Before we get things started, let's go over the last review's poll. In Kabuto Yakushi Orochimaru made a pretty persuasive pitch to get Kabuto to join him and I asked whether he would have persuaded you had you been in the same situation. The majority of you would have absolutely joined the legendary sannin while a good chunk of you would have at least considered the offer. As we see here, studying under Orochimaru has some fringe benefits, namely gaining access to every jutsu under the sun. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Now for the chapter review..
Naruto 585 To Be Myself
The images in this review are credited to Mangastream.
To Be Myself ends the flashback that stretched over the preceding two chapters. Kabuto's just finished recollecting his life and motivations. He mentions that Itachi is perfect for his technique because Itachi has collected so much. Itachi downplays his heritage, even though he is a master shinobi and accumulator of rare techniques. The Uchiha brothers find themselves in a bit of a pickle. They can't kill Kabuto and his techniques are too lethal to evade forever. Itachi does have a trump card in Izanami, but it requires time to activate. Time that Kabuto won't give them, for in fully living out Orochimaru's dogma of 'collecting all the knowledge of the world' he has amassed a large collection of various bloodline limits.
Using Sakon's bloodline limit, Kabuto is able to partially split a part of himself off and clone others abilities through the new growth. In a nice bit of callback, he employs each of the Sound Five's skills to corner the Uchiha brothers, proving just how useful they could have been if their personality flaws didn't interfere with their teamwork. With Jirobou's abilities he splits the earth to create a path through Amaterasu. With Kimimaro's ability and Kidomaru's webs he forces the brothers into a vulnerable position. Then, while they're trapped, he uses Tayuya's sound genjutsu to paralyze them both since Susanoo can't protect against sound, which makes sense considering the brothers are able to communicate with and hear other people while using that technique. And for the coup de grace, Kabuto prepares Orochimaru's Living Corpse Reanimation jutsu. In one fell swoop, Kabuto is an attack away from gaining the coveted sharingan.
Before the final blow, Itachi issues a last warning. Itachi tells Kabuto that It's fine to imitate those you admire, but he will never truly become Orochimaru. Kabuto doesn't realize that letting his self be subsumed by another will not allow lead to his forging a true self. And so, he ignores the warning and continues his attack. Itachi and Sasuke free each other by casting genjutsu on one another and pummel the faux-Orochimaru with their [I]Susanoo[I], giving Itachi ample opportunity to cast Izanami. But that attack fails*. Kabuto emerges from the crushed Orochimaru flesh and cuts Itachi in two, determined to win. As the chapter ends, we're left wondering, just how close is Kabuto to winning? Can Itachi be dispatched that easily as an Edo Tensei summon? And is that last attack even real?
Well, after last week's stellar chapter, this chapter was all but guaranteed to be a bit of a letdown. There are memorable images. The brief flash of young Kabuto in a single panel conveys just how vulnerable and lost that character is. Kabuto's jutsu were also well illustrated. Yet something about the overall quality of art seems off. Kishimoto usually has a great eye for storyboarding, but at times the angles seemed poorly chosen or the fading to and from flashbacks seemed jarring. Nothing was outright terrible, but the art was not as consistently sharp as it usually is.
Almost everything about this chapter felt off balance, as though there were the makings of an exceptional chapter hidden with the parts of the whole. Where last week the dialogue and art were top notch (enough to win the grudging respect of many not invested in Kabuto as a villain), here the results were mixed. The fight scenes were generally well drawn, but everything else looked sub-standard. Itachi and Kabuto's ideas of identity and imitation are fertile grounds for discussion, but neither explored those notions in the depth or with the eloquence they deserved.
That said, I applaud what Kishimoto has done with Kabuto. To make up for his borrowed ambition, Kabuto goes overboard in everything he does. Orochimaru was going to steal genetic abilities, focusing on individual skills at a time, you say? Well then, Kabuto will find a way to steal them all. I also liked how Kabuto used his abilities intelligently, forcing his opponents into vulnerable positions. He could have just spammed techniques all chapter, but the way in which he applied them shows more strategy than is sometimes employed by the villains in this series. Tobi could learn a thing or too here considering he wasted the potential of the jinchuriki and their individual gifts in his fight (but for practical reasons related to the plot and allowing the hero to reach a new level of power).
Naruto 585 is, like Kabuto, too ambitious for its own good and ends up feeling slightly lesser than the sum of its parts, so I'm giving it a ...
4 out of 5.
*I said above that Izanami failed, but that might not be the case. It could be that Kabuto's now trapped in a genjutsu where all his dreams are realized similar to the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex episode "Lost Heritage" in which an assassin is hacked into thinking he completed his mission or the Justice League episode "For the Man Who Has Everything" in which Superman, Batman, and Mongol are trapped within various fantasies (Krypton still exists, Bruce and Martha Wayne never died, and vengeance against the league was obtained). In this genjutsu, Kabuto will play out the battle, defeating Itachi and absorbing Sasuke. The Allied shinobi Forces will fall, as will Tobi. Then, possessing everything and no longer needing his army of the undead, Kabuto will undo his technique which will undo Edo Tensei in real life. What does everyone else think? Can Kabuto's last attack be taken at face value or was Izanami already cast?
That's it for the review. See you after next week, allied shinobi...
- "It's fine to imitate someone that you respect, but do not act like you're him."
- "That is something you do in order to grow. It is not to be used as a costume to pretend to be someone you are not."
- "A genius who had everything will never understand. I just want to become myself."
- Just a stray observation, but Orochimaru and Kabuto seem like the kind of people who in as kids would have chosen 'The power to have all the powers' in a schoolyard game of superheroes.
- edit: I voted Kimimaro in the poll because never breaking a bone would be awesome. Then I'd become a professional daredevil or something.
One Line Reviews
- Though branded by the number of imperfection, One Piece 666 hits a perfect note of intrigue by giving the mysterious Trafalgar Law plenty of space to do his thing and look intimidating.
- Speaking of intimidating looks, Bleach 491 was surprisingly enjoyable. I was skeptical about how effective the Quincy would be as villains, but Kirge's final form finds just the right mix between creepy (those eyes?) and dangerous looking.
- Tower of God S02 Ch14, which in my opinion delivered the best chapter of the week, proves that you don't have to dress up or put up a show to seem dangerous. Sometimes all it takes is an unshown slaying and a casual swagger. Baam knows what's up.
Last edited by blackjack612; May 11, 2012 at 12:25 AM.
Great review as always, black. I would love to see your prediction come true, as in 15 or so chapters and after everything has gone bad for the alliance everything reverses to this point in time and Itachi casually says to Sasuke: "It worked."
One last thing I want to point out is that finally we (well, "I", and most of us I suppose) have confirmation that Sasuke's "Sharingan genjutsu" isn't Tsukuyomi, otherwise it would be described as such.
thanks for the review,black. you succeed in making it short. yet,I think you stretched the end too much: we can't be sure of what happened,so I doubt itachi lost the opportuinity to use izanami. if you look at his right eye,you can clearly see that the eye isn't there anymore,so I think that's an hint to make us aware of izanami's activation
Thannks for the review, now I understand that actually Kabuto has kekei genkais of all these ninjas, I guess thats what sennin mode allowed him to do, since sound four also had cursed mark, I wonder how they countered Kimimaros technique? I thought there should be a lot of spikes coming out from the ground?
You're off your rocker if you think that the previous chapter was 'steller' and this one was sub-par. This opinion may be a bit biased as I'm not really too big a fan of flashbacks, unless they achieve some purpose other than to add a few lines or try to make us feel sorry for the character that is having it. Also, spamming other people's techniques isn't his own strength, it's just lame.