sahugani's Naruto review 357-359

sahugani

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Sahugani’s Naruto Review 357-359


I'm tired and need a giggle

First of all I’d like to apologize. After only one review, I was forced to take a break first due to final exams and then to deal with various matters as I moved back home from college. Now that I’m back, I’m doing my most extensive reviewing session yet as I do 2 triple and 1 double review to make up for lost chapters. All pics in the review are from Bludshock Edited Mangas and the title pic is a piece from Pink-MaskedDKA over at deviantart, so go check out the rest of the gallery.

Due to the size of the review and time of night here, i didn't look through to check if i made mistakes in format or reasoning, so i went off on quite a few tangents

357: Deidara vs Sasuke

Kabuto’s Other Half


This reminds me of hand lotion commercials

A while back, I was asked what Kabuto meant when he said he had Orochimaru inside him. Did he mean Orochimaru’s flesh or his soul? From how he describes it in this chapter, it seems to be a little of both. From the sliced up remains of Orochimaru’s serpent body in the hideout, he retrieved some of it (flesh, blood, or DNA is left ambiguous) and integrated it into his own body. As Orochimaru’s body hopping technique was meant to morph the body of the new host into his own, when Kabuto injected the material into himself, it acted like an infection and started to spread its influence over his body. As Orochimaru’s mind was not transferred, Kabuto’s mind remained in charge of his body while the transformation occurred. This is very likely how Orochimaru looked under the bandages after each body transfer. In those cases though, he had simultaneously suppressed the victim’s will in a battle of minds like we saw in the inner world at the end of his fight with Sasuke. However, even though Kabuto avoided this part of the transformation, his body is physiologically becoming like Orochimaru’s and even without Orochimaru’s will, it is trying to take over all that Kabuto is. Unless Kabuto’s will can manage to survive and control Orochimaru’s body, he will become a clone of Orochimaru with all his power and personality but without a name or memory. That is my theory anyways. Believe it if you wish.

Intentions


why is it always about Sasuke?

Even though Kabuto’s goal with his newly developing body is to simply overcome the new influence within him and control it, his loyalty to Orochimaru has still not waned. Upon evading capture by Yamato’s team, he announces that he intends to come after both Naruto and Sasuke, but that Orochimaru’s killer takes priority. I must say that that last part disappointed me quite a bit. During the previous chapter, he had shown both disappointment at Naruto’s obsession with Sasuke and self-worth as he intended to surpass Orochimaru. He was on the road to becoming a new and unique villain in the story. I loved the idea of him reawakening Orochimaru’s power but making his actual intentions on how to use that power ambiguous. Now he is a recreation of Orochimaru in both power and obsession with Sasuke albeit with a different plan on what to do with him.

First Strike


he must be a zombie

We turn now to the start of the duel between Sasuke and Deidara. While Deidara talks enough for all three of his mouths trash talking his opponent, Sasuke shows that he has no time for chit chat and achieves a drawing slash that Deidara barely dodges. Tobi on the other hand was not so fast and was felled by Sasuke’s blow and then ignored so that Sasuke can ask the remaining opponent about his brother. To Sasuke’s surprise, Tobi gets up like nothing happened and regains his moronic demeanor. This brings into serious question exactly what Tobi is. He is such a random and mysterious character that the only theory people can latch onto is the Obito one, which is based solely on circumstantial evidence. We’ve seen people avoid damage by using clones, casting genjutsu, and simply being fast. We’ve even seen Hidan and Kakuzu take damage because of immortality and having replacement hearts. Tobi is something different as he is apparently completely unscarred. I’ll need to see more before I can effectively theorize about what he is.

Chakra Mastery


he's a genius for a reason

After his close call, Deidara resorts to using a large number of smaller bombs to overwhelm Sasuke. Unfortunately for him, Sasuke has developed yet another shape manipulation of his chidori (or at least his lightning chakra in general) and launches a slew of lightning chakra needles to counter every bomb with pinpoint precision. Sasuke has mastered shape manipulation to the point where he can charge his lightning chakra in his hand and mold it into basically any piercing shape. Unfortunately for Tobi, Sasuke pins those bombs all around the masked Akatsuki’s feet, which terrifies him. There are two somewhat odd occurrences here. First of all, Deidara shows restraint and not only holds back the explosion he loves to witness, but allows his concern (and slight annoyance) for Tobi distract him as Sasuke attacks from behind. I had always pictured the Akatsuki as being unfeeling towards eachother and none of them would be saddened in the least at the thought of even their partner being killed. Kishi seems to be trying to make Deidara out to be less cold than the other members (as is supported by the latest chapter as well) and making his partnership with Tobi to be one we will care about deeply later on down the road. The second oddity is that just after Tobi had received a fatal sword slash from Sasuke, he all of a sudden fears for his life from Deidara’s explosions. This could either show a limitation to his apparent invulnerability or is simply an example of Tobi being an idiot who simply forgets his powers or hates the thought of his senpai attacking his with real weapons.

