MH Senpai伝説メンバー / Densetsu / Legendary Member
- Nov 16, 2005
- Reaction score
Always knew Sasuke had something up his sleeves...!
Hey guys! Long time we've gone without a full GK review huh? Five weeks, yikes! I had planned to do one with Chapter 350 last week, but that one didn't quite meet my expectations of having much to talk about. This one did, so huzzah and here goes. Unfortunately I might have to return to shorter reviews again for a while after this, but we'll see how it goes. Hope ya guys enjoy in the meanwhile!
Thanks to Grrblt for the RAW, Hisshouburaiken for the cool translation, and Des for the scan that I'm using for this (unusually early) review. Be sure to remember to support your favorite translators and Manga Editors by thanking them. We seem to be getting some new ones lately, and you can keep 'em around that way. Okay, I'm sure you don't want too much of a prelude to this thing, so we'll get right with it.
Looking forward to reading your replies, but keep in mind I might not have the time to answer everything, but I'll try. You should still get your thoughts out there anyway, since there are thousands of us Naruto fans out there who I'm sure will also want to know what YOU think about the chapter! What can it hurt, it's the internet! So don't be shy
* * * Gold Knight's Ten Comments on Naruto Chapter 351: A Man to Man Talk...! * * *
You were staring at my butt, weren't you?
You were staring at my butt, weren't you?
Cover Comments. Well, Karin's almost like a female bunshin of Sasuke here in the way she seemingly carries herself. Too bad her personality is pretty crummy so far... There have been plenty of comments about how she looks too much like Sasuke to be thought to be a suitable romantic interest for him. I actually don't have a problem with that. Although I do think the adage, "opposites attract" ring more true most of the time (and have seen it happen firsthand), it's true that people still fall in love with others who remind them of themselves. It's called narcissism. So I don't see it as a bad thing, but as I said, I'm not too fond of the character at all right now. But I'm not of Sasuke, either, so maybe it shouldn't come as any surprise...
She does still have some promise, though. At least from what Kishimoto wrote on the side - that because she was chosen by Sasuke, that she must have been one of the strongest kunoichi around. Note that it said "strongest," not most "useful." That seems to imply that she DOES have extensive combat experience, and she's not just some hollow "librarian fantasy" Kishimoto just conjured up right on the spot. Wonder if we'll see her in action any time soon, though...
Anyway, not a particularly great cover of Karin, bland composition and an uninspiring pose. I do expect better things of Kishimoto. He must have been feeling lazy, or maybe he doesn't like the character all that much himself - and he only created her because he felt that she was a necessary ingredient to Sasuke's story...?
Yeah, what's a little more blood on my sword...?
1. No Mercy For You, Fool! So Suigetsu obviously isn't a boy scout like Sasuke (never thought I'd say that) in killing an injured, helpless prisoner just because he annoyed him. If he's from the Mist like most of us readers think, this shouldn't really come as any surprise, though.
I mean, if you think about it, eyebrow-less wonder Momochi Zabuza, also of the Mist, was pretty much the same way as a result of his bloody childhood... killing all the graduate Academy students in his class must have been pretty intense, right? So he went on to become a professional assassin.
Granted, that little horrifying local custom was put out of practice later on, but they probably only stopped it because they were losing too many shinobi and the whole idea became rather counterproductive for them (duh, no wonder they weren't the strongest of the Five Lands, they obviously weren't very bright, huh?)
But, anyway, since these islanders even approved of such a gruesome ritual before, the Mist probably don't have any qualms about killing. So far, out of all the Mist we've met, only Haku wasn't that fond of murder, but he was probably the exception to the rule. Suigetsu looks to be much the same as Kisame and Zabuza at this point. In fact, he's pretty damn similar to Kisame, except he's more of a pretty boy.
What interests me is that Suigetsu here is obviously not afraid to defy Sasuke, and this may end up making Sasuke regret taking him along later on. Could make for some interesting drama, to say the least.
I mean, personality conflicts? Dissension within the ranks? Fun, fun.... especially to see how Sasuke manages to keep them all together. I mean, it's not as though Suigetsu HAS to be with Sasuke particularly to accomplish his objectives, right?
