Naruto Manga 2009 Year In Review From “Painful” Pain to Sasuke’s Darkness

Gomenne!  Gomenne!  Gomenne!  Gomenne! (FYI:  that’s romanized Japanese for “I’m sorry”) I went incommunicado for a couple of weeks with both the holidays and some computer issues so my write up for the 2009 Naruto year suffered in timely-ness.  My apologies to all of you.  If I hear any complaints, I will bitch slap the offenders (I know Trek would just LOVE to be bitch slapped on general principle). 

What a year!  And, for Kishi’s translators, animators and animation editing staff, it wasn’t their best year.  In fact, I hope his animators get their you-know-whats in gear and give us some quality finished product – but that’s for later. 

Remember when???? Yeah, we were stuck in "Pain" for much of this past year...

This is TsunadesTwin with the 2009 Naruto Year In Review and, I must say, a lot happened to our Yellow Sage this past year.  Of course, he’s STILL pining for Sasuke to come home but many other things happened to both Naruto and Sasuke this past year that are memorable…and yet stupid, inane and totally “over the top.”  And, of course, there were battles – both mere skirmishes and amazing battles and within them were stuff that made you tear up or merely scratch your head.   Isn’t that totally like Kishi, though?  He can lead us in so many ways and leave us all baffled at the same time.  This year was no exception.

What I decided to focus on were the stupid, lame, inconsistent and the “WTF” parts of this past year.  You know what I mean – those things that didn’t just add up, the little details that were missed and the “WTF was Kishi thinking?” items during the past Naruto year (not in general; sorry guys!). Of course, at the end, there WILL be a poll for 2010 preditions and a showcase of graphics but I thought a poll on the stupid/inept/epic fails would be a lot more fun.  Now, let’s get our roll off and running!

Before we look at the stupid, lame and “epic fail” stuff during 2009, here are the high/lowlights of 2009:

