Yes, He can do a lot of good there.
No. He would be endangering the mission.
Other (Let me know in the Comments)
Welcome all to another Naruto review. In addition to this week's action-packed chapter, we also got a well drawn colored, double-page spread as well as a Naruto-centric cover for Weekly Shonen Jump. The cover image features Naruto decked out and striking a pose in a Kabuki costume. The double-page spread features the Konoha 11 enjoying a leisurely day at the hot springs, although Sai is noticeably absent even though he's become quite the close comrade to the gang. Color page spreads are usually signs of good things to come in the chapter, so with that let's get to the chapter review ...
Naruto 541: Raikage vs. Naruto!?
Images in this review credited to mangastream/binktopia
Showdown! Old generation vs. Next Generation!
Naruto and Bee begin the chapter with their path barred by both Tsunade and A. The Raikage admonishes the two jinchuriki for being irresponsible enough to leave hiding and move out in the open. As for as the Allied Shinobi Force, represented by A, is concerned, Naruto and Bee's capture is Madara's primary objective so they are to be protected at all cost. Tsunade, though, is mainly surprised by Naruto's Kyuubi-chakra mode technique which she hasn't witnessed before. In the past, she's been permissive of Naruto because of the faith she had in his potential, and now more than ever she recognizes that Naruto has accomplished something extraordinary and unique.
Naruto counters the Raikage's claims by telling the Raikage that he can't just stand idly by while the people he cares about risk their lives for him. If all of Naruto's allies were to die, then the result of winning would be meaningless to him because he would once again be alone after hard worked years of building a family. The Raikage argues that it's better to lose a few shinobi than all the people of the world and that everyone fighting is prepared to put their his or her life on the line.
Backed into a corner! The limits of Kyuubi-chakra mode.
Knowing that, Naruto still refuses to back down and so he attempts to use Kyuubi chakra mode to lunge past the Raikage, but the Raikage is able to keep up with him using his Lightning Release Armour. Moreover, the Raikage demonstrates that he can easily sends Naruto flying with a single punch, proving that his Lightning Armour is not to be taken lightly. Failing to get past the Raikage, Naruto turns to Tsunade and asks her to put her faith in his ability to end the war. Tsunade, for her part, seems to have faith in Naruto’s abilities, but her position as a leader of the Allied Shinobi Forces does not allow her to disagree with the general viewpoint of the army. Naruto understands and determines to force his way through by increasing his speed.
IThe Hidden Cloud's Judge, Jury, and Executioner.
While Naruto is shocked that the Raikage can keep up with him, Tsunade rightly recognizes that the real feat is that Naruto’s Kyuubi-chakra mode is capable of keeping up with the Raikage, who became the fastest shinobi in the world when Minato, the Yondaime Hokage, passed away. The Raikage continues to surprise Naruto with the revelation that he fought Naruto’s dead, Minato, on multiple occasions. He respected the man who Jiraiya once told him would be the savior of the world, but the Raikage doesn’t understand why they have to face this current crisis if Minato had truly been a savior. He believes that Minato failed to appropriately deal with the Kyuubi and that Naruto is following in the footsteps of Minato’s foolishness. Yet both Naruto and we as the reader are privy to the hidden history of the Leaf, and so we know that Minato handled the situation as best he could and paved the way for a new savior to arise. Had Minato failed to stop Madara’s assault against the Leaf, then this current war would have enveloped the world a decade sooner.
Recognizing that Naruto won’t be dissuaded by reason, the Raikage makes an executive decision as the leader of the Allied Shinobi Forces. He will kill Naruto, and thus the Kyuubi, buying the Allies more time to prevent Madara’s plan, which is a pragmatic decision.
I’ll speak through my fists.
Naruto doesn’t give into the threat and makes a ninjutsu seal, but all for naught because the Raikage is on him in no time. Luckily, Bee intervenes and shields Naruto from the Raikage. Bee argues that by the Raikage’s own logic, Madara could really be screwed over by also killing Bee, so Bee offers up his own life in exchange for letting Naruto through. It’s a great moment and yet another example of a ninja being placing faith in and being won over by Naruto. Tsunade also jumps into the fray by berating the Raikage for making such a monumental decision without the express permission of the other Kage. Besides Tsunade, I can’t imagine that Gaara would agree to such a decision being both Naruto’s friend and a former jinchuriki himself. Even in the Kage did decide on that course of action, I can imagine that the Leaf would retaliate against the Cloud because Naruto has made many allies and not all of those allies are as altruistic as he is.
