Gold Knight's Ten Comments (Naruto 330)

Gold Knight

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Well, about time! Only took, what, two years?

Sorry about the delay again - I've been fighting a fever for the last five days. But just in case anybody might be worrying about it, no, I'm not quitting Naruto Comments! ;)

Just a little heads up here, we're thinking about creating separate Reviews boards in the appropriate manga sections, so this area (GK's Comments) may not exist anymore next week. Instead, you'll probably be finding my reviews over at the Naruto section in an area that'll be called "Naruto Reviews." Likewise with Djudge's Comments being placed in a similar area the Bleach section. Just so you guys know. All the reviews are beginning to clutter up the Scrapbooks area, so it's probably for the best, and this way other fans might discover our reviews as well. This move will be made on the next RAW Day - which, by the way, happens to be our first year's anniversary here at Mangahelpers. Whee.

Oh, and in case you guys didn't know, we now have OP reviewers, too! Check out White Silver and Garaku's stuff sometimes.

Ok, onward to the chapter. Many thanks to all our translators here and also Fnuckale for cleaning the header at the top of this review. I'm using NBST's Edited Manga for this edition. They did a very impressive quick-release, even if it's still MQ.

Hope ya enjoy. Don't forget, though, I WAS sick while writing this, so I'll probably have to try to keep it short. Feel free to fill in any blanks for me ;)

* * * Gold Knight's Ten Comments on Naruto Chapter 330: Sad News...!!! * * *​


"Pops" Asuma and his kids.

1. Memento. Finally, a cover. First one since Chapter 322! Not that I minded the absence of portrait-style covers since then, but it was pretty out of character for Kishimoto to have gone that long without giving us one!

So, this week we get an old album-like photo of Team 10 from the old days. Pretty reminisicent of the old Team 7 photo that Sakura was mournfully looking at, too... and the Yondaime team photo that Kakashi had framed in his room. In all cases, the pictures have become exactly what they represented - a memory. Bittersweet memories.

I just have to wonder, though, whether Kishimoto had ever intended for Kakashi to die in similar fashion like Asuma, but that Kakashi's popularity had grown so big, that he felt forced to go with another character instead... oh well, food for thought.


Another Sarutobi goes down...

2. Another Failed Mission... Sometimes being a Hokage isn't all that, I guess. When people die on you, it's not going to be one of your finest days, that's for sure. The Godaime certainly didn't look happy at all here.

I found the opening panel of Old Sandaime's face on the mountain an interesting way to start the chapter. I think Asuma was expected to follow in his father's footsteps, but his life just didn't turn out that way. But he probably had a reputation similar to a prince's, so news of his death was pretty shocking to the whole village. Well, that and Asuma seemed like a very capable jounin...

And that stony face looked very much like Asuma's there, too... think that wasn't intentional?


I hope it doesn't involve any groping...

3. Maybe the King was a Queen...? Hmm. When did Asuma in his dying state ever say anything to the kids about Kurenai? The only time that he must have told Shikamaru was when he was whispering to him about the "King."

So I suppose it was Kurenai after all. If so, Shikamaru seemed too surprised at that, but I guess that could be easily explained in that he's not exactly the brightest bulb when it comes to romance.

But I had thought from the beginning that Asuma's King was Kurenai when he first mentioned it. Changed my mind later on, but should have just followed my gut instinct, huh.


One ultimate jutsu comin' up!

4. Gettin' There...! Well, guess I gotta pat myself on the back. I predicted about ten weeks in advance that the key to completing the ultimate jutsu would be to use a second bunshin, and looks like I was right. What I don't get though, is why Naruto never thought to do it on his own.

Is he THAT much of a dim bulb? He's more conscious of what his bunshins can do than everybody else around him, so he should have thought of that being a possibility from the start.

Oh well, at least he finally figured it out.


Iruka's gonna be so crushed.

This part made me chuckle a lot, incidentally.

Also makes me wonder if Kakashi might be reading too many romance novels lately if he's starting to talk like that, but I think he was just overly excited about the progress of his student. I don't think he ever quite figured out how the heck Naruto learned to do the Rasengan so early until now.


Shock! Disbelief! Say What???

5. Ill Tidings...! About time news of Asuma's death finally hit Konohagakure. The reactions of Naruto and Kakashi was exactly how I'd imagined it, too. This is the part I've been waiting for - to see how the village would react.


Yup... there was definitely something.

I actually kind of expected Kurenai to take it calmly, because after all, wasn't the motto of the ninja to never show any emotion? But looks like Kurenai really had something going with Asuma, because she collapsed and cried into Shikamaru's arms. Poor girl!

This is the second time we've had this happen in the series where a girlfriend suddenly lost her boyfriend. The first was Yugao who lost Hayate, way back in Chapter 137. This time, though, we have more major characters in a similar circumstance - Kurenai and Asuma. So will we see more as a result?

So far it seems just as abrupt as the Yugao situation. We never did see Yugao again after Sandaime's funeral. We didn't get to hear what Kurenai said (though it's obvious she cried), or say anything to make us think she'll be in the next storyarc in a big way. I'm still hoping that Kishimoto does involve Kurenai more at some point, though.


