One of the Five Kage
"I see my son is keeping up with Sasuke-kun..."
"Of course I'll become Hokage! And then I'm sure I won't have time to think about women! Right? Sensei."
Young Obito Uchiha
In my review of Naruto 639 Attack, I put up a poll asking you guys what you thought of Sasuke saving Naruto. Unsurprisingly, opinions were all over the place. A few of you thought he did so out of sincere camaraderie, though that option got last place. The second place option, which was just a vote shy of tying first, was that he did so on a whim, echoing Sasuke's sentiments following his first Team Seven reunion after he ran away. But the top voted option was that he saved Naruto because Naruto was his prey and his alone to hunt.
With that out of the way, let's move on to...
Naruto's quick thinking saves Sasuke and himself in the opening pages of 640. Remembering Minato's throw away line about his teleportation technique requiring him or his chakra to touch the target, Naruto uses his chakra cloak to connect all three so Minato, Sasuke, and Naruto can teleport out of harms way. Soon after, Obito continues to have trouble keeping the Ten-Tails in check. He even resembles a snake at one point, yet Kishimoto refrains from having Orochimaru enter at such an aesthetically complementary point.
Instead, Obito ends up firing a few chakra bombs blindly, hitting no one in particular aside from himself and most definitely not impressing Minato.
Minato assumes this is a good opening and charges in. Meanwhile, inside the netherspace from which he's controlling the Ten-Tails, Obito is being literally consumed by the power. Tendrils rip him apart piece by piece physically as the defining mental image of his identity, the four man cell he belonged to, is also ripped to shreds. This process almost overwhelms him until the last minute where, upon seeing Rin...the last vestige of his identity...being ripped apart, he pulls himself together and emerges in the real world fully evolved into a imitation of the Sage of the Six Paths.
Minato is none too pleased to see this, as he's in the middle of an attack. Obito's miraculously gained staff easily breaks through Minato's kunai, and he rips the Edo Tensei's arm off with a speed and force that Minato can barely escape. Not that he escapes the counter completely. He discovers at the end of the chapter that one of those ominously floating balls of chakra was attached to him as he teleported to safety and now Minato, Naruto, and Sasuke are moments away from being atomized.
There was nothing really detrimental about this chapter's art, but there was an overwhelming sense that things here weren't quite so polished as last week. That may just be an impression given by the uncontrolled Ten-Tail's unwieldy design, or the fairly minimalistic and plain effects of his chakra bombs. Or perhaps the flow of action here can't help but be a letdown after the tightly focused fight from we got last chapter.
There are a couple of things to note this chapter. Obito's final (probably) design works even better than his previous one did. The otherworldliness of his scaly design combines with his poise and Zen demeanor to create a villain that seems anything but human. It's as if his exterior is just a conveniently human shaped outlet for unmistakably malevolent intent. Equally as interesting was the scene of Obito being ripped apart and subsumed by the tailed beast's power. For such a bloodless sequence, it gets nightmarish fairly quickly as ripped limbs escalate up to a severed body and finally culminate in Obito's head being torn in two. It'll be interesting to see how crazy the animators decide to make this sequence when it's inevitably adapted to television.
Well that was a mixed bag. The chapter flew by without much happening aside from another Obito upgrade. Naruto and Sasuke got saved to the surprise of no one, only to find themselves in pretty much the exact same situation plus one other target at the chapter's close. I've seen it mentioned elsewhere that one of the chief problems of this last arc is that it's been almost all climax stretching on endlessly without any falling action or dénouement or resolution. To a point, I agree. Compared to say, the "Las Noches" arc of Bleach, the miniature story arcs comprising the mythology arc of Naruto have felt moderately more complete and self-contained. Some of them even have honest to god full dramatic arcs with the new generation of Kage proving their worth and adapting to the new world order after facing down "History's Heroes" or Itachi and Sasuke reaching some closer after battling Kabuto. Even the excellent Hashirama and Madara arc end on some small resolution with Sasuke picking a side and coming up with his own answers and Orochimaru receiving some small, but significant, character development.
