After a long break, we’re finally back with another chapter, and it’s a mixture of both the expected and unexpected. On the former, we have the Tailed Beasts fully in Madara’s clutches as expected, and it’s generally a continuation of Madara’s slaughter fest as the Second Hokage becomes the next to go down. What does end up somewhat surprising on this front however, is how the First Hokage decides to leave Sasuke a jutsu of some sort… and the latter subsequently failing miserably in his surprise attack attempt on Madara. Of course, I highly doubt that this is the end for Sasuke—it’s probably related to the First Hokage’s jutsu—but at the same time, it does make you wonder if it really was something made for the sole purpose of giving Sasuke the chance to “talk-no-jutsu” Madara.

In that sense, it would really be a new jutsu (insert terrible joke here), and I’m not exactly sure how to feel about this turn of events. Because essentially what they’re trying to do is do the same thing Naruto did with Obito, and it’s something that doesn’t quite fit Sasuke’s character. I can see how Kishimoto’s trying to hammer in that Sasuke’s changed since we first met him a long time ago, but at the same time, the development on that end just doesn’t seem enough to garner any kind of response from Madara, and I’d be admittedly disappointed if this does end up being used effectively against him. That said, it’s interesting to note that if the jutsu the First Hokage gave Sasuke isn’t a game-changer in terms of power levels, it doesn’t seem like there’s any physical way to overpower Madara at this point either.

Basically, it seems like Kishimoto may have written things in such a way that only a few results can occur, and none of them seem particularly impressive—though seeing Madara somehow get overpowered would definitely be the more preferable end. That’s not to say there can’t be any surprises in the future though, which makes me wonder just how things are going to develop here and still be relatively satisfying (and make sense). Hm…

40 Comments

  1. Kishi definitely set things up so he could bash Obito endlessly now. But I’m not complaining. At least some of those Obito fanboys will hopefully shut up because now even his creator is bashing the hell out of him.

    Madara did more shit in about 3 or 5 chapters than Obito did, but, he was just stalling like a dumbass. Madara has kept things moving, which is good.

    He extracted the Bijuu and “killed” Naruto on Christmas, and “killed” Sasuke on the first chapter of the New Year.

    Madara for best villain of 2013-14?

    I liked this chapter. The art was great and it wasn’t stagnant like the battle with Obito. Also Madara vs Tobirama was a great little exchange of blows too, but still he inevitably got merked.

    swordhack4
  2. so my chirstmas present was death of naruto JK(he can’t die because plot armor) for my new year’s present is death of sasuke. I see so by valentine it’s going to sakura’s death right??

    Random
  3. Well, that escalated quickly.

    I thought it was a good chapter, moved things along nicely and shook some stuff up. I’m almost certain Kurama Gaara and Naruto had some sort of plan, but what that is still remains to be seen. Tobirama’s little skirmish with Madara was awesome, and I cracked up at the end when he spat on him to distract him from Sasuke. Nidaime’s spit is so dangerous Madara needed susano to block it lol. Also, is B dead? I hope he at least gets some panel time.

    Anyway, Sasuke’s certainly not dead and I really doubt that Naruto will remain dead, if he even dies at all. The big question is… will Sakura do something useful for the first time in six years?

    Hochmeister
  4. It baffles me how many people continue to read the manga when they constantly want all the main characters dead and hate on the premise of the shounen genre…I mean, what were you expecting when you picked up Naruto? :O

    I just hope Sasuke doesn’t become the next Hokage in some full-circle twist at the end. Never liked him, never will. Thanks for the post, Zephyr!

    1. Well, not ALL the main characters, but there ARE “main characters” that, frankly, have served little to no purpose anymore by this point, so come off as “expendable” in the long-run, story-wise.

      Even to this day, it’s one of the reasons I believe Neji was killed off. His popularity would also add a bit of shock value (to his fans anyway) to make his death seem more “meaningful” (something that really would not be gotten as much with most of the others, I believe), but also doubly serve as “motivation” for not just Naruto, but Hinata too (which was okay, except she now, once again, has been shoved back into the background along with most of the others).

      And they also don’t exactly hate the premise of the shonen genre. I don’t hate it in general (I loved G Gundam, for instance), but if the “convenience”, haxed/rushed power-ups, “moments of stupidity”, and so on are used SO constantly like it has been with ones like Bleach and Naruto, then the battles become really trivialized, outside of the philosophical views thrown about. Any sort of tenseness, excitement, etc. that could normally be felt, especially during battles that are supposed to be more important, would feel extremely lessened due to the fact that people just “know” the “good guys” are going to win 99.9% of the time unless it falls under the other 0.1%, which is usually only done to force the story forward in some way, simply BECAUSE of the mentioned things being so overused previously.

