Gold Knight's Ten Comments (Naruto 318)

Gold Knight

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And so begins a new era...!

Ah, sorry, I'm not talking Naruto here. I'm talking about my new life at my new house! :p

Unfortunately that wasn't even the main reason that I was absent all week - it was actually technical problems that just happened to keep me from having access to my favorite forum (I know, can you imagine the agony? Aagh!) But after some much-needed instruction from a true computer guru (thanks Taye!), I'm back now and more than rarin' to go! So let's do it!

Please enjoy and comment away when you have time. ;)

* * * Gold Knight's Ten Comments on Naruto Chapter 318: Favorable Training! * * *​


Another movie, another new fad at your local Hot Topic shop ... Believe it!

1. Yaaay, More Color... Yeah, Right. After the greatness that was the first three colored pages of the last Naruto chapter, it's really not fair at all to compare this week's edition to that one. But even though I already knew coming into the week that the colored cover for this chapter would be a promotion for the third Naruto movie, I was still left with an empty feeling after seeing it. Bah, humbug...! Why can't they just keep these movie advertisements away from the chapter itself? Why not, say, a bonus poster, tucked away elsewhere in the magazine? No offense against the movies or anything, but I want to see Kishimoto's art centering on what's going on in the manga, not its anime counterpart(s)! Ah well... guess it's all in the interest of making money. Kakuzu would approve, no doubt...!

Well, while I really could care less about the secondary characters shown in the poster (they look like a bunch of refugees from the Snow Country), I have to confess that it was pretty interesting to see Naruto wearing that orange sleeveless jacket. In fact, I'd even go as far as say that I like it better than his current outfit in the manga, even though it looks considerably less ninja-like and more modern. Well, I'm no fashion expert (though I've dated a girl here and there interested in it, but I digress!) but to my eyes, it not only looks more comfortable but also a better fit for his personality. Could it be because it lacks any black whatsoever...? If you think about how Naruto never really worried about fitting in with the rest of the village in Part 1, it probably would have been appropriate if he had kept on wearing all orange and blue without a care in the world, and as shown here, he wouldn't have looked any less mature for it. Hmm.


Brain fried, eh, Naruto?

2. Total Recall... with a Hefty Price! Aha! I think there was a discussion some time ago on the forums about the possible limits that would be placed on Naruto in order to keep him from being too "invincible" (a la Ichigo of Bleach fame). Somebody here had suggested to me that one of the negative side-effects of the Kage Bunshin maximized in training would be mental fatigue. Well... Bingo! Right on. When Naruto undid his jutsu and his bunshins' training experience swarmed every corner of his mind, sure enough, he passed out.

Nice that he's back on his feet only a short while later, though. Must be the Kyuubi's healing ability at work (something I don't think Yamato could suppress).

This brings to us another question, however. How is it that, in the past, Naruto was able to utilize the Kage Bunshin before in actual battle without suffering this setback? Even though he had not been focusing on absorbing the memories of his clones, he should have still shown some sign of slowing down when the last of his bunshins had been defeated by, say, Kimimaro. But as evidenced by the end of that battle, right before Sasuke had erupted from his container, Naruto had shown absolutely no signs of stopping to take a brief nap. So, what's going on?

Maybe Naruto has actually benefited all this time from his ignorance of the memory absorption ability of the Kage Bunshin. By focusing so much on his objective in a given mission instead of taking a pause to assemble and "listen to" all the new memories appearing in his head, he's actually found a way to bypass this annoyance?

Or could it be his Kyuubi-level endurance - which COULD have been lowered by Yamato's jutsu during this exercise - that had always allowed him to fight on before without snoozing? This seems more likely to me.


WTF just happened?

3. Tobi... a Tonberry in Disguise!? :eyeroll Ok - please bear with me here for a moment, people! Yup, I'm about to go into one of my obscure analogies... well, if you're not much of a gamer. ;)

A standard tonberry is a creepy, enigmatic green-skinned monster in Final Fantasy games known to stumble around, usually with a lit lantern in one hand and a glistening kitchen knife in the other. On first sight, it looks nothing more than a bumbling, harmless, and relatively easy opponent... that is, until it finally orients on you! If it does score a love tap on your character, then whether you're ready or not, it's game over! :o ( Unless you've got a ridiculous amount of hit points, of course, or a healer in the party... :tem )

I've always believed that Tobi wasn't as weak and pathetic as he seemed to be, and his mysterious "one-hit KO" here on a bijuu of all things certainly seems to make him out to be very formidable, dangerous, and often underestimated enemy, just like a Tonberry.

