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Don't cry, kid, my Comments are back!
Hello again guys.
Sorry about missing last week. It was one of these instances where I looked at a chapter and enjoyed it, but simply didn't have much luck thinking of much to say about it... at the time. So I took a break instead, and it was only yesterday that I finally felt talkative again enough to write a new review, luckily.
However, that does not mean Chapter 443 wasn't good enough to talk about... far from it! So I'll say a few things about it here first before getting to 444.
So, just for the record, I would have rated last week's chapter a 4.5. Kishimoto managed to supply an 'end' to a side-story that had been going on for a while with a few minor characters (Inoichi, Shikaku) while using the occasion to give us an extraordinary glimpse into Naruto's inner emotional conflicts. That was a nice touch.
Naruto's heated exchange with Inoichi both asserted his desire for vengeance and expressed his frustration at having to go that route. We're left highly curious and wondering what Naruto will do, which is always a good thing going into the next chapter. Because I don't think even Naruto knows yet. He's walking into the hideout of the enemy to try to find out if there's a way to break the "chain of hatred" that Jiraiya spoke of, while at the same time he's tempted by that very same emotion to start the cycle anew. Talk about suspense!
It was as a good a transitional chapter as you could get because it helped us appreciate Naruto's present dilemma a little better, didn't it? And now, Chapter 444. Thanks to Heiji-sama and [Ju-Ni]Vicissitude for the RAWs, Sakura, HisshouBuraiKen and cnet128 for the translations, and SleepyFans and Binktopia for the scanlations. I'll be using Binky's scan for my images, and thanks to Fnuckale also for my header.
Feel free to comment on anything, and enjoy. =)
* * * Gold Knight's Ten Comments on Naruto Chapter 444: The Answer! * * *
Dumb question, huh?
1. How You've Wronged Me...! There's no doubt Kishimoto wanted us to study how Naruto reacted to finally seeing the one who had turned his world completely upside-down. Flashback for flashback, we saw how his face grimaced more, ever so slightly, to recalling each imagined memory of fatally injured loved ones (since we know he hasn't really seen Jiraiya's pierced body or Kakashi's slumped figure) and every scornful word that Pain had lectured at him.
I don't think Naruto was naive enough to think that he would be able to just shrug off seeing Nagato for the first time and attempt immediately towards working to find a peaceful resolution, but I think he was hopeful that he would be able to suppress his anger in meeting him at least.
Obviously, though, as soon as he laid eyes on Nagato and Konan, the memories of all the destruction and deaths Pain caused rolled in, distorting his face into a reflection of pure rage. Nagato's question in turn seemed almost unnecessary, but he was likely just being rhetorical.
You know Nagato had to be well aware of all the pain he's caused the young host of the Kyuubi, right?
That would explain Nagato's curiosity in Naruto's own thoughts on his theoretical "chain of hatred" binding the shinobi world together. He's seeing a reflection of his past self in Naruto - that little kid who witnessed the devastation of his village and the deaths of his loved ones. Could be that Nagato is trying to reassure himself that it was only natural and right for him to be heading down his current path by watching Naruto's own reactions?
I found it a little funny, by the way, that Konan tried to dissuade Naruto from attacking by criticizing revenge as meaningless. While Nagato may not have had revenge in mind when he destroyed Konohagakure, you could make a case that he was still indulging in a bit of vindictiveness. Konan might have sensed that was the case, however, so may have been against the idea for that reason, although I think she was more just concerned about Nagato's health at the time.
Don't tell me you're that happy to see Naruto, Nagato...
2. That Didn't Take Long! So much for my prediction last week that there wouldn't be any kind of physical confrontation, ha.
So that machine Nagato is sitting within is good for something other than just ambulatory reasons, huh? (Gotta wonder if Nagato can actually walk at all, by the way.)
Anyway, Nagato's hostility isn't THAT unexpected, but it's somewhat interesting to me how he resembled a snake here. He attacked not only with a viper's quickness, but also its usual modus operandi - he was trying to immobilize his prey. How nefarious.
And he even sounded a bit like Orochimaru afterwards - "Don't worry, I take care of my jinchuuriki..."
It's a good reminder that Nagato is no longer that "sympathetic child" we saw in Jiraiya's flashbacks but an antagonist in his own right and not one to be trifled around with.
Behold the power of the Frox!
3. Using the Kyuubi! It's worthwhile pointing out here that Naruto seemed to have actually walked into Nagato and Konan's hideout consciously relying on the Kyuubi to break any kind of "hold" that Nagato might attempt to impose over him.
