I will add pictures later, I'm in a hurry and have to go for now. Sorry about that, I'lll fix it as soon as I come back.
Starting my second review today yeah. My thanks to Kylara for the raw, Hisshouburaiken for his trans and Des for his scanlation. I will try to make a review page by page this week. So without further ado, page 1.
Page 1 : a remake of Brandy and Monica's "The boy is mine" featuring Orochimaru
Beside this obvious evocation of the complete possession and control Oro hopes to have on Sasuke, this picture poses one question. The very one this chapter is all about. Did he succeed ? Well, just put this picture upside down and you'll have Oro's tongue and head looking like a "?" around Sasuke. Quite symbolic isn'it ?
Page 2 :
Last week, I compared Oro to Karasu. Now that have seen this picture of him, these angular jaws remind me more of Hiruko, Sasori's favorite puppet. The whole page is a symetry between past and present, chibi Oro contemplating a white snake's molted skin and Sasuke Contemplating Oro's one. It's like chibi Oro was actually contemplating his future.
Page 3 :
Many of us have been expecting this fight for a long time (and everyone for a week at least) but we haven't seen anything. Sasuke's asking the right question when he says "over already ?". We even have tried to predict what would happen next in this battle like : will Kabuto enter the fight ? Can Oro control Sasuke's seal to his advantage ? Now we are left with questions again (see the way Oro's body is laid down... you catch my drift). This time however, these are good ones. I recall the time when Shika tricked Hidan in stabbing himself and we were wondering how in the world he could have spilled Kakuzu's blood on Hidan's blade. This time there is no questionning Sasuke's skills. Many of us are probably just too thrilled to question such a possibility. I just wonder how he did it ? Chidori, Kusanagi's sword, lightning blade, something else ? Well, I guess we'll never know. Still I don't feel like this is a cheap trick Kishi did here. This way of not showing things emphasizes the real battle, the mental one that is to come.
Two more little observations here.
Funny to see the wings and claws disappearing. It reminds me of a hand, Oro's hand, like the one in the lab a bit further in the chapter. It's like a grip closing on Sasuke symbolizing Oro's mental (yet real) grip closing on Sasuke at the very same moment.
Also, see how the seal is unravelling the body... it definitely looks like a bird's (say a hawk) claws to me.
Page 4 :
We can see here that Oro has no main body and is only made of little white snakes. Apart from that, the most important thing is the change of the situation and the change in the confidence they were showing until now. I like the way his eye is looking behind his shoulder (or whatever). He is pleased and almost smiles while Sasuke is shocked, sweating - maybe in fear - and wonder : " what the hell did this ol'freak do to me ?" Oro's way of planning things on a long term basis proved useful here. He needn't win the physical battle since he believed he was going to win the mental one. What if Sasuke had just left the room quickly would it have worked this well ? Anyway, in the end Oro is even capable of lifting himself up. But how is he capable of doing that with such a short body ? Regeneration ? Growing more bodies ?
Page 5 :
Oro's body has obviously regrown. To me he's like a reverse hydra of Lerne (a, o?). One head and multiple bodies so that you can't kill him if you don't cut all his bodies at the same time. This is were his hair is interesting for Kishimoto. He doesn't have to draw the connection between the neck and the snakes.
Was Sasuke actually eaten or what. My guess is he wasn't because : Oro did mention an alternate dimension in his body so their is no need for an actual ingestion of the body to capture it; Sasuke is clean after the fight (I mean the inside of a snake have to be slimy, talk about a cliché). So I guess Oro rushing towards Sasuke is more a metaphoron of the mental attack he is doing while the true snake body is standing still.
Page 6 :
This scene rings two bells at a time :
- the inside of the toad's belly Jiraya created when fighting Itachi and Kisame,
- Sasuke entering Naruto's mind and suppressing the Kyuubi's powers. Also this time he might not be able to do the same with Oro since he had a special connection with the Kyuubi.
Note that Sasuke has his clothes back on.
Page 7 :
Now that we can see all Oro's previous hosts the situation reminds me of the inside of Boo Boo in DBZ. It seems like their souls are being transferred into the next body everytime. If they ever awaken then Oro's gonna have one hell of a multiple personality disorder. So we have the blond guy who is Oro's current host, the young woman must be the one before that. We saw her face when Oro fought the Third. In a way, this weird flesh-surrounded body of Oro is the one thing remaining of his true self.
Page 8 :
Everything in this page has a symbolic meaning :
- the stair suggests the difference in level, Oro being the weaker obviously,
- the step he is taking is like the act of mental agression he's doing at the same time,
- the space between the steps shows taht Oro is still far away from reaching Itachi's level (you need more than just one step to climb one),
- in Itachi's back is some kind of traditionnal frame (sorry I don't know the right name) meaning Oro's goal is beyond getting Itachi's power.
By the way, it seems like Oro and Itachi might have been paired up in the past.