Close Call


does anyone else have the voice of Caboose from RvB in their head when Tobi talks?

As previously mentioned, Deidara had been attacked from behind by Sasuke. Fortunately, he was fast enough to unload a bomb behind him at the last minute (that sounds kinda wrong). Despite Tobi’s premature mourning for his senpai, Deidara comes out alive. Until now, he had been holding back and by using only his lowest grade explosive, he was able to survive his own close range blast pretty much unscathed. He decides to pull out some stops and use a more powerful level of explosive, which takes the form of a giant dragon. This brings up the question of what grade of explosive he used against Gaara. The only explosive that size (and complexity we see in the next chapter) that we saw in that fight was the giant one he dropped on Sunagakure. Other than that it was all smaller bombs used strategically. You’d think that for fighting a jinchuriki, he’d have used more of his higher level stuff. However, as this question most likely won’t be answered, I might as well drop it and move on to the next chapter.

358: Cornered by C2

Preparations


that is a long ass tongue

Deidara starts off his attack plan using his C2 dragon by first having the beast spew a number of smaller explosives that are produced as his tail dwindles in size by a notch. Tobi is then told to do his part in the plan. More and more this pairing seems unusual among the Akatsuki. In the other pairings such as Itachi/Kisame and Deidara/Sasori, each member fought their own battles and didn’t really care how the other fared. Even in Hidan and Kakuzu’s pairing, when they weren’t fighting solo, they only used eachother as distractions as Hidan’s immortality made him able to stand in between Kakuzu and the opponent. In this pairing, we have already seen each member care for the other’s well being in some form and nowone is helping the other to set up an attack. I’m quite certain Sasori would not have helped Deidara the way Tobi willingly does. If one of these two dies (and I’ve got a guess as to which one), there will be no new partner for the surviving member. No one could replace the relationship between these two, and so the other will become a major character quite quickly afterwards.

Deidara’s Lead


nana nana na na! you cant touch me

After Sasuke decides to intervene with the duo’s preparations, Deidara gets a bit smarter and now that he has his C2 dragon, he quickly creates a seeking bomb to stop the fast approaching Sasuke. When the smoke clears, Deidara has risen to the sky atop his dragon and Tobi has disappeared from Sasuke’s sight. He attempts to reach Deidara with his lightning chakra sword, but both he and Deidara realize its limited reach at 5 meters. Deidara compliments his ability to manipulate the shape of the chidori into so many forms, but is at the same time mocking him for it not being enough. This solidly defines Sasuke as a non-long-range fighter. So far we have only seen two types of fighters who can be considered capable of long range combat outside of basic ninja training and summoning (also discounting the sound 4 girl’s genjustu). There are fighters like Deidara, Tenten, and Temari, whose entire styles revolve around long range ninjutsu and weapons. Since we have seen that Sasuke’s lightning chakra sword and needles have a very limited range, they cannot be considered true long range techniques. The other kind of long-range capable fighters are MS users. Both Kakashi and Itachi were able to fight from a distance using powerful dojutsu in various forms. Since Sasuke doesn’t seem to use dojutsu, it helps define the very nature of the MS as compared to the regular sharingan. The nature of the regular sharingan allows the user to see the true nature of things, thus allowing increased perception and understanding in battle and the ability to forcibly enter and manipulate inner worlds. The MS allows that ability to manipulate worlds to enter reality in the form of powerful ninjutsu or genjutsu. I believe I’ve strayed slightly off topic in my intention to make a point, so lets get back to the chapter.

The Trap is Sprung


now that's an explosion

Upon taking to the sky, Deidara sets his plan in motion by forcing Sasuke to move by use of dropping a bomb. In moving from his previous position to avoid the blast, Sasuke sets off a landmine-type bomb underground, which he avoids by entering cursed seal 2. apparently, the place to which Tobi had disappeared before was underground to place the multitude of smaller bombs underground. From this we can deduce that Tobi at least has some affinity with earth element jutsu as Kakashi has used the same technique before to move undetected beneath the ground. However, it still does not fit with any other pieces of his evidence, so we’ll stick to the fight instead of going off on a tangent like I love to do. Unless Sasuke’s wings can act practically as such, he’s pretty screwed. For someone who is unable to move freely in the air, this is a quite deadly setup. We have never really seen him use the wings for real flying and they don’t really look al that useful for the purpose. Unfortunately, the frames in this chapter leave it somewhat ambiguous as to whether or not he actually can use the wings for flight. If you want to believe he can or can’t, go ahead cause it doesn’t really make a difference for long.

