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Naruto 526 – Setting the Stage »« Naruto 524 – Nostalgic

Naruto 525 – Gather Around, It’s Strategy Time

Naruto Manga   525   01

While some people may not be happy with the slow pacing of the fourth ninja war, and would much rather see Naruto and Sasuke going all out spamming their strongest attacks on one another, I for one like how the series has taken a step away from them altogether and focused on the bigger problems at hand. Naturally, the two of them are key players in this war (and the entire series), so it’s only a matter of time before they do make their appearances. In the meantime, the shift to the leaders of the ninja world is welcomed change-up, as they’re more concerned about the fate of the world than settling personal vendettas.

For a manga that’s running as long as Naruto, it’s almost quintessential that the story be both engaging and thought-provoking to keep me interested, and the little things like the detailed explanation on the deployment of troops by Shikamaru’s father, Shikaku, help greatly in that regard. It shows that the author put some thought into the work requiring me to think, and I like having to think when I watch or read something. At the moment, the plot isn’t open to many twists and surprises aside from the ones in battle, making the discussions in the “war room” a great supplement to an otherwise straightforward progression. I realize there’s still Kabuto’s manipulation of his resurrected ninjas and whatever else he has up his sleeve, but I can’t see that being addressed until the later stages of the war.

Continuing on the thought about slow progression, there appears to be some reader dissatisfaction towards the overuse of overpowered resurrected ninjas over and over again as well. I agree it’s an easy way to drive the story and allows “new” characters to pop up left and right unexpectedly, who may be forgotten as quickly as they are introduced. However, it also comes with the added benefit of showing the origins of the Naruto universe and making me more appreciative of the fictional world Kishimoto has created. The revival of the Kages and hearing them bicker about who killed who was part of it, but so were the character reactions to the other famous ninjas. If the alternative is simply clashing head-on against an army of Zetsu clones, I have to say that I much prefer what we have now.

Amidst all the talk about the unique abilities these ninjas possess, such as the Second Tsuchikage’s dust element, I’m actually looking forward to seeing how Gaara take on his father the most. I can’t imagine he’ll feel remorseful about doing so in any way, given that his father ordered him to be killed in the past, so my anticipation mainly stems from hoping to see Gaara show his father how powerful he’s become even without the tailed beast, and maybe (just maybe) make him proud of his son as the new leader of Sunagakure. A bit sappy I know, but Naruto tends to delve into that aspect as well from time to time (…in a good way). Along the same lines, there’s Shikamaru and Asuma, plus Neji and his father Hizashi, except the emotions should be much more prominent in their fights.

January 26, 2011 at 11:45 pm
51 comments »
  • January 26, 2011 at 11:55 pmxcswmboy

    Throwing out a bunch of Kages seemed way too overpowered. Also, how the HQ described the army as “everyone is super pwnage” makes the war seem way too hard to win. In the end, a small task force (most likely either Naruto’s or Sasuke’s) will need to infiltrate enemy lines and utterly destroy Orochi-Kabuto to simply hollow out the attacking army in half. I’m sure that chapter will be dramatic with people “poof”ing all over. Still…seems like a long road before Kishimoto will ever get there. At least 2 or 3 more volumes worths maybe.

  • January 27, 2011 at 12:27 amMasterX25

    Like what the poster said. It’s nice to see the previous Kages, especially what happened to them. And gonna love the father son reunion with Garaa.

  • January 27, 2011 at 12:30 amsemtex

    For now this war is just filler and should be called “War of flashbacks”, serving only to bring flashbacks with their dead friends and so on. This is just an arc to stretch Naruto manga’s life span. I’d rather they fight Zetsu-clones be done with it and then get Naruto/Sasuke and Madara to enter the scene and move the plot towards something.

    • January 27, 2011 at 10:59 pmDa5id

      So you’d rather they just fight mooks and skip to the final battle without any contribution from any of the supporting characters?

      • January 27, 2011 at 11:17 pmsemtex

        That’s right. I’d rather have the main characters and villains fight each other than mooks and support characters without substance. So yeah this is just “Days of our Lives”- tear-jerking moments (who dated who in the past), I’d rather have Naruto/Sasuke, Madara tear-jerking moments. Or we could have Naruto and co join the battle as soon as possible and change the course of battle, which will no doubt happen.

