Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Naruto Chapter 451 – Let’s Kill Sasuke

Now isn’t this nice? Two characters, who we haven’t seen in over 420 chapters suddenly reappear, asking: “Hey, where’s Sasuke?” And the logical answer is: “He’s on the hunting list!” Sounds a bit messed up, but that’s Kishimoto for ya. It seems he’s into reintroducing characters and problems that haven’t been mentioned for hundreds of chapters; just like Eiichiro Oda.

The good villagers of Konoha have already started cleaning up the remains of the old buildings and creating new ones. Wood and other materials are salvaged from the old houses, thus reducing the needs of cutting down the Fire country’s forests. Some of the citizens are worried and frustrated about their current situation and the fact that the results of all of their predecessors’ work has been obliterated. A good reminder, however is truth that a country is made of its people and that as long as the people are still there, everything else is just details.02-03Yamato shows off his impressive skills by creating an entire neighbourhood in seconds. The first Hokage probably used the same technique to start off Konoha. The ANBU agent is quickly exhausted, the crowds cheering him on. Let’s just hope he rebuilds the ramen shop soon, ’cause poor Naruto is probably starving.

At the other side of town we see Naruto and Sakura, who are both pretty down because of Tusnade’s condition. Naruto probably wants to ask Tsunade about his parents, Jiraiya or maybe even Pein, while Sakura is simply worried about her master’s health and the results of the recent events. They’re both in for a surprise, due to the sudden appearance of Inari and Tazuna. For those of you who don’t remember, these two were main characters in the manga’s very first ark. Back then the newly founded Team 7 helped them get rid of the mafia boss Gato, which led to a prosperous age for the Wave country. Now the two have come repay their debt to the Konoha ninja by lending a hand in the reparation process. Normally I wouldn’t pay this much attention to minor characters like Tazuna and Inari, was it not for the following two reasons:
The first, and quite ridiculous one, is the newly formed theory that Tazuna is none other than… Uchiha Madara! Yes, you saw correctly and no, you don’t have an eye problem. This scandalous theory comes along with the Tobi is Obito and/or Danzo theory. It suggests that Madara, like Pein, can take over multiple bodies with his Sharingan. Another “possibility” is that its Zetsu, who gains the power to morph into anyone he eats. There have also been a lot of speculations that they’re both the same person, or that Danzo is actually Madara’s supposedly dead brother. But if you ask me, I think it’s just Santa fooling you all!! Think about it – Santa can travel the entire world in just one night, so that must mean he’s using Madara’s teleportation jutsu. He’s also evil to the bones, so there’s just no doubt about it.

Now enough with the ridiculousness and back to the important stuff. This method is practically another way for Kishimoto to emphasize on the story’s dramatic plot by returning to the beginning. It’s as if the story begins all over again – the characters are back where they were, only now they’re finally stronger and their goals no longer seem unreachable. In the beginning the characters’ main goals were, respectively, to become Hokage, to get revenge, to win the heart of the beloved, to fix the team bonding. Now the situation hasn’t changed much, with the only exception being that Sasuke isn’t even in the team (we can’t say he was really that much into team stuff before).
Sasuke separation form the group was a heavy blow to Team 7, but many of the reasons lie within the group. When Tazuna asks whether it was because of a love triangle, Naruto quickly disperses such thoughts, though this was also a problem within the team, if not a very important one. Wat Tazuna had to say to Sasuke will remain a mystery, but it was probably some advice concerning Sasuke’s worldly views.
After Tazuna and Inari leave Naruto has a flashback of his fateful battle with Sasuke. He remembers his best friend’s words regarding his personal pain. Naruto realises that the reason why he couldn’t bring Sasuke back was because he couldn’t understand his feeling. He thought that since he had no parents or siblings, his emptiness was the same as the Uchiha’s, who had felt the warmth and love of a real family, but tragically lost it. They say: “It’s better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all”, but in reality both options are horrifying, it’s no wonder loneliness is the worst death aspect as Kubo Tite shows us in his mangas.

Once again everything spins around the same point – understanding. As Jiraiya stated many times in his philosophical teachings, understanding each other is the key to ending the world’s pain. Sasuke, like Pain, felt and still feels misunderstood. Pain and hatred are an emptiness inside one’s soul, a void that slowly evolves sucking in everything around them and creating more emptiness. Even Naruto was tempted by the Kyuubi when he was about to lose his batle with Pein. And had it not been for the reassurement that was given to him by his father, he too would’ve lost his soul to the darkness.


Overcoming his own confusing emotions and defeating Pein helped Naruto to mature into a person who is truly capable of not just understanding people, but perhaps even more. Naruto’s new goal is to restore Sasuke to the person he used to be, so that “Team 7 can laugh together again.”

Meanwhile the three ninjas from the Thunder village arrive amongst the ruins of Konoha, carrying a message for the Hokage. Unfortunately, Tsunade is still in a coma and can’t perform her duties. Samui demands that she meats the person who’s supposed to be in charge in case such a situation occurs. Shizune is baffled, because Konoha probably has no such person and humbly requests that she take the letter. The two kunoichi’s conversation is rudely interrupted, howerer, as Danzo rushes into the medical tent, claiming that he is the new Hokage. Apparantely, after new Hokage has been chosen, the old one is forcefully retired. As soon as he enters, Danzo demands to see the letter meant for Tsunade. What’s written in it, we can’t exactly see, but judging from the situations it’s a request from the Raikage to discipline Sasuke. Danzo makes a harsh decision and word about it quickly spreads around the village. Naruto, Kakashi and Sakura are personally informed by Kiba – the counsil’s decision is to dismiss Tsunade from her position, but even more shockingly – an order has been issued to bring back Sasuke’s head on a silver platter.

Finally, at Konoha’s telephone station or rather birdkeep, the request for a meeting of the five kages arrives. What will be decided there reamins to be seen. We know that the Raikage is very excentric and crazy, Madara and Danzo can’t be trusted, the Stone village’s leader is unknown, but is famed for his brutality and bloodthirst, which only leaves Gaara as someone who can stand up for Naruto and Sasuke.

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