It's a solemn day.

6. Another Funeral...! This time, it's for the son. Just as many people seemed to show up for this procession as they did for the Third Hokage, though. But I wonder how many of these guys were from the Sarutobi clan.

I somewhat wish there'd be some kind of speech about the shinobi's achievements when they do these funerals, though. But guess that's not their custom.


Well, that's settled, at least.

We DID learn one thing from this event though... Konohamaru was Asuma's nephew, meaning that Asuma had a brother or sister. Could we be seeing the appearance of this sibling sometimes soon?

And hey, you gotta sympathize with Konohamaru here. It's not as shocking as losing an entire clan like Sasuke did, or as demoralizing as having no family like Naruto, but Konohamaru did just lose two very heroic figures from his family in the span of two years and a half. Must be an eye-opening experience for a kid who wants to be Hokage. I mean, if his grandfather and uncle could go down, then it just goes to show him that no matter how powerful he'll get, he'll eventually go out sometimes, too.

Well, not quite as dramatic a scene as when Naruto was asking these questions about death from Iruka back in chapter 139 at Old Sandaime's funeral, but I guess there's no need to rehash all that. This time, though, note that Naruto, instead of Iruka, was the one with his arm around Konohamaru. Heh.

Sidenote: And yes, Naruto's definitely looking more and more Yondaime-like.


Yay, now I can form my own clouds...!

7. Takin' After His Sensei... Remember when Kakashi shied from appearing at Sandaime's funeral? This time, it's Shikamaru. For the same reasons, I suspect! Kakashi felt guilty about always doing meaningless things back in the past, and Shikamaru probably didn't have any reason to feel differently, considering his usual lazy personality.

I've got to think Asuma's death was the biggest wake-up call that Shikamaru could have ever had. Once again, Shikamaru's abilities wasn't enough to save the day, as it wasn't when his team went up against Orochimaru's cronies in chasing after Sasuke. And if ASUMA himself could go down, then Shikamaru's dreams of having an easy life could just as easily be destroyed, too. And I think he finally realizes it now, that he's gotta do better.

As for Shikamaru's newly-developed smoking habit, ugh. There's absolutely no good reason for anybody to take up smoking, not even for sentimental purposes. What good is being sentimental if it'll kill you in the end? Shikamaru's too smart for that. This is one case where if Kishimoto takes any criticism, it's pretty darn well-deserving. Even if it is realistic, and shows that these kids are slowly becoming NOT kids anymore, it's not exactly good storytelling if it's going to influence kids to do the same thing in real life, and believe me, it will. Kids don't really need much influencing to start with to do stupid things like that in the first place, anyway.

(Yes, I am anti-smoking. I've grown up with two folks who've smoked in my face my entire life, and I'm probably going to die of lung cancer because of it someday :p )


Rooks suck!

8. Your Next Move! Looks to me like Shikamaru's planning his next move here. Asuma was the sacrifical pawn, and now Shikamaru's got to figure out a way to make sure his death wasn't meaningless. Or was he just reliving the scenario and seeing if there had been any way out of it? Probably didn't come to any really good conclusions.

But now that they know about Hidan and Kakuzu's abilities, thanks to Asuma's bravery, Shikamaru will definitely be better prepared to take them on the next time. So in that sense, his death wasn't meaningless - although if not for the reinforcements, it could have been, too...

Sidenote: Nice to see Shikamaru's dad is still alive and kickin'. He's probably my favorite paternal figure in the series.


I'm.. gonna... be... the... next... Asuma!!!

9. Getting Stronger! Ooo, Shikamaru's adding another move to his arsenal. Looks like Asuma's knuckle blades are going to live on in the series. And judging from all the tedious studying Shikamaru had to do at the library, looks like he must have been learning about wind manipulation and somehow did learn how to control it too.

About time, though. Shikamaru can't really get by with his shadows alone and depending on others to do the dirty job. Sometimes he'll have to do it himself. And he's got the brains to be able to do some nice jutsus, too, so why not?

It's scary when he's motivated. For his enemies, that is.

And something tells me that Shikamaru may still add a twist to these knuckle blades - a shadowy twist. ;)


Time to go...!

10. Team 10 Setting Out! Looks like we're going to get some serious Team 10 action soon, doesn't it? I wonder if anybody will accompany them on the way - say, Kurenai, for instance. Guess we'll find out soon enough.

But personally, I think it's fine if it's just Team 10 that goes to take care of business. It'll be different, and I certainly hope they manage to take down one of the Akatsuki this time around.

RATING: 4 out of 5 stars. The only thing I obviously didn't like about this chapter was Shikamaru taking up smoking, otherwise I would have given it a 5. Still a very good chapter though and it's going to set up a Team 10 Gaiden it seems.

Predictions: A lot of Team 10 coming up.

Credits: Thanks to NBST, Fnuckale, Winterlion, and the rest of our translators.

Have fun discussing the chapter!


Homework... so troublesome!
Comment! ;)
 

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