Given what we just saw here, he might bail out on Team Sasuke sooner or later if he doesn't feel like working with them will help him meet his goals. In fact, he might be the trickiest one for Sasuke to handle compared to the other two - Karin obviously doesn't need much manipulation to do whatever he tells him to do, and Juugo looks to be likely hanging all his hopes for a cure to his problem on the dark-haired avenger.
So does Suigetsu have such a tough opponent that he can't hope to beat him without anybody else? Hmm.. maybe only if he's seeking to attempt a coup and assassinate the Mizukage, to do the exact same thing Zabuza once tried... now there's a thought to chew on, huhn...? Okay, moving on, now.
Neat! He can do self massages!
2. Lethal Body Parts!? Interesting paradox we've got here with Juugo - he's emotionally out of control right now, and yet he seems to have complete control over his physical body at the same time. We see here that in his "cursed" condition he obviously possesses the ability to shift and alter his body parts into weapons.
Kinda reminiscent of Kimimaro in a way, except he was only able to change his bone structure (though he was able to "bring out" his bones through his flesh).
With Juugo, though, he seems to be more of an all-around metamorph... he must be a real monster when fully activated. Makes you wanna see what he looks like in his CS2 stage, doesn't it! I get the feeling Kishimoto probably has something very cool in mind for his design.
A lot cooler than these rejects we saw Sasuke and Suigetsu mop up the floor with last chapter, anyway.
Now I know what a TV dinner feels like.
3. Fighting Fire with Fire...! Y'know, I think I got my wish, although not in the way I expected.
Last week I said that I hoped that Juugo would put a scare in Sasuke. Now, I don't think Sasuke would do partial CS2 on just anybody - he certainly didn't seem like he needed to against any of the CS2 rejects we saw last chapter - so I think he WAS a little bit caught off guard here.
I hope that was the case anyway. I don't want to see Sasuke rely on his CS2 every time he's in a fight with a tough opponent. In a way, that would be just like how Naruto used to ask the Kyuubi for help every time he was in trouble. Actually, that would be an interesting juxtaposition, though, if it was the case. After all, Naruto's obviously trying to cope without his inner demon these days. Would be ironic if Sasuke was beginning to embrace his own.
Well, the Uchihas ARE known for being copycats..
4. Oh No! Oh Yes! I think Juugo here was disgusted at first at the prospect of facing another "copy" of his cursed self, but then he immediately lit up after he realized Sasuke was tougher than most.
I guess even though he wants to kill somebody in his cursed condition, he's just as eager to be in a battle that promised to be fun. I think most likely he didn't consider many "copies" of himself to be actually strong at all - or maybe he took pity on them for not having as much control over their seals. Goes a long way in saying how powerful he must be, huh?
I actually wouldn't have even considered partial transformation to imply better control over the cursed seal if Juugo hadn't brought it up here. He obviously knows more about the "curse" than anybody else does, though, having been the apparent "father" of the condition.
Another thing that interested me here was also that Juugo had a previous experience, likely a fight, with Kimimaro. Maybe Orochimaru tested his Sound Five by pitting them all against Juugo.
In any case, Juugo didn't seem too displeased at thinking about a previous opponent, so that must mean that either that battle ended in a tie, or he was actually the victor. Or maybe neither, considering his true intentions. Hmm.
Dermatologists would love these guys...!
5. Lookin' Sexy...! Just a quick comment here on Juugo's look, now that we've finally got a clear look at him. I like that he's not such a pretty boy as he first appeared to be in the shadows - we already have enough pretty boys in Sasuke (and Suigetsu to a lesser extent). We need more variety, after all. His hair definitely looks fun to draw. I guess we won't know the fullness of his design until he puts on some clothes that doesn't make him look like a denizen of Alcatraz, though, but I like him so far. I like them all so far in terms of design, actually.
And it was cool as heck, I might add, to see Sasuke and Juugo staring at each other with their faces half-covered with their curse marks, too. Even though Sasuke was trying to be a peacemaker here, you could somewhat tell that he's trying to hold down his own burning desire to rip out Juugo's intensines. At least, that was how I imagined it, anyway.
