Gold Knight's Ten Comments (Naruto 314)

Gold Knight

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Heya guys and girls, do you know what time it is? That's right ;)

Well, I'm starting to write these things much earlier than I used to do, so I guess we'll see how long I can keep up this trend while I'm in the midst of moving...! But I'm quite glad that everybody is enjoying my chapter analyses; I've gone on and created a little place to store them all here in Scrapbooks, so if you want to look at any of my old reviews, you can do so here. Please enjoy. :)

Again, comments would be much appreciated, and thanks once again for reading!

* * * Gold Knight's Ten Comments on Naruto Chapter 314: The Akatsuki Invades! * * *​


1. Sensei at Work. Ha! Finally, Kakashi and Naruto finally get to do some training together, so what better a time for them to both pose for a cover together...! I'm really liking how Kishimoto seems to be doing more and more covers lately that's relevant to the events in the chapters. We had Asuma two chapters ago and he actually showed up, and then we had Hidan and Kakuzu last chapter shortly after their introduction. I don't mind so much that Kishimoto isn't doing detailed and innovative covers as long as these "portrait-style" ones have some significance to the rest of the chapter.

Anyway, this is a nice cover I'm sure that colorists will have some fun with - it also reminds me of the third volume cover, a memorable one which you can see right here. But even though Kakashi had been Naruto's sensei since the latter graduated from the academy, unlike Sasuke, he had never quite been fully "accepted" as a student until now, I think. Naruto's gone a long way!

2. A New Gaara.... When Zetsu appeared, and his black aspect drily commented that "In sadness, you have no one else," and his white half followed that up with, "the one thing you can put your faith in is yourself," I couldn't help but think we may be witnessing the second coming of Gaara here. Or rather, the psychotic Gaara, formerly an antagonist in the series before Naruto converted him to the side of the light.

After all, these words (albeit coming from two voices this time) sound very much like what Gaara went through in his childhood, and the motto he used to be known for... "Love Only Yourself." I can certainly see Zetsu being picked on or hated in his youth, and if he grew up always having to fend for himself, that would account for his words here. However, THIS "New Gaara" probably won't be redeemed, especially since he's known for his cannibalism. Or rather, it may already be too late for him. So in fact Kishimoto may be trying to replace the "old" Gaara with another villain that went through similar circumstances, but one that never strayed from his dark path, so that we could reflect on what Gaara might have become if he had never met Naruto. Which might explain why if you took away the black and white skin from Zetsu and the plant around him, he'd probably look like Gaara's twin brother. So, definitely keep an eye on Zetsu's face in coming chapters and watch for if he ever puts on a psychotic face when talking about his past... that'll probably be your proof right there.

Fortunately, if that was what Kishimoto intended to do with Zetsu, at least he gives us a completely unique character in design and gives him a new "twist" - I'm still eagerly waiting to find out more about the story behind Zetsu's two "voices."

3. A Different Kind of God. After last chapter, I was thinking that Kakuzu was probably an atheist of some kind considering he had no respect for Hidan's faith of Jashin (well, even though it was evil, it was still a religion), but in a sense, it turns out that he ALSO worships a god himself: money! Who would have figured that the big guy would turn out to be such a scrooge?

And because of that, I think Kishimoto has struck gold again with this Akatsuki pair. First, of course, we had Itachi and Kisame, the silent assassin and the loud brute. Then he gave us Deidara and Sasori, both artists albeit of different "schools," if you will. Almost every fan agree that their conversation with each other about art, though brief, was still one of the most memorable Akatsuki scenes in the whole series so far, and was enough to spark readers' imagination about how they must have worked together most of the time.

And now for our third Akatsuki pair, Kishimoto gives us a religious zealot and a moneymonger. A crazy believer and a faithless materialist.

Reminds me of the warning in the Bible: "Don't worship God and worship money at the same time. You cannot have two masters." Here's two people who obviously follow very different masters. Already my imagination is working overtime on all the arguments these two missing-nin must have had throughout their partnership with each other about faith and money in general, even though if you get right down to it, they're basically doing the same thing - worshipping their own selfish interests. Awesome.

