"All that awaits you is death."
"The only thing left for me to do now...is to be Naruto's shield!"
After last week's lengthy rant, this one'll be short and unfortunately not very sweet. The Current Obito delivers a flashback but not the one wanted. Judging from last review's poll, you guys would welcome a glance at the Sannin in their prime. Instead, Kishimoto gives us young Kakashi and Obito training together....and not much more.
The Current Obito opens the chapter up by impaling and being impaled by Kakashi. But wait! Turns out that it's just an illusion. With their genjutsu battle (reminiscent of the various Itachi/Sasuke fake-outs) ended, they're each ready to finish things for real, formal hand signs of battle an all. As they fight, Kakashi thinks back to sparring with Obito in their very different early days. Obito asserts to himself that Kakashi...everyone will become like him. That's the kind of world they live in. But Kakashi takes pride that he raised a student stronger than him, one who'll never lose his way. That's what Naruto represents to him: hope for a better future.
Their fight ends as the illusion did, though Obito seems to be the worse for wear after getting stabbed. Admitting Kakashi's victory, Obito leaves him in the pocket dimension and returns to the regular world. There, Madara has no problem taking down Hashirama's wood clones. What he really wants to do is fight the actual article, but Obito's return in such a sorry state forces him to abandon his desire. Recognizing that Obito won't be of use anymore, Madara forces him to initiate the Rinne-Tensei so that Madara can be properly revived and become the Juubi's jinchuriki. The chapter ends with the jutsu activating as everyone looks on in shock. But who will be revived? Madara? Or are those last thoughts of Rin prelude to something more?
Luckily, the art this chapter was at least somewhat redeeming, given the lack of much else going on. The particular highlight was the juxtaposition of Obito and Kakashi fighting as teammates and enemies. The synchronicity was interesting, even if the choreography was uninspired, and Kakashi and Obito's pain-racked expressions after wounding one another were spot on.
It wasn't all pretty, though. I'm less sold on whatever's happening to Obito while Madara forces him to activate the Rinnegan. But maybe that's the point. I'd like to think Kishi made those last scenes particularly muddled and ugly to underline the ugliness of Madara's corruption. But coupled with that opening genjutsu scene (the dissipating illusion was cool but the edges of the frame were too dark) and the confusing staging of Madara's scenes, the art here has an uncharacteristically uneven feel where consistency has often been Kishimoto's strength.
Welp...that was a let-down. With so much screen-time given over to monologue and flashback and not particularly innovative action. The sole saving graces of this chapter are the cliffhanger (which promises to prod the plot along towards a big climactic battle) and Kakashi's characterization.
I won't be giving him the depth of analysis here that I gave Orochimaru, if only because the ground tread here is mostly ground that's been covered since Obito's unmasking. The only change is that Kakashi's resolve has hardened so that he can do what must be done. Recognizing the difference between the Obito he mourned and idealized and the one before him, he's prepared to erase the latter.
What helps him through the dark choice is knowing that his prize, and surprise, pupil Naruto still needs him. It's a strange admission. Naruto's always been special in this series because he brings out the latent best in people, and Kakashi has commented on it before. But here Kakashi contrasts him with pretty much everyone else and notes that where others become compromised or let the world beat them down, Naruto always shines...is ever the optimist. It sets a wistful tone. On one hand, he's admitting that Obito has a point. But on the other, he still has hope that one dream can change it all and that the dream he'll believe in is Naruto. Not one created from illusion. A dream built through perseverance and compassion.
And it's all very touching, especially if you consider where Team 7 began. Sasuke was the genius talent. Sakura was genius intellect. And Naruto was the goofball. Each has had their share of troubles, but only Naruto's truly shined of the bunch. Sasuke did possibly irreparable harm to his reputation and Sakura allowed herself to wallow in the shadows of those she feared her betters for far too long. Naruto saw the world as it was and demanded more. With his words. With his life on the line at times. And so, he best represents the Obito that Kakashi remembers fondly.
It's not enough to salvage 636, but it is enough to make the chapter worthwhile, which is why it gets a ...
3 out of 5
Well, with the plot at its slowest, none of my predictions have been proven true or false yet. I think its safe to say its jinchuriki time, and strangely, I think this means the end for Obito. If this is where his arc ends, I'll be slightly disappointed, even if logically it could wrap up without much else said.
In particular, I always felt that his flashback to Rin's death was incomplete. And it also seems a waste to have him appear before Minato without either speaking with the other. Who knows. Maybe once Madara is defeated, Obito will have a few lingering moments of regret to wrap things up with his comrades.
Until then, I guess that makes Madara the big bad of the series now. With yet another power-up, it's not seeming like overkill to have Team 7, the former Hokage, and the current Kage fight together. I'm looking forward to it though I fear the action may become too overstuffed and hard to follow as a result.
As for Kakashi, I don't expect him to be stranded in that pocket dimension for long. After hearing his desire to protect Naruto this chapter, I think he'll be brought back (maybe by Obito) and possibly die protecting his shining student.
One Line Reviews
- The assembled quincy get more personality in Bleach 543, the positive of the chapter. Yet 543 also asks readers to just accept a face-heel-turn by Ishida without providing explanation or motive for why he would join the Stern Ritter.
- All sorts of complications arise for the Strawhats and Law in One Piece 712. Everything rushes breathlessly along toward a big 3 o'clock showdown with our heroes in a bad spot. But this is One Piece after all. I'm sure they'll figure a way out of yet another tight corner.
- Tower of God S2 Ch67 is very dialogue heavy and finally revisits and examines one of the core relationships from the first season of the series: Koon and Rak. There's some good stuff here, all very moving, as we see just how strong the bond they formed is. But is their bond strong enough to win back Baam?
- Gantz ends its run with Chapter 383, so it's getting my Pick of the Week pretty much by default. Gantz has been running for a long time and it's easy to forget how fresh and vital and different the series felt when it first started. It didn't stumble at the end as badly as Air Gear did, but it's last arc, while entertaining, was noticeably drawn out and hewed more to cliché than its WTF origins suggested. Still, even if it's lacking in reflection,383 doesn't let things end easily. It delivers a down to the wire ending that pushes one last dark twist as far as it can go, leaving you realizing that the plot can go either way with only a few pages of story left.
thanks, but how can you rate this chapter quite worthy? it was shameful: despite the rinnegan,obito loses pathethically. why? he should have either absorbed raikiri or repelled it with shinra tensei, instead kishi ridiculized him .I can't bear this anymore...
But when someone with Sharin-/Rinnegan owns everyone, everyone is complaining that its overpowered... -_-"
I'd gave it a 3,5 of 6 but your Review is great as always... (like I would like to print it out and put it to my Volumes xD)
There's also the matter of chairs consumption to consider and Obi to was looking very weary after his protracted battle that began with bringing out the jinchuriki.
It's still a palm coated with lightning chakra.So absorbing it would make it nothing but a palm thrust.Obito should've been able to absorb it.
obito could have absorbed it if he did it.
but sadly he didn't.
you have a great review!
Although, Obito claimed he could use one of the paths and extract the truth from Yamato albeit at the cost of Yamato's life; suspiciously, he never used this ability against Naruto or Kakashi therefore; Maybe Obito's holding back because Kakashi's still dear to him, even if he denies it to himself, as is the doppelganger of his younger self, of which Naruto clearly is.
Which brings us to another point, which is, how much of Madara existed in that black zetsu exoskeleton that grafted to Obito's body, thereby subtly influencing him somehow: We see it made him stronger, but how much did it alter his mind?