Reaction Shots: Naruto 404

June 13, 2008 at 8:33 pm (Animanga) (, , )

Well, this is kind of new. Normally I’ve read at least one person’s commentary before I attempt any of my own, but this time I’m all alone with my thoughts.

Neat.

Spoilers ahead.

1. “I guess you’re the last one. I’m sorry for deceiving you for so long, especially since you were so close to him.”

Huh? I don’t know why but this sentence Madara/Tobi speaks confuses me. It seems so unlike Madara to apologize to his subordinates for anything. I mean…where’s all the arrogance? To apologize is to acknowledge Kisame as an equal or at least a subordinate worthy of respect. At any rate, at least it establishes Madara is as a good actor, right? Many things to many people.

Kisame seemed to take the revelation that Tobi was actually the supposedly-dead Uchiha Madara surprisingly well. Was the fact he killed his brother to achieve immortality widely known throughout the ninja world or something?

At the very least, Kisame was established as being close to Itachi. The did seem like the pair least likely to get into spats with each other–you have Sasori and Deidara at each other’s throats over the nature of art, then you had Kakuzu and Hidan which were put together only because Hidan’s immortality cancelled out Kakuzu’s fighting ability.

2. I don’t know why but I’m really liking how Kishimoto’s drawin Naruto in this chapter. He’s got the makings of a heartbreaker!

3. This “no hitai-ate when in casual clothes” thing seems like a recent development for Naruto & Co…am I right or just imagining things? I mean, it makes sense, those things can’t be too comfortable, but it seems like I’m only just now seeing the lack of it.

4. Man is Naruto gettin’ uppity with the old toad or what? I think maybe he’s anxious for news about Jiraiya; he sees the toads but no man, so: where is he? And that, combined with his previous doubts and worries, is perhaps what makes him so snappish. Good thing the toad takes it pretty well–maybe making allowance for Naruto’s youth and ties to Jiraiya? I think so.

Everyone seems to think that Naruto resembles someone other than himself, usually one of his predecessors or mentors. He looks like the Yondaime and is his son, he acts like young Jiraiya…

5. I am really liking Kisame for some reason. Previously I hadn’t had an actual opinion of him (his anime voice sounds too high; I imagine him having a deep, rich bass or something. A ladies’ man sort of voice.) but now, man. Hands up who thinks he’s going to take on the teacher/mentor role for the Hawk ninja team? Previously Sasuke had sort of occupied that position in that he led them around and gave the orders, but to make Hawk align with “regular” ninja teams we’ve seen so far, he’s too young. Plus his leadership role sets him apart from the rest: as with Team 7, they are his peers but he is still the outsider. Sai is more a part of Team 7 now than he is, even if Sasuke’s what drives Naruto and Sakura.

6. It’s interesting that even though Sasuke doesn’t actually tell Suigetsu to heel, Suigetsu still does.

Heh. Shark’s fin soup*. ILU Suigetsu! At least Kisame doesn’t seem to take too much offense.

7. I can really see Kishimoto drawing the parallel, Karin = Sakura. Which isn’t surprising, but does mean he’s basically recycling Part 1 Sakura’s characterization with Karin. I have a feeling Sasuke knows everything Karin’s saying, but he wants Madara’s version so he can get a feel for what Madara actually wants. I’d use this as evidence that Sasuke’s not being as easily manipulated as some might say he is; he’s aware that Madara’s a double-crossing silvery-tongued snake (hah!). But he’s going along with it anyway? Hmm.

8. First Hokage looks kinda like Fugaku there. Or am I seeing things?

9. Madara’s keeping Sasuke away from Naruto? Does he not think Sasuke can go through with capturing and ultimately killing Naruto? Or is he afraid that the reminder of Sasuke’s old life will draw Sasuke further from rather than closer to Madara? Or that Sasuke plans to screw things up by doing something to/with Naruto if assigned to catch him? That little eye close-up where he’s focusing his gaze on Sasuke makes it seem to me like the latter. Maybe he just doesn’t want to take any chances now that he’s got Sasuke in his grasp.

10. The Leaf Village is no longer “off limits.” Is he referring to Itachi’s double agent hood? I mean, as long as Itachi was in his midst, he couldn’t really move against them in case Itachi telegraphed his intentions back tot he village or Itachi openly acted against him. I guess he must be.

11. At what point exactly did the rest of the Akatsuki learn of Tobi’s true identity? How many Akatsuki are even left? Kisame, Tobi, Zetsu, Pein, Konan. Wow. I wonder how/why Kisame lasted this long?

From the conversation it sounded like Zetsu had known that Tobi was really Madara for a while now. I’m just wondering where that revelation fits in the timeline. Hm.

