As per my suspicion last chapter, things remained pretty civil between the remaining Jinchuuriki and their respective Kages, and Naruto seemed to have Tsunade on his side even though she couldn’t let him join the front lines. The latter was a given in my mind since Tsunade has a tendency to spoil Naruto with special treatment, so what was surprising was how heated the exchange became (much more so than I was anticipating anyway), and the sudden revelation that A (i.e. Raikage) is the fastest ninja in the world after Minato passed away. I don’t recall the speed part being explicitly stated in the past, but judging from Tsunade’s surprise on how Naruto was able to keep up with A in his Kyuubi-chakra form, I gather it was intended to be a big first-time revelation of sorts this chapter. While there was mention of how fast A is during the Kage Summit arc, I definitely would’ve second-guessed Sasuke’s chances against him had I known he’s the “fastest”, even if Sasuke had Susanoo and Amaterasu at his disposal.

Looking back, this additional tidbit changes my perspective of Sasuke’s abilities almost eighty chapters ago, and makes me wonder how truly overpowered he is now that he’s inherited Itachi’s eyes. Naturally gifted ninja or not, I guess this goes to show just how powerful the Uchiha bloodline truly is. (Not that we didn’t know that already of course.) In relation to Naruto, a subtle implication is that Sasuke will be able to hold his own against our emotionally driven hero even after he’s harnessed the power of his Tailed Beast. It wasn’t too long ago that it looked like their next fated encounter would be tilted in Naruto’s favor, having both the power of a Tailed Beast and the speed of his father. Power is one thing, but speed is a beast of its own (pun intended), if Toriyama Akira has taught us anything in Dragon Ball — a series that Kishimoto credits for influencing his creation of Naruto (the series). In light of this new info, the playing field has been leveled so to speak, seeing as A possesses the very same traits au naturel and Sasuke held his own against him. I jest, but it looks like an all-out fight between Naruto and Sasuke would also lead to the destruction of the world, meaning that killing Naruto may be the best preventative measure after all.

Oddly enough, I rather enjoyed seeing Naruto’s usual unshakable resolve this time around, now that it’s been further reinforced by his mother Kushina. His self-doubt is practically non-existent, making it easy to get caught up in his headstrong, act-first-think-later pace. This in turn left the flashback between A and Bee as the most unexpected development. What was intended to emphasize their unparalleled, almost twin-like sixth sense left me dwelling on the fact that they’re not really brothers but “bros” (i.e. they’re not blood-related). I honestly don’t remember if this was brought up before, but assuming it wasn’t, I feel somewhat cheated by their uncanny resemblance. In any case, the question I’m left with is what Bee showed A through his fist bump. If I was reading the chapter correctly, the flashback was used to stress how they can understand one another without words and not the thoughts Bee was actually conveying, so what A learned will be revealed next time. I suspect Bee passed on exactly why he has so much faith in Naruto, in which case, A would come to understand Naruto’s earnest feelings to protect his friends and eventually let him participate in the war. Either way, I guess I’ll find out soon enough.

* On a separate note, I doubt the Naruto manga will end after this arc like some people are suspecting, given how profitable the series is. Sure it’s only sold about half as many volumes as One Piece all-time, but given creator Oda Eiichirou’s estimated earnings, I can’t see why Kishimoto’s publisher, Shueisha, would let that happen. It would be like taking bags of money and burning them.

62 Comments

  1. welcome back divine!! I also missed you writing, you give a great view on things i never really thought about. I also liked this chapter. But though Naruto should have been faster with his space time moves like his father.

    darkloco
  2. Blah blah blah ninjas blah blah blah I liked this chapter.

    In any case, your separate note makes me sad because I know that’s what’ll happen, but I don’t want it to. In all honesty, I would love for it to end after this arc. They can forget about Sasuke for all I care too. They could literally just say he tripped, bashed his head into a rock, and died from brain damage and I would be perfectly fine with that. I have literally never found him even remotely interesting or likeable in any way, shape, or form. I just pray that whatever they do regarding Sasuke, they do it quick. Have them meet up and fight for 20-30 chapters. I don’t care. I just want them to drag it out by having them meet then talk then leave then meet again then fight a bit then leave etc etc. Just have them get it over with please. That might really be the one thing that makes me drop this series because that’s how little I care for his entire being.

