This chapter was certainly geared towards the long-time readers of Naruto, or in the very least the readers who show a particular interest in the extended lore of the Naruto Universe. We have the return of old enemies Zabuza and Haku, as well as a few other interesting surprises.
Ahh, sweet nostalgia
We can see now that Kabuto’s reasons for attacking the otherwise uninteresting and totally untalented kunoichi Mitarashi Anko was simply so that he could extract from her more of his former masters impressive chakra in order to strengthen the Edo Tensei. Quite frankly I have to say that as far as talent and “genius” goes in this series Orochimaru continues to impress me to this very day, more so than even Itachi or Kakashi. When it has been several months after a character’s “official” death and that character’s deeds are still being revealed as extraordinary and groundbreaking, that is something special. When even death does nothing to stem the tide of a character’s influence on the happenings of the present truly, truly that character is something amazing! Oro’s body of work stands as a testament to his abilities which prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was and still is a consummate Shinobi genius, regardless of his ethics or beliefs. Kabuto’s totally riding his coattails though -_-#.
Damn, Akno got KabutOWNED!
I’m keeping my eye on you Hizashi Hyuga…
Now, I liked this chapter because personally it brought me full circle. What with seeing Haku and Zabuza reunited-and it feels so GOOD-so to speak, and then witnessing them perform exceptionally even in today’s world of space-time altering jutsus and DBZ-level techniques. It’s gonna be quite a shame-though, in Zabuza’s case fitting, poetic even- to see them turned into mindless tools of killing.
Bitches don’t know ’bout my special ninja skills yo, SLASH!
Haku is as gentle as I remember him. Nice.
The pic that spawned a thousand yaoi slashfics…
Time for round two Kakashi…
Isn’t this what you wanted Zabuza?
It was also a treat to see more of the ninja world opening up to reveal such interesting characters as Gari, a former team mate of Deidara’s and member of Al Quaeda the “Explosion Corps”, and the inexplicable scorch element user from Sand.
They don’t look so tough…
A team of immortal kekkei genkai users is formidable enough even with experienced ninjas like Guy and Kakashi on the team but where kabuto truly shows his-or is it oro’s-tactical genius is when he swiftly summons up some extra muscle in the form of none other than the legendary Seven Swordsmen of the Mist!
It’s the Wu-Tang clan of the Ninja world!
I was very very pleased with this turn of events because as a Naruto fanboy, my incessant desire to nitpick and obsess over small details and inconsistencies has made the dearth of information on the Seven Swordsmen a thorn in my side from the moment I first heard of them several years ago when I started following the manga. Excellent work Kishimoto-sensei! Now all you need to do is tie up the loose end of Sharingan supposedly being a genetic offshoot of the Byakugan even though it has been explicitly stated that the Sharingan seems to precede the very leaf Village itself long before the first appearance of any Hyuga clan members. CONTINUITY RAGE!!! But I digress, awesome chapter with a nice lead in to what is shaping up to be an epic battle.
Aspire towards Nirvana, fellow manga readers! Until next time!
P.S. Jugo and Suigetsu pulled a Shawshank redemption on us and are off to get ice cream or go see a movie or some such unimportant nonsense. Whoopee -_-.
It’s been a long time coming but it looks like its finally arrived. Naruto has finally matured as both a character and as an entire series (at least in my mind) and has effectively moved past the awkward, “Dragonball” phase of its development. No more are the readers subject to a completely juvenile, dumb-but-lovable protagonists whose choices are as black and white as the art of the manga itself. Granted, a lot of the character traits that make Naruto Uzumaki distinctly Naruto Uzumaki are still present, but they are tempered now-if only a little bit-by his newly found sense of moderation. It is regrettable that it took Masashi Kishimoto upwards of 450 chapters to give us the kind of hero we’ve been waiting for since day one. Now, I’m all for coming-of-age stories and hot-blooded protagonists who gradually learn to control their impulses over time but pacing is key; quite frankly Naruto should have been a little less Son Goku and a little more Yoshimori Sumimura ^_^.
