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Gold Knight
February 08, 2007, 12:58 AM
http://img152.imageshack.us/img152/5758/00kf8.png
Play nice, kids!

Well, well. Not often I get to do a Comments so early in the week (maybe that'll give me some free time to review something else too.) This was a fairly quick Naruto chapter too - part of the reason I decided to do this one sooner rather than later. Not really much to say, but a fun chapter nevertheless and here goes anyhow.

Thanks to Mister9 for getting us the early MQ RAW and all our translators and scanlation groups for getting to work immediately. Thanks to auxiva who released a MQ/HQ version of the chapter just in time for this review. Also I'm grateful for Dynamic Dragon cleaning the colored doublespread, it makes for an awesome header. (I usually don't use covers - even colored ones - as the header, but this time I'll make an exception.)

Oh, and thanks to all that congratulated me for breaking the 10,000 post count xD Appreciate it, heh. I don't generally make a big deal of post count anymore, but I guess that's a big one, huh!

Feel free to comment on anything. ^^


* * * Gold Knight's Ten Comments on Naruto Chapter 341: The Results of the Training...!! * * *

http://img187.imageshack.us/img187/818/01go6.png
Tender reunions between long-lost friends sure gives you a nice, fuzzy feeling on the inside, doesn't it?

1. Gods of Fury! Feels nice to start off commenting on a cover again, even though it's colored and I actually used it for my header as well (no better choice, really.) Though I do hope we'll be getting some black and white ones coming soon after this one, I'm sure our colorists are getting pretty restless! (But from the looks of the preview for next week, it's color again...!)

Well, anyway, Kishimoto decided to give us a sign of things still to come in the series, huh! I'm sure all Sasuke fans are thrilled with this colored doublespread - especially since he doesn't appear all that often anymore in the story, and we get his official colors, which aren't all that bad at all. I also don't really expect a meeting between these two to come anytime soon though, so it's just as well that Kishimoto gave us a little taste of it here to sate our appetite. One thing's for sure, though, Naruto is one step closer to Sasuke after this arc.

I personally liked the old-fashioned mythological references Kishimoto used to draw the background here in order to depict Sasuke as a "god of lightning" and Naruto as a "god of wind." Nice touch to put a little more intensity into their rivalry. It also gives us a little bit of an insight into Kishimoto's mind as far as what he compares Naruto and Sasuke to in the myths he obviously researches all the time - and it also clearly says that these two will probably be back to being on equal basis again whenever they meet again.

Any way you look at it, it's obvious that whenever they clash again, they'll be fighting with more than just the Rasengan and Chidori.


http://img267.imageshack.us/img267/5282/02kt8.png
Man, Kakuzu's such a tako!

2. Kakuzu's Final Form...!? Man, how many kinds of transformations does Kakuzu have, eh? It's like the end of a Final Fantasy game, when the final villain shapeshifts about umpteen times before the hero finally knocks him out for good!

So here Kakuzu takes on the shape and form of almost a huge tarantula with a human body at the center. With eight tentacles looking like they now can crush opponents just as easily as capture them. So much for the theory last week that Kakuzu might not have been able to concentrate on using more than just one extended appendage at any one time.

I'm not sure another design for Kakuzu's already monstrous figure was necessary though, but I'm sure Kishimoto did it because he didn't want Kakuzu to look like he was just standing around waiting for Naruto to come and attack him again.

So what is up with all this black stuff coming out of his body? I'm thinking Kakuzu probably has a bloodline limit much like Kimimaro's, only this one deals with tendons rather than bones. And they can apparently regenerate themselves pretty easily, so he can extend them as far as he wants.

As for his zombie-like appearance, his original body have probably gone through several stages of decomposition as a result of his old age, so Kakuzu didn't see much reason not to experiment with it in order to allow easier passage for his "tendrils" in order to come out in a fight, as we're seeing here...!


http://img170.imageshack.us/img170/4204/03mx0.png
Almost tripped himself there...!

3. Attention to Background Detail... Check! Not much to say about Naruto doing the Kagebunshin again, really. Seems to be his usual initative move before every attack now. But here, before we get to all the exciting action, I'd just like to point out that I really appreciated that Kishimoto remembered all the little pesky background details even as he's doing Naruto's exciting moment. Makes it all feel more realistic for me - even though it could be a detail that could have been easily overlooked.

Take, for instance, Yamato's wooden attack that's now lying on the ground, and you can see where it impaled the cliff where Kakuzu dodged it in a previous chapter. I probably would have forgotten all about that, but still, the fact that Naruto and his bunshins here are having to think about leaping over it in order to reach Kakuzu really strikes a chord of realism with me.

I've always liked mangas that paid attention to background details for that reason.


http://img72.imageshack.us/img72/9076/04gs0.png
Able to leap annoying bunshins in a single bound...!

4. Jumpin' Jackrabbits! Okay, this time Kakuzu's strategy is to ignore the bunshins completely - by hurdling himself over them, no less! - and get to the Naruto with the RasenShuriken immediately. Well, that's what he should have done the last time, but I suppose his form wasn't really capable of "jumping" into the air as high as his current form seemed to be able to - hence the sudden transformation for this particular round.

But at the same time I can't help but wonder, were these Naruto bunshins REALLY that tough to avoid for an Akatsuki even without the usage of tentacles to propel himself up into the air to thirty feet above the ground? Hmpf...

Of course, that Kakuzu didn't prepare himself for such a strategy the last time seemed to show that he was clearly just overconfident and not expecting an attack from behind that time.


http://img521.imageshack.us/img521/8804/05st9.png
Lucky for Ino she's not the one being attacked...! Tentacles, ya know...!

5. Strikin' Hard. Even so, Kakuzu still seemed to be pretty full of himself again with this change of strategy. I mean, what's with his idea of "crushing" the RasenShuriken?

Wouldn't his primary goal technically be to get the hell away from it? I would have thought he'd have thought to use his masks in this instance to get rid of Naruto without putting him at risk whatsoever. Only reason I can think of that he didn't do that would be to make sure that he didn't somehow lose Naruto from his line of sight in a resulting cloud of evaporating smoke.


http://img72.imageshack.us/img72/4016/06st9.png
Fooled him once, shame on you... fool him twice, shame on him, eh?

6. Duped Again! Well, how about this? Naruto out-smarted Kakuzu - an Akatsuki - twice in a row! This time he mixed up his own original self with the incoming bunshins and had a decoy bunshin stay behind with an apparently fake RasenShuriken - to be locked in by Kakuzu, of course, and fool him in thinking it was the original that he was attacking! And then while he's caught off guard - yep, gotcha!

Seem familiar to you? Yeah, that's right - this should be an easy one for all you Narutards! Remember when Naruto used the exact same trick against Neji (http://img166.imageshack.us/img166/7921/naruto12118pa0.png) in the Chunnin Exams? Hey, if it works, why not use it again? Sometimes the oldest tricks in the book are the best ones!


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ZAPPP!! How's that for a defibrillator!

7. Getting to the Heart of the Matter...! I'll just comment on the initial effect of the RasenShuriken here. Doesn't actually really seem to that different from a typical Rasengan, to be honest. Yes, we saw it sink into his backside, edges and all, but aside from that we didn't see much new... aside from the force of the impact itself, of course.

It does seem to have hit Kakuzu with a much greater force than Kabuto was by Naruto's Rasengan (http://img122.imageshack.us/img122/1323/narutoc16804qu8.png) earlier in the series, at least.


http://img247.imageshack.us/img247/9749/08op8.png
How's that for going out with a bang?

8. Big Bang! We do have to remember that Naruto's RasenShuriken is still a only partially-complete jutsu, I guess. Either way, we did get more spectacular results this time. First we saw Kakuzu being violently propelled forward, and then the RasenShuriken inside his body seemed to collapse in on itself and blew up Kakuzu in even more grand fashion! Woo! So that's what caused the crater.

Definitely sweet to see Naruto finally hit him with it this time, and get to see everything that came with it in these eight pages! Even if it meant more action and less story this time around, but I didn't really mind. I had actually thought that we wouldn't get to see the actual after-effects until the next chapter, that Kishimoto would tease us with a point-blank RasenShuriken to Kakuzu's chest at the end of this one.

