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Tue, May. 2nd, 2006, 09:07 pm
Chapter 305 . . .

Regarding chapter 305 (which came out today) . . .

Kishimoto, I have lost all faith in you. Utterly, I believe. This chapter has killed be in a bad, bad, OMFG way which grew steadily worse. This chapter has also left me very displeased with where the manga is currently heading.

(Admittedly, there were still some good points, but the rest? Horrid. Especially that one part that has disappointed me beyond logic and literally ruined the entirety of this most recent chapter.)

why is everyone on chuunin so delighted about this chapter? why? *headdesk* I was actually very disappointed by it overall.

And Sai? Yeah, I hate you, now. D: *grumbles* Unrealistic ANBU-Root wannabe . . .

Wed, May. 3rd, 2006 01:22 am (UTC)
ero_kitsune

Ha, it happened exactly like I thought it would. It is so sad that Sai changed sides in like 15 seconds; either Naruto is getting really good at his motivational speaking or his pet projects are getting weak minded.

What really grates my nerve is that Sai is somehow much stronger than Naruto and Sasuke, this is at least implied by his kill book and that Danzou knowingly sent him to kill Sasuke within Orochimaru's lair.

I don't have really high hopes for the manga anyways, though I did enjoy parts of it, until now.

Wed, May. 3rd, 2006 01:28 am (UTC)
psyched_kagura

*sigh* But I was somehow still hoping that Sai might have had an ulterior motive . . .

And you mean, Naruto the God. He is able to cast one long speech (sometimes a punch or two) and then the angsty character sees the light. Normally I can tolerate his "patching up" skills (it was more realistic with Gaara), but this chapter, and the chapter before it were terribly unrealistic. Naruto and Sakura's remarkably short lecture about "connection" and "bond" changed an emotionless person who was in the ANBU Root for years so easily?

/What really grates my nerve is that Sai is somehow much stronger than Naruto and Sasuke/

Sadly this much is apparently true. I can only ask, why?

Which parts of this series did you enjoy? Was it pre-timeskip or after?

Wed, May. 3rd, 2006 01:43 am (UTC)
ero_kitsune

I don't know how in the hell anyone besides the Sannin, Gaara or Akatuski could be more powerful than Naruto at this point, but apparently Kishimoto thinks that everyone should be stronger than him.

I enjoyed both pre and post-timeskip, but part 2 was definitely a much lower quality issuance. I was mad that Naruto wasn't even remotely angered with Kakashi or Sasuke and to some extent Sakura after his mal-treatment. It was also depressing how Sakura and Naruto were handled in the scene when Sakura expressed her knowledge of Kyuubi.

The only realy enjoyable parts of the post-timeskip were Yamato, Kakashi being removed from Team 7 ( I abhor Kakashi), and seeing the rookie 9 and Team Gai again.

Wed, May. 3rd, 2006 03:48 am (UTC)
psyched_kagura

. . . You have an excellent point there. I was also very disappointed in Kishimoto for that little scene when Temari, Gaara, and Kankurou all (during the Sasuke-in-a-barrel arc) fought the Sound ninjas and used nothing but brute strength over skill, practicality and hard work. That scene was an utter shame. Sai's apparent "stronger than Naruto" is starting to break my tolerance for powered-up!characters.

Indeed. I have also noticed that the timeskip has shown poorer qualities of realism, and overall interest that I have not found completely enjoyable. Of course, Sakura's character growth, Naruto's ferocious determination to rescue Sasuke, and the Akatsuki arc have interested me (for now), but there have still been some events in the timeskip that have not been exactly thrilling. We can only suppose Naruto has already forgiven Kakashi, Sakura, and Sasuke already becaus of his bond with Team Seven--not to mention three years have passed. For Naruto to hold a grudge for that long . . . is that genuinely possible?

But, yes, I agree that Sakura's realization of Naruto being the Ninetails container felt distinctly rushed while I read it. There were still some good points, but it was rather disappointing as well. =/

Thu, May. 4th, 2006 12:04 am (UTC)
ero_kitsune

I thought Gaara versus Kimimaro was pretty good and how it was a battle between two emotionally scarred people. I thought Gaara's comment on how no one can escape loneliness was very poignant, but yeah Temari and Kankurou did beat their opponents a little too easily. I am still sad about how weak Naruto has been portrayed as compared to his peers...

Sakura is a major strong point, but Naruto's pious devotion to Sasuke without any stages of anger at his betrayal was frustrating. I am not asking that Naruto wallow in his self-pity, but a few pages where he is at least upset about Sasuke would have been nice and added some realism. It is true that Naruto is generally forgive and forget, but to see a little bit of anger that things spiralled out of control and that it wasn't his fault would've been nice. Naruto can hold a grudge that long though, he still hates Orochimaru and Kabuto :)

I was really sad when there wasn't any emotion involved in that scene, it would have been moving to see at least one heartfelt talk between he and Sakura.

