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State of the War – as of Chapter 526

naruto-retro1Post Author: Bob

With so many things going on in the 4th Great Ninja War, I sometimes find it difficult to remember who’s fighting who and which characters are in which divisions. Chapter 525 and 526 have given us a clearer picture of what’s happening on the ground so I put together this diagram of battles and combatants currently being tracked in the manga. I find it useful having something like this as reference when blogging. Feel free to comment and point out important stuff that’s missing or mistakes made.

Naruto Chapter 526 – Sometimes Less is More

naruto-retro1Post Author: Bob

Hey folks, new chapter this week. Alas, I didn’t find that much to get excited about in this chapter so I might make up for the otherwise shorter-than-usual post with some gripes — read on at own discretion 🙂 As much as I’m enjoying the whole Great Ninja War arc, I think Kishi might have spread himself too thin in recent chapters by covering too many battles at the same time. This chapter especially introduces a whole new slew of mini-battles going on that it make my head hurt. It’s true that war is chaos, but trying to cover so many battlefields at once pulls the readers’ attention in a lot of direction and dilutes the tension.

This chapter introduces us to yet another two battlefields as Mei’s role in this war is introduced and Kankuro is again faced with danger. We revisit Kankuro and his ambush squad as they encounter the backup undead summons sent by Kabuto. Exhausted from their previous scuffle with Deidara and Sasori, Kabuto’s squad has no choice but try to escape when faced with the likes of Salamander Hanzo, Chiyo and Kimimaro… oh, and that sensor guy. That’s one team of undead shinobi I wouldn’t want to mess with. Kankuro better be getting some backup pronto or his team will be annihilated.

The other battlefield is focussed on Mei and her troupe of elite shinobi given the task of guarding the daimyos of the allied countries. To be honest, I completely forgot about Mei in the last couple of chapters. I just presumed she was back at headquarters helping the other kages plan. I’m not sure what to make of their decision to send her on a mission to protect a bunch of daimyos. They could have sent Mei because they wanted to make sure their leaders are 100% secure, but then again isn’t it a bit of a waste to send a kage to oversee guard duty? As well, doesn’t Mei’s presence make hiding the daimyos harder as her unique chakra could be easily picked up by a sensor type ninja? The only way I see them justifying this decision was if they predicted a high probably of Akatsuki making a move to take the daimyos as hostages. This action by Madara is a little confusing to me as it doesn’t directly help him achieve his objective in this war. For him to only send black Zetsu suggests Madara isn’t counting on the mission very much to change the outcome of the war. That’s not surprising since Madara’s main objective isn’t politically motivated at all – he just needs to capture the final two Bijuu and use their power to carry out the Moon’s Eye plan. So is there something else Madara plans to achieve by capturing the daimyos? Or was this all an excuse to have Mei fight Zetsu? To be honest, I would have preferred her take on the Seven Swordsmen.

I dunno what else to discuss here, really. I chuckled a bit when I saw that Darui’s ability was called Black Panther. Maybe Kishi’s just paying homage to the Marvel superhero; heck maybe the whole Darui character was ripped off of DC, lol. The Hyuuga brothers’ reunion barely had a pulse, yawn. And after bringing back Asuma and Dan from the dead, all they are going to do is fight Chouza? Argh! And what is Kakuzu doing? Why hasn’t he kicked everyone’s ass already.

Next week: Darui vs Kin/Gin brothers = I don’t really care.