When something like the Rasengan becomes so intertwined and integral to the story like it has been, I’m often left wondering if Kishimoto Masashi planned this from the very beginning or if it was an idea that developed along the way. Seeing as the Rasengan was first seen over seven years ago (way back in chapter 150), I’m leaning heavily towards the latter possibility though. Given the nature of the business, I’d say there’s a very slim chance a mangaka would plan seven years ahead with full expectation that their manga will be running that long. Regardless, the revelation that Minato’s idea behind the Rasengan came from the Jinchuuriki’s Imari 「威鞠」 ability works well in my eyes, plus it ties into the overarching subplot that a lot of things were left behind with Naruto’s future in mind. If nothing else, it also gives off a fairy tale-like vibe, which I feel is exactly what a shounen series should be going for in order to appeal to its intended, younger audience. At the same time, older readers such as myself can acknowledge the effect that the story’s going for and appreciate the thought that went into such a development.

The end result should be that Naruto masters his Jinchuuriki chakra-infused Rasengan and uses it to turn the tides in the war — likely against Madara himself. For now, it looks like he’s going to be sidelined in training mode for some time, while every other ninja in the world puts their life on the line protecting him and Bee. I mentioned some time ago that I rather enjoy the training arcs in this series, since they show that there’s a methodology and concept behind all these techniques, so I’d be completely okay with that being the case. After all, they give us something to look forward to in the future when the new technique is finally put into use in a battle. This is in contrast to techniques that are whipped out of nowhere with a lengthy explanation attached in the middle of a fight, which is good for the surprise element but often leaves me wondering if the author came up with the idea just the week prior. There are definitely pros and cons to both approaches, so it’s always nice to see a balance of both in a series. In terms of a Dragon Ball Z reference, one of my favorite training arcs from that series was when Goku and Gohan were in the Seishin to Toki no Heya (a.k.a. Hyperbolic Time Chamber) and trying to grow accustomed to staying in Super Saiyajin form. There was a little bit of theory behind the process of doing so, and some of these Naruto training arcs are reminiscent of that.

As an indirect benefit, the inclusion of this most recent training arc does provide a means for Naruto to show up regularly in the story without having to join the war prematurely. As such, I can picture things jumping back and forth between the war and the time Naruto’s spending with Bee, possibly after each of the units have a run-in with Kabuto’s resurrected ninjas (much like this chapter). On that note, I like how this first one involving Kankurou’s unit included a more meaningful conclusion for Sasori. Even in death, he managed to turn a new leaf and save his own soul from being used as a tool. Along with the sentimental aspect, what’s worth noting about that turn of events is that it might be precursor of things to come. Namely, I can see the deceased ninjas’ lifelong goals/regrets becoming the key to releasing them from Kabuto’s control. We’ve already seen two such encounters from Shin and Sasori respectively, but there are still many more to come. Whatever the case, I’ll be looking forward to Shikamaru and Asuma should they meet. I’d say that encounter is all but guaranteed.

62 Comments

    1. Also I would not at all be surprised if this storyline was planned from the beginning. It fits together too well for it to just be thought of on the fly. Years ago the 3 Sannin were a team. Jirayah was the guy who was a good ninja and in love with Tsunade the flat chested (but pretty) and violent girl who was not interested in him and prefered to be just friends with Jirayah. She grew up to be incredibly strong as well as her chest filling out. The 3rd member of their team was the dark and moody Orochimaru who ended up becoming evil and an enemy of the other 2 sannin.

      Now years later history repeats itself. Only Naruto is Jirayah, Sakura (she takes after her master in many aspects) is Tsunade and Sasuke has become this generations Orochimaru. You dont get that kind of storyline without planning it that way from the start. I would not be surprised if Kishimoto planned alot of this from the beginning of the series with the exam. Some of these things like the Rasenegan seem too neat and well thought out to be something he thought of a couple weeks back while sitting on the toilet.

      Karmafan
        1. The really great thing about it though was the banning of shadow clones, if anything else that will force Kishimoto to include some quality over quantity ninjutsu

          That’s not to say he won’t still be a powerhouse fighter, that speed we saw him using when taking out Kisame will probably be put to very good use

          Arkangel
          1. EXACTLY!

            Finally, we get something other than massive clone attacks or tricks and something else. But even if it’s not what Kishi usually craps out, it’s still a typical powerup, complete with an upgraded rasengan (that may or may not be close to creative).

            :/

            Luxorcist
          2. which defeats the purpose of naruto’s character.