Wed, May. 3rd, 2006 02:04 am (UTC)
mithlin_megil

I know! I was sorely disappointed at how Sai changed sides soo quickly - too quickly, in fact. All it took was one Naruto motivational talk?! I was prepared to prolong my hate for Sai (actually, all I hate about him was his clothes. I mean, c'mon! I know your belly-button is smexxy, but you don't have to show it all the time! *dies*) but then, when I read 305... honestly. Bah.

Why, why, Kishimoto-sensei?

Wed, May. 3rd, 2006 03:35 am (UTC)
psyched_kagura

I normally have held a lot of faith in Kishimoto for his strengths in developing characters (in contrast for his weaknesses in plot), and Naruto's influence on the characters (e.g Neji, Gaara, Sasuke, possibly?) that cannot let go of their pasts is quite admirable--but this was far too much. Sai, the nameless ANBU Root member who has lived /years/ without a name, an actual past, and has not only questioned his mission (which was apparently the most important) but his glassy, cold-hearted personality went through a complete one-eighty. To say I was disappointed is putting it mildly. This is . . . psychologically unrealistic.

Perhaps if Sai had hesitated a little at that Kabuto scene, or even showed some doubt in Danzou's mission -- that at least would have been more sensible. But instead . . . he has changed. A lot. Give or a take more chapters it would be more logical. Not this.

*whines*

And now I am frightened for Itachi's future. If he is redeemed somehow like this . . . *head crashes against wall; said wall breaks*

Thu, May. 4th, 2006 12:33 am (UTC)
mithlin_megil

I really thought that Sai would've hold steadfast to his mission - after all, being trained from birth (assuming) as a nameless, ANBU root member, he should have no reason to betray Danzou or even go against his mission. Having a few days at most with Naruto's I-Am-Jesus-So-Change-Your-Outlook-in-Life presence would have changed him, but not to the point of this.

It is too rushed. I hope that when it comes to Itachi, character handling will be better. Because oh man, if he changes because of Naruto's motivational talk, I'd go screaming and running through the streets like a madwoman.

In heels, even.

Wed, May. 3rd, 2006 04:13 am (UTC)
darkwindkaze

I have to agree. Neji and Gaara seemed more realistic, but this Sai thing...bah. No believable development. Perhaps a fanfiction writer with good drawing skills has killed Kishimoto and is wearing his skin as a disguise?

Something small that irks me, and I don't know why, is how they aren't showing Sasuke. First they did it with the unneeded shadowy image Sasuke and they are doing it again with his not turning in bed thing! They better not do anymore "its Sasuke but something is stopping you from seeing him fully" stuff

Wed, May. 3rd, 2006 04:27 am (UTC)
psyched_kagura

Admittedly, I thought Neji and Gaara also should not have recovered so quickly from their childhoods (especially Gaara), but to cut them some slack, after Sai . . . I am convinced that no character has had the poorest character development out of all the people that have been influenced by Naruto. I can only hope that there will be some sort of back-story chapter of Sai that will go in depth and explain why Sai went through a change so quickly. Perhaps his brother also helped him somehow in the past? *ponders*

Until then: DIE, SAI. DIE. Excuse me for my temporary immaturity.

/Perhaps a fanfiction writer with good drawing skills has killed Kishimoto and is wearing his skin as a disguise?/

That must be the reason. Very logical. It can only explain for this terrible phenomenon that has taken place. Poor real Kishimoto; an imposter has taken over your place!

As for the Sasuke bit . . . I can only hold my alleged theory that Kishimoto does this merely to "tease" the fans, especially the Sasuke-fans. Since practically everyone wants to see him in the timeskip, the surprise "eye-candy" of him on chapters 300-301 was for a little fun, and for this current chapter, it was placed there to deliberately hold the suspense of what /will/ happen. Perhaps?

Wed, May. 3rd, 2006 04:39 am (UTC)
darkwindkaze

I can agree it may have been a litle fast, but I could at least accept Neji and Gaara before. With Neji, having his butt flogged by Naruto made him rethink this fate business followed by the discovery of the conditions of his fathers death from Hiashi. Of course, Gaara was a little harder to understand. One could argue (perhaps) that it was because Naruto had genuinely understood him and turned out different, and beat him too. So perhaps he came to see Naruto as a role model of sorts and get a little bit of hope that he could have people too, where as before he thought he was entirely alone. He does still seem to be a lil messed up and detached.

But Sai...at the present moment, he converted way too quickly, especially considering known facts, and seems far to attached to Naruto now. I agree that back-story would be needed...fo sho.

I'm sure he is teasing the fans, since he knows how much some love him (and wuld ttly marry him 1 day liek whoa). Kishi is a silly silly man.

My prediction on what Sasuke will look like: the same only older. But he might have a totally bitchin' outfit with chains and bandages and straps and one sleeve is longer then the other and there are EIGHT FANS ON IT!!! *cough* but I could be wrong.

Wed, May. 3rd, 2006 04:48 am (UTC)
psyched_kagura

I must agree; Neji and Gaara have had very realistic character growth that has made me admire their determination and resolve to change themselves. It is merely the fact I found it startlingly quick. After years of living in the dark, their changes were not as gradual as I expected psychologically, but what you have said is still very true, and I agree.