    • January 29, 2011 at 7:33 amDax

      I find Naruto and Sasuke to be two of the worst things about the manga. Them and Sakura. The side characters have far more substance than these two walking cliches. Sasuke is a whiny little emo brat. And Naruto has been dumbed down to the point where he is hard to take seriously. This idiot still doesn’t even know there is a war! These are the characters you want to see?! Naruto is finally getting good again. Naruto and Sasuke’s love affair brings it down. Hope they stay away for a long time.

  • January 27, 2011 at 12:46 amBass

    Like you, I love how Kishi is focusing on other characters for a change, and fleshing out the key characters that make the ninja world the way it is today. I’ve always wanted him to be able to show us the worlds history in ways other than hearsay and legends, so this war has made that possible, even if their time is short-lived.

  • January 27, 2011 at 1:50 ammegaman

    normal anon can see this as the shit it is, and may enjoy it, hate it or be indifferent to it, but all the while recognizing that the series itself, regardless of their opinion, is plain bad.

    However, these very aspects that try to smear over the shit of its core make it a breeding ground for aspie, unsociable underageb& faggots who engage in every kind of faggotry both online and in the real world. The superpowered characters all trying their hardest to look cool, the jutsus, peculiar, colorful clothes, the whole ninja faggotry and everything about the Naruto world fuels their escapist fantasies, while the pity-party character backgrounds, emphasis on revenge, and overall preachiness of the series make it fit just right with the mary-sueish drives of your average preteen and his sense of unwarranted self-importance towards the world. Exactly the kind of shit that makes little kiddies and underageb& retards eat this shit right the fuck up.

    • January 27, 2011 at 2:26 amsemtex

      Harsh words but true, but then again all entertainment is escape from reality. It was good in the beginning till Shonen Jump started to squeeze as much money out of Naruto like the Sims series, after the timeskip.

    • January 27, 2011 at 4:30 amYou-tachi

      Nice copy-paste. Cry more.

      • January 27, 2011 at 6:12 pmYoon

        LOL owned

      • January 27, 2011 at 10:59 pmDa5id

        Damn, I was gonna say that.

    • January 27, 2011 at 5:18 aminfinite

      All that talk about pre teen shit and yet when we look at your name it says megaman. Ironic or redundant you can pick.

      • January 27, 2011 at 6:46 amMijaruX

        I couldn’t agree more Infinite, LOL.

    • January 27, 2011 at 11:48 amKarmafan

      You show how much class you DON’T have with the overuse of the word faggot and the swearing as well. If the manga and animes make you so angry try turning off your PC and going outside for a while. Enjoy the fresh air or something.

    • January 27, 2011 at 4:54 pmKAINE

      you totally don’t get what authors are trying to get across with shounen. normally most main characters are determinators that lack smarts but strive to get by with training and never giving up on their hopes and dreams.They are meant to send a message to those target youths that you don’t have to always be the best and with enough effort the underdog can rise to the top. Even if it’s not neccessarily true in the real world. It provides a mean for certain weak willed kids to get by (especially in mid grades where children seem to be the cruelest to their peers)Naruto has one of the better messages Naruto Uzimaki once despised by all strove to make everyone like him through his endeavors while Sasuke Uchiha was the allstar prodigy everyone admired endured up being hated because of clinging onto his hatred and desire for revenge. You may see this cliche faggotry as bad, but to many it’s something much more.

    • January 27, 2011 at 6:29 pmYoon

      words like “anon” and “underageb” kinda points the direction of 4chan

  • January 27, 2011 at 2:38 amGekokujou

    I like watching the dead ninjas bickering with each other, especially when they’re talking about who killed who. It’s funny.

  • January 27, 2011 at 5:21 aminfinite

    I think we will come to find out Gaaras dad didnt try to have him killed.

  • January 27, 2011 at 5:41 amJah’Rakhal

    Well this is exactly 22.68x better than what bleach is doing. Better than introducing a bunch of minor characters that aren’t really redshirts because they have names. Can’t kill them off since they might become main characters later due to a popularity poll i.e. Hitsugaya or their deaths might cheapen the death of some other significant character… if there were any deaths that is

    • January 27, 2011 at 7:13 amdxb_blackwolf

      This is definitely better than what Bleach is going through. Meet a new group –> Train with them –> Get their help later on in a fight –> End arc –> Repeat

      Kubo needs to try and get more creative than filling the manga with new characters.

