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Naruto Chapter 451 – Let’s Kill Sasuke

Post Author: J-chan

Now isn’t this nice? Two characters, who we haven’t seen in over 420 chapters suddenly reappear, asking: “Hey, where’s Sasuke?” And the logical answer is: “He’s on the hunting list!” Sounds a bit messed up, but that’s Kishimoto for ya. It seems he’s into reintroducing characters and problems that haven’t been mentioned for hundreds of chapters; just like Eiichiro Oda.

The good villagers of Konoha have already started cleaning up the remains of the old buildings and creating new ones. Wood and other materials are salvaged from the old houses, thus reducing the needs of cutting down the Fire country’s forests. Some of the citizens are worried and frustrated about their current situation and the fact that the results of all of their predecessors’ work has been obliterated. A good reminder, however is truth that a country is made of its people and that as long as the people are still there, everything else is just details.02-03Yamato shows off his impressive skills by creating an entire neighbourhood in seconds. The first Hokage probably used the same technique to start off Konoha. The ANBU agent is quickly exhausted, the crowds cheering him on. Let’s just hope he rebuilds the ramen shop soon, ’cause poor Naruto is probably starving.

At the other side of town we see Naruto and Sakura, who are both pretty down because of Tusnade’s condition. Naruto probably wants to ask Tsunade about his parents, Jiraiya or maybe even Pein, while Sakura is simply worried about her master’s health and the results of the recent events. They’re both in for a surprise, due to the sudden appearance of Inari and Tazuna. For those of you who don’t remember, these two were main characters in the manga’s very first ark. Back then the newly founded Team 7 helped them get rid of the mafia boss Gato, which led to a prosperous age for the Wave country. Now the two have come repay their debt to the Konoha ninja by lending a hand in the reparation process. Normally I wouldn’t pay this much attention to minor characters like Tazuna and Inari, was it not for the following two reasons:
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The first, and quite ridiculous one, is the newly formed theory that Tazuna is none other than… Uchiha Madara! Yes, you saw correctly and no, you don’t have an eye problem. This scandalous theory comes along with the Tobi is Obito and/or Danzo theory. It suggests that Madara, like Pein, can take over multiple bodies with his Sharingan. Another “possibility” is that its Zetsu, who gains the power to morph into anyone he eats. There have also been a lot of speculations that they’re both the same person, or that Danzo is actually Madara’s supposedly dead brother. But if you ask me, I think it’s just Santa fooling you all!! Think about it – Santa can travel the entire world in just one night, so that must mean he’s using Madara’s teleportation jutsu. He’s also evil to the bones, so there’s just no doubt about it.

Now enough with the ridiculousness and back to the important stuff. This method is practically another way for Kishimoto to emphasize on the story’s dramatic plot by returning to the beginning. It’s as if the story begins all over again – the characters are back where they were, only now they’re finally stronger and their goals no longer seem unreachable. In the beginning the characters’ main goals were, respectively, to become Hokage, to get revenge, to win the heart of the beloved, to fix the team bonding. Now the situation hasn’t changed much, with the only exception being that Sasuke isn’t even in the team (we can’t say he was really that much into team stuff before).
Sasuke separation form the group was a heavy blow to Team 7, but many of the reasons lie within the group. When Tazuna asks whether it was because of  a love triangle, Naruto quickly disperses such thoughts, though this was also a problem within the team, if not a very important one. Wat Tazuna had to say to Sasuke will remain a mystery, but it was probably some advice concerning Sasuke’s worldly views.
After Tazuna and Inari leave Naruto has a flashback of his fateful battle with Sasuke. He remembers his best friend’s words regarding his personal pain. Naruto realises that the reason why he couldn’t bring Sasuke back was because he couldn’t understand his feeling. He thought that since he had no parents or siblings, his emptiness was the same as the Uchiha’s, who had felt the warmth and love of a real family, but tragically lost it. They say: “It’s better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all”, but in reality both options are horrifying, it’s no wonder loneliness is the worst death aspect as Kubo Tite shows us in his mangas.
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Once again everything spins around the same point – understanding. As Jiraiya stated many times in his philosophical teachings, understanding each other is the key to ending the world’s pain. Sasuke, like Pain, felt and still feels misunderstood. Pain and hatred are an emptiness inside one’s soul, a void that slowly evolves sucking in everything around them and creating more emptiness. Even Naruto was tempted by the Kyuubi when he was about to lose his batle with Pein. And had it not been for the reassurement that was given to him by his father, he too would’ve lost his soul to the darkness.

