ANBU4U's Naruto Review, 357 & 358 Special!

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ANBU4U's Naruto Review

Chapters 357 & 358


The more I see this the more it grows on me. A neat cover.

I know this is a bit late, but life got busy their for a bit. BUT I have a few days of relative down time and I think I can squeeze out a review or two before things get complicated again, So without further ado, I present to you my Naruto 357 & 358 SPECIAL!!!! Dattebayo!

Just as before, the images I'm using are from Bludshock Edited Mangas. Thanks once again to Kylara who found the RAWS for us as well as Nihongaeri and Hisshouburaiken who translated them.


1) A Cancer


That is NOT 1/3 of his body

So Hinata decides to be useful (If peripherally) and scopes out Kabuto with her Byakugan. Interesting stuff, we see that "Orochimaru" is actually taking over Kabuto's body and...seemingly transforming him. So perhaps rather than implanting the eye and arm directly Kabuto implanted some cells which over time began to modify his body? This theory seems further supported by the fact that at the time of his physical death, Orochimaru had no arms for kabuto to transplant.....and his eye's were certainly disproportional to a human's.

I wonder though, how much WILL these cells have? Is it a genetic imprint of Orochimaru, with genuine maliciousness and desire...or more of a cancer which is spreading a result of their form and function. In the first case we could be sure that the Orochimaru in Sasuke is 'dead' never to be truly seen again, in the second this is more dubious and yet still the more likely scenario as I just don't see why Kishi would write in two plotting Orochimaru's.

As for Kabuto's fate in general, he's destined to become a true hybrid. Unlike Sasuke who will likely forever retain his own 'self', either through his own effort or as a result of Naruto's.

Anyway, the time for analysis is short as (rightfully) Konoha immediately attempts to apprehend him despite his gesture of good faith.

2) Exit, Stage Right


So I imagine there's no counter to this sort of escape?

I wonder why shinobi don't vanish into thin air more....It's possibly one of Orochimaru's hidden techniques, in which case it makes sense that other shinobi seem powerless to stop his many retreats (look for Sasuke and Karin to demonstrate this eventually). It's undeniably useful, I wonder how long it took Oro to develop it....it's funny, he spent his whole life developing techniques no one had ever seen so he could become the greatest....and in the end he just wasted his life creating them so they could be utilized by the likes of Sasuke and Kabuto.

If you're reading this and thinking "what about the 'puff' thing the ANBU do" I personally think that that's just a distraction to disguise a body flicker....OR that they're shadow clones reporting to the Hokage...where as what we see here from Kabuto is him just dissolving in plain sight.

On a side note, how long has it been since we've seen a good old fashioned replacement jutsu??? I love it! It's been so long since I've seen the kind of tactics that made me fall in love with the series.

3) And They Say Sasuke's Arrogant


Says the guy with mouths in his palms...

Ok, I take GREAT issue with this statement. Or rather I take issue with the fan version of it...in Diedara's context I can take it for what it is, an insult.

Once again in Deidara's context its a jab at someone he obviously believes to be worth fighting's ego. But in the case of many fans it's nonsense character bashing.

You go with what works. If you have an advantage, you PRESS it.

The Sharingan is Sasuke's birthright, they're his eyes for god sake and they have no known weakness. Why on earth wouldn't he use them in every fight he's in? Seriously? Give me one good reason why he shouldn't have his eyes activated in every fight. Just because he has the sharingan does not make Sasuke a genius...it gives him an advantage, and thats it. Look at people like Obito and Hinata, what about the gifts of their heredity?

No one can rely on advantages forever, to truly excel takes three things:

1) Advantages
2) Skill
3) and Hard Work.

And any one of those can be replaced with luck on occasion.
Sasuke has worked just as hard as anyone (albeit in his own way) since before he was an orphan and he doesn't need to take insults simply because he was fortunate enough to be born with an INNATE ability like the Sharingan eye.