  • Began the year with Naruto beginning his attack on Pain – sporting a new coat and even more awesome Sage abilities.  A few toads here and there, more than a few variants of the Rasengan.  Add a few clones for good measure.   And, of course, the return of the Sage Arts:  Wind Style:  Rasen-Shuriken, which blew, cut, sliced and obliterated anything in its path.  Wow!
  • Tsunade collapses into a coma due to the use of her chakra to save the village.  She went to “granny state.”
  • Hinata confesses her love to Naruto only to get owned by Pain – and causes Naruto to go Kyuubi.  He pushes “Kyuubi Mode” farther than he ever did before.  Even Pain was impressed.
  • Naruto completes his most extensive Kyuubi transformation.  Still debating as if it were 8 or 9 tails (see below)
  • Naruto ends the physical battle with….a rasengan?!?
  • We get our first look at the puppeteer behind the Six Paths…a very anorexic and injured/hobbled Nagato.  We find out he was one of Jiraiya’s first students and the original “Destined Child” of Myobokuzan.  We hear ad nauseum about his painful past.  Oy!  We were all in pain after this…
  • Naruto pulls the emo heartstrings with both a visit from dear ol’ dad (during his Kyuubi transformation) and reminscing about Jiraiya with Nagato.  Remember “Legend of the Gutsy Ninja?”  “Give up on me giving up” became the punchline that Kishi returned to frequently throughout…
  • Nagato places his faith in Naruto – and begins a mass resurrection of everyone, except Tsunade (Wahhhhh!).  Kakashi leaves the creepy dead man campfire…
  • Naruto and Nagato were determined to BOTH be destined children by the Toads – obviously one was selected because the other screwed things up so badly before…ahem!  Shades of Anakin/Luke Skywalker, anyone?
  • Konoha began rebuilding and gives Naruto a hero’s welcome, which was long-deserved (along with an upgrade in his rank – GRRRRRRRR).  Makes you want to sing NobodyKnows+ “Heroes Comeback”
  • Danzo became Hokage (WTF???) by merely acting like a 2 year old and throwing a tantrum.  Tsunade is still in her “granny state” coma.  Off he goes to represent Konoha at the newly designated Kage Summit.
  • Kumo nin paid Konoha a visit and bitch slap Naruto around for not squealing on Saus-gay – only to be saved by Sai.  Of course, Sakura cries…
  • The Kage plus Danzo meet and Danzo blows it big time by trying to manipulate the end result with his own Sharingan (oy!  same song, different verse…)
  • Madara chats with Naruto, Kakashi and Yamato; he mentions something about “completion.”  We all wondered if Madara was on an epic journey to “find himself”…
  • Kisame and Killer Bee duke it out.  Bee shows us what pens and pencils can do; Kisame pulls a Hidan (loses his head)
  • Madara crashes the disasterous Kage Ho-Down, declares war over Naruto and Killer Bee’s abilities and then mentions something about a Jyuubi…and the Moon’s Eye Plan is finally revealed
  • Tsunade is still in her “granny state” coma while the Tschuikage floats…
  • Saus-gay attacks the Kage, most notably Gaara and the Raikage (remember that Raiga Bomb?!?), only to be saved at the last second by Madara and his “magical mystery tour” (“Let’s do the timewarp again…”)
  • Sakura LIES and says she loves Naruto…all so he wouldn’t find out that she was on the hunt for Saus-gay.  What?!?  No tears????  However, to counter that, Ino cries in Sakura’s place.  What’s the deal here??
  • And…Tsunade is still in her coma.  Good grief!  We’re going on a year here.  Vegetative state, even.  Kishi, obviously, has no f’ing clue as to what he’s going to do with her…
  • Gaara, the Kazekage, Temari and Kankuro locate Kakashi, Yamato and Naruto.  He announces the disasterous results of the Kage Conference and informs him that, for now, the Kage are treating Kakashi as if HE were Hokage (Danzo really did it this time).  Kakashi reveals that his “thing” is NOT being Kage (makes you wonder what his “thing” is).  Gaara declares that he would defend Naruto with his life, tells Naruto to get his s**t together and let Sasuke suffer his fate – and invokes Naruto’s wish to become Kage.  Whoa!!!
  • Naruto passes out in the snow for reasons yet to be determined.  One thing is clear:  his jonin leaders need a crash course in CPR
  • And, Tsunade is still in her coma (someone had better bring on life support here); Tschuikage stops floating and actually goes to the Daimyos to discuss the war and Barbie Mizukage goes off to rescue her Byakugan stooge…at least those two are useful
  • Danzo and Sasuke battling it out with more Sharingan than even the Uchiha clan had in its heyday with a “WTF?!?” appearance by a ghost of Itachi.  As of this writing (January) we discover that it is merely Sas-gay performing a Tsukiyomi.  My daughter cries in Sakura’s place (remember “Chibi” Itachi?)…

Yes, it was quite a year.  And, of course, it left lots of room for material (consistent and inconsistent) for this review.  I want to thank all of you for your input and ideas.  There were so many to sift through and it made me reminisce/wince.    So, let’s take a look back at the stupid and inane items that occurred during the past year, shall we???

“Pass the garlic sauce…?” Katsuyu somehow manages to avoid becoming escargot after Naruto goes Kyuubi.  Explain how a slug – even a healing one – could have possibly managed to not be impacted by that nasty demon cloak that Naruto gets injured by.

Hmmmmm. Makes you really wonder how that slug survived the Demon Cloak...

“Your coat, Sir?” Along with Katsuyu managing to not become a cooked slug, that awesome Sage Coat Naruto sported in the beginning of the Sage counter-attack didn’t make it while his trademark jumpsuit DID.  Can someone explain to me that gaping hole?  Besides, that coat was cool…

On the left is during the Pain battle and on the right is after. I like the coat better.

“That’s all you got?” After many chapters of battles, new and exotic jutsu – along with casualties galore – Naruto manages to end the physical battle with Pain with a mere Rasengan backed up by a large number of clones.  Hmmmm…what a letdown!

Sage Arts: Rasen Shuriken, Frog Katas, double/double gigantic rasengans and you end this all with...the original Rasengan??? What a lousy ending to a "pain"ful battle.