The Raikage remains committed to his decision, stating that he will achieve victory by whatever means necessary. Tsunade in turn questions the Raikage’s choice to target Naruto instead of Bee. The Raikage defends his point by saying that he’s prepared to kill Bee too if that time comes, but for now Naruto remains the smarter choice because Bee has better control of his tailed beast and can use the tailed beast bomb. Yet this isn’t necessarily true. Bee is the product of a passing era and Naruto as a member of the youth who will carry forward future generations has a greater stake in the ninja world. Moreover, Naruto has demonstrated in his rebellion that he has grown proficient with Kyuubi-chakra mode, and while Bee may have the TBB, Naruto is capable of using Rasen-Shuriken and Sage Mode. Each ninja has his particular strengths, but given that Sage Mode gives Naruto excellent sensing abilities, I’d say Naruto would be more useful in the upcoming battles. So I could conclude that the Raikage’s affections are affecting his choice to kill Naruto rather than Bee.
When Bee won’t let go of the Raikage, the Raikage gives a rant about how jinchuriki are tools belonging to villages and are too precious to security to have autonomy. Bee, though, still feels like an individual and isn’t comfortable simply living as a tool. It’s a good bit of dialogue that ties this chapter into the oft-explored them in Naruto of whether or not people can truly live as tools. In an effort to reach his brother, Bee asks the Raikage to read his mind through their fists.
Sons of Thunders
The chapter then treats us to a flashback to the early days of the Hidden Cloud when Bee and A were just kids. In the flashback, the Sandaime Raikage and a trusted Cloud ninja are searching for a tag-team partner for the future Raikage, A, because in the long history of the Hidden Cloud the Raikage has always had a tag-team partner. We learn the name “A” likely denotes the current/future Raikage and “B” denotes the person who can bring out the Raikage’s full strength and also defend him.
Six young ninja are brought in to test for the position of B, but the Sandaime Raikage worries that it’ll be another wasted day with no suitable candidates found. He laments that if A had an actual brother, they wouldn’t have this problem, but his worries are soon proven wrong when a young Killer Bee proves able to correctly read A and perform a successful double lariat with him. A is amused by the funny little kid and makes him B, his brother. And so the chapter ends on the revelation that A and Bee were never biological brothers.
The art on display in Naruto 541 was solid as usual. In chapters as dialogue and character driven as this one, characters' faces become more central to communicating personality and emotion, and the faces on display this chapter were suitably expressive. Naruto's face especially was expertly depicted as evidenced by the above photo, illustrating Naruto's defiance at the shinobi leadership and anger at his allies for sacrificing themselves for him.
Also on display were Kishimoto's trademark cinematic angles. Above and to the left is his signature overhead shot applied to the Hidden Cloud's training ground and above and to the right is an unusual low angle shot of Bee that illustrates the difference in size between the two when Bee decides to go all tailed beast.
In addition, this was a very action oriented chapter, so there were actions shots galore like the above two. Not all the art was great though. You can see from the above two images that a similar pose/positioning was used for Raikage and Naruto. Also, while the left panel is gorgeously drawn with an interestingly skewed angle to highlight the speed of the characters, the right panel is cluttered with an over-abundance of speed lines.
One of my favorite things that Kishimoto does artistically are his unnarrated panels that are meant to catch us up on character's not central to the chapter. These brief scenes are consistently well done and this chapter is no exception as the above scenes depicting Konoha ninja show.
