Post Author: Bob
This chapter seemed really fast because it was almost all action, but I did enjoy it and found it to be a fitting end to Naruto’s battle versus the seemingly invincible God Realm Pein. I’m sure a lot of people were expecting a spectacularly ending like Pein being shredded to pieces by a Rasen Shuriken similar to how Kakuzu was done in, but I kind of enjoyed the multi-level strategy Naruto uses on Pein and then using a finishing move that pays respect to the man who taught it to him.
And did you notice how I just used ‘strategy’ and ‘Naruto’ in the same sentence? Who would have thought I’d end up using that word to describe Naruto, but it’s true and no exaggeration either. The plan Naruto carried out to finally take down God Realm was well laid out in advance and carried out with perfection. I know Naruto is no Shikamaru when it comes to real-time tactics, but this strategy of his was pretty close to that level. Naruto’s plan might be a little hard to follow with all the continuous action. I know it took me a bit to figure out how everything connected together, so I’ll break it down in case some people are confused:
1. Naruto’s strategy actually began last chapter. When the Pein’s sphere of compacted rock began to collapse, Naruto realized his one remaining clone back on toad mountain disappeared when he lost focus during his Kyuubi transformation. The bad thing is he lost his final reserve of sage chakra, but the good thing is he can now make as many clones as he wants.
2. As the rocks fell to the ground, Naruto used the cover of the dust and debris to create shadow clones of himself and have them transform into rocks and hide amongst the debris. Naruto now wants to draw Pein close to the debris where his clones are hidden. Instead of attacking, he starts making demands from his enemy., this lures Pein into attacking Naruto.
3. Naruto takes this opportunity to switch sides with Pein and at the same time use Pein’s own chakra transmitter to locate Nagato (already planning ahead again). Pein is now inside the debris field and is unaware he is surrounded by Naruto’s transformed clones. Now is where Naruto’s attack plan begins:
Plan A: Naruto uses a smoke bomb to conceal that he actually plans to throw two Rasen Shurikens at Pein, the second hidden under the shadow of the first. Naruto uses up all his sage chakra for this move. Naruto knows Pein will disperse the first using his Shinra Tensei, but figures even though Pein can’t use his technique again for 5 seconds, he might still be able to dodge the second Shuriken if he is fast enough.
Plan B: In case Pein tries to escape, Naruto uses two of his clones closest to Pein to reveal themselves and try to prevent Pein from escaping.
Plan C: In case Pein manages to defeat the first two Naruto clones and dodge both Rasen Shurikens, Naruto unleashes all his remaining clones to attempt to overwhelm Pein before he can use Shinra Tensei again.
Plan D: In case Pein regains his ability before the clones can get to him, Naruto creates more clones behind himself in order to withstand the forthcoming shockwave from Pein’s technique. He needs to stay within a 5-second striking range of Pein in order for plan E to succeed.
Plan E: In case, all previous plans failed to finish off Pein, use one clone to help generate a regular Rasengan and in order to reach Pein as fast as possible, have a second clone throw the real Naruto towards Pein and take him out with the Rasengan before he can recover again.
I think this multi-layered battle plan is a good indicator of just how much Naruto has progressed and what we might expect to see in the future from the son of the Fourth Hokage. Naruto has been bumming himself out in the past because he always seems to perform poorly in ninja exams (heck, he’s still a genin), but he has proved himself now and in the past that he has the ability to generate fast and effective battle plans on the spot even in the worst of conditions. This isn’t a skill you can just learn at the academy, and I think is proof that Naruto has the right material to become one heck of a Hokage in the future.
Although Naruto has defeated God Realm Pein, the battle is not over yet. He still needs to deal with Nagato and Konan who is protecting him. And after that comes the reconstruction of Konoha, the threat of Madara, and of course our favourite anti-hero Sasuke and Team Hawk. These will test Naruto and the rest of Konoha, but I believe they’ll come through this stronger than before.
Some final thoughts on the scene on page 1:
1. Holy crap, I think Tsunade has some competition!
2. Where did Pein stab Hinata exactly? I don’t see a wound on her chest, nor a tear in her clothing.
3. Sakura seems a little distressed as she is healing Hinata. I don’t think she’s sure of her own feelings for Naruto yet, but she does look a bit worried that another girl has so openly declared her love for Naruto. Plus, you could say Hinata has a distinct advantage over her…