Hello, hello MH members, Naruto fans, it is a delight to present you another Joint Review of the Reviewer Alliance here on MH.
Concerning this week's chapter, and hopefully future chapters as well, KiSwordsman, jdw, Delbi and myself will share our ideas and analysis of what happened.
As the war reaches its peak, bonds that crumbled, are renewed and fresh alliances and hopefully interesting battles will carve a path to impressive developments.
In this chapter the focus was entirely on the Itachi and Sasuke vs Kabuto fight. The characters presented themselves in three completely different ways in regard to each. However, this was not out of the norm for two of them.
Sasuke was his observant, condescending self. While Kabuto, like his master before him, was very confident, despite the situation. It was Itachi's attitude that I found interesting this week. While calm, like he usually tends to be. He was also slightly humorous, giving Sasuke the nickname "doctor snakes," which ended up becoming a running gag for the chapter. I found this odd, but then remembered how Nagato acted with Naruto before Kabuto stripped him of his free will. Most likely, the logic behind this is that some characters brought back with edo-tensei, especially Itachi, no longer have a reason to present themselves the same way that they did while alive. It would make sense, given Itachi's words to Sasuke at the end last weeks chapter.
At the end of the chapter we see why Kabuto has been so confident throughout it, despite hiding from the Uchiha brothers for most of it. It turns out that, along with taking the abilities of both Karin and Suigetsu, he has also taken, or rather learned Jugo's ability. Which in truth turns out to be the snakes version of sage mode. Not only has Kabuto learned this ability, he has mastered it, becoming a perfect sage. If that weren't enough, he claims to have become a dragon because of his mastery over the ability. Weather this meant symbolically, or literally remains to be seen. We can gather that he seems very confident in the ability, due to the fact that he chose to stop hiding from both Sasuke and Itachi upon its activation. This implies that he possibly is no longer wary of their genjutsu.
Even more interesting is the fact that Itachi seemed to be aware of not only the the places that Kabuto mentioned, but also sage mode itself. However, given the fact that Itachi has been shown to be informed about things like the identity of Naruto's parents, I suppose it's not all that surprising.
There isn't that much to say about Sasuke. The one thing that I can say regarding him is that he seems to be alot less mentally unstable in his brothers presence. He is still a little hot headed and condesending, but seems alot less likely to kill someone at the drop of a hat.
The major revelations of the chapter are:
1. Kabuto has achieved Sage Mode and elevated to being a dragon and not a mere snake by training with the Sage of White Snake at Ryuchi Dou, which is as notable as Myobokuzan. This is rather important because it even surprises and impresses Itachi, who is a pro at analysis. If he knows f it and still cares, then it probably matters a great deal.
2. Kabuto obtained much of his power by researching the shinobi who would later be called upon by Sasuke to be a part of Hebi/Taka: Suigetsu, Karin, and Juugo.
3. Karin is an Uzumaki. This could be a rather important fact going forward, but we will have to wait and see. Sasuke was interested in this fact for one reason or another, but we don't know yet the extent of his curiosity.
4. Snakes are not completely useless. The Sage of the White Snake training Kabuto to achieve their version of Sage Mode is truly stunning as there was no previous indication that there were any other practicing Sage arts outside of those affiliated with the toads of Myoubokuzan.
Overall, the pacing of the chapter moved fairly fast. 578 ended with Itachi and Sasuke facing off against Kabuto. 579 launches into actual combat after a few words are exchanged.
We didn't really see any advancement of the Uchiha brothers as this was mainly Kabuto's chance to show something. There was twin Susanoo, but no abilities that we have not seen previously.
One interesting point is about Kabuto's perception in Sage Mode. There is no sure basis of comparison of actual ability across the Sage Modes (Snake/Toad), but could it be possible that Kabuto's avoidance of Sasuke's arrow means that Naruto would be able to avoid it in Sage Mode? Just something to think about as the story unfolds I guess
The action of this chapter was more so a build up to the juicy parts of the fight between the Uchiha brothers and Kabuto that are bound to ensue in coming chapters; even still quite a few interesting things happened, along with a few reveals in reguards to new jutsu.
Before we get to what everyone is raving about (Kabuto's Dragon Sage Mode), it should be noted that right off the bat Itachi and Sasuke whipped out Sussano. Frankly, it's disappointing for me to see these two great fighters turned into nothing more than mecha operators, but alas, I guess they need to pull out the big guns considering who their opponent is and the situation they are in. What should be noted is that while Itachi has infinite stamina, Sasuke does not, and for once, Itachi won't be this feeble ninja having to hold back. It'll be interesting to see if stamina becomes an issue for Sasuke during this fight.