    BabyChooChoo
  3. Kind of a BS chapter in my opinion. In makes the Raikage look too strong, Naruto too weak, and worst of all Sasuke too overpowered. It is so very annoying. I also don’t like the fact that the only reason Naruto is so fast is because of the Kyuubi. His dad relied on his own strength and was faster than anyone.

    And, what about Sage mode? Was that whole thing just thrown under the bus? All that training, all the effort? It was Naruto’s own power, that’s why I liked it so much. Kyuubi mode is, dare I say, extremely lame.

    I have been very patient waiting for the inevitable Sasuke vs. Naruto scuffle… but the closer and closer we get, the lamer and lamer it looks like it is going to be. I have this horrible feeling that in the end it won’t be Naruto’s power that beats Sasuke, but the “gift” Itachi left him.

    I made myself sad by reading this chapter.

    Ricalloo
  4. No, Bee is his real Brother. This Bros fist touch, is “brother in Arms”, too. Bee Flashback how he tame the 8 Tail Monster inside him, that he is his Brother.

    Germanguy
  5. If letting Naruto continue so the publishers can milk it for more money means that it would turn into another Bleach-like disaster, I’d rather Naruto ends after a few more arcs. Then again, Shueisha doesn’t want that. 😛

    Luxorcist
  6. Ah, watched Naruto episode 202 and they stated that he was the only one that could match the 4th Hokage in speed. Zetsu also stated that he was damn fast.

    Lectro Volpi
  7. Welcome back Divine! You were greatly missed, but I can understand why you needed a break. <3

    The revelation about A and Bee came off to me as more of a shocking swerve than anything truly planned, given the lack of foreshadowing and the boys’ looks being so ridiculously similar.

      1. I doubt that Masashi Kishimoto will let Naruto stretch out too long past its pace. In spite of what people said about the Buu arc, Toriyama actually made the best of it and we got to see strong character growth from Gohan (quickly redeeming himself after becoming the ridiculous Saiyaman), Vegeta, and the continuous consequences of pride has on their growing power levels. It also gave us the best fusion incarnation in my opinion, Vegito, not that I’m expecting any kind of fusion between Naruto and Sasuke, but Kishimoto clearly stated he knew exactly how the story would end. Even for monetary reasons, I can’t see how he would fill in the gap between how he plans to get there and where the story is now with unplanned material that would eventually threaten to distort this originally planned ending from its intended form. Like Dragon Ball, it could benefit a little, or it may not. Nonetheless, if there’s going to be an adult arc following Konohamaru or something, with Naruto as Hokage, and Sasuke as the new leader of a small regrowing Uchiha clan still bent on taking over the Leaf, then that would at least give the story room to grow into an adult manga capacity. I don’t see what else he can do with everything that’s happened in their adolescent arc except to finish it with the much anticipated Naruto vs Sasuke. And anybody else confused how the zombie-Itachi still has his Sharingans?

        ChakraTestosterone
      2. I don’t mean to play devil’s advocate, but knowing how it ends could simply mean Kishimoto’s decided on how the story will conclude (i.e. what happens between Naruto and Sasuke), and not necessarily all the arcs in between to get to that point. I think it’s only natural to have an ending in mind when one comes up with a story, whereas the details on how to reach that climax remain tentative. If that’s the case with Naruto, the series could very well go on for another few arcs with the introduction of new characters, further setting back the eventual conclusion between Naruto and Sasuke.

        As for Itachi (and Pain’s) eyes, this was brought up a couple of posts back. In short, Edo Tensei brings back a person’s soul with all their abilities intact, regardless of what happened to their corpse afterward. Keep in mind the corpse isn’t even needed to perform the technique — only their DNA is — and that the human sacriface has merely taken on the appearance of the resurrected individual.

  8. Weirdly enough, VIZ translates the Raikage’s name to Ei instead of A. While that makes more sense as an actual name, I don’t think it works as well with the whole “He’s A. I’m his B. Hence the name Killer Bee” sort of thing.

