Naruto Chapter 634 – 635 Breakdown: The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Well, things sure have gotten interesting in Naruto lately, haven’t they? I mean, to list but a few of the recent twists in the series, Oro has seemingly become more noble, Sasuke has vowed to protect Konoha and Sakura has become useful again.
Yeah, that last one was the biggest twist so far…
Sure enough, epicness has followed and the battle against Madara and the Juubi has now increased in both scale and delight, especially now that the “Big Three” have been summoned to the field.
I have to admit, when I first saw these three summoned, I thought that Naruto was riding on top of Gamabunta. It was only after I noticed how much younger this frog looked and the prevalently missing scar on his face, that I realized it was actually Gamakichi.
For me, this – coupled with the fact that Sasuke also seemed to be using a new snake summon that might be considered the successor to Manda – was a nice touch on Kishi’s part, which indicated that the new generation was taking over the roles of the old and that even summoned creatures were following this trend.
Even Minato remarks on how he never thought he’d see the “Trio” summoned again – having obviously witnessed the amazing spectacle before at the hands of the original Sannin – while Hiruzen comments on how it was “indeed a new age”.
For the most part, chapter 633 did what it intended to do well, and that’s deliver an action-packed iteration that was filled with more flash than narrative substance.
One aspect that really piqued my curiosity, however, was the banter between Naruto and Gamakichi, which seemed to be very suggestive.
I noticed that Gamakichi mentioned something about Naruto finishing a seal, but what I’m curious about is what seal he was referring to. We don’t see Naruto using any hand seals that are recognizable, per say, but rather, we see him place his hands together in a manner similar to how Jiraiya did during his initial battle with Pain.
This had me wondering if Naruto was preparing some sort of seal to either suppress the Juubi’s power, or to help him free the Bijuu from its body, something that we later discover he intended to do. It may also be a case where Naruto was putting up a detection circle like the one Jiraiya did, to help him keep track of his enemies and maybe even to help him locate the spirits of the Bijuu to help in extracting them. It also brings up the question about whether our blond hero is on his way to becoming a proper seal master, a factor that would go a long way in helping him live up to the name of the Uzumaki clan, who were revered and even feared for their mastery in making seals.
Aside from that, the other most notable thing worth mentioning for chapter 633, other than the obvious epicness of the battle, was Sasuke’s and Naruto’s combination attack.
Firstly, I thought it was impressive seeing Naruto and Sasuke use an attack on this scale, which in itself went a long way in showing just how far the two have grown since the start of the series. More than that though, I also enjoyed how Kishi linked this moment back to a time when Naruto was discussing elemental weaknesses with Yamato.
At the time, Naruto remarked on how his wind was the only thing that could keep Sasuke’s candle burning, which, despite sounding very suggestive in ways that would make pickles proud, was also touched on nicely in this chapter with how Naruto’s wind technique was able to make Sasuke’s fire technique stronger and that they were the perfect match-up.
It’s a moment that is so grand and inspiring, even the original graduation class can’t all help but cheer Naruto and Sasuke on, with Sakura even being bought to tears by their teamwork and the implications it might have held, but even in such a glorious moment bathed in what seems to be an overwhelming light, a dark silhouette makes itself known that brings with it, a lingering shadow of doubt.
Before we get to that shadow, moving onto 635, our scene moves to the other half of team Hawk, who are accompanying Orochimaru on what seems to be a search and rescue mission.
At first, the chapter tries to adopt a more humorous tone, which not everyone appreciated, but I for one welcomed the small moment of reprieve from what has otherwise been a very tense past few chapters, even if it meant seeing Orochimaru act out of character to varying degrees.
Now the question has once again come up about whether this change in Orochimaru is one that could be considered “good”, or to be more accurate, is one that has turned him into a better man.
When it comes to Orochimaru, however, I think I can safely say that he has never been either truly good or truly evil and that his actions have always been partaken in the benefit of his own self-interests. While we see destruction or malicious intent in his past actions, he might simply see a necessary means to an end, though the same could be said for main so-called villains in this series, from Pein, to Madara. While I personally would prefer it if Orochimaru retained his enigmatic and unpredictable nature rather than being placed wholly on one side of the fence or the other, I’m also interested to hear what you guys think about the possibility of him becoming altogether “good”.
With that small moment of what some considered wasted comic relief aside, we move back into the main game once again, only that shadow I mentioned earlier begins to rear its ugly head, all the while presenting the possibility that Sasuke’s intentions may not be as noble as they seem.
As we can see in the screen above, despite Naruto’s pleas for Sasuke to quench his flames so that Naruto could rescue the Bijuu trapped within the Juubi’s body, Sasuke blatantly refuses, citing that he’ll “put an end to this antiquated system” and build a new one from it.
I mentioned a few breakdowns ago how I felt Sasuke was still walking down the same path as Madara did and that Naruto had recognized that danger, but this scene pretty much confirms it. Essentially, no matter how you look at it, Sasuke is doing the same thing Pein once tried to do – and the same thing that Obito and Madara are currently trying to do – and that is to create a new world regardless of the cost involved in doing so. The only difference is that while Pein wanted to create a world of peace created through fear and death and while Madara and Obito want to create one by creating a new dream reality to replace the old, Sasuke simply intends to destroy everything associated with the old system outright, regardless of whether his victims are innocent or not.
It also seems as if Sai, who has once again become the voice of reason for team 7, recognizes the threat Sasuke poses, a threat that Sakura herself doesn’t seem to want to acknowledge even though her pained expression clearly betrays how she really feels.
I’m personally glad that Kishi hasn’t neglected Sai’s role in team 7. In fact, on the contrary, it seems as if Sai’s role has suddenly become even more important now and as the placeholder for Sasuke, the responsibility to show his comrades the truth about his predecessor seems to have fallen on his shoulders.
To be fair, I’d even go as far as to call Sasuke a hypocrite in light of his actions in this chapter, after all, the bijuu are just as much victims of the Shinobi system as his own brother Itachi was, in that they were used to commit acts they did not necessarily want to. In fact, I’d say even more so seeing as how they were trapped and used as weapons against their own will, which is hardly something one can blame them for. We can tell quite clearly by Naruto’s pained expression following Sasuke’s words and even Hashirama’s alarmed response that things are going to get ugly. It also pretty much confirms that a clash between Naruto and Sasuke is still inevitable, which is something I am actually quite grateful for.
What happens next, however, is anyone’s guess. For now though, it seems the battlefield is about to heat up even more with the return of the five Kage. One can only hope they make up for their fall from grace by putting in a good show worthy of the title they bear.
There was also something about Obit and Kakashi stabbing each other, but who cares about that, right? In either case, that’s all from me for now. I hope you guys enjoyed the double breakdown!
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