            The moment Naruto starts spamming massive jutsu attacks without any trickery or plain pure awesomeness of shadow clones, this manga will be totally become worse than the likes of Psyren ever were.

            Naruto’s character was all about using simple jutsus in the very ingenious ways. But of course the determined, badass, hardworking Naruto died with part I :/

            UnknownVoice
          3. you don’t know that is going to happen Naruto’s new form can’t use Shadow clones so he is going to have to find out new ways

            its not like he can stay in this mode all the time anyway

            yours hate is basless

            clinton
      1. Speaking as a dungeon master, I also have lots of plans for my campaign that do not come to pass until years later. So he might even have started out with the whole rasengan idea, since even the Leaf symbol is swirly.

        SpacyRicochet
      2. I think there is a distinct possibility that he created the Tailed-beast Imari based on the Rasengan. I do remember myself thinking the Kyuubi was making a Rasengan ball when he first shot that laser beam.

        xcswmboy
      3. That would mean the Imari was designed with a connection to the Rasengan in mind, in which case I would consider it something that was developed along the way.

        i.e.
        The thought process would be, “We already have a Rasengan in the story. How can we add a plot device that reiterates its importance even more?”

        Rather than, “Okay, seven years from now we’re going to have tailed beasts known as Jinchuuriki with an Imari technique. Let’s make it so that the main character learns this technique early on so that we can tie that in when the story gets there.”

        I do believe that there is some sort of planning that goes into a lot of the story, but I question whether seven years is a reasonable time frame to work with.

      4. the storyline was definitely not thought out this far ahead. there are a lot of little problems that you notice if you work backwards, like why the fourth had such god-like foresight. originally, kakashi introduced the rasengan as just a technique the fourth couldn’t even master (!), but now naruto spams rasengans everywhere, and it’s like there’s too much foreshadowing. can’t things be a little more random?

        rattenshau
      5. The only thing the forth couldn’t master was addind his wind chakra to it.
        But, he could form the rasengan with one hand, wich is something naruto can’t do.
        Naruto brought it farther but he still hasn’t masterd it.

        platue
    2. @rattenshau

      its not that the fourth couldnt master it, it was that the fourth didnt have the time to master it, he died young and he wasn’t being brought up in a hurry to defend himself.

      Rai
    1. I don’t think he will mix nature chakra and the nine-tails chakra.
      Now that we know that Naruto can’t spam his nine-tails chakra mode, I think he will fight in his sage mode as much as he can, and use the Nine-tails mode only when he needs too. Kinda like how Bee fight with Hebi.

      platue
  1. although i’m looking for to it with Shikamaru and Asuma, but i rekcon it going to be fast, the quesiton which Asuma has left ‘protect the king,’ Shukarmau will response to that question and there off goes Asuma 🙂
    I’m just looking forward when naruto get to fight his DAD!! i remember the third Hokage stop Orochimaru from opening the third coffin way back. Hoping if that Kabuto still has that coffin that a match i’m really looking forward to read (fingers cross!!!) 😀

    lookinawsome
  2. Plus Itachi’s trump card is still in play. The effect of whatever he gave Naruto before he died still needs to come out… though it’s probably going to be a combining of Senju and Uchiha power to let him fight evenly with Madara.

    Shiden
  3. Yeah, like I said last week,”putting their souls to rest” seems like it’ll be the definitive way to defeat the ninja-zombies. I’m not entirely sure how this will work with some of the more evil characters, like Kakuzu and Hanzo, but if Kabuto is defeated first then we might not have to worry about that.

    Other highlights include Kabuto and Madara confirming that they plan on betraying each other. Madara doesn’t seem as cunning, though, so I’m not sure if he’ll come out on top.

    caramel_cod
  4. I noticed how Kishimoto slipped in that he can’t use Shadow Clones while in 9-Tails Chakra Mode, so I guess we won’t be seeing Naruto 9-Tails Clone Army vs all the Zetsu clones.

    Bossun
  5. AM I the only who’s tired of Naruto’s ace in the hole being different variations of a friggin energy sphere?
    I mean when he was a kid, he was much more creative, I’m tired of rasengan all-together. This new “created from seeing a tailed beast” discovery just lets them ride the rasengan wave until the end of the series.

