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 Naruto 494 review...

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Age : 29
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Location : somewhere....over the rainbow...
Join date : 2010-01-24

PostSubject: Naruto 494 review...   Thu May 13, 2010 4:47 pm

Hello, hello! Welcome to the weekly review of Naruto. Pretty good chapter presented to us by Kishimoto and delivered by Binktopia scanlation, via Mangastream. Impressive characters and original remake of the Jinchuuriki solitude theme and the art is solid as well.
Finally I got a review in time, but let's get to business and first thank the above mentioned people who provided this chapter.

Previously on Naruto:

Pursuing to control Kyuubi, Naruto asked for the help of their guide Motoi, a Kumo shinobi. This Motoi took Naruto to the Waterfall of Truth, and there Naruto engaged his dormant darkness, who presented himself as the cumulation of hatred and anger. Not been able to defeat the darkness, Naruto asked for Motoi's help once more, but Motoi refused.

Main focus:

From the title we understand immediately that the protagonists of this chapter will be Motoi and Killer Bee, or at least their relationshp will be presented. In last week's review I stated the reasons behind Motoi's assassination attempt might be similar to those of Iruka's circumstances and relationship to Kyuubi. As we know Iruka's parents were killed in the Kyuubi attack in Konoha, but he managed to overcome his resentment towards Naruto an innocent Jinchuuriki and built a wonderful relationship with the latter.

But as I hoped Kumo being a different village, it has different stories. The circumstances are the same, but the characters make it to be a different and original story.

Sad panel, and it shows the reason of why Motoi doesn't see it fit to communicate with Bee. The extensions of this are not revealed, yet, but it's a fact that Motoi's father was killed by Hachibi and this is the root of the problem.
This is where it feels like Iruka's situation. Parents killed by Bijuu starting resentment towards the Jinchuuriki, but this the only thing.
Let's compare the two situations:
    1. Iruka is older than Naruto, thus they weren't previous acquinttances, whereas Bee and Motoi were childhood friends, they probably trained together as shinobi and got to grew up together as children.

    2. Iruka as older and wiser than the rest learned to acknowledge Naruto as a shinobi, not as a container of something horrible, but Motoi only saw the Hachibi in Bee, after the latter became a Jinchuuriki.

This is where things turned badly, but even this situation is solved with brilliance. The first aspect is Bee's personality, who didn't let himself be influenced by the villagers hatred and continued to smile in every situation.
He is a strong character, and this differs a lot from both Gaara and Naruto.
Bee stands on the top of the ladder in terms of personality strength, though we can't ignore the others, either, since Naruto had no siblings at all, and no visible support for a long time, not to mention Gaara who was targeted by his own father.
Even so I think Bee still deserves to be on the top of the ladder.

And this is the panel that proves my thoughts. This is the moment when Motoi tried to kill Bee. To prove such ability and composure at such a young age, is very remarkable. With a calm and perfectly timed turn he knock the kunai out of Motoi's hand, and he smiles greeting the latter with his fist.
I wouldn't go back into this fist bump thing in detail, but for me this directs me towards the fact that, Naruto's and Bee's fist bump was just a simple salute, that's all, but it meant a sign of appreciation.

Back to the story, we can conclude that obviously Kumo is something different, and I'm glad that Kishi didn't transform this into a cliche.
The theme of Jinchuuriki solitude is not a cliche, because it was settled in the early phases of the manga that Jinchuuriki have a lonely life, and as with Suna, this time Kumo brings another point of view regarding this theme.
The theme of getting stronger and getting acknowledged by hard work is also slightly changed this time. Bee never showed weak points, he was proud to be a Jinchuuriki and he was talented. He quickly realized that pursuing hatred is wrong, therefore his relationship with Motoi is different from the ones we've seen until now:friends=>supposed enemies=>respecting each other. Though I'm sure from Bee's point of view the friendship still existed.

