Naruto 668 – Crimson Springtime
And there he goes. Gai’s arguably past the point of no return now that he’s activated his Eighth Gate of Death, and in general it’s a pretty nice chapter—both because of the shift in focus and the perspective this week gives us on Gai. The fact that we get to see of Gai’s dad and how Gai grew up with the early realization he was unable to use ninjutsu or genjutsu adds quite a personal touch to this chapter, and there arguably wasn’t a more fitting place to put this quick flashback.
Indeed, it’s always nice to get some extra background on a character—especially one as well loved as Gai has been—and we get this and an important life lesson while we’re at it: the concept that there will always be multiple views on the same thing. In Gai’s (and his father’s) case, the fact is either of them could’ve just decided that they were incapable of being proper Shinobi, and they could’ve just given up on the assumption there was no point putting in the effort into being one. Yet, they didn’t, and it all goes down to how our duo manages to flip what would be the typical conclusion on its back. Rather than lament their lack of ability, they took solace in the fact that there was one thing they could do and they could hone that, and it ultimately made all the difference in their development.
To say the least, there’s a lot of things one could take from something “as simple” as this—highlighting the notion that even the simplest things could bend up quite profound and hammering in just the kind of guy (no pun intended) Gai is. He’s not a guy who pours over tactics or thinks a lot during battle. He’s not someone who’s content just sitting around in the back. This is a guy who knows exactly the strengths, weaknesses, and beliefs he has. Basically, he’s as straight forward as they come. Sadly though, it always seems like these are the kind of characters that end up sacrificing themselves in situations like this, and it looks like we may be witnessing Gai’s final moments. Or are we? Guess we’ll find out.