Nevertheless, Sai, has not shown me anything so far of having reasons /why/ he chose to change and choose a different path. I may be judging him too early, but these recent chapters have not left me very impressed with Kishimoto. Unless I read of Sai's past, and I find it understandable for his jump from good to bad, I have nothing left to say for him. He grates my nerves now until proven wrong.

Your predication of Sasuke is hilarious. ;) However, sadly, I doubt Kishimoto will give Sasuke such an . . . eccentric outfit. That is a certified death wish by the patient fans who await to see cool!Sasuke appear/

Wed, May. 3rd, 2006 04:40 am (UTC)
a_white_rain

I think Sai may be using Naruto’s Jesus Powers against him but is so emotionally stupid, he’s pretending to be saving Sasuke instead of killing him. And Kishimoto is using that against ups.

It’s my only hope. Because I refuse to believe Kishimoto got so bad so fast, I’m still feeling the burn of HBP. Until we’re a hundred percent sure.

And I don’t much mind Sai being stronger then Naruto. I think he’s been trained since birth to be the perfect ninja and that’s got to show.

Wed, May. 3rd, 2006 04:55 am (UTC)
psyched_kagura

*nods* Indeed. Kishimoto has usually impressed me with his chapters, and I shall hold my final judgment for later, but these recent chapters have grated my nerves for such /shocking/ and unbelievable changes that certainly cannot be considered realistic in a person like Sai. In any way, form, or manner.

*sigh* In any case, I was rather surprised to see that Sasuke still has not shown his face fully yet. In five chapters, the closest we have seen of his face is in only one panel on 301. I am amused by this fact somehow.

/And I don’t much mind Sai being stronger then Naruto. I think he’s been trained since birth to be the perfect ninja and that’s got to show./

Yes . . . but must he really be stronger than Kyuubi!Naruto? Naruto I can understand, but not Naruto powered up by the Kyuubi chakra. If Kyuubi!Naruto can hold his own against a person of the Sannin, then Sai being more powerful than that is beyond strange without certified proof aside from the ink-no-jutsu.

Wed, May. 3rd, 2006 05:02 am (UTC)
a_white_rain

Yes . . . but must he really be stronger than Kyuubi!Naruto?
No. But Kyuubi!Naruto is a whole lot stronger then Naruto. He could have killed Haku - who is stronger then Kakashi - who is at the level of Kabuto - who impresses Orochimaru. And Naruto's got a lack of control.

I really think that Kishimoto knows that we expect Naruto to fix Sai and is using that against us. It's about the only thing I can come up with. Or he's dead and someone else is writing for him.

Wed, May. 3rd, 2006 08:20 pm (UTC)
ero_kitsune

Well, to be fair Haku is not likely stronger Kakashi. That he could beat Zabuza does not mean he is actually stronger than Kakashi. Sasuke could have likely held his own with the Sharingan had he started out with it and Kakashi could likely easily beaten Haku. Haku's strength was his speed and there is no way he is faster tha Gai or even Lee.

Kabuto is also a good deal stronger than Kakashi, he basically toyed with him in their encounters and Kabuto managed to kick Tsunade's ass. Even without her fear of blood I doubt that she would manage to win easily or at all.

I also don't see why Naruto shouldn't be at Kakashi's level or higher at this point, without Kyuubi. For one thing he was trained for almost 3 years by Jiraiya and he was easily chuunin level in fighting prowess before he left and we know how quickly Naruto improves his abilities. If we compare Neji to Kakashi at this point it is likely Neji would beat Kakashi as in the official databook his taijutsu and speed were only 1 point behind Kakashi's pre-timeskip and Naruto managed to defeat Neji.

I don't care if Sai was trained his whole life, nobody learns as quickly as Naruto and we've already heard plenty of times that Naruto's generation is one of the best in quite a while, all of the rookie were nominated for the chuunin exam and all of them managed to get through to the final round and Naruto even beat all of his opponents. I think that you and Kishimoto are royally underestimating Naruto at this point. He should be at least on par with Kakashi without Kyuubi and probably kage level with it. Gaara is on par with the Kages and Akatsuki and he's relied solely on Shukkaku. Just because Kishimoto decided he doesn't like Naruto anymore or whatever isn't a good reason to totally rape his abilities. Naruto also had the largest amount of ninjutsu of the genin prior to timeskip, one would think that after 3 years with Jiraiya, it would only increase and his other skills would increase significantly as well as his experience.

Neji and Gaara didn't pull a complete 180 though, their perspectives have changed greatly, but they're both still learning at this point to cope.

Wed, May. 3rd, 2006 09:39 pm (UTC)
a_white_rain

1) Kakashi said flat out that Haku was stronger.
2) It's been said at least twice that Kakashi and Kabuto are at the same level.
3) Kakashi leveled up like woah.
4) The Tsunade fight was very much about Tsunade's fears of losing people and Kabuto and Orochimaru used that against her... And that fight wasn't as nearly as good as it could be.

It's impossible to say anything about Sai until we know how he leveled up. He could be special too, somehow.

We just don't know all the facts on Sai. And I'm really hoping there's more to the story on him, and I think it's unfair to judge completely until the arc is over.