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Overcoming his own confusing emotions and defeating Pein helped Naruto to mature into a person who is truly capable of not just understanding people, but perhaps even more. Naruto’s new goal is to restore Sasuke to the person he used to be, so that “Team 7 can laugh together again.”

Meanwhile the three ninjas from the Thunder village arrive amongst the ruins of Konoha, carrying a message for the Hokage. Unfortunately, Tsunade is still in a coma and can’t perform her duties. Samui demands that she meats the person who’s supposed to be in charge in case such a situation occurs. Shizune is baffled, because Konoha probably has no such person and humbly requests that she take the letter. The two kunoichi’s conversation is rudely interrupted, howerer, as Danzo rushes into the medical tent, claiming that he is the new Hokage. Apparantely, after  new Hokage has been chosen, the old one is forcefully retired. As soon as he enters, Danzo demands to see the letter meant for Tsunade. What’s written in it, we can’t exactly see, but judging from the situations it’s a request from the Raikage to discipline Sasuke. Danzo makes a harsh decision and word about it quickly spreads around the village. Naruto, Kakashi and Sakura are personally informed by Kiba – the counsil’s decision is to dismiss Tsunade from her position, but even more shockingly – an order has been issued to bring back Sasuke’s head on a silver platter.

Finally, at Konoha’s telephone station or rather birdkeep, the request for a meeting of the five kages arrives. What will be decided there reamins to be seen. We know that the Raikage is very excentric and crazy, Madara and Danzo can’t be trusted, the Stone village’s leader is unknown, but is famed for his brutality and bloodthirst, which only leaves Gaara as someone who can stand up for Naruto and Sasuke. 14

According to last week’s poll most of you think that Madara is going to meet up with Danzo. Well that’ll certainly happen now.

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Naruto Manga Chapter 404 – Madara’s Resume


Post Author: Bob

Holy crap! This chapter’s is packed with so much new info that I don’t know where to start. Kishi teases us reader with more snippets of information to keep us thinking, but then shuts the opening again on his big bag of secrets to keep us guessing. I think the most important thing to come out of this chapter was the title by which Kisame addressed Madara as: Mizukage. That one word opens up a whole slew of new theories and possibilities, so I’m gonna keep that for the end of this post.

Let’s first start with the revelation of Jiraiya’s death to Naruto. I’m sure Naruto must have known something was up when he saw Gamakichi and his dad Gamabunta sitting quietly by the Hokage’s office. It’s nice to see that Gamakichi has grown so mcuh, there’s been a few illustration pages in the manga that showed Gamakichi’s new size, but this is the first time we’ve seen him appear in the story since part II started. Man, I can’t wait until the day Naruto is able to ride into battle atop a fully grown Gamakichi¦ but I’m getting off-track, let’s get back to the news of Jiraiya’s death. The scene is nicely set up with all the relevant characters present, including Pa toad and the scroll toad who apparently holds the key to Naruto’s seal (big hint on the next phase of Naruto’s training). Pa toad is the one to deliver the news about Jiraiya to Naruto.

Now, I know that showing Naruto’s bewildered expression after hearing the news is important, but even more than that, I wanted to see how Tsunade had reacted to Jiraiya’s death. With the loss of so many loved ones in her life (Dan, Naoki, the Third Hokage), I’m sure Jiraiya was one of the few remaining people that Tsunade really cared about¦ and maybe even loved. So I’m sure Tsunade was just heartbroken when she found out that Jiraiya would not be returning. Yet we don’t get to witness any signs of grief or mourning from Tsunade during the scene with Naruto, rather she seems very calm about all of this. I know she’s the Hokage and all so she needs to maintain her composure at all times, but this is Jiraiya we’re talking about, not some third-tier-no-development character. I’m just hoping we get a scene later with Tsuande, a big jug of sake, and her memories of Jiraiya.

