Gold Knight's Ten Comments (Naruto 320)

Gold Knight

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Well, we know about HIM - so are YOU hungry for some goodies, too?

Well, another little delay, but here's another Naruto review for your reading pleasure! Hopefully this will help everybody get their mind off the craziness that transpired for a couple of days what with our server going all goofy like that! Sorry if that alarmed anybody, and we'll try our best to keep that from happening again here.

In the meanwhile, please enjoy and comment away when you have time. ;)

* * * Gold Knight's Ten Comments on Naruto Chapter 320: Prized Bounty! * * *​


Now he's getting a little cocky...!

1. The Sweet Taste of Victory! Well, the cover was a nice transition from the last chapter in that it reminded us of how Naruto had just successfully completed the second stage of his training, but I think it was the sidetext this time that really added to it. "Did you know that after I work even harder than usual, I feel even better than usual?" Hey Naruto, your smile kinda gave it away. ;)

Anyway, you gotta admit that it's as good a message as any for all the young readers out there, and it's perfectly in character for him. He's obviously proud of himself for being able to cut the waterfall in half, and the cover does a good job in making us feel that way about his accomplishment as well. Once again, his hard work's paid off - and as the message said, the feeling of ecstasy in having done something worthwhile does certainly feel good.

Yeah, sometimes it's fun to be lazy like Shikamaru, but I'll bet you five bucks that Naruto gets more moments of intense joy than his friend ever did. (Of course, the minus side is Naruto probably gets a lot more frustrated too! But ya know the saying, no pain, no gain? The more pain, the more you gain, for sure...!)


Yeah, I wouldn't want to search all these graves, either...!

2. The Investigation's On! So we see Asuma's team arriving on the morbid scene of the ruins of the Temple, and standing amongst all the graves of the priests and monks that the Akatsuki apparently killed. Gotta admit, I didn't realize just how many people Kakuzu and Hidan took down when they attacked. I thought that it was just Chiriku that they defeated, and then the others fled when he went down (much like the messenger that reached Tsunade). I've gotta wonder if while Hidan was busy doing his mysterious ritual to take down Chiriku, Kakuzu was similarly on a rampage all around him taking care of the rest. He certainly seemed to mean business at first, and didn't have even as much a scratch on him after the battle, either. I don't think he was just standing around waiting for Hidan to finish his chant.

Kishimoto also did a good job drawing all the ruins around them to really give that feeling of an eerie destruction and outright slaughter. Feels almost like they found themselves in the middle of a Transylvanian village recently hit by a vampire.


Wonder if Izumo's hiding a transplanted Sharingan under all that hair... XD

3. Detectives at Work...! Let me just say that this Asuma's group could probably give Sherlock Holmes a run for his money! Seemingly within only a matter of seconds, without even really looking for evidence of any kind for hints, and only going by what the two priests told them, Izumo cracked the case with but a glimpse at his notes.

Makes me wonder just how many times Konoha has had shinobi gone missing due to bounties? Although, since Chiriku was worth 30 million, it stands to reason why they would guess so quickly at his abduction - or murder. I still wonder if he's really dead - but I suppose in a world where corpses can still carry the secrets of a ninja village - why would they want him alive except to humiliate him? He's probably dead, and that's probably why Asuma was so shaken here.


Expect a sweatdrop when he realizes all the work that'd take...

And then we have Shikamaru, not one to be outdone when it comes to having the sharpest mind in the group, deducing correctly that the Akatsuki have gone to turn their bounty in at a station somewhere nearby.

Now, what I don't get is why they seem to have assumed so quickly that there are only five bounty stations abound. After all, isn't the Akatsuki a clandestine organization? Wouldn't they be dealing with similarly secret operatives? I mean, as we'll see later, the collector that Hidan and Kakuzu meets up with has his station in a rather odd AND hidden place. So if the Konoha shinobi know about it, why bother staying there? Maybe it's just to keep themselves hidden from the rest of the public, though.

And I suppose the collectors must occasionally do business with the Konoha ninjas too. Hmm... though I'd think it would be illegal somehow in the peaceful world Sandaime ruled in the Fire Country. They had to know that it would only encourage enemies to try to invade from other lands. Why ask for trouble?

