Madara vs Naruto and B
Obito vs Kakashi and Guy
Learning how/why Rin died
The revival of the Ten-Tails
The Kage rejoining the fight
Obito's tutelage under Madara
Sasuke and Orochimaru's journey
Other (let fly in the comments)
"Please, anywhere but hell."
"Because this very reality is hell itself."
The latest chapter of Naruto: I'm Alive continues the upward tick in quality coming off the heals of the now cooling controversy surrounding Obito=Tobi reveal. My impressions regarding the chapter are lengthier than usual, so let's jump right into the review. First, last week's poll results. The predictions for which Kage will die in order of least to most likely: Gaara and Mei, Ei, none of them, Onoki, Tsunade.
Naruto 602 I'm Alive
The images in this review are credited to Mangastream.
When last we left off, Obito awakens after his accident to find he's still alive. Here, he immediately notices his savior's sharingan and scythe, unsure if he's laying before a shinigami or Uchiha. Madara found Obito among the rubble in an underground passage he had made and in a way that hints at Obito having awakened Kamui under duress.
Madara treated Obito's injuries, though half his body remained crushed, and expects payment in return for his help. Obito doesn't want to stay. He's eager to get back to Konoha and make the most of his new sharingan.
...until Madara drops the bad news. Obito literally can't leave. His body is badly mangled and still being repaired. Even if he can move, he's likely to tear his wounds open again. But Madara doesn't stop there. He adds on a heavy load of cynical philosophy that illustrates the failures of the shinobi world and the futility of fighting for peace from the perspective of someone who's lived through many eras of war. To add validity to his claims, Madara then reveals his identity to Obito.
Obito finds the claim hard to believe at first. Madara doesn't seem to mind. He'll have a lot of time to win Obito over since neither of them can easily leave the cave. Exertion will tear off Obito's grafted Hashirama flesh and Madara must stay connected to his Gedo Mazo statue to live. Madara doesn't even have his original eyes. Both are gone and he only has one replacement.
So what does Madara want from Obito? Help in creating a world not plagued by loss or hatred or war. But he doesn't forcibly stop Obito. He offers him the chance to die from his injuries trying to make it back home, after which Madara will take Obito's remaining eye to replace the one he's missing. As the chapter ends, Obito is determined to head home regardless ... to Kakashi and to Rin.
Kishimoto knocked it out of the park on this one. He sets a forbidding mood through a mixture of dark, earthy environments, worn looking characters, and rougher than usual linework. Through art, Kishimoto was able to humanize Obito and Madara more than he's been able to through plotting and dialogue. These characters have had a rough bit and it shows. Madara cuts a pathetic figure compared to his younger body. He's looks frail, bitter, weary, and more than a little vulnerable. Likewise, Obito's design details just how much damage he took. The part of his body that took the heaviest damage barely looks human. It's all mangled, surgically implanted flesh barely holding together. And the rest of him is scraped, bruised, and damage.
The dialogue was at times clumsy, but overall I really enjoyed this chapter. In particular, I was glad Kishimoto addressed the differences between Obito now and then by showing that after his injury he was still the same character we know. Kakashi, Rin, and the village were still Obito's top priorities and he was reluctant to work under Madara.
More surprising but not less enjoyable was the way this chapter helped reframe Madara's characterization. A lot has been said, shown, and implied about the legendary shinobi. Mostly though, he's been the larger than life villain of unmatched prowess. But is he really as evil as we thought?
Sure, he's not perfect. He's prideful, though who wouldn't be with his level of power, and he has a deep disrepect for life, whether it's shinobi from other clans or tailed beasts that he refuses to recognize as sentient. But is this really all that damning?
He sought to subjugate the other villages under his and thus the Uchiha's rule, but his goal seemed to be lasting peace and prosperity rather than constant in-fighting between clans weaker than his own but comparable to each other. But that makes him fascistic, not evil. And he's only fascistic to a degree since it's been established in flashbacks that he's heeded his clans wishes in the past even when they went against his own.
In a way, he isn't villainous at all. Like many of Naruto's characters, he's a product of circumstance, a man with legitimate gripes and a who the public at large in the series is not at all sympathetic too. His brother may well have given his eyes away and for an understandable reason, but other shinobi won't see it that way. They'll see him as a monster who lusted for power no matter the cost. And the many battles he fought (even though it was to secure his clan's future) combined with his distant, haughty personality have only solidified that reputation.
