Gold Knight's Ten Comments (Naruto 321)

Gold Knight

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Are you ready to rock?

Just a little heads up here to everybody who waits for my reviews - my Naruto Ten Comments will probably be released more often at the end of every weekend or Mondays from now on. The reason being that I like to wait until I can get ahold of higher quality images to use with my reviews, and the HQ Raw usually doesn't come out until late in the weekend.

Although if the HQ Raw ever seems to take its sweet time getting out, like now, I'll go ahead and post with images from somebody's MQ Edited Manga - such as Yume's this time around. Thanks, Yume <3

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

* * * Gold Knight's Ten Comments on Naruto Chapter 321: Smooth-Talking...! * * *​


That fly is troublesome.

1. Troublesome Thinking. This week, we get Shikamaru sitting back, but instead of looking relaxed and lazy, he seems preoccupied with deep thoughts, and he doesn't like it. It's as if Kishimoto was warning us with this chapter that we'll be having to use our heads a little bit than we would have liked. Nope, no action in this chapter, sorry - just a lot of dialogue, followed by some musing to do the readers' own part. This cover sets the tone for that kind of chapter. Not to mention that Shikamaru's obviously felt like there was something amiss in recent days with his sensei. As we would see later in the chapter, he would finally act on his intuition.

Well, okay, maybe I'm just thinking too deeply on what Kishimoto's doing here. But since we're on the topic of talking about Shikamaru, I might as well mention here that I firmly believe he is the best developed character in the whole series. In the beginning, he seemed so much like a cowardly punk, but throughout the Chuunin Exams, he started and just kept impressing us - especially with his brain - to the point where he became nearly an unanimous fan favorite.

And one of my own top three favorite Naruto characters, as well! I never would have expected it when he was first introduced! Quite good writing. And he's changed in some ways, too, since the end of Part I. Shikamaru WAS a borderline coward, but his father's lecture at the end of Part 1 probably put an end to all that. Now, he seems much more confident in himself now, and probably the kid most closest to being his own man out of all of Naruto's generation, including even Neji (imo). When he's not having to follow Tsunade's orders, anyway. XD

Seems like lately Kishimoto is also playing around with the sex appeal of his characters, too. First, Naruto, a little bit, and now Shikamaru. Might just be my imagination, but I can just imagine all the Shikamaru fangirls whistling when they saw that cover!


Kakashi is evil.

2. Flattery no Jutsu! Kakashi certainly knows how to smooth-talk, alright. Poor Yamato! Again he's revealed to only be human and easily duped, but the scene certainly made me laugh out loud. Seems like Asuma's not the only jounin trying to weasel out of a bill in Konohagakure!

In a weird way, it's as if all these elite ninja are constantly training the art of deception with their friends and students, even without knowing it. Well, I suppose guile is an essential part of the job, and we've certainly found out that Kakashi's good at it, not that it's any surprise.

Sidenote: One significant thing we did learn here though - since Yamato addressed Kakashi as a sempai, that likely means that Kakashi was Yamato's field commander in the ANBU, not just a teammate. That would definitely explain why Yamato has such a high degree of respect for him. This could also mean that Uzuki Yugao (remember her?) used to be on the same ANBU team as Yamato at some point, since Yugao also seemed to address Kakashi as a senior as well.


Did Kakashi expect otherwise? XD

3. Going Over the Lesson. Well, here Kakashi reiterates one of his earlier chakra lessons again for Naruto, who of course - not surprisingly, considering his excitement for training at the time - has forgotten some particularly important points. That is, the whole point of successfully learning nature manipulation was so that he could start harnessing wind as the primary elemental ingredient in his brainstorming for a new jutsu. Much like how Kakashi, the Leaf's number one technican, merged lightning and his own chakra together to make a razor-sharp electric blade growing from his palm, Naruto will have to do something similar.

I somewhat wish Naruto had been a little more inquisitive, though, when Kakashi mentioned Chidori as an example of working with the power and ranges of his chakra. I'd have liked to see him curiously ask Kakashi to show him different types of jutsus that he could perform with lightning, not just the Chidori and the Raikiri. But maybe that's just the Kakashi fan in me, though; I always wanted to see Kakashi do something else a little more different, if even just different forms of Chidori. And I suppose it would have used up a bit of chakra. I don't blame these ninja for trying to conserve their chakra at all times; who knows how the day will end?