    Omegan
  6. Well it makes me wonder if that type of immortality is what made Sasori finally rest in peace what will it take to get Deidara to let go? He even had a self-destruct suicide bombing that was akin to a nuclear explosion and still isn’t content.

    gawrshness
  7. He can’t use shadow clones because at the moment the nine-tails is not fighting with him, like Bee and the eight-tails.
    The eight-tails even confirmed that they used to be the same way, and went threw the whole chakra trade phase.
    If Naruto is going to reach his full potential before this manga ends, he will have to make friends with the nine-tails. Then we will get to see our massive Naruto army.

    platue
  8. The biggest bummer about the training arcs is that Naruto’s moves all seem to not interweave all that well.

    e.g. He has to give chakra to the Fox in exchange for the Fox’s chakra. Why doesn’t he just use Sage chakra? He could probably keep an endless supply if he used nature chakra. Also, can he weave his wind element chakra into the Fox’s bomb? And, with the fox (and with the sage, too) his Shadow Clones aren’t that useful.

    I’d like to see a Tailed Beast Rasen-Shuriken Bomb attack from a Sage-mode Kyuubi transformation, but I really wonder how that’s going to work out…

    K.K.
    1. Probably a attack that is strong enough to one-hit kill madara, sasuke and Kabuto while those three are using a technique that is supposed to have them stay unharmed (like that perfect defense thing sasuke had when using susano-o or the staying alive when being obviously killed stuff danzou pulled) when being hit by a Tailed Beast Rasen-Shuriken Bomb attack from a Sage-mode Kyuubi transformation.

      damrod
  9. I see epic rasengan energy beamspam in the future -__-” I’d rather see smart uses of techniques rather than dropping bombs. Though the further you get in a shounen series it’s hard not to indulge in giant explosion-inducing attacks (ex. nuke missile bankai in bleach…). The current Naruto’s power is only gonna result in fast-paced battles of instinct rather than carefully thought out strategies, making me wish for something like the Sasuke battles of way back when…

    sunsona
  10. Looking forward to seeing Neji’s father return (hopefully we’ll be able to see Hanabi <3). And Jiraya and Dan coming to face Tsunade and Naruto.

    I'm actually not surprised about the new Rasengan – in fact, we've already seen a Kyuubi-chakra Rasengan before. Chapter 232, when Naruto goes into 1-tail mode for the first time, he creates a Rasengan out of the Kyuubi's chakra, not his. I thought it looked strange then, and this actually explains it (doesn't explain Sasuke's black chidori, though).

    Then a couple months later, Naruto went 3-tails and used a full-blown Imari for the first time. The 1-tail rasengan actually looks like a stepping stone between the Imari and the first Rasengan. So yes, it probably was planned for years.

    The only problem I'm having is the fact that throwing Rasenshuriken is still pretty much one of the most powerful jutsus in existence, and it's kind of distressing to know that Sage mode won't have a fair shot at Madara/Sasuke because it's a "previous generation mode".

    Any takers for a Imari Shuriken? That's right, it combines wind chakra to create the ultimate –

    Circles
    1. I don’t think Sage mode will become useless. We already know how strong it makes him, because he was stong enough to beat pain. We also know that he can’t spam his nine-tails mode, yet. So I think he will only use his nine-tials mode for the bigger battles.

      platue
      1. Actually, the only reason he really “beat” Pain, to me, was…

        1.) He had info learned by Jiraiya and others constantly being fed to him through Katsuyu, allowing him to know several of Pain’s abilities when the fight started. If he had gone in blind, chances are he would’ve lost far quicker due to having far less experience to someone like Jiraiya.

        2.) Pain wasn’t fighting to kill. He was fighting just enough to beat him down enough to merely capture as the Jinchuriki needs to be alive.

        3.) Hinata’s foolish and selfish “intervention” to “protect” him. By that point, Naruto had already been caught and pinned by Pain while Pain was still pretty fresh after recovering his chakra from his big Shinra Tensei. Hinata’s “death” triggered Naruto’s rage and caused him to explode to his 6-8-tailed states, allowing him to easily break free.

        4.) Stemming from #3, this forced Pain to use more powerful jutsu like a stronger Shinra Tensei and the Chibaku Tensei, both of which failed and “injured” him while also causing him to waste a lot of chakra. This is what allowed him to get worn down enough for Naruto to eventually land the finishing blow.

        5.) Convenient Sage Mode healing; with JUST the 4-tailed state normally, we’ve seen Naruto extremely injured and worn out because of how incinerating the chakra is, so surely 6 and 8-tailed states would’ve been far more severe. Even with Sage Mode, the fact that Naruto was back at 100% right off the bat after the convenient little fail-safe Minato had put him seemed a bit too convenient.

        6.) Usual “moment of stupidity” ala Kakuzu with Naruto AGAIN fooling people with basic Kage Bunshin + Henge + Rasengan; something you’d think they would know about, as it’s one of Naruto’s usual tricks (Kage Bunshin + Henge at least), and would be on the lookout for.