And those legitmate gripes. He sacrificed everything for his clan. His original eyes. His brother. And when he secured a tenuous peace at their behest and caught the first warning signs of discrimination and ostrization from the Senju, he was ostracized. Madara Uchiha has ample reason to be bitter and angry. He's dealt with personal failings, been betrayed by Senju and Uchiha, watched his predictions come to fruition with the Uchiha (the police force would have been within his lifetime), and seen a world promised peace mired in war.
All in all, I'm Alive goes a long way towards renewing my faith in a satisfactory ending to this arc. There were some flaws in this chapter, but mostly it continues to step in the right direction, so I'm giving it a ...
4 out of 5.
Well, we have yet to see how my Kage predictions will play out, so let's ponder something else in the meantime. Rin! What happened to her? We know she died and that Kakashi feels enough responsibility for her death to expect Obito's hatred and blame. Does that mean Kakashi disrespected Obito's dying wish and had to make a call to complete a mission at her expense?
I've actually got a theory that the Uchiha were involved in her death. We've seen with the Byakugan the efforts a clan will go through to keep its signature jutsu secret or exclusively theirs and the Sharingan is one of the most highly sought after jutsu in the manga. Would the Uchiha be ok with some kid just being bequeathed one of their eyes? Especially a kid who's already considered a genius without the aid of a bloodline limit. No, I think some Uchiha loyalists (or maybe Danzo) made a play at retrieving the eye or eliminating Kakashi and Rin got caught in the crossfire. Or maybe she was targeted herself for having performed the surgury on Kakashi. I like this scenario because it's in keeping with the characterizations already been shown in the series and would give Obito a reason to want revenge on both his best friend and the Uchiha he'd been so proud of.
One Line Reviews
- Bleach 508 delivers a hell of a fight as the Captain Commander and Quincy leader one up each other culminating in an unexpected attack for the cliffhanger.
- One Piece 682 keeps a lot of plates spinning and introduces a familiar face not seen since before the timeskip, but I would have preferred to finally learn what Law's intentions were.
- In a chapter as dark as last week, Billy Bat 084 all but ensures that Devivie will be caught eventually. But how many will die before he's brought to justice and just how will Cissy change the future awaiting our regular protagonists?
- The showdown between Baam and the ranker is set up but doesn't start in Tower of God V2 Ch32. Still, it's a worthwhile read for the way S.I.U. teases the rankers identity and the nature of the titular tower.
- Picking a Best of the Week is going to be hard since none of the title really wowed me. The ending and one-upsmanship in Bleach was great, but there's a noticeable lack of stakes since the bad guys have yet to reveal their motivations. I'd say Naruto edges out the competition this week if only because it helps restore my faith that Kishimoto can drive this story towards a satisfying conclusion.
Very nice review. Rin's death is one of the biggest mysteries on my mind. That prediction seems plausible although it really has me wondering how Obito could gift his sharingan to his friend without giving an warning or indication that it could lead trouble. I suppose it could be ignorance on his part but I'd be amazed then that he wouldn't at least feel partially responsible in that scenario.
All this speculation also has me wondering how exactly Obito was informed about the death. If he really doesn't feel any blame on his part then I guess he couldn't have witnessed it which leaves plenty of room for manipulation on what he knows happened. At this point I wouldn't be surprised if Rin herself made a conscious choice that resulted in her death and Kakashi blamed himself for her having to make a choice. In any way that it does go down it should be a pretty interesting scenario.
I'm also curious if Minato will come into the picture since he too should have had some reaction to seeing Kakashi come back with a sharingan. It almost seems strange that there hasn't been any mention as to what he was doing and why he couldn't have done something depending on the nature of the incident.
Last edited by Regret; September 21, 2012 at 11:51 PM.
I like your prediction regarding Rin. But the only problem I see with it would be the Minato factor. We know Minato is one shrewd guy. He would've placed Hiraishin seals on his students at a time of war so that he can quickly come to their aid. Targeting his students would be suicide since if anyone kidnapped them, he would know something's off and teleport to them right away.
And I honestly don't think there are some dumb Uchiha idiots who would risk Minato's wrath on them.
Good shiznit. I agree that this one really did bring it up a lot. I understand that some are not that pleased with it but I don't know why it can't be taken for what it probably is and that is a piece in the puzzle. A piece that happens to hold key value. One thing about thew dialogue I see complaints about is Obitos character when he turns kinda goofy. I don't understand why that would be a problem.