But this past recollection is not a simple tale of two friends. Kishimoto decided to show more, in fact these are the panels he began the chapter with. Motoi's dad was not fighting Hachibi by accident.
The circumstances:

Quite the panels, aren't they? A fierce battle ensues between The Third Raikage, who seems to be the current Raikage's father, the current Raikage and Hachibi. I didn't count the one who was stabbed by Hachibi, and that's unfortunately Motoi's father.

The explanations begins with a glimpse a bit more in the past, and we are told that Kumo was always afraid to lose their power, and they struggled to maintain themselves a powerful member of the 5 Great Nations.
Nibi is a mystery, but Motoi says that Kumo experimented with lots of Jinchuurikis for Hachibi, because the great power could've been used as an effective weapon against enemies.
Unfortunately, there was nobody, who could control Hachibi and after a certain time Hachibi broke loose and destroyed the village.
Therefore Raikage and a force of elite shinobi were always present and fought the beast until they managed to seal him back in a pot, similar to what we've been presented regarding Ichibi's past.
Kumo shows once again they are quite the force. To have a specialized team charged of defeating a Bijuu is quite something, and the first thing that popped in my mind was that famous assassin team, which supposedly cornered Nidaime and probably killed him. Kumo is an impressive force I must admit that.

The fight scenes are awesome, the panels are great, too bad they are part of a memory so they are gray. Nonetheless Raikage who looks like an Edo Tensei summon is in charge with the sealing, the others are supposed to hold Hachibi down. The current Raikage, Bee's brother is seen in his Lightning Armor, as he charges towards the Bijuu and manages to cut down a horn, which later is proven to be a permanent damage. The Kumo shinobi are holding the bijuu with chains, probably special chains, since I don't imagine regular ones doing the job. Hachibi is sealed, but in the process Motoi's father dies, and Motoi tells us that he is just a victime like many others, which means this circle of sealing Hachibi, making a host, fighting him, sealing him again was going for a long time.

There was something, though that got my attention. It's not really important for the plot and all, but still: Hachibi's horn. The horn doesn't disappear after the sealing, but it doesn't grow back either as we've seen. The tails regenerated that's okay, the tails are the trademark of each beast.
But if a Bijuu is a chakra monster and its power greatly increases regeneration I could assume his horn could've grown back. If limbs or other parts of the body except tails cannot be regenerated, why not just cut the legs? The chakra itself would be still a great boost for the Jinchuuriki. Whatever, just a thought...

The message:

Naruto should've learned a lot from this story. Some of the things mentioned here were applied by him as well, but this time he's confronted by a more complicated issue. This issue is forgiving and letting go in my opinion. Forgiving is the first, which requires the highest effort. This stage was already reached by Naruto after the fight with Pain. In that situation Naruto was confronted by the most difficult decision ever:avenging the death of his master, or celebrate his life, a life that seeked peace. He chose the latter, and together with Nagato the strove to accomplish Jiraiya's wish of breaking the chain of hatred.

But letting go is not that easy either. The negative emotions remained, the scars are not healed compeletely. We can sum this up by calling it Yami Naruto who emerged as separate entity during the short visit to the waterfall of truth.
He also made another appearance, after Motoi finished his story, and tried to diminish the positive message of the story, by whining that Naruto was used by Motoi to loosen up his burden.
Therefore Naruto leaves and meditates upon every aspect of the Jinchuuriki way of life he met until now. The conclusion is obvious and for now Naruto can't trust the villagers.
But I think this was more or less obvious by now. Naruto always fought for the loved ones, or the ones he lost. Of course every time something related to Konoha's spirit or Konoha's people was present. But Naruto never fought for the people, he fought for something more abstract, an idea, a way of ninja.

But this is a good sign. He starts to know himself better, he even acknowledges the hatred inside him, though he mentions that it's not conscious. Putting this together with Yami Naruto developing quite a separate mind, I think Kyuubi is imminent. There are high chances of Kyuubi manifesting itself and Naruto not being able to do a single thing. So I think in their next confrontation Naruto will be able to conquer his darkness and continue towards mastering Kyuubi.

