Post Author: Bob
A quick announcement before I get started, I’ll be going on a vacation starting from next Saturday. It’s a long one and I’ll be back in about six weeks. I don’t know if I’ll have Internet access all the time, so my weekly blogs may get a little spotty. I’ll try my best, and maybe have one of the authors fill in some weeks or moving it later into the week if needed. Sorry about this guys, but Bob needs a little breaky every once in awhile 🙂
So the flashback continues into Nagato’s childhood while growing up as an orphan in war torn Amegakure. This chapter was a little predictable, but I still enjoyed it though I thought the pace could have been picked up already. I was kinda expecting Nagato to jump forward to his second most painful experience with Yahiko’s death, but he’s taking his time setting up the story it seems.
Instead we get treated to the death of Nagato’s little doggy, aptly named ’Tiny.’ I read through some of the early comments and there seems to be two camps on the issue of Tiny’s death. One side sees Nagato potentially using his dog’s death as another ’pain’ to justify his hate for Konoha. The other side sees Tiny’s death as further proof of the cruelness of war as it takes away the closest thing Nagato had to a “family” soon after he loses both of his parents. As a guy who’s owned a dog before, I’m gonna have to side with the second camp. My own dog died of natural causes a few years ago, but it’s hard to see something you love in pain, even if it’s just a pet. If somebody actually killed my dog, even if by a careless accident, I would be pretty furious. Now, whether I’d be enraged enough to devote my life to wage war on the world is another question.
But even though Tiny’s death is sad, I don’t think Nagato will ultimately dwell too much on it. In this chapter, Nagato, Konan and Yahiko do get a glimpse of the Konoha Sanins while they are battling Hanzou. Later on when they do approach Jiraiya and the others, neither Nagato or the other orphans showed any kind of hate or animosity towards the leaf ninjas. In fact, it was Nagato who killed Hanzou later on, even to the extend of wiping out his family and friends. It seemed that Hanzou was the person Nagato had a real grudge against at that time, yet he still blamed Konoha for much of the suffering he and his country had to endure. Based on these facts I think I can see how things will play out and how it ties in with Yahiko’s death.
I think the ones who will be responsible for Yahiko’s death are the ninjas from Amegakure, and not Konoha or some other foreign country’s troops. This is the only reason I can see that justifies the extreme measures Nagato supposedly took to wipe out all traces of Hanzou’s legacy from Amegakure. It could be that even Hanzou himself was responsible for Yahiko’s death. Based on what we know so far about Hanzou (his paranoia about protection and secrecy), I believe his policies regarding the village might have been partly responsible for why it is always in turmoil. Perhaps after being trained by Jiraiya, Yahiko, Konan and Nagato gained enough confidence to try to start a movement to challenge their Kage’s control over their village. Being the type of person he is, Hanzou would no doubt crack down with an iron fist.
In many ways Yahiko is very similar to Naruto, and this is probably one of the reasons why Nagato agreed to talk to Naruto about his past. Yahiko is also an idealist, he has a clear goal in mind and will do everything in his power to reach that goal no matter how impossible it might seem. He wasn’t just all words no action either, he was tough and knew how to survive (and help his friends) even when it seemed like the world had abandoned him. If he hadn’t died, I bet he would have became a strong and noble shinobi. After their training with Jiraiya, I can see Yahiko truly taking Jiraiya’s teachings to heart and committing himself to finding a solution to world peace. Perhaps it was then that his actions got the attention of Hanzou, who saw him as an obstruction to his power and eliminated him. As a result, Nagato not only blamed Hanzou for Yahiko’s death but also Jiraiya for putting such idealistic goals into their heads in the first place.