Tag Archives: Sasuke

Naruto 648 – Fighting Dreamers

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Naruto 648

So Naruto’s having its swan song moment and boy is that bird singing up a (Ninja)storm. Since the start of the ninja war, thanks to the pressing threat of total global euthanasia via genjutsu forcing all the nations to come together and the ever-convenient plot device jutsu known as Edo-Tensei. This arc of the manga has been rife with flashbacks, resolutions, explanations and all other manner of red flags that signal the oncoming end of a series and despite a glaring lack of a certain Ero Sennin, I can certainly say that Masashi Kishimoto is doing a decent job of tying things up. This chapter is no exception, starting with Naruto and Sasuke’s initiation of their final assault on Nina-cum-Yggdrasil final boss Obito juxtaposed with First Hokage Hashirama’s memories of the very first Kage summit where we learn a couple key facts:

1) Hashirama’s a big dumb baby who cannot be disciplined because his ideals are remarkably powerful (also he can kick your ass six ways to Sunday).

2) Kishimoto loves sticking to established themes (because you did NOT need to see the symbols on the hats to know EXACTLY which Kage was from which village *looking at YOU scary sharp-toothed ninja and conspicuously tanned ninja*)

3) Kishimoto realizes the inherent complexities of major political negotiations and even though it was still overly simplified the reader can see in the fiscally minded requests of Tobirama and the particularly curmudgeonly demands of the Kazekage that handing out Tailed beasts like Halloween candy is not enough to bring an end to decades of bloodshed.

4) Sasuke’s dick just CANNOT get sucked enough. The skin needs to come clean off and that shit needs to become so white it makes Orochimaru look like the Raikage -_-. “Sasuke’s power still isn’t at it’s maximum” JEEZ-US!

5) Orochimaru is perhaps one of the most astoundingly brilliant ninjas in the entire series, curse seal is Senjutsu? Really? How the hell did he study, synthesize, package and distribute Sage Powers like it was crystal meth and just hand it out to a bunch of teenagers to toy with? Sure some of that seems like last-minute bullshit designed to allow Sasuke to fight on par with Naruto’s meteoric power increase but still it makes one wonder just how much that guy knew about EVERYTHING in the ninja world.

So for what this chapter lacked in action it made up for in light but meaningful exposition, which I suppose is good to get out of the way so that the ensuing battle isn’t bogged down by punch-by-punch explanation. The real feeling though, the real substance in this chapter, well for me at least, comes at the very end with the culmination of the First Hokage’s memories and his plea to all of the shinobi gathered at the battlefield to give all that they have to see his noble dream come to fruition; to fight for a dream they can all share in, that made me realize just far I had come on this not always glamorous journey with this manga; this “dream” called Naruto.

I think Naruto gets a lot of flak in the pop-culture scene because it represents a lot of the good and even more of the bad of what it means to be a popular series in this day and age of mindless nimrods who latch on to something decent and carry it to the depths of horrid, nerdy depravity with gross over saturation. I cannot count how many times I have withheld knowledge of my status as a Naruto aficionado to strangers for fear of meeting a detractor or even worse, a fellow fan *cringe*. Yeah, it’s weird, talking about Naruto in the positive when as a fan of manga like Berserk, Vagabond, Genshiken, GTO and a host of others I can honestly say that it doesn’t hold a candle to a single one of those; but It holds a special place in my heart all the same. It is one of the first mangas I ever started following seriously and it is a major part of my early youth and developmental otaku years. Now that it is in its penultimate arc I can feel for it a sort of longing, a strange kind of odd nostalgia lurking just beneath the surface of my skin; like hanging out with an old friend that you used to spend time with but have spent less and less time with as the years went on. Then, that fried calls you up to say that he’s joined the army and he’ll be going away for a long time, so for one last time you join him for drinks or a flick or just plain shooting the shit and as you spend time with him you begin to get a semblance of that old feeling; the reason you became friends in the first place. It doesn’t make you sad, but it does make you contemplative, tranquil even. Your old friend is gonna be gone, for good probably, but even though things were never as good at the end as they were in the beginning, it’s the beginnings that you treasure the most and it’s the times that shined the brightest that kinda clears away the muck of everything that came after.

I know a post like this is a little premature since it’ll probably be more than a few weeks before the manga actually comes to a close but i’d like to get my heavy goodbyes out of the way now so I can give it a simple nod and a Nice Guy Smile at the very end.

So whether the manga goes out with a bang or a whimper, know that this particular Hermit had a fun ride-ttebayo.

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Aspire towards Nirvana, fellow readers.

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Double Feature!! Naruto – 470 & 471

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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!!!!

OM NOM NOM NOM

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.

Prophetic maybe?