Gold Knight's Ten Comments (Naruto 341)

Gold Knight

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Play nice, kids!

Well, well. Not often I get to do a Comments so early in the week (maybe that'll give me some free time to review something else too.) This was a fairly quick Naruto chapter too - part of the reason I decided to do this one sooner rather than later. Not really much to say, but a fun chapter nevertheless and here goes anyhow.

Thanks to Mister9 for getting us the early MQ RAW and all our translators and Edited Manga groups for getting to work immediately. Thanks to auxiva who released a MQ/HQ version of the chapter just in time for this review. Also I'm grateful for Dynamic Dragon cleaning the colored doublespread, it makes for an awesome header. (I usually don't use covers - even colored ones - as the header, but this time I'll make an exception.)

Oh, and thanks to all that congratulated me for breaking the 10,000 post count xD Appreciate it, heh. I don't generally make a big deal of post count anymore, but I guess that's a big one, huh!

Feel free to comment on anything. ^^

* * * Gold Knight's Ten Comments on Naruto Chapter 341: The Results of the Training...!! * * *


Tender reunions between long-lost friends sure gives you a nice, fuzzy feeling on the inside, doesn't it?

1. Gods of Fury! Feels nice to start off commenting on a cover again, even though it's colored and I actually used it for my header as well (no better choice, really.) Though I do hope we'll be getting some black and white ones coming soon after this one, I'm sure our colorists are getting pretty restless! (But from the looks of the preview for next week, it's color again...!)

Well, anyway, Kishimoto decided to give us a sign of things still to come in the series, huh! I'm sure all Sasuke fans are thrilled with this colored doublespread - especially since he doesn't appear all that often anymore in the story, and we get his official colors, which aren't all that bad at all. I also don't really expect a meeting between these two to come anytime soon though, so it's just as well that Kishimoto gave us a little taste of it here to sate our appetite. One thing's for sure, though, Naruto is one step closer to Sasuke after this arc.

I personally liked the old-fashioned mythological references Kishimoto used to draw the background here in order to depict Sasuke as a "god of lightning" and Naruto as a "god of wind." Nice touch to put a little more intensity into their rivalry. It also gives us a little bit of an insight into Kishimoto's mind as far as what he compares Naruto and Sasuke to in the myths he obviously researches all the time - and it also clearly says that these two will probably be back to being on equal basis again whenever they meet again.

Any way you look at it, it's obvious that whenever they clash again, they'll be fighting with more than just the Rasengan and Chidori.


Man, Kakuzu's such a tako!

2. Kakuzu's Final Form...!? Man, how many kinds of transformations does Kakuzu have, eh? It's like the end of a Final Fantasy game, when the final villain shapeshifts about umpteen times before the hero finally knocks him out for good!

So here Kakuzu takes on the shape and form of almost a huge tarantula with a human body at the center. With eight tentacles looking like they now can crush opponents just as easily as capture them. So much for the theory last week that Kakuzu might not have been able to concentrate on using more than just one extended appendage at any one time.

I'm not sure another design for Kakuzu's already monstrous figure was necessary though, but I'm sure Kishimoto did it because he didn't want Kakuzu to look like he was just standing around waiting for Naruto to come and attack him again.

So what is up with all this black stuff coming out of his body? I'm thinking Kakuzu probably has a bloodline limit much like Kimimaro's, only this one deals with tendons rather than bones. And they can apparently regenerate themselves pretty easily, so he can extend them as far as he wants.

As for his zombie-like appearance, his original body have probably gone through several stages of decomposition as a result of his old age, so Kakuzu didn't see much reason not to experiment with it in order to allow easier passage for his "tendrils" in order to come out in a fight, as we're seeing here...!


Almost tripped himself there...!

3. Attention to Background Detail... Check! Not much to say about Naruto doing the Kagebunshin again, really. Seems to be his usual initative move before every attack now. But here, before we get to all the exciting action, I'd just like to point out that I really appreciated that Kishimoto remembered all the little pesky background details even as he's doing Naruto's exciting moment. Makes it all feel more realistic for me - even though it could be a detail that could have been easily overlooked.

Take, for instance, Yamato's wooden attack that's now lying on the ground, and you can see where it impaled the cliff where Kakuzu dodged it in a previous chapter. I probably would have forgotten all about that, but still, the fact that Naruto and his bunshins here are having to think about leaping over it in order to reach Kakuzu really strikes a chord of realism with me.

I've always liked mangas that paid attention to background details for that reason.


Able to leap annoying bunshins in a single bound...!

4. Jumpin' Jackrabbits! Okay, this time Kakuzu's strategy is to ignore the bunshins completely - by hurdling himself over them, no less! - and get to the Naruto with the RasenShuriken immediately. Well, that's what he should have done the last time, but I suppose his form wasn't really capable of "jumping" into the air as high as his current form seemed to be able to - hence the sudden transformation for this particular round.

But at the same time I can't help but wonder, were these Naruto bunshins REALLY that tough to avoid for an Akatsuki even without the usage of tentacles to propel himself up into the air to thirty feet above the ground? Hmpf...

Of course, that Kakuzu didn't prepare himself for such a strategy the last time seemed to show that he was clearly just overconfident and not expecting an attack from behind that time.


