Gold Knight's Ten Comments (Naruto 319)

Gold Knight

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While reviewing Volume 32 was certainly fun while it lasted, I've gotta admit going back to the regular chapters feels a lot more comfortable. I'm just used to doing it one chapter a time, I guess!

Sorry for the delay this week. Had to wait until today to finally post it because of internet problems (and not being finished when I did get it back).

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

* * * Gold Knight's Ten Comments on Naruto Chapter 319: Motivation! * * *​


Not very social-looking, is he?

1. A Face of Determination! Heh, I liked this cover. Kishimoto has a knack for "fish-eye perspective," where it looks as though you're seeing the characters through the bottom of a glass. The first time I really noticed Kishimoto doing that was the double spread cover of chapter 226 with Naruto and Sasuke sparring off against each other. Obito's cover was another one. And even within the panels, Kishimoto has started to do it more often, for example, with Baku and Sakura.

Kishimoto has done it in the past, and now is starting to do it again; he uses his covers to set the mood for his chapters in the last two volumes. This one, with a Naruto sitting at a bench and looking so angrily determined at accomplishing his objective that he's still got crumbs on one of his cheeks, told us right off the bat that the training would be the main focus of the chapter.


As usual, Shikamaru's in the dark as far as romance!

2. Something's Gonna Happen. The chapter opens and takes us back to where we left off at the last one, with Asuma's team about to set off on their mission to the Fire Temple. There's a moment of silence as the party leader stares towards a window with an almost resigned look on his face, just before he says "somebody's got to do it," and takes off. Of course, who else but Kurenai would have inside, albeit regrettably distracted by a book until it was too late and Asuma had already gone.

Alright, then, let's count the ominious signs we've seen so far. First, we saw Asuma softly talking to his father's grave and reflecting on his past in a chapter titled "Impending Doom." We saw Asuma trying to have an important chat with Kakashi before Kurenai interrupted by entering the room, and then declining to say anything and leaving with her. We had that interesting shojo match between him and his student, Shikamaru, in which they discussed the significance of protecting the "King," and he shrugged himself off as a sacrifical piece. And now this.

Even thought Kurenai did not see Asuma depart, she still almost seemed to sense that she had just lost something... or someone. Geez. If the prophecy of Gaara's death could crack a cup, then you'd almost expect the whole village to crumble to dust here!

All the same, the great deal of foreshadowing leads me to think that Kishimoto may be purposely trying to scare the readers. I've already mentioned that before. But with the silent farewell here, this chapter succeeded the most for me. Still, there's still hope.

Shikamaru is with Asuma.

Last we saw Shikamaru on a mission, he had nearly lost every single genin under his command. Faltering at first at the realization that even despite his amazing knack for strategy, his leadership might not have been sufficient enough to save his friends, he nearly quit being a ninja. Before his father's powerful lecture, of course, and the good news of the survival of all his friends. After which, Shikamaru swore that he would be flawless from then on.

Might Asuma be fatally injured, and Shikamaru have to take over the reins of leadership and save everybody and redeem himself? Well, we'll see. It would be as good a time as any for him to return the favor for when Asuma saved his life, huh.


Yay for weird contact lens!

Crackhead Theory: Here's my Narutard theory of the week. Bear in mind that it comes with a disclaimer as I'm usually more often than not wrong, but here goes anyway! Could it be that the Akatsuki Leader is a relative of Kurenai? The eyes certainly match, as you can see in the image I provided above. Might that be the reason Asuma wanted to talk to Kakashi and didn't want Kurenai to know what was going on. Could we be seeing the Akatsuki Leader being revealed, at long last, in this storyline? That'd be fun.


Looks like they're dancing from here, doesn't it?

3. Unnatural Training. Somebody brought up this before in a previous Comments, but this chapter really made me wonder about it as well. Where in the world does all that water come from on a constant basis? It's almost as if Yamato also possesses, in addition to his Mokuton ability, the special ability of the Nidaime (as well as Kisame) to create great excesses of water out of nothing, although the waterfall here does seem to come from the ground.

But in no time flat, you'd expect that water to come to a stop sometimes. Could it be that Yamato is redirecting the water as it hits the ground and then pulling it back up through the cliff and then bursting it out again, much like a fountain? All the same, that'd still require some kind of powerful chakra manipulation - and then there's the part where Yamato is also suppressing the Kyuubi simulateously to avoid any complications! Multi-tasker, anyone?


You gotta wonder just how many times he's fallen through the waterfall.

4. Splitting the Water. Well, at least we found out this chapter that Naruto didn't actually have to cut the whole cliffside in half, but instead blow the water itself aside for a while - in the process also creating a gap and some degree of visibility to the rock beyond. Still challenging in its fashion as I'm sure the water's falling very hard here, not to mention it's rather intangible. Next he'll be trying to catch air with his hands.

This skill could also be useful for revealing any enemies hiding behind any such imperceptible cover, though. And to keep enemies at bay. Imagine if Zabuza tried to sneak up on Naruto in his usual heavy, dense fog now; all the orange boy would have to do send a "wind slash" all around to protect himself from an attack. He'd only be vulnerable from the air or the ground.


Say pretty please with sugar on top, Naruto...?

5. Listen Carefully, Grasshopper...! Somewhat surprisingly, we did get some more information about Bunshin no Jutsu this week, which came as totally unexpected to me. Maybe Kishimoto really is active on the forums and reading our discussions here and he decided to answer some more questions! ;)

Well, it's confirmed now, anyway: Kakashi revealed that distribution of chakra among all the clones indeed is an automatic side-effect of using Bunshin no Jutsu. That means Naruto does have to be concerned about the amount of clones he creates at any given time because it limits his options. Maybe this is the reason Naruto has had to turn Kyuubified so often, as he uses up his natural chakra quickly so often. He really does need to strategize a little more before entering a battle; it's looking like spur-of-the-moment improvisation is more of a double-edged sword for him.


Attaboy, Naruto!

6. A Rivalry Renewed! Heh, after Naruto proclaimed that he needed to surpass Sasuke, I suddenly got nostalgic. Whatever happened to the good old days where Sasuke would be so frustrated by Naruto's quick growth? And now the tables have turned - Naruto, instead, is now playing catch up once again. I suppose that's the way most manga work - whenever a protagonist has an arch-rival, it's usually a nose-to-nose duel down the homestretch.

Incidentally, I don't blame Naruto for being impatient here with the training at all. Kakashi is known for his tendency to be late, after all...! I don't know whether it's that he was having faith in Naruto's ability or just being plain being easy-going (and hoping to read more of his novel), but I think Kakashi was being somewhat silly here in saying that all Naruto needed to do was take his time when he knew Yamato could do more to help him. Well, hey, if they had time, Naruto wouldn't have had to resort to the Kage Bunshin, after all.

Sidenote: Kakashi also said here that wind manipulation would take several years to master, and even cutting a leaf would normally take six months to master, and that Naruto did it in a few hours - I'm guessing probably six hours. Then casually, he added that "even" Sasuke needed a few days (without the Kage Bunshin) to learn lightning manipulation. No wonder Naruto was so ticked off!


Yeah, well, the image says it all here.

7. So He's Human After All! Seriously, if Yamato REALLY had been "all right" after doing something as incredible as creating a waterfall THAT big and a wooden bridge from edge to edge, I'd totally be leading his campaign to be the next Hokage. Even though he was clearly out of air here, I still don't know how even Tsunade could possibly fend this guy off - when he can throw a forest and a lake at her simulateously from a safe place, there aren't going to be many opportunities for the Godaime to land a direct hit on him! Pretty amusing when Kakashi asked him if he was alright and then didn't believe his answer.

Makes me also think that Yamato is somewhat subconsciously trying to impress Kakashi by trying to shrug it off as nothing too exhausting (would've been more convincing if he hadn't been panting so hard and had both hands on the ground, tho!) Well, I suppose he does seemingly idolize him, after all (not that it's so surprising ;) ).

Still, this just seems to further support that Yamato can seemingly create water out of nothing unless there's a lake nearby that we can't see. Whatever the case, he's clearly a powerhouse. What a hidden weapon for Konohagakure.


Missing Sasuke-poo.

8. Still a Crybaby? First, I just want to say that I love what Kishimoto's done to Sakura in Part 2. She's become amazingly capable as a "super kunoichi", and she's even defeated an Akatsuki member in a life-or-death situation, albeit with help. She's also obviously become more prepared what with the antidote she created in order to stave off Sasori's poison, and she was awesome in her dealings with Sai (at least, after the sucker punch, which was a little too excessive for sure).

But sometimes, she still annoys me. I was VERY disappointed with Sakura's reaction to seeing Sasuke again in the last volume, and her slow hesistation to act. And now we're seemingly seeing her regressing as a result of that battle. No longer so confident anymore. It's almost as if Sasuke is some kind of spiky-haired, living Kryptonite to her.