I'm glad that I was mistaken, though.


http://img441.imageshack.us/img441/7493/09ha6.png
Well, it WAS bright...!

9. The Limits of Sharingan? One casual observation from this chapter that's sure to be discussed aplenty is Kakashi's thought on not being able to "see" the hits of the RasenShuriken with his special ability, that is, of course, the Sharingan. Meaning Naruto's jutsu must definitely have moved at blinding speed!

Does this mean that Sasuke will have a similar difficulty when facing off against Naruto now? One thing's for sure, now Naruto has a move that he can be able to catch Sasuke off guard without having to depend on the Kyuubi to increase his overall speed and strength anymore.


http://img185.imageshack.us/img185/2505/10hx9.png
Consider yourself pwned, Kakuzu!

10. Sweet Victory...! Well, isn't Naruto satisfied and content now? He actually took an Akatsuki out - all by himself! It probably wouldn't have even mattered if Kakuzu had still had all his five hearts - it looks as though that move would have taken them all out. (Of course it would be a different story if Kakuzu hadn't kept all three hearts close at hand - too bad for him!) Anyway, I predicted this would happen - I'm really amazed that many readers were disappointed by Naruto "missing the mark" last chapter. I knew it was just going to lead to something like this. I think Naruto's proved himself, don't you?

So is Kakuzu dead? I tend to think so. We saw the two masks crumble into nothingness, so that means two hearts are most likely taken out. We saw Naruto's RasenShuriken strike to the very core of Kakuzu's body, where I assume his heart was. So I'm thinking the same happened to his last remaining heart. Yeah, he's dead.

Somewhat a shame, though. I had expected more of Kakuzu, but he seemed to be too rash in his actions, a little too slow to react, and not overly bright at all after all. Actually, at this point, I would rank Sasori as being stronger than either Kakuzu or Hidan - he certainly showed more toughness and wits than either of these two. No wonder Deidara had such respect for Sasori compared to the other Akatsuki. But for pure entertainment, these two were certainly fun to see work together. Well, too bad it's all over now.

What will the Akatsuki do now? They're not going to be too terribly pleased, now that Hidan and Kakuzu are both down. I'll be curious to find out what happens next for sure.

RATING: 4 of 5 - Although it was fun to see Naruto finally achieve victory, there was precious little to chew on in this chapter besides watching his jutsu in action. There wasn't much story and we saw an old trick at work again. We saw an almost anticlimatic end to an Akatsuki member, even though he clearly bared his fangs enough times already. So while it's still a cool chapter, short and sweet, just not enough new stuff to deserve a 5. Cool colored doublespread, though.

Predictions: Picking up the pieces? I'm sure we'll see a little reunion between Team 10 and Team 7. Probably a look at the Akatsuki to see what they're doing.


http://img126.imageshack.us/img126/4394/finah7.png
Don't talk with your mouth full!
Thoughts? Comment away!

glasskatana
February 08, 2007, 01:11 AM
WOOHOO first post!

Nice comments. Will comment more later. For now...sleep. Need...sleep.

manu
February 08, 2007, 01:38 AM
Not to be a party pooper but Naruto's obvious exhaustion could have led to a very bad defeat if he didn't have backup. As far was we know Kakuzu's hearts can move on there own correct? Also he's intial strategy is to have them away from his body. So really a one hit KO would have been kinda useless to the Kakuzu that has 5 hearts. When he had lost two from ShikaxKaka he felt the need to put his hearts in his body which lead to him becoming one big target. Anyways thats just my analysis of the new jutsu and how it could have failed... horribly... early on.

goofy_man
February 08, 2007, 01:59 AM
Lucky for Ino she's not the one being attacked...! Tentacles, ya know...!
I guarantee that Rule 34 will be in effect within the next few weeks in regards to that statement...... >_>

Thanks for the comments so quickly, GK!

The only sad thing about this is that now we have to finally say goodbye to "Masochistic Pyschopath Naruto" (Hidan) and "Sasuke the Tentacle Master" (Kakuzu).......I liked this pair.....both badass and funny at the same time. A very well-thought out duo of villains.....shame to see them go already.....

CupofDice
February 08, 2007, 03:24 AM
Pretty sweet chapter, and I guess the last chapter makes more sense now since Kishi didn't want to carry on this fight too long, and yet didn't want Naruto to win in just one chapter. A bit sad to see Kakuza go, but he looked pretty cool dying :smile-big. A lot cooler than Hidan's end, and more merciful. He should feel lucky he didn't kill Kakashi, or Naruto would have had to find a punishment matching Hidan's. Also pretty cool how he looked like an old Itachi, especially on that 7th pic above with the three bunshins behind him.

Anyway I liked how Kishi has pulled off Naruto's power up. A lot of authors/mangakas make the annoying mistake of making them too powerful, and here we have Naruto killing a 100% legit Akatsuki member, but one who was weakened a bit and overconfident (even if that didn't fit with what we knew of Kakuza :neutral), plus the new jutsu is only 50% which puts a nice limit on his power. Also nice that Naruto has finally killed someone (in the manga), and not some cheap kill like that sand ninja Itachi was fighting through. Hopefully there are lots of ninja fights in his future without the need for more and more ultra powerful (I'm talking more powerful than AL) type characters.

Me- 4/5 I'm cool with the fighting ending in this chapter, but wished there were a few more pages of strategy. 'That jutsu' kicked ass though and my fanboyness can't wait to read the next chapter to see the reactions :XD.

La_Muerte
February 08, 2007, 03:44 AM
to me i dotn think kakuzu is dead, cause as u said he may be a bloodline type of person, i mean it doesnt look like hes completely dead his tentacles are still out, hes probably got no body hes just that black goo with skin on top, i mean if hes still alive im thinking its barely, enough to try to extract some information and if hes dead o well

ophidial
February 08, 2007, 05:12 AM
wow cool, early comments though i think for the
first time i actually think less of the chapter than you did...
last week i was on the naruto shouldn't kill in one week side of things
so having naruto do it so easily in this chapter doesn't really sit to well...
the jutsu was bloody cool though!!

though i guess in the end the fact that kakazu was probably less than
3/5 of his full strength makes it somewhat better. i think in the end kishi
probably decided to make this battle short because the next sasuke arc is
coming soon and he doesn't two big naruto fights in close succession.

Raseru
February 08, 2007, 05:21 AM
Great and early comments, GK! :kkthumbs

I think your rating suited the chapter. Despite the super-cool action, I think there could've been something more.

Since Naruto and Sakura have both killed and Akatsuki (assuming that Kakuzu is dead), do you think that we'll see Sasuke soon... and that he might kill another one? Maybe not Itachi yet though...

Oh well, great comments as always. ^^

Lillim
February 08, 2007, 05:50 AM
Great comments :D
I want to point out just a few things that you might find interesting. It was not really the same old game with the Bunshins like in the Neji fight because
-Naruto changed the Position during the making of the Bunshins (probably behind the smoke because even Kakashi and the others didn't know it seemed)
-with just 3 Bunshins (that meens he didn't make 3000 Bunshins, so to mix up the real Naruto would be a lot harder)
- one Bunshins (the one Kakuzu thinks is the real one) mimices the handseal of KB (it's important for me because of that I always knew who the real one was and here Naruto let a KB mimic it)

Also because the question why Kakuzu attackes the one with the Rasenshuriken ("it could have killed him through the contact" etc) and why he didn't kill the KB
- because of my observation with the switching and mimicing of the KB I really understand that he was so overconfident (not to forget, though he has big experience, a KB user like Naruto is rare... usually few people use them and afterwards have nearly no Chakra/stamina etc)
- Killing the KB could bring him again in the situation like last time and there is also Yamatos wood ^^ lying around (--> perfect for a sneack attack because it blocks the view)
- Killing the real one=no KB and also even when it wasn't the real one...Rasenshuriken seems to be a "big" attack, using a lot of Chakra etc, Naruto came to the fight already exhausted (more or less^^) so Kakuzu could also think that no way in hell he could make ANOTHER one
- Kakuzu charged himself up with chakra in this form, Kakashi said to get ready for Narutos attack. I don't really know what that means or what effects it could have but it could be a reason why he attacked just the "real" one

I think that was all ..I hope I didn't bother you ^^ Really appreciate the works of all here.

