Welcome everyone to my review for Naruto 681, one of the most talk heavy chapters to come out ever.
Firstly I am a little proud of myself for my prediction last week, I thought that maybe Kaguya had been part of the Jyuubi and her release was due to the IT being activated and that was confirmed this chapter, so feeling pretty good.
Now as for 681, did anyone believe that Sasuke's attack would kill Kaguya? we've seen it so many times when a chapter would end with some sort of epic attack only for it to be completely useless in the next chapter and that's exactly what happens here, Kaguya does some sort of chakra blast and sends Sasuke flying towards the lava, luckily he manages to teleport in the last second although he's lost his sword now.
Sasuke no longer has his sword but we see more versatility from Naruto, he's able to turn one of his floating orb thingies into a platform thanks tot he powers from the Sage, also Naruto calls Sasuke's technique Shunshin yet we've already seen that it's much faster than that. Obito;s body is secured by Naruto after it's been left dangling around by a kunai over lava for quite a while, not exactly a safe situation to be in.
I really don't like how the above two panels happen one after the other, in one moment we see Kaguya's hands being stretch out, about to stab from behind or maybe grab their necks and in the very next panel suddenly Naruto and Sasuke have turned around and Kaguya is touching their cheek, really? it just feels like we missed a few panels somehow because it's way too quick for my liking.
I mentioned before that it's rather ironic for Kishi to make the final villian a woman when he's been neglecting them for his entire series but Kaguya will show us a strong female character to hopefully redeem all the other useless ones we've seen so far. I hoped we'd get that but the moment we get some characterization from Kaguya what does she do? she starts weeping her eyes out because she's remembering her sons, even Kaguya, a literal god just thinks about men like every other female in this manga.
Here's a question, are we sure that Naruto and Sasuke are Ashura and Indra? because when you think about it every incarnation of Ashura and Indra have been against each other and here Kaguya sees her sons, not her grandsons when she grabs our two protagonists, plus if Sasuke and Naruto manage to seal Kaguya then they are much more similar to the Sage and his brother who also sealed Kaguya and worked together, then Indra and Ashura who were always enemies.
Kishi's art sure has improved from before hasn't it? this is from chapter 396 and you can see how things were quite a bit less detailed back then compared to these days.
The point of the above image apart from showing the artwork is that we were told early on that Zetsu can someone "record" things, at the time many people just assumed it mean Zetsu witnessed the battle and Tobi will be able to read his mind with the Sharingan or something but in this chapter we learn how Zetsu has basically been recording humanity ever since Kaguya's been sealed.
Firstly what is Zetsu? is he one person? here we learn Kaguya created him from nothing apparently, which by the way might be a hint that Kaguya had no husband/boyfriend/mate and created her children out of thin air or something because that's how Zetsu was made. I don't like how every story we've ever heard of Naruto has a story that dates even further back and changes everything, first Madara made Zetsu and now Kaguya made Zetsu and soon we'll learn that Zetsu made Kaguya or something incredible like that.
Kaguya created Zetsu as her sons were sealing her, Kaguya and the Jyuubi seem almost indistinguishable based on Zetsu's story as they both want the same thing and they were sealed together, I'll say it again that the Jyuubi and Kaguya were once one being and the Sage separated that creature into two because it was too strong to be sealed by itself, very similar to how we now have Yin and Yang Kurama because Minato couldn't seal all of Kurama inside Naruto so he had to weaken it first.
Zetsu continued to watch over Kaguya's sons, yet again we see that the Sage's brother is completely ignored by Zetsu and the story focuses on how over time Indra was manipulated by Zetsu and so were all his descendants in the hope that one of them will be able to activate the Infinite Tsukiyomi and revive Kaguya once again.
Of course we know this part of the story, Madara was the one Zetsu was waiting for but it's here that we see the story change a little from Hashirama's point of view, when they fought in Hashirama's flashback we don't see any bite from Madara, at one point they both slash at each other, Hashirama falls then he backstabs Madara and we see Madara "die" for all intents and purposes yet for some unknown reason we get a minor retcon here and we see Madara bite Hashirama, a pretty big deviation and it's obviously the same fight because Kishi uses the same image from Hashirama's flashback and Zetsu's, so why did he add this bite now?
I don't get it but anyways Tobirama if he had just burned Madara's body would have solved every issue in Naruto yet for some reason he didn't and that makes little sense to me, nobody knew where Madara's body is so it might as well have been completely destroyed, instead it was preserved and Zetsu was able to manipulate Madara after that. And that bite that Kishi added? yeah it's so that Madara can puke it out and use it for science and stuff.
Zetsu further used Kabuto and Obito to set up the perfect circumstances for war and lead to the revival of Kaguya, he also claims credit for creating Akatsuki, something everyone seems to say about it.
Akatsuki, so popular and now it doesn't even exist anymore.
After Zetsu explains his plans for the best mother's day gift ever we see Kaguya mention her sons and how she hates the, being sealed by your own offspring does tend to sour family relationships. Odd how throughout this entire chapter Kaguya doesn't say anything, it makes her a lot less menacing than Zetsu who monologues a lot but can't deny that he had plans that spanned centuries of waiting and making the right move, while Kaguya just got unsealed and isn't as threatening.
Naruto manages to break Kaguya's hold on him and Sasuke and states that they will have to use "that technique" I never like it when Shounens do that at the end of a chapter, at least give us a name instead of hyping it up at the last page and now we have to spend weeks wondering what technique Naruto means.
1- Yeah pretty sure Kaguya and the Jyuubi were once one creature, I am not sure if it's been mentioned or not so far but it does seem to be heavily implied that they were deeply connected once.
2- Naruto isn't Ashura but instead he is the Sage, before we ever heard of Ashura's name everyone assumed that Naruto is the Sage and we got hints about it from the Bijuus and even from the Jyuubi itself, just because the Sage says that Naruto is Ashura doesn't mean he is, ditto for Sasuke who might be Indra or he might be Homura, the Sage's far less popular brother.
3- The technique Naruto mentions? some sort of fusion ability probably combining Susanoo and the Bijuus, we've seen something similar to this before with the Kyuubi and Madara.
4- For all we know it won't be Kaguya who is the final villain but her father instead and Kaguya will turn into a good person, oh wait sorry that's my prediction for every Naruto villian, they all end up redeemed and fighting a bigger evil (Zabuza, Itachi, Nagato, Obito, Danzo, Kabuto, potentially Madara.).
If there is one thing this chapter, and indeed most of this arc has made me feel, it is pointlessness. Think of half the events that happened in this manga, none of them seem relevent anymore, when Chouji fought with Jirobo and won we had an epic battle with a sad ending, now if I see it again I can't help but think that it's pointless, whether Chouji won or lost who really cares because all that matters are Sasuke and Naruto vs Kaguya, nothing else. Sakura vs Ino? pfft they can strangle each other, if Zabuza had killed Kakashi I doubt it would have made a difference in the story.
The way we are told that everything has been arranged by one dude running around changing history makes it seem like every other character has no significance whatsoever, not only that but every character has been manipulated and used by someone else to achieve this final destiny of reviving Kaguya. The funny part is that because of destiny Kaguya will be sealed again by her "sons" Sasuke and Naruto, it makes the manga feel very stale to me for some reason.
Anyways the story gets a 1 out of 5 for me, I do not like how everything seems pre-determined by fate and nobody has any free will at all, however I'll admit that Zetsu told an awesome story and I'll give a 4 out of 5 for the way Kishi has presented this rather annoying story in a very interesting way.
So tell me what is your favorite arc and why?
My two favorites are the Chuunin exam and the invasion of Pein both of which present a way for someone to defy their fate, Naruto beat a genius in Neji and it was epic at the time and when Pein invaded Konoha we had my favorite villain, a bad guy who doesn't want to destroy the world but save it in his own way, plus how he asked Naruto to break the cycle was probably the deepest Philosophical thing Naruto has ever done and I loved seeing that.