Somewhat amusing that Asuma's team bothered to send the messenger birds off to four other teams to inform them about the stations. Don't they know that Kishimoto plans for them to be the ones to eventually confront Hidan and Kakuzu? Heh. Unless... one of the teams will get in their way first, making for quite the dramatic battle where we'll finally see Hidan and Kakuzu's abilities revealed. And then we'll see Asuma's squad stumble across the trail of blood. Uh-oh...


Scared Kakashi for nothing...!

4. From Fatigue to Hunger? No wonder Kakashi was so worried, after all Naruto had fainted repeatedly the day before after absorbing his bunshins. But this time, the kid was only suffering from hunger instead of mental fatigue! Hmm, he's getting a little more like Luffy from One Piece now... well, I suppose it's progress in one sense. At least Naruto didn't fall unconscious this time.

In a way his hunger makes sense though. All these bunshins were obviously expending a massive amount of energy. I wonder if it somehow eats up the calories on the original body too when they all merge again - and that's why Naruto wants/needs to eat so much ramen...! XD


Maybe at least Hidan won't be able to beat him lying down anyway...

5. To Worry or Not to Worry...? Heh, Kishimoto's definitely in tune with the emotions of his readers, and he's playing them like a violin. Here he has Asuma almost directly speaking to his fans, telling us not to worry so much about him. Confidently, he says that his own price tag is five million more than Chiriku's, evidently meaning he's a more formidable opponent for the Akatsuki. Not that we ever doubted his capabilities, but nevertheless, compared to all the foreshadowing that we've been getting in recent chapters (especially when Asuma left after a long look towards Kurenai's room) this scene was a HUGE relief!

Still, of course Asuma isn't out of the woods yet. We still know that Hidan and Kakuzu are probably more deadly than any enemies that Asuma has probably fought in the past (with the exception of Itachi and Kisame). But I now think that Kishimoto is obviously setting the stage up for a grand battle that will be anybody's guess as to how it will end. Which could be fun.

Personally, I *hope* Asuma's team will be the ones to defeat Hidan and Kakuzu, or at least one of them. It wouldn't be fair for Naruto and company to hog all the fun, now would it? And wouldn't be that realistic, either.

I do still think he needed that priest's prayer more than he realized at the time.

Crackhead Theory: Okay this week, my Narutard theory isn't too convoluted a theory, but involves Asuma's girlfriend once again. I think Kurenai will actually be catching up with and following Asuma's squad at some point, although not with her team tagging along. She's not the type of girl who just sits at home and worry.


Awww.. so he did notice her! XD

6. Fan Service on the Menu! It's pretty well established that Kakashi and Ayame is a popular pairing among Narutards. We've already seen from the hilarious Episode 101 of the anime (best filler episode EVER) that Ayame was definitely hot for Kakashi (once she saw him unmasked - guess he doesn't have fish lips or buckteeth!)

That story was, of course, based on a rather funny sidestory based on Naruto's attempt to find out what Kakashi's elusive face looked like under that mask. ( In case you haven't read it, where have you been? Here and enjoy! Page 1, Page 2, Page 3 and Page 4 - enjoy! )

Anyway, this is the very first time in the series where we've seen Kakashi actually showing that he does indeed notice Ayame. Sure, it's only one panel, but for a Kakashi fan like myself, it's sure a big revelation. So please forgive me for spending this one big comment on it ;)

So yeah, I'd like to see Kakashi be with somebody by the end of the series. Why should Asuma be the only one involved in any kind of romance at all? XD ( Yes, DZ, I know he's smexy, but geez. ) Anyway, I've always been kind of a Kakashi x Anko fan, and I know some people prefer Kakashi x Sakura ( you know who you are <3 ) or ... >.< ... Kakashi x Iruka ( sorry, I'm not into yaoi ;) ), but I wouldn't mind at all if he does end up with Ayame. Seems like the right kind of girl for him to get together with... and corrupt! :kukuku


Quite suggestive, isn't it?

7. The Ramen Shop Ruckus! I thoroughly enjoyed this scene. As you guys have already seen with the Ramen Shop sidestory, Kishimoto does have a nice twisted sense of humor, and we haven't had a chapter that had a lot of comedy in it for quite some time now. Sure, we've had funny moments, like the Gai-Kakashi piggyback moment, and the onsen scene between Sai and Naruto. But these only lasted a page or two, whereas this took up about five pages. And it was pretty funny. The moment that really cliched it for me was when Kakashi, Naruto, and Yamato were shown with different, mixed expressions watching the workers in disarray. Especially Yamato, who was thinking at the moment, "WTF?" Just had to laugh there.

