Naruto Chapter 679 Breakdown: Guess who’s back!? O_o
*Walks into the room and rubs his groggy eyes.*
Hey guys. Firstly, I’d just like to apologize for my long absence. To put it plainly, May was a hectic month and I had a lot of work I had to get done, which left little time for writing breakdowns. I would, however, like to thank Iamnotreallyhere for stepping out of his own comfort zone and covering for me as much as he could.
While I am aware of the fact that this should be a triple breakdown, with chapters 677 and 678 not having received their dues, I’ve decided to just write a single for the latest chapter instead, in the interests of catching up. It would also be a bit much to return from an absence of writing, only to be hurled into the abyss that is a triple breakdown.
So without further ado, here we go!
Firstly, I’d like to mention the colour page spread we got as a treat for this chapter. It’s been a while since we saw our last colour spread for Naruto, and this one had a unique vibe with a very European-styled fantasy theme. In a way, it makes me wonder what it would have been like if Kishi explored other avenues with regards to his manga career. We’re all so used to associating his name with Naruto, which has been a flagship title of Jump for years, but how often have we considered what else Kishimito might have up his sleeves?
Looking at how great the art was in this spread, I couldn’t help but think that Kishi has a lot of potential beyond what he’s brought us with Naruto, and who knows, perhaps this work itself is his own way of entertaining different ideas or themes that he might breathe life into once Naruto comes to its completion.
As for the chapter itself, it would be a simple matter of saying that 679 was mostly build-up for the inevitable arrival of Kaguya Ootsutsuki. However, there were other snippets of information shown in that moment building up to her appearance that we can touch on.
For example, the origins of White Zetsu.
I have to say, this was a very interesting twist with regards to the origins of White Zetsu, but one that ultimately makes a great deal of sense. They are the remnants of those from the distant past, who were once the victims of the Infinite Tsukyomi, and whose own wills were slowly eroded away and turned to empty husks bound to the will of their master, who, in this case, is Kaguya.
Still, despite their loss of will, something tells me that small parts of their original consciousness still managed to survive the transformation. When we look at particularly unique White Zetsu incarnations – like Tobi, who had a very vibrant personality – I can’t help but wonder if this show of personality might be a reflection of the person who once was. It also makes me wonder if there is any hope for these White Zetsu to recall their former selves, and perhaps free themselves from Kaguya’s grasp.
Speaking of Kaguya, for a while I think many of us suspected that she might have been playing some part in this tale behind the scenes, especially in recent chapters where we saw hints of her consciousness coming through to Madara, but now her role has been all but confirmed. She is now, undoubtedly, the primary villain of the series as things stand right now.
The first thing once could say about Kaguya, is that she is in desperate need of a hair cut. If hair length is a sign of power, then this girl is definitely pushing the boundaries here. Aizen and Super Saiyan 3 Goku would be proud (or perhaps horrified, one of the two).
More pertinently though, I have to say that as a whole, Kaguya’s appearance at this time in the story might come across as a bit odd. A few readers were not happy about this development (or in some cases, downright livid), citing that Madara’s sudden replacement was unwarranted – and personally, even I find it a bit strange that a character we’ve known nothing about, that was only introduced a few chapters ago, has suddenly emerged as the the ultimate villain – but in a way, there might be a sound explanation with regards to why Kishi decided to push her to the fore, now of all times.
It’s no secret that the quality of your story with regards to a Shonen Manga is largely dependent on the quality of your primary villain. The antagonist can literally make or break your series and is almost just as import as the protagonist in that regard. Naruto as a whole has had a history of strong villains – ranging from the serpent like Orochimaru, to self-proclaimed god, Pain – who have been great foils for the protagonist, but for me personally, Madara was probably one of the weakest (character wise) and uninteresting villains of them all.
Though his back story was compelling, for me, Madara felt a bit too familiar and cliched, almost like he was just a hollow reflection of the sentiments we had already seen in the likes of Pain and Tobi. His existence was something more akin to the echo of a broken record, as opposed to something truly unique and compelling.
If a villain is not well received as a whole by your readers, it can often have a negative impact on the popularity of your manga, and when we consider that mangaka are essentially in the business of popularity, it’s not surprising that poor villains, or ill-received villains, are often killed off or taken out of the picture and subsequently replaced.
Could this be a case where Madara was not well received and thus, Kishi believed he needed to replace him with a new, more compelling villain? Perhaps; it certainly wouldn’t be the first time this has happened in a manga. Or perhaps he planned this transition from the start, though it lacks the build-up and foreshadowing we’re accustomed to in this series. Regardless, one thing I will say is that I do not believe Madara is out of the picture entirely just yet. If nothing else, he is a very proud individual – too proud to be done in so easily – and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he plays some part in Kaguya’s downfall in the future.
The question now remains as to whether Kaguya will make a suitable replacement as the primary villain of this series. What motivates her? Is it just a hunger for power, or is there some deeper meaning behind her actions? Will she be a truly compelling character, or just another one-dimensional placeholder? I suppose only time will tell, but I personally hope she isn’t just all flash and no substance.
As far as flash is concerned, however, Kaguya really has it all. She has the Rinnegan, the Sharingan, the Byuakguan and is the Juubi of the Jinchuuriki (through absorbing Madara). It also stands to reason that she could have potentially absorbed any other power Madara had, including Hashirama’s Mokuton, etc, assuming she didn’t have all that already to begin with. To put it plainly, Kaguya is more hax than the birth child of Madara and Aizen, and that’s saying a lot.
Another matter of interest is how she uses her conveniently long hair as a means of attack, which somewhat reminded me of Jiraiya’s own hair techniques that also made use of his excessively long locks. I wonder if there’s any relation between the two…
Though Kaguya is portrayed as the primary villain for now, I also still firmly believe that the rivalry between Naruto and Sasuke – which has been built up since the start of the series – will ultimately become the true focal point at some stage between now and the end of this series. In what fashion, I’m still not certain, but the age-long struggle between Indra and Ashura will have to come to some sort of resolution sooner or later. Whether that might happen before Kaguya is defeated, or after, is another question entirely.
As things are now though, first Team 7 has to survive this calamity, and with Kaguya’s ability to bring about a wordlwide apocalypse in mere moments, it does beg the question as to how exactly she will be defeated. It’s hard to see Naruto and company escaping this predicament they’ve found themselves in, though I have a feeling Minato and Tobirama, along with some space-time jutsu magic, will have some hand in rescuing our heroes from their impending doom and perhaps even whisking them far away for a moment of respite, to regroup and prepare for the final battle.
And with that, I’ll leave you with a Bubbliton Contest for this week. I hope you all enjoyed the breakdown!
If you like, you can just do a bubble for Kaguya on her own, or one with just Kaguya and Naruto. You can also do one for Sasuke, Kakashi and Sakura as well, but it isn’t necessary and it might be easier just to leave them as is.
Enjoy, and I’ll see you in the comments. ^ ^