Muk
February 08, 2007, 05:51 AM
i got a comment for your statement why kakuzu didn't use his elemental jutsu on the fake rasen shuriken naruto. probably he wanted him alive or somewhat alive so he used tentalce yaoi action trying to restrain the "original" naruto.

Luckas
February 08, 2007, 07:22 AM
I just reread the Naruto chapter and I really didn't get where the real Naruto switched with the kage bunshins and to what hits Kakashi is refering. I'm very confused about this.

Raine_Joybringer
February 08, 2007, 07:33 AM
*covers her eyes before she replies*

Oh geez, you're quick this week. I'd probably have mine ready, but I haven't even downloaded the chapter yet (stupid dial-up has been acting up on me this week).

But I'll get around to reading them soon I hope! :/ Though I have work all day tomorrow...

Robotic Red
February 08, 2007, 07:51 AM
I just reread the Naruto chapter and I really didn't get where the real Naruto switched with the kage bunshins and to what hits Kakashi is refering. I'm very confused about this.




The real Naruto went with the two clones from the very beginning. The one who used the first Rasen Shuriken WAS a clone. While Kakuzu's attention was focused on the clone with Rasen Shuriken, the REAL Naruto was making another one behind Kakuzu.

Also, the "hits" probably refers to how many blows were delivered to Kakuzu from the Rasen Shuriken. So many at such a high speed that not even the Sharingan could keep up.

juUnior
February 08, 2007, 07:58 AM
Really amazing speedy review GK :D

For me chapter also would be for 4 on a 1-5 scale, and I reale really liked tha color cover page. It's fantastic. Kishimoto did again great chapter, no more to say :D


(I usually don't use covers - even colored ones - as the header, but this time I'll make an exception.)
It's so nice cover, that it's nice that you give that in the begining :D


I personally liked the old-fashioned mythological references Kishimoto used to draw the background here in order to depict Sasuke as a "god of lightning" and Naruto as a "god of wind."
It's great, amazing! If I compare to previous ones, it's probably one of the best color covers in Naruto ^^


So what is up with all this black stuff coming out of his body? I'm thinking Kakuzu probably has a bloodline limit much like Kimimaro's, only this one deals with tendons rather than bones.
I also was thinking, that it could be bloodlimit, I dont see it another way..


2. Kakuzu's Final Form...!?
But Kakuzu on the panel looks great with his "hair" xD


Yes, we saw it sink into his backside, edges and all, but aside from that we didn't see much new... aside from the force of the impact itself, of course.
And to that, Kakashi said that he couldn't saw with sharingan the moments of attacks of that jutsu :x


I think Naruto's proved himself, don't you?

Of kors :D


Actually, at this point, I would rank Sasori as being stronger than either Kakuzu or Hidan - he certainly showed more toughness and wits than either of these two.
I agree on that.

chvis002
February 08, 2007, 09:02 AM
Damn that was a quick review

I actually think that this chapter were batter than the last since that one just were one big anticlimax too me. Not a very fun teaser if you ask me.

1: you know what kind of legend they were talking about on the cover?

2: Last time i looked kakuzu were alone against 5 quite skilled ninjas, so why wait? Guess it's the shonen spooking, hopfully

6: It's been some time since we saw that side of Naruto, his unpredicleness. Can't really recall when we last saw it.

10: I bet my money on living! His body is to intact to be dead and at this moment with only one heart left (mayby) the smart thing is to either run or fake it. Not to mention he's Akatsukis doctor, who's gonna heal them when they come back all bruised if Kakusu is dead?

Prediction: Naruto want's to train but Yamato says rest! And Sakura, Sai and Shikamaru will be all wtf when they saw what happened

Congrats on your 10000+ post thingie btw :D

Reaver Reload
February 08, 2007, 09:28 AM
Great comments, GK <3

I must say, I had a premonition about the aftermath... once everything is over and Naruto etc have headed back to Konoha, we'll see Zetsu hunting for the rings, and possibly with a new recruit that will replace Kakuzu.

Since Hidan's ring is about a few centimetres away from his head, I'm guessing he'll be rescued and taken back to the lair along with his other body parts once Zetsu discovers his ring.

I'm really really looking forward to seeing everybody's reactions to Naruto's new abilities.
Itachi (and Deidara) will certainly be shocked that Naruto was capable of dispatching Kakuzu. Maybe another of those cliche lines: "He was... that... Naruto?"

Kakashi will just be proud of Naruto again and say some kind of comment that freaks out Naruto (ala fuuton training.) But it's Tsunade's and Sakura's reactions that I'm looking forwards to the most! When Sakura returns with Shikamaru etc and hears that Naruto got rid of an akatsuki all by himself, I'm sure she'll have another "Oh Naruto, how you've grown!" *fawn* scene.

I know I'm making outlandish predictions, but this is what I really hope happens.

<3

goofy_man
February 08, 2007, 09:31 AM
I'm really really looking forward to seeing everybody's reactions to Naruto's new abilities.
Itachi (and Deidara) will certainly be shocked that Naruto was capable of dispatching Kakuzu. Maybe another of those cliche lines: "He was... that... Naruto?"

Kakashi will just be proud of Naruto again and say some kind of comment that freaks out Naruto (ala fuuton training.) But it's Tsunade's and Sakura's reactions that I'm looking forwards to the most! When Sakura returns with Shikamaru etc and hears that Naruto got rid of an akatsuki all by himself, I'm sure she'll have another "Oh Naruto, how you've grown!" *fawn* scene.
I'm personally waiting for the person who does the "Holy shi--!" reaction....

venicia777
February 08, 2007, 09:37 AM
2) i agree with you-- kakuzu's ability may be a bloodline. And then again it may just like how Oro has modified the bodies he inhabits to use them the way he does.

Although if he is really dead we may never know. Well, thats alright with me. Not all characters we have met soo far received background stories explaining why their abilities are such (remember the guy with six hands- kidomarou and others more). Heck if Asuma-taicho died the way he did-- this is fine.


4) You remember in one of my posts weeks back i indicated that Kakuzu was just in here for target practice especially since he was an elemental master. And it came to pass.


And i think that is exactly who he was. Why such an experienced Ninja who has lived soo long did what he did is beyond me. Overconfidence-- yeah!! These guys dont lose a lot- do they. He was too sure he was going to win.

And Naruto pulled what he did to Neji- albeit slightly different.

The jutsu was just awesome-- but the ending was kinda abrupt. i honestly wasnt expecting it to end in one chapter even though this has been running for a long time. Amazingly, when this arc comes in a volume and you read it in a go-- it may not look that long.

Now i am dreaming of the 100% Fuuton Rasengan.

But lets not forget Yondaime-- he was really awesome. He definately knew the potential of the original rasengan if completed. What a genius. Now- i am waiting for when Naruto will come up with his own jutsus-- that will be sweet.

Good job GK :occa

Ichimaru Gin n Tonic
February 08, 2007, 10:07 AM
GK strikes again! Awesome review!! :thumbs

It's pretty amazing how Kishimoto wraps up the fight against Kakuzu faster than I thought it would be. I wonder how many episodes will this fight be in the anime :D? After reading 340, I thought Naruto would need more help from his senseis or Choji and Ino. But looks like Naruto is full of surprise after all - utilizing his Kyuubi chakra - he didn't only come up with one Rasenshuriken, he made two of them (one of them probably the failed version from 340, since it didn't blow up when Kakuzu hit the Kage Bunshin :D).

And not only that, he did it so fast that Kakuzu never even realized that one of the Kage Bunshins is actually Naruto using another Kage Bunshin to distract Kakuzu into thinking that the other three Kage Bunshins will try to pull the same trick as the first wave of Kage Bunshins that got pwned by Kakuzu. That's one long sentence with lame implicit jokes that nobody will probably get. :D

Naruto made a big hole on the ground and a pretty big bang that splatters Kakuzu's body everywhere. Looks like five Konoha's shinobi could use a pretty big bath to get rid all of that icky remains of Kakuzu from their body. yuck! :D
Maybe someday when Naruto really master the Rasenshuriken, he could make an even bigger one with ten times the effect of the current Rasenshuriken. The effect could resemble what Wanda Maximoff a.k.a. Scarlet Witch -- Former Avenger/Vision's Ex-wife/Deranged Chaos Magic Practitioner/Mutant -- did at the end of House of M #8. But without making almost every shinobi lost their mutant power, since there's no record of a mutant shinobi, only records of several shinobi mutants. :D "No... More... Akatsuki...!" (that's not character bashing. for more information about that pun, please visit the American Comics (http://mangahelpers.com/forum/index.php?board=433.0) board) :D

ibra87
February 08, 2007, 10:15 AM
Yo GK! Thank you for the fast and great comments!

