See, I expected there’d be a chapter filled with exposition/dialogue coming up, but not quite so soon. I’d love to say it was a pleasant surprise, but… for the first time since I started covering Naruto here, I’ve found myself with a chapter that I just didn’t like. I mean, part of it could be the translations making some phrases awkward, but quite a few things in this chapter irk me in some shape or form.
For one, there’s the story about Kabuto’s past. It’s always nice to get some more background on a character, especially when there hasn’t been much of it, but it just felt out of place here. I understand he was trying to use it to get Sasuke to join his side, but after all that’s happened up until this point, I would think he’s smart enough to know there was no point to try it in the first place. Heck, even I found it hard to care much about his past, and I’m typically someone who has quite the emotional attachment to characters in shows/manga that I follow. I mean, granted, it might just be Kabuto trying to buy time and it did bring a positive in getting Itachi to say something, but the overall revelation just doesn’t have the kind of impact it could have had a long time ago. Also, Itachi’s dialogue once again comes off as a tease, as he once again refuses to say anything remotely resembling an answer to Sasuke’s question at all, which is getting slightly irritating. At this point, I figure there’s no better time than this to just talk with him for a little bit, if not just to make it so that he’ll be able to focus on the fight more, but alas, it seems like it’s just not to be.
Finally, there’s the portion where Sasuke says his reasons for crushing the Leaf Village are his own. It sounds nice and all, but his assertions come off a bit weak and even slightly contradictory when considering that he’s fighting Kabuto, and with Itachi nonetheless, the man who sacrificed everything for the very village he’s planning to destroy. Furthermore, he doesn’t quite say exactly what those reasons are, even though I suppose some assumptions can be made from what we already know. I mean, his reasoning could easily revolve around what inconsistencies of the Leaf Village and the things the village has done, but kinda makes Itachi’s sacrifice somewhat meaningless, and links back with the above about his actions being contradictory. Furthermore, it hammers in how inexplicable Itachi is for not just spending a few moments to talk to Sasuke, as it seems like just a few words could make it so Sasuke doesn’t go trying to destroy the village he sacrificed so much for. I get letting Sasuke decide what he wants to do for himself, but that alone doesn’t seem to be an adequate reason, especially considering that Itachi’s the older brother and the one who should be giving answers/advice when it’s sought, especially when so much has happened.
In any case,
I apologize for the wall of text this time around, but there’s just a lot in this chapter that seemed a bit off to say the least. It looks like we’ll back to the battle next chapter though, so it looks like things will start picking back up from here. As much as I disliked this chapter, I’m definitely looking forward to the next chapter, if not just to see what this new “Izanami” technique does.