4. So Much For 50-Ton Gates. Immediately following up on our discovery of Kakuzu's primary interest of money and his responsibility as the greedy secretary of the Akatsuki, we see him effortlessly breaking very large "Seal Gates" to the seemingly insurmontable "Fire Temple" to pieces. And he did it with only a gesture of his ring-wearing hand, which apparently turned dark to the middle of his forearm as he clenched it into a fist. Interesting. We still don't know enough about Kakuzu to know what he's exactly capable of doing right now, but I'm guessing this probably hints at some sort of similar ability as the same one Neji now can do - long-range chakra bursts. Except on a much more powerful level. Either that, or he's similar to Tsunade and Sakura in that he can channel his chakra for high-impact punches, although I hope not, because that would be somewhat cliché by now.

( Sidenote: By the way, I'm also very glad to see that Hidan and Kakuzu weren't planning on dragging Yugito along around with them, but instead gave her into Zetsu's custody. Makes sense. Although the Akatsuki better hope that Zetsu has already eaten dinner... heh! )

5. A Growing Mythology? This is just speculation on my part, but the introduction of a temple, its brotherhood of monks, and a glimpse of a statue that obviously represented a Buddhist deity of some kind in this chapter - add to all that Hidan's fanatic worship of an evil god of slaughter - collectively seem to strongly hint that Kishimoto is getting ready to reveal some more information about the world of Naruto concerning its creation mythos, pantheon of gods, and legendary monsters.

Why am I commenting on this? Because it's pretty important: he's possibly taking the story to a different stage, and we all might be finally getting some long-awaited answers soon, especially considering the Kyuubi's history and its imprisonment. Here's to hoping all of that is coming up!

6. A Hit-and-Run! Okay, so Hidan and Kakuzu visited the Temple of the Fire, and it's obvious their target was Chiriku-sama, the master of the temple and also a former member of "The Twelve Shinobi Guardsmen," or, essentially, the bodyguards of the Daimyou (Political Lord) of Konoha. Why? Did it have some significant relevance to their mission of catching jinchuuriki?

Actually, probably not. Aside from a financial gain to help assist their way, anyway. As Kakuzu explained himself, "According to our wanted list the reward on his head is high-and-mighty as well, 30 million coins."

Which Hidan, who worships murder and not money, had an objection to that - "Hey... You're not looking to make a haul here, are you? Kill a monk for something like that and you burn in hell!" To which Kakuzu, as we all know, shrugged off with a punnish proverb which showed that he wasn't afraid of something like that.

In short, I think Kishimoto is showing us right now who Kakuzu is, just as he showed us who Hidan was last chapter. Simply put, they (or at least Kakuzu himself, dragging an unsuspecting Hidan along) went off on a side mission in order to basically "rob the bank," or in this case, a temple, and benefit from catching a bounty. Mostly likely for a rival of Konoha, possibly even Kumogakure (which would be ironic), who might want Chiriku's head and skills (which they can gain from studying his remains). Of course, due to the monk's reputation as having being a strong shinobi from the same organization as a certain bearded, tobacco-loving jounin, the whole incident may have ramifications on the rest of this storyarc...

7. Time for A Second Dosing of 1000 Years of Pain, Naruto! Well, finally, the training is about to start! I'm not going to comment much here, but I just have to say that I just love these funny exchanges between Naruto and Kakashi. Naruto was so excited about training with his sensei, then seemed so suspicious when Kakashi chuckled about how he wouldn't be laughing anymore soon.

It's that kind of comedic moment between these two which is actually one of the main reasons I became enamored with the series to begin with, and also the reason Kakashi is my favorite character. So I sincerely hope that we'll be seeing a lot of Kakashi and Naruto working and training together from now on! XD

8. Transforming the Rasengan! So we get our answer about the goal Kakashi has set for Naruto anyway, to learn how to "upgrade" his Rasengan to a even more powerful attack. I'm sure it's reasonably similar to what Sasuke did with his Chidori, what Shikamaru with his Kagemane, and Neji did with his Hakke, so it all makes sense. I wonder how many of Naruto's generation have done this so far. I'd be willing to bet Ino, Shino, and Kiba all also has as well.