This chapter was pretty great imo. I think it's probably because of the Sasuke cover and the jutsu finally hitting and blowing up Kakuzu. Guess who's gonna have a double meal now? xD

kiddo7
February 08, 2007, 11:44 AM
Hey there governa,...
This week is awesome, super early raws, scans, and comments too. Even if I searched for a lifetime I would never find a site that could compare to MH and its Crew!

In other words, Great comments and thanks for posting them so early.

I do not have very much to say, once again, I pretty much agree with most of what you have to say. My one point of contention is in the interpretation of Yamato's comment from two chapters back. I do not think that the jutsu being 50% complete means that it will become anymore powerful in the future. I just think that he meant that Naruto has not mastered the execution yet, which would explain why it fizzed out last time. I think the other fifty percent is in understanding it properly, making it work every time, controlling it's power, and maybe completing it faster. But then again I have been wrong before.
Also I am not sure I would have rated it as high, Robotic Red's Ratings where closer to my opinion.
Keep up the good work.

Navid.
February 08, 2007, 11:57 AM
Superb comments as usual, and super quick as well… :) Anyway I’m going to jump straight into presenting my own thoughts on your comments and this week’s chapter…



1. Gods of Fury! Well, anyway, Kishimoto decided to give us a sign of things still to come in the series, huh! I'm sure all Sasuke fans are thrilled with this colored doublespread - especially since he doesn't appear all that often anymore in the story, and we get his official colors, which aren't all that bad at all. I also don't really expect a meeting between these two to come anytime soon though, so it's just as well that Kishimoto gave us a little taste of it here to sate our appetite. One thing's for sure, though, Naruto is one step closer to Sasuke after this arc.

I personally liked the old-fashioned mythological references Kishimoto used to draw the background here in order to depict Sasuke as a "god of lightning" and Naruto as a "god of wind." Nice touch to put a little more intensity into their rivalry. It also gives us a little bit of an insight into Kishimoto's mind as far as what he compares Naruto and Sasuke to in the myths he obviously researches all the time - and it also clearly says that these two will probably be back to being on equal basis again whenever they meet again.

Any way you look at it, it's obvious that whenever they clash again, they'll be fighting with more than just the Rasengan and Chidori.

You are right about thinking that Sasuke fans are going to be pleased with this… me being one of them. :tem

As for the colour spread, I have to be honest I think I spent more time looking at it than I did looking at the chapter it self when I first downloaded it… I try to explain why I thoughts on why I was so impressed with this spread:

The first thing that came to my mind was the implications of the picture, depicting our two protagonists as the gods of their elements facing each other. Then another thought hit me, shouldn’t Sasuke’s element be depicted as fire, what with him being an Uchiha? Well in my opinion this depicts the Sasuke that is only after power (lightning), and has lost his passion (fire) and has abandoned his feelings/bonds for his friend/village.

I also have to say I was very impressed with the clean stylish “Naruto” art (that we are all used to from the series), being mixed and incorporated so well with the more detailed and expressive art that is used to show the two gods in the background.

I would also like to draw attention to the use of weapons on Sasuke and Naruto’s parts, Sasuke now using his “electric” sword while Naruto is going for his trademark Kage-Bunshin, while in their background their opposing elements are clashing. (I know I referred to Kage-Bunshin as a weapon, but I have always believed that Naruto does and always has used it as one, much in the same way other Nin use Kunai’s and Shuriken’s)

Needless to say, I liked the colour spread (talk about taking the long route eh :p)…



2. Kakuzu's Final Form...!? So here Kakuzu takes on the shape and form of almost a huge tarantula with a human body at the center. With eight tentacles looking like they now can crush opponents just as easily as capture them. So much for the theory last week that Kakuzu might not have been able to concentrate on using more than just one extended appendage at any one time.

I'm not sure another design for Kakuzu's already monstrous figure was necessary though, but I'm sure Kishimoto did it because he didn't want Kakuzu to look like he was just standing around waiting for Naruto to come and attack him again.

So what is up with all this black stuff coming out of his body? I'm thinking Kakuzu probably has a bloodline limit much like Kimimaro's, only this one deals with tendons rather than bones. And they can apparently regenerate themselves pretty easily, so he can extend them as far as he wants.

As for his zombie-like appearance, his original body have probably gone through several stages of decomposition as a result of his old age, so Kakuzu didn't see much reason not to experiment with it in order to allow easier passage for his "tendrils" in order to come out in a fight, as we're seeing here...!

I have to say I felt this final transformation was a bit pointless (when compared him being able to split up his masks from his body), and as you pointed out it was probably used by Kishimoto as a means to allow Naruto to set up his attack…

Now I now some might say that this form allowed Kakuzu to jump really high, but lets not forget that where dealing with Ninja’s here, and over the series its been shown that they can without much effort jump great distances. Also an argument might be that the tendrils in this form allow Kakuzu more attacking power, while this is probably true, we have already seen his normal tendrils being able to pretty much handle Naruto… Overall I feel a bit disappointed that this transformation didn’t have the same purpose in its design as him being able to split up his masks from his body.

I also have to say I enjoyed reading you theory on the inner working of Kakuzu’s body and comparing it to Kimimaro’s bloodline limit. Hopefully Kishimoto will give some sort of explanation on both Kakuzu and Hidan in the next chapter, would really be a shame to have two such unique (I think that’s a good world to use) characters left without any form of background.

Also notice how Kakuzu’s own face looks like it is just another mask that has been stitched on in this form.



3. Attention to Background Detail... Check! Take, for instance, Yamato's wooden attack that's now lying on the ground, and you can see where it impaled the cliff where Kakuzu dodged it in a previous chapter. I probably would have forgotten all about that, but still, the fact that Naruto and his bunshins here are having to think about leaping over it in order to reach Kakuzu really strikes a chord of realism with me.

I have to be honest, I probably wouldn’t have thought about commenting on this if you had not brought it up, this is the kind of thing I would probably expect to see and therefore take for granted.

I also have to say that Yamato’s earlier wood-hand attack created a nice wall between Naruto (+ his Bunshins) and Kakuzu… So in that respect I though it was quite a nice planed out preparation to the fight by Kishi/Naruto.



4. Jumpin' Jackrabbits! Okay, this time Kakuzu's strategy is to ignore the bunshins completely - by hurdling himself over them, no less! - and get to the Naruto with the RasenShuriken immediately. Well, that's what he should have done the last time, but I suppose his form wasn't really capable of "jumping" into the air as high as his current form seemed to be able to - hence the sudden transformation for this particular round.

But at the same time I can't help but wonder, were these Naruto bunshins REALLY that tough to avoid for an Akatsuki even without the usage of tentacles to propel himself up into the air to thirty feet above the ground? Hmpf...

This is where I started having my reservations about the chapter. As I said earlier I don’t really see the point of new transformation Kakuzu went through, we have seen other Nin jump like that before without problems. But my biggest problem with the whole of the chapter occurs during your next point, so I’ll move on…



5. Strikin' Hard. Even so, Kakuzu still seemed to be pretty full of himself again with this change of strategy. I mean, what's with his idea of "crushing" the RasenShuriken?

Wouldn't his primary goal technically be to get the hell away from it? I would have thought he'd have thought to use his masks in this instance to get rid of Naruto without putting him at risk whatsoever. Only reason I can think of that he didn't do that would be to make sure that he didn't somehow lose Naruto from his line of sight in a resulting cloud of evaporating smoke.

