MH Senpai伝説メンバー / Densetsu / Legendary Member
- Nov 16, 2005
- Reaction score
Shocked? In Disbelief? Read on!
Here you go, my thoughts on Naruto 327. Sorry about taking all day, but you'll have to excuse me for not getting it out sooner. There were some other things I wanted to do before finishing my review. Sleep being one. Very important.
Thanks to Pinoypride and Winterlion for getting their translations out this morning when there was nobody else around. And of course, to all the translations that came afterwards, and Fnuckale and Yume for their very nice effort at cleaning and typesetting the LQ RAW, which I'm using for this week's edition.
For the second week in a row, we have a Naruto chapter with a lot of action and little else, but there were still some interesting revelations. Hope you enjoy and feel free to give your own input on anything. Thanks for all your support.
* * * Gold Knight's Ten Comments on Naruto Chapter 327: Within Despair...! * * *
Not having a very good day.
1. No Chance. Well, I might just be stating the obvious here, but it's pretty apparent now just why Yugito and Chiriku had so much trouble with Hidan, despite all their powers and fame. There was absolutely no way for Asuma here to break the voodoo spell by himself - except, I believe, by disrupting the pentagram.
Disturbing scene to see the blood freely flowing down under Asuma's jacket as strong evidence that he did get injured by Hidan's "suicidal attack." And the look of hopelessness on Asuma's face as blood also gushed out of his mouth as well. Not a pleasant sight for Asuma's fans at all, I have to admit.
But at the same time, if I may act as the devil's advocate for a minute here - this scene was absolutely needed for story purposes to show just how terrible the Akatsuki can be.
Sure, Hidan and Kakuzu could have killed Kotetsu and Izumo instead. But so what? Nobody knows 'em that well. Asuma, on the other hand - next to Kakashi, he's widely recognized as being one of the best shinobi Konohagakure has to offer. So for him to go down here to Hidan, I believe, does legitimatize the menace of the Akatsuki organization.
This definitely raises the tension and intensity of the series from now on, even if Asuma may not be as fatally injured as we were led to believe he would be here. Just the sight of him with his life in their hands was enough...!
Uh-oh, that's some bad water...
2. What Next, Black Cats? I had to laugh when we got yet another scene of a character having a bad premonition here. Remember all these broken teacups at the beginning of Part 2? Tsunade winning the lottery? And even earlier than that, the big ol' crack appearing on Old Sandaime's face on the mountains.
And then all the foreshadowing concerning Asuma's possible demise before this mission even got started.
Kishimoto seems to have a thing for foreboding portents. How often does one even look at a flower closely enough to notice that the petal fell right off the stalk as if cut at the neck? Guess Kurenai really takes her gardening seriously.
Ahhh, I'm flying, I'm flying!
3. Ecstasy. Hm, not only does Hidan resemble a psychotic murderer, but he also acts like your typical hopeless pothead out on the streets! The deaths of Hidan's opponents seems to almost make him high while he's within that pentagram - see him shaking? - and he almost seems to be stoned from feeling whatever the pain of others has become to him. Pretty creepy.
At the same time, though, the seemingly masochistic jutsu may be why Hidan's immortal.
Reminds me a bit of Shishio, an antagonist in the manga Rurouni Kenshin, who went by the twisted philosophy that "the flesh of the weak is the food of the strong." Hidan's voodoo jutsu may allow the deaths of others to become, to Hidan, almost like medicine that would cure all his injuries as a result, even though he's inflicting the same wounds on himself. As a result of that possible transfiguration, Hidan may actually be able to survive any injury in any skirmish for a while... unless he hasn't killed anybody in a while, or to put it more specifically, sacrificed them.
Guess we won't find out until we see Hidan again, though. But more than ever now, I have to wonder about Hidan's hidden village. Was it a jutsu he picked up from others in his clan, or just something he developed on his own? I still believe that he may have destroyed his people and used them all as sacrifices. And that would be why Hidan's so dangerous now...
I'M GONNA HEADBUTT YOU TO DEATH!