      • January 27, 2011 at 11:41 amxcswmboy

        That kind of is the normal Shounen formula, and Naruto follows it also. Kishimoto and Kubo are not that different. Fight, train, fight some more, train some more. The trend kind of started with Dragonball and the Hyperbolic Time Chamber.

        I agree that characters should die more.

      • January 27, 2011 at 12:50 pmdxb_blackwolf

        Well of course the training cycle is almost in every fighting shounen manga and its really repetitive in the long running ones but my point was that Bleach is lacking creativity in it. The plot is almost always the same which is why most people say that the soul society arc was the best part of Bleach (Since it was the start of this cycle), and I agree. Bleach introduced many characters already and they now reached a point where they started ignoring some. Seriously, what the hell happened to Nell and Kon -.-

      • January 29, 2011 at 6:29 pmSOSAnimeBoy

        I miss Nell :(

  • January 27, 2011 at 7:11 amdxb_blackwolf

    After Gaara’s dad showed up, I realized that Kishi probably planned this to happen a long time ago. Even though this concept of impure ressurection is interesting, it is sort of random. Well I’m interested to see what happens next, Madara was confident of this war before Kabuto offered his help so I don’t think that all the overpowered characters showing up should make that much of a difference in weakening the forces.

    • January 27, 2011 at 5:02 pmAbe

      Impure World Ressurection isn’t random. Kishi has some kind of fetish for involving the dead in major events. Konoha Invasion he utilized the First and Second Hoakage via Orochimaru. Konoha Destruction was lead by Pein a legion of reanimated corpses controlled by Nagato. Now we have a war full of clones and corpses lol. I think it’s his theme or something along those lines.

      Anyway I’m curious if there is someone set up for Naruto since Jiraiya couldn’t be found, both his parents are sealed by the shinigami. I guess that’s where Sasuke will come in. That’s why Madara hasn’t sent him out yet.

  • January 27, 2011 at 8:05 amFai D Fluorite

    “Along the same lines, there’s Shikamaru and Asuma, plus Neji and his father Hizashi”

    And also don’t forget Dan and Tsunade…

    • January 27, 2011 at 12:08 pmDivine

      I was thinking that, but Tsunade’s not on the battlefield with Dan in front of her like the Shikamaru and Neji.

  • January 27, 2011 at 10:08 amEPIC GAME!

    Isn’t anyone thinking the same way as i am. I could care less about how many ninjas are brought back to life because Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 is gonna be EPIC!! Look at how many characters “could be” added to the game!

    • January 27, 2011 at 11:34 amxcswmboy

      Orochi-Kabuto in the game would be soooo hax if he could summon/resurrect a Kage army

  • January 27, 2011 at 11:08 amLectro Volpi

    Kishimoto threw some tough ninjas, make good use of them!

    You know? the only thing here spicing up the war is Kabutomaru. Imagine a war with Shinobi alliance vs a bunch of zetsus. I know…

    • January 27, 2011 at 11:09 amLectro Volpi

      Itachi: “Madara is a poor noob.” I know…

  • January 27, 2011 at 11:55 amKarmafan

    I can’t believe Kabuto went out by himself and dug up all these graves and no one noticed. You would think all these dead leaders would have had a prominate grave or crypt where everyone in the village could see them and notice a big hole in the ground and the leader’s coffin grew legs and walked away? Just about any dead hero and villian in the entire series is now a undead zombie controled by Kabuto. Needless to say when this war is over (in like 5 years) folks gonna be creamated from now on.

    • January 27, 2011 at 1:19 pmSuppa Tenko

      Well considering how Kabuto is a ninja, its not very hard to dig a hole without anyone noticing. No one ever notices the holes that Naruto digs all the time. Also he only needs a little part of the dead body, as well as the fact that just because someone is a kage doesn’t mean someone’s watching the grave all the time.

      • January 27, 2011 at 7:04 pmKarmafan

        Don’t most of the scenes of these resurections show the whole body in their coffin?

      • January 27, 2011 at 11:02 pmDa5id

        But you don’t need the whole body to make the ressurection, just some of their DNA and hope none of their soul has been sealed somewhere.