Ok this is the point which really stopped me enjoying this chapter and the unveiling of Naruto’s Jutsu as much as I probably should have. (All Kishi/Naruto fans look away now…)

The fact that Kakuzu went for a close-range attack on someone who he knows has a devastating close-range jutsu just screams madness/stupidity to me.

Let’s recap shall we: Kakuzu - a S-ranked Nin who been shown by Kishi to have a huge amount of battle experience and smarts during the past chapter, he is in possession of a Fuuton and Katon masks capable of high-level long range elemental Ninjutsu attacks… And then we have Naruto – 3 Kage-Bunshin and a powerful close-range Fuuton based attack at his disposal.

Kakuzu even commented on the fact that as long as he kept his distance from the one (Naruto) with the RasenShuriken he should be ok.

Now I don’t know what went through Kakuzu’s mind when he saw three Naruto’s charging at him with the fourth holding the RasenShuriken not far behind them, but I immediately though of this:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v181/navid00/Narutoc175p15.png
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v181/navid00/Narutoc175p16.png

Take no chances and take out both the Bunshins and the Jutsu holder in one go with a massive Katon Jutsu.

Which neatly brings me to another point, Kakuzu being the a guy who originally could use Jutsu’s from all the elements should be more aware of they affinities than anyone else… yet he didn’t use one Katon (or even better a FuutonKaton combination) attack one against Narutos Fuuton RasenShuriken. This is the same guy who was spitting out high level combinations of Fuuton/Katon Jutsu’s during the fight against Kakashi/Ino/Chouji.

I’ll stop there, although to be honest this has come very close to almost ruining the chapter for me.



6. Duped Again! Well, how about this? Naruto out-smarted Kakuzu - an Akatsuki - twice in a row! This time he mixed up his own original self with the incoming bunshins and had a decoy bunshin stay behind with an apparently fake RasenShuriken - to be locked in by Kakuzu, of course, and fool him in thinking it was the original that he was attacking! And then while he's caught off guard - yep, gotcha!

Seem familiar to you? Yeah, that's right - this should be an easy one for all you Narutards! Remember when Naruto used the exact same trick against Neji in the Chunnin Exams? Hey, if it works, why not use it again? Sometimes the oldest tricks in the book are the best ones!

Wow, now I don’t normally go on to say so when I get a prediction right, but I felt the fact that I posted it in your comments last week and since it was so close to what actually happened I should bring it up this once (hope you can forgive me :amuse :p):



As for predictions, I think Naruto is going to feint with the RasenShuriken, get Kakuzu to concentrate on a Bushin with the Rasen Shuriken while the real Naruto makes a surprise attack (kinda like how he fooled Neji during the Chunnin Exam, keeping a clone hanging back as bait to get his attention).

So basically Kakuzu will stab the Bushin with his tendrils, and by the time the Bushin goes puff in a heap of smoke, Naruto will jump out with another RasenShuriken...

Now onto my thoughts on Naruto’s tactics, I am going to be brutally honest, the first thing that came to mind was: what a dangerous/risky and stupid way to pull of an attack.

Like I said earlier I would have expected Kakuzu to deal with this with one of his long range elemental Jutsu’s, and well if he had we could all say goodbye to Naruto now as he would probably be one of the first to get hit…

I remember you thought that Shikamaru’s plan a couple of weeks ago relied to much on luck to be pulled of, well it seems this week all of Konoha’s Nin are blessed by some sort of lucky star.

Which brings me to Yamoto’s word’s from a week ago, that was the second time he reminded Kakashi and Co. that they hadn’t seen the new Naruto… Well I don’t know much about everyone else, but he seems as hot-headed and straightforward as he always did???

Anyway onwards…



8. Big Bang! We do have to remember that Naruto's RasenShuriken is still a only partially-complete jutsu, I guess. Either way, we did get more spectacular results this time. First we saw Kakuzu being violently propelled forward, and then the RasenShuriken inside his body seemed to collapse in on itself and blew up Kakuzu in even more grand fashion! Woo! So that's what caused the crater.

Definitely sweet to see Naruto finally hit him with it this time, and get to see everything that came with it in these eight pages! Even if it meant more action and less story this time around, but I didn't really mind. I had actually thought that we wouldn't get to see the actual after-effects until the next chapter, that Kishimoto would tease us with a point-blank RasenShuriken to Kakuzu's chest at the end of this one.

I'm glad that I was mistaken, though.

Now after having seen and read through this chapter I have formed a personal theory of why this Jutsu is only 50% completed: I think that the crater that the Jutsu creates is not supposed to happen, why… let me explain using the Rasengan my reference:

Do you remember the first time Jiraya demonstrated the difference between a successful Rasengan and a unsuccessful one.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v181/navid00/Naruto_c155_p09.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v181/navid00/Naruto_c155_p10-11.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v181/navid00/Naruto_c155_p12.jpg

It showed that for the user of the Rasengan would have to be able to retain all the power that was put into the Jutsu for it to be highly concentrated and therefore it’s power would not dissipate when used to attack with.

I think it’s the same case with the RasenShuriken, Naruto has not yet been able to fully retain its power and therefore it has gone out of control and created the crater.



9. The Limits of Sharingan? One casual observation from this chapter that's sure to be discussed aplenty is Kakashi's thought on not being able to "see" the hits of the RasenShuriken with his special ability, that is, of course, the Sharingan. Meaning Naruto's jutsu must definitely have moved at blinding speed!

Does this mean that Sasuke will have a similar difficulty when facing off against Naruto now? One thing's for sure, now Naruto has a move that he can be able to catch Sasuke off guard without having to depend on the Kyuubi to increase his overall speed and strength anymore.

I had a different understanding of that statement, the way I interpreted that line was that when Kakashi says he can not follow the amount of hits, he is saying that because of the high number of revolutions in the Jutsu makes it impossible to see even for his Sharingan the amount of hits Kakusu took.

Now this doesn’t really matter against the Sharingan as it’s the attack itself that Kakashi/Sasuke need to see and avoid… not the effect of the attack (as once you have been hit by the RasenShuriken your pretty much done for anyway).



10. Sweet Victory...! Well, isn't Naruto satisfied and content now? He actually took an Akatsuki out - all by himself! It probably wouldn't have even mattered if Kakuzu had still had all his five hearts - it looks as though that move would have taken them all out. (Of course it would be a different story if Kakuzu hadn't kept all three hearts close at hand - too bad for him!) Anyway, I predicted this would happen - I'm really amazed that many readers were disappointed by Naruto "missing the mark" last chapter. I knew it was just going to lead to something like this. I think Naruto's proved himself, don't you?

It’s kinda funny, as much as I didn’t have a problem with last weeks chapter, I feel disappointed with this weeks Naruto and Kakuzu. It felt like Kishimoto just wanted to get this fight over with, and that this Akatsuki pair had served their purpose only to show Shikamaru’s avenge Asuma and Naruto showing of his Jutsu.


So is Kakuzu dead? I tend to think so. We saw the two masks crumble into nothingness, so that means two hearts are most likely taken out. We saw Naruto's RasenShuriken strike to the very core of Kakuzu's body, where I assume his heart was. So I'm thinking the same happened to his last remaining heart. Yeah, he's dead.

Well I would guess even if he turns out to be alive, were not going to see to much action from him anymore… by the way would this count as Naruto’s first kill?


Somewhat a shame, though. I had expected more of Kakuzu, but he seemed to be too rash in his actions, a little too slow to react, and not overly bright at all after all. Actually, at this point, I would rank Sasori as being stronger than either Kakuzu or Hidan - he certainly showed more toughness and wits than either of these two. No wonder Deidara had such respect for Sasori compared to the other Akatsuki. But for pure entertainment, these two were certainly fun to see work together. Well, too bad it's all over now.

What will the Akatsuki do now? They're not going to be too terribly pleased, now that Hidan and Kakuzu are both down. I'll be curious to find out what happens next for sure.

I would have to say I’m more disappointed with Kakuzu rather than Hidan. Hidan from the beginning was made out to be slow and kinda stupid/loud with one real killer Jutsu and his immortality… Kakusu on the other hand, well I would have expected him to give Sasori a run for his money (both in terms of smarts and power) the way he had been built up over the past chapters.

As for what the Akatsuki will do now, well a thought would be to start extracting the two-tails (is it Nibi?? And they haven’t done so yet, right??) as it will take them even longer to do so now.