Anyway, what’s passed is past and right now the future looks bright. Hold your heads high fellow Narutards your hero can finally stand tall among all the other cookie cutter Shounen protagonists and he’s a step above the rest simply because he had to work so hard for so long just to get there *nice guy pose*.
Now, with my blogging spirit restored, let’s see if I can go all the way this time without falling into a crack in the earth’s crust and wallowing in uber laziness.
Like a good episode of Darker Than Black, some things are just best taken in pairs. For an auspicious occasion such as Kisame’s first real battle since chapter 257-258 this is most certainly appropriate.
Now as far as Akatsuki members go I have to say that Kisame has always been my favourite. I mean he’s so well-rounded; he’s dependable, self-assured, confident in his abilities, absolutely ruthless, frighteningly powerful and just incredibly interesting (to say nothing of the fact that he looks like the deranged love child of The Rock and Jaws :p). It’s just terribly unfortunate that he’s pitted against my favourite character to come out of Part II, the eight tails jinchuriki Killerbee (who makes me think of Blade if he were to let all of that sword swinging and back flipping get to his head and ACTUALLY became a ninja). But enough of this preamble there’s awesome ninja action to be getting to! Let’s GOOOOOOO!!!!!…….
AAAAAND look at Sakura being pissy and indignant for a couple pages -_- (sorry guys, the action is coming don’t worry). Neways, After Naruto’s very unambiguous declaration of ‘bitch be cool’-I’m paraphrasing of course-at the end of the last chapter Sakura offers her rebuttal.
Silly girl, Ninjas have no time for such trivial matters as (fake) confessions of undying love!
Now she sounds less like a girl confessing her feelings and more like an angry mother -_-
Whisker markings never looked so SERIOUS!
Naruto’s serious demeanor adds an interesting dynamic to this little scenario. We’ve all grown so accustomed to Naruto’s three emotional speeds: Battle-induced Anger, Training-induced Determination and Ass-induced Assness. Slowly but surely though, he’d actually been growing and developing as a character right before our eyes and very much under our-or at least my-nose. His stoicism, curt replies and incredible lucidity in this situation lends itself well to a description that I can only sum up as “refreshingly un-Narutoesqe”. Beautiful.
I've got important Ninja business to take care of now missy. So just run along.
So Sakura, her initial plan having failed terribly, wipes the egg off her face and makes a loaded statement that makes me worry more for her safety than Sasuke’s…
Just replace "Sasuke" with "trouble"....
FINALLY!!! What we all came here to see XD. So, the page opens on an image of a thoroughly pwned giant animal (which, we are informed by Bee’s singing coach is actually not a bear but a tanuki). And the action gets going right off the bat.
Singer, Warrior, Zoologist. Sabuchan-sensei is a man for all seasons!
So it seems the pen/pencil truly IS mightier than the sword...
Just when you thought samehada wasn't cheap enough it reveals another useful ability: It stretches!!!
LOL @ Bee's puns ^.^
Just when you thought it was going to be a typical ninja dodge-fest Kisame surprises everyone by taking Bee’s thrown sword to his shoulder and blocking his rear attack; but for some strange reason Bee’s raiton attacks can’t seem to pierce him.
In a surprising show of manliness Kisame opts out of the use of Replacement jutsu in order to block Bee's strike. NICE!
As it turns out (as if you didn’t already know) Samehada has been absorbing Killerbee’s chakra at high speed and relatively close proximity. This is the first time in the series that Samehada’s chakra absorbing ability has been given this much attention. Quite frankly I’m impressed by this ability even more so than I was originally since I once believed that the blade had to make direct physical contact in order to absorb an opponent’s chakra.
Well, THIS is awkward....
So, abiding by the DBZ principal of building up energy stores and using it to transform, it only takes a few swigs of the hachibi’s chakra for Samehada to go Super Saiyan.
Kisame reveals his Shikai
Not wanting to be outdone, Killerbee enters his hachibi cloak and gets ready for action!
Is it just me or does Killerbee kinda look like Blade in the bottom left corner there?
GO IN FOR THE KILL!!!!
ONLY SIX!? I thought Gluttony was a character from FMA....
