Post Author: Bob
I guess I was waiting for something like this to happen ever since Naruto showed up back in Konoha to face Pein – the dialogue chapter; or should I say “chapters“ because I think Nagato’s flashback will take at least another chapter or two. I guess it was inevitable, it happened after the peak of Sasuke and Itachi’s fight, so I guess it’s natural for Naruto and Pein to have one after the last of Pein bodies fell last chapter. Still, I really would have preferred if the action went on for a few more chapters.
I think after Naruto had his talk with his father, something happened to him – like a new power was awakened inside him. Naruto fought like a true Hokage-to-be last chapter, but I felt that he was still holding something back, perhaps because he did not want to risk going Kyuubi again if he powered up too much or maybe he did not want to damage God Realm too badly because he might need his body to track down Nagato. Whatever the case, we do get a hint of that power in this chapter in that epic glare Naruto gives Nagato on page 4.
The cross-shaped pupil in Naruto’s eyes is clearly a sign that his Kyuubi’s chakra was beginning to surface while he was still in Sage mode. What’s odd about this is that this shouldn’t be possible normally. Sage chakra is supposedly a carefully balanced mixture between nature’s energy and Naruto’s own chakra. If that balance is even off by a little bit, as we’ve been shown Naruto runs the risk of changing into a toad and then turning into stone. But now we have Kyuubi’s chakra suddenly coming into the mix, this could have turned out pretty bad, but somehow Naruto manages to balance all three chakra types without losing control. It’s surprising that Naruto can balance Kyuubi’s chakra with nature’s energy at all – one’s the murderous dark energy of a demon and the other is the life energy of nature – it’s like trying to mix oil and water. I doubt even experts of chakra control could pull off what Naruto has done. If Naruto can manage to tap into both Sage and Kyuubi chakra simultaneously in the future, I can seriously see him become one of the strongest shinobis ever.
Naruto pretty much has Nagato’s fate in his hands right now. Even Nagato’s dirty little trick on trying to control Naruto by hitting him with one of his chakra receptors fails. It backfires because Naruto seems to use his Kyuubi chakra to overpower Nagato’s attempt at controlling him and lets him have a taste of what Kyuubi’s wrath feels like. It was pretty satisfying to see Nagato visually shaken up by Naruto’s actions. It must be pretty tough for a guy who has never lost a battle before to face an opponent who just keeps coming no matter what he throws at him. At this point, even Konan’s origami tricks can’t do anything to stop Naruto, all she can do is try to buy time (I really feel she is unnecessary in this scene, overall). I find it funny that Konan tells Naruto that killing Nagato will only satisfy his own “selfishness” while ignoring the fact that it’s exactly what Nagato has been doing all along to Konoha despite his rhetoric about peace and ending the cycle of hatred.
For a moment there, Naruto gives into his rage and makes a straight charge to pummel Pein, but at the last moment remembers Jiraiya’s words and manages to stop himself. I guess Naruto wasn’t kidding when he said he came here to talk, he even recedes sage mode to talk man-to-man with Nagato. Nagato agrees to tell Naruto about his past and how he became such an emo, but what I’m really curious about is what will happen after the talking. Even Nagato himself has said there’s no possibility that Naruto can forgive him for the cruelty he has transgressed upon his village and friends, so what’s to become of him?
And so begins Nagato’s flashback, and apparently he has two painful experiences to share with us, so grab yourself some snacks because this might take awhile. The first occurred when Nagato was just a mini-emo, it was a time when Amegakure was embroiled in the war between its more powerful neighbouring countries. Two starving leaf ninja scavenge his home for food, not realizing Nagato and his parents were hiding in the house. They try to sneak away but accidentally knock over a vase. The leaf ninja mistakes the parents for enemy ninja and kill them, thus causing Nagato’s Rinnegan to activate through his rage. After seeing what happened, I can’t honestly say anyone was to blame for what happened. The Konoha ninja were in enemy territory and inside a dark house, what could they do but fight back when a screaming man leaps out of the shadows and attacks? As for Nagato’s parents, they probably had been in hiding for days while the fighting and killing happened in their village, there’s no way they could know or even believe that the leaf ninja would be under orders not to harm civilians. It was a case of mis-identification, such things are sad but common in war zones. But for Nagato to use this to justify annihilating an entire village is just pure insanity. I hope his story about Yahiko’s death is more convincing.