RATING: 4 of 5 - Although it was fun to see Naruto finally achieve victory, there was precious little to chew on in this chapter besides watching his jutsu in action. There wasn't much story and we saw an old trick at work again. We saw an almost anticlimatic end to an Akatsuki member, even though he clearly bared his fangs enough times already. So while it's still a cool chapter, short and sweet, just not enough new stuff to deserve a 5. Cool colored doublespread, though.

Predictions: Picking up the pieces? I'm sure we'll see a little reunion between Team 10 and Team 7. Probably a look at the Akatsuki to see what they're doing.

Yeah, this is one of those style over substance chapters, hopefully Kishimoto won’t do to many of them over the series… As for the next chapter, hopefully we will get to see what Sai/Sakura got up to, and a much more story/dialog-driven chapter maybe fleshing out Hida/Kakuzu’s backgrounds… and maybe if I’m real lucky a peak at what Orochi/Kabuto/Sauke are up to as well.

Also I understand how I might seem to be overly critical of this chapter, but I always try to be critical, but fairly so, when it concerns subjects that I have a passion for… and hopefully I haven’t upset anyone.


Overall I would give the chapter a 2/5 and Naruto's Jutsu a 4/5



_________________________________________________
Edited to reply to Lillim :)



^ Though I'm not GoldKnight I hope you are not angry when I correct some things ..
Kakuzu didn't went close range.. he transformed so he could attack from the distant (he even said that himself) because he knew that the FRS is not throwable and his element masks are close-/mid range. Here is a good link why Kakuzu attacked like that, perhaps that helps :) http://forums.narutofan.com/showthread.php?t=180635

First of all I'm glad that someone actually took the time to read one of my usal long rants, thanks :) :pand I have to say I will always hold my hand up and admit so if I am wrong, so I have no problem with you correcting me :)

However I have to say, I don’t believe I'm wrong on this issue, I will explain, but first have a look at this:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v181/navid00/Kakuzu_Range.jpg

Top Picture: this is the point which you where referring to, in which Naruto become’s aware of Kakuzu’s Range, this information is given to Naruto by Kakashi… who states: “He’s a mid-range type, and uses all kinds of elemental re-composition”

Middle Picture: this is when Kakuzu uses his Katon mask for the first time against Kakashi and Co, who had to dodge the attack as not to get hurt by it… You can clearly see how far back Kakuzu is standing, let’s assume this is the furthest distance a mid-range fighters like Kakuzu can attack from.

Bottom Picture: this is during this week’s chapter as Naruto and his Bushins where charging at Kakuzu, see the range, look pretty mid-range to me.

Another point to further back my previous statement can be seen on the middle frame of page 8 in this week’s chapter which you can see here:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v181/navid00/008.png

This depicts the point at which Kakuzu attacks Narutos Bunshin with his tendrils, are you telling me that looks long range compared with the previous Katon frame?

All of this is even without questioning what would happen if the RasenShuriken where to come in contact with Kakuzu’s tendrils… they are part of his body after all right??

So I have to maintain my view that it was stupid of Kakuzu to go for a mid-range (not close as I think I previously said, sorry) physical attack instead of a mid-range (not long as I think I previously said) elemental Jutsu (one that would no less have the upper hand on a Fuuton Based jutsu).

Oh I did look at the page that you mentioned, but I have to say many of the points that the person in question brings up are not backed up in any way and to me look like mere speculation on his/her part. I’m sorry if that seems a bit harsh, but being on my second year in university and after having handed in countless reports, I have pretty much learned that before presenting an argument, you should be able to back it up as well.

Anyway, if you wish to discuss this further (I’m would be very interested in hearing more of your opinions on this :)) I think it is most appropriate if we create a separate thread, as it would deviate from the purpose of Gold Knights thread.

Lillim
February 08, 2007, 12:15 PM
^ Though I'm not GoldKnight I hope you are not angry when I correct some things ..
Kakuzu didn't went close range.. he transformed so he could attack from the distant (he even said that himself) because he knew that the FRS is not throwable and his element masks are close-/mid range. Here is a good link why Kakuzu attacked like that, perhaps that helps :) http://forums.narutofan.com/showthread.php?t=180635

SilveryShadows
February 08, 2007, 04:51 PM
I think Kakuzu was shown too weak.. Defeated so easily. Whereas before, Kakashi had difficulty fighting him. (Thought not a very fair comparison for he had been fighting for some time already. ah..)

I wondered why he didn't use his masks at all. The masks would be more troublesome/difficult (to block/dodge, etc.) than the tentacles. (Although I suppose Fuuton RasenShuriken equally matches/better than his mask's attacks?)
Or rather, if he tried crushing the 'fake' Narutos this time, he would have crushed the real Naruto. He shouldn't had expected someone to reuse the same technique.

Colour page is to be expected for next week, for the release of Naruto Shippuden..

Naruto can destroy parts of villages with that(RasenShuriken), if he ever fights in the village.

Early comments are nice. =) (Congrats on 10k posts!)

qwan3356
February 08, 2007, 08:31 PM
Great Comments Gold Knight and Congrats on the 10000+ posts, (are u the 1st to get to that point, either way a huge accomplishment)!

MadDog
February 08, 2007, 10:25 PM
What a week -we get an early Naruto AND an early GK review!

#2
I think you're right on the money with your theory on Kakuzu's "final form." A combo of bloodline limit and medical experimentation/enhancements seems like a logical explanation. His medical knowledge has already been established (multiple hear transplants) and your Kimimaro analogy could explain why his body is a mass of tentacles that he can grow and control. Kakuzu tops the freaky meter - even for Akatsuki. (More than human flytraps, hand/mouths, shark swords, living puppets, and talking heads).

#4-6
Kakuzu's strategy for round 2 vs. Naruto was classic "bad guy" overconfidence and stupidity. He could have easily spared a few of his 8 "legs" to take out the Naruto bunshins behind him. As for crushing the RasenShuriken...I'm with you, not really sure how his plan would have worked, even if that was the real Naruto.

#7-8
I'm a fan of the RasenShuriken, and I like seeing Naruto becoming more powerful. Plus, in this situation, it was an effictive jutsu for getting the job done. However, the RasenShuriken has a few drawbacks (besides the time it takes to create and the complex trickery needed to land a hit on the target) that make the regular old Rasengan seem like the better option in most occasions. If the basic ninja squad is a team of four, a jutsu that requires your teamates to "stay back" in order not to get caught up in things, somewhat limits your strategy and teamwork. Also, while Naruto was definetly in rough shape when he showed up, and exhausted from the battle, it appears to me that the strain and impact of the RasenShuriken take a toll on Naruto as well. I guess that's not too terrible as it's a closing move, but I won't be surprised if he's in the bed next to Kakashi in Konoha hospital.

I think Kakuzu is dead as well. If he gets up from that move, then they better hope that Kakashi knows Shiki Fuujin, because there is nothing else that can stop him.

The one thing that I felt was missing in this chapter was seeing Sakura's reaction to Naruto's new power. (I'm sure he'd have liked to show off in front of her as well) Still, it'll be nice seeing her shock when the teams regroup next chapter.

Gold Knight
February 09, 2007, 01:07 AM
Somebody pmed me that some of my images were missing - stupid Imageshack! I've fixed them though now. Sorry about the brief disappearance of images.

And thanks all for commenting =D I'll read now and see what everybody's saying and see if I can't do a reply.Posted on: February 08, 2007, 10:30:28 PM_________________________________________________Okay here goes, hopefully nobody minds if I just stick to answering everybody without quotes. That worked pretty good for me last week and saved a lot of time for me.

[b]@ Glasskatana - Thanks! Caught up on your sleep yet?

@ manu - Yeah I thought about that too, which is why I said "(Of course it would be a different story if Kakuzu hadn't kept all three hearts close at hand - too bad for him!)" That applied to the five heart 1 hit KO theory too, sorry I wasn't specific enough.

@ goofy_man - Yeah, their personalities were really the best things about them - especially the way they bantered with each other. I'll probably miss that the most about them.

@ CupofDice - Agreed with your post 100%.