But whatever, Sasuke resolves the matter soon enough on his own accord.

4) Action Instead of Words


The boy can move

Sasuke Uchiha is the fastest character introduced in part two. And this scene shows you why.

It's the shock.

It happens twice this chapter, and once more (with even greater emphasis and admiration) in the next. Kishi simply hasn't gone out of his way to emphasize the speed of any other character, not to this degree. You can come up with a thousand and one reason's why Tsunade, Jiariya, Itachi, or even Ino are faster, and I'm certain they are all valid theories....but in the end Sasuke is the only person we've seen draw any sort of awe in part 2, particularly from shinobi of this caliber.

Now, when I say 'fastest' I'm talking about casual speed, there is a legitimate case that we've seen Gai , move faster in part II but the process he used to gain that level of swiftness was far from casual and took a heavy toll.

Back on topic, I like this scene most for what it DOESN'T show. Namely, Sasuke bitching about Deidara's verbal shot, or taking the opportunity to toss out some arrogant 'greatness of my clan' related speech. He simply went to work and let his skill retort.

5) The Real Threat


More interesting is that even his cloak was uncut...

Capitalizing on his swiftness Sasuke goes for the direct approach and catches a somewhat overconfident Diedara off guard. Deidara isn't able to regain any real control over this battle until he gets a breather and reevaluates his game plan. But before that scene comes we get this curiosity.

What exactly IS Tobi?

It'd be one thing if he got up like Hidan with a little blood on him, but so far as I can tell he seems completely unaffected by the bisection...clothes and all. And yet he fell....I suppose that could have been an act, but as he didn't in anyway capitalize on Sasuke's misconception about his death I don't see why he would have bothered....just an idiot? Or like Kakuzu does he get knocked out for a second or two before being revived? But if thats the case it means he was injured at least temporarily...so why is the cloak still in one piece? Nothing here adds up...I'll have to wait for more information.

Either way note this: At this point in the fight Sasuke has marked Tobi as the more dangerous opponent as his abilities are something he saw directly but wasn't able to deduce. As he tests the waters a bit more with Deidara I'm almost certain is real concern shifts even more towards Tobi.

6) Versatility


Returned to Sender

On of the most satisfying things about Sasuke (assuming you're a fan of his character) is the absolutely productive 3 years he spent under Orochimaru. He has come back with everything I would expect from a shinobi of his talents with 3 years of personalized training under a Sannin...if anything, given the abilities of his Sharingan I'd expect to see a bit more...but then again if you have '1000' jutsu stored away that doesn't necessarily mean you apply them all. Eh, Kakashi?

I truly feel for die hard Uzamaki fans who have to deal with the same 3 moves over and over and over again, combined with the drawbacks of said moves and the genuine paradox of what exactly Naruto learned over his 3 year training session. By all rights it seems like he's learned more since he's been back than while he was away....but oh well. Like all good fans they rationalize it into several theories of varying credibility, and I won't knock them for it.

They may even be right.

Unfortunately, the same feelings that spark these rationalizations often result in a nearly unconscious prejudice against Sasuke as he's displaying many of the things you would expect him to...which I understand as well....but do fault them for.

At any rate these little chidori needle things (whats with him and not naming his jutsu, I can't decide if its realistic or annoying....and I'm leaning towards the former.) are very versatile. They allow Sasuke to preform precision attacks like this on a grand scale without having to carry around a thousand shuriken....not to mention the accuracy the jutsu allows for without throwing individual needles. It's interesting though that the they didn't cause the bomb to explode....I'll bring this up again later.

O, and let's not forget style points. Sasuke not only diverted the attack in a few seconds, but made certain that he kept the bombs from being used as a diversion by pinning them next to Diedara and Tobi. Whether he planned on the distraction Tobi would later give him because of this is questionable...but he certainly capitalized on it.

7) Good Lookin' Out Tobi


This was almost the end of this fight

Diedara almost died here. Period.