Wed, May. 3rd, 2006 10:40 pm (UTC)
ero_kitsune

Kakashi never said Haku was stronger than him, what he said was "there are people younger than you who are stronger than me." Zabuza said that he couldn't beat Haku, there is a difference.

It may have been said they are on the same level but from what I've seen, that's not true. Kabuto played with him at the hospital and Kabuto was the right hand man of both Orochimaru and Sasori.

Kakashi may have gotten stronger, but at the same time it's completely retarded how he's gotten stronger. It is complete and utter bullshit that he now has the mangekyou.

Tsunade fought and was only evenly matched with Kabuto before he cut his hand and before she started freaking out. Once he cut his hand he completely anihilated her and he managed to keep up even after she screwed with his nervous system.

Sai could be special, but what I am saying is that Kishimoto is basically making everyone we see stronger than Naruto when only a select few should be. Naruto should be at or above Kakashi's level right now without Kyuubi and damned near Kage level with it. It's also completely annoying that he "loses control" and "Kyuubi is killing him." Those are sellout ways of continuing the plot, I noticed Gaara hasn't had any such problems and he had complete control of Shukkaku after he managed to wrench him out of his head. Assuming that Kisame is a jinchuuriki too, then it can also be said that he seems to avoid those problems. Kishimoto is just using a bunch of crappy plot devices so we can get to Sasuke and Sai. :( I hate Kishimoto right now.

Wed, May. 3rd, 2006 10:49 pm (UTC)
a_white_rain

Kakashi never said Haku was stronger than him, what he said was "there are people younger than you who are stronger than me." Zabuza said that he couldn't beat Haku, there is a difference.
My mistake then. :)

Kabuto played with him at the hospital and Kabuto was the right hand man of both Orochimaru and Sasori.
Kakashi underestimated him and is emotionally involved with Sasuke. Kabuto is good at uses these things to has advantage.

Kakashi may have gotten stronger, but at the same time it's completely retarded how he's gotten stronger. It is complete and utter bullshit that he now has the mangekyou.
There may be a point. We don't know how he got it just yet, and until we know for sure, I'm not going to say it's completely impossible. But Itachi is supposed to be right about everything.

Gaara hasn't had any such problems and he had complete control of Shukkaku
Gaara's is the weakest, right? At any rate, Naruto's is the strongest of the all them.

Naruto should be at or above Kakashi's level right now without Kyuubi and damned near Kage level with it. It's also completely annoying that he "loses control" and "Kyuubi is killing him."
I disagree. Don't state that as a fact. I like that Naruto's probably going to fight against the Kyuubi. He can't keep just using it, I'd like to see him not have it at all, and still kick ass. Or there is always going to be doubt if Naruto himself is strong. Just becasue you don't lika it means it's bad.

Assuming that Kisame is a jinchuuriki too
We don't know if that's true.

Kishimoto is just using a bunch of crappy plot devices so we can get to Sasuke and Sai. :( I hate Kishimoto right now.
Kishimoto has never been that great with plots. What he is good at his characters and relationships. Except with Sai. And I'd like to know why, and I'm willing to think that Kishimoto may know what he's doing.

I'm going to save my final judgement until this arc is over. I think that's fair.

Wed, May. 3rd, 2006 11:05 pm (UTC)
ero_kitsune

"Gaara's is the weakest, right? At any rate, Naruto's is the strongest of the all them."
True but it has been said a billion times that Naruto's seal was specifically designed to allow Naruto to use Kyuubi's power without harming him. Now that Kishimoto decides that he doesn't feel like having Naruto use Kyuubi's power or whatever reason he decides to invalidate the opinion of like 4 different "seal experts".

"I disagree. Don't state that as a fact. I like that Naruto's probably going to fight against the Kyuubi. He can't keep just using it, I'd like to see him not have it at all, and still kick ass. Or there is always going to be doubt if Naruto himself is strong. Just becasue you don't lika it means it's bad."

I am not stating it as fact, just as logical probability. I don't care if he has some issues with Kyuubi like he did in part one where he had trouble with chakra control and had a hard time drawing upon it at will, but to continually compound the problems is really stupid. I hope he loses Kyuubi because I am hating how Kishimoto is handling it and the whole Bijuu/Akatsuki thing is getting old fast. Naruto SHOULD be strong without Kyuubi, he was at least mid-chuunin level in skill and power without Kyuubi prior to the TimeSkip, why the hell is he the only one who hasn't progressed in 3 years? Not to mention that he trained with Jiraiya, it wasn't like it was that bastard Kakashi was training him, it was someone who could and was willing to teach him and we all know Naruto's aptitude for progressing quickly when pushed and under the tutelage of a decent teacher.

"We don't know if that's true."

You're absolutely right, but that's why I used the word "assuming". He looks like a shark, which is one of the tailed beasts, has a sword named Samehada, which is part of the tailed beast's legends and has an enormous chakra capacity even amongst Akatsuki, the large chakra capacity is part of the legends as well. So, then we can assume it is a safe bet, if not canon.

