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Naruto Chapter 443 – Naruto’s Decision

naruto-retro1Post Author: Bob

It was several chapters in the making and required quite a few sacrifices to come to this point, but Naruto has finally defeated God Realm Pein, the last and most powerful of the six Pein bodies. I must say again what a superb strategy Naruto had pulled off in his final move. Unlike in some of Sasuke’s fights we’ve seen in the past, Naruto’s tactics are simpler yet still manage to surprise both the enemy and the reader at the same time. I had said last time that I believed Naruto has matured to a whole new level because of the type of thinking he must have employed to pull off his last move, but what Naruto has done in the current chapter makes me believe that he may have surpassed everyone’s expectations of him. What he does within the next few chapters could very well spark a turning point in the world of the shinobi in the Naruverse.

naruto443-1No one would blame Naruto for hating Pein. In a short span of time, Pein has continued to strip away from Naruto those things which he holds dear. Having grown up without parental figures, the entire village of Konoha and his closest friends and peers became a sort of substitute family for Naruto. So having those things destroyed before his very eyes would definitely justify Naruto to take out his rage on the perpetrator – Nagato; it certainly is the instinctive thing most other ninjas in Naruto’s position would do. Yet, instead of going directly after Nagato after God Realm is defeated, Naruto takes the time to examine his foe and makes an active attempt to try to understand Pein’s point of view. He again stabs one of Pein’s chakra receptors into himself, not to trace Nagato’s location (he’s no longer in Sage mode) but in an attempt to tap into Nagato’s thoughts still being transmitted through the receptor. Well, that’s what I understand from the scene on page 6, anyways. The act of stabbing himself with the enemy’s weapon is a sign that Naruto is already moving beyond the normal thinking process for shinobis — in a world where the main role of a ninja should be to kill the enemy without remorse, Naruto is actively trying to understand his enemy’s point of view before committing to action.

naruto443-2I think few people out there could keep their composure as well as Naruto in this situation. Can you imagine having your home destroyed and many of your friends murdered by a person who you’ve never met before, and then having to immediately force yourself to think calmly and rationally so you can meet this person so you can speak with him. Everything about this situation screams of hate and revenge, yet Naruto refuses to allow himself to go down that road. Naruto was serious when he asked to speak with the real Pein (Nagato) in the last chapter. Whether it was Pein’s words, memories of Jiraiya’s wish for peace or his encounter with his own father in his consciousness, Naruto has made the decision to meet with Pein by himself and most perhaps come to an understanding of why his enemy came to his home to commit such atrocities. By no means do I think will forgive Pein for what he has done, but this process of speaking with the enemy may be one step in the direction of achieving the dream of peace both Jiraiya and his father have striven for.

naruto443-3

naruto443-4This is a side of Naruto I would have never imagined to witness; this is the same Naruto who used to charge in a fit of rage at his enemies with no prior thought. Naruto’s chance meeting with Inoichi’s group in the forest reveals that Naruto has put thought into what he is doing and isn’t planning to just go it alone because of ego or pride. In his exchange with Inoichi, Naruto clearly expresses his opinion that simply carrying out revenge on Pein and retribution on his village (Amegakure) isn’t going to resolve anything except perpetuating the chain of hatred. Although Inoichi fails to understand Naruto’s position, it is Shikaku who seems to understand Naruto and convinces the others to trust in Naruto to handle Nagato. Shikamaru had told Shikaku before that there’s something special about Naruto, something which changes people and allow them to open up. It’s a risky decision to place so much trust in Naruto in such a situation, but perhaps Shikaku too feels that if anyone can bring about a change in the shinobi world, it would be Naruto.

naruto443-5That’s all I wanted to say about this chapters. Some final thoughts before I retire for the night:
1. I’m very happy that Hinata recovered so quickly. I wonder what would happen between she and Naruto after all this fighting ends.
2. The last panel of the chapter shows Naruto in sage mode again. It’s confusing because Naruto used up all his remaining sage chakra to defeat God Realm. So I guess he probably took a short stop on the way to Nagato’s location to collection more nature’s energy?
3. It looks like Team Gai is going to support Naruto whether he wants it or not. But I have the feeling they’ll show up at the worst moment and crash in on Naruto’s conversation with Nagato.