"You Remind Me Of Myself"
Before we dissect this week's chapter, I want to go over last review's poll. I made a few stabs at guessing where the series was headed and asked which you thought could happen next. Surprisingly, no one seemed to think the Uchiha would actually cast their infinite genjutsu. Whether this is because readers aren't interested in that possibility or think there's no way for Kishimoto to gracefully end such an ability or think the climax of the battle is already playing out is hard to gauge. A majority of voters believe that a flashback or a scene shift is coming, and fewer think that the Juubi will defeated straight up without any of those complications. The way this chapter ends, though, limits the other scenes that can be checked in on. There's still the Kage and Sasuke, but almost the entire Allied Forces appear at it's conclusion. But I'm getting ahead of myself...
Naruto 611 Arrival
The images in this review are credited to Mangastream.
Arrival does not begin well for our heroes. Killer B's cliffhanger attack from last chapter is easily repelled. He ends up damaged by his own Tailed Beast Bomb and Naruto and Kakashi end up within striking range of the Ten-Tails.
Our heroes regroup, but everyone's at their limit. Kurama's disappeared, needing to replenish his energy after pushing Tailed Beast Mode to 8 minutes. Killer B and the Eight-Tails are damaged from their previous attack. Guy is still exhausted, and Kakashi used up his recently replenished chakra transporting the entirety of the Eight-Tails. Naruto alone stands defiant, unwilling to admit that more shadow clones at his current chakra level won't be powerful enough to make a difference.
Naruto and Obito have another conversation where Obito asserts he is Naruto's future and Naruto tells him to f*** off. Only this time, Obito follows up by ordering the Jubi to eradicate them all with a focused energy beam. The beam tears through terrain like a hot knife through butter, but manages to miss our heroes because the cavalry has arrived.
Ino, supported by Hinata's Byakugan, used her ninjutsu to redirect the blast, though her ninjutsu was broken in all of 2 seconds. She comes supported by the full force of the Allied Shinobi Forces including the Aburame clan and Hidden Mist ninja that use their respective ninjutsus to hide the Allies. Meanwhile, Sakura uses her medical ninjutsu to revive our heroes and Ao and Shukaku get updates of the evolved situation. The chapter ends with Madara and Obito realizing that they no longer face a small band of ragtag shinobi, but a fully assembled army. How long will our heroes be able to hold out against the assembled might of the Mangekyo, Rinnegan, and Juubi?
For the most part, Naruto 611 holds up to the artistic standard of excellence the last few chapters have been. It's not a perfectly drawn chapter. A few of the panels are noticeably static (lacking the pop Kishimoto compositions are usually good for), the character are illustrated a bit simplistically elsewhere, and there was a definite spot to the action (Kakashi almost getting hit by the Juubi's tail) that was hard to parse. But the Juubi remains a dynamic presence. Not all the readers have warmed up to his design, but I find him thoroughly creepy with his one eye and comically grotesque mouth. And I'm willing to overlook a mistake here or there considering how much of the cast appears in this chapter, so those last three pages featuring all divisions of the army more than make up for any shortfalls.
Overall, I liked the chapter, particularly how Kishimoto addressed the power imbalance between the heroes and villains. Naruto, Kakashi, Guy, and B couldn't go on as they have forever and credibly take down the Juubi. But their need to regroup created a window for Kishimoto to bring in more characters and that he did with aplomb. Everyone hankering for more Konoha rookies or more samurai or more ninja alliance should feel elated by the back half of the chapter.
That said, the art good but not as consistently solid as last week. And narratively, this chapter feels overstuffed. There's so much going on that I kind of wish Kishimoto gave the smaller character moments room to breath, even if it would be at the cost of this chapter's awesome cliffhanger featuring the entire assembled Allied Forces. All in all, The Arrival was great but not without flaws, so I'm giving it a ...
4 out of 5
This chapter's cliffhanger changes the way things will play out. I expected the Kage to make an appearance (fingers crossed we'll see them before the holiday manga breaks), but not the entire army. I expect Kishimoto will give the minor character's time to shine while Team Kakashi replenishes their stamina. Hopefully, Sakura gets a bit of star treatment because she's been consistently the most underutilized member of Team 7. She should be on the front lines breaking apart the Juubi with those mad fists of hers.
On a serious note though, I expect the infinite genjutsu to be cast eventually. It's a chekhov's gun. It's got to go off. I think the army will hold the Juubi off for a few precious moments before Madara and Obito start rolling over them. Then the genjutsu is cast. Orochimaru and Sasuke are somehow involved in breaking the illusion. And finally, the Kage pitch in with Team Kakashi to take down the Juubi once and for all.