The end of the chapter loosens up the atmosphere a bit. As the squid appears, not recognized again by Naruto, he takes Motoi hostage:blink. First obvious question is why did Motoi appear? I think it might be something related to Yami Naruto being wrong. Motoi didn't use Naruto, and he was heading over there, to assess the situation draw conclusions etc. I think this is the most likely scenario.
The loosening up comes with some comedic conversation between Naruto and Yamato. The faces and lines are great, some humor never hurts, but the morale sure rises a lot after this.

Motoi is rescued, but furthermore his relationship with Bee improves. He recognizes Bee as a man who saw through him the entire time, from the moment of the failed assassination. Naruto is witness of a great scene of friendship and more importantly he can see that letting go of the past is one step closer towards achieving peace with oneself and with others. I hope this moment will not be forgotten by Kishi, so I expect this fist bump or at least the scene refreshed when Naruto engages Yami Naruto again.
"The depths of Killer Bee's compassion forces Naruto to smile, too!"
I admit that I smiled as well, it seemed like a complete chapter, it almost had every element which makes a chapter in my eyes perfect. Certainly a good present, I think.

Quick summary/Opinions:

Indeed a good chapter. For those who aren't familiar with my criteria I'll quickly list them.
1. Character development
1.1. Relationships between characters
1.2. Behaving in certain situations
2. Plot development
3. Quality, detailed art
4. Story coherence, made possible by past recollections, short memories, reference to past events
5. Humor
6. Expanding the world, by introducing new techniques, new people or communities, or just present the mechanism of the world.

I think the first point is covered completely. Superb character development for Bee, and finally some progress for Naruto as well. The relationship of Motoi with Bee, and Bee's relatioship as a Jinchuuriki with other people, which was put in contrast to Gaara's and Naruto's circumstances is also integrates itself in the first point as well. Also this time I felt that the focus was equally granted for the protagonists of the chapter, so it's okay from this point of view as well.

I think this is the only shortcoming of this chapter. While the stage is set, for Kyuubi to pop out, for Kisame to appear and kidnap Motoi just as the latter became once again friends with Bee, or even for Naruto to finish the first step of his training, the plot is not moving forward at all. So while the pace of this chapter was okay, the overall pace is still slow.

The art also rocks this week. Even if the memories were drawn with gray, because they were a short trip to the past, not a long story like Nagato's for example, still the fighting scenes were great. The character designs were satisfying, current Raikage rocks, but Third Raikage is like an Edo Tensei summon, which is not that impressive. But even more is the fact that he can fight at such an old age, I mean I think the Edo Tensei(corpses) and Third Raikage(almost corpse) relation fits quite well.
Mustn't ignore the scenes where water is involved, the detail is incredible, and the funny moments were well drawn as well.

So humor is there, character development is there, but it's not enough to compensate for the lack of plot development.
As for points 4. and 6. it's obvious that both of them are satisfied, and it was a pleasure knowing Kumo in more detailed manner.
It's easy: 9/10.

Predictions/Want to happen:

I want plot development. Naruto could get one with his training at the waterfall for example, and I expect he completes it. Now Motoi's story and Bee's sudden appearance is not a coincidence. Of course this chapter focused on the relationship between the two and the correct attitude of a Jinchuuriki, I think this was a setup for Bee to get involved with Naruto's training personally. He might spare a clue, or he might just oversee Naruto's performance at the waterfall, because as I mentioned before, I think Kyuubi might appear just like that and take over Yami Naruto, and subsequently Naruto as well.
I don't know about plot twist or anything this time around, though the outside world could be shown, or at least Gai and Aoba, not forgetting Kisame or course.

This was it, I hoped you enjoyed it at least as much as you enjoyed the chapter. Please point out mistakes or observations, or just discuss to your heart's content. Thank you Binktopia and Mangastream!
Mata ne!
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