If there’s one thing I like doing in my free time, it’s playing chess. And gosh darn, does this chapter feel like a game of chess. I mean, think about it for a moment. White makes the first move in chess. Kabuto, mostly drawn in white, takes the initiative in this chapter, attempting to assert an early advantage via his superior sensory abilities. We have the subsequent counter by Itachi, who is dressed in black (coincidence?), and anticipates Kabuto’s moves based on prior knowledge about his character; very similar to how chess players study previous games of their opponent. Then, there’s the feint Itachi tries to pull with his words and the subsequent multi-pronged attack by both Itachi and Sasuke, which is just a great analogy to chess strategies where one tries to bait their opponent to set up multiple moves ahead. I mean, really, this chapter’s just a perfect representation of chess and the amount of thought that goes into each move, as well as the various types of strategies used by chess players.

And suffice to say, I love it. Nothing really happens plot-wise this chapter, but just seeing the pure abilities of all the people involved, the major impact that analysis can have on the battlefield in addition to skill, it’s just amazing. And if anything, it goes to show just how equally important tactics are in addition to raw skill. Overall though, it definitely looks like the Uchihas have taken the upper hand at this point, surprising both myself and Kabuto with the use of tactics from their childhood. I have to say, at this point, it sure looks like Kabuto won’t be able to do anything in the face of the Uchihas and their combined might.

**On a side note, I have to also mention how much I love the emphasis on the brotherly bonds between Itachi and Sasuke. I know some people probably dislike the recent developments, but at the very least, I believe Kishimoto Masashi has done a good job with that aspect. I mean, it’s slipped in just perfectly with the development of the battle and the plot. There’s the subtle incorporation of flashbacks, the chapter titles referencing “brothers”, and to top it off, there’s also the great scenes involving both Uchihas. Combined with great lines like “THE BONDS BETWEEN BROTHERS WILL NEVER FADE AWAY!,” it just sends chills down my spine.


  1. I think Kishimoto’s brother love-hate theories throughout the series has something to do with his own life. He has a twin brother after all. Which, incidentally also became Mangaka.

  2. I feel like Naruto is still the best of the Shonen trinity. Unlike Bleach and One Piece I never really lost interest in it. Kishimoto really knows how to make things awesome when most other places would screw it up. It’s not just about infinite power ups and flashing behind someone’s back.

    Suppa Tenko
    1. I don’t know how to break this to you, but Naruto doesn’t exactly have the high ground when it comes to infinite power ups.

      And surprise from behind teleport buttsecks is specific to Bleach.

    2. One Piece have much more character development then Naruto, its on par with Naruto or even better to some especially with the recent time skip. You just have to give it a chance.

    3. Compared to Naruto and Bleach, One Piece does not take itself that seriously.

      It certainly has drama, very well-developed drama, but it also has lots of comedy and is not above stooping for the low jokes. I personally find it more entertaining.

  3. Just wait till Itachi gets either slaughtered or completely under the control of Kabuto again. I’d say it’s going to be the latter, and Sasuke is forced to kill his brother ‘again’, causing him to completely lose himself forever and returning to the dark side once more, but this time even deeper.

    Calling it now.

  4. Fuck this shit. Sasuke forfeited his right to happiness. He’s actively trying to subvert his brother’s wishes, left both his new and old teammates/friends for dead, and pretty much turned into an all around self absorbed prick. And I suppose Itachi shares part of the blame too for nonsensically setting his personality into motion.

    But what the hell Kabuto? Learn to prioritize and de-summon Itachi already. There’s no plausible reason to not do it.

  5. Hey, I loved this chapter too.

    Last week I said-complained how I’d like to see these Uchia use some other non-sharingan abilities, which were getting kind of dull now with them, Madara and Tobi spamming the same 3-4 trademark Sharingan moves in their fights. Mainly Sasuke, who has his sword and Chidori…Imagine my delight when I saw him go with these two the very next chapter!

    You just know the author did a good job keeping power levels in check within a story of 550+ chapters when a sword cut may be just as deadly as an arrow from a Susano idol (I’m looking at you Bleach, and your fingers that stop bankai katanas…). Not much may have happened plot-wise this week, but I’m loving this manga nonetheless: it has lots of material to work with before moving the plot forward, and Kishimoto has been exploiting this fact to great results indeed.