But the last 13 chapters have felt like continually escalating stakes with no pause for fresh air or dramatic tension to give the action further weight. The best that's happened is that many of the characters involved have gotten bits of character movement that viewed in whole add up to an arc of character development for them. But week to week this gets wearing. Especially when it feels like there's so much plot and answers just within reach but being kept just oh so far from us by a carefully calculated spacing of cliffhangers.
So when a chapter doesn't fire on all cylinders with great dialogue or character moments or art, it can seem like Kishimoto is stalling and unfairly lends the chapter a weightlessness. Mark that aside from having similar cliffhangers, this is the second chapter in the row in which Minato's name drops a new jutsu that he gets prevented from using.
Naruto 640 wasn't all bad. Like I said earlier, it did featured a major bit of progression in this conflict. We have, assumedly, our big bad. Unless Obito has a second final form, god help us, this should be it from him, Madara's trump cards aside. However, it also featured little else, so I'm giving it a...
3 out of 5
I don't think there's really enough meat to this chapter to justify in depth predictions. So I'll just say that I'm not expecting Obito to be won over with words at this point. I do still think we'll get more insight from either him or Minato about the incident that led to Rin's death. And I do expect it'll take all four Hokage (maybe minus Madara), five Kage, and the entire Team Seven to bring down Sage Obito.
Edit: Actually, scratch that. Batshit insane theory time. What if the one to take down Madara isn't Hashirama. They fought mostly on par and Madara's missing Kurama now. But he also has the Rinnegan. So what if the one to take him down is Orochimaru who pretty much worshipped at the alter of both of those bloodlines.
One Line Reviews
- Tower of God S2 Ch71 introduces Viole's chief antagonist in the tournament, Yama's Mad Dog, who makes quite the splash with his No-hit KO.
- I'm forgoing my usual Pick of the Week since releases this week have been pretty anemic. I should maybe start a new series, but first I've got to power through the five novels sitting on my coffee table and the two I'm in the middle of reading on my laptop.
Last edited by blackjack612; July 25, 2013 at 01:19 AM.
. . The Juubi seemed to contribute to Obito's appearance and staffs which somehow gave us the hint that Juubi has something to do with Rikodou's appearance before. . I saw comments of some inconsistencies about this because aside from the fact that the Rikodou has designs on his shirt and his staffs are actual materials unlike the staffs we've seen now, it seemed that the Rikodou already had all things even before he took out the Juubi. .
. .Well it can be that the Juubi really has its overall influence over the Rikodou thing or the Rikodou and Juubi had just adapted each other's natures which resulted to Obito now being able to wield these materials even if he obviously has no direct access to Rikodou's actual staffs.
.Anyway thanks for another great review!.
great review! One thing I'd love to point out, the poll question, don't you think that a kakashi vote would also make sense. Seeing as how he is inside that netherspace obito is in. That said I personally want Hashirama or Gaara to save them.
Edit: Love your batshit prediction! So want it to happen!
That batshit insane theory is really something to look forward to. That'd be awesome
For some reason i want this to happen so that the manga can at least continue if Orochimaru is still a bad guy just acting good for now since there are a lot of prizes waiting to be taken on the battlefield.
You should check out Toriko as your next read as it been absolutely awesome lately. Anyways just more the usual cliffhanger and waiting game for Kishi, but I'm wondering if Madara's plan is still gonna be effective considering that the Juubi seems pretty much under control now.
Honestly I am expecting Kabuto to show up with Tenzou any time now. Of course we know the kage and oro are on their way as well, I just don't see this ending in any way except for Minato giving Naruto the rest of the kyuubi.
orochimaru will jump in obito and take over his body, that would be something
why is oro leading in this poll? smh the bomb is already going off only minato or kakashi can do anything about it at this point. I am sure there is a place for oro in the story but lets not get carried away ppl
But narratively, I think it makes more sense for Sakura to do something since Naruto and Sasuke got moments of acknowledgement the last two chapters.
For Jutsu, it's like he's been handicapped for 90% of the manga. So it would be interesting.