Earlier I said that Diedara started this fight somewhat overconfidently and as a result had to wait quite a bit before he could catch his breath, and correct his mistakes.

This is when he realizes his mistakes.

I can't really say whether he underestimated Sasuke, or overestimated himself....but starting this fight off on the ground was a mistake. There's no way he could have expected this sort of speed from Sasuke, but he SHOULD have thought to probe Sasuke's defenses before he landed...as a few C1 explosives would have revealed that he wouldn't be safe on foot. His method of fighting is just too mutually detrimental, in order to hit Sasuke with his bombs he'd have to increase the blast radius to the point where being anywhere near his own attack becomes impossible. Given his fighting style there is just no reason for Diedara to ever attempt fighting from the ground unless he thinks he's facing a complete noob. Which Sasuke is not.

Fortunately for Diedara, Tobi gives him enough of a heads up here to (barely) save his own ass. After which he himself admits that his tactics were foolish and that it was a good thing he wasn't using higher grade explosives.

After this realization comes his new game plan, but too little too late.

8) The Beginning of the End


You should all recognize this scene as the overture to Diedara's swan song

As the caption remarks, this is the beginning of the end for Diedara. The second I read this (no cheating I swear) I thought "those arms are coming off...again" I go into the next chapter knowing full well Sasuke's entire game plan will be around this end and I can't wait. It's been ages since a good Sasuke fight...and Sasuke vs. Naruto didn't quite count.

As for the C2 Dragon.....Well it's one more nail in the Shonen villain Coffin.

1) General overconfidence to the point of arrogance
2) Revealing the trick behind their abilities
3) Revealing a final form

Once all these are fulfilled it's lights out. Deidara has met all of these requirements....not to mention he's simply served his purpose in the story...I mean the whole reason he and Tobi are even out and about now is because they had nothing better to do. For those of you reading this and thinking "what about C3" just take a second to realize that you even know about C3. It wasn't in this fight, but Deidara's already revealed his somewhat unimaginative final form...were he to switch to C3 now it would only serve to increase the power of his attacks to an impractical level given the situation...and raise even more questions as to what on god's green earth kakashi's nin hounds are good for.

9) Annoying Either Way


Trying to end it quick eh?

Flowing right into the next chapter (wow these weeks fly by eh?) Sasuke pretty much came to the same conclusion we all did over the course of 7 days. That the C2 Dragon would either blow up...or more like fly and shoot things that blow up....which, either way you look at it, would only serve to make life more difficult.

Note that Sasuke (as had Garra) seems more annoyed with the logistics of attacking Diedara than he is concerned for his own well being. This could just be stoic composure on both their parts....but in actuality I think both he and the former jinchūriki saw what I see, a competent fighter...but a one trick pony none the less. Garra only lost because he had priorities that trumped his personal victory.

The range, and power of his attacks make Diedara a tricky opponent for most any shinobi...not to mention his tactical competence (I wouldn't quite label it brilliance) and quick thinking...Still once the problem of actually reaching him is overcome he's not MUCH more than a guy throwing bombs. Fighting him is simply annoying and exceedingly technical, not genuinely dire, at least thats the impression I get from Sasuke and Garra.

Mind you I'm not saying that beating Diedara is easy, on the contrary its quite difficult from a tactical standpoint, I'm only saying that the fight doesn't create a sense of urgency...doesn't evoke a sense of dire circumstance. But instead seems like a relatively danger free, if long maze. Think of it as long division....not HARD really...just well...long, and as a result it creates a lot of opportunities for dumb mistakes. To bad Deidara won't catch any such break from Sasuke.

Still I suppose you have to remember both Garra, and likely Sasuke are kage level Shinobi with very unique abilities so...it's no real slight on Deidara that they can handle him without resorting to absolute tooth and nail tactics.

10) Sasuke=Sith Lord?


looks like a lightsaber to me...and he throws lightning...

