Let's face it: this was a pretty rotten week of Shonen Jump if you read only three of it's series like I do. No One Piece
felt like it was personally sending me a middle finger, and this mess of a Naruto chapter. To be fair I think this is probably the best of the three due to one being a no show and... well sometimes you just have to go with your gut in what offends you more. Like for example though Movie 43 is a terrible incredibly unfunny and obnoxious film, the characterization and arcs in Identity Thief made me hate it more overall even though it was technically more well put together. This week Bleach is technically more well put together in how it dosen't waste as much time and actually focuses on what it's suppose to, but what happens in it just generally feels more grating to me. This not so much, but there are some serious, serious problems with it. And allow me to go into what those are.
The cutaway from "the mysterious reveal": Okay I get that the cliffhanger in the last chapter of who was in front of Sasuke was a reason to tune in and find out more on it. But this one... dosen't do that. It's not anyone the main cast (or at least Karin and the snake squad) recongnize, nor do they give any real hints on who it can be besides just showing us an outline of their body. Which sorry isn't the way you do things in a shonen Manga
. Whoever this person is we should of gotten the reveal now even if we held on what exactly they're doing with Sasuke for later. Teasing it and then not following up at all is just plain bad writing. Showing how little you care about the audience because you're only doing it to mess with them and then focus back on other things. Granted other series do this to but this one seems quite bad. Especially when One Piece showed how to do it right by clearly making it obvious who the mysterious figure was even if they didn't outright say it and actually make you want to know more yet at the same time, not annoyed that you're spending time on other things. This though was the second hokage going "who is this" and then the silouhette and then... oh never mind him let's focus on something else. Hell why even bring this up at all and tease more if you aren't following through? This is not the time in the series to be teasing anymore Kishimoto: you are at your end and really it should be showing in the work that you're done jerking us around. Not finding more and more ways to be a jerk.
Badly placed comedy: I've said it before but since it keeps happening it bears repeating: Kishimoto can't do comedy right in the place of serious work. Honestly this is the middle of a war where people are seriously dying and getting maimed and have no hope. And though I can appreciate wanting to have levity with that, there has to be a better way to go about it. Not just something that not only totally kills the mood but just makes your characters totally unlikeable and annoying. Because in the middle of all this what to we spend aboue 3-5 pages on? A stupid grating routine between Gai, Lee and Tenten. Gai talks about the power of youth but uh oh, he doesn't have any chakra left. Oh isn't that wacky? But oh it gets better when Lee tries reminding him but gets inspired by his words to just feel the same way. Oh aren't the hijinks just off the wall. But no it gets better. Remember Neji's big sacrifce and how moving that was? Well prepare for even that to be poked at as Tenten is annoyed at how he left to leave her with these two screwballs. Ha ha ha, it's so funny when you use dead characters and serious moments to juxtapose such light hearted scenes. I mean a lot of people would consider it insulting terribly unneeded and just plain insulting bull crap that even current season Family Guy would think a second before doing but no Kishimoto, you drag these characters through the mud for the excuse of a chuckle. That's... that's good writing. And you know what's even better? Having the pieces of the containers of the nine tails fall of them. Because Wile E coyote hole marks just makes the scene even better, and hey now supposedly all this comedy had a point right? Because that's going to tie into the main story again right right right? So yeah overall- THIS WASN'T FUNNY IN ANY WAY WHATSOEVER AND JUST PLAIN INSULTING AND MAKES ME WANT TO SEE KISHIMOTO BEAT HIMSELF WITH A CLUE STICK TO GET A HINT ON WHAT REAL COMEDY IS AND NOT TORTURE US WITH THIS BULL CRAP! ..... It's sad how even this is somehow still better then Bleach this week but eh treating team 11 as a general joke after forgetting about them for weeks is better then making a joke out of someone you were developing just to give another character a battle entrance doesn't annoy as much. Key word "as much".
Pointless Flashbacks: I think Kishimoto must have this disease where if he doesn't put a flashback at least once every five chapters, no matter how little it impacts the story or what it's even flashing back to, he'll get some sort of brain tumor. Because what was the reason for the Kushina/Minato flashback? More comedy with somehow Kushina knowing what Naruto would be like when he was still in the womb? Some sort of emotional moment between the two before the tragedy struck? Some sort of parallel to what's going on now? Because the answer to all three is no. First off this wasn't funny as making your character white eyed and having them say something random doesn't mean comedy. You need actual jokes and setting an actual tone and having it fit especially in a scene like this to work for it to be funny. So okay, we're suppose to take this seriously then right? Uh, no sorry, I can take cornball and cheesiness but it has to be earned and work within the context of the world that's being built. For example I just saw the Lego Movie. That actually had good uses of emotional moments in what seemed like a silly scene for how it was built and even the corny dialoague worked for the tone and the placement and how it was fit within the narrative. But we're suppose to take two actual adults, one of whom is going to be the leader of the village and thus an important regarded figure seriously when they say to each other "he'll be alright. I'm his mother" "and I'm his father' like that? Ughhhhh, that is like George Lucas style terrible writing man. Seriously if there was a prequel to... the first prequel aka episode I that's what I could imagine Anakin's mom saying even if there was no father there. And finally this fails as a parallel because... what being reminded of Naruto before he was born is suppose to fit with him supposedly dying? Hell you'd know what would actually be more impactful: maybe paralleling the two's death and the realization they won't be able to look after their son and having to trust in others to raise him. You know maybe then it would make Minato go "finally Naruto I can actually give something back to you so you can continue going on, because there's no way I'll let you die like me and Kushina did". It'd fit better then whatever this is. Maybe Kishimoto didn't want to go with that because of his own father's tragic passing and if so, I understand. That doesn't mean I like it though. Because tragic as something is, you still have to judge a product based on how it ultimately turned out not just on what went on behind the scenes.
Just General stupidity: I could harp on little things like again characters standing around and talking instead of you know fighting or wasting a lot of shots of just Madara posing (to be fair seeing his look colored it does make him look better then I originally thought but eh I still don't care for it that much) but the last big thing that really fails about this chapter is how stupid the characters are. I suppose it is shonen staple to announce what your attacks and abilities are to your opponent to explain it to the audience even though otherwise you should have no reason of giving them out whatsoever, but even if you accept that horsecrap, what about when you announce your actual plans to your foe when he's right in front of you? Seriously Gaara and Sakura should realize even if they don't know who the fourth and Kakashi are fighting that getting in the middle of a battle so important they aren't fighting White Zetsu or Madara must mean something so they should try and plan it out better. Like maybe have Gaara's sand tug at them indicating to follow them to a safe spot away from the guy or maybe to use a sand coffin attack to try and trap him first before interrupting the battle? You know do something so the guy doesn't hear you say "Naurto's about to die but we're going to revive him with the other part of the nine tails chakra." Because wouldn't you know it, Black Zetsu finds out and now Madara has come to the battle directly. So yeah way to go guys: the big bad knows of your plan because you couldn't find a better way to go about doing it. That's just great
... and by great I mean you're idiots.
So yeah a very very very very weak chapter. Better then Bleach but this was just a mess in so many ways and really stuff like this proves beyond a shadow of a doubt Kishimoto is just stalling. And this is another one of those "I would so leave this series if I wasn't invested in it for years" sort of chapters honestly. Seriously to all us Naruto faithful still here reading every week, we should get better then stuff like this thta somehow passes as a "weekly update."