      It was more okay in Part 1 given Naruto and co. were still kids just out of the academy and Naruto had tons of things to learn, both as a shinobi AND in life given how he grew up, but with the coming of Shippuuden, I’m sure I’m not the only one who expected Naruto, after 2 1/2 years of presumably serious training with Jiraiya, a Sannin, to become MUCH stronger in those aspects, and to be FAR better than what we were given, which is what called for even more usage of those cliches.

      I mean, I felt far more tense and excitement when ones BESIDES Naruto and Sasuke were doing the fighting most of the time. I also feel it more now, even with Naruto and Sasuke involved, simply because Madara has been coming off to be a real, true challenge and, so far, has not fallen under any of the typical cliches that plagued previous villains (like Kakuzu and Nagato with the “moment of stupidity” cliche).

      HalfDemonInuyasha
      1. Thanks for your comment, Half. I appreciate that you took the time to voice your opinions.

        I can agree that there are a lot of characters who have been sidelined–but with a manga like Naruto, I kind of expected that. There are just so many characters that I’m not sure I’d want to read about every single character’s personal battle and have 10+ storylines going on at once (god knows that’ll drag out the manga for another 10+ years…heh–but that’s just me). We get a bit of exposition on most of Naruto’s friends, and they have had some good “team” fighting moments recently (within the past few months-ish), which I found to be sufficient (and simultaneously satisfying), because I know in the background Naruto’s friends are supporting him and that while we may not get to highlight each person’s struggles, the work they all do helps Naruto stay emotionally/psychologically strong. I’m also sad that Hinata is not a character in the forefront, but I’ve always thought that Naruto was going to focus on Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura, and that their other friends would be more “backup” anyway?

        I can see that you (and many others) feel cheated because the the protagonist wins 99% of the time in this genre of manga. I’ll be honest and admit that I don’t nitpick and remember every single thing that the characters have learned (I like the characters well enough–minus Sasuke, but I’m nowhere as technical as lot of the commentators here), but I’m not sure I understand what you expect of the “main characters” in terms of power. In your 3rd paragraph, I get the sense that you feel like the good guys are too OP. But then in the following paragraph you say that Naruto is too weak for what you expect? We can all agree that having the 9-tails is a bit of a crux, but then again, that is part of the premise of the story? So the problem here, if I’m reading you correctly, is that Naruto hasn’t gotten strong enough for your liking in his years of training, but when he is powerful or gets a new move (or any main character), you feel that his training hasn’t been sufficient enough and so his powers are cliches? This thought loop seems like a lose-lose situation. How will you ever be satisfied with a new power/technique coming to fruition?

        I too enjoy Madara as a villain (in reference to your later post)! But as you say, 99% of the time we are expecting the protagonists to win, so I’m not sure what you expect the “good guys” to do if you clearly believe that they haven’t grown enough in terms of strength and training, other than accept their “power-ups” as “haxed/rushed power-ups.” I’d like to think that the training and growth Naruto has experienced while training has prepared him better emotionally, psychologically, and physically enough for him to use new techniques (compared to when he was younger), even if they are ones we haven’t heard of/seen before. But I’m clearly in the minority opinion here, and that’s ok!

        Thanks again for your response! Here’s to hoping Naruto will end in a satisfactory manner for both of us to enjoy! 🙂

      2. For the characters, it’s not that I expect total exposition and every little detail of their lives or anything. I just wish that if they’re supposed to be more important (obviously, not as important as the “main” main characters), that they should be shown to contribute a lot more to the story AND battles than what we’ve gotten. Like we had Team Gai’s much greater involvement during the Rescue Gaara Arc, and Team 10 with the Kakuzu/Hidan Arc, yet nothing with Team 8 (I don’t really count the anime-original fillers), but after each arc, they pretty much disappear and only make pretty scarce appearances unless they’re directly contributing somehow and/or the arc in question happens to end up involving them somehow.

        For Naruto, I’m saying that, at the beginning of Shippuuden, I’m sure we were expecting a lot more than what we were given, which wasn’t THAT much better than at the end of Part 1, and it only ends up highlighted more with his reunion with Sasuke as well as showing how powerful even just the individual members of Akatsuki were. It made the Naruto we were given at the start of Shippuuden look, frankly, pathetic. So when he’s all but handed haxed/rushed power-ups in order to compensate for such obvious weakness, it really cheapens any sort of accomplishment for obtaining them. And it isn’t helped when you consider that each and every time he has started some new form of training, he always ditches it partway in in order to play hero and never really gets BACK to that training afterwards. If Naruto had started off Shippuuden being much more decently developed in strength and character, the power-ups wouldn’t seem SO bad.

        Like with Sage Mode, it took Jiraiya, a skilled shinobi with a lifetime of experience, years just to get to where he was with training in it, and even then, he required Fukusaku and Shiima to be bonded with him. Naruto, on the other hand, far surpasses that same level in less than a month at best (before he decides to leave to face Nagato), even without Fukusaku and Shiima being able to bond with him (given Kurama kept rejecting them). Even his use of three Kage Bunshin does not compensate for that huge of a time difference. I know that not everyone takes to training/mastering techniques at the same pace, and the whole “student surpassing the master” thing, but that is just WAY too huge a difference.