  9. This chapter was necessary imo, this is another one of those I believe in Naruto chapter with Bee as the one who will do what is necessary to to help Naruto achieve his goals. For a manga this one has a lot of chapters where other characters have to believe in the main character and then help him out.

    Ohnam
  10. I hope Naruto doesn’t get over-played like Dragon Ball Z did. You make a point that if the creators were to stop making Naruto after this arc that it would be like “burning bags of money”. However, in order to maintain the artistic merits of the manga I would hope Kishimoto would stop at the right time, which would be at the end of this arc.

    nifnkldnkladnkl;
  11. I can’t see why Kishimoto’s publisher, Shueisha, would let that happen. It would be like taking bags of money and burning them. LOL!!! Naruto needs to reach his Father’s speed! Also, his resove was refreshing!!!

  12. I have been saying all along after Naruto deals with Sasuke and Madara there should be a time warp and a 3rd series with Naruto in his 20s (or very early 30s), he is the Hokage and married to Hinata and they maybe have a child or two. The series could all about his struggles as Hokage and a new generation of kids taking the exam as well as new dangers and vilians.

    Karmafan
  13. A being faster than Naruto at this point just means that our hero has greater heights to aspire to yet. I loved Killer B throwing himself in A’s path and offering his life for Naruto’s (good argument too … letting either Jinchurichi die would solve the Eye of the Moon problem, at least for the moment).

    The translation I read was pretty blatant with the fact that A and B aren’t blood brothers, but became so after the Double Lariat test. Or if they are, B was lost as a baby and nobody knows A has a brother (the guards even mentioned A doesn’t have one).

    I’m hoping that Kishi won’t keep drawing the series out, unless he does an epilogue arc with Naruto as the Hokage, with the Nine-Tails chakra fully mastered, maybe trying to study the Sage of the Six Paths or some such. I’d actually kinda like to see that … and maybe he could even come up with a way to continue the story for awhile at that level. Maybe making Naruto less of a focus and focusing on a new generation of heroes, not starting over from Episode 1 but probably newly Chuunin level.

    Guardian
  14. This chapter was depressing for 3 reasons:

    1. Naruto has became as bad as Sasuke (just because he has a new power it doesn’t mean he should be pulling it out every 3 panels)

    2. The Raikage is as fast as an improved Kyuubi mode!!? >:( Haku couldn’t even blink without being hit in the face by a tailless 12 year old Naruto (Haku was fast as puny hell within the mirrors) but Pain and Raikage can race against 6 tails and Flash Kyuubi Mode with no problems? That’s some major BS!!

    3. Sasuke pwned the Raikage (in a sense that he held his own). Yet Naruto held he own with Sasuke at the Summit and Naruto is still underleveled. Like I said b4 “That’s some BS!!”

    Azul Flamed Samurai
    1. You should read comics with half the brain activated:
      “Walking on water?”
      “Riding a frog the size of a stadium?”
      “Creating an instant blackhole out of nothing?”

      As if that’s not some major BS.

      NexJin
  15. see? that’s what makes Sasuke so epicly lametastic, because Naruto puts so much effort to gain his abilities, he risked losing his human appearance during his sage training, risked losing an arm during rasen shuriken training, and so on and so forth to get where he is now and Sasuke just becomes stronger through some dues ex machina called sharingan and being emo and finally EYE TRANSPLANT, that’s just downright stupid.

    gawrshness
    1. Honestly Naruto’s training was never as risky as you put it. He was always placed under the guidance of those who genuinely cared for him – Jiraiya, the frogs, you name it.

      Sasuke on the other hand had all his advancements come from life-threatening battles. He learnt how to manipulate Amateraru from the fight with B. He advanced Susanoo to its current stage from his fights with Raikage and Danzou.

      In short, Sasuke’s ‘training’ was the one which posed the highest risks, so I think it’s unfair to say how he obtained his abilities ‘instantaneously’ or ‘easily’.

      wer
      1. I understand how it feels to like a character nobody else does. But in this case, I side with the majority in my hatred of Sasuke.