Aside from the art, I felt that the chapter handled the kages roadblock of Naruto well. I had feared that this encounter would be more wheel spinning to keep Naruto busy while the other characters deal with the war, but Kishimoto used the situation to do some impressive character development for both Tsunade, Naruto, Ei, and Bee. I particularly liked the subversion of the usual Overly Permissive Grandma trope (that I’m naming if it doesn’t exist yet) where Tsunade allows Naruto to go off on dangerous missions against her better judgement or the pragmatic advice of others just because she has faith in Naruto’s potential. It’s rewarding to see Tsunade recognize Naruto's abilities and her expressions this chapter are priceless, but at the same time, her political position meant that she could not let Naruto roam free against the wishes of the Allied Shinobi Forces. I was also intrigued by the Raikage’s decision to kill Naruto. It properly reflected the character’s mix of ruthlessness and pragmatism. Likewise, I thought Bee’s interference did well in laying the groundwork for the more affectionate side of the Raikage and of course Bee remained as cool as ever in the process. There were also many great reveals including Raikage’s respect/contempt for Minato, the Hidden Cloud’s alphabet monikers, a glimpse of what the Sandaime Raikage was like while alive, and of course the revelation that A and B are not biological brothers.
Overall, this was a wonderful chapter and so Naruto 541 gets a ...
5 out of 5.
None of my prediction's from the last review panned out this week. Kishimoto kept the action away from the Zetsu infiltration and focused on Naruto, Bee, and the Kages. Honestly, I was expecting the business with Naruto to be more wheel-spinning but I was pleasantly surprised with how solid this chapter was and the character development being done for both the Raikage and Bee.
Next chapter I expect the chapter to pick up with the confrontation between the Raikage and Bee with more flashbacks to the Hidden Cloud's history. The flashbacks will probably be focused on Bee becoming a jinchuriki as a result of his newly created bonds and maybe we'll see more of the discrimination Bee faced as a jinchuriki. I think that Bee will eventually convince A to support his decision by reminding him of how he supported A all those years as B. In addition, I think Tsunade will acknowledge that Naruto has become a truly superb ninja capable of taking care of himself.
As always, thanks for sticking around. I’ll see you next week space cowboy...
- “We’ll be fine. That’s a Killer B guaruntee.”
- “If we win the war, but they all end up dead … it’s all meaningless.”
- “You’ve gotta do what you gotta do. I understand, so I’ll force my way through.” Not a bad rap. Naruto’s learning.
- “Don’t talk about my dad … like you know him.”
- “Can you still read my mind when we bump fists, brother?”
- “YEEEAH, BOOOOOOY!”
- “From today on, you and I are brothers! I’m glad we found you, ‘B’!”
- Given the events of this chapter, I’ll be referring to the Yondaime Raikage as A instead of Ei from now on, and though I prefer ‘Killer Bee’, I’ll be switching to ‘Killer B’ with the next review.
- Apologies for the lateness of the review, but my sister’s high school graduation, family commitments, and travel arrangements meant getting this posted in a timely fashion was unlikely. I also apologize if this review isn’t as coherent as usual. It was written in bits and pieces over the weekend rather than in one sitting.
Last edited by blackjack612; June 09, 2011 at 06:37 PM. Reason: Elaborating on predictions and fix an image link.
Thanks for the great review...as always the approach on the art was solid...you mentioned that panel with overwhelming lines...don't you think that Kishimoto actually succeeded, if you ended up calling it overwhelming? Or as you chose the words, over-abundance...because this time it's not the speed that had to be highlighted, but the impact...and a punch from a powered up full of killing intent Raikage, clashing with a Bijuu arm is something that generates great impact, and demonstrates overwhelming force...so the over-abundance is actually the technique that creates the feeling of being overwhelmed, no? Am I taking it too far with the assumptions here?
And as you said, the character development was indeed present in this chapter...however I would argue that Naruto was the one getting the most development...first he got acknowledged again by Tsunade, and even if she said no, Naruto realized her difficult position...so that's one interaction that makes us believe that Naruto is pretty firm and committed to what he wants to do...and of course this entire interaction just extends into the main conflict which is with Raikage...
The theme of ninja being a tool or not, and even more Jinchuuriki being a tool or not is something that has been mentioned in the past as well, and I think that the purpose of the flashback is to make Raikage realize this...