"Beeyotches, I'm GOD, lolz!"

4. Not That Easy, Naruto. As hard-working as Naruto has been to this point, it's somewhat strange that his confidence would still lead to the kind of arrogance that had him thinking the latest training stage would be a simple task. That because he already knew how to the Rasengan, an A-rank jutsu, and thus the basics of form manipulation, to go with his newly acquired command of wind, he'd be able to create his "ultimate jutsu" right away. Kakashi must have been so impressed. Not.

You'd think that after all this time, Naruto would have gotten to the point where he'd realize that not a single step towards becoming Hokage will ever be that easy. Well, I suppose Naruto was always a little dense... and that's an understatement. I guess that would explain why he's always stayed so positive as far as becoming Hokage, though.


Tough audience...!

The deadpan reactions on Kakashi and Yamato's faces were funny though. These were the faces of two veterans who probably had worked their butts off to get to where they are now, and they knew right away that Naruto was probably in for the most difficult challenge he's ever had in his life! "Kid's got no idea, does he?"

Not to mention that Yamato had already said that a person who could use the manipulation of both "nature" and "form" as a combination jutsu was very rare. Naruto obviously didn't get the hint.


Say again? Which is which?

5. Confusion Over the Chidori. At first, I thought Kishimoto contradicted himself a little bit in this chapter regarding the make-up of the Chidori. As Kakashi said at one point, as shown in the flashback, the Chidori was "just a jutsu that deals with form manipulation," like the Rasengan.

Yet, when Naruto mentioned that working with form and nature in order to create a jutsu would be easy, Kakashi countered by saying "oh yeah? If that's true, then there wasn't much point in my inventing Chidori, eh?"

Huh? That statement alone would seem to support that in fact SOME skill of nature manipulation was necessary to pull the Chidori off. Did Kishimoto just make an unusual writing blooper?

I wondered for a while that maybe Kakashi meant to say Raikiri. The "Lightning Cut" is a S-ranked jutsu which Kakashi developed from the Chidori and which required more concentration of chakra and much more precise control of it. So, when applied perfectly, an much sharper force is created that can apparently cut a bolt of lightning.

The Chidori, or "A Thousand Birds," on the other hand, is only an A-ranked jutsu that converted chakra into a ball of lightning, a less powerful but still highly potent attack, despite its loudness. Instead of cutting its opponent, the Chidori is probably more likely to blast the enemy away. I wouldn't be surprised if chakra being converted into electricity isn't the same thing as actually manipulating lightning.

Then there's the Naruto-Sasuke duels, where we saw that the Chidori only proved to be barely as strong as the Rasengan, another A-rank jutsu. That would only make sense if they were both at the same level, that is, high-level "form manipulation" attacks, instead of either using any nature manipulation at all. (Incidentally, I still tend to think the Rasengan is slightly stronger; I know Sasuke defeated Naruto regardless, but I think that was more due to the Curse Seal enhancing his Chidori further than the Kyuubi had added to the Rasengan. But that's another subject...)

And in order to cut a bolt of lightning, the user of the Raikiri obviously needed to be able to manipulate the element to the point where he would be unharmed by any kind of discharge. (Of course, all this made me wonder if Kakashi didn't just simulateously use nature manipulation to cut the bolt in two in the first place just to be dramatic! XD )

Then I realized why I was so confused. I misinterpreted Kakashi's comment there as saying the Chidori requried nature manipulation - then realized he meant that if the developing Raikiri had been so easy as that, then inventing the Chidori would have been pointless. Ahhh.

Still, no wonder Naruto is so easily confused when talking to him. Kakashi may be a "smooth-talker," but I'm not at all so sure that he's great at explaining jutsus, regardless!]

Edit: It seems that Kishimoto likely did mess up. See ChuckingDecues' post (next one) for more details. Basically, because Sasuke did have to practice nature manipulation in order to achieve Chidori, that means it *should* be based on just nature and not form. Whereas Rasengan is form, Chidori is nature. Either it was a translation error, or Kishimoto made a blooper.

Edit 2: Turned out it was a translation error...

