Sweet chapter this week, the battlefield is being set up for the next epic encounter in the war, and although I consider the odds to be still very much stacked against the good guys, you can’t complain about the epicness of the dynamic duo that has come to back Naruto up. Not only that, but Naruto’s gonna get help from squads 1,2,3 and 5, so we’re gonna have quite a few notable Naruto regulars come in to help out in this pitched battle. But even with so much back-up coming, you have to face the reality that they’re finding a team of six immortal, Rinnegan/Sharingan modified Jinchuuriki with what appears to be all their original powers intact and then some, not to mention the fake Madara is leading the charge. So without further ado, let’s get to the heart of my weekly/bi-weekly/monthly half-assed, late-as-usual blog post, Hrrrrrrnnnnngggg!!!
One Jinchuuriki is hard enough, the heroes will need to pull out every trick in the book to just stay alive here. Honestly, even with Kakashi and Guy backing them up, I can’t see Naruto and KB winning this one without doing one of a couple key things – none of which are gonna be easy. One is to just take out Tobi directly, yeah, easier said than done. If it were that easy, the war would’ve been over months ago. It’s hard enough to get past his bodyguards, but then you have to figure out a way to kill a guy who can phase out of the physical plane at any time. Two, is to take out the guy who’s responsible for the Edo Tensei, Kabuto… this is out of our heroes hands at the moment; we can only hope Itachi is getting close to locating the little snake. Three is for Naruto to gain a tide-turning power in the midst of battle that can overpower the zombie jinchuuriki and allow everyone else to focus on Tobi – this power is up to your imagination, but what I think would be cool would be for Naruto to be able to take on the form of the Kyuubi much like Killer Bee did with Hachibi in this chapter. The Nine-Tails is the most powerful of the tailed beasts, and I think Naruto would have no trouble taking out the other Jinchuurki chumps if he was able to somehow forge a new bond with the fox.
It’s nice to finally be able to see Kakashi and Gai in action as a team, this is a rare sight despite how well they can work together. You have to remember that these two have been rivals since ninja school, and have consistently challenged each other in duels and contests over the years. Each knows the other’s powers, strengths and weaknesses to a T, I’m sure they know each other so well they can coordinate their next steps without a word spoken. Kakashi’s Mangekyou Sharingan may be the only counter against Tobi in this battle. I haven’t seen Tobi use genjutsu yet, but Kakashi may be able to dispel them if he does resort to that type of jutsu. More importantly, Kakashi is the only one present who can access space/time jutsu, and as Tobi’s abilities are space/time based, Kakashi may have something up his sleeve to at least shutdown Tobi’s phasing and warping powers. I think Gai will be a big help in fighting off the Jinchuuriki, with his gates unlocked I believe he is almost on even ground with one. Remember he was able to take on Kisami one-on-one before in terms of strength and toughness, and Kisame was the one who singlehandedly took down a Jinchuuriki.
What I was a bit disappointed on in this chapter though is how Naruto is still being kicked around like his new Sage powers (which were so crucial in earlier battles) are virtually useless now in the face of the new enemy. Everyone seems to be faster and stronger than him, and Naruto has to be constantly be saved by KB (how many times has Bee had to pull Naruto out of danger with his tentacle now. As well, the Naruto we saw taking on the zombie kages earlier with precision and skill now seems to have devolved into his out habit of charging in hard without a backup plan. I know Kishi is trying to put Naruto in a situation of jeopardy so that the other characters coming to help have a chance to shine, but must Naruto always go back to his old ways of fighting with his fists instead of his head?
Other things to note:
– I count only 13 pages this time! Lots of action though, so I don’t mind the missing 3 pages we’re usually accustomed to. But hey, people get busy, it’s hard to commit to a weekly schedule and deliver every time year after year.
– I liked how Kakashi and Gai didn’t just jump in the moment they got to Naruto’s location. They hid and bid their time like true ninja to get a chance to take out Tobi when he’s most vulnerable while using Naruto as bait, too bad Tobi is such a damn weasel at playing ‘can’t touch me’.
– Gai’s already in his gate mode, I’m excited to see just how many gates he’ll need to open to take on the Jinchuuriki.
– Got to remember that Kakashi and Gai, and the rest of the squads coming to help have just been battling their respective enemies for over 24 hrs without any real rest, now they’ve rushed as fast as they could to a new battlefield facing even tougher foes. This might be a test of skill as well as endurance for the good guys.
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