So I think Bee has two choices and maybe he will use them both...use their own pasts to make Raikage accept this concept that Jinchuuriki are individuals, but he might stress out the fact that Naruto is to be trusted(since Raikage did ask him)...so Bee might show him his time spent with Naruto or even more make Raikage remember the fights against Yondaime, and reminding him that Naruto is the descendant of a superman... That's why I hope the flashback will last more than one chapter, so that Kishimoto could touch every aspect of fanservice and good writing...basically to exploit the potential of this sitation...
Coming back to Naruto...it is good to see that there is a new motivation, somehow related to his Hokage dream...the desire to not betray his father's trust...so we saw that until now Sasuke was the one pushing him, but this time he switched, and I really like that...of course this switch is not so obvious, but I think it's a start, and that Kishimoto will concentrate on this more in the future...
Thanks for the review again, it was a great feeling reading it as always, cheers!
---------- Post added at 09:39 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:37 PM ----------
Oh...and the poll...I voted that he should be on the battlefield...but not alone, and not even with just Bee...I think and this is my prediction to the outcome of this conflict...Naruto and Bee will head out to the battlefield escorted by the kages...this is a way to give the kages a reason to join the fray, but also a middle path between protecting them and letting them fight...
I think that in this entire Zetsu business, Naruto could be the key...unless Shikaku will design some impressive tactic to counter that...but I don't believe he will be able to...the idea with the slugs is interesting, but I think Naruto is the one to do it...but healing people with the slugs is a good idea...however I want to see her fight as well, along with acting as a leader and showing decisive movements...so the meeting with Dan could be helpful, but if it happens there will definitely be an emotional approach...which is good for character development in the end, even if it's not badassery that has been shown....
The same with Raikage...he can meet up his father, pawn him maybe? I dunno...I'm curious where will Kishi take this....one thing is obvious...he took out the Kages to put them into battle with the Edos...but he can as well just make up the situation and then abandon it, the same way he did it to Kakashi and Gaara, with the introducing of the large force at the beach...
Nice, again just few things i wanna add, because i think they should not be missed:
Naruto's word "Plus" (in some translations written as Besides), that also has its own panel with nice face expression. I think it is something like when Naruto pulls out some crazy sentence (we are both going to die), or when he leaves his friends with a serious look on his face and you don't know why.
In immpressions or in predictions (but prediction is focused just on the next chapter mostly, i get that) there should be some focus on this little jibber jabber, i think that one word or sentence can mean much more than sixteen pages. Besides i would predict that Naruto is going to use weird words much often, because of his big plan. This time he was pushed to corner and might have revealed something, but Raikage stoped him.
Second thing is that Raikage did not even blink when he heard Naruto saying Minato was his father. Wtf? Somebody must have told him. Did Tsunade revealed some info because of the war, or when did he find out they are son and a father? I doubt he heard that for the first time, he is not that cold to keep talking like it was nothing. I would love to see in future how the hell does he know
good review i agree with you giving a 5 out of 5. i think next chapter will be more flashback of the kumo bros maybe we see bee training to master the hachibi. also maybe at the end of the chapter we see all of them get attacked by zetsus or zombies. i think maybe the 3rd raikage and dan can be sent to take on the kages with the jins to take on bee and naruto. also i voted for naruto to be allowed in the battlefield. naruto is the strongest person from kohona and has the best sensing abilities in the manga and he can help find the zetsus.
Last edited by NAM61; June 06, 2011 at 02:26 PM.
great review,maybe a bit too long,even though most of the space you occupied was because of pictures.(and what a wonderful avatar you have got now!) anyway I've liked this chapter,especially because raikage's name has finally appeared in a volume and not just in a databook.
Great Review. Im surprised that B wasnt the Raikage real brother.
agreed.I don't like that they aren't brother. then what was the meaning of the flashback in volume 52? where B did everything for his brother's sake. and he was already his brother when he was 5,then how old was he when he did that double lariat? Bee must have been a beast since his birth!
The Underscore, I'm not good at mixing serous analysis and general review stuff with humor and picking up on all the detailed little aesthetic touches to a chapter. It's something I've got to work on.
ricardDVS writes a good review and he keeps it short. And I'm glad you like the avatar. It was time for a new one and I really liked that panel of Nagato leaning on Itachi. Chapter 542 is also filled with tons of material that would make great avatars, so we'll see how long I keep this one.