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Still intend to destroy Konoha
Be conflicted about destroying Konoha
No longer wish to destroy Konoha
"You unwittingly fanned those flames, Second, by forming the Konoha military police force."
So in preparation for this chapter, I went and rewatched then reread a relevant and one of my favorite moments from Part 1 of the series: Orochimaru vs the Third Hokage. I was curious to see what if any elements of previous interactions with the Hokage and/or Orochimaru would carry through here and unsurprisingly, all the men present (and it's a shame it's just the men and Tsunade's away) relate to each other in complex ways.
Last week, I asked you guys which of the Hokage you wanted to hear from most and in order from least to most voted for: Hiruzen, Minato, Tobirama, Hashirama. Each of them speaks this chapter, but the two who play the biggest role here are Hiruzen and Tobirama...
Naruto 619 A Cursed Clan
The images in this review are credited to Mangastream.
The former Hokage awake and almost immediately come to speed on the situation. Hiruzen figures that Orochimaru managed to remove the seal on their souls and resurrected them all with Edo Tensei again. Minato's impressed that Orochimaru can remove the seal, but Orochimaru's quick to point out that as a highly motivated Hokage level individual, researching that jutsu's roots was no problem.
With the mechanics out of the way, the First pipes up wondering who the new guy is, being extremely happy to find out it's the Fourth Hokage and that the village has prospered on long after his death. Minato himself can't confirm that, though, since he died a good deal before the Third. Hashirama is slightly less enthused to learn his granddaughter became the Fifth Hokage since she picked up on some of his worse habits like gambling.
What's most surprising is the disposition of the First and Second Hokages. The Third and Fourth we've spent some time with. But the First comes off as far goofier than his legendary status would imply. Peace loving, but quickly shut up by his brother. While the Second is a very no-nonsense man with other issues we'll get to later. He does lament that Edo Tensei is so easily copied, which causes Orochimaru to point out something important: keep your secret techniques secret. Memorize them. Don't write them down if you're worried about them being abused.
Orochimaru also admonishes the Second's political policies for the turmoil that took root in the village. It's clear to us what he means, but at first the former Hokage assume Orochimaru is back for revenge, which is far from the case*. He revived everyone simply so Sasuke Uchiha could ask them some questions.
*Which begs the question, what is Orochimaru's goal? Rereading the Konoha invasion, a lot of his motive seemed to be revenge against the Third, which was indirectly accomplished. And there was that brief moment where he teared up that was never really explained. Was the third casting him under genjutsu? Whas Orochimaru really just tired and wiping away a tear? Or did he indeed feel some attachment to the village, indicated by his opening monologue last chapter? Coming on the heels of many successes but also failures brought about by hubris, and also after learning a little more about the Uchiha later, will he still desire the Sharingan? What kind of mark does he want to make on history?
Tobirama is unabashedly biased against the Uchiha, despite his brother's objections. But first up is Hiruzen, who admits that what Sasuke has learned about the coup and Itachi is true, taking direct culpability for the events that followed. He also mentions that as a child who was more attuned to his clan's lineage and legacy (more on that later), that allowed him perspective in seeing the larger picture regarding the village. Unfathomably wise at such a young age, he welcomed the burden the Third regrets had to be placed on his soldiers. As a spy within the coup. And later a spy within Akatsuki. And the condition of this assignment: shield Sasuke from harm.
Just when it looks like Hiruzen's tale is shaking Sasuke's resolve, Tobirama condemns the Uchiha again. First, this prompts blame from Orochimaru who points out the Konoha Police Force:
- made them a target of further vitriol from the citizens because who loves police
- gave them a platform of power to further corrupt their ambitions
- segregated the Uchiha population to the outskirts of the village
Secondly, this prompts Hashirama to further shame his brother. And finally, prompts Sasuke to ask the Second Hokage just what the Uchiha mean to him. The answer is fairly surprising. It seems his bias is rooted in something deeper than racial hate: an understanding of the Uchiha's signature dojutsu.