4. Shikamaru's Outrage. I don't blame him for being pissed here. I wouldn't want to lose to these two guys either, after all these taunts and curses - especially from Hidan. But seeing Hidan do that to Asuma - ugh. I'd have been mad too if he had done that to Kakashi.
But at the same time, when was the last time we actually saw Shikamaru as angry as that before? He's always been calm and composed, even during the Pursuit of Sasuke arc. He's had his emotional moments, sure, such as when he cried while he made a vow to be flawless from now on.
But never has he been this mad before, to the point where he would toss all caution aside and just charge into the fray like a madman. Pretty Naruto-like. In a way, it's cool - since Shikamaru had always been so laid-back - to see the kid finally show that kind of passion and respect for his sensei.
Guess all these games of playing shogi, as well as being sensei and student, may have bonded the two more strongly than any of us may have realized.
Killin' two birds with one weird-ass jutsu!
5. Get Outta My Face, Kid! Not much to say here, except that we saw how strong Kakuzu was, that he could force Izumo off the ground with a disengaged hand, and effortlessly fling him at Shikamaru without even letting go of the throat. Ouch.
I wonder if he would be able to use his inner threads as a sort of multi-whip. Would also be appropriate considering he probably always has to whip Hidan into doing something...! Heh.
Make my day, punk.
6. The Cavalry Arrives...! Okay, that was very cool. I didn't expect reinforcements to come this soon, but guess they came faster than Izumo expected. Well, I had hoped that it would consist of other jounin. Got my wish there, although not the exact jounin I thought they might have been. But good to see Raidou again nevertheless.
And I actually think Raidou may be more popular after this one, 'cause seeing that steely gaze of his appear amidst all the crows flying around as he was preparing to strike Kakuzu with his black blade - that was majorly cool.
But where did all the birds come from...? Boy, was I ever surprised to find out...
ZOMG, It's Aoba!
I did take a double-look when the jounin revealed to be the one having summoned all these crows - or shadow crow bunshins - was none other but Yamashiro Aoba!
I didn't expect Kishimoto to have brought Aoba back in such a fashion, either. As any Narutard will tell you, Aoba's best known for having been the one to accidentally tell Sasuke that Itachi had visited Konohagakure. (He did have another scene in the anime where he did a Katon: Gōkakyū no Jutsu just like Sasuke did, but that wasn't in the manga.)
And also, at Naruto Forums, when I used to be a moderator there, I noticed that Aoba was often (sometimes jokingly, sometimes not) blamed by members for being the cause of everything bad that ever happened in the series!
In any case, I was glad to see Aoba finally in a heroic effort here, although some diehard fans may still think of it as an even worse premonition than the falling flower petals. Heh!
Chouji to the Rescue!
7. Team 10 Reunited! That scene of seeing Chouji lifting Asuma off the ground was pretty a powerful one to me. Very nicely drawn, with all the birds still flapping around. Of course, it ALSO struck me as, well... a very mournful sight.
Hopefully Kishimoto's still just teasing us and all, though.
As for Ino also being there, I'm sure that excited a lot of her fanboys but eh, she didn't do much of anything. Good to see Team 10 all together again, though.
Now, why the heck were they all there? Why did they accompany Raidou and Aoba? The only thing I can think of is that Asuma's team must have sent out their messages to the people they knew best, because they knew where they would be, that they would be available. That would have made for more speed than an attempt to contact one of the other searching teams which could be anywhere for all they knew.
Which might mean that Kotetsu and Izumo might have known Raidou and Aoba personally, too... well, since Raidou also worked directly for the Hokage, that made sense that Kotetsu and Izumo would know him well.
But Aoba? Hmmm. Oh well, just speculation but...
Crackhead Theory of the Week: Could it be possible that Aoba used to be on the same three-man team as Asuma when they were younger? They ARE the same age, thirty years old, so this might be possible... We've never seen Asuma and Aoba have any real conversations, but then again, we've barely seen the jounins. Genma is another guy who's also thirty years old now, too. Oh well, just throwing it out there for fun. ^^
Ohhh, some CPR from Ino...? I'm there!
8. Still Alive...! Okay, so Asuma's still breathing... surprisingly. Looks like Hidan didn't strike a vital point, maybe?