    Other non-manga-related posts:
    ——I can already see this scene in the anime having the very OST track that played during Minato’s victory against Tobi back in episode 248 (Damn that sounded geek!). Kabuto stabs Itachi and thinks he’s won, Sasuke will go Nooo Brother not again!, and BAM music kicks in and Itachi almost decapitates Harry Potter…I’ll be eagerly awaiting this scene.

    ——What’s up with the manga translators? Ever since mangastream stopped translating, the new team has made some awful mistakes. This week: Kabuto says he’ll target Itachi first, but instead goes for Sasuke? Did I miss something? Couple that with some questionable ‘Dr. Snakes’ phrases, and some simple but fatal verb tense/singular-plural mistakes, and the read is severely affected…Well, at least the story itself is good.

  6. It helps that the flashback was believable and made a point that Itachi and Sasuke WERE close before.

    The most frustrating part is that none of this is going to keep Sasuke from going crazy again and wanting to kill Naruto.

  7. This chapter went by so fast. It was great that Itachi sliced off Kabuto’s horn, but I have a feeling that it’s something to worry about since Kabuto’s has snake abilities. You know, another part of his body can become something else to turn the tables of the battle. I could be over thinking it though. Oh and another thing, that wild boar was huge! It looked like something Toriko/Luffy would eat. (Just a thought that came to me).

    random viewer
  8. As cool as I think it is that Sasuke and Itachi are finally pulling the brotherly tag-team I’ve been wanting since the Big Reveal about Itachi (my favorite bit: uber-cool Itachi getting to land a hit on Kabuto with Sasuke’s uber-cool sword), the flashback this time around felt a bit contrived. Since Sasuke was shown as being very young and not anything special prior to the Uchiha Massacre, it’s odd that he’d have been decked out in body armor and sent to support his jonin-level brother on a mission to kill a wild animal. And if this were the case, one might wonder why this or others like it wouldn’t have been shown much earlier. With the extreme overuse of certain flashbacks (how many times have we been treated to the one shot of Sasuke giving Naruto his lunch?), whenever a new one pops up it always throws me for a loop.

    I’m starting to get the feeling that Kishimoto doesn’t really have a coherent plan mapped out for Sasuke. The last time we saw him he was a homicidal nut who seemed completely lost to the darkness. Now he’s fighting Kabuto under subtitles expounding the bonds of brotherhood. I’m no Sasuke-basher–he’s one of my favorite characters–but I do wish he’d just pick an angle and stick to it. Since there’s no way his epic throwdown with Naruto is getting sidetracked out of existence, I don’t have much hope for a happy conclusion to this fight.

    1. Sasuke was always advanced even before the massacre. It’s just compared to Itatchi he was mediocre. It has been shown before that Itachi used to train him, so it’s probably not out of the realm of possibility for Itatchi to let Sasuke tag along on a mission he easily could do himself.

    2. yup cant agree more…the whole lovey dovey brothers is nice…but the ending gonna be bad for sasuke…one part that still annoys me…when the hell the brothers gonna have a good chit chat if kabuto will be defeated and the edo tensai spell will break??? x_X

  9. very boring and bland chapter to me. Even the fight wasnt as well planned out like i thought it would be. Once kabuto went sage mode i was expecting a level of narutos sage mode. But instead he hides and releases a flashbang! Really…thats it?

    1. *Kabuto has been defeated.*
      Sasuke: So, bro…about earler…I wanted to talk to you–
      *Itachi fades*
      Itachi: Sorry, brah. Next time~
      Sasuke: …..
      Sasuke: KONOHAAAAAAAAA!!!

  10. This fight is going to be pure fanservice. Itachi remains on another level even after he’s surpassed in raw power by EMS and Sasuke. The brotherly bounds works well for me. It makes a lot of sense if you look at Sasuke’s character. He’s always loved his brother, even when he “hated” him he loved his brother. That’s why Sasuke goes on and on about breaking bounds. He couldn’t break the bound he had with Itachi (just like he hasn’t really broken his bound with Naruto.)

    Only thing I didn’t like is Kishi can’t draw them the correct looking age. They should be little kids there.

  11. Zephir could you possibly blog the Naruto anime, starting from 243 at least because it finally started to pick up from the Shinobi War and it would be nice to see the animated fights don’t you agree? And of course, to replace Bleach

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