Samehada is a fierce beast with an insatiable appetite for chakra! This battle’s getting crazy! So you know what happens next right!? SEGUE!!!!
Looks like Ao is having a little "private time" ^_~.
So the manga cuts to recent body snatch victim Ao and we get to see the difficulties his new tenant Fu is having with the removal of an important piece of furniture…
Hmm, the Uchihas could've used something like that....
So what do you do when you can’t move the couch? Why you take the whole LIVING ROOM duh! Just hope the landlord doesn’t catch you before the job’s done…
Damn, is that how they do things in ANBU: Root? o.O
Ao tells it to him straight. If you miss, you die! NINJA!!!
Alright, now that that’s over with we can get back to the good stuff. Killerbee is reluctant to go all out on Kisame for fear of endangering the lives of his singing coach and his giant pet gerbil (though in reality he just doesn’t want to compromise his vacation. tsk tsk tsk, selfish selfish Bee, too bad your brother already knows you’re gone and is going to whup your ass with his one remaining arm). Bee decides to go into Gear 2nd hachibi cloak version 2 and procedds to give Kisame some emergency chest removal surgery.
What a hero! 'I can't go all out, people might get hurt.....also, my vacation will be over :p'
"Contained the hachibi's power in human form"!? can anyone say 'Perfect Jinchuriki'? XD
First Sasuke, now Kisame. Bee won't rest until every single member of Akatsuki has had a taste of the Lariat!
What should have been a OHK is pretty much nullified by Samehada’s ultra cheap but admittedly convenient ability to restore chakra and heal wounds. Basically, Kisame’s sword has mana burn AND auto-heal. HAX!!!!
"He did it"? Please, it's never that easy in Naruto...
Uh oh, either he's about to barf or everyone's in really big trouble...
Kisame is just about ready to put an end to this duel so he lays his cards on the table and plays Umi. BOOM All aqua type ninjas receive an attack bonus, then he synchro summons “Kisamehada”; his effect: to freak you the f*%$ out! (10 points to the person who catches the references in that last sentence XD).
Wow, Kisame throws up almost as much as Kate Moss...almost.
"THAT GROTESQUE FORM HAS NO WEAKNESSES!!" Way to embelish there Kishimoto -_-. Is that supposed to make his death seem like more of a surprise when it happens?
Just what could this possibly mean for our hero Killerbee? What will “BEE” his fate? What will “BEEcome” of him? Will he “Bee” left to “BEEmoan” the terrible fate that has “BEEfallen” him!? Sorry, his manner of speech is infectious (or should I say “INSECTious”? As in insect? As in….BEES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! XD).
Aspire towards Nirvana, fellow manga readers!
P.S. I was wondering about that line Killerbee made back on page 3 of chapter 471 (“Octopuses eat sharks”). So I did a little research and look what turned up.
Kisame's gonna kill you and make you into a Snuggie...
You have GOT to be kidding me! Are you telling me Masashi Kishimoto took an entire week off from the manga just to return with THIS!? First of all he completely forgoes the much-anticipated Kisame vs Killerbee fight (opting instead for a paltry, unsatisfying teaser on the first page wherein Kisame raises his sword to a BEAR!). Immediately following that disappointment is a quick check in with everyone’s favourite runaway Hokage, Danzou. Zetsu corpses abound as the Konoha cowards think of the best manner in which to deal with their Mist nin pursuer (who, incidentally, seems to get his hair cut at the same place Kisame does). Our valiant Kirigakure warrior, while hot on their trail, falls victim to one of Danzou’s escort’s traps in a matter of seconds however and is easily neutralized.
Is it just me, or does Torune remind you of Bato from GitS? O_O
lol ima take ur body now kay? :3
At this point I simply had to ask myself just WHAT THE HELL did he have the Byakugan for anyway!? Don’t worry about all the Main and Branch family Curse Seal stuff Hyuga clan, apparently people are just far too STUPID to use your eyes properly anyway! >:-O. So now that that loose plot thread has been tied up, the manga then cuts abruptly to the Hokage conference where they spend a couple of pages trying to decide on a leader for the ‘New World shinobi Alliance’, ultimately settling on the Zetsu-choking, Hole-in-wall punching, Super Saiyan transforming, wrestling move doing, Sasuke-owning Raikage because he’s the only man badass enough to lead a clip that rolls that deep. Of course who really wants to say ‘no’ to a man willing to cut off his own arm just to win a fight? I don’t want to get a Raiger Bomb, do you!? THEN ELECT THAT MOTHERF*CKA!!! Fitting indeed that a black man should lead the ‘NW(s)A’ desho?