Lucky for Ino she's not the one being attacked...! Tentacles, ya know...!

5. Strikin' Hard. Even so, Kakuzu still seemed to be pretty full of himself again with this change of strategy. I mean, what's with his idea of "crushing" the RasenShuriken?

Wouldn't his primary goal technically be to get the hell away from it? I would have thought he'd have thought to use his masks in this instance to get rid of Naruto without putting him at risk whatsoever. Only reason I can think of that he didn't do that would be to make sure that he didn't somehow lose Naruto from his line of sight in a resulting cloud of evaporating smoke.


Fooled him once, shame on you... fool him twice, shame on him, eh?

6. Duped Again! Well, how about this? Naruto out-smarted Kakuzu - an Akatsuki - twice in a row! This time he mixed up his own original self with the incoming bunshins and had a decoy bunshin stay behind with an apparently fake RasenShuriken - to be locked in by Kakuzu, of course, and fool him in thinking it was the original that he was attacking! And then while he's caught off guard - yep, gotcha!

Seem familiar to you? Yeah, that's right - this should be an easy one for all you Narutards! Remember when Naruto used the exact same trick against Neji in the Chunnin Exams? Hey, if it works, why not use it again? Sometimes the oldest tricks in the book are the best ones!


ZAPPP!! How's that for a defibrillator!

7. Getting to the Heart of the Matter...! I'll just comment on the initial effect of the RasenShuriken here. Doesn't actually really seem to that different from a typical Rasengan, to be honest. Yes, we saw it sink into his backside, edges and all, but aside from that we didn't see much new... aside from the force of the impact itself, of course.

It does seem to have hit Kakuzu with a much greater force than Kabuto was by Naruto's Rasengan earlier in the series, at least.


How's that for going out with a bang?

8. Big Bang! We do have to remember that Naruto's RasenShuriken is still a only partially-complete jutsu, I guess. Either way, we did get more spectacular results this time. First we saw Kakuzu being violently propelled forward, and then the RasenShuriken inside his body seemed to collapse in on itself and blew up Kakuzu in even more grand fashion! Woo! So that's what caused the crater.

Definitely sweet to see Naruto finally hit him with it this time, and get to see everything that came with it in these eight pages! Even if it meant more action and less story this time around, but I didn't really mind. I had actually thought that we wouldn't get to see the actual after-effects until the next chapter, that Kishimoto would tease us with a point-blank RasenShuriken to Kakuzu's chest at the end of this one.

I'm glad that I was mistaken, though.


Well, it WAS bright...!

9. The Limits of Sharingan? One casual observation from this chapter that's sure to be discussed aplenty is Kakashi's thought on not being able to "see" the hits of the RasenShuriken with his special ability, that is, of course, the Sharingan. Meaning Naruto's jutsu must definitely have moved at blinding speed!

Does this mean that Sasuke will have a similar difficulty when facing off against Naruto now? One thing's for sure, now Naruto has a move that he can be able to catch Sasuke off guard without having to depend on the Kyuubi to increase his overall speed and strength anymore.


Consider yourself pwned, Kakuzu!

10. Sweet Victory...! Well, isn't Naruto satisfied and content now? He actually took an Akatsuki out - all by himself! It probably wouldn't have even mattered if Kakuzu had still had all his five hearts - it looks as though that move would have taken them all out. (Of course it would be a different story if Kakuzu hadn't kept all three hearts close at hand - too bad for him!) Anyway, I predicted this would happen - I'm really amazed that many readers were disappointed by Naruto "missing the mark" last chapter. I knew it was just going to lead to something like this. I think Naruto's proved himself, don't you?

So is Kakuzu dead? I tend to think so. We saw the two masks crumble into nothingness, so that means two hearts are most likely taken out. We saw Naruto's RasenShuriken strike to the very core of Kakuzu's body, where I assume his heart was. So I'm thinking the same happened to his last remaining heart. Yeah, he's dead.

Somewhat a shame, though. I had expected more of Kakuzu, but he seemed to be too rash in his actions, a little too slow to react, and not overly bright at all after all. Actually, at this point, I would rank Sasori as being stronger than either Kakuzu or Hidan - he certainly showed more toughness and wits than either of these two. No wonder Deidara had such respect for Sasori compared to the other Akatsuki. But for pure entertainment, these two were certainly fun to see work together. Well, too bad it's all over now.

What will the Akatsuki do now? They're not going to be too terribly pleased, now that Hidan and Kakuzu are both down. I'll be curious to find out what happens next for sure.

RATING: 4 of 5 - Although it was fun to see Naruto finally achieve victory, there was precious little to chew on in this chapter besides watching his jutsu in action. There wasn't much story and we saw an old trick at work again. We saw an almost anticlimatic end to an Akatsuki member, even though he clearly bared his fangs enough times already. So while it's still a cool chapter, short and sweet, just not enough new stuff to deserve a 5. Cool colored doublespread, though.

Predictions: Picking up the pieces? I'm sure we'll see a little reunion between Team 10 and Team 7. Probably a look at the Akatsuki to see what they're doing.


Don't talk with your mouth full!
Thoughts? Comment away!
 

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