Also, what do you think will happen when Obito's plan fails? Will he just give up as soon as the illusion breaks? Or will he go crazy and decide to destroy the world since it can't be fixed? Madara will obviously continue to fight. The man's nothing if not determined.
One Line Reviews
- Bleach 518 keeps the twists coming with some surprise character appearances but feels a little ramshackle as it sets up the next part of the arc.
- Tower of God S02 Ch40 brings Baam's team into the action as they take the 29th floor test. After a month of side chapters and breaks, it's good to have the main character back.
- Billy Bat 91 and Billy Bat 92 bring the latest arc to it's conclusion offering up an apparent character death, some rescued families, and intrigue that ties together catholic missionary Francis Xavier and a faked moon landing. However, the most notable feature of both chapters is how the main characters matured from a mangaka in over his head concerning an international conspiracy to a confidant, responsible hero.
- Finally, the shit hits the fan in my Pick of the Week: One Piece 690. I've been fully entertained by the Punk Hazard arc, but have been clamoring for explanations for months now. Well, all the big guns are present in 690. Strawhat vs Ceasar is a go. Law, Smoker, Virgo, and Doflamingo throwdown. And we finally get hints at the shadow war that Whitebeard's death kicked off. I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm eager to see the rookie pirates's dethrone the powers that be.
Great review! I must agree with you about the infinite tsukyomi - it's been so hyped that the audience will be let down if it doesn't happen. Since it's already been established that sharingans can counter other sharingans, that leaves Sasuke or Obito, or both, to save the day. Given how much focus the author puts on redemption themes, it wouldn't be surprising to see them save the day. Hell, Obito's already identifying with Naruto in his thoughts.
great review blackjack612, you finally got cut up with the current chapter..
black,correct the sentence at the end of the analysis: shikamaru's dad is shikaku,not shukaku (who is instead the one-tail)!!!
---------- Post added at 02:58 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:53 PM ----------
great! you pointed out all I'd have done if I had been in your shoes,except for a point: Ao and shikaku wonder about the situation,but shouldn't they have worried about the kage first??
To me this chapter was long overdue, it seems like Kishimoto finally remembered he had a GLOBAL ARMY OF NINJAS at his disposal and it's about time they see some action again as a reminder that this isn't Naruto VS Obito & Madara, but the 4th (? not sure if I remember it right) great ninja war. Personally I just hope that the others from Naruto's generation will get to do more than just support Naruto. Let Choji expand to wrestle with Juubi (even though that wouldn't end well for him), let Shikamaru come up with some insane strategy, let Neji take that pose again. You know the one I mean, the one he hasn't taken since he fought that spider dude (Kidomaru? damnit all this memory loss is hurting my credibility here). I want to see Kiba do more than use his nose to tell the rest where to look etc etc etc. I realize this would draw out the chapter count on the fight enormously but damnit I wanna see the other characters perform the feats they're famous for, things that Naruto can't do.
As for predictions, I don't think Juubi will be beaten in a straight up fight, but rather something will happen that will either make him non-hostile or make him disappear altogether. Speaking of... Do you think Kakashi and/or Obito could Kamui it into their pocket dimension?
Obito seems to be going the way of Nagato, with Naruto slowly reminding him of his former ideals and the kind of person he used to be, I don't think it at all unlikely that Obito ends up getting some form of redemption. Maybe Kakashi tells him what made him kill Rin (my money is on mind/body control jutsu for this) and Obito realizes that infinite tsukuyomi would make him no different from whoever forced Kakashi to kill Rin. He gets a 'what have I done!?' moment, teams up with Kakashi and bang boom patow, Juubi is now in a separate dimension forever and ever.
I honestly don't think the genjutsu is going to go off though, for one it would be cast on EVERYONE and even those with sharingan might not be able to resist it like Sasuke had Itachi's.
Damn i noticed the 612 at the end of his name and i belived the next chapter was out... You can gues my frustration after getting to manga reader and nothing was up :P
PS. Yes i am dead tired that i can't see straight.
Awesome review in my opinion but i have to agree with cyven in regards to the characters, characters like sakura and the others from naruto's generation need more shine. And lets face guys (and be honest) we haven't seen sakura getting some shine since she kicked off with sasori.
P.S: the battle music in that episode was pretty cool ^^
Great review like always, but I had to laugh when I read "She (Sakura) should be on the front lines breaking apart the Juubi with those mad fists of hers." When the beast can flick away a Bijuudama from the second most powerful Bijuu of the original nine, no amount of punches from Sakura will have even a 0,0000001% effect.
I've long since given up on Sakura's character, for the most part because I have little faith that Kishi will bother writing about her. He seems completely uninterested in her judging by interviews given in recent years. She could get a Rin'ish role in the whole Sasuke plot later on, but that's as relevant as she'll ever become in terms of the main story.