Naruto Chapter 573 Breakdown: A dark shadow arrives…
It seems a dark and ominous shadow has indeed finally arrived, one that chokes out the sun and casts the land into a cold and foreboding darkness.
For those of you who have heard the news, you might have already realized that I am not just talking about events that have transpired in the latest Naruto chapter, but rather, an even that has transpired in the real world that may affect many manga readers on this site in particular. That is, of course, the news that Mangastream – a site many here use to read their favorite weekly manga – has ceased in its efforts in hosting a number of its manga series from here on out due to pressure from VIZ Media, which holds licenses for those series now being dropped.
For more information straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak, you can read the news at the link below, provided by Kantonkage:
For many, this is very ominous news indeed, and it throws into question the future of not only sites like Mangastream, but also sites like our very own, where various anime and manga series are reviewed and discussed. I know this isn’t the first manga streaming site to bite the bullet as far as this type of scenario is concerned, and this case in particular reminds me of Onemanga, which years ago was another site that stopped streaming manga – perhaps even because of similar circumstances or pressure.
All I can really say is that we’ll keep moving forward until we simply can’t move anymore, and until then, we should all enjoy the ride as best as we can. As a point of interest, I’d like to know from all of you, how you feel about this news, and whether you feel it is fair or justified.
Moving on to our latest release, I have to say that the somber news of late has put a bit of a dampener on the excited mood left by this last chapter.
As far as Naruto chapters go, this one was actually quite… calm, so to speak, almost to the point of feeling peaceful in a way. There was no action, no epic battle sequences, no mountain destroying jutsu, no bouts of inexplicable humor and no real signs of mischief. Instead, this chapter was more about reflection. Reflection on the war as a whole and the battles that have come to pass. A reflection on thoughts, feelings, emotions and bonds, from things as simple as names we take for granted, to feelings hidden deep within a person’s heart as they drift to the surface.
It was a bridge that spans far and wide to close the gap between the final moments of this war as it has advanced up to this point, over to a new and even darker chapter that creeps ever closer with the coming of a foreboding storm.
What I found interesting near the start of this chapter was how unsettled Tobi seemed to be by Naruto’s confidence. Although he was hard-pressed to admit it, I think even Tobi has realized that Naruto is more than what he seems. His last words, “it matters not one bit what Naruto really is…” suggests that there’s even more to this mystery, as many of us have already theorized, and it makes me that much more excited to get to the point where we finally start getting some solid answers.
Another point that was interesting was the nine strange markings that appeared to flow around Naruto in the third panel on the top left and the chakra like flames that seem to envelop him. These nine marks could be a sign of Naruto using Kurama’s power, the nine-tails himself, or it could even represent the nine bijuu as a whole, who may have given Naruto some of their chakra (although Shukaku’s part in it is questionable at best).
We don’t get much time to dwell on it though, because before much can happen, we’re whisked away to the Shinobi Alliance HQ, where we get a glimpse of the efforts of the communications team as they relay the details of Naruto’s struggle to the rest of his allies out in the field. What follows is a somewhat dramatic, yet truly heartfelt moment as Naruto’s friends rush to his aid. We also get a glimpse of all their thoughts and feelings during these few moments, and each of them is inspiring in their own way.
For the most part, it was this moment that took up most of the chapter. I can’t say it was a waste of panels, because each word had hidden within it a story of its own.
Each one was born from a history of rivalries, friendships, grudges and in some cases, even love. Each one shows a form of growth in every character that has been affected in some way or another by Naruto, from Hinata’s desire to walk side-by-side with him, to Sai’s new-found understanding of bonds. Each carries a lot of significance and weight, and, in a way, they all seem to give a strange sense of finality to this struggle, as if this was the last big push over the greatest hurdle left standing.
And then, after those moments pass, we arrive at the end of our chapter. It was a bit startling at first, when I came across three pages dedicated purely for the sake of showing sets of footprints in the mud and at first, I couldn’t quite contemplate why Kishi would dedicate three pages to such simple and archaic content. It was only after a moment of though that it hit me, where the true symbolism of those pages became clear.
In the first spread, we see a great number of footprints gathered together, side-by-side. They represent unity, friendship and trust and in a way, you could say they represent the path Naruto has chosen to walk.
Rather than forsaking those around him, Naruto chose to reach out and to let others into his life despite his hardships and he gained their trust and their friendship through those efforts. Now he walks side by side with others, towards the sun and towards a brighter future.
Then we arrive at the next page…
Over here, on the following page, rather than seeing many footprints gathered together, we instead find only a single set of footprints dotted along the ground, crawling alone across the darkened, rain-swept landscape. This single set of footprints represent loneliness and isolation. They ultimately represent the path Sasuke has chosen to walk.
He has chosen to forsake all others and rather than reaching out his hands and letting those who tried to help him into his life, he instead pushed them all away until there was no-one left walking beside him. Now those lonely footprints lead into darkness as they encroach ever further into the raging storm, neglecting the sun and neglecting all hope – embracing the cold emptiness. At the end of that path we find Sasuke standing alone, enshrouded in darkness, peering out of the shadows with eyes that hunger for death and destruction.
It’s this symbolism, that truly shows the contrast between Naruto and Sasuke as characters and how they have each now grown to be complete opposites of one another.
One day those two paths shall finally meet again, and only then will the final clash between darkness and light truly begin.
Well, I guess that’s it from me this week. I’d give you all a winner for last week’s Bubbliton contest, but there were no entries, so that was a complete fail. Either I made it too hard for you guys, or you’re all slackers. Either way, I’ll still give you guys a bubbliton for this week though, because I love you all and I’m soft that way. <_<
See you all in the comments. ^ ^