        I think in truth Naruto has worked far harder than Sasuke in attaining his power.

        Dues ex machina indeed. Kekkei Genkai are really annoying and overpowered in Naruto, Sharingan being the worst. Sasuke has been given more power then he has trained for. Born with Sharingan, cursed seal from Orochimaru, Itachi’s eyes… and all he does is bitch and whine and cry.

        I’ve liked Naruto as a character, but more so when he beats a strong enemy with his own powers than from those borrowed from Kyuubi. That is why I don’t like Kyuubi mode. Sage mode is my overall favorite. It was extremely epic. Now it has been tossed to the side like so much used tissues.

        Ricalloo
      2. Sasuke actually, from his words anyway, seemed to ALREADY have Susano’o. He just wanted to “test it” at the Summit and all it took to advance it against Danzo was utter RAGE at him badmouthing Itachi. Not exactly “high risk” there.

        “I understand how it feels to like a character nobody else does. But in this case, I side with the majority in my hatred of Sasuke.

        I think in truth Naruto has worked far harder than Sasuke in attaining his power.”

        I only partially believe that now.

        In the beginning, Sasuke really did work his ass off over 2 1/2 years to become as powerful as he was when he was fully re-introduced at Orochimaru’s base and he showed it when he owned everyone easily when they fought him. And even with all that extra power, even from using the Curse Seal, he still had difficulty against Deidara and others, so how could Naruto hope to compare?

        Naruto, aside from more Kyuubi chakra (which utterly failed with Jiraiya’s attempt and he could BARELY control 3 tails) and a slightly bigger Rasengan (Odama Rasengan), seemed virtually unchanged from when he left in Part 1 (besides obvious basics) and even with a 50% Rasenshuriken (that Tsunade forbade him from ever using against because of the dangers), it was obvious Naruto wouldn’t be able to beat Sasuke, especially with Sasuke getting the Mangekyo Sharingan and already learning to use it.

        So what do they do? Shove a bunch of extra power-ups onto Naruto, yet keeping him with, generally, the same tricks (Kage Bunshin and Rasengan stuff).

        But wait! With Sage Mode and beating Pain (even though Pain had him owned earlier on and it was only due to Hinata’s idiocy + Kyuubi again that Naruto broke out and wore him down followed the the “moment of stupidity” cliche like against Kakuzu), Naruto has suddenly become stronger than Sasuke.

        So now what? Show Sasuke suddenly be able to take on Kage-level shinobi himself, despite losing the Curse Seal (so no extra chakra to draw from), yet able to maintain the Mangekyo and keep using its abilities until the VERY end despite, even WITH the Curse Seal, he could BARELY keep up with a 90% crippled Itachi (who, even then, was HOLDING BACK AGAINST HIM) and then potentially give him an Eternal Mangekyo Sharingan.

        But wait again! That would make him stronger than Naruto again, even with Sage Mode. So now we have to give Naruto yet another power-up (and with a convenient little fail-safe with Kushina, just like with Minato) and letting him now be able to control Kyuubi’s chakra in him.

        It’s basically come down to more and more power being given out to both of them.

        “Dues ex machina indeed. Kekkei Genkai are really annoying and overpowered in Naruto, Sharingan being the worst. Sasuke has been given more power then he has trained for. Born with Sharingan, cursed seal from Orochimaru, Itachi’s eyes… and all he does is bitch and whine and cry.

        I’ve liked Naruto as a character, but more so when he beats a strong enemy with his own powers than from those borrowed from Kyuubi. That is why I don’t like Kyuubi mode. Sage mode is my overall favorite. It was extremely epic. Now it has been tossed to the side like so much used tissues.”

        The Rinnegan, even with what little we know, is technically the worst. It only doesn’t seem as bad because Nagato’s use of it, by his own words, is nothing compared to the original Rikudo Sennin and, aside from how we’ve seen Nagato use it, we never truly see it in action while the Sharingan is just shoved down our throats ever since Sasuke vs. Itachi.

