Gold Knight's Ten Comments (Naruto 304)

Gold Knight

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First of all, I apologize for the tardiness of this week's edition of Ten Comments! It's been a rather busy week for me so I haven't had much of a chance to get on the internet at all. I guess I'd just say that it was a fortunate thing this week was Golden Week, or my streak of posting comments for every chapter would've been broken! *gasp*

But I'll try my best to keep that from happenging again. ;)

Well, here we go, feel free to post your own opinions and enjoy. Many thanks to Shannaro for doing a bang-up job on Editing this chapter for easier reading!

* * * Gold Knight's 10 Comments on Naruto Chapter 304: The Other Side of Betrayal * * *​

1. Woo, Color! - This week Naruto readers get a rare sight, and thankfully it's not some advertisement of a Naruto movie. A good ol' fashioned colored cover relevant to the current chapter at hand!

What did we get this time? A cool, intense-eyed, posing Naruto with a looming, white-faced and preoccupied Sai in the background! It's not as good as the "chained Naruto" double spread we got in 281, but then again this is just a one-pager, I guess. I wonder if Sai is actually that pale though. I don't think so, since Naruto and Sakura would probably have been describing him that way... calling him a ghost and stuff like that. But nevertheless I'd say that Kishimoto's recent trend of cool covers continues nicely with this chapter.

2. And they call Naruto brash? Odd that Kabuto, not knowing the whole situation, still decided to ambush Naruto's team without a contingency plan. Is it a commentary on Kabuto's over-confidence in his own abilities, or the seemingly lack of men Orochimaru has at his hideout?

I've been somewhat puzzled by the fact that we haven't seen a single soul other than Oro, Kabuto and Sasuke at this den, when Orochimaru has been so known for having so many pawns. I can understand why Kishimoto doesn't want to introduce any more characters considering we've got enough new ones to go around right now, but it still feels out of place within the story. Hopefully there's a bit of an explanation forthcoming.

And if it IS just that Kabuto truly felt he could take on Naruto's team with only Sai's help even though he had never worked together with him before... well, it's not been a good day for him, that's all I'll say.

3. That Again! Sorry to say this, but Naruto's clone-team-up Rasengan attack is getting kinda old, even though this time it was an attempted surprise attack from above. And Kabuto not even being fooled didn't help matters either.

I do hope Jiraiya has taught Naruto something else that's new in the two and half years that he's trained him. At this point it just seems like Naruto's reflexes have been all that's been improved.

4. And the suspense builds... We all know what Kishimoto's trying to do here through Kabuto's dialogue. He's trying to prepare us for a bit different Sasuke from what we're used to. "People change. Sasuke is no longer the Sasuke you used to know."

Well, I'd be willing to bet my socks, though, that Sasuke is still very much the same guy. We all know he'll still be refined, cool, handsome, strong, and pretty much a silent personality. Some of that has already been kind of established in his brief appearances in recent chapter. If any of that's changed drastically at all, Kishimoto would be best advised to nail some wood to his doors to keep out a horde of very upset Sasutards!

I do think though that at least one thing has changed - Sasuke's innocence will have been lost. He's most likely has committed a lot of atrocities under Orochimaru's orders. As Neji would put it, Sasuke's soul is currently in the darkness. Knowing his popularity with the fans, I'd say Kishimoto is nervous about how fans might react when that becomes even more obvious. Even so, I think he's being a bit silly - that still won't make Sasuke any less appealing to his fans, especially since it's a ninja's world, and as we've seen in this series, even children in that kind of environment are taught to kill and follow orders (see Haku).

And personally, as we've already seen Sasuke mercilessly pierce Naruto's chest with his hand - after that, nothing else would surprise me coming from him. (And that in itself sort of didn't endear Sasuke to me too much, either.)

5. What the..! When Kabuto was restrained from behind by Sai, I almost expected him to holler "HEY - double crossing is MY biz!" XD It's always fun to see people get a taste of their own medicine sometimes.

I must admit though, that one took me completely off guard - I sure didn't see that happening in this chapter. I guess Naruto's speech at the end of the last chapter had a profound effect on him.

6. Better than Therapy! And yeah, judging by Sai's words afterwards about his reasons about finding out the meaning of bonds, I'd say that it was pretty obvious that Naruto's speech DID have an effect on him - coupled with Sakura's own speech as well. Still, somehow I kinda thought that it would have been much more difficult to convince Sai to snap out of it though.

But perhaps Sakura and Naruto should open up a psychiatric practice.

7. Not a happy camper. Kabuto wins the prize for having the most pissed face I've seen in the series so far in this chapter.

...doesn't he look so pissed? XD

8. Yay for letting bygones be bygones! =P OK, please pardon my slightly less-than-subtle sarcasm here.

Still, I felt that Naruto's team was taking a bit of - no a HUGE - risk here allowing Sai to be on the team again. Granted he did gain some trust back by incapacitating Kabuto like that, but this is still somebody who almost betrayed Konohagakure. And then they team him up with Naruto and separate again to try to find Sasuke, even though it's pretty obvious Sai could probably take Naruto out in a heartbeat. Weird.

Weren't Sakura and Yamato concerned at all about Naruto's welfare in the presence of a traitor, especially considering he was wounded? The story all of a sudden feels a bit too rushed here, after several slow chapters.

9. Naruto's Magic Strikes Again! And to think, if Sai had just stared at Naruto's face at the start of the mission long enough, instead of musing on his crotch... he would have remembered his brother already, finished his book and regained his emotions, and all this mess could have been avoided! =/

10. Caught, like rats! Really, these two boys should have picked some room to rest, instead of right out in the hallway. Orochimaru was probably just going to the bathroom and look at what he find on the way! Ku ku ku.

RATING: 3.5 out of 5 Stars. This chapter was awesome in that we finally get to see Kabuto kind of humilitated, but it still seemed a bit rushed, so not giving it four or five stars. It was still a pretty interesting chapter, though. Didn't expect Sai to be back on the team any time soon.

Predictions for Chapter 305 and MORE:

For Chapter 305: Orochimaru probably won't really care much about what side Sai's on, but will be able to take care of them easy enough. He'll take them to meet Sasuke, since he's actually eager to find out who's stronger, Naruto or Sasuke. Hell, Oro might even give Naruto a night to rest and get his strength back, promising a meeting with Sasuke! And perhaps he'll be holding one of them hostage, since he now knows Yamato and Sakura are probably sneaking around somewhere.

And now - here's an even bigger prediction I'll make - how this storyarc will end! .... I think Sai will die. Yeah, I know most of you guys are already thinking the same way, since the story seems obviously headed into that direction. Sudden change of heart and all that. Perfect recipe for a honorable death of sorts... a self-sacrifice?

So, HOW will he die? How about this - Sasuke and Naruto gets caught up in a heated battle. Sasuke obviously turns out to be more powerful - especially considering Naruto's no longer relying on the Kyuubi to finish his battles for him. So Naruto loses (though giving a good fight), just before Sasuke can deliver his deathblow that's intended for him, Sai places himself in front of it - claiming that he doesn't want to see brothers fight. And that's how Sai goes out. That's my prediction anyway.

(Now we'll see if I'm right or not... hopefully sometime in the next month... XD )
 

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