@ ヒューゴ - I think he's dead, because Naruto struck him in the chest too, and it's obvious the other two hearts are gone, as I already said. If there's an Akatsuki that'll probably survive this battle it's going to have to be Hidan.

@ ophidial - Yeah, I thought it was a little bit surprising to see Naruto's attack work so successfully and so fast, you almost expected a little more to come in this battle. But besides that I actually don't have a problem with it.

@ Raseru - Your guess is as good as mine, although that's a very plausible theory that we might be seeing more from Sasuke now for a while. I've always liked it when the series shift to different perspectives, and I know we certainly got enough of one from Shikamaru's side, why not Sasuke now?

@ Lillim - About the amount of bunshins used in Naruto's sneak attack against Neji as opposed to the 3 he used against Kakuzu, that's pretty much the only difference. In this case it was more like "guess which cup has a ball inside it" - there are 4 cups, and Kakuzu definitely picked the wrong one. Other than that I think it was pretty similar. Naruto did a initial attack to set up Kakuzu to be fooled the next time, just as he did with Neji. That's what I meant. :)

You could have a point though about why Kakuzu was so confident attacking Naruto with the RasenShuriken due to the botched attempt the chapter before. That and he might have sensed subconsciously that this RasenShuriken wasn't as strong as the last one was - which was because it was in actuality, a fake?

Welcome to Mangahelpers by the way :)

@ Muk - Kakuzu didn't seem to care about that last chapter, although you might be right.

@ Luckas - I believe Naruto actually had one of the bunshins do the RasenShuriken (or rather an imitation of it, we're not sure) and pretended to be a bunshin himself. So when the three bunshins charged at Kakuzu, Kakuzu jumped over the original Naruto to attack what he believed was the original Naruto. At that moment the real Naruto teamed up with his bunshins again to create another (or) a real RasenShuriken, and attacked immediately while Kakuzu was so focused on the decoy. Quite clever, and impressive that Naruto was able to conjure another RasenShuriken and do an attack from the back so quickly like that.

@ Raine_Joybringer - Haha. Well, I wanted to get it out of the way since, I guess, it really wasn't that complicated a chapter. ^^

@ Robotic Red - Yup.

@ juUnior - Heh, yeah, Kakuzu with his hair... should've commented on that, but yeah I was surprised to see that he even had any hair at all. Guess you really liked the cover huh? I did too ^^

@ chvis002 - But without the tease, this chapter wouldn't have been as good I think. Ah well, I guess it all depends on how you like your stories told I suppose. I still think this will be much better read when you have the volume in your hand and you're able to read chapter 341 right after 340, though.

As for the myth on the cover, I haven't really researched into it, no. But I don't think there's very much about wind and lightning gods in Japanese mythology. If anybody knows more about such matters let me know (I think it's mostly Amaterasu and Susanoo stuff, though...

Thanks :D

@ Reaver - Thanks ^^ - Haha, your predictions sound very possible. And that's true - one of the things that's going to happen is Ino and Chouji and Shikamaru likely won't look at Naruto the same way again. That'll be a pleasure to see too. Wish I had thought to comment on that.

@ venicia777 - Thanks. Don't really have anything to add to what you said ^^

@ Ichimaru - You know, I almost expected Kakuzu to be totally blown to smithereens, especially from the looks of one of these panels where he exploded, and yet his body was still intact when he fell to the ground. I wonder how much that was due to his body being so unusual.

And nice, subtle hint there for people to visit the board... ;) That place does need more love.

@ ibra87 - Yeah... :nuts

@ kiddo7 - So you believe that Naruto might not be able to perfect his jutsu? The way shonen works nowadays, I would be surprised if that was the case - but hey, who knows.

@ Navid - Wow. Looks like you did a Comments of your own there, man. After reading your post, I definitely think that you should try your hand at it sometimes, judging from your own thoughts, you offer a great and fresh perspective at the chapter as well. Second week in a row you've done that. Nice job and thanks for replying ^^

Sasuke being the god of lightning instead of fire works for me, because he's really trying to surpass his limits as a Uchiha, just as Itachi did. In doing so, he mastered a whole different element, it seems like, and that's lightning. Fire was just a family ability for him.

Nice observation on Kakuzu's face seeming like a mask. And you're totally right, Kakuzu should have thought of using Katon to counter Naruto's RasenSharingan. I'm not sure why he didn't just use both Katon and Fuuton at the same time to get rid of him - even though it would have meant that he'd still get attacked from behind, I didn't really understand what Kakuzu was thinking at the time.

Good job on the prediction for Naruto's strategy :D

As for Jiraiya's differences between incomplete Rasengan and complete Rasengan, I did think of it, but it almost seemed as though Naruto did succeed in creating a very focused blast - note the crater in the tree Jiraiya created there. But I agree with you that it must have been "Step 2 RasenShuriken" or something - I'm not sure if the same effects apply to the different steps of this particular version of the Rasengan.

As for the Sharingan, somebody like Sasuke with his heightened reflexes could possibly have been able to minimize the impact of the RasenShuriken (ie. having it miss all of his vital points) but if he can't even see what it does to him, you're right, it doesn't really matter at all. Getting hit with the RasenShuriken would really be bad either way.

I agree with you that this chapter wasn't as good as last chapter. That's why I only gave it a 4 and last week a 5. Funny how we think differently from the people who wanted to see Naruto's jutsu last week.

Thanks for your usual insightful post :) Do a review sometimes!

@ Lillum - I tend to agree with Navid's answer in response to your long-range/short-range comment. The masks really seemed more long-range to me than his tentacles would have bene, plus Kakuzu was about to fall onto the original Naruto himself, if that RasenShuriken had been real and it had seared through Kakuzu's tentacles, he would have been in deep trouble there as well.

And I don't get mad when you guys discuss these things yourselves :) Saves me a lot of trouble sometimes and you guys may even come up with your own solutions that I wouldn't have thought of, and I enjoy that xD

@ SilveryShadows - Thanks! I do think Kakuzu was defeated almost too easily. And yeah, you're probably right, next week's colors will likely have something to do with the Shippuden anime.

@ qwan3356 - Thanks and yeah I can't believe I got that many posts in a little over a year >.>

@ Maddog Hayate - Well, Naruto has always been one to recover quickly from exhaustation/fatigue after a night's rest, so I'm sure he'll be okay regardless of the chakra he put into this fight. And I'm thinking that Sakura probably already saw Naruto's jutsu in action while they were training/travelling. Not sure though. Thanks for commenting here! :)

You guys are great ^^

Iwanin
February 09, 2007, 04:38 AM
I have a prediction for next chapter. While both Kakuzu and Hidan may be considered "defeated", I'm not sure we've seen the last of them. Hidan's definitely not dead, since he's immortal. As for Kakuzu, he may well be hiding one of his hearts in the ground or something. He could have deposited one in the ground when he took out Naruto's decoy, much like he did when Shikamaru caught him with Kagemane.

After the battle with Deidara and Sasori, Zetsu came back to pick up the pieces. You can be sure he'll find Hidan... the question is whether or not he'll dig him out. Akatsuki will have to decide whether they keep Hidan or not, but at least his ring will be taken.

As for Kakuzu, we'll know if he's dead or not when Zetsu comes looking for his ring.

I'm *really* hoping Kishi decides to give us some backstory on Hidan before he's completely done with the character. We deserve as much. It's been clearly established in the Naruto Mythos that there is no such thing as an "immortal body." Even Kakuzu said as much. We need an explanation as to why Hidan can't be killed and if in fact he cannot die.

Geez, we don't even know what village he's from. I sincerely hope he's not doing this on purpose just to sell more data books, :p

The remaining two Akatsuki are Zetsu and the (one who at least appears to be a) girl - not counting "Tobi" (who is not Obito, fer christs), of course. So maybe they're next on the hit list.

At any rate, when the time comes to fight them, I guess we'll see team Kurenai in action. We've already seen the other two rookie teams. The only team leaft is Kurenai's.

Incidentally, I actually watched the last episode of the fillers on Japanese TV yesterday and I have to say... what a piece of crap. I'm glad I've avoided them. I know this has nothing to do with the topic at hand, but I just had to get it out of my system. There. It's out.

