Gold Knight's Ten Comments (Naruto 302)

Gold Knight

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This is one of these times that my impressions of the chapter changed drastically when I read the Edited Manga as opposed to the RAW and a translation... sometimes it really is better to wait a bit and read the Edited Manga. Initially, I thought the chapter wasn't going to offer enough information for me to submit ten comments, but I could've made fifteen comments! Kudos go to Chikusho for doing an excellent job on their quick Edited Manga.

Hope you enjoy my comments on Naruto chapter 302 and feel free to comment as you wish :)

* * * Gold Knight's 10 Comments on Naruto Chapter 302: Infiltration * * *​

1. Sexy Sai? - Seems like this was all I've been hearing about from people last weekend - how good-looking Sai was in the cover! I wonder sometimes if it's because he wasn't showing his face, since I believe Kishimoto tried very hard to make his face one that you could never quite trust (and therefore a bit distasteful). But here, he's looking down, seemingly without a care in the world. A cool customer, to be sure. And of course, the Chōjū Giga behind him made for a pretty fun design to look at. I wonder if there's something to its similarity to the line art of Sasuke's Sharingan illusion that we saw last chapter...

Incidentally, this makes three covers in a row that Kishimoto has done that had a fresh feel to it, as opposed to many of his covers in Part 2. (Yes, I count the Iruka one too, because it wasn't just him standing or sitting around.)

I'm glad he seems to be getting his creativity back. And judging by my conversations with several people this past weekend, I think many colorists are, too!

2. Bone-crunching time! Heh, that was the first thing that came to mind when Naruto thought while looking at Orochimaru's hideout, "I've found you... at last."

Remember, the last time Naruto spoke to his long-lost teammate, he was quite fierce in his determination to bring Sasuke back to Konohagakure! This time, will he take a different approach?

Now that I think about it, it's not very usual that I see a main character of a manga so concerned about somebody's welfare that they would train as long as two years to bring him or her back. And it's another guy, at that. I mean, yes, Ichigo strove at all costs to save Rukia's life in Bleach, and Luffy in One Piece would often go to extreme lengths to save one of his crew-mates from danger (Nami, and now Robin, for example). But in both cases, it was usually only a matter of weeks before they accomplished their missions.

Naruto trained for TWO years to try to get Sasuke back from Orochimaru. Thinking about that a bit more, I don't blame Naruto so much for going absolutely berserk when Orochimaru taunted him at the bridge. It's been a long time for him.

I hope Naruto can manage to stay calm this time when he meets up with Sasuke. I have a feeling Naruto is going to surprise us a little bit when that finally happens.

3. Into the Snake's Maw. I suppose it would be inconvenient to live with, but I was almost expecting to see a bunch of snakes slithering around when we finally got a good look inside Orochimaru's hideout. Oh well. As Kabuto and Sai were walking through the hallways, though, due to the floor and wall patterns, I couldn't help but be reminded of Jiraiya's Kuchiyose: Gamaguchi Shibari when Itachi and Kisame found themselves nearly trapped in a giant fire-breathing toad's esophagus. Kabuto and Sai looked like they were walking through a giant snake's stomach. Let's hope for Naruto's sake that Orochimaru doesn't have a similar jutsu! Oh well, I suppose he's been through it before...

I couldn't help but wonder if Sai ever felt nervous about being alone with a creepy guy like Kabuto. I probably would've had my guard up. Sai seemed to take it pretty well, though - I suppose it's not the first time he's been with shady characters.

4. O Rly Naruto? I just want to say that it was somewhat amusing that Naruto offered to use his chakra to create a Rasengan to shatter the rock to Orochimaru's hideout... when he had right at his side Sakura, who probably could've been able to take care of it with her pinkie! Not to mention that both would definitely have brought Orochimaru's entire guard on them (if any). Lucky they had Yamato around to take care of things... once again.

Again, Yamato impresses us here - breaking through a huge mass of rock without making a sound is no mean feat.

5. The Secret Scroll and Book I don't have much to comment here except to say, oh boy, Sai has another mysterious book? He should be a librarian.

Wonder what he was so startled at when he was reading a book that he summoned out of a scroll he was apparently carrying around with him. Wouldn't he have known what it was about already? Danzou might have told him to wait until he had come in contact with Orochimaru in order to read some further orders...

6. Whoops. Kabuto's mistake in leaving the envelope containing all the ANBU's secrets on Sai's bed was a good thing in my opinion. Kishimoto needs to remember to show that these guys are still human - especially after we've been exposed to all the amazing feats they can do! And actually, Kishimoto does a good job of it too for a lot of his characters. Now he's doing it for Kabuto, somebody that I always considered almost a "perfect" ninja. First he showed us Kabuto's paranoia when he thought Sai was about to attack Orochimaru, then his twisted nature, and now his absent-mindness.

I also can't help but think Kishimoto is saying here that Kabuto is so comfortable being with Orochimaru that he doesn't really care if he makes critical mistakes like that. Kakashi may have been right on the mark when he called Kabuto a "spoiled brat" way back when they fought.

7. Yamato Keyfingers at your service! Not to much to say here except that scene totally owned. I also can't help but wonder if Yamato has a shell of wood surrounding his body, much like Gaara does with his sand, since obviously his finger is flesh and blood... right? So how did he get a wood key to come out of it? Could it be possible that some of his body is artifical and is in reality wood (shades of Chiyo-baasama).

I'm also more convinced than ever that Kakashi's ANBU team must have totally kicked butt. I also can't help but wonder if Rin (from Kakashi Gaiden) used to be with Yamato and Kakashi. I'm starting to be convinced that we may be headed for a Yamato Gaiden after Part 2.

8. Oh, the Irony. "You! Why did you betray us!?" was what I'd expect Naruto to say to Sasuke after Part 1, and now he's saying it to his own substitute teammate that came with him on a mission to recover that friend.

Interesting contrast we have here between Naruto and Sai. Naruto's well-known for his passionate resolve, and Sai for his complete detachment. Kishimoto pulled it off here pretty well.

Cute that all Sakura had to say was Naruto's name and Naruto shut up. One thing that's for sure, if they end up together, Sakura won't have that much difficulty controlling him (unless he goes Kyuubi, of course.)

9. Return of Sai's Book? That was a little TOO nice of you, Sakura. =/

10. Confession Time! Well, I guess it's confirmed: Danzou's working towards the "Destruction of Konoha" - presumably as we know it. He probably intends to try to expand Konoha's territory with Orochimaru's help. I guess we'll learn more about Sai's mission soon enough.

Pretty characteristic of Sai to take the failure of his mission so well.

RATING: 4 out of 5 Stars. Like I said, when I first read the RAW I thought it wasn't much. Even reading it with the translation with it, I didn't get much of an impression. But reading a Edited Manga was something else. While I do think the pacing of the storytelling could be a little faster, the suspense is building little by little at a time, and that's not a bad thing. When things start really happening, it'll definitely be fun. And anyway, in a real ninja's world, things probably move slowly like this all the time behind the scenes. It gives us a lot of opportunities to try to understand some characters better and deepen the mysteries of others.

Predictions for Chapter 303: I think Yamato will notice the ANBU envelope and grab it. When Kabuto arrives, they'll all surround him to get some more information. Knowing Kishimoto, we probably won't get to hear Danzou's plan right away, or see Sasuke again either, but that's okay for me. It'll happen eventually.
 

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