It's not unlike when Killer Bee had used the Hachibi to break Sasuke's hypnosis over him. Can't control two separate entities at once, right?
But there's a difference. It was obvious from Killer Bee's conversation with the bijuu inside him that they had some kind of harmonious partnership going on, whereas you really can't say the same for Naruto and the Kyuubi. So what's going on here? Has Naruto been able to impose his own willpower over the Kyuubi now? Might his mastery over Sage Mode be helping him do just that?
Whatever the case might be, it's obvious Nagato didn't expect this turn of events at all. I don't think he had ever experienced battling a jinchuuriki that was able to work with (or control) its bijuu before, so he fully believed that his own domineering chakra would be the deciding factor here. Guess again, though!
He's so pissed, he's cross-eyed!
4. Temper, Temper! Of course, Naruto was just confirming what had already seemed to be a foregone conclusion here regarding his emotional state of mind in meeting Nagato. He was already seeming very unforgiving when he walked through Konan's paper boundary into the hideout... (speaking of which, I called it a few weeks ago, that was paper...! )
What I found interesting was that Naruto had wanted to meet Nagato exactly for this reason - simply a face-to-face confrontation to see whether he could be able to rein in his anger or not in dealing with him or not.
But Naruto's the last kid you'd expect to be able to do that. He's all too human...! One of these scenes you'll probably be able to look back at and say that he resembled his fiery mother more than his calm father, huh? (I sure hope that we'll learn more about Kushina at a later point.)
Oh, yes. Guess I should mention what I think of these "fox-sage" eyes. I'll admit, I ridiculed them a bit at first. I even said that Kishimoto was trying to turn Naruto into the "second coming of Jesus" with these eyes.
But what the heck. If Sasuke's allowed to have some freaky star-shaped eyes, you might as well do something with Naruto's own eyes too, so they can have fun staring at each other into submission. And I do like these "fox-sage" eyes better than his regular "sage" pupils. Even so, though, there are some people who definitely like Naruto's normal and expressive eyes the best for dramatic scenes, and you can probably count me as one of them. So I was glad for that later in the chapter.
Puttin' on the brakes!
5. Anger Management! The only thing that kept Naruto back here from throttling his enemy was that he didn't want to sully the confidence that his mentor had put in him.
Additionally, he knew the best way to avenge Jiraiya wasn't to kill Nagato, but rather to correct him on the errors of his ways. Jiraiya didn't want Naruto to further exacerbate their animosity but rather to eradicate it altogether.
Because if the hatred didn't stop somewhere, there'd never be mutual understanding between men. And that was Jiraiya's dream.
But Naruto did indeed find out just how hard that was, as it probably took every fiber of his willpower to stop his own impulsive action. If he had been naive before about the hatred one can feel towards another, well, no longer. He's seen and felt it firsthand now.
And to his credit, he didn't succumb to it, but you can probably thank Jiraiya for that. If he did ever do wrong by Nagato, at least he didn't make the same mistakes as Naruto's teacher.
Hmm, well your eyes are freaky...
6. The Dark Side is Strong in This One! And now, we get the conversation, that is, the one that we had been expecting all this time between Naruto and Nagato. Cut the action, take five. Flashbacks time. Tea, anybody?
Of course, it wasn't too surprising to see Nagato pooh-poohing Jiraiya's words as nothing more than unrealistic idealism. Of course he would. He may have channeled his anger into achieving a mission to change the world to a peaceful one, but it's still anger.
Prior to this exchange, I had actually remained somewhat skeptical that Jiraiya had ever actually told anybody else but Naruto about what he hoped the world would one day become.
But it's becoming obvious Nagato and Konan heard it from him as well, because he certainly seemed familiar with Jiraiya's words here. Something obviously happened after Jiraiya left the three kids in Amegakure. My bet's still on Yahiko's death being the last straw.
7. All Gather Together And Sit Around! I only really wanted to mention a couple of things here.
First, it was amusing to me how Naruto almost seemed to give Nagato an answer to his question just now, "Do you really believe in Jiraiya's nonsense?" with a resounding YES.
Because Naruto did make the effort to try to understand what made Nagato and Konan into what they are, despite being Jiraiya's students as well.
But funnily enough, I don't think Nagato realized it. He was so startled by Naruto's question, apparently, that he wasn't even thinking about Jiraiya's words anymore.
I WANT ANSWERS!
The other thing is that Naruto chose his words perfectly to actually pique Nagato's curiosity enough to get him to tell his tale.
Because if Naruto hadn't said that he would "give an answer," Nagato likely would have dismissed his query with something like, "you're somebody without an answer, you don't need to know anymore."