    • January 27, 2011 at 6:42 pmsnnnaaaaaaaakabuto

      plus, when did he have the time to dig them all up? it’s not like he knew where all their graves were. he had to go find them first, then do the dirty work… and it would have been especially difficult for people whose bodies had already decomposed totally.

      • January 29, 2011 at 6:41 pmSOSAnimeBoy

        Oro was already collecting DNA for many years as part of his experiments. It’s not like Kabuto started collecting after Oro died.

  • January 27, 2011 at 1:04 pmUnknownSoldier

    Anyone else find that middle -kage to be really creepy looking?

    • January 27, 2011 at 2:44 pmchris

      The one with sexual-predator no jutsu ?

  • January 27, 2011 at 2:48 pmTikal

    I guess I don’t see the problem with the direction of this arc as everyone else does. I mean Edo Tensei is a move that was established a LONG time ago.

    Add that to the fact that Kabuto is quite possibly the smartest ninja in Naruto and none of this should be surprising. Its really quite logical. If your master that you respected to the point of creepiness, came up with a sweet technique to raise the dead, what would you do with that?

    Find every damn badass known to mad. And honestly no one thought to guard their dead from a technique that up till now only two people in the world could do (and one was dead for eons, the other just recently, and I use dead lightly).

    This is good storytelling guys. All the fights have been well thought and smart, with plenty of twist and turns. As fast as the good guys come up with counters to Edo Tensei, Kabuto is undoing them. This new Kage turn of events is not going to a rematch of other fights. Kishimoto will twist the story agian and thats what makes Naruto so fun to read.

    • January 29, 2011 at 7:37 amDax

      I think Shikamaru’s dad is smarter than Kabuto.

  • January 27, 2011 at 4:42 pmcain

    I’m more worried about future Naruto games, like the ultimate ninja storm series, will they end up having a rooster with every of those undead kages, and legendary ninjas. That would be the ultimate naruto game. :)

    • January 27, 2011 at 8:43 pmBossun

      I doubt it, simply because of disk space, although it’d be really cool to see

  • January 28, 2011 at 9:36 amZwei

    now at this point, Naruto definitely sucks, haters go hate me, and i won’t even care. ^^,

  • January 28, 2011 at 10:25 amN

    Obviously Naruto is too complicated for the average simpletons to appreciate. Go watch Superman ramming his face onto brick walls.

    • January 28, 2011 at 11:45 pmZwei

      Naruto is complicated? since when? that’s what you get for being a SHOUNEN FANBOY especially Naruto, you’re mind has degraded to the point that Naruto is complicated. I pray for your recovery.

  • January 28, 2011 at 11:21 amAshen

    “Amidst all the talk about the unique abilities these ninjas possess, such as the Second Tsuchikage’s dust element, I’m actually looking forward to seeing how Gaara take on his father the most. I can’t imagine he’ll feel remorseful about doing so in any way, given that his father ordered him to be killed in the past, so my anticipation mainly stems from hoping to see Gaara show his father how powerful he’s become even without the tailed beast, and maybe (just maybe) make him proud of his son as the new leader of Sunagakure. A bit sappy I know, but Naruto tends to delve into that aspect as well from time to time (…in a good way). Along the same lines, there’s Shikamaru and Asuma, plus Neji and his father Hizashi, except the emotions should be much more prominent in their fights.”

    Couldn’t agree with you more. I’m hoping for all the same things, mate. All the same.

  • January 28, 2011 at 1:42 pmBoozerX

    I just want to read good fights.
    I dont care if the story dont avance much I want to be entertained.
    So far Kishi is delivering

  • January 28, 2011 at 2:12 pmDragoZERO

    Kishi should do a prequel series after Naruto is over. He really has created a phenomenal world and can make great characters too.

  • January 29, 2011 at 1:40 amJC

    Doesn’t look like Kankurou’s ambush squad did anything at all to stop Kabuto/Madara’s army from approaching, or has Kishi forgotten that he even had an ambush team set up in the first place <= failure from a plot standpoint

    I like how Kishi's setting up the stage for a great war (or rather more of his emotional 1-on-1 fights); can't say he's done enough work to map out a proper plot surrounding warfare at this point

    Then again, this is a shounen series which targeted audiences are little kids so I might be asking for too much; hope the upcoming fights will be interesting enough

    Hopefully, the upcoming fights will be interesting and Kishi will be able to keep the plot holes at its minimal