So now, we have a new question: what will the Rasengan be like in its new form once Naruto learns how to alter its nature? Who knows. But probably the "whirlpool" theme that goes well with Naruto's name will still be obvious in this attack, though, so I'm expecting some kind of pretty wild, chaotic attack that can send several people flying away at the same time.

Of course, we already know that theortecially the Rasengan is a much more powerful attack than most of the others have, so that might be what Kakashi means by Naruto surpassing him in a sense. Naruto is learning an attack whose power level is greater than anything Kakashi has ever been able to do, especially because of his endless chakra and endurance. Again, makes sense.

9. Son of a Legend..! Have to admit, I didn't see this coming at all. Completely took me off guard. The revelation after long last that Asuma is, indeed, the son of Sandaime, made this chapter golden for me. I always love when we learn more about some of the secondary characters in this series, and this counts as one of the best scenes I've seen for that sort of thing in Naruto. Cheers to Kishimoto for finally giving us the answer to that mystery. (It was also something I had always firmly believed too, when I realized Asuma had the same surname as Sandaime, so it made me feel pretty content to find out I was right. I'm sure all you guys who believed the same thing had a nice feeling, too.)

So, it appears that Asuma used to be kind of shun his responsibilites at some point, even going as far as leaving Konohagakure at one point, evidently deciding to follow a different, more carefree path from one that his clan had hoped for him to walk. A rebel, which could be the reason Sandaime never really acknowledged him as his son from what we've seen so far in the series. Likely, Asuma was somebody who felt that being the son of the Hokage was more trouble than it was worth, and had no desire to follow in the same footsteps or to be recognized as a member of the Sarutobi clan. There's a bit of a similarity with Konohamaru there, although the kid does want to be Hokage, so somewhat different, as well.

But all that seems to have come to an end now. Judging from what we heard him say here, I have a feeling that Asuma himself is about to take on a much more important role in the series, and carry his clan on his shoulders from here on, hoping to make his father proud in the afterlife.

Anyway, with the capture of Chiriku, probably somebody Asuma used to know from his days with the "The Twelve Shinobi Guardsmen," it's all but confirmed that Asuma and probably Team 10 as well will probably be heavily involved in the next storyarc. Of course, we still haven't heard about what Asuma wanted to tell Kakashi. Maybe it was that he had decided to try to become more of an active leader of the village and to become the head of his clan, and possibly deciding to take a journey of some sort in order to improve himself and his skills? Could be why he didn't want to tell Kurenai, since he didn't want her to know yet that he was about to leave the village for a while.

And then there's the Konohamaru Factor. (By the way, I believe that Asuma is probably Konohamaru's uncle.) Kishimoto always seemed like he was intending all along to make Naruto's understudy a major part of the story at some point. This may be the beginning of a more in-depth look at the Sarutobi clan to the point where the readers will be able to relate more to Konohamaru more when he finally shows up in a more significant role (probably not in Part 2, though.)

10. A Familiar (And Funny) Sight... I know it's not just me, but seeing a bloodied Hidan flat on his back and a stake through his chest at the end of every victory just strikes me as humorous. Evidently Hidan doesn't really care about looking dignified during a battle, he just wants to win.

Some people have complained that they hope this is the end of the "Hidan teases" where we see Hidan and Kakuzu going into battle and miss the bulk of how Hidan defeats their opponent, and claimed that this was a poor chapter because of Kishimoto doing that again. Please. This was a GREAT chapter. Yes, I'd like to see how Hidan defeated Chiriku, but at the same time all we need to know right now is that Hidan usually employs the same sarcifical tactic to win, and using this, he's able to beat some of the most powerful shinobi in the world.

RATING: 5 out of 5 stars. Awesome chapter. From our new insights into Kakuzu and Zetsu to the new info on Asuma and the significance of his "Fire" symbol and the revelation of his relation to Sandaime to learning about what Naruto is trying to do in his training, this was a very detailed chapter. Had readers buzzing aplenty. The plot is really building up, too. I'm already liking the start of this storyarc more than I did the beginnings of the last two.

Predictions: We finally find out how Kakashi intends to train Naruto. Kishimoto knows when it's time to explain, it's been three chapters now.

Hope you guys enjoyed this chapter as much as I did.
 

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