Hello all and welcome to another chapter review. I'm been MIA recently due to some travelling and being tired out from work. Honestly, I was so fatigued I contemplated just up and quitting reviewing to get back a small measure of free time, but I'm back, well rested, and ready to review the latest chapters, one of which I enjoyed quite a bit and the other not so much. But before we get to that, last review I asked you if you thought Son Goku was going to go super saiyan and the majority of you voted yes. Although, this isn't exactly that manga so of course it didn't happen. Now for the chapter review...
Blackjack 612's Review of Naruto 569: Prove Your Will!
As always, images in this review are credited to mangastream/binktopia
The chapter picks up from last week with Naruto discussing how to escape his current predicament with Son Goku. Goku points out that this new alliance is tenuous at best because, as Kurama points out, trusting jinchūriki doesn't come easily to the tailed-beasts. Since Son Goku has eaten Naruto, Tobi is ready to pull the tailed-beast back inside himself and consider Naruto captured. Naruto, though, has other plans and mass shadow clones himself which forces Goku to puke him out.
Free from Son Goku, Naruto begins his next task: to remove the outer path's chakra reciever in Goku's next that is the source of the chains binding Goku. He uses the last of his Kyūbi-chakra mode to fend off Goku's attacks while he pulls the chakra reciever out. Of course, Tobi quickly realizes what Naruto's up to and increases the chakra reciever's binding potential.
While all of this is going on, Kurama reflects on the many challenges that Naruto's persevered through due to sheer force of will. Yes...this entails multiple pages of flashbacks, and no...none of the material is new. We're given five pages (about a third of the chapter) covering Naruto's interactions with Iruka, Inari, Neji, Tsunade, Pain, and the cheering Konoha village. On the plus side, the flashbacks serve a purpose by having Kurama commentate on those events. He notes that the real reason Naruto was able to win over so many allies is because he backed his words up with action. If Naruto hopes to win over the tailed-beast, he'll have to earn it with blood and sweat and putting his life on the line. The chapter ends with Naruto doing just that as he successfully removes Goku's chakra reciever through judicious use of Sage Mode.
Blackjack 612's Review of Naruto 570: Kurama!!
As always, images in this review are credited to mangastream/binktopia
By Kurama!!, Son Goku has been liberated (sort of) and Kurama looks positively relieved, demonstrating that he feels empathy towards both Naruto and the fellow Tailed-Beasts. One guy who's not happy is Tobi. In fact, he's very very very unhappy. Son Goku might still be chained, but without that chakra reciever his chakra is no longer tied to his jinchūriki's body. Naruto was hoping to fully save Goku, but at least he freed Goku from Tobi's full control. It's a small victory, one Goku wasn't expecting Naruto to achieve. Out of gratitude, Goku reaches out to Naruto and gives him...something?... before being sucked back into Gedō Mazō by Tobi.
Lacking a chakra receiver, Rōshi is just an unresponsive corpse. His lack of activity raises a question. Were the revived jinchūriki full Edo Tensei summons who should default to Kabuto's control when the chakra reciever's are removed? Or were they merely corpses bound to Kabuto's control who remained unactivated so that Tobi could make them into his Six Paths. You might expect Tobi to be upset with the battle having gone so against him. What should have been a quick snatch and grab with Naruto and Killer B outnumbered has turned into an unexpected slog as our heroes inexplicably counter everything thrown at them.
Yet Tobi remains assured of his victory because he's able to put things in perspective. Naruto only managed to stop one beast and he's exhausted all his chakra. How then can he, even with the help of Kakashi, Guy, and Killer B, hope to stop five fully-released tailed-beasts on a coordinated rampage. Tobi, showcasing a sense of entitlement that would make Madara proud, clearly states that the allies have things that 'belong' to him and he aims to take them. Kakashi and Guy look utterly helpless in front of the gargantuan beasts and even Kurama admits that things don't look good. Things have gotten so out of hand that Kurama offers to lend Naruto his chakra, which Naruto says is all fine and good, he'd just like to talk to Kurama about something first.
First, Naruto thanks Kurama, something that utterly flabbergasts the beast. Unsure of how to respond, Kurama acts as though he's indifferent of the final outcome, only wishing to stay out of Madara's control while being entertained by Naruto fighting for is life. Kurama points out that there's only so much help he can provide from within that cage. To really be effective, he and Naruto will have to meld their chakra together, this time working in unity instead of having a tug of war of wills. Sensing Kurama's true intentions as they bump fists (well fist and paw), Naruto reveals to Killer B that he'll be able to do more than provide support. Naruto provides for Kurama what Inari did for him: assurance that Kurama is not a monster fox to be feared, but a valued teammate from the Hidden Leaf. And with that, Kurama's cage is unlocked and the chapter ends with the promise of a full on tailed-beast brawl.
The art from both chapters was characteristically good, although there were only a few standouts. The action was well depicted and (as seen above) Kishimoto had excellent taste when it came to the composition of various panels. Of the two chapters, I'd give the edge to Naruto 570 artistically because of the detail put into the character's expressions. Naruto really looks exhausted in tired, Tobi betrays his annoyance with his posture, and Kakashi and Guy look reasonably worried about the turn of events the chapter takes.