Geez, that cursed seal might be even more trouble than the Kyuubi! Oh, another thing that popped to mind was what Kabuto said while observing Naruto's battle with his master - that it was more of a battle of monsters than ninja. Same thing here. Is this REALLY a manga about ninjas...? Not that I'm complaining, mind you. I think I prefer it this way, anyway, as I like monsters better in the first place, heh.
Look who decided to be a party pooper.
6. Sudden Interference...! Okay, I suppose it was too good to be true at this stage of the story. I can deal with the fact we didn't get to see an extended Sasuke-Juugo battle after all. At least we did get some sword-on-sword action this week, I suppose, so I won't complain. Looks like Kishimoto DID have a good reason to save that stuff after all. And now we know why Suigetsu felt like Zabuza's sword would come in handy against Juugo.
Although Suigetsu, when he fought Juugo before, apparently hadn't encountered him in that cursed state. (So how did he even know? Umm.) Also, I wonder how long back they fought - they both seem so young! Saifi brought up a good point last week; how come Juugo IS so young? I mean, Orochimaru had placed the cursed seal on Anko before he left Konohagakure - and that was quite a while ago. I wouldn't have thought Juugo would even have been born.
I hope that wasn't a continuity blooper by Kishimoto. I'd like to believe that the curse did keep his body young. So maybe he's much older than he looks, like Kakuzu. Anyway, I hope we're due for some flashbacks soon. Hope you don't think it too strange for me to say that, but I want to learn more about these guys' history with each other, that's for sure.
What a lout! Doesn't he know ladies come first?
7. Why Can't We all Just Be Friends...! Wow, just as 'Team Sasuke' is on the verge of becoming a four-man cell, we're already seeing them at each other's throats. Well, no wonder Suigetsu was so loath to be with these two in the first place.
I do like that Kishimoto didn't forget to have Suigetsu say a little something to Karin about the way she tricked him, though. And also, "words don't register with Juugo, you have to use force..." A pretty good way to explain why Juugo didn't even seem to hear what Sasuke was saying and was just lunging at him every second!
Pretty funny in a way to see Sasuke trying to be a "babysitter" of sorts. Well, peacemaker anyway. Unusual situation for him. I'm sure he didn't relish the idea of being with these three if that was the case, so he MUST have supreme confidence in all their abilities to put up with it.
Hilarious, aren't they?
8. Battle Crazed...! Wow, I can't help but think of Kenpachi and Ikkaku from Bleach when I see these guys delightedly laughing as they try to kill each other. If you don't read Bleach, let's just say these guys are enthusiasts when it comes to a little blood-splattering.
I also took some humor out of Sasuke and Karin's different reactions. Sasuke almost seemed distraught while Karin was cheering them on to kill each other.
Guess he didn't find them funny.
9. A Different Approach...! And now we come to the "big scene" of the chapter, Sasuke turning deadly serious and deciding, "well, if asking nicely won't work, I'll just have to scare the crap out of 'em instead." Quite a startling change of tone here, huh? This is where I think Sasuke might be a little messed up - he might want to avoid killing as many people as he likes, but he won't hesitate to outright murder his own comrades. (Maybe that's why he didn't mind working with these guys - he probably already thought that they were all deserving to die in the first place, for past crimes and so on.)
Not saying I didn't like this scene. It was bad-ass - and Sasuke's sudden threat definitely had it desired dramatic effect, not just on Suigetsu and Juugo here - which was believable - but also on the readers, too. I literally felt chilled when I read these words. Since I thought that Kishimoto was trying to completely redeem Sasuke so that we would think that he's completely on the side of good again, this was especially unexpected to see. Very nicely done, even if it was just a bluff.
