Going right in, things just keep rollin’ on forward for Naruto this chapter. We get Tobi unleashing his ultimate trump card in the ten tails… the reveal that he only needs a piece of each of the tailed beasts’ chakra in order to do so… insight into Tobi’s ultimate objective of using the power to unleash a genjutsu on the whole planet in order to ensure a peaceful world… as well as the answer to what the source of chakra in the world was. And well, even though not much really happens in terms of actual events, this chapter was certainly a good one. Not only does it answer quite a few questions we’ve had for a little bit, but also sets up nicely what probably is one of the last major fights of the series.
But in the end though, as much of a final battle as this seems to be between Naruto and Tobi, I reckon there’s probably no way Naruto and the rest of them can win at the moment. If anything, even if they do succeed, it feels like it’ll only be a temporary setback that just forces Tobi to retreat momentarily. As such, it really surprised me when this chapter came along and focused purely on Tobi and Naruto, rather than continuing the Sasuke and/or Madara side of things. I always figured both of em’ will eventually tie in with the Tobi fight… but it seems like Kishimoto’s probably going the split route, where he’ll occasionally alternate back and forth between everything. It makes a lot of sense, but I do wonder if the Tobi fight wasn’t something that would be best left to the end, where it can go on without interruption. Of course, I might be a bit off with my predictions here, but just wording out a little bit of the worries I had over this development.
Moving on, the thing that really stuck with me was the whole plan by Tobi to use the ten-tailed beast to perform an unbreakable genjutsu on the entire world, so he could then form a perfectly peaceful “dream” world of sorts. I remember hearing parts of this plan before, but it’s something that didn’t really hit me much until this point in time, now that we’re so close to the end. And well, what makes it so interesting? Aside from the fact it’s a kind of thing I’ve seen used in various games and anime, it’s interesting because of the philosophical debate this triggers. I mean, in a way, you can argue that his plan isn’t really a “bad” one at all. A world with eternal peace, where everyone lives, no one dies, and even the people that passed away already could theoretically be bought back… it’s something that just makes me step back for a bit and wonder. Sure, it’s a dream world and it’s not real… but if you didn’t know it wasn’t, what difference would it make? The experiences you get would still be as if they were real… and it’d be a kind of eternally recurring paradise. But at the same time, there’s the flip side of the equation. What’s the point of living if you’re in a world with no freewill? Isn’t it just running away from life hiding in an illusion? Aren’t the point of dreams to have them so you have something to aim for? To live for?
Really, it’s just a very interesting philosophical debate. And in that context, it’s hard to really classify Tobi as a real “bad guy” in a way. Sure, his methods haven’t been the greatest, but his ultimate goal is theoretically one that has a positive result. I guess the question comes down to whether or not you’re one who subscribes to the theory that the ends are more important than the means, or the opposing theory that there’s no meaning to the end if the way you use to get there causes you to sacrifice too much. Personally, I’m not actually sure what I’d choose at this point, but I’d say I’m still more of a believer in Naruto’s ideals, rather than Tobi’s. How about you guys?
Anyway, enough about the philosophical aspects of it all. If there’s one other thing I really wanted to mention was the reveal of the ten-tails as “The Progenitor”. I couldn’t help but pretty much compare it to being “God” in the Naruto universe for the most part, as it definitely felt to me that this chapter was certainly alluding to that. And it’s just a tad bit awe-inspiring, seeing the descriptions of its powers… Just makes me appreciate the awesomeness that was Rikudou Sennin more, for having defeated it in the first place. Moving on a bit, I also liked how the whole story involving Kinkaku and Ginkaku ended up being tied together into all of this, and it’s a nice example demonstrating how Kishimoto planned a lot of the things he wanted to do in advance.
All in all, a pretty good chapter to continue the recent trend of em’. Looking forward to how this sorts itself out.