:)

juUnior
February 09, 2007, 05:02 AM
why their abilities are such (remember the guy with six hands- kidomarou and others more).
haha I personally thought, that they are human freaks modified by Oro to be more powerful xDxD


But lets not forget Yondaime-- he was really awesome.
Yeah, if Naruto will be able to master the superb speed teleprotation = he will be god :D :x


Well in my opinion this depicts the Sasuke that is only after power (lightning), and has lost his passion (fire) and has abandoned his feelings/bonds for his friend/village.
Nice thought :D I agree xD


I think Kakuzu was shown too weak.. Defeated so easily.
That's why most of the people think, that Sasori was more badass ^^


Colour page is to be expected for next week, for the release of Naruto Shippuden..
Actually, this chapter and next have color spreads because of Shippuden. And because of anime, we can be amazed by new color pages :D thx to anime hiehie


Guess you really liked the cover huh? I did too ^^
I'm probably maniac of Naruto sometimes, but that cover was cool in everything :D And like Navid. said, it can be nicely interpretated xDxD

Also gratz GK for 10000 even if it doaesn't matter :P

Luckas
February 09, 2007, 07:27 AM
Just a thought, could be that Kakuzu knew/thought he can't put in his elemental attacks enough chakra to counter Naruto Futon Rasengan so he choosed to hit him physically disrupting Naruto's jutsu this way, indeed Kakuazu was impressed by Naruto's jutsu and I believed it was mostly for the amount of chakra in it.

Robotic Red
February 09, 2007, 07:57 AM
GUYS GUYS I JUST THOUGHT OF SOMETHING

What if Zetsu brings Kakuzu a fresh corpse, completely with a freshly-beating heart before Kakuzu is completely dead?

:O

fatboy812000
February 09, 2007, 07:10 PM
Great comments as usual and i agree dat kakuzu did seem to die a bit quickly and manage to make some very questionable tactical desicions but at least he went out in an 8 page blaze of glory.keep up the good work.
ps- as for the 10k+ post congratz and they need to scale you up from legendary to something higher!!!

glasskatana
February 09, 2007, 10:11 PM
@ Glasskatana - Thanks! Caught up on your sleep yet?

Yes I have. :nuts

Unfortunately, I got sick...and so on and so on. Anywho, the only thing I remember from what I originally wanted to say was that I don't think that was a fake RasenShuriken that Bunshin was holding. I believe the Bunshin and Naruto created the rasenshuriken and then had the Kage Bunshin hold it. He then had himself and the other two clones create another one behind Kakuzu. Which would also explain why Naruto is so exhausted. He comes as backup from training beat up already (and most likely quite tired) he then creates 3 clones and does a regular Fuuton Rasengan. After that he creates 2 clones that are instantly dispatched by Kakuzu. He then creates 3 more clones, and a rasenshuriken that fails. After that he makes 3 MORE clones, and 2 rasenshuriken in quick succession. Of course, I'm willing to bet he'll be back on his feet before Sakura and Sai return with Shikamaru. And that's about it. :amuse

kiddo7
February 10, 2007, 02:02 PM
Have to agree with glassie here, I beleive that Naruto's strategy was more like a trap than a gamble, no matter who Kakuzu attacked first the other would have been their to counter from the back. that is what I think anyway.

Toad Sage
February 11, 2007, 02:15 AM
I usually like your reviews, so I have little to add in the way of comments Gold Knight, but this time I must speak up! I have to disagree with your rating-I think this was a five out of five. I understand what you're saying in your rating comment and I think its mostly accurate, excepting for how I feel you are underestimating this chapter's importance in the scheme of Naruto. It cannot be over stressed how this chapter is a milestone in Naruto history. It may not feel as pivotal, as say, the first rasengan arc in act 1, but that can be chalked up to the primarily inferior nature of act 2 as compared to act 1. Nonetheless, this chapter gets a five out five in my opinion sheerly for its significance-we have been awaiting this moment literally since chapter 1 i.e. Naruto reaching near Yondaime levels.

sorry for the poor writing on my part, but I'm a bit tired. Excellent review otherwise as always.

Gold Knight
February 12, 2007, 03:04 AM
@ Iwanin - I think Hidan is now likely to come back, seeing that Kakuzu has been throughly defeated. I agree that Zetsu would be a reason why. At first I thought Zetsu would eat Hidan, but now that they're down two Akatsuki, Zetsu is more likely to bring Hidan back intact - but the question is, who will put him back together eh? No more Kakuzu to stitch 'em all up...

I agree that we do need to know what was up with Hidan. Kakuzu indicated back when Kakashi asked him if he was an immortal that was "no such thing in this world," meaning there must have been a reason why Hidan was able to survive attacks. (Or maybe Kakuzu was just saying that Hidan would have eventually aged and died regardless of his inability to be killed.)

Yeah, I'm glad the fillers are over - now Part 2 is coming! Woo hoo!

@ juUnior - you know, we're getting THREE colored covers in a single volume - Kishimoto must be getting more interested in coloring maybe. But he still avoids coloring interior pages... ah well. Luckily we have Zarosaki (who does a better job anyway!)

And thanks :D

@ Luckas - Well, they'd better check if Kakuzu is dead or not, he COULD have been able to shield his last remaining heart by wrapping it around with a ton of that black stuff inside him, I suppose. *Just thought of that*

Or he could have pulled a Sasori - ie. in all that chaos, he could have tossed his heart out of his body, like Sasori did his own heart when Sakura nearly trapped his body with that binding ball (er, or however you call it.)

@ Robotic Red - Zetsu better hurry then ;)

@ fatboy812000 - Yeah, the 8 pages of the effects of the RasenShuriken were fun, but we really still didn't see how it operated (just like Kakashi) because most of it, we saw Kakuzu fly forward leaving a wide trail of blood, the "fangs" of the RasenShuriken fading away leaving only the Rasengan (I'm assuming) but it still blew up, maybe due to the added fuuton properties, which created that crater. Only thing that surprises me is how Kakuzu's body is still intact.

@ glasskatana & kiddo7 - Yeah, you definitely could be right, but yeah, that would have required a whole lotta chakra. I'm just going on a guess here, and I see it as being 50%-50% either way. I wish sometimes Kishimoto would let us in a little more of the details going on in a battle like this, though.

@ Toad Sage - I definitely agree that this was a turning point for Naruto, but I think the chapter could still have been done better. I mean, did we really need 8 pages of seeing the jutsu in effect? Two of these pages were just a split look at how the jutsu hit Kakuzu. One page I could have done without, where Kakuzu's body seemed like it was about to disintegrate, but it didn't, so what was the point of that?

Replace these three pages with a little more story or more details of what was going on, or maybe even more looks at what Kakashi, Yamato, Ino and Chouji were thinking at that time, or maybe a flashback to when Kakuzu fought Shodai, or any more insights in why Kakuzu joined the Akatsuki, I probably would have given the chapter a 5. As it was, though, I still saw it too much action, more eye candy than story, even though it was long in coming.

Thanks :)

hatsuharupeace
February 12, 2007, 05:21 AM
thxs for the awesome review! cant wait to see what happens next chapter, and of course, waiting for ur awesome reviews!

oh yeah, congrats on ur 10000+ post count!

enlightened monkey
February 13, 2007, 12:00 AM
Excellent review. I'd never seen one done by you before but it looks well-done -- I have a few things I'd dispute but I'll do so when I've gotten more status on the site....my place is to watch and learn for now.

Next chapter? Slow one, I'm betting. Certainly, it'll be tolerable since we just had a little breathtaking show for free just now.

Gold Knight
February 13, 2007, 03:10 PM
Glad you guys liked it - and enlightened, it's cool if you dispute with me on a few things, I definitely know that I'm not always right. But I do these reviews as my way of throwing my observations out there and see what other people think. So please don't lurk too much and tell us exactly what you think whenever you get the time ;) Status is a nonfactor here.

I also think the next one will be a slow chapter, although I hope to see more of what the rest of the Akatsuki are thinking.

Steve
February 15, 2007, 05:15 AM
I didn't read through all the replies but there's a thing I noticed: every time Naruto has used his new jutsu, his own eyes were somewhat fox-type, so there's indeed some kyuubi chachra spent in the process.
Just my 2 cents...