Naruto Chapter 628 Breakdown: We want more! We want more!
Ah yes. Isn’t it the bane of every manga reader when the manga they love so much goes on a week’s break? I mean, I understand the author’s need for rest now and then, but that still doesn’t make it any easier on all the fans around the world who are eagerly awaiting his work.
There are many feelings and emotions that seem to walk hand-in-hand with these breaks, the most prominent of which are the high expectations of fans that seem to be birthed from their ire of having to wait in anticipation; expectations that, for all intents and purposes, may be somewhat unrealistic or unfair. The only question is, did Kishi’s latest chapter after a week’s break live up to those expectations, however, high they might be?
If I were to answer the question posed above, going by most of the comments I read on the previous breakdown, I suppose the answer would be a resounding “no”. Not many of you were happy with Kishi’s latest Naruto chapter, with a few citing “is this all Kishi can come up with after a week’s break?” However, in my opinion, these kinds of comments can end up being a little bit unreasonable.
At the end of the day, a week’s break is exactly what it sounds like – a break. It isn’t a week for Kishi to work extra hard on the next chapter to make it even more epic for his fans, it’s a week for him to not work at all and to take some needed time off. I’m not sure why fans seem to have higher expectations when a week break comes along or what kind of rational drives those expectations, but I personally believe that expecting too much can cause a fan to miss out on enjoying what might have otherwise been perceived as a perfectly decent chapter on any other normal week.
As for me personally, I actually enjoyed the latest chapter, mostly because I never expected anything beyond the norm. Perhaps it’s just because I am overly optimistic, or perhaps it is simply a difference of tastes, but either way, I suppose it is what it is and there’s no changing how people feel.
As for the chapter itself, it pretty much had everything one could hope for in a battle focused issue. It had a lot of flashy explosions and high level jutsu, but more importantly, I think it did a good job of showing us just how far Naruto’s control of Kurama’s chakra has evolved. Not only is he able to adjust it to match the chakra patterns of those he is transferring it to, but it seems he is also able to control it externally – from a distance – to do whatever he wants even if he isn’t in direct contact with those who adorn his chakra cloaks.
This means Naruto can use that chakra to both protect his comrades and to attack his enemies on a whim, although controlling Kurama’s power on such a large scale does seem to take some severe tolls on him in terms of fatigue.
This situation also brings us back to the question posed some time ago near the beginning of this war arc about whether the Jinchuuriki should be used in the war from the start or weather they should be hidden, and although opinions on the matter had been split back then – with some opting to use them rather than hide them – I think it is now clear that Naruto’s contribution to this battle is really the only thing keeping the alliance alive right now, which proves without a doubt that the presence of Jinchuuriki on the battlefield is not only a boon, but ultimately a necessity.
Another point that seemed to come up in this chapter was the conflict of interests between Naruto and Obito and while Naruto seems to be putting everything he has into protecting the alliance and his friends from harm, Obito seems to be more interested in taunting him and questioning his resolve.
One thing I liked about this part was how Naruto’s comrades seemed to stand by him every step of the way – as if to act as a pillar of support against any doubt that might have otherwise stricken Naruto at that point – and how they even help him in a conjoined attack against Obito, as if to reinforce their sense of unity and camaraderie. We’re basically seeing a battle of principles here that pits two contrasting ideals against each other. On one side, we have the two lone wolves who believe that people can never truly trust or rely on each other and who believe a world of dreams is the only true path to peace, while the other side is composed of an alliance of shinobi uniting under a single goal who have placed their faith and trust in their new-found bonds with one another.
The only question is, which of these two sides is building the strongest foundations for the peace the are fighting so hard to create? Can peace really be built on trust and bonds, or is that simply a naive ideal? Likewise, can a strong foundation of peace really be built on an illusion or dream?
Unfortunately, even though I said I enjoyed this chapter, this is where it started to slip away a bit towards the end. Although I mentioned this in the comments on the previous breakdown, I might as well say it here again.
You see, as we get towards the closing pages of this chapter, I felt as if things started getting a bit out of control and although Naruto was a focal point for the most part, he started getting pushed into the background as a hero-figure. The first sign of this sudden change is when we see Madara’s rape face after he detects Hashirama’s chakra. While I understand the rivalry the two share, it kinda felt like he was no longer interested in the alliance or Naruto and only cared about his bout with his former ally turned enemy.
“Alright, that’s fine” I thought to myself. After all, there was still Obito right? Well, unfortunately that didn’t last long either as he and Kakashi both warped away to have their own personal lover’s spat in the privacy of some inter-dimensional motel room.
So here’s my issue. There are three characters that up until recently, I would have dubbed as the three primary villains in this story – and those are Madara, Obito and Sasuke. Sasuke was the one villain I expected Naruto to handle himself, especially considering the rivalry between the two of them, but that role was taken over by Hashirama instead, who managed to convince Sasuke to help protect Konoha and Itachi’s ideals.
Alright, so now we’re left with two primary villains for Naruto to deal with, right? Well, it doesn’t seem like that’s the case anymore, mostly because Madara seems more interested in Hashirama than anything and will likely end up battling him instead, while Obito decided to warp away with Kakashi, as mentioned before. So what does that leave for Naruto, the main hero of the story?
It’s an issue I find worrisome, mostly because it feels like too much is being taken out of Naruto’s hands. The whole reason he was given Kurama’s power to begin with was to deal with Obito – whom Minato regarded as a calamity that would threaten the world – and now it seems like he’s not even going to do that anymore. In addition to that, despite all the faith and trust people placed in him in regards to dealing with Sasuke – including from himself – that matter was also seemingly dealt with by another character.
“He still has the Juubi to deal with” some of you might say, but in the end, I always found the dynamic between a hero and a villain, along with their clashing ideals, to be the most interesting part of a battle between dark and light. It’s adds a lot of depth and emotion to a battle that cannot exist in a bout with a mindless beast that doesn’t seem to have any feelings whatsoever.
At the end of the day, I just hope that Kishi isn’t just trying to rush through the story to reach the finale, all the while casting aside some of his long-term developments along the way. I really hope we still see that final battle between Naruto and Sasuke because I still firmly believe that it was meant to be sorted out between the two of them without any outside interference.
What I really want to see is something like the battle between Naruto and Sasuke at The Valley of The End, a battle that – to this day – is one I still consider to be among the best in the series alongside Naruto’s battle with Pain. What made both of these battles so great was that conflict of ideals and the emotion driving both sides to win. I want to see a battle with that kind of heart and emotion again and I really hope Kishi delivers it.
All disdain aside, I’m still excited for what is to come. Judging by the way the Juubi’s hand tails seem to be evolving into something more hand-like, I’m assuming he’s undergoing another transformation, perhaps into his final, true form. Maybe then he’ll grow a personality, in which case I won’t mind if he becomes Naruto’s final nemesis, because at least then there will be some more dynamic to the battle.
Anyway, that’s all from me for now. To grant a request of many of you, I’ve decided to reintroduce the Bubbliton Contest to the breakdowns, so here is this week’s screen!
Alright, so I couldn’t resist using Madara’s rape face for the Bubbliton Contest, but I wasn’t sure if I should use that panel on its own, or whether to use it with the Juubi’s panel below it. So, in the end I decided to use both together and let everyone decide how they wanted to approach it.
In other words, you can either use the panel with Madara on its own and just show his thoughts, use the Juubi on its own or use them both consecutively together. It’s up to you and I’ll just put in whatever ends up being the funniest.
Good luck! And I’ll see you in the comments! ^ ^