Gold Knight's Ten Comments (Naruto 335)

Gold Knight

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Time to bust some heads!

Yo! Guess what, I found a bit of time to do an early review for once. Hope you guys enjoy, although I don't plan on replying to anybody again until Monday at the soonest. That's when I'll be back to full activity.

Thanks to Touch for delivering the RAW to us once again (I may have to nickname him "Mailman" because he's as reliable as a good one...), Winny, NJT (Woah, that son of a gun is back to translating!), and Hisshou for the translations, and all the various Edited Mangas that come out for our enjoyment. I'll be using Hakabakashii's MQ Edited Manga for some of this one, but will also use the RAW because of the grays being particularly bad in some areas of the Edited Mangas. (No offense to anybody intended - I think it's actually just better to read the RAW in gray-scale format with a translation unless you know how to make your scan closer to a HQ... I've noticed that in most LQ-MQ Edited Mangas a lot of the art is lost in transition, and I don't like that.)

I'd also like to thank all the International Translators we have here who try to make the latest Naruto chapters more accessible to any non-English-reading fans. Boy, seems like we have an ever-growing list of new International Translators every month. Just today, for this new chapter, we had two German translations, two Swedish, two Spanish, one French, one Russian, one Portugese, and one Polish translation!

Pretty impressive to have such a variety of different countries represented here, so thanks for all your hard work, guys.

Hope you have fun with reading this week's Naruto Comments and feel free to discuss and comment. :)

* * * Gold Knight's Ten Comments on Naruto Chapter 335: The Terrible Secret! * * *


I'm never coming to another Akatsuki barbecue party again!

1. Tyger! Tyger! ...burning bright, in the forests of the night, what immortal hand or eye could frame thy fearful symmetry?

Seems like Kishimoto might've been a bit inspired by William Blake's poem in the opening act of this chapter, doesn't it? I mean, after all, we start out seeing Hidan, the self-named "immortal," slyly using Kakuzu's spreading inferno as an opportunity to strike out of the treetops with his scythe. All to try to draw blood from at least one of the dazed and distracted Leaf nins.

Good thing that Shikamaru's team had been lucky enough to have an accompanying silver-haired jounin who was more than capable of moving quick enough in order to deflect Hidan's attacks and keep the others safe, eh!

So, basically, seems as though whenever Kakuzu and Hidan "team up," though, Kakuzu provides the distraction so that Hidan can act as an efficient sniper.

I suppose that's why Ino considered their teamwork as "flawless", but I have to think that Hidan doesn't really have any more tricks up his sleeves after seeing this type of teamwork being their preference. It'd be pretty absurd if, say, Kakuzu was defeated later on and Hidan finally pulls out some jutsus of his own that we haven't seen before that would have helped him here.

Though, I suppose one can explain that away by saying that Hidan just wants to save his chakra so that he can do his "voodoo" whenever he can. But I'd think it would just be more efficient to chain together jutsus to create instant death rather than trying to strike at each shinobi individually and kill one after another. That'd get rather tedious after a while. I guess they're hoping that somebody will eventually stumble and get caught in one of Kakuzu's maelstroms, though, making their job all that much easier.


I know, you just want to tear his mask off, don't you?!

2. A Ripped Kakashi!? I didn't even think about it while reading the chapter the first two times, but once I got into some conversations with a few Naruto fangirls, I realized that to them a single rip of Kakashi's mask increased his sex appeal even more than if he had been stripped bare by Kakuzu! Talk about subtle fanservice!

Heh, and Kakuzu might not be finished tearing Kakashi's clothes up, with the way he's burning and slicing everything up. I predict at least a sleeve being torn off at some point. Stay tuned, all you drooling fangirls...!

I always knew Kakashi was a sexy devil, though...!


A very perceptive bunch, aren't they?

3. Analysis of Death. Whenever Shikamaru is involved, I understand that naturally some strategizing has to be involved, but sometimes Kishimoto can overdo the chatter.

I think that was the main problem that readers had with the Sakura-Chiyo-Sasori battle - there was too much prelude to the actual fighting. But that actually doesn't bother me quite as much as the fact that Sasori was just standing there, waiting for them to come to a nice and convenient conclusion of how to defeat him, which they eventually did (though not without surprises.)

Guess what? We see Kakuzu and Hidan doing the same thing here. You know, if I was a villain in Naruto, and I had the advantage, I wouldn't give my opponents a chance at all to regroup and discuss how to defeat me - especially if Shikamaru and Kakashi's involved!

Kakuzu and Hidan should have kept on attacking furiously. Besides which, Shikamaru could have explained in fewer words what was going on, especially since his teammates aren't that dumb themselves. I do feel like Kishimoto tends to draw out these conversations so that he's able to save more material for future chapters.


Kakuzu's family portraits must be something else...

4. Kakuzu's an Alien! Hey, he's not a normal human if he's able to have five hearts! Okay, just being silly here, don't mind me.

Guess everybody who theorized that Kakuzu could "move" his heart around in his body as to avoid Kakashi's Raikiri turned out to be correct - with an unexpected twist! Actually he had five hearts to control! Well, make that four, now... still, must be nice for him that he won't have to worry about going into cardiac arrest in his old age!

Although, I wonder if one decided to strike at the heart that stayed inside Kakuzu's body while the other hearts were "floating around" in their own corporal bodies, would that spell his defeat regardless? Probably not...

Unfortunately, you know, Kakuzu's not all that much different from the late Sasori. He's puppetting himself too, by using his "captured hearts" and the chakra stored in them in order to release elemental terrors. Reminds you a lot of Sasori's hitokugutsu, doesn't it? It's almost as if Kishimoto thought up Kakuzu while writing Sasori. At least Kakuzu has a different enough (and cool) design, I suppose.


