While reading this chapter, all I could think about was how it would be adapted into the anime. In terms of drawing out some sort of emotional response from Yahiko, Nagato, and Konan’s past with Jiraiya, a single chapter in a manga doesn’t quite do it for me. In fact, I find it pretty difficult for something I’m reading to evoke any sort of response, since it just doesn’t have the same ambiance that moving pictures with music and sound provide. This is one of the reasons why I almost always prefer anime over manga or visual novels even if they’re not completely faithful, and why I was interested in seeing how various characters’ deaths ended up being animated.
I never did get around to watching Jiraiya’s, but I am curious as to whether it would have the same sort of impact that the Third’s did. I’ve always felt that the beginnings of Naruto did a lot of things really well, whether it was slowly introducing us to the ninja world or stressing the drama side of things, and one of those defining moments for me was the Third’s funeral. Even now, I still have some attachment to the “Ai to Hi” (Grief and Sorrow) track from the first soundtrack, and would love to see Naruto as a series return to those days. For a trip down memory lane, have a listen on the right.
|[flv:Naruto_OST1_Ai_to_Hi.mp3 180 180]
During the 114 or so episodes of Shippuuden that I watched, I can’t even recall a single track that’s been memorable enough as this one I heard back in 2003. As such, I’m not expecting much to come from Konan’s death and the feeling that she was reunited with Yahiko, Nagato, and even Jiraiya in their small house in Amegakura. I do hold onto some glimmer of hope that I’ll be pleasantly surprised whenever the anime gets to this point, as this latest chapter did make me feel more attached to these Akatsuki characters than I ever thought I would. It may have become nothing but a distant memory by the time it rolls around — just like Jiraiya’s death that was animated not too long ago — but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a need to do the original material justice for anime-only viewers. If I can actually remember to do so, I’ll be checking out this part of the story when the anime reaches this point in the story. I loved the symbolic meaning of the nameplates showing that they had all returned “home”.
As for the other symbolic aspect to this chapter, it would be none other than Madara’s new mask. From the looks of it, it’s a combination of a Rinnegan and a Sharingan, with two eye holes now so that he can likely use one of each or some fused combination of both. Much like I was expecting back in chapter 506, the scroll with the information Kisame stole does make its way back to Madara to give some meaning to his sacrifice, so it should be interesting to see what comes from that. For now, it would appear that we’re going to finally see a showdown between Naruto and Madara, which has me excited because we still have no idea exactly what these two are capable of with their recent improvements. I haven’t counted Sasuke making an appearance at some point either, seeing as he’s been noticeably absent for the past twenty-five chapters or so.