“Naruto’s Family Reunion” After 16 years of pain, frustration, taunts, jeers, growth, and a three year tour of duty with Jiraiya, Naruto finally discovers that the man whose abilities he was competing against was his father, THE Yondaime Hokage.  (Personally, if I were Naruto, I’d be screaming “In yo face, bitches!”  to all of those who dissed him when he was younger.)  The big deal here?   It was so anti-climatic as it was the worst-kept secret and that we knew this fact much earlier than chapter 440.   Epic fail on the part of Kishi and his crew.

Minato? I don't think that means your son is happy to see you. And your arrival was so anti-climatic to the rest of us. Btw...nice coat.

“Hinata Shows Us the Best of Konoha’s Girls” In the middle of potential tragedy with Hinata injured in Pain’s attack and Sakura healing her, for some unknown reason, we see a screen that has absolutely nothing to do with the battle…we get a closeup of Hinata’s bust.  Huh?!?  This one prompted numerous discussions on how great the girls now look vs before the timeskip – and became the focus of a brilliant graphic (shown below).  I think someone in Kishi’s staff isn’t getting enough at home, IMO.

It appears that Hinata was hiding other things besides the Byakugan in her arsenal. And, Sakura? She wants to know where Hinata got the awesome bra that is giving her that "lift."

“Yamato’s Jutsu’s Epic Fail  or the Epic Failure of the Animators” Behind the scenes, Yamato had put a seal on Shodaime Hokage’s necklace that Naruto won via a bet with Tsunade.  However, in the battle with Pain, Naruto manages to break the seal, triggering an “emergency alert” in the form of a rolling tail count on Yamato’s hand.  At one point, Yamato’s hand read “9” tails – complete transformation – while the actual number of tails on the beast (aka Naruto) was actually “8”.   Epic failure…but whose?

Nice one, Mr. Uzumaki. I'm sure many of us had days where we were "Mad as a Kyuubi." And, Yamato? I think it is so OBVIOUS as to why it is happening...

“The meaning of friendship” In a rather stupid move, Naruto submits his body to Kumo shinobi to become a human punching bag in an attempt to “handle” the demand for information on Sasuke.  Gomenne!  (see translation above)  I just can’t see anyone submitting their bodies to anyone except for pleasurable purposes.  No friend is worth this nasty torture that Naruto is being subjected to – hell, Sasuke sure doesn’t care, does he?

Ouch! Is Sasuke really worth all this?!?

“And he trips at the finish line…” Our Hokage-by-hissy fit, Danzo, attempts to manipulate the outcome of the decision of which Kage to lead the newly-formed shinobi alliance by using a rather potent form of Sharingan, stolen from Shisui Uchiha’s corpse (ironically, the close friend/relative of Itachi Uchiha).  Turns out, he’s busted by a Amekagure nin who had a stolen Byakugan as a result of war.  Danzo’s “resources” weren’t aware that there was a non-Konoha Byakugan in the open (like inventories are kept on these things).  The whole situation was an epic fail…

For someone so hellbent on power, one would think you'd move a bit more cautiously to save your arse.

“The Moon’s Eye Plan” WTF is this?!?  Madara Uchiha is so miffed at Naruto for constantly interferring in his ninja world takeover bid that he announces to his cannibalistic plant sidekick, Zetsu, that he needs to rush up the implementation of the so-called “Moon’s Eye Plan.”  After that, we heard absolutely nothing about it…until the Kage Conference.  It is a plan to put the world in a Tsukyomi-like state so that peace will reign on his terms – with the help of the combination of all the tailed beasts into this “thing” called the Jyubi or Ten Tailed Beast.  Even after hearing about it, we all went, WTF?!?

I don't know about you all but I sure don't want this thing looking at me...