Just like in Pokemon, in the Ninja world Rock is quite resistant to Lightning
Ten pages in-though really nine and a half but hey who’s counting….BESIDES EVERY FLICKING FAN WONDERING JUST WHAT THE HELL IS SUPPOSED TO FILL UP THE REMAINING PAGES!!-and we get right to the meat and potatoes of this week’s manga. This is what Kishimoto’s extra 7-day hiatus was all about. This is what he needed time off to get brewing in that magical little plot pot of his. This is what the fans waited an entire agonizing manga-less week to see!!!!………
You see the pink one? That's the plot slowly being stragled to death -_-...
That’s right, though the title of this week’s update should have totally given it away (to be quite honest I didn’t read it, so you can imagine my surprise), Sakura organized an entire team of Konoha shinobi to enter into the harsh territory of the land of Iron to tell Naruto that she “loves (him)” -_-…….
Sakura uses "Moe no jutsu"!!!
Lol @ Lee in the corner! Epic facepalm of heartbreak!
Lol, Kakashi's like 'Stand back Yamato, there are dangerous forces at work here....'
Sakura has a history of rabid fangirlism that negates just about everything she just said -_-
If the whole 'touching moment in the snow' thing seems familiar it's because it's been done A BAJILLION times in Kanon, Clannad, Little Busters and just about every single romantic visual novel in existence >:-0
Seriously!!?? You know, when she first mentioned having to talk to Naruto about two weeks back I was kind of expecting the exact opposite. I was hoping for a tearful Sakura telling Naruto how terrible she was for making suffer so much pain and emotional torment for an unrequited love. How selfish she was to make him promise to retrieve the object of her affections, his rival, for her because she herself was too weak. I thought she would fall to her knees and beg forgiveness for the senseless act of placing the burden of protecting the friendship of team 7 squarely on his shoulders. Heck, I was expecting her to just plain get a boot to the head for no apparent reason; that would have been fine with me. But no, she comes with this bogus “confession” straight out of the blue in a feeble attempt to get Naruto off of his path to destruction. Now, I will say that I understand her reasons for doing what she did, surely her heart was in the right place but she failed to understand that asking Naruto to “just forget about that promise (they) made” is tantamount to asking him to deny his very beliefs! His credo! His Ninja Way! There is no way an obvious lie like that is going to deter Naruto from his Nindo, added to the fact that he genuinely cared about Sasuke’s well being even before the issue of bringing him back for Sakura’s sake even became an issue. From the minute I saw those words I realized two things about the current state of the Naruto manga: 1) Sakura obviously has a very clear understanding of the gravity of the current situation and is willing to do what she can to mitigate it by ANY means necessary. 2) Confessions of love in this series hold absolutely no weight whatsoever! That’s the only way Hinata’s long overdue revealing of her feelings can be quelled, suppressed and ignored with such swiftness that one wonders if it ever even happened in the first place! That’s also the only way Kishimoto can get away with using such an important storytelling trope as a decoy; a means of subterfuge! Just another weapon in the ninja arsenal it seems -_-…
Serious Naruto is serious!
Whoo! I almost swooned there for a minute. Is this really the same guy who invented Sexy no Jutsu?
Whether or not Sakura was sincerely lying to herself about her inexplicable feelings for Sasuke or she was just telling a bold faced lie, nobody was having it (heck even Yamato knew something was fishy about it and he’s only been a part of the team since the Time Skip!). I mean, Naruto isn’t the sharpest kunai in the pouch, but even HE can’t be expected to swallow that much tripe. I love the fact that from the very first moment you see his face in the manga his expression transforms subtly from one of mild shock and disbelief to one of calm, yet focused seriousness and stoic understanding. He knows what’s going on; with himself, with Sakura, with the very state of their entire convoluted relationship. He knows, and he’s ready to deal with whatever comes…
Aspire towards Nirvana, fellow manga readers!