Woot! We get to see the Chidori Sword again (yet another nameless jutsu) I love this thing for it's sheer wicked factor....but on top of that its just practical. I wonder why Kakashi never thought of it? Given the function of chidori reshaping its form to pierce objects from a distance seems like a mindlessly logical progression, it even creates the opportunity to fell more than one enemy in a single strike...thus conserving chakra. I would imagine it takes quite a bit of skill in shape manipulation...but as Rasengan represents the 'highest form of shape manipulation' I can't quite see this as the issue....could it be that he just didn't think of it?

Originally I thought Sasuke needed the CS1 to control the chidori to such an extent...but this example (the previous and following scenes to be specific) show Sasuke creating it without the seals help...so it seems more likely now that Sasuke was simply ramping up its power to get past Orochimaru's undoubtedly abnormal defenses.

Either way it's impressive, and I like that Sasuke has delved more deeply into his second element....while I do miss the fire, and (given his family pride) certainly expect that he's improved those skills as well, it's easy to see why he must have focused predominately on developing his lightening techniques over the time-skip.....

The reason being that so far as we know Itachi is a fire and water user. Lighting affords Sasuke a skill set which is in contrast with Itachi's.....this creates an elemental advantage over Itachi's second element (presumably) and allows Sasuke to side-step any real attempt at beating Itachi at his own game.

Trying to fight fire with fire is foolish after all.

As for the scene itself Sasuke's trying to do what any of us would. Kill Diedara before he gets out of range and becomes exceedingly difficult to reach, a 'pain' to use his own words. By the time his blade maxes out....or possibly even before, he's probably figured out the gist of how he's gonna reach Diedara. I'll explain later.

11) It Counts


Kinda lame, but its still teamwork

People have been knocking Diedara and Tobi's teamwork all week....and I understand why as Tobi's role is really just an extension of Diedara's own techniques, rather than him contributing with his own skills.....still for all we know Diedara cannot travel underground (unlikely given his status as a rock nin, but still...) and could not have preformed such a feat without Tobi.

At any rate, the end result is a fairly ingenious, if basic, trap. Tobi has taken the mines Diedara's C2 Dragon spewed out and planted them underground all around Sasuke. With Diedara pounding away from above this effectively limits the maneuvers Sasuke can make to avoid his attacks and should ultimately lead to him getting obliterated from either below or above sooner rather than later. That was the plan anyway.

Many of you believe that Tobi and Diedara's little speech gave the whole thing away, and while its possible that this clarified things a bit, I personally think Sasuke had the gist of this (and his subsequent actions) pretty much figured out by this point. Here's why:

Sasuke saw the giant pile of what any idiot would assume were bombs Diedara's C2 Dragon spewed out. He later saw that Tobi, along with said bombs, had vanished into thin air.

At this point he obviously knew something was up, and as I personally suspected land mines....its not too far of a stretch (especially given kakashi's pension to disappear underground) to imagine Sasuke suspected the same. And even if he didn't by the time Tobi popped out of the ground he should have figured it out.

This isn't all I'm basing my theory on however. I'll explain the rest in a second.


12) A Feint, or Improvisation?


I'm not entirely convinced this was unintentional

In a previous scene we see Sasuke go CS2 to avoid a bomb exactly like the one he JUST avoided. Why?

He later flaps his wings as though he was about to take flight, and Diedara takes the opportunity to sneak a bomb past his guard, but why on earth would Sasuke attempt flight when he knew damn well he wouldn't be able to get any altitude before another bomb hit him, not with Diedara watching his new angle of movement at least. It's not like he didn't know how fast they were.... and I'm certain he knows how fast he can take off. So why attempt flight? Its not like Diedara was distracted.

My theory is that he originally went CS2 because he knew he would need at least one wing later, and possibly because he wanted to avoid touching as much land as possible. The attempt at outright flight was just an excuse to get hit so he could set up his best bet to gain quick altitude without suspicion. This is the only explanation that makes sense to me, and I gain what I interpret to be further evidence in the next panel.