Page 9 :
Quick thinking and no hesitation, Itachi simply cuts Oro's hand peventing him from making hand seals. Even though he might have played with him he just stopped things here. Quite an effective villain, not much talking, gets the job done THEN talks. Also he's not waiting for Oro to perform a jutsu like Kakuzu used to. But what else happen back then. How did Oro escape Itachi with his severed hand ? Did Itachi let him go ?
Page 10 :
Funny to see Sasuke using the same trapping jutsu as his brother although I may have an explanation here. When Itachi attacked Naruto (in part 2) with a genjutsu he saw Kakashi, Sasuke and Sakura's head coming out of his body and blaming him for not being able to save them. He saw what scared him most and Itachi didn't know about it. In my opinion, Oro is experiencing the same kind of binding jutsu because, deep down, he fears Sasuke would be able to escape him the same way Itachi did. What about the first time then ... Well oro's obviously scared of getting nailed to the floor ??? (no pun intended)
In the last frame, there is a hole behind in head in the flesh surrounding his body. I wonder if a nail was inside of it in the previous picture. oro could be capable of resisting Sasuke's jutsu (even a little).
Page 11 :
What would Oro do if he hadn't Kabuto to help him. Also he sems to have been fooled by Sasuke's apparent acceptance. Surprising. I would have thought that of all people, he would have questionned Sasuke's behaviour seeing as he's always scolding him for being a loud mouth to Oro.
Page 12 :
What Kabuto says tells us how much he believes in Oro's power. In the end he will not be so sure of himself.
The fourth frame shows a lamp. Wow now we know how this lair corridors are being lit. Interesting. I'm just being a little sarcastic because I have the feeiling that Kishimoto is giving us much less in these last pages as if he was trying to bide his time for the final question. Plus we only have 17 pages !
Page 13 to 16 :
Page 17 :
Sasuke being awfully silent, Kabuto is awfully stressed and speaks for all of us. If it really was Oro who had won then why is he not celebrating, exhilarating in joy and kukuing all he can ? I don't think he lost completely either. I think they are still fighting on some level inside Sasuke's body. We could now say that Sasuke too has a monster inside of him. That, or Oro won but Sasuke's mind will try to recover its body later.
This last twist tells me we won't be seing any more of Sasuke next week. I believe Kishi is not gonna reveal the answer to us just yet so... back to Naruto.
To sum it up, some brilliant page design, a funny tribute, some expected eplanations, a great flashback and an enormous twist should get this chapter a maximum grade. However, I am somewhat disappointed by the last pages (more than I ever will be not to have seen the actual fight). Kishi could have made the flashback a bit longer or shown a pretty quick, one-way battle. I don't want to seem harsh or anything, I am happy with this chapter. So in the end I would rate this chapter only 4. out of 5.
Please, feel free to discuss this. I'll try and answer as fast as I can.
I don't think he lost completely either. I think they are still fighting on some level inside Sasuke's body. We could now say that Sasuke too has a monster inside of him. That, or Oro won but Sasuke's mind will try to recover its body later.
I don't agree. With the Sasumaru/Orosuke theory in general, I mean. Because in both ch. 343 & 345 Kishimoto has empasized on the fact that one would be completely gone after this fight:
The fight to the death between Master and Student becomes the ultimate battle without mercy. ~ 343
Sasuke and Orochimaru. One has disappeared and the other remains. The one inside that body is !? ~ 345
Going from that... I expect Sasuke to have won, because - as much as I don't like it - Orochimaru has served his purpose in the story and now he is no longer needed contrary to Sasuke who still has to fight his brother and whom Naruto still needs to rescue from the "darkness".
Thanks for your reply. I see your point and I agree. Your analysis about Oro having served his purpose is fine by me. I just don't give too much credit to side texts, remember the death of Gaara. It was announced and then contradicted. Granted he did die and all but still. Plus as much as I trust our translators about this, I know there are times when it could be translated slightly differently. Maybe it's one of these times. Although I believe Sasuke has won (or will in the end, for obvious plot needs) I wanted Oro to still be there on some level. It took an entire arc for Konoha to take down Hidan, Kakuzu and another one for Sasori. It just seems unfair to me Oro would only be given 2 chapters. He's been here longer than the other. If he IS dead then I guess it would be one hell of a plotline, something new : killing a bad guy so fast.
Well, to be fair, Oro had more than his share of fights in the first part. Against the third (115-124/126/136-138), Tsunade and Jiraiya (163-171). And Naruto in the second part (191-196). Also see a pattern? His fights got shorter and shorter and shorter...
Plus, it emphasizes my point that Oro's purpose in the story is over. He played a major role in the first part - 'seducing' Sasuke, attacking Konoha, killing Sarutobi...
In the second part, however, is only role seemed to consist of playing the scapegoat who Naruto could blame for tempting Sasuke away.
I agree about the pattern. Also immortality doesn't seem that effective lately, what with Sasori, Hidan and Kakuzu. You could be right and to tell the truth, I think I'd be happy about Oro disappearing like that. It would show how meaningless what he was trying to do is, how the lives of the strongest can end in an instant and all their deads forgotten. By killing him so quickly Kishimoto puts Oro's life in perspective.