P.S. THIS IS WHAT I EXPECT TO HAPPEN WHEN NARUTO GETS BACK TO KONOHA KISHIMOTO!!! PAY CLOSE ATTENTION!!!
A relatively short post today (partially because this chapter was lacking in discussion material but mainly because I’m far more interested in the post for the following chapter XD). So, let’s dispense with this thing quickly desho?
Walk in. Tell a story. Start a war. Leave. Damn, that guy is evil.
Madara leaves the Hokages to ponder his grim ultimatum. After unanimously deciding that they can’t trust Danzou as far as they can throw him-with the exception of the Raikage of course, I imagine he could toss his geriatric ass around as if it were a mere pebble-the council, or rather Gaara, decided to relay the message of the New World Shinobi Alliance to Konoha via “a Konoha shinobi whom [they] trust”. Now, when you mention trustworthy Konoha shinobi, only one name comes to mind; a true warrior of great skill and admirable rank, always consistent, very dutiful and loyal to a fault. You know him, you love him, he’s been there from the very beginning! I’m talking about the one and only………….…UMINO IRUKA!!! XD Nah I’m just kidding, who else but Hatake Kakashi (or as Gaara referred to him: “Sharingan no Kakashi”).
White Fang Jr.!!!!
Okay so that’s settled, now, how on earth does one fight against an angry Uchiha with a pet shop of dangerous biju at his command? Well our resident levitating senior citizen the Tsuchikage has an idea I think is most fitting of the crazy warmongering old fart. ‘I reckon we use them there jinchuriki we got and throw ‘em at the bad guys! Yup yup’ bellows the floating geriatric (I’m paraphrasing slightly of course but you get the gist ne?); well the once reticent Gaara once again holds his ground by voicing his refusal of this obviously reckless idea (you know, I am getting to like this guy more and more since the time skip ^.^).
this isn't Warcraft old man, you can't just toss your tanks out there at the front of the battlefield
I got a very Phoenix Wright feeling here....OBJECTION!!!
I love the look on Kankuro's and Temari's faces lol
With the approval of all of the other Kages, the Tsuchikage’s philistine plan was easily squelched; all problems taken care of right? WRONG! Timid, Seven Swordsman member Choujuro decides to meekly bring up the issue of one of his fellow members Kisame. Our shark-toothed peach boy proceeds to inform the members of the council of Kisame’s beast-like chakra levels (a fact which the audience has been well aware of for quite some time now) and how preventing him from getting to Killerbee would be their top priority. No problem, they have time right? CHIGAU!!!
Manly man tears...of manliness T_T
This is PRECISELY why rappers shouldn't sing
Cut to a non-descript forest. Bee stands before a mystical Enka master and his GIGANTIC BEAR (seriously, wtf?) training in the great ninja art of….singing the Japanese equivalent of Country Western music. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) his practice session is cut short as who should show up but Mr. Ghost Shark himself. Manga reader, I’d like you to meet my friend Cliff, Cliff Hanger. He’ll be taking your manga away now, kthnxbye.
Dude...sharks totally pwn bees any day of the week!
Now, I’d love to point out the arrival of Sakura and her team at Naruto’s location and the portentous significance of her arrival…but let’s just save all of that RAGEHATE enthusiasm for the next post okay?
Well, it seems that Sasuke’s little suicide mission to attack the Kage Symposium has finally come to an end and now that his babysitter has come to pick him up we are treated to yet another fine exposition chapter by none other than Undercover Good Boy himself, Uchiha Madara.
So before he begins his obligatory plan revealing speech Madara proceeds to very casually SUCK SASUKE INTO HIS FREAKING EYEBALL! Realizing that it’s very dark there in the space behind his mask he goes and picks up a startled Karin as well (because the Uchiha clan has to be repopulated one way or another right?).
HOLY CRAP MADARA JUST ATE SASUKE THROUGH HIS EYE SOCKET!!!