        When it came to forcefully taking Kurama’s chakra (whose own sudden 180 character shift felt stupid, IMO), it was only due to the convenience of Kushina just happening to have Minato seal what’s left of her chakra in the seal to keep Naruto from otherwise giving up that he manages to overcome that obstacle (which felt like a version 2.0 of when Minato pops out to stop Naruto from releasing Kurama)…and then he leaves to play hero in the war, despite not finishing the training. Then you had Kurama’s own 180 character shift that gave Naruto the far more powerful stage of the cloak (given even the initial cloak proved to be not enough) and extending from that came the combination use with Sage Mode.

        Basically, it’s NOT the power-ups in of themselves that are bad, haxed, rushed, or anything, but Kishi’s execution of them that makes them REALLY come off that way, and it largely comes from having Naruto start off barely any different than he was early on. He was pretty much that exact same kid from Part 1, only in a taller body, and the amount of emotional development, to me, has felt pretty small overall considering how much time has passed since the end of Part 1. That’s not to say that I expected him to come back completely different either, but at least someone who was much more noticeably stronger, and could look at the bigger picture more often and see things more realistically (up until he makes that one-sided suicide pact with Sasuke, that he would die alongside him, which only came about because Sakura happened to be Sasuke’s target that time, he was STILL all about “saving Sasuke” and trying to have anyone who wanted to kill him to spare him instead).

        It’s why I continue to say that, while he definitely has the brute power and respect at present to be a Kage, emotionally, he (and Sasuke) are far from ready to take on such huge responsibilities and the sacrifices (beyond the physical) that would be required of them.

        HalfDemonInuyasha
  5. …seriously?

    While I’m glad Madara is still owning and all, my main gripe with this chapter was not only Hashirama just giving Sasuke some new jutsu which he apparently must’ve learned/mastered in a span of a few damn seconds (which, based on the ending, I would not be surprised if it were some sort of Izanagi-like jutsu, which would allow Sasuke to pull crap WITHOUT having to actually sacrifice his eyes in the process), but also the fact that Hashirama compares to Sasuke to IZUNA, Madara’s brother?

    Was Izuna some sort of constant, whining, power-hungry, flip-flopping jerkwad too?

    Seriously, unless that’s the case, I really do not see how that comparison can be made aside from Kishi trying to further force Sasuke’s sudden, unbelievable flip-flop down our throats.

    HalfDemonInuyasha
  6. I’m really enjoying naruto to the fullest right now. I’m not sure how others feel but the fact that for once you don’t see the protagonist in the shonen finding great ways to overcome the villain so easily. I personally wanted Madara to kick everyone’s tail. if he didnt there would be no point in his resurrection. he comes back beats the present kages with ease, uses obito to his fullest to take care of the other edo kages, completely eradicates ninja squads as if they were ants and even better beat the first and second hokage like ther were never a challenge, and what I find the most interesting is that between Hashirama, Tobirama, and Marara, the fighting levels of them vs present ninja is of a completely different level. makes you think how strong both clans really were

    MACK
  7. Madara has really gotten mad he even stab Sasuke his own kin but I dont think he will die on the other hand Im sure Naruto will be oky what ever Kurama said to Gaara must have been a way to save Naruto & possibly a trump card!

    Things are looking bad for all I wonder how will they turn things around….

    lune
  8. Men, my only hope after naruto’s lose of the kyubi is Madara killing Sasuke and the fucking uchiha bastard give his eyes to the blond idiot Uzumaki, and with the new godly eyes and the kishimoto no jutsu kill Madara… but no… another power up for the bastard Uchiha… the uchiha love have killed this manga long ago…

    Abyss
  9. The chapter was so so……..Sasuke was like I´m going to save the day and quit being an emo, but got owned at the hands of Madara, but I bet he though that, man…this is it…emo ending……….not bad xD

    Kyon12
  10. Im pretty sure Sasuke isnt dead, or didnt even get hurt at that. Its just the good ol’ Sasuke vs Itachi fight all over again. Genjutsu masters using their Sharingans going at it.

    YanDaMan
    1. Doubt it. That seal was created by Minato based on Uzumaki techniques. Not to mention that there’s no way Sasuke would sacrifice his life to use it, even if it were that.

      HalfDemonInuyasha
    1. Unless Sasuke somehow gets Senju DNA ingrained into him like Madara did after his battle with Hashirama, it’s impossible for him to get the Rinnegan from the Eternal Mangekyo.

      HalfDemonInuyasha
  11. same thing will happen again, the 1st even said madara is a good guy deep inside,
    u will see that madara will become good before he die, this is something that
    have been used over and over again with the main bad chara in this series,
    apparently the hero can turn ppl to good. Zabuza, gaara, itachi, pain, obito, u name it..
    the power of friendship? lol. so yeah, if madara turns good its not a surprise.

    kintou

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