Nagato had already demanded Naruto for an answer once before, and in getting none, he had become disdainful of him. Naruto likely noticed that and realized he had to have an answer the next time they met.
He likely came up with one while he was traveling to the hideout, but still needed to hear Nagato's story first to see whether his answer would have any real consequences or not.
Should've listened to her, I guess.
8. Terrible Times! Personally, I would have preferred that Kishimoto skip over this little flashback about how Nagato lost his family, because we already knew that he did. But I suppose that episode was meaningful to Nagato, so there's no way getting around it...
I noticed Kishimoto drew this flashback a little differently than others, even Sasuke's own tragic past. There's much more of a contrast between blacks and whites in Nagato's flashback, which tends to remind me of this cover Kishimoto once did of Naruto.
Kishimoto must have liked the style that seemed to paint the scene as "dreamy", so went back to it here. He must have wanted to create a more nightmarish scene in doing so, but I'm not sure he succeeded all that well. Still, what the heck, if he had been in an experimental mood, he might as well go for it for a minor flashback like this...
I found this scene amusing, though...
...I mean, yeah, that's what you get for having your hair falling down all over your eyes, Nagato...
Although I don't think this flashback had the same dramatic impact on me as, say, Sasuke's much more evocative and interesting tragedy, I did find it interesting that both their perspectives were likely very much the same, despite being from radically different backgrounds (Nagato's family being ordinary villagers and Sasuke's being a powerful can) - they both felt all too helpless as far as stopping what was to come.
Is this coming out of my paycheck!?
9. Nice Guys Finish Last! I don't know if this is worth mentioning, but I found it amusing that even back then, Kishimoto still portrayed Konoha shinobi as being pretty good guys, despite having just mistaken two villagers for enemy shinobi and killing them both instantly.
Immediately though, they were both remorseful and tried to calm Nagato, but of course that was useless. Nagato's parents were dead. And they had killed them.
Kishimoto still felt like he had to give them both an excuse though. They had gone three days without eating, they were likely tired and exhausted from days of endless chasing or fighting, and that was a pretty "dark" place if they couldn't even see Nagato's mother's face. And Nagato's father did run out right at them with desperate fury in his eyes.
You know, would it actually have been better for Nagato if they had actually been cold-blooded monsters, or did it hurt even more that they weren't? Oh well. At the time Nagato likely didn't care, all he knew was that his family had just been killed by shinobi with leaf-shaped symbols on their forehead protectors. Hate!
10. The Rinnegan Cometh! One final thing, we found out here that Nagato activated his Rinnegan much earlier than we all thought. No, it wasn't when he had joined up with Yahiko, Konan, and had been taken under Jiraiya's wing, it was when his family had been killed.
Seems like Kishimoto really makes a point of making just about every doujutsu in the series manifest at a time of high emotional intensity, such as Sasuke's and Kakashi's Sharingan, and I also count Naruto's Kyuubified mode (even if his eyes then don't really count as doujutsu). Now the Rinnegan would seem to join that category. Not sure about the Byakugan, though.
Anyway, I had to comment on it. It's as though Kishimoto feels some abilities are more tragic than others.
RATING: 4 of 5 - The chapter was fine - just fine. I must admit I'm not as interested in this flashback as I am about finding out what happened to Yahiko, though, which I assume is coming next. Hopefully soon.
PREDICTIONS: More flashbacks next week... what else? I'm going to predict that Yahiko was probably killed by either 1) more Konoha shinobi or 2) Hanzo, the Great Salamander (leader of Amegakure) which would explain why Nagato decided to overthrow his government. I doubt very much that Nagato killed Yahiko, he cared too much about protecting his friends.
Maaan that kid is scary!
Last edited by Gold Knight; April 22, 2009 at 04:40 AM.
nice review as always! and nice to see you back after a short break.
well i can't say that much about that chapter because i also can't see anything in it that is too interesting to not talk about it..
to be honest, as far as nagatos flashback goes by now im quite disappointed. i don't know if you have seen the anime version of full metal alchemist for example. in it there's a character called winry...
that all doesn't make a sense to me. i hope his second flashback about yahikos death will have some more depth and character developement in it.
My problem with that second flashback is, it can't be too long ago. Deva Realm / Yahiko Body is fully grown up, so i guess Yahiko didn't die in child age but as an adult. I don't have the whole timeline in mind, but Yahiko can't be dead more than 5-6 years. (and i don't think a dead body still grows while it has these rods in it)
There's also one more mistery i would like to be revealed soon: why are all these dead pain bodies guys that jiraiya knew from his past? that HAS to have some depper reason or i will be really disappointed..