One-Winged Angel


he needs Sephiroth's theme playing during his kick ass moments

The next bomb Deidara sends out appears unavoidable for Sasuke in the present situation and ends up both disarming him of his sword and obliterating his left wing. For the first time in quite a while, Sasuke is seemingly on the loosing side of the battle. With the relative ease in which he slew Orochimaru and stopped an enraged Juugo, Sasuke’s supremacy seemed to know no bounds. Now he has been grounded in a quite literal sense as proof that even he is not yet unrivaled like his brother. Itachi has been trapped by Jiraiya (though he escaped with amaterasu) but has never been actually suffered injury to his real body by anyone’s hand so far in the series. The fact that Sasuke has suffered an injury like losing a limb (even though it is an unnatural one) is a sign that he is not yet ready. However, even if he is not yet perfect, he is still good enough to get back up and try again in spite of his wound. In a move quite uncharacteristic of a battle of this caliber, Sasuke resorts to shuriken on strings, which are easily avoided by Deidara as he pulls out his next bomb.

He Flies Again


what is it with cutting of body parts in manga?

As this next bomb falls right toward Sasuke, he makes his way to his sword, which either by good chance or his own planning, had landed with the blade stuck in the ground. Using the sword’s hilt as a stepping stone, he leaps into the air so that he is now in range to use his lightning chakra sword on the C2 dragon. This can really be taken one of two ways. In the first scenario, the planting of the sword was intentional and when he was hit by the bomb that took his wing, he threw it there for the intended purpose of using it later and all other actions (including sacrificing his wing) were to distract Deidara from noticing it. .In this case, Sasuke has developed planning abilities along the lines of Shikamaru, though not to quite the same extent. The second scenario, which I believe to be true, is that the sword fell like that by chance and it was only after the explosion that he saw his opportunity. This situation can be explained by the same factors that he has relied on for a long time rather than introducing the idea of complex planning. His strength has always been adaptability. Once he sees a way to victory, he can instantly adapt his style to deal with it. Also even though he has shown much more personal innovation as opposed to copying with his sharingan post-timeskip, he still decided to ironically cripple Deidara’s style by cutting off a wing to mimic the way his wing had been taken. To me, the whole matter was quick thought vengeance as opposed to complex planning. The one aspect of Dedara’s fall I will attribute to calculated planning is the use of shuriken to pin Deidara to the falling dragon. Just like Naruto had displayed a growth in his ability to think ahead, Sasuke did too and knew enough not to let Deidara hop off his falling mount as it was an easily foreseeable escape. I just like to hold onto the idea that Kishi would rather intend to have each character maintain their unique qualities rather than start passing them off to others as they leave the story like Shikamaru did.

359: Those Eyes…!!

Sidestepped


i so wanna do that

After detaching the strings from the shuriken pinning Deidara, Sasuke grows snakes out of his shoulder to latch onto the nearest tree and pull him away from the upcoming blast. This may answer some questions about Sasuke and Orochimaru’s snake jutsus. For a while, they were thought to be small scale summons and we were just never shown the act of summoning. It was thought to be solved when Orochimaru’s true form was a large snake composed of smaller ones, which would simply branch out of him. Then it became confusing again when Sasuke pulled the same trick. Now that we actually get to see it occur with the flesh exposed while it’s happening, we should get a better idea. At least we know now that it is a jutsu as he had to use a hand seal for it. In any case, the ability to grow a snake of some length out of his shoulder is very cool.

Tobi’s Grief


...is that a rooster?

As Deidara falls to the ground and is engulfed in his own bomb’s explosive, Sasuke reverts out of his cursed seal and Tobi once again starts his own little eulogy for his presumed dead senpai. This time at least he has some evidence to go by as he sees Deidara’s Akatsuki robes flutter away. Luckily for Tobi, Deidara survived the blast and escaped on one of his clay birds. However, there is a deep significance in Deidara loosing his robes. In any of the Akatsuki fights, the moment they loose their robes is when they become true monsters. Sasori discarded his to reveal he was a puppet himself. Hidan’s were half-burned off by Asuma during the first seen instance of the voodoo doll technique. Kakuzu removed his when he released his elemental hearts. We can now likely expect to see the true monstrosity of Deidara’s power and if it is in following with the other Akatsuki fights, we can also expect some sort of physical transformation on his part.