According to Nihongaeri's translation, Kakashi in the flashback actually said その意味で螺旋丸は千鳥とは少し違って“形態変化”だけを極めた術と言える

"In that sense you could say that, UNLIKE chidori, rasengan is a jutsu relying only on extremely advanced "spatial recomposition"

Oh well, just goes to show you how important accuracy of translation is XD

REVISED COMMENT: Alright, now we know that the Rasengan is for sure different from the Chidori in their make-up. Whereas the Rasengan is based on form manipulation ONLY, albeit to the extreme, Chidori obviously uses nature manipulation.

However, Sasuke and Kakashi's Chidori probably doesn't have as high a level of nature manipulation as the Rasengan does form manipulation, but since it does employ some form manipulation (especially judging by Kakashi's allusion to it in explaining how he alters the shape of chakra), that's the reason it likely is still as strong as the Rasengan. That explains that.

So Kakashi indeed was countering Naruto that if nature manipulation was so easy, then the Chidori being invented wouldn't have been such an accomplishment.


So much for Naruto being God.

6. Copycat Ninja Strikes Again. Okay, so Kakashi can do the Rasengan. Heh. Yeah, I'd say that's pretty interesting! I don't blame Naruto for taking a double look. Did Kakashi know how to do it all along, but never used it because he preferred Raikiri better? A quick, stabbing, lethal strike instead of a chaotic, volatile ball of fury? Probably. Definitely more of an assassin's weapon.

Or perhaps - after Kakashi saw Naruto employ the very same jutsu that his own teacher had invented, and one that Jiraiya himself occasionally used, he decided to learn it over the last two and half years just to stay pace with his students? After all, he's seen it in action more than enough times to copy it, probably. Now that I think about it, he never did use the Chidori/Raikiri the whole time we've seen him in Part 2.

Hey, wonder if Kakashi's moved on to a different personal attack? Perhaps something even better than the Raikiri?

If he's indeed come up with a new invention, that would make me a much happier fan. The Chidori/Raikiri was always known as his sole original technique, but I'd like to see him create more. I wasn't too crazy that Kakashi's "amazing new jutsu" seemed to be a different version of the Mangeykou Sharingan, although I think I'm just tired of "eye jutsus" in general. And even as cool as the Chidori and Raikiri are, they would have gotten stale after a while, too. Maybe Kakashi meant that he's come up with something else other than the MS after all for his "brilliant new jutsu"...

Crackhead Theory: Seeing that Sasuke's already moved on to a different, upgraded version of the Chidori, the Nagashi, it's likely Kakashi might have also devised one as well other than the Raikiri. Sasuke's "Chidori Current" is a defensive-type jutsu that he uses to get attackers (or friends) off his back - much like an eel - which describes his personality pretty well.

On the other hand, I think Kakashi will show another upgraded version as well, but in a much different fashion. As he's always been more fond of assassination-type attacks, like the Raikiri, I'd be willing to guess that he might have developed an attack more offensive-minded than the Nagashi and just as effective as the Raikiri.

For example, I wonder if Kakashi's now able to, instead of radiating electricity like Sasuke, actually place a high-intensity static "time bomb" on the opponent and set it to go off anytime he wanted it to! ... Well, Kakashi's famous flyway and lopsided white hair inspired me to think of that one being a possible attack, but hey, that's my crazy theory of the week. ;)


Guess Yondy was a bit of a slacker after all...

7. An Incomplete Rasengan. So the Fourth intended to add some type of nature to the Rasengan, but couldn't do it in the end before he died. Well, I suppose Yondaime did die young. But neither could Kakashi, which is also saying a lot.

Some readers might be thinking that the reiteration of the lesson and Kakashi's own demonstration of the Rasengan may be merely another attempt to drag the training arc out a little more, but I AM glad Kishimoto took the time to remind the readers of what exactly Naruto is trying to do here.

I mean, Kakashi's trying to emphasize just how difficult it is to merge an element with personal chakra in order to perform an amazing attack. It's a more difficult challenge than any Naruto's ever faced in the past, besides having to deal with being an orphan in a village where nearly everybody hated him (I suppose nothing could top that one). But if Yondaime himself couldn't upgrade the Rasengan - his own creation - with an elemental power, then Naruto is about to try to accomplish something truly extraordinary here. Something that not even Kakashi could do either (unless he learns by watching Naruto, of course! XD )

But if Kakashi is right about the Rasengan being the "highest possible level" of form manipulation possible, no wonder he said that Naruto had the potential to out-do a certain legend...!