Karin gets sucked up too. More importantly though, is the tsuchikage FLOATING IN MIDAIR!?
Now the question on everybody’s mind is ‘Just what is this so-called Moon’s Eye plan anyway?’. Well ladies and gentlemen-as Madara himself so eloquently addressed the Kages-it’s quite simply the answer to all the world’s problems. A powerful, uber hax of a jutsu that will allow Madara to project his eye onto the FREAKING MOON and cast an infinitely powerful genjutsu (Mugen Tsukiyomi) over everyone on the planet; it’s like if Aizen and Lelouch teamed up, got their hands on the Antilife Equation, activated their powers and broadcast it from the top of the Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann in 1080p HD with surround sound while simultaneously handing out free t-shirts.
Sorry Byakugan, but you never stood a chance...
So just how does one go about pwning an entire planet? First we must trace it back to our good old friend the Rikudo Sennin: Father of Ninjutsu (aka Chuck Norris). Back in times of yore when ninjas didn’t have fancy technology such as surveillance cameras, refrigerators, tv, electronic scoreboards and the like (seriously though has anyone else noticed that in the show? I mean wtf!?) there was a great beast that ravaged the land. Now as we all know in Naruto (and in some cases, DBZ as well) the more tails you have the more powerful you are, naturally this “great beast” turned out to be the heretofore unknown Juubi, complete with a full set of ten tails!
"A fusion of all the nine tailed beasts"? Wouldn't that be 45 tails then? "Yonjuu-gobi"?
Like any good mangaka, Masashi Kishimoto borrows freely from the work of Akira Toriyama without so much a nod. It turns out that the juubi is a FUUUUUSION-HA! of all the other biju and was defeated via sealing method by Chuck Norris Rikudo himself. Then, just before he died, Rikudo separated the energy into seven mystical dragon balls nine powerful beasts and spread them across the land (the manga says he did this to SAVE the earth but to me this just seems like a way to more effectively divided the carnage across the globe @_@). Then, our super sage somehow manages to send the juubi’s body into orbit where it became the moon (so THAT’S where Sailor Moon gets her powers from!). Madara’s plan is to revive the juubi by gathering all of the tailed beasts into the Gedo Mazo Statue (which, inexplicably, is still active even after Nagato’s death) and then using it’s power to attain a super perfect Sharingan (because the Mangekyo just isn’t gay enough as it is already!!!). This plan, he believes, will bring about a new age, “A world without ill or strife.”.Absolute world peace huh? That doesn’t sound evil to me, I told you he was a good boy!
Really now Kishimoto-sensei, can you even call these people ninjas anymore?
Unity! That's something only a Good boy would want :-).
But, he’s still two biju short and they aren’t going to come easy (N.B. Gaara letting that ‘power of friendship’ shine through with his declaration of “I won’t let you take Uzumaki Naruto!” XD). Uh-oh Kages you got Madara angry, so you know what that means…WAR!!! that’s right, Uchiha Madara declares war against the ENTIRE NINJA WORLD with his fearsome army of a shark, a venus fly trap, three of Orochimaru’s rejected experiments and a confused emo kid; clearly the five nations are severely outmatched -_-.
Final thoughts: Madara obviously cares nothing for odds and will continue to sloppily toss his men at his opponents on the off chance of getting the last two pieces of his puzzle. He’s got his work cut out for him though if he wants to bag the two baddest jinchuriki on the planet! We got too many teaser fights for the past few chapters and with so many heavy hitters-and welcome returns in the case of Gaara-that were involved. I’m willing to wait it out for a few weeks if Kishimoto will use that time to craft a full length, satisfying battle.
My thoughts on the next chapter; we’ll probably have Naruto getting to the action late (like all true heroes) and finding out that he just missed Sasuke again (DARN! It’s like trying to catch an Abra in Red and Blue version!). Then a little chit chat about forming an alliance to combat Madara (at which point they might realize that Danzo’s head for the hills). I’m really interested though, in finding out exactly what Sakura has to say to Naruto when she gets there, I’m hoping for a serious, heartrending and clear let down that will pave the way for a perfect NaruxHina scenario XD!!!! Let the talking commence!!!