.


Ooo, can't wait :)