When Obito is in a flimsy spot that he can't grasp hes doing pretty much what Naruto does, he goes into goof mode but once he understood that this was really Madara he also understood that this situation was real and serious and started to behave differently. It shows that there is more to Obito becoming Tobi then just this chapter. That this hopefully will take some time.
I hope they build this up for the next 2-3 chapters at least so we can have some serious character development. I likes this chapter a lot and as the OP gave it a 4/5.
Id give both Bleach and Naruto the same score this week, it looks like Naruto is on the right path.
Thank you for reviewing.
I'm personally expecting to know how did Rin actually die, and what made Obito into someone he is today. In fact, if Obito was able to prevent Rin's death, why didn't he? Was it because he was incapacitated all the time?
And one more thing that really annoys me: Madara is such a sore loser and a warmonger! C'mon, so your clan wants to stop fighting and signs peace treaty with the Senju? Suck it up, you egotistical bastard! But no, oh nooo, he pulls a spoiled child, challenges Hashirama and loses yet again! Now the bastard retreats in shadows and starts implementing a plan for everyone to be happy. But wait, there's more! He doesn't really care about everyone's happiness, only his own! He wants to live in his pretty little world where he's the king of the world and the Senju lick the feet of the Uchiha!
What a bloody bastard.
This was probably brought up and speculated ever since Madara displayed the Rinnegan, but to me the most interesting part of the chapter is that it goes one more step on confirming Nagato's Rinnegan were actually given by Madara. Up until now it seemed strange since Obito is much younger than Nagato, but now that we know Madara was still alive, there are several ways he could have found Nagato and implant the eyes, even if he's unable to move.
It has been around a decade since Madara passed his Rinnengan to Nagato, he may been able to move at the time.
Last edited by Fox666; September 22, 2012 at 01:28 PM.
i think what happened was
- Obito did not gain Kamui (unlike your speculation) his other half was crushed and together with it, his remaining sharingan.
- Madara found him and gave one of his eye to Obito (since he gave both away to Nagato)
hence, on 2nd last page (which is why Obito is missing an arm on the crushed side too)
very well,black! I hoped that you could tell us what had really happened to obito when he should have died and about the possible awakened kamui . yet,I guess it can't be helped,as the chapter wasn't much clear on that. btw,I doubt he awakened kamui: he doesn't even have the 3tomoes sharingan !
A possible explanation to how Obito found out about Rin's death: when his wounds mostly healed, he went to Konoha to greet Kakashi and Rin, and found out (eavesdropping, finding a tombstone, possibly even asking random Konohians etc.) that Rin was dead. And that's when he started turning evil.
I'm not so willing to be sympathetic to Madara. Yeah, it seems like he's got good goals, and wanted to make things better. But you know what? The ends are nothing but the sum of the means. How much more war and strife have his actions caused? Remember he was at least somewhat responsable for the mists bloody phase, and his idea of diplomacy tends to be "Kneel before Uchiha or I'll make you." Conrast him with Naruto. Madara want's to force his way on others. Naruto wants others to understand each other. Bottom line is I still think Madara is at heart a sore loser who won't own up to his own role is all the continued fighting. He's given up on trying to get people to change for the better, assuming he even tried in the first place, and want's to force his idea on others. He may talk about a world with now winners or losers, but he still wants to prove that he was right, and better than the 1st Hokage.
Just a correction: Madara isn't being kept alive by the Gedo Mazo, it's the Hashirama Mazo with the First's cells. The Gedo Mazo is something different, a Demonic Statue that drains your chakra and a shell of the Tentails as far as I'm aware.
I like that you show some sympathy for Madara. He's a human being too, he just ended up on a different path. He chose it you could say.
And that theory isn't bad. Would be a good reason for Tobi to help massacre the Uchiha.
-- Gedo Mazo was sitting there on the big flower when Tobi showed the lair to Kabuto.
-- Gedo Mazo looks like it's made of wood, presumably from using the Hashirama stuff.
-- The 10-tails's body is still in the moon, hence why Tobi has to use Gedo Mazo as a container for the beasts's chakra.
indeed,the dude above me is right: nagato summoned it because of the rinnegan,hence madara knew it before nagato would. I wonder where the mazo took the chakra which is being sent to madara,though,I thought it was just a statue which could contain chakra,but without his own.