Post Author: Kisuzachi
Hello, Narutards/Shannarites/WhateveritIsWeCallOurselves. It is I, your favorite guy that posts ramblings, The Author Formerly Known As Kisuzachi, or Kisu for short. It is with
great joy not-exactly elation, and not-exactly regret that I say that these were the final chapters of the Naruto manga (nobody’s gonna read that spinoff!). The work of making chapter discussions was in Bob’s court, but since he’s been gone for the last two years, I think it’s time I take a shot at this. Feelings about what Naruto has become in terms of quality aside, I feel it is at least in order to give it a final farewell, because if not for this manga I wouldn’t have found this great community.
Chapter starts with Kakashi and Sakura swooping in to the see the ragged and tired bodies which was the aftermath of two men that have just finished pounding each other’s
butts faces. Rather than recapping every single detail of the chapter, I’d instead like to take this time to reflect on the characters. The character that stood out most to me in this chapter was—not Sasuke, Naruto or Kakashi—Sakura. Just… she is just the complete opposite of a heroine. I recall in 2012 Kishimoto said he would make her more heroic, but what has she done this entire Arc? She had a moment where she said she wouldn’t be seeing Naruto and Sasuke’s backs anymore, but immediately after saying that they had to save her from Juubi spawn because she turned back to look at them. Chapters before that she let Neji die because she didn’t want to save him, for some reason. She claims she’d been storing chakra in her crystal, so why was it that it was conveniently completed the moment Sasuke showed up? Just take a little chakra from it and save Neji’s life. Anyway, back to this chapter. The chapter draws to a close with Sakura asking to tag along with Sasuke again, showing she’s still the same lovestruck idiot girl that she was back when she was twelve years old. I do find it oddly appropriate that Sasuke poked her forehead like Itachi often did to him, because he’s tortured the girl as much as Itachi did him. But yes, Sakura completes the cycle of going nowhere in terms of character development. Possibly one of the worst characters in the manga. But hey, at least she got what she always wanted: being Sasuke’s housewife.
There’s a timeskip in the chapter where Kakashi is made Hokage after Tsunade retires. This leads to what I feel is the most important page of the chapter. Sasuke is apparently pardoned for his crimes because of his efforts in helping to stop the Eternal Tsukuyomi… and he accepts the pardon. This is why Sasuke is an awful human being. Who was it that gave Obito Killerbee’s chakra? Sasuke. Who was it that aided Obito in even getting to this point? Sasuke. All he did was help clean up the mess he himself caused. Any decently-written atoner would’ve faced their punishment, whatever it was, and then spend the rest of their life making up for whatever crimes they committed. What about the families of the samurai Sasuke slaughtered? Do they not have a right to justice? We see in Chapter 700 that he’s willing to pull out his sword on what he suspects is someone, so from that we know he’s willing to defend himself. Would one of the kids who’s fathers he killed have been slaughtered by Sasuke for trying to get justice for their dead parents? Nobody on Earth save Naruto can even hope to oppose him. He has the Rinnegan. If he truly wanted to pay for his actions, he’d give up his life to revive everyone that died.
Then there’s his redemption, which was equally as hackneyed as most things from this arc. “Oops, lost a fight. Guess I’m sorry for all the stuff I did now. And I can even stand Sakura’s presence!” Why did Nagato change? It wasn’t him losing a fight: it was because Naruto reminded him of what he once was. Why did Gaara change? Because he saw Naruto didn’t turn out like he did, etc. Sasuke has been offered at least 4 chances to change in this half of the manga alone and he’s turned them down every single time, but all it takes to change his mind about everything is losing a fight?
And now for the final part of this: Chapter 700: The Shippening. Yeah, I’ve never been too big on the shipping thing. I just don’t care which characters end up together, especially when those characters aren’t particularly interesting. There’s a trope called “Pair the Spares,” which sums up this ending quite aptly. Every leftover character that Kishimoto didn’t bother to develop, or didn’t adequately develop got flung together. Honestly, this chapter, apart from setting up a sequel is pretty pointless. What instead it should’ve been devoted to things like:
1. How has the world’s economy and politics been affected in the aftermath of the Fourth Ninja War that killed half of the world’s population of ninja in one day.
2. The abolition of the ninja system. We spent a large chunk of this manga talking about how bad it is, and how it produces Obitos and Madaras, yet it’s still the system being glorified in these chapters. Kids are still child soldiers, and there’s still ninja villages. If not the abolition, at least tell us how it’s changed or improved.
3. Naruto’s answer to Pain’s question from Chapter 436. How will Naruto bring peace to the world? Contrary to what the manga tries to say in its later stages, hate isn’t the only reason people go to war. Pain explained that they war for reasons like land or money.
4. Why is Neji still dead?
Though to be honest, this is the best ending we could’ve hoped for considering what had come before. I do this review not out of love for this manga, because there is none left in me. I do this out of love and respect for the Shannaro community. I do this to honor the memories I have of having extensive debates with Mart/walmart. I do this for memories of showing up here every Friday to read Bob’s reviews. I do this because of memories of the times where there was user-generated content ranging from a Naruto gameshow, to extensive theories, to the group posts Bob would sometimes set up, to massively creative fanfics daily. Naruto may be over, but the memories I have from this place will last a lifetime (at least somewhere in my brain). Thank you all for reading, and thank you all for being a part of the Shannaro community. As a really cool robot once said, stay gold.