        HalfDemonInuyasha
  11. Well here’s a few thing you have to remember.

    Minato isn’t the only one who learned a jutsu from Jinchurikki. The Kazekage’s Red Sand techinque was learned from the one tail, Shukaku.

    He was married to a Jinchurikki so I’d imagine they trained together. And we already know that he’s a genius so is it really that much a stretch? Not really.

    Then you have to think about this. Minato was married to Kushina and the talk of kids had to come up. Maybe they had always planned to have Naruto be the next Kyuubi vessel.

    So I don’t think of it in terms of Minato having godly foresight as he knew how to make the best of a situation.

    Your wife is the vessel for the most badass creature ever. Learn its jutsu’s.
    Your kid is poised to be the next vessel. Develop the jutsu in a way he can learn from early on.

    And oh yea. Naruto didn’t learn the rasengan young because it was easy. He learned it because he could cheat in a very unique way.

    Tikal
  12. Naruto hasn’t even TRULY mastered the Rasenshuriken and they’re ALREADY giving him a more-than-like MUCH STRONGER attack using Kyuubi’s chakra?

    And the whole sudden “weakness” to Edo Tensei being apparently letting them find inner peace and they just disintegrate…total BS for convenience given, otherwise, they’d outright own anyone they come up against given their “immortality” and especially because, as I brought up last chapter, Naruto would more than likely be extremely distracted seeing the likes of Haku, Zabuza, Chiyo, Asuma, Dan, and others there, so they need some sort convenient hole for Naruto to poke through =\

    HalfDemonInuyasha
    1. I don’t think that it has anything to do with being convienent. Everything has a downside in jutsu, hell everything in life has a downside and usually a fatal flaw. The one for Edo Tensei makes sense. The soul can only be anchored to a body as long as it has a grudge/unresolved issues. Its the very thing so many people think cause ghosts like real life. However finding that grudge/unresolved issue is NOT easy. So far the match ups have been very lucky. Also look at Deidara, who’s going to find the peace in him?

      But EVERYTHING badass has a fatal flaw. The biggest strongest man can be taken out with a cut to the achilles heels, fighter jets go down if they suck in a bird.

      The world is ironic like that.

      Tikal
  13. I like where this is going. But as other people have said, it’s like Naruto’s got one move and he just keeps upgrading it, which is kind of disappointing. I enjoyed the fights with a lot of strategy that didn’t just depend on having a stronger technique to beat the opponent. Such as the chuunin exams and Sasuke’s fight with Itachi. However, I also extremely enjoy the fights that Kishimoto sets up between the powerhouse characters, like with Jiraiya and Pain, and the original fight with Sasuke and Naruto. There wasn’t much talk of strategy but the fights were epic because both sides busted out some crazy moves! So hopefully we see that instead, seeing as how both sides are ridiculously OP now.

    Pikow
  14. Another meh chapter of Naruto. Seriously. ANOTHER RASENGAN? LETS-HUG-EM-ZOMBIE-ARMY? AWESOME SAGE MODE FORGOTTEN JUST LIKE OTHER NARUTO POWERUPS?…

    “epic”…its quite clear that kishi no longer cares on what he writes. AS carebear-y as part II was post pain-arc, it was still nowhere as bad as this. Nowadays its…uhh…

    UnknownVoice
    1. another Rasengan that looks like its going to be a tailed Beast bomb

      its not really hug em its more like make them feel content Deidara is not going to go down that way as we saw

      who said Sage mode was forgotten he is just practicing with his new mode nothing says that sage mode is forgotten if fact sage mode seems to be better then his new mode right now

      what Naruto powerups were forgotten

      your hate right now is for almost no reason

      Clinton
    2. so what if itsnot called rasengan. Its still a friggin huge ball of scribbles that goes boom. Tailed beast part only means that Naruto will soon convert kyuubi to his narutard religion of peace and happiness.

      And seriously you expect sage mode to reappear? Its all about the utterly random and stupid plot device known as kyuubi now. Its very unlikely that Naruto will actually start using his own powers(like he promised and did till the whole pain/kyuubi fiasco of this manga). Whats worse it will no longer be “deal with the devil” twist type. Now it will be a pokemon -_-

      @tama

      I do not have to write manga, to enjoy it and recognize its downfalls 😉

      UnknownVoice
      1. but he is not going to get the Kyuubi on his side thats never going to happen

        you don’t know whats going to happen so you can’t hate on it. Sage mode is better then kyuubi mode right now but your getting mad that he is just trying to get better at using his new mode

        clinton

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