"Kishimoto has never been that great with plots. What he is good at his characters and relationships. Except with Sai. And I'd like to know why, and I'm willing to think that Kishimoto may know what he's doing."

I agree and disagree. Though he's not renowned plots doesn't mean that he should use elementary tactics to advance a poorly thought out plot. His character and relationships ability is up for debate since the start of the timeskip, I am personally upset of his handling of Naruto in many ways not just his skill level. I have some inkling of faith in him, but at the same time it is not like I haven't seen this a hundred times. An author will always begin to pander to the people handing him money...

"I'm going to save my final judgement until this arc is over. I think that's fair."

I agree that this is fair, but it is also fair for me to be upset that he is trashing my favorite character, who just happens to be the protagonist, in an effort to sell the more popular characters. Part 1 showed huge potential and watching Naruto grow from a depressed boy with seemingly huge potential into a loudmouth nitwit who doubles as an evangelist and can't fight his way out of a wet paper bag is depressing. I will of course see it through to the end, but it doesn't mean I have to enjoy this part of the ride.

Wed, May. 3rd, 2006 11:15 pm (UTC)
a_white_rain

Now that Kishimoto decides that he doesn't feel like having Naruto use Kyuubi's power or whatever reason he decides to invalidate the opinion of like 4 different "seal experts."
To be fair, it's not like this is a think you can really be an expert on. So it's possible that The Fouth got it wrong (I'd really like that. He's such a Mary Sue.)

it wasn't like it was that bastard Kakashi was training him, it was someone who could and was willing to teach him and we all know Naruto's aptitude for progressing quickly when pushed and under the tutelage of a decent teacher.
Please don't bash characters around me. And, we don't know how strong Naruto would have been without the fox. That he's grown dependent on it instead of his own strenght sounds like good build up character development to me.

So, then we can assume it is a safe bet, if not canon.
It's not impossible, but there are flaws... Like the fact he's working for Akatsuki, and doesn't seem to have a death wish.

I have some inkling of faith in him, but at the same time it is not like I haven't seen this a hundred times. An author will always begin to pander to the people handing him money...
I like the plots and Naruto's character even more. The Sai thing is bugging me, but to say he's sold out right now is very unfair.

Part 1 showed huge potential and watching Naruto grow from a depressed boy with seemingly huge potential into a loudmouth nitwit who doubles as an evangelist and can't fight his way out of a wet paper bag is depressing.
Do you want Naruto to be Mary Sue? I like that his flaws are showing even more now. That he wasn't able to save Sasuke and broke his promise to Sakura has had an impact on him, his self worth and I love that that shows. He's insane about saving his loved ones, and that he usually does takes away the drama. That he's doubting himself and his own ablities is what I'd call a GOOD thing.

I don't think it's fair to say that Naruto's character is being trashed just becasue you don't like it. I like him more, and know several people who do. Just becasue he's going in a different direction then you thought he would isn't a bad thing. The hints have always been there.

Wed, May. 3rd, 2006 11:48 pm (UTC)
ero_kitsune

"To be fair, it's not like this is a think you can really be an expert on. So it's possible that The Fouth got it wrong (I'd really like that. He's such a Mary Sue.)"

Maybe not, but at the same time it just doesn't wring as good plot development. I've seen similar scenarios about 1,000 times and it was boring each time. I think Yondaime is maybe Mary-Sue in fanfics, but if anyone is a Mary-Sue in canon it is Itachi.

"Please don't bash characters around me. And, we don't know how strong Naruto would have been without the fox. That he's grown dependent on it instead of his own strenght sounds like good build up character development to me."

My apologies, Kakashi is someone that I have a loathing hatred for, but your anti-Kakashi bashing is duly noted. We don't know for sure, but there are a bunch of hints to how strong he would be. If we take a closer look at the hints it seems to me that he would be a whole lot stronger and possibly would have graduated a good deal earlier without the fox. I doesn't come across as dependency to me, it comes across as him not being able to control it. That doesn't sound like good character build up to me, it sounds like a re-hashed plot that has been done a number of times.

"It's not impossible, but there are flaws... Like the fact he's working for Akatsuki, and doesn't seem to have a death wish."

Maybe, but we also don't know exactly what Akatsuki's plans are. Who is to say that they definitely need to extract the bijuu. There are 9 tailed beasts and nine Akatsuki, if one already is a jinchuuriki do they have to extract his bijuu? We don't know so you can't necessarily say that the logic is flawed.

"I like the plots and Naruto's character even more. The Sai thing is bugging me, but to say he's sold out right now is very unfair."

You may like the plots and Naruto's character even more and may know people who do, but I know people who feel the exact opposite. I didn't say that he has sold out, only implied that he might have based on how the manga is going and based on my past experiences with other series and IP's. I said I still have faith in him, but only an inkling.




Wed, May. 3rd, 2006 11:48 pm (UTC)
ero_kitsune


"Do you want Naruto to be Mary Sue? I like that his flaws are showing even more now. That he wasn't able to save Sasuke and broke his promise to Sakura has had an impact on him, his self worth and I love that that shows. He's insane about saving his loved ones, and that he usually does takes away the drama. That he's doubting himself and his own ablities is what I'd call a GOOD thing."

