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Naruto Chapter 521 – The Demon of the Mist Returns

naruto-retro1Post Author: Bob

Another spectacular chapter this week from Kishimoto. The man is wasting no time in pushing this war forward as expected. Last chapter gave us a bit of a reprieve with the transition/exposition chapter between Madara and Kabuto, and this chapter drops right back into the action. And who to welcome the reader back into the fray than the fan-favorite yaoi-couple in the old days, err… I mean the infamous dynamic duel, Haku and Zabuza.

These two had the honor of being the first “boss” villains Naruto and team had to fight — back in the days when Naruto first began to utilize Kyuubi chakra and when Sasuke’s Sharingan was still in its infancy. To have Haku and Zabuza back sure is a treat; their fights with team seven was one of the things that helped make Naruto really popular when it first started. It really makes me want to go back and re-read those chapters. These two set the standard for high level kekkei genkai/ninjutsu battles to come and, even though both died in the end, were the first ones to be “converted” by Naruto to the good side. To this day, I consider Zabuza to be one of the best Naruto villains, and still feel his death, however cool it was, was somewhat premature.

That’s why it’s so great to see Zabuza back in action again with his trusty sidekick Haku. But when they were first revealed to be part of Kabuto’s Edo Tensei summons, I had some doubts about their fighting strength in the current times. After all, team seven had managed to defeat them back when they were still genin scrubs – and now they have to fight an army of allied shinobi. What’s worse, Zabuza’s even missing his cleaver sword cuz some water-sipping Sasuke fanboy had stolen it for his collection. So essentially, as this chapter proved, the great Zabuza is relegated to the rear while Haku gets the entire spotlight with his ice-based bloodline skills. And as much as I’d like to see Zabuza go berserk on an entire army with nothing but his water jutsu and sharpened teeth, you have to admit it’d be pretty one-sided; especially since he is facing off against Kakashi who has upgraded his Sharingan significantly since last they fought. Fortunately, Kishi must have realized this as well and made Kabuto give him a little boost near the end of the chapter, we’ll just have to see what kind of power-ups he’ll get next week.

Kabuto revealed to Madara the method to stop his Edo Tensei technique this chapter, but Madara is still mistrustful of every word coming out of that snake’s mouth. And for good reason, everything Kabuto has revealed about his undead summoning technique seems just too good to be true. Not only is he capable of controlling so many individuals at once, but the technique poses no risk to the user at all?? This contradicts many of the high level, even forbidden jutsus, introduced in this manga; the logic has always been that everything has a cost, and generally the powerful the ability/power, the higher the cost. If Edo Tensei is indeed this powerful and easy to use, then you’d think Orochimaru would have exploited it much more often. No, there has to be a reason why Orochimaru reserved it for crucial occasions like his fight versus the Third… Kabuto is still holding his cards close to his chest. Plus, he revealed in this chapter that he has “that other technique”, which he is confident will make him invincible along with Edo Tensei. And for the first time, we get a little glimpse into Kabuto’s real objective: he’s also seeking knowledge of the secrets of the Sage of the Six Paths — which means he might be after the Rinnegan sooner or later.
Other things of note:
– Chiyo is coming over to back-up Deidara’s group, Kankuro might have a even tougher puppeteer fight on his hands soon.
– I chuckled at the explosion of Zetsu’s out of the ground. They’re the perfect throw-away bad guys to showcase all our heroes special abilities. I just hope they can put up a decent fight because so far they’ve just acted like mindless drones.
– Kakashi will definitely be the main person fighting Zabuza next chapter, but who will take Haku on? I see that Sai, Rock Lee and Sakura are present, who is best suited for taking on the ice user?