If you know some Japanese, then you’ve undoubtedly noticed that the names of the Kumogakure ninjas are rather goofy. They’re either letters in the alphabet like A (Raikage), B (Killer Bee), C, and J, or an adjective describing their temperament, Omoi (Serious), Karui (Carefree), Darui (Dull), Samui (Cold), Atsui (Hot). I’ve never really given it any more thought than that, outside of how the English dub should probably use the translated version of their names (if they aren’t already) just so it sounds as silly as it does in Japanese, but this chapter brings the names front and center in a very simple yet almost idiotic way. It also marked the first time I recall the series switching back to its lighthearted side since the fourth ninja war started, and it felt a bit out of place for that very reason. The series has been in “serious mode” for some time now and I had completely lost sight of that aspect, so Naruto’s return is looking like it’ll be refreshing in more ways than one.

Despite all the action, there didn’t seem like much to take away from all the gourd soul-sucking triggered by speaking one’s favorite word/phrase, which were unsurprisingly the characters’ own names. Samui of course was the unusual case, since she still got pulled in without saying a word — something that’s begging for an explanation next time.

As such, the part I found the most intriguing was the depiction of the KinGin brothers as the Gold and Silver Horned Demons from the Chinese epic novel, Journey to the West. The uncanny resemblance goes right down to the four magical relics in their possession — the Crimson Gourd, Seven Star Sword, Golden Curtain Rope, and Palm Leaf Fan (missing the Jade Flask). This isn’t the first time that Kishimoto has borrowed ideas from Chinese literature, as the Third Hokage’s summon Enma is based on the main character of the same novel, the Chinese Monkey King Son Wukong, a.k.a. Son Goku in Japanese. I always see these type of characters as homages of sorts, much like I do with Might Guy and Rock Lee in connection to Bruce Lee, so it was kind of cool in that sense. It’s just kind of odd how that was the highlight of the chapter for me, and not the predicament that Darui’s in now. Maybe he’s not even allowed to think “dull” or “sluggish”?

24 Comments

  1. isnt it “banana fan” or at least in the scans I read, maybe they mistranslated or is it just another way of reading it?
    well I prefer the palm leaf fan to the banana fan. it sounds more cool but the banana fan is a bit funny.

    anyway I think the missing jade flask will play an important part later in the story or maybe in this battle. someone might have it and give it to darui to help him beat them and perhaps save the ones sucked in.

    amado
  2. I wonder what’s the point of making a rule, where you can’t say your favorite word, if they can just suck you in anyways? That does indeed beg for an big fat explanation next chapter.

    Norwegium
  3. “Maybe he’s not even allowed to think “dull” or “sluggish”?”

    Yeah, that crossed my mind as well. Would be rather OP though since trying to not think about something means that you unwittingly thought about it 😛

    Flaming
  4. These guys seemed like the biggest ass pull in the story since the last part of the Pain Arc. They come out of nowhere, from a legend no one has heard of till now, with four of five sacred artifacts no one heard about, and they’re infused with KYUUBI Chakra. Seriously, wtf.

    Da5id
    1. Hey! stop it! you are making sense! shhhhhh….

      We heard of the Kinkaku forces in Danzou’s flashback. We knew they were strong enough to “almost kill” the second Hokage (in the flashback it was pretty much stated that they killed him).

      But… “They don’t have enough chakra for the artefacts” “Ah! but they have part of the Kyuubi’s chakra” was pretty convenient.. humh!

      Lectro Volpi
    2. when kishi runs out of ideas, he just lests the cheese fly!!! Not only do the characters and weapon ideas suck, but them also having Nine tails chakra is totally ridiculous story making!!
      Do they create rainbows too?!

      darkloco
  5. “The Crimson Gourd, Seven Star Sword, Golden Curtain Rope, and the Banana phone”

    Yeah, pretty impressive but they all need to be together to work and that makes them lame.

    Darui was pretty confident in his abilities and now… eh?

    Lectro Volpi
  6. i don’t know what to think about this chapter. it wasn’t bad so to say but more of a toss up.
    in fact, like divine pointed out, it was interesting from a literature standpoint if you’re into that stuff.
    did sort of lose a bit in the serious depart. but that could all change quickly enough given the ‘stakes’.
    nothing like having your soul trapped in a gourd .. that actually reminds me of another anime, though i can’t recall which.

    just my two cents, i suppose.

    rekkuryuu
  7. I’m thinking Kishi just likes to use other legends to base his own story on. Susanoo, Tsukiyomi and Amaterasu are all Japanese god names. Orochimaru is already based on the YamatoOrochi and the Kusanagi sword. The Kyuubi is a rather popular fox called Tamamonomae in legend and used in lots of other series like Ga-rei and Kanokon. So, maybe he got bored of Japanese legends and started into Chinese legend for some originality.

    xcswmboy

Leave a Reply to Norwegium Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *