Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Naruto Chapter 609 - The End Review / Thoughts (ナルト)

                                             Naruto talking trash to Obito

I know it's been a while since my last review, but since this was a pretty important chapter I thought now was as good a time as any to try and start again! Anyway, on to chapter 609 itself!

I have to say this chapter was great, seriously, it's the first time in quite a while a chapter has left me feeling excited and wanting to see what happens next so much. Naruto himself was actually cool and pretty badass with the way he was speaking to Obito and basically telling him straight to his face that he was going to kick his ass. It's not often Naruto does something or behaves in a way that makes me like or respect him, but this time was definitely one of the occasions where he pulled it off and actually had me willing him on to live up to his words.

Another thing I liked about this chapter was that it was one of the few occasions where some kind of strategy was used instead of just either using brute strength to overwhelm someone or else just run head first in to them. Granted it was Kurama's idea to deliberately get Kakashi caught by Obito and be sucked in to the other dimension, but if anything that just goes to show that Kurama isn't just all about his power either, he can be a valuable asset in more ways than one. Some people will no doubt question why Kakashi didn't just Raikiri through Obito when he was sent to the other dimension and had the perfect opportunity to do so, however, who is to say that Kurama gave him that much chakra to begin with? Or even if he did have enough, I doubt he was thinking too clearly at the time what with everything that has been going on recently.

Lastly, of course I can't talk about the chapter without mentioning the end of it, yes, I am of course referring to the fact the Juubi has finally been revived! Ever since the plan was revealed about its' planned revival there have been questions about whether it would actually happen or not, but Kishi has indeed decided on bringing it in to things. Just how on earth anyone or anything is going to be able to stop it is a mystery, most of the guys on the side of the alliance will have used up the majority of their chakra already, and arguably the only one with any chance in the first place was Naruto. Madara obviously wants it to happen so he is going to be happy, Obito has been scheming to bring it back from the start and probably couldn't stop it now even if he wanted, so the only possible way I can think of is with whatever Sasuke and Orochimaru are up to.

Whoever Sasuke is going to meet could have the answer on how to stop it, or indeed whatever was in that scroll Suigetsu gave to him. Right now things are looking bad for the alliance and for the world, but this being Naruto and being a Shounen series we know things will work out in the end. At the moment my money has to be on Sasuke somehow being involved in stopping the Juubi, but please feel free to leave your thoughts on it in the comments below!

So yes, Naruto managed to get a really exciting and enjoyable chapter here with 609, and it makes me happy to see that Kishimoto is still able to write good quality chapters from time to time after fans have had to deal with so many disappointing ones. All I can really say is roll on next week!

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Naruto Chapter 604 - Meet Again, And Then..... Review / Thoughts (ナルト)

                            Kakashi and Obito - But What Happened to Rin?

After reading Naruto chapter 604, there is only one question on most peoples' mind right now - Why did Kakashi kill Rin?

Of course there are already plenty of doubts about the whole thing, and with Madara and Zetsu involved that's no real surprise.

Anyway, this was the first chapter in a while that actually brought something to the table that felt fresh. Ever since the reveal of Tobi being Obito things have played out exactly as so many people predicted, and as such the chapters felt almost like they had been read before which meant they were rather boring. However, a lot of people have been curious about how Rin died, and so with this chapter we finally get to see something to care about again.

I personally don't believe for a second that Kakashi did that to Rin for any sinister reasons, and I have my doubts whether he actually did it at all. Madara has clearly wanted to use Obito from the start, but with Obito being so reluctant and constantly talking about his friends, it would come as no surprise if Madara used Zetsu to make something like this happen to make Obito easier to manipulate.

Don't get me wrong, if this had been pre-Kakashi Gaiden a case for Kakashi actually being responsible could have been made. We know back then he would have followed any rule laid out for him, and if killing Rin happened to be vital in a mission succeeding, he may well have done so. After Obito's words and his later death however, it was obvious Kakashi was a changed person, and killing Rin after the promise he made seems out of the question.

What with the way Obito's vision was impaired briefly when he felt the pain in his eye while on the way, it could very easily have been some kind of Genjutsu he was put under without him realising, and then of course the Kakashi and Rin thing would be perfect for breaking his spirit. Another theory I have heard is that it may be a couple of transformed Zetsu clones pretending to be Kakashi and Rin - Again this is more than possible, we know Obito needs a reason to turn down the wrong path, and for Zetsu setting up such a scenario would be extremely easy.

The only other thing that has been predicted is that maybe Rin was being controlled or just generally something forcing her to behave in a way that meant Kakashi had no choice but to kill her. I for one don't believe it, as it's a needlessly more difficult path for Kishi to go down, and the look of shock on Rin's face to me proved it can't be something she wanted or expected from Kakashi.

Overall this was a pretty good chapter, it finally broke away from the very predictable nature of the previous few chapters and finally we have some kind of talking point to go over as well.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Will Aizen Return in Bleach?! (ブリーチ)

                                          Will Aizen ever make his return in Bleach? 

So then,  it's been a long time since my last post, but since I had some free time and a topic in mind I decided to give this a try and see how things go! Of course, the subject of this post is whether Aizen will one day end up returning to Bleach, so time to get started!

Truth be told, I think it's practically a guarantee that Aizen will one day make a return in some way, shape or form. Will I be happy if he does? Considering I am a big fan of his, then yes I would definitely be very happy to see him.

Of course liking him isn't any kind of reason for why I think he will come back, so thankfully Tite Kubo has done a good job of leaving the possibility open all by himself. Think about it - Aizen could have so easily been sealed away forever or killed during his epic scale battle with Ichigo, but instead he was merely captured and locked away by Soul Society. If Kubo had no intention of using Aizen again, why would he have kept him alive? To have him there forever rotting away in some dungeon would make little sense, and it certainly doesn't fit in with the way Kubo thinks or writes.

Another reason for his return could be because Aizen has had the privilege of a massive buildup all throughout the Bleach series, no villain could really match up with all he has done and the massive role he has played in everything. We now have the Stern Ritter / Quincy as villains, and while I personally believe Kubo has done a fantastic job thus far with the arc, there is little doubt that currently the villains need more depth to them. I do not doubt Kubo will reveal and add a lot more to them, afterall, Kubo himself has said this will be the longest arc of the series, so he has plenty of time to get such things sorted. However, there is no denying that for the majority of Bleach fans, the main villain will always be Aizen.

In an interview earlier this year (before the current arc started), Tite Kubo himself commented on how he hopes to see Aizen again someday which says an awful lot coming from the author himself. Obviously what he would have liked at the time and what he will do at a later date can always change, but I do believe Kubo deliberately left Aizen alive so he had that option later down the line. Despite all the trolling Aizen has done (or perhaps because of his trolling), he has gained a considerable fan base, not to mention even people who hate him or the Manga will read just to see what crazy thing he does next.

While there is still plenty of potential for the Quincy storyline, I would be very surprised if Aizen does not get involved in some way. Will it be by being the mastermind behind the Quincy plans, or else helping an overwhelmed Soul Society fight back in the war? Only time will tell, and that's if my prediction is right about him coming back in the first place.

Too many things add up and make sense for Aizen to be involved again, and it's a possibility I can't see Tite Kubo passing up. Of course pretty much every thing I have said here is pure speculation and we may never see Aizen again, but as an Aizen fan, right now I feel pretty confident in the fact we will see everyones' favourite troll again before the series comes to an end.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Bleach Chapter 502 - Falling Soul - Review / Thoughts

Wow.... just wow. Bleach 502, what an incredible chapter, and one that as a Byakuya fan wasn't easy to read!

So showing that the Stern Ritter aren't to be messed with, Kubo did something that at one time fans would have said was impossible - killing one of the main characters in the series. I have been a Byakuya fan for years and so am of course gutted he's been killed off, but it shows Kubo isn't afraid to take risks or to upset the fans anymore.

This is what a REAL war is. Not like the one Kishimoto is writing where nobody dies, and not even like the last war Kubo wrote with Aizen and the Espada, this is the real deal and has been nothing short of amazing.

Seriously, if you dropped Bleach because of the Aizen arc, or even more recently with the Fullbring arc, I strongly urge you to pick the series back up. Needless to say this chapter was fantastic, and yet again Kubo has outdone himself, but also the arc itself could well be the best stuff Kubo has ever done.

The first arc was brilliant, and I personally loved Turn Back the Pendulum as well, but at this rate neither of them will stand up to this current arc. It's as if Tite Kubo listened to all the complaints from the fans, and then changed and fixed all the things he was previously criticised for.

But yeah, Byakuya not only died, but did so because of As Nodt using Senbonzakura's power against its' owner. That's bloody cruel and such a bad way to go out, not to mention it looks like Rukia and Renji have both been badly injured because they were angry / concerned for Byakuya.

I am actually really worried about who might be next. At the moment it looks like a toss-up between Rukia, Renji and Urahara for who may die next, and needless to say I would be very sad to see any of them go, particularly Urahara or Rukia who are two of my favourite characters in the series.

Oh, and of course I can't talk about this chapter without mentioning the sheer badassery from Kenpachi.

Every time you think he can't be any more of a badass, he comes along and does something that makes you think again! The way he just showed up with a couple of dead Stern Ritter slung over his shoulder/on his blade and asked if the other guy(s) in front of him were in charge, it was just such an incredibly awesome and badass moment, and in all honesty I see Kenpachi being the best hope Soul Society has after Ichigo.

This chapter was very emotional, and I don't blame Renji in the slightest for flipping out over what happened to Byakuya. As Nodt is just plain scary, and it's going to take a heck of a lot to defeat him that's for sure. I am hoping for some craziness from Kenpachi (and Ichigo when he escapes), and also I am curious to see what Shinji does whenever we eventually get to see him.

I honestly can't fault this chapter or this arc at all. If you haven't read it yet, go do so now, Kubo has made sure that Wednesdays are quickly becoming the most exciting day of the week with all the fantastic chapters he is producing.

Naruto Chapter 595 - Chaps - Review / Thoughts

Despite the odd (and quite honestly) awful name, Naruto 595 was actually a pretty good chapter for those who like their Manga to be action packed.

So yes, for fans who love action filled chapters, this is for you. The whole chapter was taken up by the battle between Naruto, Kakashi and Guy vs Tobi, so no complaints can be had in that regard.

Personally I felt this was an ok chapter though, but nothing special. There wasn't too much wrong with the content itself, it was just hard to follow at times because of the chaotic/hectic nature of it all and the fact most panels had a bunch of broken rocks flying about which made it harder to tell what was happening and what the characters were actually doing.

On a different note, Tobi is actually proving to be pretty impressive. For ages people spoke of his lack of offence and how he is probably pretty weak or unable to fight, but now he is showing he can hold his own even in a 3-on-1 against 3 of the strongest ninja of Konoha.

It's true his warping ability is stupidly good, but even his work with the giant fan he carries on his back seems pretty good, and he is doing a fine job in protecting the Gedo Mazo as well. Speaking of which, I am curious to find out just why Kakashi's Kamui failed to work against it.

It was refreshing and a welcome change of pace to see a character use their strongest move and in a way that actually makes sense, it's just a shame that the plan failed for Kakashi for some unknown reason. Judging by his reaction, Kakashi at least has some idea of why it didn't work, so it will probably be explained soon.

At the moment though I don't know how the three of them are hoping to beat Tobi. Despite their best efforts, even Naruto, Kakashi and Guy can't take him down. Kakashi has always been extremely clever and great at coming up with strategies, but even his ideas are failing to work against Tobi.

Tobi has some odd and mysterious powers, and it's going to take something special to finish him off. To be honest, I don't think the current trio of people fighting him will be able to stop him, and I think that either Sasuke or Edo Madara are going to be the one who ultimately stops him (or at least hinders his chances of winning in some way).

But yeah, overall a decent chapter if not hard to follow at times. Tobi continues to be a mystery, and I am just looking forward to hearing an explanation about why Kakashi's Kamui failed, and also to see just what else Tobi has up his sleeve.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Naruto Shippuden Episode 270 - Golden Bonds - Review / Thoughts

So after the break last week, Shippuden returns with episode 270, but was it worth the extra wait?

To be honest, no, not really. I can't say it's a bad episode, but it's no better than average in all honesty. I did like the way all the nameless ninja worked together to try and delay Kinkaku, the attacks looked pretty cool and it did also allow for Darui to pull off a badass double Black Panther attack.

Though the way Kinkaku was defeated wasn't that great, and I could fully understand if someone got annoyed by it. At worst it's trolling, and at best it's very anti-climactic. The episode also had a few inconsistencies, just for an example, it should have been impossible for Darui to hold on to the legendary weapons as long as he did. Just in the last (canon) episode we were told how it was a massive drain on a person's chakra to use them, and rightfully Darui was exhausted.

This week though Darui held on to them throughout the entire fight and never came close to even passing out, let alone losing his life as we were told a person would. The Anime also wrongly claimed that the second Hokage was killed by Kinkaku, when in truth he died in a battle against 20 elite ninja from the cloud village, so he never died just against the one opponent (Kinkaku).

On the plus side though, the Ino-Shika-Cho thing was pretty cool and they did even add the odd bit of humour. Sure it can be argued they didn't deserve to win (as I mentioned earlier), but that aside, their team-up worked well and it was nice seeing some of the Konoha 11 getting a chance to properly participate in the war.

Also interesting of course is that it looks like they will be fighting against not only Kakuzu, but also their former sensei - Asuma. Making people fight against their own friends and relatives is an extremely cruel thing indeed, and it's one of the things that makes the Edo Tensei such a despicable technique. Though with that said, obviously it makes things a lot more interesting for us viewers/readers, so I am happy enough with it!

Overall this episode had some good moments, but it also had its' share of bad too, so I can't say it's really much better than average as a whole. It's still worth checking out though and is a decent way to spend 20+ minutes, just don't go expecting anything special.

*Next week is a filler episode as well "Road to Sakura" and so I may not bother watching or reviewing it, but if you really want me to, leave a comment below and let me know*

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Naruto Chapter 594 - The Progenitor - Review / Thoughts

Tobi is Obito theorists rejoice! With Naruto chapter 594, we finally get away from Sasuke and move back to Tobi, and no doubt his words will have made many people think they were right all along!

Now just to be clear, I am NOT one of the Tobi is Obito guys, in fact I have been opposing the idea for years, but that's a different story.

So yes, Naruto 594 is out and has moved on to Tobi once again, though unfortunately the chapter wasn't as good as it could have been. To be perfectly honest, Tobi's hint that he is a person who knows both Guy and Kakashi was the only exciting moment in the chapter.

A lot of it was taken up by the Kyuubi explaining to Guy and Kakashi about things us readers are already aware of, and that did take up a lot of time which is annoying. On the plus side, the Tobi hint was pretty cool as I said and will undoubtedly have people speculating as to just who this guy really is.

From what I can tell, it's either going to be Obito (which I wouldn't understand at all and would mean Kishi would have  an awful lot of explaining to do), or else it will be someone we didn't already know of.

Neither option is that great to be honest, but I would be far happier with the latter. In any case, Naruto said in this chapter that it looks like he really will have to smash the mask from his face, and so I do believe that we will find out his identity one way or another in the very near future.

Tobi did a decent job as the villain here, though his comments were very cliche to say the least. I guess it did allow Naruto to have his moment though and give a little speech about the people who inspired him, and it also allowed him to mention he still has dreams of becoming Hokage which I thought was a nice touch, as for ages it had seemed like his original dream had been forgotten.

Overall this was an ok chapter, Tobi's comment to Kakashi and Guy was by far the most interesting part, and Naruto's dream of being Hokage was a nice touch as well like I said. Unfortunately a lot of it was bogged down by the unnecessary explanation by the Kyuubi though, and as such the chapter did suffer quite a bit which is a shame. So yes, a decent chapter, but far from the best Naruto has ever put out.