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"Your fate is already within my grasp."
After a month long buildup, Kishimoto finally revealed the secrets of Izanami, but before we get to that (and you can chime in with your thought in the comments or by voting in the poll), let's go over last review's poll in which I asked which of the Sound Five's abilities you would most like to have yourself. Unsurprisingly, Kimimaro came in first place with a clear majority of the votes and only poor Kidomaru didn't receive a single vote. Now for the chapter review...
Naruto 586 Izanami Activates
The images in this review are credited to Mangastream.
In the opening pages of Izanami Activates, Itachi finds himself in a precarious predicament. Severed in half horizontally, he is moments away from being enslaved once again to Kabuto's will. Sasuke comes in swinging with Susanoo then follows up with a fire release jutsu (which Kabuto repels with a water release jutsu) to keep Kabuto pinned down. Using the smokescreen from their attack as cover, Itachi almost sneaks up on Kabuto before being stabbed once more.
Yet once Itachi's stabbed, something strange happens to his left Mangekyo Sharingan. Then, to Kabuto's annoyance, he dissipates into a flock of crows. The seemingly real Itachi uses that illusion to take back his sword and slash at Kabuto, whose wounds heal quickly. Repetition sets in. Kabuto gloats. Itachi warns him of his vanity. Water drips from a stalactite onto Kabuto's shoulder. It's a scene that feels a little too familiar: a series of attacks and reversals, followed by Kabuto's overconfidence, and concluded with a threat from Itachi. Kabuto goads Itachi into using Izanami and Itachi obliges as the two trade blows again. Even Kabuto's grown bored since he's eager to finish this up. Kabuto advances, stepping on a fallen crow feather...
Once more, Kabuto attempts to use Orochimaru's Living Corpse Reanimation jutsu. When Orochimaru's growth is grabbed by Susanoo, Kabuto springs forth from its mouth. When he's grabbed himself by Sasuke's Susanoo, Kabuto springs forth from his own mouth, grabs Itachi's sword, swings about so he's on the ceiling, and stabs Itachi only for Itachi who once more dissipate into a flock of crows. The blatant repetition of events confounds Kabuto, as does the sudden reappearance of the horn Itachi cut off chapters ago. Kabuto repels Sasuke's fire release jutsu with a water release jutsu.Water drips on Kabuto. Though Itachi tells Kabuto he's already caught within Izanami, Kabuto refuses to face the fact that he's been bested. The dance repeats again. Once more, Izanami. Once more, Kabuto hangs from the ceiling and stabs Itachi.
As the chapter ends, the brothers Uchiha look on as a stationary Kabuto is trapped within an endlessly repeating loop of illusions.
After a notably uneven chapter last week, Kishimoto returns to form in Izanagi Activates with an exquisitely illustrated chapter. The art is crisp and clean. The action is well drawn and easy to follow. Sasuke and Kabuto's jutsu are particularly impressive, as is the detail given to the cave. My favorite artistic flourish was the stalactite dripping water that serves as a further visual cue that Kabuto is trapped within a repeating illusion.
Well, we finally got our answer. The mystery that is Izanami was revealed. It's a cleverly deployed jutsu that leads to some visual/timing gags that should play better when animated. Beyond living up to its hype, it immobilizes Kabuto. Yet it doesn't look like the technique in itself will force Kabuto to end Edo Tensei. So there's still that matter to attend to.
Overall, it was a decent chapter that didn't have any real weakness but that also felt incomplete, being as it was mostly setup for a resolution we have yet to see. I'm reserving judgement on this battle until it fully wraps up, and giving Naruto 586 a tentative...
4 out of 5.
Well, my prediction about Izanami was definitely wrong. Though Kabuto ended up trapped in a genjutsu, I thought it would be a genjutsu of bliss to fool him into thinking he won the fight rather than Kabuto just getting Groundhog Day*-ed.
*To see a similar use of the event-loop trope, check out issue 1 of Neil Gaiman's Sandman series. The way it's used there would have the victim begging to escape from the illusion. I think Izanami would be more effective if it was an endless loop of torture illusions like the ones Itachi used on Kakashi way back when.
How will this end now? I expect that the torture of repeating his attack against Itachi ad infinitum will eventually wear on Kabuto and force him to admit that he was outfought. After he makes this realization, Itachi will offer to free him from the illusion in exchange for ending Edo Tensei. Whether Kabuto follows through or sets the technique on perpetual auto-pilot out of spite remains to be seen. I expect we'll get Itachi extending his offer next chapter only for Kabuto to refuse and try escaping the genjutsu. Then we'll finally head back to the Kages fight against Madara Uchiha until Kabuto eventually relents or reneges on his deal. Personally, I'm hoping Edo Tensei isn't ended prematurely, or at least not until the Kage defeat Madara on their own. Otherwise their battle won't have a very satisfying resolution.
That's it for the review. See you next week, space ninja...
One Line Reviews
- Bleach 492 was engaging but served mostly to remind us of why the Shinigami and Quincy are enemies when they share a common foe. Includes my favorite line of the week: "Wars happen because both sides are just."
- In Gantz 363, victory for the humans seems within reach, but can Tae-chan convince Kei to recognize that the aliens should be respected as fellow sentient beings caught in the middle of a war they don't understand either.
- One Piece 667 was enjoyably amusing as always and features more Law which is a always welcome in my book.
- Tower of God S02Ch14 & S02Ch15 were both very very good. The bonus test becomes more complicated with the reveal that other teams, and not Viole, might be responsible for Rapdevil's offscreen death, and Viole begins a deadly game of catch (which turns out to be way more badass than it sounds)..
Last edited by blackjack612; May 19, 2012 at 02:34 AM.
thank you for the review black! I understand that the plot analysis must have been very hard to write,since the story was quite tough this week .I share your analysis,but I admit that kishi may make our theories wrong next week
Thank you, your review always answers the questions i have left.
Thank you again! Definitely understood the manga episode better now
Informative review as always Blackjack. I'm still in the dark as to how this jutsu is any different than any other genjutsu Itachi may use. Hopefully the next chapter will answer that question. Along with that comes two other questions:
1) Will Sasuke and Itachi actually have their "brother-to-brother chat' after this battle is over?
2) How will Sasuke still justify his vendetta against the Hidden Leaf after fighting alongside his dead (but reanimated) brother who so obviously identifies with and loves his village?
Is there an inconsistency with Kabuto's backstory?
If Danzo really wanted him dead, why would Danzo let him stay alive and play spy/genin , running unchecked in Konoha?
Or Danzo was really in league with Orochimaru at the time in invasion plan and plan to kill the third ?
I don't get it.
This self confession of Itachi is making me frown, sure he is not perfect, but I would never compare him to Kabuto man. Sigh....
about itachi and kabuto's comparison. I agree,but about perfection...you can't post something concerning the last chapter till 24 hours have passed.