Starting off though, both Itachi and Sasuke began engaging Kabuto differently. Itachi took a more restrained approach and didn't attempt to hurt Kabuto whereas Sasuke immediately cut through his snakes. While Itachi is usually always correcting Sasuke, this time it was Sasuke who corrected Itachi claiming that they mustn’t take it easy on Kabuto given the fact he has Orochimaru's powers. This should lead into quite the brawl between these fighters as it's becoming blatantly obvious that even if the Uchiha brothers wanted to kill Kabuto, they might not succeed.
Speaking of Kabuto, is it just me or did Kishi take some influence for Doc. Ock from the Spider-Man comics in the way he uses his snakes? Offensively Kabuto didn't display much in this chapter, but I do like his fighting style nonetheless. And his initial attacks with the snakes were pretty cool.
But while Kabuto may not have been offensive heavy this week, his defense is proving to be quite impressive. Not only does he have an amazing defense against ocular genjutsu with his snakes, but his healing capabilities and ability to liquefy (thanks to Karin and Suigetsu respectively) have given him quite the powerful body. Watching him easily deal with an onslaught that would leave most ninja's gasping for straws was impressive. These abilities alone would make him quite the headache for nearly anyone in the manga, and yet, neither of those improvements compare much to his new trump card....
DRAGON SAGE MODE
With the help of Juugo's DNA and training at Ryuchidou Kabuto has now become a Sage, and good God is that scary. Remember when Kakashi, a very fast ninja with the Sharigan failed to dodge Sasuke's Sussano arrow and had to use Kamui? Kabuto has no such problem thanks to the perceptual ability of his new Sage Mode. Now, if his Sage Mode is like Naruto's we can assume his body just received a massive upgrade in the strength, speed, and durability department as well (it will also be interesting to see if there are differences between the two, such as one being better at doing something than the other). O, and let's not forget adding natural energy to his techniques is going to boost their power as well. Yea, Itachi and Sasuke are in for quite a ride. And whatever Sage Technique: Hakugeki Jutsu is, I'm sure it'll be cool and quite deadly.
Overall the action in this chapter surmounts to two exchanges, Kabuto attacking Sasuke and Itachi with his snakes and them countering said attack, and Kabuto dodging Sasuke's Sussano arrow. Not all that exciting, but the reveal of Dragon Sage Mode will surely give us an action packed chapter next week. I'd give the action this week a 3/5.
Looks like things are getting hot in this war. I wonder if Kishimoto will keep the development in one location at a time. In this regard he is really unpredictable. I think that next chapter will still focus on this fight, and only after that we might switch to other locations.
One thing that might contradict this, as we think about it, is something that was mentioned in the Action part of the review. Which is the speedy use of Susanoo. Starting out with weapons of such caliber, one moment could be decisive, similar to how Itachi quickly used a smoke-screan to take out Edo Nagato.
However the most powerful argument for this battle stretching out is that the fight is not to kill, but to incapacitate. Given Kabuto's abilities, this might prove troublesome, but I have no doubt that we will see an end to this fight in two weeks, thanks to the caliber of the Uchihas who are fighting as a team.
But until the next chapter, which will be out pretty soon, let's think about the chapter once more, and this review is out just for that. To offer different or not so different points of view, and engaging in a conversation. So don't be shy to post about the chapter or comment on the review itself.
We will try to deliver next week's review much faster, and hopefully with more content as well. But we hope you liked the review, and had patience to read it.
Thanks go Dragon Fly Scanlation for the high quality work they are doing, to the reviewers who took part in this team(including Gintara for the fabulous banner), and to Masashi Kishimoto, who delivered an exciting chapter.
Last edited by benelori; March 27, 2012 at 06:14 PM.
Thanks for the review everybody!
I totally agree with
"Frankly, it's disappointing for me to see these two great fighters turned into nothing more than mecha operators, but alas, I guess they need to pull out the big guns considering who their opponent is and the situation they are in."
It is out of character for them. Well, at least for the big brother. In fact, that is something that has been bugging me for the last two chapters. In the past Itachi always wanted to avoid conflict, so he never rushed towards an enemy; but now he is the one asking for action and, instead of doing something, he just stands there and talks. I would have liked if he had proceeded with canceling Edo Tensei when he announced he would, instead of hesitating. Granted, he is a cautious man, but if you have the nerve to show up face to face with your opponent, you shouldn't waste time and go for the kill; or be cautious and sneak up on him.
Those panels of Itachi and Sasuke sitting like ducks waiting for what Kabuto throws at them are just horrendous. I hope they redeem themselves in this aspect in the upcoming chapters.
great review! you really did an awesome job with it,you even divided your own sections! that's made it clearer and more appreciable,better than the one we did,because ours wasn't so organic,instead of yours,which can't be criticized.