12. THERE AGAIN WITH THE LOYALTY AND MOURNING AND EQUALITY. I, personally, think Madara’s talking bullshit when he goes on about how valuable the rest of the Akatsuki were to the organization and their goals and blah blah blah. They were tools, no more.

13. Sasuke just can’t seem to escape the creepy immortal old men who want his body, eh?

14. The close-ups of Madara’s eye in its mask are really freaking creepy. The eye is really the only genuine part of Madara we’ve been allowed to see thus far; flashbacks don’t count. I doubt he looks like that anymore anyway. But the only real part of him we can see is this pit of black at the bottom of an endless spiral. And in that pit–nothing but red. Imagine that in color for a moment. Bright orange, with this black hole in it off to the side, all the lines drawing your attention there–and in that unceasing darkness within, a flash of bright, hateful red.

I bet part of why Konoha disliked the Uchiha was because the Sharingan was freaking creepy. No one likes what they fear.

14a. Logically, shouldn’t the Sharingan be shaded darker than the white of Madara’s eyes? I

All in all, not much actually happened, really. I think most of his post is just my propensity to blather than any actual developments. Hopefully next week will hold more?

*has no taste. I’m serious. I don’t like the texture either. I’m convinced it gets served at banquets and whatnot purely because it’s a status symbol to have it served, not because anyone actually enjoys eating fin of shark.

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4 Comments

  1. berah said,

    I know Sasuke was in an emotional state to be swayed to Orochimaru’s side when he was young. But I have to believe he’s more capable of wise decisions now. While it appeared that he would once again be thrown over the edge of sanity when Madara revealed Itachi’s true intentions, I really do think that Sasuke isn’t going to allow himself to be used by Akatsuki. Madara must suspect this, but he still says that he has Sasuke?

    Something about the exchange in the Akatsuki meeting room leads me to believe that Sasuke will not let Akatsuki get Naruto.

    One thing I wonder about. When Sasuke says he’ll only target the higher-ups. Does that mean the old people that head that group that assigned Sai to group 7? or even including Big Boobs the 5th? (her name escapes me). And will he allow the rest of Akatsuki (I assume the job will go to Kisame) to take care of any Konoha defenders?

  2. ivoryandhorn said,

    berah–

    It may be that even if Madara suspects Sasuke’s loyalty is less than total, that he has already thought of ways of preventing Sasuke from leaving him, and his comment about Sasuke being his also takes that into account–even if Sasuke attempts to leave/betray him, Madara is already prepared for it and furthermore is already taking action to stop any possibility of such attempts. He does make sure to keep Sasuke away from Naruto (and thus reminders of his life in Konoha) by assigning Hawk to the eight-tails, after all.

    I’m surprised by your assessment of the Akatsuki meeting room scene. As I said above, it seemed more like Madara just taking precautions to keep Sasuke by his side, by keeping Sasuke away from Naruto. I didn’t get the feeling Sasuke was being defensive/protective over Naruto in any way. Would you mind explaining how you came to your conclusion? It seems very different from mine, and I’d love to see your reasoning behind it. :)

    I think Sasuke IS referring to that group of old people. They are, after all, the ruling council of Konoha, so logically they would be the “top tier” that Sasuke refers to. That would include Tsunade the 5th, too. I don’t know what role Kisame will play in the Sasuke’s plans (though since he’s present at the meeting, I suspect a fairly large one). I don’t think Sasuke will kill more than he needs to–if he DOES have a plan for killing Konoha’s “top tier” I feel it will be more a surgical strike sort of thing–in and out of Konoha like a flash, killing only the necessary people and as few others as possible.

    Thanks for your comments!

  3. berah said,

    It’s probably just my wishful thinking that Sasuke would try to protect Naruto. But I think some of my reasoning is this:

    -Sasuke should know what the tailed beasts are. When he was a kid he didn’t know why Itachi was more interested in Naruto, but later on he saw what was inside Naruto. I’m sure he’s heard of the tailed beasts.
    -so then he’s not giving anything away, just listening to what Madara says
    -like if someone has a valuable trinket they’re parting with but you don’t want them to know how bad you want it and how valuable it is… except Madara suspects Naruto is very valuable to Sasuke so he doesn’t even give Sasuke a choice which tailed beast he gets.

    -Yeah he didn’t return Madara’s threat with “touch Naruto and I’ll kill you” but at least he know he is still thinking about Naruto. With what little Sasuke is contributing to the conversation, for him to ask “so you haven’t captured the nine-tails yet” …

  4. ivoryandhorn said,

    berah —

    Sorry for the long delay in reply! You make a lot of interesting points. Thanks for sharing them with me. :)

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