I've heard some people who were disappointed over this scene and there not being any real story development. Well, I counter that with we haven't had any comedic episodes in a pretty doggone long while. Naruto is pretty much a serious-toned series for the most part, so I say this scene was much needed. It reminded me that these guys are still in a human environment, that they still deal with unexpected situations AND people, that sometimes turn out to be pretty hilarious. Hey, anybody remember when Sakura, who had just been insulted, tried to chase after Konohamaru and Naruto and threatened to beat them up? One of the funniest scenes in the manga for me. How long ago was that? Right before the Chuunin Exams! We had another funny Konohamaru moment at the start of Part 2, and since then, it's been mostly tense. So, more light moments like this was absolutely necessary.


Kakashi-sensei to the rescue!

Speaking of the anime, I've heard a rumor that these guys, Nishi and Matsu, seemed to have shown up in a filler episode or two before. I don't follow the fillers, so don't know if there's any truth to it yet (if you know, please verify), but if true... in that case Kishimoto may really be trying to work with the anime, which is rather interesting. I don't know how I feel about that, but hopefully he doesn't get too carried away. Probably just a nod towards the anime fans...

And yeah, either way, I'll be willing to bet that they'll turn this into another full, funny filler episode as well. However, I doubt any current watchers of the anime right now would mind another episode like 101. That one was golden.


I'd be suspicious too...

8. Secret Places... Okay, NOBODY last week could have predicted Hidan and Kakuzu standing smack in the middle of a bathroom this chapter! NO way. Bizarre scene to say the least! Good for Kishimoto to surprise us all a little bit there. Then to find out it all lead to a morgue through a wall panel between two toilets... kinda reminded me of Harry Potter: Chamber of Secrets! Except, at least, Hidan and Kakuzu didn't have to crawl down a narrow hole - just walk through a hidden passageway.

Well, I suppose at least we got our money's worth as far as at least one of the bounty stations certainly being hidden well! I just wish that Kishimoto had given us a little idea of where they are at the moment, but I guess it must be a village somewhere like the one Jiraiya and Naruto visited in order to find Tsunade.

As for the collector. Well, he's a creepy sort, isn't he? Judging by the scars on his forehead, I'd be willing to bet that he's also a hunter-nin himself, or at least formerly before he decided to take a less risky job. Hey, if there are people like the Akatsuki doing the job in much more effective ways, why not be the bondsman?


I'd be outta there myself.

9. More Banter! Hilarious thing is, when I first read the chapter, and I mean RAW format here without even having a glimpse at the translations yet - the very first thing that came to mind for me (and I'm sure many other readers) is that if there's a bathroom connected to the morgue, then the smell must be AWFUL!

And sure enough, Hidan agreed with me, and he would know, wouldn't he? He's standing right there, and wanting to get the heck out! Kakuzu doesn't know what he's missing, since he's got his nose all covered up...

The banter between these two I think is the best I've seen in the whole Naruto series. It just never ceases to amuse me.


At least he's not talking to Ayame here...

10. What Now? Yeah, this is the ultimate tease. Kakashi promising Naruto he'll show him something before the next stage of the training. I'm going to guess here that it's Yin/Yang manipulation, as Naruto had asked him about before. I think Kakashi is going to try to inspire Naruto to try some different things in order to achieve his "new" jutsu, because I don't think he can really help him figure it out exactly - although I'm sure he'll have a few ideas of what Naruto COULD do with all the jutsus he knows now.

One last thing - Kishimoto seemed to have a WHOLE lot of fun with this chapter, because it seemed like he was trying to give the fans a few scenes that could be interpreted from a pervert's perspective. Well, for the man who created Jiraiya, I guess it's not so expected, but this chapter certainly had a few saucy lines and interesting scenarios!

RATING: 4 out of 5 stars. The comedy was much needed, and I also liked that this chapter gave us insights into what Asuma's team, Naruto, and the Akatsuki all were doing at the time. Not often Kishimoto gives us all that in a single chapter. I like it when we don't focus so much on one group for a long time.

Predictions: Kakashi shows Naruto the "interesting" something.

Credits: A MAJOR thanks to des, whose MQ Edited Manga I not only used, but he also gave me some higher quality scans of a few panels at my request as well. Thanks also to Yoshitune and HisshouBurakien for their translations.

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


Now go ahead and comment <3
 

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