        And, to be fair, Sasuke was only born with the potential to unlock the Sharingan. Not every Uchiha seems to awaken it from what we’ve seen. Obito almost never did himself too. Kekkei Genkai is generally about potential and not a guarantee. Otherwise, Tobirama and Tsunade should’ve been able to use Mokuton, but Tobirama only really mastered Suiton (despite being Hashirama’s brother) and Tsunade doesn’t show high ability in Doton nor Suiton.

        On the flip side, you got those with very high potential like Itachi, Haku, Kimimaro, etc who have demonstrated very high ability with their Kekkei Genkai at very young ages, even beyond those of their own clan (at least with Itachi and Kimimaro).

        The sad thing is is that it feels like “potential” hardly matters anymore. Same with true skill, experience, etc…

        HalfDemonInuyasha
      3. Power ups doesn’t mean you cannot use your brain anymore.

        Perhaps you may want to rewatch the anime version of Sasuke vs Danzou to see how strategies can be employed in conjunction with ‘overpowering abilities’.

        In that fight, Karin and Sasuke were observing the sequence of events. But while Sasuke came up with the right strategy to have Danzou exhaust all his sharingans, Karin precribed an alternative strategy which Madara mentioned would be ineffective. So there you have it, brain still matters.

        wer
  16. Why is everybody discrediting the Raikage for being faster than Naruto? He’s a freaking KAGE level ninja, hidden cloud LEADER, he’s suppose to be mad powerful! Jinchurikis are suppose to be “weapons” for each country, that doesnt necessary mean they’re stronger than the commander of the ninjas in that country.

    I’m not saying the Raikage should be able to walk all over Naruto, but come on, give the man some credit. Considering he’s a lightning element user, hell, MASTER, Im not surprised one bit if he were the fastest ninja.

    YanDaMan
    1. I may or may not be speaking for others, but I think the problem isn’t so much how strong Raikage is…. it’s how evenly Sasuke fought him that is making people mad. He even took one of his arms. I think until this chapter most people, including myself, were under the impression that Naruto was at a level higher than Sasuke, especially after gaining the Kyuubi mode. This chapter gave the appearance that Raikage is evenly matched with Naruto… and therefor Sasuke is evenly matched with him as well.

      Now, this isn’t a certainty, as Naruto’s fight with the Raikage was cut short… but the impression was heard loud and clear.

      I know for myself this was a bit of a disappointing revelation. Sasuke is played out like a Mary Sue, a special snowflake if you will. A lot of people hate that kind of character.

      Ricalloo
      1. The only people who are ‘mad’ are people who refuse to accept the fact that Sasuke can and has progressed to the Kage level. That’s like getting ‘mad’ just because Naruto can be as fast as Raikage.

        Naruto being a level higher than Sasuke was, again, simply your own pre-conceived fantasy. In fact, looking at how things have progressed in the manga, I would venture a guess that Sasuke was a level higher than Naruto right now.

        Why? Because Sasuke was evenly matched against Raikage back when Susanoo was but a skeletal structure. And Naruto with Kyubi mode was evenly matched against Raikage NOW.

        wer
      2. As for Sasuke vs Danzou, emotion certainly played a part in the fight. But emotion was not all there is.

        People sometimes conveniently neglect the fact that, despite all the overpowering techniques Sasuke has in his arsenal, it was a simple genjutsu that was instrumental in beating Danzou.

        It was not Susanoo who landed the fatal blow, nor was it Amaterasu, heck it was not even Tsukiyomi. It was a Konohamaru-level genjutsu. Sasuke was still using his brain even after having all the overpowering jutsus. So what are you compaining about again?

        wer
      3. I dont think Sasuke took one of Raikage’s arms. As far as I remember the Raikage LET Sasuke get one of his arms just so he could close in and powerbomb the shit out of him. He sacrificed his own arm in an attempt to kill a threat, he gets respect in my book for that.

        And yeah I can kinda understand why people would be pissed at teh whole Sasuke vs Naruto in power level progression thing, where Naruto work hard to get all his techniques and Sasuke gets everything handed to him, but still. Thats usually how it is with a protagonist vs antagonist scenario. Sasuke isn’t even suppose to be a likeable character anymore so I wouldnt be surprised if this was done on purpose to get people to hate him more.

