Naruto Chapter 658 – 660 Triple Breakdown: The Uchihax has been unleashed! >_<
Greetings one and all. Before I start my breakdown, I’d first like to give a big shout out to all our faithful readers at WRA and thank them for their support over the years. Without you all, this blog would have died ages ago so thanks for keeping it going and keeping it real.
With yet another year under WRA’s belt, I’d also like to wish you all a belated Happy New Year and hope that 2014 will be a great year for us all.
Now that all the informal formalities are out of the way, I now have to trudge through the horror that is a triple breakdown. Fortunately, there was more action than talk in these past three chapters, so it makes my narration thereof a bit easier to bear.
Of course, when it comes to a battle between two super powers (7 Bijuu, Two Jinchuuriki and one Kage vs one Uchihax Madara), one expects a lot of epicness, and I have to say that chapter 658 certainly delivered it with a big bang.
To save my breakdown from becoming obscenely long, I’ve decided to reduce my analysis of this particular chapter into two definitive points; those being what I liked about the chapter and what I didn’t like about it.
What I enjoyed the most about the chapter was seeing not only how well the Bijuu worked together to thwart Madara, but in particular, how well Shukaku and Gaara worked together as well, which makes sense given that they share the same power and that they were once bound together as a Jinchuuriki and his Bijuu tenant. I was also happy that battling the Bijuu wasn’t just a walk in the park for Madara – especially given that he didn’t have his eyes – and it was a treat to see him get a handy thrashing, to the point where he was almost sealed, even if the moment was short-lived.
It was also interesting to note that Shukaku has the power of a cursed seal pattern, though some might have guessed that already given the crazy artwork covering his body.
Unfortunately, it’s also this very moment that brings me to the point that I didn’t like about this chapter, and that was the completely astronomical level of ass-pull that Madara managed to conjure up to escape his seemingly inevitable demise.
To put things into perspective about why this scene left me gawking at my screen, I’ll draw back to what Itachi once said about Susanoo, in that in order to activate it, an Uchiha first has to awaken the Mangekyou Sharingan in both eyes and use them harmoniously. This, of course, begs the questions… how the hell did Madara manage to use Susanoo with no eyes and thus no Mangekyou Sharingan!? The sheer level of absurdity in this scene cannot even be comprehended by natural means. It’s even worse than Sasuke summoning Manda to escape Deidara’s Self Destruct no Jutsu when he didn’t even have enough chakra to keep his Sharingan active, and that’s saying a lot.
I’d have to write it off as either a complete plotkai, or a severe memory lapse on Kishi’s part. Either way, I think it’s best if we just put it behind us, though I’m sure Kantonkage will do his part and occasionally remind us of just how hax the Uchiha are. But then, who are we to argue?
Chapter 659 was much more straightforward than chapter 658, and that’s to be expected after seeing Madara get one of his Rinnegan eyes back. After seeing yet another failed Kamui attempt by Kakashi (seriously Kishi, give the poor guy a break already) the chapter pretty much involved Madara kicking everyone’s rears merely by looking at them.
There’s really no need to deliberate what happened in detail, so I’ll just post what I feel is an effective summary. @__@
I have to admit, I was a bit concerned that Madara was able to push around the Bijuu so easily, especially given that these creatures are meant to be composed of the greatest chakras to exist in the world, but then again, I suppose the true power of the Rinnegan is nothing to sneeze at, and Madara may be the closest shinobi yet to matching the power of the Rikudou Sennin.
Despite that, I still couldn’t help but feel as if chapter 659 was a bit shallow overall in terms of content. I’m not really a fan of overly one-sided battles and this chapter felt more like an exhibition to show off Madara’s power than anything else.
Luckily, chapter 660 was a lot more substantial in terms of its overall depth, and it was nice to get a bit more insight into the relationship between Shukaku and his hosts.
Although I know most of us aren’t really all for flashbacks, I felt these ones were relevant enough to be acceptable. I’ve mentioned before that Jinchuuriki and Bijuu are treated the same and thus, should be able to understand each other, but this chapter really highlighted just how close to the truth that sentiment really was, as we saw with Shukaku’s host being treated much like a beast himself, even to the point of being locked away by his fellows in a manner all too similar to his own Bijuu prisoner.
It also highlights just why the Bijuu have been, for the most part, so hateful towards human beings as a whole, because of the fact that they were treated and locked away as if nothing more than weapons to be used. In addition to that, it magnifies the importance of their admiration for the Rikudou Sennin – who was probably the only human prior to present times that they regarded as worthy of their respect – and subsequently, it highlights the significance of what it means for them to open up to and acknowledge other humans, such as the likes of Naruto, Bee or Gaara.
All of this builds up to what I considered to be one of the most gut-wrenching scenes I’ve witnessed in this manga in quite some time (with Neji’s death being the closest I can think of).
As Madara began to draw the Bijuu into Gedou Moza, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of dread and hopelessness, almost like the time we first saw the Juubi being while under Obito’s command. I got this feeling in my gut that something bad was going to happen, but I myself never really expected the situation to deteriorate to the extent that it did. What really took me by surprise, however, was seeing not only all of the other Bijuu being sucked away by Madara, but seeing both Kurama and Gyouki being separated from Naruto and Bee as well.
I have to say, my expression was probably very similar to Naruto’s in that last panel, when I first witnessed this scene. I mean, from the start of this manga, Naruto’s character has always been defined by his bond with Kurama and his status as a Jincuuriki. For the past decade, we as readers grown with up Naruto, accompanied him on all his adventures, watched him as he evolved as a character and have even come to admire him as a hero, but in all that time, he and Kurama were always together, always part of each other. To see such a defining part of Naruto suddenly get pulled away right before my very eyes, left me at a bit of a loss to be honest and I think the shock on Naruto’s face really says it all.
Still, even in such a moment of complete despair, that small flicker of hope still manages to make itself known. We get a few visual and verbal clues that suggest that something might be in the works, and we even see Gyouki chop of one of his tails, suggesting that he helped Bee escape the fate of death that usually comes with having one’s Bijuu extracted. The only question is, what did Kurama ask of Gaara and how will it help Naruto in this trying time?
All-in-all, even now my mind is still fuzzy when I try to comprehend these past few chapters. After witnessing such a long battle and eventual triumph over Obito, this latest development makes me feel like we’ve just gone back to square one again, even after so much has happened. In fact, it would be more accurate to say it feels like we’ve taken a step backwards.
Personally, I hope we start seeing some form of resolution to this battle, because I’m not sure if I’m up for seeing what would essentially be the Alliance vs Obito, Episode 2, only on steroids. I also still think that Sasuke, as the only other Uchiha besides Madara, will still have some significant role to play here, so hopefully Kishi will mix things up a bit to keep it feeling fresh, otherwise stagnation will sink in fast.
With all that out of the way, here is the previous Bubbliton Contest winner.
Well done to Constantine for the great entry. I was going to put a second and third place, etc, but I couldn’t really decide.
Here is this week’s Bubbliton!
The top bubble can be used for what Madara’s saying or expressing, while the bottom is for what he’s thinking. Feel free to be creative!
See you all in the comments! ^ ^