Naruto Chapter 581 – Everyone’s Leaf – Review / Thoughts

April 4, 2012

In the past few chapters we have seen a focus solely on Sasuke and Itachi vs Kabuto, and Naruto chapter 581 is no different in that regard.

This was a kind of interesting chapter in all honesty, the thought of an actual battle was thrown out the window in favour of more talking.

While this type of chapter isn’t to everyone’s taste, I have always been a fan of them, as they usually end up revealing something big or important. What was interesting about this is the way that Sasuke was acting / reacting to what Kabuto had to say, and it actually revealed more about Sasuke’s nature now than I expected. After the recent chapters, I commented on how Sasuke seemed to be back to his old ways where he wasn’t just full of hatred and wanting to destroy everything in the name of revenge, and admittedly I was thinking that maybe he would stay that way after meeting Itachi, but after this it has raised fresh doubts in my mind.

I thought it was pretty awesome how Kabuto was still trying to talk Sasuke in to siding with him, and basically trying to work on the psyche of Sasuke. Kabuto told Sasuke once again about what a liar Itachi is, but also told him in harsher and more realistic words that the Itachi Sasuke sees in front of him now is nothing more than a dead wooden doll, and that he has no reason to feel guilty if he wants to switch over to Kabuto’s side.

Then came my favourite part of the chapter in the form of a short flashback Sasuke has, that appears to have happened shortly after Itachi’s death. A hooded Sasuke is actually in Konoha at a bar, and listens to a conversation a group of Konoha ninja are having about the news of Itachi’s death. They are all glad Itachi was killed, with one of them saying it was fitting punishment that one of Itachi’s comrades was the one to kill him considering Itachi had massacred his own comrades. Another person then says how he wanted to be the one to kill Itachi, and stabs a picture of him with his kunai. A look of pure hatred comes across Sasuke’s face as he listens a bit more to the group, with one of them saying that the village and the country will probably want to give Sasuke a medal and a good wage for killing an S-Rank criminal like that.

Then, a Kunai quickly appears from under Sasuke’s robe and in to his hand. Just as he is about to turn and confront the men, a hand is placed on his shoulder, and it’s revealed to be Tobi. Tobi tells Sasuke That the people he is angry with don’t know the truth, and that the place was too crowded anyway. Sasuke tells Tobi that he will tell them the truth, but Tobi just tells Sasuke to stop it, saying that they would never believe him anyway, and that even if these villagers asked the higher-ups then they would deny everything. Tobi then tells Sasuke that this is what Itachi wanted, he wanted to be labelled a traitor to the village for the sake of everyone in it.

Back in the present, Sasuke tells Kabuto that he is not like him, and that his reasons for wanting to crush the Leaf Village are his own. Kabuto then goes on to say that he knows why Itachi did what he did, saying he is the same, and explains about his childhood and how ever since he was first adopted by a Konoha ninja, he has been working hard for the village and making sacrifices. But despite doing so, all that ended up happening was he became distrusted just because he wasn’t originally from Konoha, and that both he and Itachi ended up getting nothing but shame and dishonour brought upon them in exchange for all they did for the village. Kabuto asks what has the village ever done for either of them, and tells Sasuke about how he too was molded in to a different person because of the way he was treated, and says that since he can understand Sasuke better than anyone else can, he will become his new older brother and stay at his side if Sasuke will come with him.

Itachi responds by telling Sasuke not to listen to Kabuto, saying that all this means is that Kabuto is a better liar than he is. Itachi then admits that Konoha is flawed and does have a darker side to it, but says that ultimately he is still Itachi Uchiha of the Leaf Village. Itachi goes on to say that he can’t criticise Sasuke for what he has done or how he has turned out, but that there is still one thing he has to say to him, though it will have to wait until after they stop Kabuto.

Kabuto begins boasting about how they can’t win and how his Edo Tensei is invincible. Itachi says to Sasuke that while Kabuto is annoying, he does have a point with what he is saying. Itachi then says Kabuto doesn’t know the true strength of the Uchiha, and says that the Uchiha’s eye power can affect a person regardless of their 5 senses, but that in exchange they lose the light from their eyes. Sasuke asks if he means Izanagi which takes Itachi by surprise. Itachi asks Sasuke how he knows about it, and when Sasuke tells him he encountered it during his fight with Danzo, Itachi tells Sasuke that it was impressive that he could survive against it.

Sasuke kind of shrugs off the comment and just asks how to use Izanagi, but Itachi tells him it’s not Izanagi he had in mind, instead it was something else, something that forms a pair with Izanagi. Sasuke replies by saying “Another one?” obviously wondering what it could be, while Itachi explains it’s already been prepared and calls it the ultimate jutsu that shall hold his destiny, with Kabuto now charging straight for them. Itachi blocks Kabuto’s attack with his sword, and reveals the technique is named Izanami. Itachi tells Sasuke that if Izanagi is a jutsu that can change destiny, then Izanami is a technique that can decide it, with the chapter ending as Itachi tells Sasuke to just stay close behind him.