Too bad a medical ninja didn't come along, though. Shizune must have decided to take the day off...! I'm not sure carrying him to a hospital will be fast enough in time to be of any good, although I suppose Neji did get saved just in time. Guess it's better than nothing. At least Ino seems to have learned some medical ninjutsu. Hmm. Probably not as good as Sakura, though, but makes sense that a girl who would be around so many flowers on a daily basis would know something of it. She probably has some herbs on hand, too.
Still, they're on the outskirts of Konaha, right? They'll have to move quickly to get back to their village.
I'll be expecting a scene with Kurenai in Asuma's hospital room at some point, too. I also believe that this will trigger a mission for Team 7, too. We'll see.
Don't be so tongue-tied...
9. Get Over Here! Ohh. Nice scene here of the Akatsuki Leader telepathically telling Hidan and Kakuzu to get moving. The cityscape definitely has me thinking of the Cloud Country, mostly because all these machinations on the gigantic statue and the buildings around look like they would be puffing out steam.
In case you guys don't know, one of my earliest Crackhead Theories was that the Akatsuki Leader was one of the higher-ups of Kumogakure, the Hidden Village of Cloud. Hence the cloud designs on their dark cloaks.
Heh, and Hidan and Kakuzu were all ready to fight on, too. I'd love to see Shikamaru have a rematch with them both, though, at some point. But made perfect sense why the Akatsuki Leader would call them right now. We had just seen Tobi and Deidara defeat Sanbi a while ago, and would definitely have been weird if they hadn't all been there to take care of the beast when they had to do such a long ritual for Gaara. I wonder what happened to Yugito, as well... perhaps Raidou and Aoba will chase after them, and in the process be able to save her?
Will Hidan even leave? Doesn't he usually demand to chant at the end of every battle to his "god?" And he's usually lying on his pentagram, as well - was that just a pointless ceremony? Hm...
And if he's going to leave, then he's leaving his forehead protector and pendant, it seems. They may be able to do some research with these and find out what his hidden village was all about.
Sidenote: I already mentioned this in the Discussion thread. I don't know about y'all, but for me, the sight of the Akatsuki Leader sitting on a gigantic tongue certainly seemed disturbing!!! O_O Ah, well. Guess Kishimoto was having a little fun there... and it didn't take away from the ominious atmosphere any. XD
10. The Akatsuki Leader...?! After seeing him smirk here, I'm getting a strong feeling right now that we'll be seeing him appear very soon, within the next five chapters at least. That'll be awesome.
We did get a glimpse of part of his face here, at least. He obviously wasn't a hologram here. And I'm assuming it IS the Akatsuki Leader, because he spoke with authority, and his hair had that tell-tale outline on the previous page. So what's up with the "beads" (?) on his nose? I always assumed that Kishimoto would probably do something with his face since he's hidden it for so long, and looks like that's going to be the case. He might be very weird-looking for all we know...
And I already think he's going to be quite a character. He seems to be the only one in the whole Akatsuki organization that's able to deal with everybody else and easily order them all around, and that's quite an accomplishment. And he seems to have a twisted sense of humor, too, at times.
RATING: 4 out of 5 stars. Although Asuma's defeat was sobering, like I said, it was necessary to raise the stakes for the rest of the storyarc. I liked the rescue operation and the glimpse we got of the Akatsuki Leader. That all raised the excitement quite a bit. The only thing missing was perhaps Kishimoto may have overdid it with Shikamaru's reaction and used that to drag out the chapter a little bit. Also, I was somewhat disappointed that we didn't get to see any more from Kakuzu, but at least we know that they were definitely tough enough to take down Asuma, even with help.
Predictions: Probably will see Asuma in the hospital next chapter, and Kurenai fretting. I think Raidou and Aoba will be trying to chase down the duo. Kakashi or Yamato will probably learn of the news at some point. I think Tsunade will probably call Naruto for another mission.
Credits: Fnuckale and Yume did a great job with what was a very poor LQ Raw. Thanks to all the translators here, too.
Hope you enjoyed, and looking forward to seeing what you think!
What is this, an Alfred Hitchcock movie!??