How is wanting the main character who has the strongest bijuu, a ton of innate potential, an legendary teacher and an unstoppable will to be at least equal to his peer make him a Mary Sue? I never said I wanted him to be unstoppable, but it doesn't make sense that Sakura who was all but worthless in terms of fighting is now stronger than him. The truth is that this version of Naruto of canon is closer to a Mary-Sue than the character who I envsioned. For one thing, Naruto has less feelings that Sai apparently. He never expresses anger at Sasuke and refuses to believe that Sasuke is at fault for not only defecting but shoving his fist through his lungs and is determined to save him no matter what and is getting away with it contrary to Konoha's standards on missing-nin. That he is now the depressed hero who wallows in self pity for mistakes that weren't his and his tragic past is definitely closer to Mary-Sue standards than part 1. Now he can miraculousy fix anyone he sees fit because of speech abilities, at least with Gaara, Neji and Tsunade there was a point and an actual connection. Their changes made sense and weren't over in 10 seconds, they still deal with problems today.

Doubting himself and his abilities is not something that is typical of Naruto's character. While this could be interpreted as character growth, they way it has been fashioned out has been poor at best.

"I don't think it's fair to say that Naruto's character is being trashed just becasue you don't like it. I like him more, and know several people who do. Just becasue he's going in a different direction then you thought he would isn't a bad thing. The hints have always been there."

No you're right, different is necessarily bad. If it was done in a believable and intelligent way then yeah I would still read and love it. That he completely changed Naruto's character without any explanation or actual story development is trashing a character. I'm glad that you like it and people you know like it, but it doesn't comfort me or anything if that was your aim. There may have been hints, but I simply must have looked right past them, because the hints I saw pointed to a completely different direction. Again, I'm not trying to contrary on purpose, it is that I feel that Kishimoto has rushed character development and not explained why Naruto is completely different. Why the hell is not mad at Sasuke, why isn't he upset at Kakashi, why didn't he react when Sakura told him that she knew about Kyuubi. That's a complete lack of realistic emotions and we know that Naruto has, or had, them, he just tried to bottle them up. The "new and improved Naruto" may as well be trying to replace Sasuke's angst by himself.

Wed, May. 3rd, 2006 11:58 pm (UTC)
a_white_rain

Maybe not, but at the same time it just doesn't wring as good plot development. I've seen similar scenarios about 1,000 times and it was boring each time. I think Yondaime is maybe Mary-Sue in fanfics, but if anyone is a Mary-Sue in canon it is Itachi.
I never thought Kishimoto was good with plot development and I’m more looking forward to how this affects the characters. And yes, Itachi is probably a Mary Sue. XD Although I think he Yondaime are more plot devices then anything.

If we take a closer look at the hints it seems to me that he would be a whole lot stronger and possibly would have graduated a good deal earlier without the fox. I doesn't come across as dependency to me, it comes across as him not being able to control it.
Naruto has always had a lack of control. That that’s being addressed along with him depending on the Fox (which he does, he would have died with Haku if he didn't have it) looks interesting to me. And Naruto is full of rehashed stuff, I jus like it so much because it’s character driven. I’m willing to overlook the flaws in the plots as I like how the plots affect how the character grow. And I’m a character driven reader.

Maybe, but we also don't know exactly what Akatsuki's plans are.
And we also know nothing of his past. It’s not impossible, but there is no canon backing. It’s like assuming the Hyuga’s are interbreed. It’s logical, but until canon backs it up, it’s just that: an assumption.

You may like the plots and Naruto's character even more and may know people who do, but I know people who feel the exact opposite.
You stated it as a fact instead of an opinion and that bugged me. Otherwise, you’re free to think Kishimoto may be selling out. I’m willing to give him a chance – he may be building the Sai thing up for something. I’m just going to wait and see.

Thu, May. 4th, 2006 12:11 am (UTC)
ero_kitsune

Yes, my posts are probably coming across more hostile and close minded than I intend, I am just kind of posting and doing something else and the whole 4300 word limit that I keep running into on my LJ posts is unnerving me :)

I am not expecting Kishimoto to be perfect, but I do expect for him to be faithful to already established canon and characterization. If he wants character growth, I am more than happy to accept it, but it is often coming across as rushed and forced, unlike part 1.

I am glad to have seen someone else with another point of view, it is actually refreshing after talking with many who share my views :)

My last point is this: All I want that is making me angry is for Naruto to be past the whole "ninja skill" thing where he is at least as strong as his peers or possibly stronger, as he is facing some strong enemies and for Kishimoto to instead focus of his build up of characters. I just don't really enjoy the way Kyuubi is being handled and feel that we're kind of kicking a dead horse at this point and the more original path would've been for him to have lost Kyuubi altogether.

I agree to disagree, and I don't want to flood poor Kagura's LJ :)

Thu, May. 4th, 2006 12:17 am (UTC)
a_white_rain

What works for some people annoys others.

But I fully think that part II isn't as good as part I. I think it's because Kishimoto really needs Sasuke to be there to be Naruto's foil. The best arcs, I think, are the ones in which Sasuke plays a key part.