Overall this was a decent enough chapter, though I admit myself I would like to see some more actual fighting in the next chapter. The flashback with Sasuke was awesome and was my favourite part of the chapter as I said earlier, and it was good hearing a bit more about Kabuto as well. The main talking point however is inevitably going to be about the new technique Itachi spoke of, Izanami.

It’s going to be pretty controversial in any case, as the Sharingan and its’ powers get a lot of grief from some fans as it is for the stupid amount of powerups and hax it has, so with yet another new technique I am sure it will make a lot of people unhappy. While I for one am excited and looking forward to seeing just what this technique is and what it does, I will admit that the Sharingan gaining new powers seemingly every time an Uchiha is in trouble is over the top.

Moving away from that briefly, I think this chapter also showed that maybe Sasuke really hasn’t moved on in any way since he first became “crazy”.  The past few weeks it appeared as if there had been a change in him since meeting with Itachi, but it felt like Kabuto did a good job of peeling back this veil and underneath revealing that maybe, just maybe, Sasuke doesn’t trust Itachi that much afterall, and that there is a decent chance that once Itachi is out of the picture once more, Sasuke will go back to his goal of crushing Konoha.

So as I said, I am pretty curious about Izanami, especially after Itachi’s words. If whatever it is takes away a user’s light, it must be something pretty amazing like Izanagi. With Itachi saying that Izanami is a technique that can decide someone’s fate it is of course intentionally vague, but I would like to hear what your thoughts on it are and what it may be, so any ideas or theories just leave in the comments box below!

So overall a pretty good chapter in any case, but yet again one that has left me more anxious to see the follow up rather than loving what is already released.


Naruto Chapter 580 – Brotherly Time Review / Thoughts

March 28, 2012

I am going to be honest, the only way to describe Naruto chapter 580 is sweet. Sweet is exactly what it is as we get to see not only Sasuke and Itachi working together, but also glimpses of them doing so in their younger days too.

This was yet another awesome chapter, and I think it would be impossible not to love it for anyone who likes the Uchiha bros. I have always liked the relationship between the two of them, and it’s really nice seeing how after all these years and all the crap that’s happened to them, they are still in sync with each other when it comes to thoughts and working together.

We obviously saw them taking on Kabuto last week, and the fight continues in this chapter. Two whole chapters in a row dedicated to the Uchiha vs Kabuto fight pleases me personally, though I am sure there will be some who are annoyed at this. Kabuto continues to impress, he performed one amazing technique which left both Itachi and Sasuke unable to move or see, and even made Sasuke start losing the ability to keep his Susanoo going. It was a blinding flash of light and hypersonic sound that practically rendered everyone but Kabuto blind and paralysed, with Kabuto himself admitting it’s only because of his Sage Mode,  his Snake abilities and the power to liquify his body that he can still do so.

Kabuto initially thinks about taking Itachi first, as then he could rewrite the tag placed inside of him and regain full control, but then decides to go after Sasuke instead. Itachi however blocks Kabuto’s effort to get Sasuke, with him then remembering about how Itachi can probably sense his Chakra. This part was a bit confusing due to translations, where the person doing so bemoaned the difficulty of accurate Japanese translations. So I will leave you to read that yourself, though the part where Kabuto referred to Itachi as a “Liar Ninja” was pretty awesome, with him saying about how he lied his entire life, even dying while still lying to Sasuke, and that he was excellent at doing so.

Since the whole chapter was fighting, I will just leave it at saying that the fight was awesome and that you should read it yourself to find out the rest. Nothing major happened yet, as by the end of the chapter things were back to stage 1 in terms of a winner / outcome.

I loved this chapter though, all the flashback parallels were amazing and showed why I like the relationship between Itachi and Sasuke so much. We got to see them in the past hunting a wild boar, with Itachi and Sasuke working together back then. After everything was done, Sasuke apologised to Itachi for not being much use, while Itachi said he still had a lot to learn. Then it moved back to the present, with Itachi smirking and commenting on how these days Sasuke would have no problem doing it.

It was a really nice and touching moment to be honest, after all this time it appears Itachi and Sasuke are somewhat reconciling and Itachi is being quick to praise Sasuke. I also like it because it has changed Sasuke back to the way he was in his younger days before he went crazy, this Sasuke is the best Sasuke, and it’s all down to Itachi that we are getting to see him again after so long. It’s clear that the bond between Itachi and Sasuke is extremely strong and will never be broken, and in the recent chapters it has me convinced at long last that Sasuke can still change his ways and gain what some people would call “redemption”.  Obviously there could be some twists and turns yet to come, but for now that appears to be the way things are headed.

In any case, this was another fantastic chapter with Kishimoto doing himself proud. If you’re an Uchiha fan then this is unmissable, but even if you’re not, the battle between them and Kabuto by itself is definitely good enough to warrant your time and attention anyway.

Naruto Chapter 578 – A Weakness of Despair!!!! Review / Thoughts

March 14, 2012

I am incredibly pleased with the new chapter, the panel above made my day as an Uchiha bros fan. But yes, chapter 578 was pretty awesome yet again as Naruto is going through one of it’s best patches of form in Shippuden.