“Sakura Makes Things Worse…Uhgain” After hearing Hinata’s confession (see above), NaruSaku fans wanted to hear a reaction.  Well, they and the rest of us,  got one in Chapter 465, “Sakura’s Confession.”  In a clear, “WTF?!?” move, Sakura admits her love for Naruto in front of none other than her Team 7 teammates – including her Commanding Jonin and her Jonin Team Leader – along with some other frequent teammates.  A major glitch to this?  Of course…Naruto had to drop his infamous “promise” to Sakura about retrieving Sasuke.  And, did Naruto buy this admission?  No way – nor did anyone else for that matter.  Turns out, it was all a ruse to not hurt Naruto as they were on the hunt to kill Sasuke.  Yeah, she only causes pain all right.  The one bright spot:  it created one of the funniest rounds of “Sakura bashing”  we’ve seen in a while.

And up for best supporting actress caught in a lie is Haruno Sakura with her rendition of Hinata's Confession. Funny how Naruto doesn't quite buy this one...neither did we.

“Wait a minute.  I thought you were dead…” The second bout of the WWF fight of Danzo vs. Sasuke Uchiha is well underway with lots of “WTF” surprises involved.  However, the biggest “WTF” surprise is the appearance of Itachi Uchiha.  The problem:  he’s been dead for a quite a number of chapters.  How is this happening?  Is it a Madara Uchiha – inspired move?  Is this the power of the mouthful of crow Naruto received prior to Itachi’s death?   Is this a Sharingan tactic of Sasuke?  One thing is for sure:  Danzo clearly wasn’t expecting THAT move…nor were we. (As of this writing, we now know that it was merely a tactic of Sasuke’s…ah, dammit!)

Dun, dun, duhhhhhhhhn. Well, it is merely an illusion but it sure had us talking. My daughter is crying over this one (ha ha ha).

“Off with his head!” Kisame’s attempt to capture the Hachibi, aka Killer Bee, was an epic failure, to say the least.  It was quite a bout until three major events occurred:  1) Killer Bee’s brother, the Raikage, arrives on a wave of lightning, 2) Kisame loses “most favored” status from his own sword, Samehada – it took a liking to Killer Bee,  and 3) in a very sloppy ending – and one with a major letdown – Kisame loses his head.  One thing is for sure:  we all sure took a second look at our pens and pencils and wondered if they, too, could be used as weapons of mass destruction.

Yup. A battle for the ages. See that pencil on the right? Bee showed us how to use that thing as a weapon.

“Dusty Kage Defies Gravity” Usually when we see our shinobi either floating or in travel mode, it doesn’t look so ridiculous.  Seeing an old man who could double for Toadsworth in Super Mario Bros. (minus the toad hat) float in mid-air looks ridiculous, to say the least.  His biggest contribution to the conference?  Other than his floating capabilities and his bad hip, just a whole lot of complaining and dissing of Gaara for being too young.

Dusty Kage floats as if nothing's wrong. Say, how can a guy with bad hips roll a rock - even with chakra?

“As Multi-Purpose as a Shamwow”  Our beautiful Barbie Mizukage shows us all that she’s more than her Christmas Tree hairdo and her seductive clothing.  This lady packs it all in:  water, fire and earth resulting in two Kekke Genkai, a gorgeous bod and one helluva jutsu.  And…she spits like a llama (makes me want to go hurl up a hairball and see if it connects).  Yup – she jumps, she spits and she seduces.  Not bad for a shinobi.  And, Karin is having a rough time with this…

Guys...would you prefer the lady on the left who has this thing for biting OR the lady on the right who shoots fire-based spit wads? Hmmmm, I don't know about this one.

“I’m With Stupid <—–>” Yeah, I couldn’t forget Team Taka’s cohorts.  Initially, I put Karin in here but she’s starting to earn her keep.  So, now I’m focused on Suigetsu and Juugo.  Why?  These two have consistently had some of the lamest dialogue, do some of the most illogical plans and now are sitting in the Samurai Supermax prison in the Land of Iron all because they wanted to look for their team leader, Sasuke, who ditched them.   How did they attempt such a feat?  Even more stupid:  a samurai disguise.  Um…wouldn’t other samurai be on the lookout for people in disguise?   *rolls eyes*

Hmmmm...Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. These two are just made for each other.

