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Naruto Chapter 396: Tobi Unmasked!


Post Author: Bob

Hoo boy, what a chapter. There wasn’t a lot of action in this one, but oh man, did it provides a lot of answers to some of the burning questions I’m sure all of us have been wanting to have answered. Before I get to those, I’ll do my super fast summary of these 17 pages because I want to get to the juicy bits fast.

naruto396-1.jpg

Okay. Tobi says bye-bye and pulls a Houdini. Kakashi gets Hinata to find Sasuke and everyone races there like rats on fire. But Tobi’s got warp speed and gets his grubby hands on Sasuke first. He also planned ahead and gave Zetsu a ninja camcorder to record the little spat between weasel-kun and emo-kid. Yamato thinks he’s Moses and creates a path for everyone to get through the Amaterasu. But they’re too late again and Naruto’s cursing like a drunken trucker but Kishi decided to cut those pages out, so oh well. Sasuke wakes up and realizes he’s been abducted by another weird man and brought to a dark cave. But this man could be family so I guess it’s okay?

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Now, what was important about this chapter?

First, the abilities of Tobi and Zetsu. We get to see Tobi’s special jutsu in action, and it’s clear that Kakashi was right about it being a space/time technique. Besides the waving of his hand (which was really just another taunt), Tobi used absolutely no hand seals to activate his ability. His body is literally sucked into a rift in space and then transported to another location. Zetsu made a comment about Tobi being able to travel at the speed of light – so his space/time jutsu must be like walking through a door and ending up somewhere miles away, and it appears to be instantaneous. Another thing I observed is that the ability is not just Tobi cutting a hole in space and jumping through. Remember last chapter how Tobi was able to escape Shino’s bugs by using his jutsu. Well, if he just cut a hole and jumped in, then at least a few bugs would have gone with him as they were clinging to his body. But none did because Shino lost complete track of Tobi. This means that Tobi’s entire body IS the hole and he can control what goes through and what doesn’t. This type of space/time jutsu is far superior to the type Kakashi used on Deidara because it does not need to be aimed or projected to work. It’s really a devastatingly powerful jutsu if you think about it. So far Tobi has been using it to evade attacks, but what if he went on the offensive? This might be kind of gross to imagine, but what if he rematerializes inside a part of a person’s body? Like the Fourth’s ability, Tobi’s is also an instant kill type jutsu. Oh yeah, with all this talk about Tobi, I almost neglected Zetsu’s newly revealed ability. It’s really hard to categorize this guy okay so now he’s a plant/cannibal/VCR. Weird combo.

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Second thing to notice. I want to first thank ShikamaruIsTheMan for pointing it out already in the discussions – the true Shikamaru would be proud of you man J Yeah, so look at the panels where Sasuke wakes up on pages 13 and 14. Look at his left shoulder, notice something different? No cursed seal! What does this mean? Orochimaru has been completely wiped from his body. Now this doesn’t mean Orochimaru is dead necessarily since Itachi sealed him, not killed him. Regardless of that, this means Sasuke has no access to his cursed seal form anymore. But I also have the feeling that he might not need that anymore in the future (besides, cursed seal 2 made him look gay anyways 😀 )

naruto396-4.jpg

And lastly, Tobi unmasked! Well, partially unmasked *shakes fist at Kishi and his cliffhangers* So what can we tell from what little we see of Tobi’s face? First, notice that there are wrinkles below his eyes. He is clearly older than what Tobi’s usual childish attitude suggested. He also looks to be older than Kakashi, which goes against the Obito theory because Obito and Kakashi are supposed to be about the same age (if Obito was still alive). But… you can also see what appears to be the strap of an eye patch that’s probably covering Tobi’s left eye. This evidence supports the Obito theory because we would expect Obito to wear an eye patch over that eye since he gave it to Kakashi. One more thing to mention is that, when Tobi took off his mask and reveaked the Sharingan of his right eye, Sasuke’s left eye’s Sharingan appears to instantly activate. I’m still not too sure what to make of this. Could it be that one of Tobi’s Sharingan abilities is to trigger the activation of another Uchiha’s Sharingan? Then again, it could just be Sasuke’s surprised reaction, but then why did only one of his Shaingans activate?

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From last week’s poll, it seems that around 63% of narutards believe Tobi is Madara while the other 37% think he is not. The translated text at the bottom of the last page refers to him as Tobi/Madara, so assuming the translation is correct, it seems that Tobi is really Madara Uchiha. But Kishi has a habit of throwing a curve ball every once in awhile, so all bets are still on until everything is finally revealed.

On a sad note, this chapter also confirms that Itachi IS DEAD. You might have been arrogant and cold, but you were one fine ninja Crying or Very sad. I guess we’ll learn more about him from Tobi/Madara in the next chapter. The burning questions that remain are: what did Tobi/Madara do with Itachi’s body and what does he have in plan for Sasuke?

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