But the biggest question now is: what exactly in the name of Zeus' butthole did Tobi just do here? Guess we'll have to find that one out some other time... it's obvious Kishimoto meant this scene to be a teaser of sorts, and to surprise all the readers that had started to think that Tobi was an useless member of the Akatsuki.

Still, what the heck? :o


If looks could kill...

4. Braggin' Rights in the Akatsuki? Gotta admit, I'm loving this development in the Akatsuki. Deidara and Tobi are obviously like fire and water, but at the same time, they're both undeniably villains in that they're more egocentric than modest. Even when the scene is supposed to be funny, you're reminded that they're the bad guys.

I can certainly understand Tobi's pride in having defeated a bijuu for the first time as a member of the Akatsuki, but I wasn't expecting Deidara to be totally unwilling to give all the credit to him, despite his exploding dolls probably being of little use here. That's definitely realistic if he's supposed to be a villain, and I liked that. And to boot, they're still pretty entertaining, huh.

At the same time, though, it's bizarre story-telling to me; most of the time, you know, the comedy relief is usually over on the protagonists' side (as in One Piece and Bleach), but in this particular series, we're seeing more and more of it from the antagonists'. Villains are usually reserved and cold-blooded, but in Naruto, we're obviously seeing the flip side of the coin (aside from Itachi, of course).

Sidenote: Funny how Deidara has suddenly gone from that annoying little brother (as he was to Sasori) to the often annoyed big brother (as he is to Tobi now), as well...! Makes you really wonder whether it's better to be the senpai or the understudy in the Akatsuki. Even the Leader himself got some lip (from Sasori)...! He did seem to take it in stride, chuckling it away, but that could mean that he's used to criticism from the other members.


Wait until he finds out he's got to treat Chouji to dinner...!

5. Celebration Time! Awww... just look at all these Narutos throwing their leaves up in the air. You'd think they had just graduated from the Academy all over again, they're so happy.

Guess both Naruto and Tobi will have victory cigars tonight...! :smoke


Ooo, fun.

6. But Wait...! It's not over yet...! Guess this means that everybody who voted 2-3 chapters in the 316 Comments Poll will probably fail. This also includes yours truly... if that's any consolation. ;)

If we're to take Kakashi literally here, this could be the *final* training exercise before things start to get heated, though. This is the stage where Naruto will learn how to use wind as a weapon, but at the same time, it's not the entire goal. He still has to create a monster jutsu, after all. So we might still have a ways to go in this training storyline after all.

Now, how does one exactly sever a waterfall with wind...?

Using the power of my imagination, here's the two possibilities I came up with: 1) Naruto will have to learn how to control an excess of wind to the point where he's able to successfully blow away a large mass of the waterfall away as it's falling, and 2) the objective will actually be splitting the cliffside behind the waterfall into two separate landmarks, which would technically count as "severing" the waterfall into two.

Either way, looks like some serious windpower Naruto will be harnessing here in a while...!


All in a day's work.

7. Not Such a Beast, After All? Or maybe to be more precise, the bijuus are even more animal-like than we suspected. Think about what Deidara said here. He basically referred to the tailed beasts as "dumb animals" that hardly comprehended how to best utilize their powerful energies in order to create intricate and specific jutsus. Basically, they depend on brute power and their breath for the most part, which would be good enough to flatten any unsuspecting villages in their path of destruction. I actually like this revelation, considering that if it was otherwise, we'd have ninja Godzillas and King Kongs, which is just ridiculous, right? (Of course, we DO have talking Boss Toads and monkeys that can transform into staffs in this series, but whatever.)

This also explains how one person, albeit a powerful being, such as Yondaime would have been able to capture and defeat the Kyuubi, the most powerful youma in the Naruto world. If the Nine Tails is supposed to be the most powerful embodiment of chakra in the world, then if it actually knew how to manipulate its own energies to create all sorts of jutsus, then I doubt that Yondaime would have been able to even get close to the Nine-Tails, even given his knack for speed. This also seems to explain why the Akatsuki believe that they can successfully capture even "liberated" bijuus, because they are actually easier to catch than jinchuuriki.

And I also appreciate that in their own fashion, the jinchuuriki are even more dangerous than their bijuus, because of their intelligence and deeper knowledge of how to work with their chakra through training regimens and personal tutelage. For example, just compare Gaara to when he had turned into the Shukaku. Which one would you rather face, if you were a jounin? I still think that normal Gaara, when he's not being dominated, is a far more difficult opponent, simply because he's able to think and strategize like any other human being. Man is still the most feared enemy even in this mystical world, too, it seems.