Sun, May. 7th, 2006 07:18 pm (UTC)
psyched_kagura

Wow, I was gone off the computer for a few days and when I come back on a debate took place. Honestly, I am surprised to see this, but I am relieved to see that you argued with each other politely (well sort of) instead of resorting to mud-slinging and name-calling. I plan to keep my LJ somewhat clean and free of derogatory words, and I thank you. Nevertheless it was still shcoking to find my inbox was overloaded by all your posts . . .

Sun, May. 7th, 2006 07:41 pm (UTC)
ero_kitsune

Yeah, I was trying to be polite, but I was a bit rushed in my posting so some of my thoughts didn't come across how I would have liked them to :) Sorry!

Wed, May. 3rd, 2006 04:48 am (UTC)
_acerbitas_

Holy shit. *goes and downloads the last few chapter she missed* I'll deffinately comment once everything finally downloads.

Wed, May. 3rd, 2006 04:56 am (UTC)
psyched_kagura

*grin* I await to see your reaction/response then, Acerbitas.

Mon, May. 8th, 2006 02:42 am (UTC)
_acerbitas_

Please someone tell me I'm having a nightmare. Or someone please tell me Sai did not just jump over to the other side in a split second. That was terrible. Just awful. Everyone on here has already summed up alot of my thoughts. I'm hoping that something happens quickly that changes all this around. I thought it was cool how he twisted you around with Sai, making you trust him one moment, and hate him the next. But it should have ended in hate for the right reasons. Now I hate him because he's screwing everything up.

Wed, May. 3rd, 2006 08:26 am (UTC)
heronite

Hey! I was half-right about Sai! His resolution IS through (attempting to) influence the Naruto/Sasuke brother bond! ^_^

Though the way it was handled left much to be desired. =__= Damn, it could have had so much potential too. Down the drain because Kishimoto rushed it. Wtf? Maybe Kishimoto is trying to tell us something here.

"See? In the past, he could only influence people at the rate of one person every few months through forceful punches. But the new and improved Naruto has a new and improved bitch-slap-o-doom! He just has to give One speech (or two), and lo and behold! A person who's spent a lifetime of no emotions will immediately become a faithful follower! This is a glimpse of his future powers! As Hokage, all he'd have to do is yawn, and the masses will come swarming to worship him!"

Oye oye. =_= I think I'll just... ignore this, and just concentrate on the much more toned down Naruto in my NaruSaku manifesto. Ah cripsola.

Wed, May. 3rd, 2006 08:05 pm (UTC)
psyched_kagura

Your analyzing skills are as amazing as always, Heronite-san. But alas even as your assumption became canon, which was good, I cannot say that it was portrayed in the best way I would hope for it to be. *sigh* There goes long, steady and gradual psychological growth down the drain. I can only hope Sai will somehow make up for this sudden change of heart with a twisted ulterior.

. . . Also, that explanation you just gave was absolutely brilliant. Ingenious, and hilarious. It definitely makes sense--more so than any of this nonsensical rubbish. Dare I say that Sai felt quite wishy-washy in the recent chapters? It was pathetic. =(

Hm, and I see another update for the NaruSaku Manifesto. I will make sure to read it over and give you some concrit/feedback afterward (aka after work).
(Deleted comment)

Wed, May. 3rd, 2006 08:38 pm (UTC)
psyched_kagura

. . . I have just realized now that Naruto is God. Everything he says (or does) in the manga has an enormous effect on all the other characters. Sometimes it is realistic (e.g Gaara), but at other times I am very tempted to hit him over the head for his amazing, god-like healing powers. This was too much for my logic and I. If Sasuke were to ever get redeemed in the manga--it had better not be portrayed like Sai's rushed change of heart. (I also thought that Danzou considered him as a "tool" once? Surely that cannot be. Danzou should not use that term so lightly for someone who changes loyalties in the bat of an eyelid . . .)

I conclude that this chapter has left me disappointed with where the manga is currently heading. I also saw that post you made at chuunin. Assuming from the way some reacted, this indicates that some of the fans are Sai-biased, Kishimoto-biased, and/or simply amateurs at the psychological mind processing and developments of the average human. I thought you made yourself perfectly clear there, but apparently some people did not correctly comprehend what you stated. Or they are currently in the belief that an emotionless boy who has grown up all his life with an entirely different philosophy and moral conduct since birth can be changed in a snap of fingers.

*sigh* Oh, wait. He already has.

Wed, May. 3rd, 2006 10:50 pm (UTC)
ero_kitsune

I think had Sai's character been portrayed more like Haku's then I would have accepted it in a minute and moved on, but this is too much really. Even then Haku still remained steadfast in his loyalty to Zabuza and Sai just decided that he would once again switch sides. I personally don't how Kishimoto made characters with great depth and personality in part 1 as an amateur, I think, and completely made a 180 and a cast full of characters devoid of any realistic personality in his later arcs.

