Naruto Chapter 642 – 643 Breakdown: The other half.
I have to say, as far as the longest battles in Naruto are concerned, this one with Obito and the Juubi easily takes the cake as far as its shear length in chapters is concerned, but one thing I’ve always found with battles that stretch on for too long is that they start to become a bit weary and grating and tend to lose that feeling of adrenaline they usually stimulate us with in their early, waking moments.
As for this battle in particular, right now I feel like I’m treading the fine line between excitement and monotony, because despite the fact that this battle has stretched on for quite some time, Kishi has somehow still managed to keep it feeling mostly fresh by continuously introducing new twists and turns to help liven it up. I think one of the largest contributing factors that have helped keep me interested in particular, is the fact that Tobirama himself has become such an compelling character, one that has really helped keep things flowing nicely in these past few chapters as a whole.
Luckily for me, despite this being a double breakdown, chapter 642 doesn’t actually give me much to talk about from a narrative perspective, mostly because it was just a load of typical banter that served more as a build-up for chapter 643 than anything else – all action aside. However, to give a small recap, the most significant factors established in that chapter were the fact that Senjutsu seems to work on Obito where normal jutsu cannot, and that the other half of Kurama has made an appearance inside Minato.
Oh, I guess it’s also worth pointing out that Naruto seems to be able to make Rasengans with one hand now – even outside of his chakra form – not to mention the overall size of the Rasengan it seems to be larger than normal as well.
With a culmination of events building up in chapter 642, we start to notice a bit of a reversal of roles as far as the relationship between father and son goes. Typically, it is the role of a parent to encourage and support their children, but in this chapter we find Minato taking on the more vulnerable role while Naruto, conversely, has adopted the role of vanguard and leader, even to the extent where it’s left to him to support his father in what appears to be a moment of emotional weakness on his part.
Of course, I think we all understand the doubts and trepidations that might come with a decision as weighty and consequential as turning your son into a Jinchuuriki – as seen even with the likes of Gaara’s father – but I also think this turning point in the manga has an even greater value from a storytelling perspective, which I’ll touch on a bit later. Suffice to say, these interactions are enough to attract even the attention of Kurama’s other half, who itself seems to be moved by Naruto’s actions.
This is probably the most significant reveal moving from chapter 642 to 643, because we now know for certain that Minato is not just carrying half of Kurama’s chakra, but half of his “body” and consciousness as well. It raises a lot of questions about whether this is the first time they’ve spoken together like this, or whether they’ve spoken before in the realm of the Death God, and it also made me curious as to what kind of personality this version of Kurama has.
From the offset, it seems as if this half of Kurama is on more friendlier terms with Minato compared to how Naruto related with his half throughout most of the series. This could be attributed to the possibility that Minato’s half is the polar opposite to Naruto’s half (if we consider the whole Yin and Yang scenario) and thus, a lot less emo by nature, but it could also simply be a case where Kishi didn’t want to have a recurrance of the politics between the tailed beasts and their hosts and simply decided to bypass it this time around. The third possibility is that Kurama’s other half is still linked to him in some way, and thus changes that affect one half also affect the other half directly.
Moving onto chapter 643, it becomes even more apparent that Kishi’s intended goal was to establish in Minato – and in us readers – the realization that his son has surpassed him in just about every way possible, from the completion of the Rasengan, to mastering Senjutsu. However, the gap between Minato and Naruto is not limited solely to their strength as ninja alone, but also in the strength of their will as well.
Where we see Minato waver at Obito’s venomous words – unsure of whether the decisions he made were correct – Naruto conversely stands his ground and even defends his father from the condemning onslaught. For me, it’s a sign that times have changed and where once the fate of the world had rested in the previous generation, that responsibility has now fallen completely on the capable and read shoulders of their successors, who – as shown by the likes of Shikamaru and Naruto – are more than ready to accept their role.
In saying that, I also realized that there was another form of disparity being played on in this chapter as well, and that was the ever-growing gap between Naruto and Sasuke, which, once again, seems to be widening considerably. I couldn’t help but notice that without being able to use Senjutsu like Naruto, Sasuke has becoming a proverbial walking pile of uselessness, and I think he’s noticed just how much he’s fallen into Naruto’s shadow in this battle if his expression is anything to go by.
This sentiment, which might play on feelings of inferiority withing Sasuke, also brings me back to part one of Naruto where we see the two battling on top of the hospital roof, and where – after both display the power of their strongest jutsu – Sasuke realizes that Naruto managed to surpass him.
Since that time, the rivalry between the two of them has constantly evolved along with the development of this story as a whole, with Sasuke taking a lead again through the starting half of part two, only to fall behind Naruto time and time again as the latter mastered various jutsu in an effort to become stronger. Even now, we can still see signs of that rivalry throughout this battle in the way Sasuke often treats Naruto more as a hindrance than an aid, and I think the fact that Naruto has mastered both Sage Mode and Kurama’s chakra are all contributing to the ever-growing bruise on Sasuke’s pride. It makes me wonder how he’ll feel after seeing Naruto go into his full chakra mode while partnered with Kurama.
Of course, Sasuke isn’t the only Emochiha on the battlefield, and, not wanting to be left out, Obito decides to finally bring a close to things with what appears to be one final, killing blow.
I’m sure you’ll all recognize the overgrown flowers as the same kind the Juubi practically regurgitated in an earlier chapter, only to then subsequently fire a Bijuu Bomb from. This means the alliance has four similarly powered attacks coming their way, which, coupled with Obito’s barrier jutsu to keep them trapped, spells big trouble. It’s also been made clear that even with their combined efforts, Minato and Tobirama would only have enough time to warp away two of the Bijuu Bombs.
It’s here – in this seemingly hopeless situation – that Kurama insists on communicating with his other half via means of a fist bump between Naruto and his dad to enlist some chakra. It’s also here where it seems Naruto has come up with some sort of plan to deal with the attack.
In my personal opinion, I believe Naruto – who has now transformed into his full chakra form – will try to link the four bijuu bombs with his own chakra arms and thereby to Minato so he can warp them away, much like he did when he saved himself and Sasuke from Obito’s facepalm of death, but of course, there are other possibilities as well.
And so, we come to the end of our chapter, which is just another epic cliffhanger wetting our appetites for what is to come. I’d really like to see Naruto and Minato go all out in a real father/son tag-team battle. Also, I’d also like to take this opportunity to point out the differences between Naruto’s full chakra mode and Minato’s seemingly incomplete one now that they’re standing next to each other and also how Minato’s version of Kurama has darker fur than Naruto’s (which you can tell even on the black and white version).
In any case, I hope you all enjoyed the breakdown! I’ll see you in the comments! ^ ^
~ by Tenrai Senshi on August 27, 2013.
Posted in Mangas, Naruto, Naruto Manga Breakdown, weareawesomeness
Tags: 642, 643, 644, Battle, Breakdown, Discussion, Hiraishin, Kurama, Minato, Naruto, Naruto chapter 642 - 643 Breakdown, Obito, Other half, Review, Sasuke, Spoiler, Summary, Tobirama, uchiha, Yang, Yin