13) Remembering Your Roots


It's nice to know he didn't forget the basics

These HAD to be thrown before Sasuke got 'hit' by that explosion. And had Sasuke been truely planning on flight they would have become somewhat irrelevant, as these are clearly meant to move Diedara into position over the sword he 'dropped' in the last scene. So either this is an absolutely brilliant contingency plan, or Sasuke planned his circumstances up to this point.

NOTE: I am not trying to glorify Sasuke....as in my honest opinion had he simply set up the shuriken and katana as a contingency plan should his attempt at flight fail his ability as a strategist would far surpass the scenario I just theorized.

Also, I'd like to mention that I'm absolutely ECSTATIC that Sasuke still uses Shuriken and Wires in his fights. They are what made him my favorite fighter pre-timeskip. Its just so nice to see that while he's incorporated all of these new aspects into his combat that he hasn't forgotten or forsaken the basics which made him one of the best in Konaha, and distinguished his clan. I get goosebumps thinking about how Itachi will counter the little brother who once begged for help with his shuriken practice. Should be amazing to watch.

14) The Boy They Called Genius


Return of the #1 Rookie

Can you hear it? The crescendo of Diedara's swan song?

In this beautifully drawn scene we finally see what Sasuke was up to, and man was it delicious (note that Sasuke hasn't spoken a word all chapter). We find out that Sasuke had thrown his sword to test the surrounding area for mines, then used his remaining wing and the extra height his sword provided to reach Diedara (whom he had masterfully moved into position with shuriken) with his chidori blade. I haven't been this satisfied with a fight since Shikamaru vs. Temari.

Make no mistake, this song has one movement and it reaches it climax in the next scene....from here on were just easing into the coda...I'll give Diedara another chapter, probably not even all of it.


15) I love it when they realize


Don't worry...it was just the gifts of his heredity.

Vindication? Oh how sweet it must be.

Its nice that Diedara was able to grasp, and hopefully appreciate, what had just happened to him. The best part of this scene however, is Deidara's realization on top of what he doesn't see looming over his shoulder in the distance....beautiful kishi. Unfortunately for him Diedara doesn't have Tobi at the perfect angle to bail him out this time

16) Sasuke's Art


"A man can be an artist... in anything, food, whatever. It depends on how good he is at it"

In the end it's a rather poetic death, which seems to be what Deidara would like best. I have a feeling his last words will be something to this effect. But seriously, lets take a look at what happened.

1. Diedara leaves safety to seek out Sasuke for no good reason.
2. Diedara accuses Sasuke of being all Sharingan.
3. Diedara is forced on the defensive immediately.
4. Diedara then gains the 'upper hand' at which point he begins to gloat.
5. Diedara has the gifts of HIS heredity amputated, or nullified.
6. Diedara is then tied to his own bomb and dropped right into the center of his own trap...of more bombs.
7. Sasuke doesn't say a word.

Sasuke just painted a masterpiece.

The only thing that MAY save his life is if Diedara is able to keep his C2 Dragon from exploding despite being in the midst of an inferno. I suspect that this may be at least...possible because when Sasuke used his Chidori Needles on Diedara's C1 bombs they didn't automatically blow up.

Closing Thoughts

Diedara's not dead, but he will be by the end of next chapter. We've just seen the apex of this fight. Kishi has given us a good idea of where Sasuke's at...namely a few things he's learned over the time skip, and what he's decided to retain of his old style. It was a real treat....but he won't show us anymore of the goods until Itachi or Naruto. I'm pretty sure this includes 'that jutsu' as well, Diedara will either be carried off by Tobi to die, or Sasuke will finish him off with a lesser attack.

Very entertaining reads, I'll give 357 four stars, and 358 a full five.

357- ****

358- *****
 
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