Naruto Chapter 619 Breakdown: Visiting the past has never been so… weird. O_o
Greetings one and all and welcome to yet another Naruto manga breakdown!
Firstly, I’d like to thank Iamnotreallyhere for helping me out by covering last week’s breakdown and saving me from a triple. Things have just been really busy my side, but I hope to make up for that in the coming weeks with more epic breakdowns that I hope you’ll all enjoy reading.
In any case, to avoid dwelling on such somber subjects, let’s get on with the show!
Now, I think it’s probably safe to say that the first thing that stood out in this latest chapter was, of course, the First Hokage himself. I’m sure many of us had this idea in our heads of what the “God of Shinobi” might have been like character wise and I’m also sure many of us envisioned this stern and powerful, yet wise and kind leader, who was always calm and cool-headed. I personally envisioned some genius-type shinobi along the lines of Itachi or Minato, considering how he was always depicted through legends.
But now that his personality has finally shone through and we’ve gotten a taste of the real Hashirama Senju, could any of us have really imagined this kind of outcome?
As I’m sure you could have guessed from the mock page above, it seems obvious that Hashirama’s personality mirrors that of Naruto’s quite closely. He seems very loud and energetic, and very easily excitable, as seen when he first discovered that Minato was the fourth Hokage. Personally, I enjoyed this banter between the previous Hokage and in a way, it also felt like an initiation of sorts for Minato, who had never met the first two Hokage himself.
We also got a bit more insight as to the origins of Tsunade’s own personality, as well as the cause of her gambling habits, which also creates a greater sense of the almost childish and seemingly irresponsible nature of the First Hokage.
In a way, despite how others might feel at this development, I am somewhat relieved and pleased by this revelation, because it shows that you don’t have to be a methodical genius to be a great Hokage. This may also be another case where the ideals of “a genius of hard work will surpass a real genius” shines through and for all we know, Hashirama may have been a klutz like Naruto or Lee in the past who had to work real hard to become as strong as he did.
Still, despite this sudden and rather surprising development, the intention behind Hashirama’s personality soon becomes apparent as the conversation between the Hokage and Sasuke takes on a more serious and deliberate tone.
Not only are we given hints that draw greater parallels between Hashirama and Naruto, but we are also given more links between Sasuke and Madara as well, as Tobirama explains that the hatred of the Uchiha is not born simply through a lust for power, but rather, through a love greater than even that of the Senju. To be precise, it is because their love is so great, that the loss of a loved one causes a change in their minds and makes their brain release a unique chakra that catalyzes a change in their optic nerves.
Enter, the Sharingan.
This power also grows along with their hatred and the further down they fall along that path, the more powerful their eyes become.
In the end, we are told quite bluntly that Madara’s own fall was caused through the loss of his brother – whom he loved above anything else – and, in essence, this sentiment is reflected almost perfectly within Sasuke as well, who also fell down a darker path for the very same reason. One could even reflect on how this explanation also does a great deal in explaining the fall of Obito as well.
Still it’s plainly obvious that Kishi’s intention is to create a more pertinent link between the past conflict between Hashirama and Madara and the current conflict between Naruto and Sasuke, even to the point where he is bridging their personalities and ideals and in some ways, even the circumstances leading up to those developments. However, I do not believe this was the only purpose behind the explanation of the source of the Uchiha’s hatred. I also believe that the information we have learned in this chapter may give us some more solid clues behind the actions of Itachi as well and the decisions he made regarding the Uchiha massacre and sparing the life of his brother.
I think many of us have questioned Itachi’s decision to spare Sasuke in the wake of the Uchiha massacre. Some of us might have felt it was irresponsible or selfish, considering what was at stake and the fact that Itachi was wiping out the rest of his clan without question. Why spare one Uchiha and risk possible retribution? Was it because Itachi was too soft, or was there some deeper reason behind it?
At first, we were presented with one possible answer by Obito; that Itachi simply loved Sasuke above even the village itself. However, I now believe this may be false and that the real reason has just been given to us.
Essentially, what we’ve discovered in this chapter – as I mentioned earlier – is that when an Uchiha suffers to great a loss, they undergo a significant change to their minds and that the loss of love leaves an incredible hatred within its wake. Considering how knowledgeable Itachi was to the conflicts of the past and the curse of the Uchiha as a whole, I’m sure he was well aware of the fact that he too might have been susceptible to such a drastic change should he suffer a great enough loss of his own.
Basically, what I’m trying to get to here, is that I believe the true reason Itachi chose to spare Sasuke, was to balance the loss of the Uchiha with the survival of his brother, so that his loss was not so significant so as to transform him into another Madara. After all, if he did kill his brother and his heart was changed because of it, he might have become an even greater threat to Konoha himself than Sasuke would have if left alive.
I also believe this was why Itachi chose to make Sasuke hate him, which was another decision of his I often questioned in the past. Itachi knew that he would eventually die – and most likely by Sasuke’s hands – so the only way to ensure that Sasuke didn’t undergo a transformation for the worse was to destroy any trace of love Sasuke may have had for him deep down inside. That way, when Sasuke did kill him, he wouldn’t feel any loss associated with his brother’s death and he would be spared from the Uchiha’s curse of hatred. Unfortunately, even if this was the case, Obito ruined those plans by telling Sasuke the truth and forcing him to feel the pain of loss, which is ultimately what darkened Sasuke’s heart and awakened his Mangekyou Sharingan.
All deep thinking aside, there were a few other notable titbits of information that may have deeper implications further down the line. For one thing, the fact that the Uzumaki created the Reaper Death Seal may serve to imply an even greater link between the Uzumaki and the Sage of the Six Paths, whose Rinnegan gave him power over life and death. I had always been curious if there was a link between the horns on the Shinigami’s head and the horns that we see in the silhouette of the Sage in flashbacks (though, like with Naruto, that may just be extreme hair gel).
There was also a significant, contrasting display between the ideals of Hashirama Senju and those of his younger brother. To me, it almost felt like Tobirama was more of a Danzou-like personality – cold and ruthless when it came to defending his village – while Hashirama’s was more open and compassionate, similar to how Hiruzen was for the most part.
Still, more important than what happened in the past is the question “where do we go from here?” I personally would like to see the Hokage play some part in this war, even if not directly. I’d also like to see Naruto meet all the previous Hokage so he too can converse with them and gain a greater understanding of things. It would be both a heartfelt reunion and an insightful encounter.
Well, that’s all from me for now. Seeing as how no-one entered the Bubbliton Contest last week, I can’t choose a winner (shame on you all). Still, I’ve decided to forgive you and give you a new Bubbliton for this week.
Here it is.
Good luck, and I’ll see you in the comments. ^ ^