Last week set up brilliantly with Sasuke appearing behind Itachi right when he came across Kabuto, and this week we get to see what happens because of that. I was surprised Kabuto was so forthcoming with revealing to Sasuke about the bargain he had made with Tobi, even going as far as to comment on his delight that his prize would present itself to him of it’s own accord. Kabuto actually goes in to some detail apparently to explain things to Sasuke, but this is done off panel so that we get to see more of Madara vs the 5 Kage’s battle.

Speaking of which, last week we saw Madara being badass and him impaling Tsunade through the chest, and with the new chapter we find out she is still alive and has even been able to heal herself. I think it was pretty obvious this would be the case, it never really looked likely that Tsunade was going to go out like that, but it did at least get to show us her healing powers. Yet again I couldn’t help but like the way Madara was acting towards the Kage, at one point Onoki tries his jutsu again on Madara and says that one of his attacks was able to graze him once before, but Madara calls him senile and says that he let himself be hit on purpose just so that everyone could see Hashirama’s face embedded in him.

Basically long story short, the Kage so far still haven’t been able to do anything of real note to Madara, and Madara himself is still quick to mock them and is full of arrogance. Before I move on from that fight however, I do want to give a special mention to the scenes with the Kage telling Madara that the very fact they have to go 5 on 1 against him shows how much they respect his power, and that he shouldn’t think of them as cowards because of it. Then Madara pulls off the badass move of saying he doesn’t consider them cowards, while then performing a multiple Mokuton clone jutsu and telling the Kage basically what they had just said to him eg; it’s only because he respects their power so much that he is going 5 on 1  (having now made loads of clones to outnumber the Kage and fighting them individually with each set of clones). This I feel was typical Madara and was such a slap in the face to the Kage who were actually being sincere when they said it to him, I just can’t help but love the sheer cockiness and arrogance Madara displays.

We then get to move back on to Sasuke, Itachi and Kabuto. Kabuto has finished explaining things to Sasuke, and even tries to encourage Sasuke to work with him instead so that together they can both defeat Itachi. Kabuto says that they both had the same master and mentions how Itachi massacred the Uchiha clan, and basically just trying to convince Sasuke that working with him was the right way to go. Sasuke answers the question of who’s side he is on though when he throws some shuriken at Kabuto, although they are blocked. Sasuke asks Itachi why he stopped them, and Itachi tells him that they can’t kill Kabuto or else the Edo Tensei will never come to an end. Itachi reveals his plan to stop Edo Tensei, that being he would place Kabuto under Tsukuyomi and while he was under his control, he would force him to reveal the secrets of Edo Tensei and then stop the Jutsu.

Kabuto pretty much laughs it off and says about how it won’t necessarily be as easy for the plan to work as Itachi thinks, and claims that there is no kind of weakness or flaw to the jutsu. Itachi though says that there is a flaw to every jutsu, and then delivers a badass line by saying that the flaw to Kabuto’s Edo Tensei is Itachi himself. The expression on Itachi’s face in that panel was brilliant and the line was delivered perfectly, it stood out as one of the chapter’s highlights because of the sheer badass and awesomeness it projected. In the end, Itachi asks Sasuke to work together with him to defeat Kabuto without killing him, and promises him that if he will do that then he will talk to Sasuke about whatever he wants afterwards. Then came my favourite part of the chapter, with Sasuke agreeing to help but saying to Itachi that for all these years Itachi would never keep his promises, and said that for once please just keep your promise this time. Well the answer was good from Itachi too, but you can see his response in the panel at the top of this review.

That pretty much sums up the chapter, and I have to say I loved reading it. We will finally get to see Sasuke and Itachi work together as a team, something fans of the Uchiha bros have pretty much always wanted. I can’t even imagine how great it’s going to be seeing the two of them working together at last, and I honestly don’t have a clue how Kabuto is going to have any hopes of stopping them. My only guess is that maybe now the Kage are going to be busy dealing with the Mokuton Madara clones, Kabuto might summon the real Madara to his location so that he can help against Itachi and Sasuke. If Itachi and Sasuke do end up taking on Madara, it has the potential to be the most amazing fight ever seen in Naruto, so I am almost hoping that is what will happen. Even if it doesn’t though, the sheer fact Itachi and Sasuke are going to be teaming up means that the fight is going to be amazing and something special.

I also want to give a quick mention to the fact at first Sasuke was unsure if Kabuto was Orochimaru, as from a distance they obviously look rather similar. I thought that was a pretty nice touch and it goes to show just how far Kabuto has come and what lengths he has gone to so that he can achieve his goals. I was also surprised because it seemed to me like Sasuke was also genuinely a bit worried when he first thought it was Orochimaru, I know it was mostly shock, but I could definitely sense some worry too which was surprising considering how much stronger Sasuke himself has grown since the days he knew and worked with Orochimaru.

But overall this was yet another excellent chapter of Naruto, and once more I am left desperately wanting to read the next chapter to find out what happens next.