“Uh, Kakashi?  You’re Missing Something…” Another epic failure on the part of the animators (see Yamato/Kyuubi counting error).  What’s he missing, you ask?  Simple.  Look at the pic below.  No, Kakashi didn’t suddenly have laser surgery or have several infusions of Botox.  This was a simple error on the part of the animation staff/clean up crew.  Someone should be bitch slapped by Kishi for this one.  Oh, and this happened TWICE in the same chapter; within a page of this little darling.

A math problem for you: Kakashi minus scar over left eye equals EPIC FAIL!!!!

“Is it Contagious?” Kishi seems to have this “thing” for piercings of the lip and other oddities that make you wonder if the character has an adornment or has a horrific disease (Karin, Konan).  On top of that, the latest “disease” candidate comes from Danzo:  his right arm covered in Sharingan eyes – and they all move independently.  Ewwwww!

I wonder how many piercings and other oddities Kishi will give us this year? Last year, he certainly had us flabbergasted (especially with the Sharingan arm - GROSS!!)

“And, what am I doing here….?” The character with an identity crisis right now is poor ol’ Yamato.  He had a purpose when Naruto sported that Shodaime Hokage necklace with the Seal of Good Behavior (so he won’t transform – much).   Now, with the necklace gone, Yamato was first seen trying to help rebuild Konoha city block by city block.  Now he’s Kakashi’s errand boy.   I’ll admit, Yamato is one of my favorites because he “evens out” Kakashi’s detached demeanor.  Kishi!  Give the guy a plot!  Give him a nasty past – ok, he’s got one but show it, give him a nice yet tragic kunoichi with an attitude love interest, anything.  If Yamato isn’t developed further I see a character death coming in 2010.

It ain't easy being an errand boy, Yamato. Kishi had better do something with you or else your Mokuton jutsu will be history...

Now, vote on the “best of the worst” below:

I thought that, instead of a vote, we’d reminisce on some of the graphics/manga from the past year.  I couldn’t include everything.  (Yes, I HAD to include the Sakura bashing contest.)

And another regular Sakura-basher, Trek...

BBgurly? All I have to say is "awesomeness!"

Ron? As always, you find the most awesome Demotivational Posters.

Ron? Again you have found one of my favorites. Zeldafan11 was brilliant.

Thanks to Tenrai for this little gem. 🙂


Everybody sing with me: "Let's do the timewarp again..." (if you haven't seen Rocky Horror, you won't get this)

Predictions.  I know we all have them.  2010 will be a great year for the Naruto manga, I predict.  I foresee lots of action and…well, we all know Kishi.  So, what do you think will happen?

My thanks goes to all the writers who have assisted me and have been writing Naruto the past year:  Cookie, Trek, Broken1, MistressMandi, Marksman, Tenrai.  If I forgot you it is because I am going senile – thanks to all of you I couldn’t remember.  And, most important, thanks to all of you, the readers.  If you didn’t read these breakdowns, we wouldn’t write them.  Thank you also for all of the support, cheers, jeers, theories, jokes, arguments and…everthing else that is part of a breakdown discussion.  I look forward to working and hearing from you all in 2010!

Well, that’s all I have from here.  My apologies again for this being less-than-timely but, hey, I’ve come to hate computers (who doesn’t?).  Oh well, until next time…



~ by 綱手-Tsunades Twin on January 18, 2010.

16 Responses to “Naruto Manga 2009 Year In Review From “Painful” Pain to Sasuke’s Darkness”

  1. First…? and wow, so much to comment on…I don’t even know where to begin…

  2. Second!! Now off to reading the post… 😉

  3. Kudos to Penny, you had me very much entertained in 2009 (perhaps even more than the manga).

    Certainly a year to remember with my winning Sakura-bashing pic! Yosh!

  4. Yay, that was good!!!

    I’ve got only one thing to “complain” about, and that is the “9” on Yamato’s hand which I didn’t see as an epic fail. I thought of it like a prediction that worked because Naruto inside his consciousness already started pulling the seal away.