Contrary to popular belief, the Uchiha valued love and friendship as much if not more than the Senju, but their greater capacity for feeling also greatly increased their capacity for corruption. Unchecked love of such magnitude easily leads to hatred when that love is shattered and without fail that emotional devastation (chakra from the brain) triggers a biological transformation that advances the sharingan. It's almost as if to make the pain of loss bearable, that love is sealed in by anguish, hatred, and despair. The further an Uchiha falls down that hole, the more powerful they become and the more resistant to reason or salvation because they've become so locked into a particular mindset. It's a case of visual perspective mirroring mental perspective and thus such mental short-sightedness ironically improving their actual physical sight.
Hashirama posits that Madara's power was fueled by the loss of a brother he held in higher regard than Itachi held Sasuke, and Tobirama explains that he meant to direct the power of the sharingan into a useful outlet. He regards as inevitable that the Uchiha were eventually consumed by their course.
As the chapter concludes, Sasuke, his Mangekyo activated, turns his attention to the First Hokage and asks what purpose the village and shinobi are meant to fulfill. Can Hashirama do anything to change the impressionable Sasuke's mind?
The art here was solid and great if not particularly impressive. There were no big set pieces (the chapter was confined to a single location) or unusual artistic flourishes. Nor was there any action or new jutsu. Dialogue was the most important part of this chapter and the character's facial expressions took on extra significance as how something was said became just as important as what was said. The personalities of all involved took on deeper shades. Hiruzen appeared full of regret and weariness. Minato was high-spirited. Hashirama came off as compassionate and goofy and wide-eyed. And Tobirama was terse, with a stiff, cold body language that speaks volumes to the kind of leader he likely was. Then there are our villains. Orochimaru seemed absolutely delighted and at place in the company of history's heroes and smug expressions said much about his pride and how he compares his own wisdom to that of the founders. Contrastingly, Sasuke was a mess of shifting emotions. At times receptive. At times combative. At times grief stricken once more.
There was a lot to love about this chapter. The highlight for me, from a fanboy perspective, was seeing the Hokage interact with each other with their distinct personalities, but there was tons more to enjoy. Kishimoto quickly sped through the necessity of Hiruzen confirming Itachi's story. Orochimaru established his goals have changed, though withholds what his new goals may be. Tobirama revealed the nuances to his own bias and the deeper psychological and biological reasons for the Uchiha's decline.
But perhaps of most interest to readers is that last reveal. We finally have a firm answer about how the Sharingan works and is triggered. Killing your friend is certainly a way to gain MS. But as seen in the series, other traumatic events can also trigger change. Itachi likely activated his own when his best friend suicided. Kakashi managed to open what Obito had unlocked some time over the timeskip, likely through self-reflection of his own failures and possibly losing Sasuke to Orochimaru. And Sasuke's activated his own through: Itachi's departure from the village and the Uchiha massacre, wanting to save Naruto, severing bonds with Naruto at the Valley of the End, and learning the truth of Itachi's sacrifice.
5 out of 5
My predictions so far are somewhat moving along. Tobirama’s been a bit of a wild card, but Hiruzen’s already confirmed Itachi’s story and I can’t imagine Minato not mentioning Kurama’s attack under Tobi’s influence. What’s left now is for Hashirama to answer what he can about how the Uchiha are redeemable, his death, and/or the Sage of the Six Path’s legacy.
One Line Reviews
- The crazy ramps up to 11 in Tower of God S02 Ch50 as motivations and characters clash and the duplicitous rabbit-eared girl goes full on insane.
- Oda delivers another great chapter with One Piece 698, one overstuffed with plans, reveals, Kin's motivations, the next mission, Doflamingo's reaction to Law's ultimatum, and a surprise appearance at it's end.