You CAN be God too, kid! ^_^

8. Surpassing the Fourth! I've just gotta say... Kakashi is the man. That was probably the first time anybody had ever told Naruto that he could top the greatest hero of the village. What a show of confidence. That Kakashi would go from having so little faith in Naruto to being such a big supporter just shows just how quick he is on picking up on just how much potential Naruto has! And after only watching him for a couple of days in training, too. Looks like Kakashi is becoming a better sensei for Naruto than he has been in the past.

Well, finally, Naruto can feel that Kakashi has recognized him. That's something right there. I'll bet you anything that Naruto will think back to that moment quite often as another hallmark moment. (Expect at least one flashback back to that panel sometimes in the next five or ten chapters...)


"...but Kakashi sempai, I thought I was the only Kohai you recognized ;_;"

Also, that was some pretty good writing here that Kishimoto would use the funny scene between Yamato and Kakashi in the Ichiraku to set up this moment. Just in case the readers questioned his sincerity, Kishimoto had Kakashi taking Yamato aside and revealing to him (and all us readers listening on) that he was indeed being serious for a change. That only served to make the scene even more poignant. Very nice indeed.


With friends like that, who needs enemies...?

9. Unappreciated. Interestingly enough, we got a glimpse at Kakuzu getting some advice from his bondsman about Hidan. Mainly, he's being encouraged to dump his partner in crime. Kakuzu sure didn't seem to disagree, which is interesting as Hidan had been pretty much the one achieving their objectives: first capturing the Nibi, and then beating Chiriku. That's some appreciation... Kakuzu must have been angrier than we all thought that Hidan never once helped him carry the body. Heh, they both really are bastards...

This makes me believe that Kakuzu won't take part in the battle once they run into a team as strong as Asuma's. Hidan may find himself on his own very soon. I had thought before that Kishimoto was playing up their bickering as just an amusing part of the story, but it may actually have serious ramifications after all. Is Kakuzu THAT fed up with Hidan that he would just as soon throw him to the wolves as not? Probably...! Hidan better watch his back.

Sidenote: Somebody mentioned that it was surprising that Kakuzu had mentioned that they were going to hunt after another jinchuuriki so casually to the bondsman, since he was likely not part of their organization. Well... I kinda see the dude as another Tobi, before he was promoted to Akatsuki. They must have followers everywhere, and the bondsman is one of them.

Speaking of that mission to catch another jinchuuriki, must be Naruto, since they're in the Fire Country right now, and he's the "only one left?" Hmm...


Buddies Forever!

10. No Smoke In His Eyes...! Can't say that came as a surprise at all that Chiriku was a friend of Asuma's. He seemed obviously distressed over Chiriku's absence. The fact that Asuma considers their friendship comparable to Chouji and Shikamaru's, though, means that it was a even deeper bond than any of us probably thought. He's going to be pretty angry if Chiriku is really dead. Shikamaru will likely learn something new along the way, as well, if my hunch is right...

Something else - I thought it was rather weird that Asuma stops smoking whenever he was worried. Usually, it's the other way around; concern and stress leads to a few more packs per day! Guess Asuma has more discipline than most people, though. XD

RATING: 4 out of 5 stars. I almost gave this chapter a 5-star rating, and I would have if I had written the review immediately following reading the RAW. But that was just the Kakashi fan in me. In the end, although the funny scene, the lesson, the Rasengan demonstration, and the show of confidence were all great, the chapter still doesn't merit a 5-star rating based on its lack of action. Still a nice chapter however.

Predictions: A team most likely finally runs into Hidan and Kakuzu. It's about that time. I don't think it'll be Asuma's squad yet, however. We'll be seeing Naruto being frustrated and asking for a hint or something.

Credits: Many thanks to Yume's MQ Edited Manga! Brucelee's translation was also used as well. ( And Nihongaeri, thanks for your translation as well - it helped clarify some parts for me. )

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


Eeeh? I can't think of anything more! Comment away!
 

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