As for Naruto, he seems totally clueless upon hearing that Jiraiya died. To him, such a thing must seem like an impossibility. Before the battle with Pein, we have never seen Jiraiya lose a battle before unless he was severely handicapped (battle with Orochimaru). I’m sure Naruto’s initial reaction will be denial, and then followed by anger and hate. He will most certainly want to go after the man who killed his sensei – luckily that very person, Pein, will be coming to meet him pretty soon. But I’m sure Pa toad will order Naruto to stay put because he is not nearly strong enough to take on someone like Pein. The scroll toad was ordered to give Naruto the key to his seal if Jiraiya died. I’m sure that with his help, Naruto will finally be able to unlock his seal and gain his true power. Perhaps even Itachi’s ˜gift’ to Naruto will also play an important part in the near future. But the real question is: will Naruto be able to handle such power?

Near the end of the chapter, we also get a scene between Madara, Kisame, Sasuke and the other members of team Hawk. The first thing to notice is the furnishings and surroundings in which the meeting takes place. It looks like they are inside the skeletal body of some giant beast, so they are most certainly inside the bone structure we saw Sasuke sitting atop last chapter. This place is probably more than just a cool hangout for Sasuke and friends, but that secret is just another thing Kishi will keep hiding from us until the right time arrives.

During the meeting, Suigetsu tries to attack Kisame by surprise, but his sword is stopped by Madara with just his arm – this shows that Madara˜s strength goes beyond just fancy jutsus and Sharingan powers. Sasuke reveals that his plan to destroy Konoha just involves taking out the people at the top – this shows that Sasuke still has enough sense in him to only go after the ones who were responsible for ordering the extermination of the Uchiha clan and not just go on a senseless rampage against Konoha. Madara offers team Hawk the power of the tailed beasts (Bijuu) in return for cooperating with Akatsuki in their plan to destroy Konoha. In explaining the nature of the Bijuu, Madara lets out a juicy piece of information about Hashirama’s (First Hokage) connection to the creatures. Apparently he once had control over a large number of the Bijuu, but then split them amongst the five great shinobi villages to balance out the power and maintain peace. Before I had thought that the First only had the ability to subdue a single tailed beast, I never thought he was powerful enough to be able to control several of them at once. No wonder Madara was scared of Hashirama.

In the last scene we see Madara meet with Zetsu to discuss how their plans are taking shape. I found their conversation interesting because Madara appears to talk to Zetsu as an equal and not like some underling. Zetsu’s knowledge of everything that has taken place is understandable knowing his abilities, but his familiarity with Madara makes me wonder if he was perhaps one of the first members of Akatsuki and one of Madara’s personal confidants. Madara mentions that Konoha is no longer off limits with Itachi dead, which means that Madara feels he no longer has an obligation to keep his promise to Itachi to leave the Leaf alone. But what’s even more important to Madara it seems is that he now has Sasuke in the palm of his hand.

Okay, so we finally come to the title which Kisame had addressed Madara as: Mizukage. As most probably already know, the Mizukage is the Kage (leader) of the Hidden Village in the Mist. Kisame, Suigetsu and the late Zabuza all hail from this village. What’s interesting is that Kisame, after seeing Madara’s face, calls him Mizukage but also recognizes him as Madara Uchiha. This can only mean that those in the Mist village who were close to the Mizukage also knew he was Madara. But this must have been a close guarded secret because not even Jiraiya’s spy network knew about the Mizukage’s true identity. Only someone like Madara, who has the ability to teleport anywhere instantly, can be both the Mizukage and the head of Akatsuki at the same time; though it is still not clear whether Madara is the current Mizukage or just a former kage. Actually, the revelation of Madara being the Mizukage may offer some new insights to some of the things we already know about Kirigakure (Mist village). First, remember the bloody graduation ceremony young ninja from the Mist used to go through by killing their best friend/teammate in order to advance – doesn’t this sound very familiar to the Uchiha’s old tradition of obtaining greater power by murdering one’s sibling? I’m beginning to wonder if Madara had any influence in the Mist’s cruel training methods. Secondly, remember that Zabuza became a missing nin after he launched a failed coup d’etat against the Kirigakure leadership. It is very possible that he was trying to start a rebellion to overthrow Madara’s control over Kirigakure. This line of thinking throws a whole new light on some of Zabuza’s actions. Everyone now recognizes Zabuza as a badass villain, but could he have also been a tragic hero? Who would have guessed that one of the first villains in the Naruto series might become important again after almost 400 chapters. Kudos to Kishi.

Alright, that’s all I gotta say, though I get the feeling I probably left something out. But I’m too sleepy right now to care ;p , so comment away you crazy narutards.

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