What both chapters do well is create a sense of scale by constantly comparing the size of the tailed-beasts to either the human characters or the environment. Hands down my favorite panel from either chapter was the double-page spread showing the remaining tailed-beasts released and staring down the minuscule by comparison Kakashi and Guy.
..of Naruto 569
I was very underwhelmed by this chapter. Though the art was great and the action was well executed, this chapter felt slight. A third of the chapter was devoted to flashbacks which isn't a problem in and of itself. I'm all for flashbacks that reveal more about the world these characters inhabit. But the flashbacks here only showed us what we've seen before and weren't really necessary for Kurama to make his point about Naruto proving his ideals through actions rather than words. Another problem was that what little plot existed felt stretched thin over the length of a chapter. Flashback aside, the rest of Naruto 569 could accurately be described as "Naruto discovers he can disable one of his foes by removing a stake from his opponents neck. Said stake proves harder to remove than Naruto thought it would. Naruto successfully removes the stake." That's it. There really was little else besides some more bonding with the Son Goku and really I think Kishimoto hit that note hard enough in Narut 568.
Since Naruto 569 was obviously Kishimoto spinning his wheels, I'm giving this chapter a ...
2 out of 5.
Impressions of Naruto 570
Kurama!! was notably better than its predecessor. It delivered action, solid dialogue, great art, and a couple of neat twists. Where Prove Your Will felt like Kishimoto biding time so that the remainder of what he has planned for this arc would fit nicely within the x amount of chapters he plans to tell it in, this chapter featured real plot momentum. The allies finally manage to take down one of Tobi's paths (permanently it looks like). Tobi fully releases his remaining pawns having grown impatient. And Naruto finally and fully won over Kurama in a plot thread that's been mostly well executed. My only quibble with the chapter was that it's not clear if Son Goku succeeded in giving Naruto what he meant to. Nor is it clear what he was going to give Naruto. Was he offering to merge chakra with Naruto similar to what Kurama would do later? Was he simply going to show Naruto how grateful he was by sharing his feelings through his fists? Or perhaps he had inside knowledge that could help Naruto against the remaining tailed-beasts.
Overall, this wasn't a mind blowing chapter, but it was well made and it set up pieces for an even larger conflict to come. As a result, Naruto 570 Kurama!! gets a ...
4 out of 5.
Last week's predictions didn't pan out but I would be very surprised if the upcoming chapter didn't feature a tailed-beast vs tailed-beast battle. I do think Kurama and Naruto will use the Tailed-Beast Ball and with Kakashi and Guy for support, I don't imagine Tobi winning this battle which raises the question, who will be the final villain in the manga? Madara? Kabuto? Sasuke? A surprise resurgence of the manga's first larger than life villain Orochimaru? My money's on Kabuto or Orochimaru. Even if Tobi is defeated, those tailed beasts should still reside within Gedō Mazō and someone with knowledge of the Sharingan and Rinnegan might be able to make further use of their chakra. Kabuto fits that bill, but I'd also be happy for Orochimaru to take over Kabuto's body in a moment of weakness and return. What if Itachi, who seems to obviously be headed towards Kabuto, all but defeats Kabuto only for Orochimaru to take over and finally best the genius of the Sharingan. That could set up a proper Sasuke vs Orochimaru that would be an actual fight unlike when Orochimaru's body was failing him.
I also have some more in-depth long term predictions about where things are headed that can be found here, yet given how everything's playing out I might have to edit those sooner rather than later.
Thanks for sticking around. I'll see you next chapter ...
- "That's more than I could expect. Naruto, you got my respect!"
- "Damn you, Naruto..."
- "If you really want to do something for us.. then do what you've always done.."
- "You...were being serious..."
- "You have some very valuable things that belong to me now...and I'm going to take them all."
- "Besides, we're actually a pair of duos, right?"
One Line Reviews
- BLEACH: The manga's on break now having wrapped up the The Lost Agent arc rather abruptly and so now I can go on record with my final thoughts on the arc. While it was an interesting departure from the usual Bleach fare and I liked some of the touches at the end, I think the arc ended to abruptly. I would have liked more resolution to the Fullbringers storylines especially with regards to Ginjo and his motivations.
- One Piece: I like the direction this new arc is heading because it's setting up a confrontation with Big Mama that should test the Straw Hats' strength more than Hodi's gang could.
- Air Gear: Feels like an imitation of what it once was, demonstrating that you can only pile so many crazy twists and turns upon each other before the plot implodes. It wasn't all bad this chapter. There were moments where the manga was as entertaining as it's ever been, but I'm disappointed with how this final fight has turned out.
- Billy Bat: Continues to impress. Urasawa is a master of his craft and the story is revving up for some serious suspense and sci-fi craziness.
- Tower of God has concluded Part 1 and I for one am excited to see what comes next after Slave in Utero (definitely a great pen name) takes a refreshingly brief break. I'm waiting patiently, tempted as I am to look at spoilers. Again, I can't recommend this title enough, so check it out, catch up on Part I (it's a brisk read) that way you can wait with the rest of us.