Gold Knight's Ten Comments (Naruto 312)

Gold Knight

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Well, I'm back sooner than I expected, although I'm still busy moving and all that. But I just read the chapter today (boy, lots of stuff to talk about!), so I decided while I still had some free time, I'm gonna ahead and comment on it! So here ya go, guys, hope you enjoy.

Please feel free to comment yourself if you would like to, and thanks for reading in advance!

* * * Gold Knight's Ten Comments on Naruto Chapter 312: Impending Doom! * * *​


1. Smokin' Asuma. It's always strangely refreshing for me to see Asuma appear and smoking one of his trademark cigarettes. I don't want to sound like an advocate of tobacco (I'm FAR from it), but considering that cancer sticks have been forbidden in American comics lately, I think that's the reason. I mean, recently, Marvel Comics characters such as Wolverine, J. Jonah Jameson and Sgt. Fury all suddenly gave up the art of cigar-chomping. Just like that. It really wasn't done for story purposes, but simply because Marvel were afraid of being accused of tobacco advertising. As a result, they forbid their writers to include smoking in their stories for any of their iconic characters. At least that's what I hear, anyway.

The problem with that in my opinion is that it takes something away from the characters and the story. For example, why would Wolverine, with that healing factor of his, even care about quitting smoking? He would never have had to worry about the bad side-effects of smoking.

Anyway, it's just good to see Kishimoto play up Asuma's smoking as something that's just "part of him" in this cover... even if it might be something that may kill him before it's all said and done. Additionally, in a world of shinobi where you might be killed at any time, I'm surprised there aren't more smokers. It's just called good, realistic character writing. And, like it or not, it does make for an interesting character quirk and visual, which is important in manga.

The only thing I worry about is if it's just that the Japanese aren't aware of or don't care at all about the bad side-effects of smoking. If there's anybody here who lives in Japan or has been there, feel free to share any insights, will ya? Thanks ;)

2. Lets Get Cooking, Sensei! I don't blame Naruto for being excited. An Ultimate Ninjutsu that's even more powerful than the Rasengan, and something that would surpass anything Kakashi can do? I think Kakashi must definitely be counting on Naruto's access to the powerful Kyuubi's chakra here, if he's expecting Naruto to be capable of coming up with something like that. And perhaps a possible relationship to Yondaime, as well...

But would we actually credit the creation of this ninjutsu to Naruto, since Kakashi would probably be the one who thought the recipe up?

Still, Naruto can use any help he can get, that's for sure... it'll be interesting to see what this uber-jutsu might involve and how it could defeat Sasuke. Although, because it's going to be something completely new, it's probably not going to be the Hiraishin no Jutsu. Drat. =/

3. To the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, Naruto! Sorry... I found it extremely amusing that Kakashi said that their training wouldn't be as quick as these often depicted in "manga" (obviously a reference to Dragonballz, one of Kishimoto's favorites), and yet almost in the next breath, he tells Naruto that he knows a shortcut so that they wouldn't waste any time.

Suddenly, memories of Son Goku and Son Gohan spending a year together in a time-proof chamber came to mind. Yeesh. I'm sure Kishimoto has something different in mind, though... ^^

4. Enter Team 10. Gotta admit, that was a cool entrance for a team (and for once, the cover wasn't false advertising!) Asuma sure is a cocky-seeming fellow, isn't he... I'm also kind of excited by the potential of Team Kakashi teaming up with Team Asuma, since I have a feeling that Ino, Shikamaru, and Chouji probably has the best teamwork going of any team in Naruto's generation right now. (Go, "Ino-Shika-Chō" combo!) So it'd be good for Naruto, Sakura and Sai to observe some outstanding teamwork and be inspired by it. It'd also be a pretty wild change from when Team 10 was considered the weakest team back in the Chuunin Exams. My guess is that they'd probably be among the strongest now.

Whatever happens, I'm just glad that Kishimoto is using some of the other characters now, like I thought he would. I figured that we'd have seen the end of personal character-development arcs in Part 2 with the last one, for now. Let's get this epic started!

5. Cupidimoto at Work? When Ino met Sai at the bottom of page 5, I immediately wondered if there was going to be something between these two. Ino certainly seems interested.

Kishimoto did say in an interview once that he would like to include more romance in Naruto - so might this be the beginning? If you want my opinion, I actually think Ino and Sai would make a cute couple. I'm also starting to realize that Sai's character is going to allow us to "meet" all these characters again from a "newbie's" point of perspective. That's kinda cool and keeps the story fresh, I think. And if that was Kishimoto's plan, then that explains why he didn't really include any of the other teams a lot in Part 2 until now. See why patience is such a good virtue? ^^

6. Exam's Already Over. Well, that should douse any speculation about Naruto's likely participation in a future Chuunin Exam for about three to five months at least. According to Shikamaru here, the Chuunin Exam that he had been supervising during the last arc has already concluded. Sorry, Naruto, you'll still be a genin for the bulk of Part 2, it seems. Sufferin’ succotash...!