Time for you to start respectin' your elders, Hidan!

5. Hidan, You're IT! Heh, with the sudden realization that they would have to go to a lot of trouble of defeating Kakuzu (by having to kill him "four times"), Team 10 plus Kakashi had to refocus once again on Hidan as their primary target.

So to recap: they've gone from Hidan (in the first battle) to Kakuzu (last couple of chapters) and back to Hidan (now) again. And nobody's still defeated yet.

How quickly a plan can fall apart when you don't know that much about your opponent, eh? I guess that's why all the ninja countries go to such trouble of making all these bingo books.


Whatever happened to the good ol' days where I bossed the guys around?

6. Here We Go Again... Seriously, if Kishimoto keeps up portraying his female characters as weak, I wouldn't be surprised if he gets attacked by feminists walking on the sidewalk one of these days.

You guys know what I mean, right? I mean, it's no secret that the poster girl for anxiety and uncertainty in probably all of manga is Hinata, and that still seems to be the case even now. But that's somewhat okay with me - since Hinata has always been that way, anyway, and her struggle to overcome her timidity is an interesting story that's obviously still in progress.

But what about the other gals? Yes, Sakura used to feel like she was useless to her team too, but she had already redeemed herself in the beginning of Part 2 by turning into a powerhouse. Good for her, right? And although I still feel Ten-Ten is the most underdeveloped character in the whole series, she did show a lot of confidence fighting against Kisame. Even against Temari, she felt like she had a chance.

So that leaves only Hinata as the sole insecure kunoichi now, right?

Guess not.

Ino, one of only two kunoichi in the whole series who I never felt like she had to prove anything (the other being Temari), actually seems to have regressed and started feeling sorry for herself. Judging by her reaction to Shikamaru's refusal of her using her Mind-Body Switch jutsu, anyway, she doesn't feel as useful and apparently she's taking it hard at the moment.

No wonder that she's now second fiddle to Shikamaru, after being once the proud leader (well, maybe "bossy princess" would be a more correct term) of Team 10.

Still, maybe it's just as well for story purposes. Ino has always been the strong one, and now Sakura has stepped into that role. Might make for a good dramatic storyline coming our way sometimes in the future.


Kakuzu: WTF!! They're plotting something!!! I know it!!!

7. A Hidden Trump Card? Okay, a few weeks ago, I neglected to mention the scene where Shikamaru gave Kakashi something before they went out on their mission. That was mostly because I didn't know what the object could be. I'll rectify that, since we're seeing Kakashi apparently give the object back to Shikamaru, and it's obviously going to be important to the outcome of this battle.

And, yup, I'm going to go with the public opinion here in my prediction. I think Kakashi was able to steal away some of Kakuzu's blood and contain it in order to turn the tables on Hidan if he works his "voodoo" again. Since Shikamaru decided to be the one to directly confront Hidan, I think this is exactly what's going on, yeah.


What's next? Shadow parachutes?

8. A Flexible Knight...!! Surprised I didn't think of it myself before, but if Shikamaru's able to injure his opponents with his "shadow tendrils," it makes perfect sense that he could use them as secondary "hands" to pick up objects and throw them, as he did with a chakra blade here! Shikamaru's going to have to really stock up on kunais now and become a male Ten-Ten! Heh.

Wonder if his shadows can also protect him, too - imagine Kakuzu, for example, throwing a kunai at Shikamaru as he's stuck in his "Kagemane" pose, and a shadow tendril reaching up and grabbing it in mid-air, and slinging it right back!

Though that'd probably take pretty precise control - but Shikamaru's probably been practicing for a while.


Gotcha, sucker...!

9. How is Hidan NOT Like Naruto? Think about what makes Naruto so formidable in battle.

His knack for unpredictability, right? That's where I think Hidan's similarity to Naruto ends (other than his cruelty, of course.)

I don't think Hidan's clever enough to come up with last-minute ideas in a battle. While escaping Shikamaru's shadows here, I couldn't help but think Hidan was neatly falling into a trap that was set up for him. And why? I think it's because Hidan's pretty predictable all things considered, and Shikamaru knew exactly what he was going to do.

Of course, just a matter of opinion.


Fooled twice? Shame on you...!

10. A Shadow KO! Good scene there at the end with Shikamaru coming out of nowhere and punching Hidan, essentially trapping him into his Kagemane no Jutsu with the contact by their shadows as well. Pretty clever art on Kishimoto's part, too. I liked it.

And also pretty satisfying to see Hidan be outwitted once again. He's not having a good day at all. Though, when you think about it, Shikamaru being physical in close-range combat - I don't blame Hidan for being surprised at all. We've never seen Shikamaru do that before ourselves, and I was also taken aback too.

Glad to see he doesn't depend on his shadows so much that he's been neglecting his taijutsu, heh.

RATING: 4 of 5 - I liked how Shikamaru took care of Hidan, but - and I know it's funny that I say this, after saying the last two chapters were mostly action and not a lot of story - but we could have used a little more meaningful action in this one. The explanation of Kakuzu's "hearts" took too long and I would have liked to see more developments, either action-wise or story-wise. Still, not a bad chapter at all - but Shikamaru's Kagemane is actually getting a little old for me now. Hopefully we'll see more from Chouji and Ino from here on.

Predictions: With Hidan nullified, we'll probably see Chouji and Kakashi work together to take care of at least one or two of Kakuzu's creatures. Somehow I don't think Ino is going to be involved in this battle too much until the end when she can afford to take a bit of a risk.

Credits: Thanks to Hakabakashii's MQ Edited Manga, Touch for the RAW, and our translators here again.


Hidan can hardly wait to find out what happens next...!
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