All in all, this chapter was the worst during the last weeks to me, i know it can't get better and better every week. But i just agree with GK, this flashback was superfluous, there's just nothing special about it. I could also compare it to the flashbacks of kimimaro or haku, maybe gaara. they all had their dramatic childhoods, but they were used by their towns and their people, nobody said sorry to them.
Predictions: Second flashback of course. I'm really wondering who Nagato will die. He is too dangerous to be let alive, but i'm pretty sure Naruto won't kill him. Maybe he will just die by exhaustion. Or some random guy will step in and killing him, for example Danzou.
edit: in germany we would say this flashback was somehow "08/15(spoken: nullachtfuchzehn)" but i don't know the exact translation. dict.cc told me it is something like "run-of-the-mill" or "cookie-cutter"
Last edited by Gold Knight; April 20, 2009 at 06:07 AM. Reason: Spoiler-tagged a bit, just in case... ;)
Nevertheless, GK i love your comments and my heart goes up everytime i read your new threads, thank you so much for your review!
Last edited by Gold Knight; April 20, 2009 at 06:12 AM.
You're welcome guys... but I'll be honest, I think this review was one of my least-inspired ones... but I guess you can blame that on the chapter itself for being mediocre... (I'm still unsure if I should have rated it that highly, but it wasn't like it was a bad chapter....)
@ wooticus - I took the liberty of spoiler-tagging your bit about the FMA anime just in case there're some people who read my Naruto reviews who haven't been exposed to that particular anime/manga. Remember, though, Winry didn't witness that scene whereas Sasuke and Nagato had a very personal experience with the death of their loved ones, and she still harbored feelings of bitterness towards her family's killer.
Anyway, I'm not sure labelling Nagato as the "greatest emo of all time" is the correct approach to describing his character because unlike a true "emo" as we define that term - a person who cries for attention but actually does nothing about his situation - Nagato, just like Sasuke, does attempt to do something. Even if they are misguidedly doing so.
Although I have to say, Nagato's mantra of saying "you don't know pain like I do!" certainly could qualify as a bit of whining on his part! Even Sasuke doesn't go that far... he just mutters. xD
Yeah, I'd like to know more about the other "Pains" that Jiraiya used to know, but I fear we'll only know more about them all in the next Databook, unfortunately. It could just be that Jiraiya was that well-traveled that he crossed paths with a lot of powerful people that Nagato happened to need for his "bodies." At this point I'll just settle for learning more about the circumstances surrounding Yahiko's death.
Yeah, the flashback did indeed feel "run-of-the-mill."
@ FaL - You're welcome, thanks for reading =)
Last edited by Gold Knight; April 20, 2009 at 06:20 AM.
Hey GK, nice to read your review again, even though I agree, it was ok but nothing special. Perhaps you ought to rename your review template to GK's x comments so that you don't always have to push out 10 Nevertheless some nice thoughts, especially on Naruto and his emotions.
I think people are very quick to judge Nagato just by this first part of the flashback. It's a bad experience but indeed, if this were it it would not justify Nagato turning out like he did. But Kishi didn't make Nagato say that there were two experiences that shaped him for nothing. I'm almost positive that the second is much worse.
Next to that, Nagato's life has been hell just like Itachi's. They both lived in constant war when they were young and they both desire(d) peace more than anything. It's not like Nagato's life was all flowers and birdies apart from the two experiences he's describing atm.
I'm just hoping the second part will make me sympathize with the guy. When Madara was talking about Itachi's life, I really felt so sorry for the Itachi, and I'm hoping Kishi will accomplish that with Nagato too.
well, i guess i have overdone it a bit too much today, but i guess it was too early in the morning to judge quite objective over the current chapter.
it might be still far too early to judge over nagato all in all. Mostover to judge whether he is more like a victim of war.
Maybe it's just my opinion, but at the moment it seems to me as if kishimoto lets a lot of doors open in the current state of the manga.
Let's start with killerbee. He might be playing some major part in the future, but it is also possible that he just won't be seen again in the manga more often than for a few pages.
Then there is Kakashi, i begin to think that even kishi isn't sure whether he is dead or not yet, i can't see another reason for not giving a concrete answer to that yet.
Next there is yondaimes appearance and disappearance.. nobody might say if he could reappear or not.
and maybe now it's about the question whether nagato has some pure evil inside of him or him being just an misguided victim.