Oh, speaking of Shikamaru's position as Examiner, I just thought about this... if you think about it, Shikamaru would actually be the perfect referee in these battles, since he can at any time use his jutsu to "freeze" the combatants to avoid any unnecessary deaths! Neither Genma or Hayate had that kind of skill as far as we know. And Shikamaru's also the type to be able to predict the moves of other shinobi to the point where he could tell when enough was enough! So, that was some pretty good thinking for Tsunade to appoint Shikamaru as an Examiner, eh?

7. These Guys ARE up to Something... First, I have a feeling Shikamaru has something in mind to help Team Kakashi out, what with that awkward exchange he had with Naruto and then his disappearance at the barbeque and all.

My guess is we'll find out about what he's up to in the next chapter. If it's something to do with the horns that his family is known for, we might be seeing Naruto gain a new hidden weapon or medical supplies (well, that'd be more appropriate for Sakura...)?

And then there's Asuma. He obviously had something to talk to Kakashi about. What I would love to see is a sort of wargame type of situation where Asuma and Kakashi could test the strength of each other's teams by pitting them against each other in a training exercise. And then have that evolve into advanced teamwork for when the two teams might have to share a mission together shortly afterwards (probably against the Akatsuki, if Tsunade has anything to say about it). It'd be pretty interesting. And that would possibly help Naruto recognize what he needs to do in order to come up with his uber-jutsu, too.

8. Couldn't Resist, eh, Sai...! Seriously, did you see the absolute glee on Sai's face when he came up with THAT nickname for Chouji? (Probably thought that it was pretty original, too... ha.) And how Chouji immediately sensed that he was about to be dissed? That to me was actually more entertaining than the following pages involving Sai, Ino, and Sakura, which wasn't all that unexpected. I knew that one was coming.

Although, I feel rather sorry for Sai... for once he came up with a nice nickname for somebody (Ino) and he still gets beat up! Nice going, Sakura, you really should've just sucked it up and let it go. Now Sai probably won't ever call YOU that.

9. "You're the Only One Left...?" Either the Akatsuki has forgotten about the Kyuubi, or they mean that the Two-Tails kunoichi is the last jinchuuriki whose identity they didn't know at all. I think it's the latter, although the report to Tsunade seem to also imply that the Akatsuki might have captured the rest. Which would make things seem more apoclyaptic, so would make more sense in the larger context of the story, but still... that was pretty fast for them, considering they only had two at the time of the Gaara abduction! Also, considering that they still haven't recovered Orochimaru's ring, could it be that the Leader decided to nab a jinchuuriki himself in place of Orochimaru? (Since there were only nine bijuu to start with, apparently...)

About the Two-Tails gal: I'm glad to see Kishimoto introduce a new female character, finally. I was wondering if he would ever do that. She also looks pretty different from all the other kunoichi we've been introduced to in the series, too, so I hope she'll hang around for a while - and it's also cool that she's seemingly into her late 20's or so. That's pretty good for a jinchuuriki. I'm thinking that the Two-Tails will escape, too, and end up meeting Naruto at some point and teaching him some valuable lessons, or vice versa.

10. New Akatsuki...! So now we know what two more of the Akatsuki look like, and their names, Hidan and Kakuzu! That was a cool bonus - I didn't think we would get any more Akatsuki activity for another arc or so. At this point, I'm going to assume that they've probably already found a replacement for Sasori (since they had the ring in their possession, thanks to Tobi, and Sasori had not found his jinchuuriki yet) so that means that we likely have three more unrevealed Akatsuki to go. Assuming Tobi didn't become one himself (for some reason, I doubt it.)

My impressions of Hidan and Kakuzu? Well, I initially thought Hidan looked like he was based on Creed, the villian from the Black Cat manga. Sort of reminiscent of how I felt Sasori was based on Faust from Shaman King. But I like that Hidan's normal looking in comparison with some of the others - at least outwardly, anyway. He seems like like he'd be a cold-blooded aristocrat, and if his physical attacks are weaker than the other Akatsuki in comparison, then he's probably got an hidden ace up his sleeves. My guess is he's actually more into genjutsu, just like Itachi.

As for Kakuzu, I like his design a lot. He definitely looks intimidating, but if he's supposed to be the "big muscleman" we saw back there in the first Akatsuki meeting in the cave, he looks a bit shorter and smaller here standing next to Hidan, which strikes me as somewhat odd. Maybe size manipulation is one of his abilities, just like Chouji's. Might just have been the angle, though. I'm guessing he probably has some dojutsu powers, too.

Well, I'm looking forward to learning more about the both of them. I'll also make a prediction right here and now, that Hidan will probably break the next Top 20 Favorites listing. :P

RATING: 5 out of 5 stars. Definitely a chapter that gets a lot of people talking. Also, the introduction of new Akatsuki is always reason for celebration in Naruto fandom. I just hope they live up to the hype.

Predictions: My hope is to see the outcome of the whole Akatsuki affair with the Two-Tails, and to hear more about what exactly the Akatsuki has accomplished lately. I have a feeling we'll hear about what Shikamaru is up to as well, as well as Asuma and Kakashi.

Good chapter! ^^
 

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