Recruitment


it's one Akatsuki per one bijuu, but apparently it takes three to recruit a new guy

Now that he has experienced Sasuke’s wrath, Deidara starts remembering the first time he encountered the sharingan, which was when he was recruited by Itachi. According to his memory, he was approached by Itachi, Kisame, and Sasori, who offered him an explanation and invitation to Akatsuki. This must have been slightly after Orochimaru left the group as they are getting Sasori a new partner, but I can’t recall how many years ago that was. Before he was in Akatsuki, Deidara was a mercenary who sold his services to various terrorist organizations as an excuse to blow things up in his love of art. It is somewhat odd that Deidara is even given a history. We have been granted knowledge of the great earlier accomplishments of Kisame as one of the Seven Swordsmen, Kakuzu as having fought the First Hokage, and a good number of grand exploits about Sasori. The only other Akatsuki we’ve actually gotten a flashback for was Itachi and that was from Sasuke’s perspective, so we lack the whole story. As I said earlier, Kishi is trying to make us attached to this Akatsuki pair. We all already love Tobi’s quirky nature, but this is Kishi’s opportunity to make us feel for Deidara. Regardless of what a person’s intentions or demeanor is, by seeing where they started from their own perspective, we get a sense of their reasons and make us want to see what they will do to protect the values displayed in the flashback.

The Challenge


has he ever punched someone and bitten his tongue?

As we’ve known from the beginning of his character, Deidara has always been very proud of his “art.” We’ve also known that he likes to talk a lot. He begins to explain the true essence and beauty of his art to the three Akatsuki members who clearly do not give a damn what he has to say and are only there to add his skills to the organization. Eventually, all three get too annoyed to listen to anymore and Itachi decides to settle the matter quickly by challenging Deidara and wagering that if he wins, Deidara will join Akatsuki. This makes you wonder how the Akatsuki recruitment was for other members. Hidan could not have been easy to get. He stated himself that capturing these jinchuriki alive went against his religion’s teachings, so I’d guess that his recruitment went somewhat similarly to this one and was forced to partner with Kakuzu.

Make-Believe


Itachi is unhuman

After Deidara apparently pins Itachi, the tables suddenly turn as the sharingan’s genjutsu is revealed and Deidara is the one caught in his own trap. Itachi even goes as far as to insult Deidara by claiming that this genjutsu is true art as opposed to Deidara’s explosions. Deidara’s entire reason for staying with Akatsuki is to surpass Itachi, who insulted his art. From what I can tell, he considers the sharingan to be like a form of cheating. He considers his actual techniques to be far superior to both Itachi and Sasuke. His hatred for Itachi makes this current fight intriguing as it is a duel between two people who consider Itachi to be their greatest enemy. While it is quite clear that Sasuke will win, I can guess that Sasuke’s actions toward the end will differ greatly from the way his brother won. Even outside of the fact that Sasuke isn’t really the type to use genjutsu, he may show Deidara some respect in his final moments or keep him alive to question about Itachi.

Last Resort


this is the unhealthy way how he maintains his girlish figure

After looking into Sasuke’s sharingan and passing all of his hatred for Itachi onto the younger brother, Deidara resorts to drastic measures. He swallows a large lump of his clay (through his normal mouth) and vomits out a yet unseen creation that Tobi has labeled the C4 garuda. While we haven’t actually seen the new explosive form, we can make some inferences from the name. First of all, C4 as the ultimate form was a bit easy to predict as it is the name of the finalized version of a real life plastic explosive, which in itself has a major link to Deidara’s clay-based explosives. As for the name “garuda,” (a bird-like god in Hindu and Buddhist faiths) in keeping with both the name and Deidara’s love for clay birds, we can at least tell that it will be some avian-winged creature. As he has already used a multitude of regular birds and this is supposed to be something entirely different, it is likely not going to be just a bigger bird. Since, as I mentioned earlier, the loss of Akatsuki robes in the past has lead to the revealing of monsterous forms, I’d guess that this C4 clay will mold around him and change him physically into a new and more powerful form with bird wings. We’ll see next week.

Overall

My first mega-review is done. I’ll keep this brief cause I’m a little overloaded with Naruto at the moment and tomorrow I get to do the same thing for Bleach and One Piece, so sleep is important. The biggest thing for me regarding these chapters is that I like how Kishi is getting us more involved with the Tobi/Deidara pair. He wants us to see them as dynamic characters in their own right and not just as kick ass enemies that must be defeated like the previously beaten Akatsuki seemed to be. As it doesn’t look good for Deidara at this point, I’d love for Kishi to carry on this way for Tobi as he is both so likable and so mysterious.
 

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