Naruto Chapter 575 – 576 Double Breakdown: The Pride of the Uchiha.
Greetings one and all. I know it’s been two weeks since my last breakdown, but, things have just been really busy for me on my end of the spectrum here lately, so I’ve been somewhat lacking as far as energy and motivation is concerned. I am sorry about that.
In any case, this is my first double breakdown in quite some time, so I’m a bit rusty at them. Let’s hope I can get through this in less than two pieces.
To start things off, things have taken quite a turn in the manga lately. Coming from the epic battle between the bijuu only a few chapters prior, Kishi has suddenly shifted the focus in a new direction, concentrating primarily on whatever else is happening in the Narutoverse at this moment in time. That focus has now fallen onto three Uchiha in particular, namely Itachi, Sasuke and Madara.
One thing I was pleased about, was the fact that Kishi decided to give us an update on the battle between Madara and the five Kage. For a moment, I was worried that we would have a repeat of the “Kakashi Rampage” on our hands here, where we’d basically only be shown the aftermath of the battle, and not what actually took place in it. Fortunately, it seems Kishi has deemed this battle to be worthy enough to focus more attention on it, however, even despite that, it still feels like it’s missing something important.
Sure, Madara’s jutsu are flashy and the Kage are holding their own, but compared to the battle between the bijuu, this one just seems far less epic. I can’t quite put my finger on the reason for that less than spectacular vibe, but the magic just isn’t there yet. Hopefully, the mood will pick up soon as it progresses though, because I expect a lot from this battle in particular.
Another point that seems to have been reiterated a lot lately, is how strong Hashirama Senju apparently was. From simply being known as the first Hokage and a founder of Konoha, his status has suddenly – and rather abruptly – been elevated to mythical proportions.
It almost feels like an attempt by Kishi to balance out the Uchiha’s seemingly outrageous strengths, by making the strongest Senju seem that much more prominent. Admittedly, I can understand why he did it as well. I think we were all wondering how Hashirama ever beat Madara when the latter had weapons like Susanoo and the Eternal Mangekyo Sharingan up his sleeves. Now the tables have been dramatically turned, and we’re now left with the impression that Hashirama was an immortal, unbeatable monster of a shinobi.
This dramatic change of lore ends up feeling a little forced and contrived, but I suppose that’s just how things roll sometimes in the world of manga. Characters get power-ups out of the blue, even if they’ve been dead for a few decades. But now the question remains, how does this affect the hierarchy of five Hokage?
Besides the battle between the five Kage and Madara, another point of interest in the latest chapter was the meeting between Sasuke and a now deceased Itachi.
This was something many of us had been waiting for ever since we saw Itachi being resurrected by Edo Tensei – the reunion between the two brothers. It was also something we all suspected could have a drastic effect on the story in any number of ways, because of the endless possibilities such a meeting presented.
For one, Sasuke’s love for Itachi is the primary reason he is taking the path of revenge against Konoha, so that also means that Itachi is the one person who could potentially dissuade Sasuke from that course of action. We all wondered if such a thing would come to pass if the two ever met, but what happened in reality is quite different from how I imagined it in my mind.
Firstly, instead of greeting Sasuke openly, Itachi decides to instead ignore him, citing that he has “important” things to do. Conversely, Sasuke doesn’t seem too happy to see Itachi either, and talks to him with an almost frantic and strangely antagonistic demeanor.
The most surprising part about this meeting was how Sasuke openly declared that his goal was to destroy Konoha. It seems Sasuke has no sense of fear or shame when it comes to admitting that he was going against everything his brother fought and died for. In fact, it almost seemed as if he was trying to gain Itachi’s approval for those goals.
Actually, to be more accurate, one could say that it felt as if Sasuke wanted Itachi to tell him not to pursue that path – as if he knew that the only thing that could dissuade him from wreaking his vengeance was his brother’s own words and nothing else. It gives me the impression that Sasuke is still really just a child who is too dependent on the guidance of others and still unsure of his own decisions. It stands to reason when you consider that even now, his actions are influenced by the words of another (Aka, Tobi).
Itachi, however, simply tells Sasuke that he should choose his own path, no matter what it might be. It almost seemed as if Itachi no longer felt he had the right to influence his brothers decisions anymore. He was in a position where he could have potentially stopped his brother right there and then and prevented a lot of heart-ache, but it seems he has already chosen to place his faith in someone else to act in his stead in that regard.
Either way, the meeting appears to have come to an end for the time being. Whether or not Sasuke will continue to follow Itachi is unknown and before we could discern what might happen going forward from here, the focus of the chapter shifted abruptly back to the battle with Edo Madara.
This was probably the most boring part of the chapter to be honest, mostly because it involved a typical villainous monologue on Madara’s part. Captain obvious decided to point out the fact that women aren’t portrayed as very strong characters in Naruto (what a shock), and that Tsunade, as the granddaughter of Hashirama’s, was “ugly” to behold, seeing as how in his eyes as a Senju, she did not live up to Hashirama’s name.
Tsunade, however, retaliated with her own monologue about the will of fire and blah, blah, blah. We’ve heard it all before. All I can say is that I hope we finally get to see Tsunade strut her stuff. As one of the three sannin, she’s the only one we haven’t seen go “all out” yet and because of that, it gives us the impression that she isn’t all that strong compared to the likes of Orochimaru or Jiraiya. I hope she proves us wrong in the next chapter, for the sake of all the female characters in Naruto who remain sorely underdeveloped. I’m tired of seeing her standing back and healing others all the time.
That’s right Tsunade. We’re tired of seeing you standing in the background healing people all the time. It’s time for you to step up to the plate and show us what you’re made of.
In any case, that’s all from me this week. I’m sorry if the breakdown was a bit flat, because I feel a bit flat, but hopefully it is somewhat palatable.
See you all in the comments. ^ ^