I can't see in Kishis mind, but i could imagine that he hasn't decided all of this questions yet. Maybe he has and i'm absolutely wrong.
Another thing i want to say is that kishi somehow seems to show some aspect of advanced psychology in his manga. We have seen so much different influences of "war". Nearly every character was influenced by it in another kind of way. Nagato became possesed of "killing anything that could start a war" probably, at the other side Itachi became a "defender of peace" in some way. Tsunade started to force the recruitment of medical nins to minimize the human losses, jiraiya became an hermit in search for the answer to the question how to stop war. You could probably count even more characters, but i don't want to extend it too much.
Lastly i have some question to yo, GK:
What do you think is the whole purpose of bringing the cloud country into the story? I mean, after Naruto and Sasuke got some decent power boosts and are now both certainly under the top 10 strongest ninja in narutoverse and many guys killed off by now (Pain aka Akatsuki Leader is about to lose), it just seems that the story is about to come to an end
But back to the question, what do you think? Will Kishi force the confrontation with Madara? or might he make him retreat for a while after the failure with 8 and 9 tails? So there is time for some Danzou and Great Ninja Country Arc. I actually can't see that happen.. because the power gap between all Konoha Nins and sennin naruto was shown to be that extreme, that a ninja war would only result in the confrontation of onemanweapons like naruto.
And what do you think will the the fate of Kisame and Zetsu.. I can't see them being stronger than Pain, so they probably won't fight Naruto. Especially Kisames part in the whole story is completely unclear to me. For me he seems to be a very powerful nin, far stronger than his "rival" suigetsu, stronger than gai, but sasuke and/or naruto might have succeeded him.
For Zetsu i somehow believe that he will be Yamatos great fight. Well, it just fits to good.. Mokoton vs his... dunno how to name it.
I guess to talk too much, lets hurry back to university
Great review as usual GK.
And I found one interesting thing in this chapter, how Nagato got his doujutsu a lot earlier than we thought, the same as Sasuke..Kishi just keeps doing that..
Anyway, I'm looking forward to your next review..
Great review Gold Knight. I also wasn't too excited about this flashback, and am much more intruiged by the circumstances surrounding Yahiko (although I did enjoy the nice shadowy style of the flashback. gave a good impression of a creepy moonlit night). I'm hoping there's a bit more to Yahiko's death then he was simply killed by Hanzo/Leaf ninja(s). It still needs to be explained how all of Pains bodies were ninjas that Jiraiya fought in his travels >.>
Sasuke wanted revenge on Itachi, and wanted to stop him
Nagato wanted revenge of those who killed his parents.
Hatred really is powerful, eh?
one prediction that i would like to make for the next chapter would be that nagato would probably explain that this incident made him realize how messed up wars were, where innocent people were killed by innocent people accidentally and then he would tell him about the 2 experience where he realized that people would only stop once they realized true pain
this would explain how both the experiences shaped his thinking and it would also explain why they were friendly when they met with jiraya and company even though he was from konoha
YEY COMMENTS, thanks GK! <3333333333333333333333333333333
Keep up the awesome work!
*Note - Re-upped the header, apparently it went down. Stupid Imageshack.
Sorry for not responding fully to all the posts right now, I've just been in a quiet and kinda tired mood lately.
First of all though, thank you all for commenting!
@ Phoenix - you have a good point about Itachi and Nagato's lives being similar. Difference is: Itachi killed his family and clan out of a sense of duty, Nagato would probably be repulsed by that notion.
@ wooticus - the Cloud Country team coming to Konohagakure will likely aid in hunting the remaining Akatsuki, after all, they are more or less trying to save their Raikage's brother (and their mentor), not knowing he's actually safe right now. Zetsu and Kisame are likely trying to find Killer Bee right now, anyway. The confrontation with Madara probably won't happen in this arc.
@ SilentBob - yeah... emotional times for these kids.
@ Leos~ - I agree with you, I'd like to know more about the Pain(s) but I wouldn't get my hopes up, Kishimoto has been known to put aside details like that for the Databooks. Nice description of the shadowy style, "creepy moonlit night"
@ DMS32 - killer instinct, eh?
@ ameya730 - yeah, I think Nagato differs from Sasuke in that he believed war, not anything in particular, was the cause of his suffering. Maybe because he already killed his parents' murderers. Sasuke focused specifically on the killer, and now the government behind that plot.
@ Stiluz - thanks ^_^
Last edited by Gold Knight; April 22, 2009 at 04:52 AM.
what about neji running into the cloud ninja team???
wonder how his reaction would differ from naruto's.
given his history regarding the "murder" of his father.