    And don’t worry because you’re “late”, Penny. That’s a long article with a lot of picture research to be done. That isn’t done in a few days.

  5. Great post!

    Is there something like this with One Piece too?
    Since I don’t know almost anything about early 2009 One Piece. 😛

  6. Epic 😉

  7. Doh ><. I was trying to add to the fricken other one. Aww. Anyway good review. I've only read part so give me time to finish on my own. (Naruto's cape was discarded in an ealier panal, it might have been the exact one but when he turns Kyuubi it rips in the background.)

  8. Absolutely awesome post Penny 😀 …still a huge sakura fan myself, despite the bashing in this post… and I totally disagree about the ending of the pain fight with the original rasengan, the moment was set up perfectly and as a more up-close-n-personal tech it packed a bigger emotional punch…

  9. loved the post. the greatest things were the 10 tailed beast, Pain and Sage-Kyuubi Naruto. Sasuke mastering Susanoo and freakish Danzo weren’t bad either!

  10. I must agree adakias, forgot that one in my first post. Finishing off Pain with a standard Rasengan was much more meaningful than it would have been with a kyuubi chakra beam, Rasen Shuriken or what else. THIS was the technique Jiraiya trained him! Nothing more to say…

  11. @kyouto: Yes, the coat got shredded when he went Kyuubi. My point is that should have happened to his trademark duds, too. Major inconsistency…

  12. yeah, he should have come of naked :3

    oh wait…

  13. WOW great review of 2009 Penny!!!!

    And Masterchief LOL to RON with is Demotivational Posters of Kisame and Sakura

  14. hey i didnt see the Nagato reset button listed up there, that was the biggest epic fail of all (except maybe kisames death) Nagato killing himself and undoing all the consequences of such an awesome arc just cause Naruto said “i wont kill you after all, why dont you just belive in me? somehow i will solve this whole peace thing when im hokage!”. that seemed pretty stupid to me, (though i have to admit Naruto has been doing his best to keep that promise whith all the begging he did to the raikage). Anyway great review penny! i have to say that my love for Naruto has been considerably decreased by Nagato and Killerbee’s lame deaths, but i still enjoy your reviews XD!

    P.S why didnt Naruto get a new awesome sage cloak after the pain battle? that cloak was awesome, didnt he have a spare?

  15. @takashid: To cover the entire 2009 year – given all of the Pain arc and this brief interlude prior to the war – was impossible. There was, inevitably, something I’d miss. That’s why I called it “painful Pain” as it was endless and painful – almost as bad as the Bleach fillers. ><

    Anyway, I loved writing it. Off to work on the regular breakdown…

  16. YOSH!!! Awesome review of Naruto in 2009 Penny! Lol, I loved that you included some of the entries for the Sakura Bashing Contest and some of the best demotivational posters. XD

    I agree that Yamato needs more story development or else he may be discarded in the future. Even Sai got more background than him but I like them both as characters. Yamato’s not even the only one with Mokuton Jutsu anymore, so either Danzou or Yamato has to go. I hope it’s Danzou…

    I thought the rasengan finish of Pein was fitting but the Nagato Sacrifice no Jutsu was absolute garbage. His complete turnaround and change of mind was way to flashy and rushed with so many gaps in his reasoning I just had to re-read the chapter twice to make sure I didn’t miss anything. Unfortunately there was nothing to be missed…-_-

    Kisame vs. Killer Bee was probably the worse fight of 2009 only beaten out by Sakura vs. Tears. Guess who won that bout?

    Really looking forward to new members joining Akatsuki and I hope Kabuchimaru is one of them. I always liked Orochimaru as a villain because he was so easy to hate and he had the power to back up his words. Kabuto definitely won’t be taken over though so he’s in reign now and probably will become more powerful than Orochimaru ever was. He was already on Tsunade’s level by himself.

    Anything else I want to cover…(lol @ your daughter)…>_> Oh, and thanks for including the 2010 prediction poll and you you can bitch slap me anytime. Just as long as you give me a warning shot. @_@

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