For the first time in the series, also, we see Sasuke finally do one of Orochimaru's snake no jutsus (whatever you want to call them). Will we be soon seeing Sasuke summon Manda and standing atop his head, now? Also, I guess I stand corrected - I suppose it wasn't Orochimaru's serpentine body after all that allowed him be able to sprout these snakes at will. 'Cause, boy, these snakes here were HUGE. What kind of freaky jutsu is this though, anyway, to be able to conjure snakes out of, I guess, chakra? Weird, in a way. You'd think they'd need rods or staffs, like the "magicians" of ancient Egypt used. I sure hope these snakes aren't coming out of his armpits, 'cause man...
Some people are also comparing Sasuke's face here to Orochimaru's here. Well, initially when I saw the spoiler pics, I have to admit that I thought that it might have been a bit of an overreaction. But now after seeing the double-spread - especially with Sasuke and the snakes, and Suigetsu commenting on his "monstrous killing intent" - I can't help but feel like Kishimoto definitely meant for Sasuke to resemble Orochimaru here... at least a little. (See for yourself.)
Well, having Orochimaru apparently trapped in his soul coupled with the cursed seal might be having an influence on him, after all. Hmm. We'll have to see where this leads to.
P.S. Karin's reaction made me sick, on the other hand. Bleh, enough is enough when it comes to fangirlism. It's pretty obvious now that she IS plumb crazy about Sasuke, which in my opinion just makes her seem less interesting.
Sorry if I sound harsh, but I was probably expecting too much there - if there's one serious weakness Kishimoto has in writing at times, it's young female characters. He seems to be better at writing older women (Tsunade and Chiyo-baasma) though, for some reason. He's getting better with Sakura, but he doesn't really do much with Ino, Ten-Ten, Hinata, Temari and the rest anymore. Already he's made Suigetsu and Juugo much more interesting than Karin. That's a shame.
Lock me up and throw away the key!
10. Unwilling Aggressor..!! Found it kinda funny at first that Sasuke and Suigetsu thought at first that the reason Juugo fled was largely due to Sasuke's "killing intent."
Anyway, I was right in guessing Juugo'd be pretty gentle when his mind's back to normal. Cool to be right every now and then, heh. Although we already had hints of that when Karin explained his situation to Suigetsu in a recent chapter, so it really wasn't that hard to figure out, I suppose...
In a way, Juugo's not that far removed from, you know, a werewolf - guy might be a saint and all during the day, but at night, he turns into a foaming killer! Though I guess in this case, the moon won't cause the transformation, so there's the added danger of not knowing when he'll suddenly crack. That's going to be pretty interesting, and force Sasuke, Karin, and Suigetsu to all watch their backs, if they take him along with them. I also wonder if Sasuke will actually end up liking Juugo too, because he wasn't as much of a psycho as his reputation made him out to be. When he's not under the influence of the curse, anyway...
On the other hand, might be Suigetsu instead trying to convince Juugo to enjoy the killing... since he obviously doesn't seem to have a conscience himself.
I suppose I can understand why he came to Orochimaru for a cure, since as one of the three Sennin, he was obviously able to keep him under control and keep him from killing anybody. Even if Orochimaru mistreated him or experimented on him, at least he wouldn't be slaughtering somebody. I'm sort of surprised a kid in his situation didn't just commit suicide though (or maybe he couldn't.)
I bet he had some horrible experiences - probably killed his family, a best friend, a girlfriend or something...? What do you think?
RATING: 5 of 5 - I did enjoy this chapter very much. Had a very good dramatic moment that pretty much made the entire chapter work. I liked the idea of Juugo having a split personality, as well. A few more insights into Suigetsu's persona as well. We were already given hints that this team would have some rocky times, but to see it right off the bat just made reading about them more interesting. How will they actually work with each other, after all? Sasuke's got quite a challenge ahead of him - this is one situation he can't resolve with just his strength.
PREDICTIONS: Probably just Sasuke convincing Juugo that he'd help him find a cure as a trade for his assistance next chapter. The sneak preview of this chapter: "Itachi's Whereabouts" makes me think we could see the Akatsuki as well.
Let's hope so, I want to find out what they thought about losing Hidan and Kakuzu, especially. But we might just be getting Jiraiya's scouting reports on their activity, instead.
Hope next week will be fun again
To sum it up - Sasuke is a scary mofo, huh?
Got any comments of your own to add? Go ahead!