Just got back from a Christmas vacation and didn’t expect Kishi to push out a new chapter this early in the week. A nice little post-xmas present, but like the last chapter, we still seem to be building up to something with a lot of new information provided but lacking on the action side. Nonetheless, the last few chapters have some provided some key clues about what/who Tobi is as well as giving us a new perspective on what the tailed beasts are actually like.
First off, you have to commend Kakashi and Guy in this chapter for holding on as long as they have. Any other non-named shinobi would definitely been a smear on a rock the first few seconds after engaging this many Jinchuuriki in their transformed states. Though I do think Kishi is inflating this dynamic duo’s power level a bit. Remember that Jiraiya said he almost died when he had to fight Naruto in his transformed state (he had an ugly scar to prove it), and that was only against one Jinchuuriki. As well, Orochimaru had an awful hard time dealing with Naruto’s transformed state – he had to pull out some serious jutsu just to stay alive. As powerful as they are, I don’t know if I would put Kakashi or Guy above the level of the late Jiraiya or Orochimaru, but perhaps because the Jinchuuriki they’re fighting are Edo Tensei summons, they aren’t as strong as the real thing.
I liked the flashback portion where Kyuubi (or should I say Kurama) remembered all the previous people who either controlled him or imprisoned him against his will. It’s natural to see how he grew to hate all his previous hosts/controllers because everyone viewed him as an uncontrollable force that was easier to be locked away forever than to ever try to save or work with. From that, you can see why Kyuubi is viewing Naruto differently – the first human who is honestly wanting to work with and even befriend him. We’ve been told that the Kyuubi is a product of malice and hateful energies, so we naturally assume his primal behavior is to be evil – but that may be only the human side of the story; I think once we hear Kyuubi’s past, we may be able to understand why he is the way he is.
I thought it was odd Kyuubi did nothing to aid Naruto when he was about to be swallowed by Son Goku (Four-Tails) since it’s to his benefit to help out Naruto however he can in order to not be captured by Tobi. Perhaps he knew what would happen when Naruto was eaten, but it still sounds like a risky move to me. Nonetheless, having Naruto taking to Son Goku face to face is definitely a positive thing, and it may be the answer to turning this whole battle against Tobi. If Naruto can free and convince Son Goku to fight on his side, he can surely do so with the other Jinchuuriki. I’m still waiting for Kyuubi to stop playing hard-to-get and just ‘fess up that he wants to work side-by-side with Naruto – it would bring Naruto to the next level and it’ll be a real sight to see Naruto bring out Kyuubi when he fight Sasuke.
This chapter also consolidated some thoughts I had before about who or what Tobi actually is. Tobi is nobody – he has no real existence and this is represented by his ability to “disappear” or become a mere image with no physical form. I think Tobi was created by Madara somehow after he obtained the Rinnegan – it is a non-physical copy of himself whose sole order was to resurrect the real Madara and to help complete the Moon’s Eye Plan. Somewhere along the line, Tobi began to deviate from Madara’s plans and, perhaps in an attempt to fill in the emptiness inside him, took on Madara’s identity and made the Moon’s Eye Plan his own. For a being who is nobody, this might be the only way for Tobi to make the world recognize him.
Next Chapter: Four-Tails joins the team?
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