It's all in how you use it.
"Then Uchiha Madara will answer you with his full strength."
This week's chapter concludes one of the three climatic battles and shifts focus to the titular shadowbearers, the Five Kage. Before we get to that, let's go over last week's poll results. I asked what ending you most wanted for Kabuto. Coming in at second place, many of you aren't particularly bothered about what happens to Kabuto, possessing little connection to the character. In first place, with a lead of four votes, the majority of you want Kabuto to reach some sort of redemption, preferably reuniting with his brother from the orphanage. It'll likely be weeks until we know for sure how Kabuto's story ends. So for now, let's check in on our other protagonists...
Naruto 588 Bearing the Shadow
The images in this review are credited to Mangastream.
As the chapter begins, Itachi is ready to put an end to Edo Tensei and move on to the next world. Sasuke's not so eager to see his older brother go, but Itachi has no more connections to the mortal plane. And hey, the guy gets to go out by helping out the home team one last time. Sure, Sasuke might want to burn Konoha to the ground and dance on the ashes, but Naruto has that covered in Itachi's estimation, so he gets to the business of learning how to end Edo Tensei through genjutsu.
Elsewhere, the Kage are having a hard time against Madara's many wood clones. Facing one Susanoo wielder was a tough task for our erstwhile heroes. Facing a dozen seems downright impossible. Mei and Gaara are batted around like flies. Tsunade battles recklessly without heed to injury thanks to her rejuvenative abilities, though even she begins to tire. The Raikage, who doesn't keep his head in the game, is distracted by a comrade and placed under genjutsu by Madara. And all the Kage heroes are visibly exhausted. Luckily, Onoki is there to save the Raikage and rally the troops due to his many decades of battle experience.
Madara realizes that Onoki is the one holding the Kage together so he quickly becomes the primary target. Before Madara can act, the Kage make a final stand. Tsunade lends Onoki some chakra for a Susanoo obliterating dust release jutsu, leaving only the original Madara standing (his Six Paths absorption slowed by Susanoo). Mei releases a water or acid jutsu that Madara absorbs. Yet, he can't absorb the sand Gaara hid within it. Stopping the technique leaves him vulnerable to paralysis by a combined water/lightning release from Mei and the Raikage.
Working together, the Kage trap Madara with 2 choices: either the sand seals him now or in escaping the san, he leaves himself vulnerable to Onoki's jutsu and he's sealed shortly thereafter. Madara reveals in the chapter's conclusion he does have a third option: a so called perfect Susanoo. It's impressive in size, but what can this new technique do that a regular Susanoo won't.
The artwork was pretty strong this week. There weren't any unusual artistic flourishes like last chapter. Everything was in keeping with the series typical artistic sense, but the scope was impressively large. The climatic battle gave Kishimoto a chance to show off a variety of jutsu, detailed/destroyed landscapes, and battered heroes, all of which he did with aplomb. In particular, I appreciate Madara's Susanoo even more since having an army of them really ups the creepiness of the design.
Well this was a fun chapter with more straightforward action that we've seen in a while. I mention this often, but I appreciate as a reader when the characters rely on teamwork and well-thought out strategy to win or box their opponents in rather than out pummeling each other. As such, I thought the Kages' concluding moves was well done. I also like the mounting sense of insurmountability with regards to Madara.
That said, I am worried about how this fight concludes (which I'll get into in the predictions) and I would have liked to see more from Tsunade and Mei. Perhaps it's only because of a devisive discussion on this forum over sexism and Naruto, but it did not slip my notice that Mei was the only Kage not to say anything when the Kage rallied together in the end, though in fairness, she has the most tangential relationship to Naruto of the five. As for Tsunade, even if that's all there is to her rejuvenation technique, I would happily have read a chapter of her just recklessly shattering Madara clones and injuring herself in the process. Kishimoto, if you're reading this (unlikely I know), give us more of Tsunade punching things...anything at all.
Naruto 588 was a fun, if lightweight chapter, so I'm giving it a …
5 out of 5.
Kishimoto cut out once Itachi used genjutsu on Kabuto, so how much are you willing to bet it worked? There are a few ways this could end but the two most likely are:
- Perfect Susanoo overwhelms the Kage. They can only slow its progress until Itachi ends Edo Tensei
- It turns out Kabuto lied to Madara. Itachi can't end the technique. Kabuto voluntarily ends it and redeems himself, but only after the Kage defeat Madara with their own hands.
Really, though, only the latter is a viable alternative. Otherwise it looks as if the Kage couldn't handles Madara themselves, breaking their promise to Naruto that they could. It would also upset the long running them of younger generations surpassing the old.
One Line Reviews
- Vagabond 303 continues Musashi Miyamoto's poignant growth towards maturity by pairing him with a young ward.
- S.I.U. knows that above all else the readers want more badass Viole beatdowns and delivers with Tower of God S02Ch17 along with a couple of twists that complicate the Untrustworthy Room test.
- Bleach 494 continues to ratchet up the stakes in the Thousand Year Blood War by ratcheting up the body count, including a notable supporting character among the dead.
- One Piece 669 caught up with the half of the Straw Hats we haven't seen in a few weeks and continues to set-up a larger conflict.
- Usually, I like to give a shout out to what I think was the best chapter released in a given week. This week, though, I'm giving it to the admittedly uneven Air Gear finale. Stretching from chapters 355 - 357, these last chapters encapsulate everything that worked (artwork, action and spectacle, big emotions) and didn't work (references to contemporary events/people that bring nothing to the story, pacing, character development, investment in villains like Dr. Minami, half-assed explanations to lingering questions) about the series. The last arc ends on a better note than it started, but the series has been reaching diminishing returns for a while now.
I am also of the opinion that ending ET right now is anti-climatic. Overall a thoughtful and balanced review.Quote:
I hope Mangastream and Mangareader don't crash on next Wednesday, it's going to be that big.
I'm kinda actually hating the recent chapters. i'd have given this 2 or 3 out of five.
thanks Black! excellent and even better than usual,because of its shortness . Furthermore,reading your review made me understand something I didn't while reading the chapter,such as the final attacks against madara to block him in either way. but I guess Mangastream version deserves a thank you too
thx alot mate. Helpfull as always.
Nice review, I like how manga goes now - chapter after chapter you wonna know more how next one will go