- Naruto, Tower of God, and One Piece were all overstuffed with greatness this week but I'll give my Pick of the Week to Naruto which felt the most substantive of the three.
he talked about himself and Tobiirama not about Sasuke and Itachi ... he simply compare his brotherly love toward Tobirama with Madara brotherly love toward Izuna ....Quote:
Kakashi actives his borrowed Sharingan when Obito actived his sharingan ... when he killed RIN ...Quote:
Last edited by shafagh; February 09, 2013 at 02:55 AM.
It seems redundant to say it, but great job as always.
Great insight as well
They were talking about brotherly love and how it could force an Uchiha to go mad
Great review,as ever Blackjack...i've shared the views you've expressed for the longest time.There is absolutely nothing
further for me to add here...i'm just thankful that the mods did not see the need to ban me...thanks mods in particlar
Now the question remains: what will Sasuke ask the Fourth hokage?
I really wonder about that. Maybe Minato will speak up and tell Sasuke that Tobi is responsible for Kyuubi incident. Remember? Tobi told Sasuke that Kyuubi is a natural disaster. Maybe after knowing the truth, Sasuke's resolve on crushing Konoha will waver and he'll question his own motives.
I'll tell you what: NO WAY. Sasuke will still want to destroy Konoha, just because.
Now the thing is, I think both Sasuke and Tobi suck big donkey balls, and I'll tell you why. Both are hell-bent on revenge, Tobi because Kakashi killed Rin (for reason still unknown), and Sasuke because he's just plain batshit insane. He's been told 'truth' lots of times, he even met Itachi and he still is moronic enough to do something stupid like that. My heart bleeds for that poor bastard.
And Obito is even more lame, for reasons we all know
Thanks for the review, anyway. Quality stuff, as always.
condition that Sasuke be spared.
Because Kakashi passed out at that moment, it's implied that Obito is the one who activated MS on that day. It wasn't until after the time-skip that Kakashi figured out how to awaken MS own his own, which is why I phrased it as such:
Kakashi might not have the genetically special mental chakra that activates the sharingan like the Uchiha, but given the amount of time he spends brooding on his failures and losses, it's probably safe to say that overtime those emotions helped him awaken that MS skill that had lain dormant since Rin's death.Quote:
The point being that there's a pattern in the series to back up Tobirama's claim about how the sharingan works. Uchiha's know some kind of loss, natural or manufactured, and further awaken their eyes.
Great review there man.
Hope that those predictions come true, although I'd like to hear more from Hiruzen as well perhaps? A bit more hard detail on the Uchiha coup. Well of it ends up going back in that direction. I expect Hashirama to have some deep set philosophical answers that will force a change in Sasuke (and possibly Oro) and then what Minato tells him will be the thing that cements his new resolve of destroying Tobi, and reforming the Uchiha clan.
Maybe the reason why itachi and shisui awaken their MS and they're the most strongest uchiha at that time is simply because they channeled their love to the konoha. Their love to their fellow villagers, their love to the konoha and their love to their country made them a super strong and one hell of a beast.
I think tobirama was right. If the uchiha just channeled their love to the village and put the village's safety above than their own clan then maybe there's alot of uchiha who got their own MS. If they truly love their fellow konoha ninja, then in a ninja war, every uchiha would awaken their MS. Their love to protect the konoha and their fellow ninja would trigger/awaken their true power.
Wow, excellent chapter & thanks for the excellent review !
bit of a contradiction here. if loss makes uchiha worse then how come itachi didn't become the same as the rest of the clan or even shisui?
great review black jack and i don't know why people question, how hashirama knows about itachi love for sasuke, i mean sarutobi and sasuke said so that itachi gave up everything and his clan for the sake of the village and even entered aka but just for one condition to take care of his little brother and that's when hashirama realized that he was an excellent shinobi and even told sasuke that itachi was even a better shinobi than himself but even them hashirama said that madara loved his brother more than what even itachi loved sasuke.