And slowly but surely, we're starting to realize why the Akatsuki are so confident. Where bijuus are for the most part as easily trapped as deer when tracked and hunted right, jinchuurikis can also be taken advantage of because of their psychological problems. Sometimes they're green, sometimes they're literally self-destructing without any help at all, and sometimes the Akatsuki even get additional help from locals to capture them, as Deidara remarked once to Naruto.

Of course, you still got to be pretty good to even think about it in the first place...!


Sleeping with one eye still open - what a guy!

8. Look at Who's Passed Out, Too...! Strange how Kishimoto keeps giving us parallels between Naruto and Tobi in this chapter, almost as if he was trying to tell us that they're pretty similar. First their respective celebrations, and now Tobi's also passed out after his own accomplishment!

Even though it might have just been a nap without a precedent, I still have to wonder if Tobi's 1-hit KO jutsu had taken so much chakra that he had to rest for a while, as well.

Funny thought: just imagine if Naruto and Tobi both used their "ultimate jutsus" against each other, and then subsequently passed out for 30 minutes at the same time! I can just hear the "WTF's" coming from the readers now...


Wanna make my day, punk?

9. You Reap What You Sow... Ah, a return to Hidan and Kakuzu! Even if it's only for a page, I still enjoyed it. I still enjoy their banter more than Deidara and Tobi's, it just somehow feels more... real. Or maybe it's more or less because they consider themselves more on equal terms, unlike Deidara and Tobi. It's just a more problematic partnership, because neither considers the other a superior (or as far as we know).

Anyway, Hidan's refusal to take on Kakuzu's burden just served to even further illustrate the points I made in Comment # 4 - that these guys, even though they're working together, are still obviously looking out for themselves. Why? Because, well, I reckon they're the bad guys. And that's enjoyable to a degree to watch how exactly they do manage to get things done in spite of all their differences and dislikes for each other. That's the charm of depicting supervillain teams that I think most writers forget, but I think Kishimoto gets it perfectly.

And hmm.. who would win in a death staring contest, Deidara or Kakuzu? Hoo boy...


Let's roll, guys!

10. Sic 'Em, Boys! Oooh. Well, well. Asuma, Shikamaru, AND Izumo and Kotetsu? I've always wondered if Kishimoto would someday feature the two latter guys. Hey, they've been around since waaaay back when Naruto's team first applied for the Chuunin Exams, but they've only really got an appearance here, here, and there since then. (And some fanart, if you want!) I was already glad that Kishimoto seemed to be starting to include the other jounins, but didn't expect THESE two. That made the chapter for me - I had been somewhat unimpressed with the chapter until this came up. Looks like we'll be finding out what they're made of soon, finally. I always liked Kotetsu in particular - something about his design, I guess. We already know they're both very good at genjutsu, but aside from that...

So Chiriku is dead? Hmm, well, we didn't really see any life signs from him after he was defeated. I'm not sure what the point would be in sending 20 platoons otherwise in tracking Kakuzu and Hidan other than to append them, but I guess I shouldn't say too much, given that I've been kind of impatient with Tsunade lately, and she's finally getting off her round arse and doing something. Hopefully these 20 platoons will keep an eye out for the other Akatsuki, though. It'd be pretty bad if all the eighty of these Konoha shinobi end up going north when the rest of the Akatsuki's actually approaching from the south...!

And since Asuma mentioned that Chiriku should have been present, even though he was retired, I'm going to assume these 20 platoons are the current "20 guardian ninjas" of Konoha, except they're all new teams. So - cool that Shikamaru's a part of the squads as well. Chuunin, examiner, and guardian - so what's next on Shikamaru's resume, anyway? Hopefully he'll be a jounin soon, he certainly seems to meet most of the expectations.

RATING: 4 out of 5 stars. While still a cool chapter, things are starting to drag a bit more than I'd like - even though the Akatsuki are still involved. Now that we know that the training is going to be longer than three chapters, I don't really expect anything to happen for another three chapters at least. Hopefully I'm wrong, though, and we get some serious action soon. Though I wouldn't mind seeing the dysfunctional Akatsuki teams banter some more.

Predictions: Hm. Naruto will be practicing trying to cut the waterfall, and I suppose we'll get some looks at how Asuma's "platoon" team is doing. I'd kind of like to see other platoon teams in action as well - even if it means some new characters being introduced. But even more than that, I'd like to see some old characters being re-introduced (for example, some of the guys from Ibiki's examiner team back in Chapter 40!)

Credits: Thanks to Bakabaka's Edited Manga, which I pretty much used for the whole review. (Didn't have much time to look at anything else.) I also used the Touch's super HQ Raw, which helped me in getting some nice images to post ( they were even easy to clean. Heh. )

Hope you enjoyed, and looking forward to seeing what you think!


I dare you to make a comment... un!
 

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