Ah, well. I suppose some things are realistic about this scene, though - especially since Sakura's a girl, and she IS alone and having a private moment. There's something to be said for the female sex being more emotional than men, even if it's only a general rule. Speaking of which, the rules of being a ninja must be pretty hard on kunoichi - I wonder how Kurenai would act if Asuma ever does die. Then there's the part that Sakura's probably been quite depressed as well ever since she saw Sasuke freely allowing himself to be Orochimaru's slave. I suppose it's good that we're not just seeing it from Naruto's perspective, as we do so often.

Sometimes I have to wonder if Kishimoto is also basing Sakura on Obito too (or is it the other way around?) Obito was obviously known as a "crybaby ninja," but he redeemed himself in the end. Hopefully Sakura will bounce back from this and kick butt again once again.


Get your minds out of the gutter, you yaoi lovers. XD

9. Only a Dream... Or Is It? We see Naruto clearly wanting things to be like they once were when the original Team 7 were still together, as he dreams about that possibility a little bit at night. Funnily enough, not too long ago I had a discussion with Luckas04 in my last Ten Comments with about how Sasuke is seeming more and more like just that - a dream.

After all, it's as if Sakura and Naruto both automatically accepted him into the team and then hoped for more from him. Sure, he's been a comrade to them, but even so, he was always more oriented with revenge. The only time he really ever showed any care for Naruto and Sakura was when he stood before Gaara in order to protect them, and declared that he couldn't stand losing anybody else. Nevertheless, it's still more for love than real friendship that they're chasing after him, I think. I don't think he'll actually ever come back to Team 7. It really is just a dream. But hopefully Naruto and Sakura can at the very least save Sasuke from turning completely evil and doing something he'll regret forever.

Edit: Boff reminded me that Sasuke did do something before that, what with his taking the bulk of Haku's needles in order to protect Naruto. I blame it on my old age for forgetting that moment, although Sasuke did say that his body almost moved on its own, regardless of what his mind wanted to do.

Sidenote: It's interesting, but I haven't seen this much of a melancholy mood in a Naruto chapter since Chapter 181, when Sakura had her last conversation with Sasuke before he left Konohagakure. It's kind of refreshing in an odd way.

Sidenote 2: The waterfall still flowing here would seem to defeat the theory that Yamato would be constantly concentrating to keep it going, since he's sleeping, so that's pretty weird. I think Kishimoto was definitely trying to be too cute here. Plus, Yamato also obviously isn't suppressing the Kyuubi's chakra here. Guess Naruto didn't really care, though.

Sidenote 3: The transition from Sakura's tear to a shooting star in the night sky seen by Naruto was pretty cool sequential storytelling here, I have to say.


Top that, Moses!

10. Wet Success! Overall, I'll have to say it's pretty darned good storytelling, all things considered. The feeling of rivalry coupled with the desire to bring Naruto's friend back from the "darkness" will obviously help him achieve his dream of being Hokage more quickly than even he imagined. It's not as if Naruto needed any more determination in the first place, but the tragedy that broke up Team 7 served as pretty good motivation. It's a nice reminder that if you manage to survive through the bad things, you'll always come out stronger than you were in the past.

Anyway, with this stage of the training over, what's next? I think it's time for Naruto to finally get to the real goal - inventing a totally new jutsu. For some strange reason, I think it might actually also involve "yin-and-yang manipulation" of which Yamato mentioned a few chapters ago. They still gotta explain that, after all. Guess we'll see.

Sidenote: Gotta admit I enjoyed seeing Naruto celebrate here, he was pretty happy, wasn't he. I think Kishimoto is actually getting more comfortable than ever at drawing "Part 2" Naruto, because he looked good in every single panel in this chapter.

RATING: 4 out of 5 stars. Somewhat of a sleepy chapter (literally at times) because it was mostly quiet moments, but that doesn't mean it wasn't a good one. It was also pretty good to see Naruto get one stage of the training over in one chapter.

Predictions: Preview says that the next chapter will concentrate on Asuma's team and the Akatsuki, so I'm going to predict that it'll actually happen two chapters later and that Naruto will have to start figuring out how to create an "ultimate jutsu" using what he's learned so far.

Credits: Thanks to NBST's Edited Manga, which I used for the whole review. Yoshitsune's and Nihongaeri's translations were a big help as well.

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


Don't sneak off without commenting...!
 

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