        YanDaMan
  17. Even though the whole “Bros” not brothers thing came out of the blue it makes sense considering the themes of Naruto. We see Kishimoto emphasizing time and time again how bonds that develop have just as much importance as blood bonds. Arguably more since they actually affect our personalities and how we grow. It fit pretty well in that regard.

    Even if it is only a few posts, welcome back Divine.

    synkronized
    1. ….Than Raikage just told himself to STFU and he is a moron that need to understand that: He too is a Jinchuriki that has no right to make decisions as individual and is nothing more than a weapon for the purpose of power balance between the ninja countries.

      Seem pretty unlikely to me.

      NexJin
  18. [quote] I understand how it feels to like a character nobody else does. But in this case, I side with the majority in my hatred of Sasuke.I think in truth Naruto has worked far harder than Sasuke in attaining his power [/quote]

    Perhaps you would want to stop living in your own fantasy. ‘Nobody else does’ is an egotistical claim which is neither truthful nor convincing.

    Naruto has worked hard but he was always babysited by a high-profile mentors. He worked hard, yes, but the risks he took was minimal. For instance, in his training to become a sage, the frog was always there to save him whenever he would tranform into a stone.

    Sasuke was working hard AND taking a lot of risks. That’s what makes him a tough opponent. And honestly, his fight with Raikage may be labelled as ‘holding his own’ by some who refuse to believe how strong he has come to be. But, to me, ‘holding his own’ was an understatement, Raikage lost an arm and Sasuke advanced his Susanoo to the next stage. Who won? The answer is the guy who still got both arms after the fight.

    wer
  19. [quote]Sasuke actually, from his words anyway, seemed to ALREADY have Susano’o. He just wanted to “test it” at the Summit and all it took to advance it against Danzo was utter RAGE at him badmouthing Itachi. Not exactly “high risk” there. [/quote]

    The Susanoo ‘he already had’ before his fight with Raikage was simply a small skeletal frame, without the head, arm, etc.

    Through the whole fight with Raikage he was able to advance Susanoo to having a complete skeletal structure. And through his fight with Danzou, Susanoo gained flesh and a bow. That’s what I meant when I said Sasuke progressed through combats.

    The fact that he doesn’t train in-house like Naruto, doesn’t mean he was not training. He was training with actual combatants.

    wer
  20. sasuke was training with orochimaru for awhile, but after he got the black flame in his eye. And other new eye techniques. It just seem like of late he dont need to train. He finds new eye techs and hes good to go spamming them none stop even though its said to drain tons of chakra to use them for other people. Where as Naruto has been training for 20 chapters, only to be outclassed right away by Raikage. That just seems like a waste, especially since sasuke kept up with Raikage with ease.

    darkloco
    1. Combat is the way to go.

      The villages should stop babysitting Naruto if they want him to progress faster. Just look at the recent chapter, thet’re still trying to ‘protect’ him and refuse to let him gain up real experience in actual combat.

      It’s becoming increasing obvious that Sasuke is gaining a lot more in actual combat than Naruto’s in-hourse training.

      wer
      1. It’s more ‘tactical advantage’ rather than ‘turtling’.

        Sasuke doesn’t have Raikage’s raw speed. So, the best cource of action for Sasuke was to provoke Raikage into attack him, knowing that Raikage would be harmed by Amateraru, while Sasuke would be practically unharmed.

        Raikage’s blind rage was ironically the best weapon against him.

        wer
      2. He wasn’t equally matched at all for two reasons.

        1 – They didn’t actually fight cos Bee jumped in, so we don’t know about strength.
        2- A only blocked Naruto’s path. Naruto also travelled a bigger distance in the same amount of time although obviously A only wanted to block him, not have a race with him.

        I’m not sure about the translation but I don’t see how Tsunade can say that Naruto could “Keep up” with A when neither have shown enough to say that.

    1. @Wer – Agreed, Gaara said so himself that he would have harmed himself.

      Even if Raikage’s kick did get through and harm sasuke, Amaterasu would have caused him to lose his leg. Then he’s screwed especially seeing as Madara woulda probably jumped in at that point if Sasuke was incapacitated just like he did later on.

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