I would agree with Naruto=God if not for Kishimoto completely stripping him of any fighting ability whatsoever compared to his peers. It's funny how closely he parallels Goku of Dragonball Z fame and yet, he somehow manages to miss the mark by so much. Goku was ridiculously overpowered and still managed to find powerful enemies, Naruto is average at best now somehow and everyone is stronger than him, Goku is good at getting his enemies to see the error of his ways although he's not perfect as not every bad guy changes, Naruto can convert ANYONE by just thinking about it and listing off common sense ideas the bad guy has probably already thought of and moved past mentally.

It drives me friggen nuts that Naruto is the only one who doesn't seem to have progressed in skill within 3 years time training with Jiraiya. Sakura went from useless to near Jounin level and Naruto when from mid-chuunin(probably higher realistically) fighting ability to mid-chuunin fighting ability and the ability to go crazy and kill everything in sight while it slowly kills him. Just one word for that. Lame.

Sun, May. 7th, 2006 08:12 pm (UTC)
psyched_kagura

Indeed. This is quite a shame. Sai's character disappointed me in this arc. At the moment, his character is seriously driving me up the wall. The only reasonable theory I have after this chapter is that Sai was a double-crosser from the very start (with dubious loyalties to whatever side he is on) as this sudden salvation was far, far too rushed and poorly planned on a whole. He lived in the ANBU Root for years (very likely from birth), he lived an entirely different lifestyle and with an different moral code (i.e brainwashed), yet still this event took place. At least if Sai's outlook was "changed", he should have been given more time than two chapters and one incredibly short lecture of "connection/bonds" by Sakura (mostly) and Naruto.

When I say Naruto=God, I do not mean: Naruto is remarkably powerful and skillful and able to defeat anyone who dares to fight him (quite the opposite actually). What I was referring to was his ability to redeem characters so quickly and easily. But I agree with your point, in any case.

/It drives me friggen nuts that Naruto is the only one who doesn't seem to have progressed in skill within 3 years time training with Jiraiya./

That is an interesting point you brought up, Ero Kitsune. It is rather odd to find that Naruto (who had possibly the most potential to become greater) became almost "average" (when not relying on the Kyuubi) in terms of strength. Whereas Sakura (and probably Sasuke) improved greatly in the three years given. Especially for Sakura with her precise chakra control and her monstrous strength. This is quite a shame seeing as they were *both* under the tutelage of the Sannin yet we have still not seen Naruto's strength which has so far only been hinted at or considered "latent".

I found that Naruto's consistent reliance on the Kyuubi was fairly interesting, though. It is one of his flaws as a protagonist. But it is still fortunate that Naruto chose to grow independent of the Kyuubi's great power instead of continue to use it after Yamato told him of the consequences.

Sun, May. 7th, 2006 08:59 pm (UTC)
ero_kitsune

It is a possibility that Sai was only supposed to last so many chapters and then die, but then fans took a liking to him and Kishimoto decided to keep him around. It's just a thought, but there may be some truth to it as it does seem to happen to authors quite often and it usually leads to unsatisfactory plot revelations at the expense of keeping certain characters alive to humor fans :)

I know what you meant by Naruto=God, I was just expressing frustration that he is being turned into a Jesus like character whose only strength is his ability to redeem characters through sheer force of personality and beliefs. His inability to fight without resorting to Kyuubi and his inability to control his use of Kyuubi makes him less interesting as character and more of a puppet, IMO.

My problem with Naruto coming back without any noteable improvement is that we've seen him grow by leaps and bounds withouot Kyuubi and all of sudden he is now entirely dependant upon Kyuubi for battle. I could see if his situation was similar to Gaara's who has depended on his demon for the majority of his life, but Naruto has gone for the majority of his life with aid from Kyuubi.

Naruto was taught for 3 years by one of the strongest and most talented ninjas alive with the sole purpose of battling Orochimaru and Akatsuki and while Kyuubi is a valuable tool in this scenario it is not unlike any other tools; Kyuubi can be taken away as Jiraiya had already seen with Orochimaru's seal. To actively support Naruto's growing dependence upon Kyuubi is not something that Jiraiya would do, even if he acknowledges Kyuubi's chakra as a valuable asset.

While I can picture Jiraiya having Naruto learn to channel Kyuubi's chakra more efficiently, he would had to have noticed to negative effects that it had upon Naruto's body and the implications that would have been carried with it. Also we have previously seen that lack of Chakra was not a major issue for Naruto, even without Kyuubi, he has HUGE chakra reserves, being able to call upon large amounts of shadow clones with ease. The other major issue is that while Sakura has become much better and has reached chuunin rank, she was nearly useless as a fighter, even if not as a ninja in general, while Naruto was already a chuunin level fighter, if not as a ninja in general, prior to leaving with Jiraiya. His training with Jiraiya and experience garnered while traveling would have improved his abilities as a ninja and should have greatly improved his fighting ability.

I would mind Naruto's reliance on Kyuubi as a plot device if Kishimoto had used it at all in part 1. My mind can't wrap around it with the facts previously given, because if anything it seems to me that Naruto and Gaara's situations should have been reversed for it to work out the way it did. My thoughts on Naruto's flaw as the protagonist is his stubborn belief patterns, and while Kishimoto could use Kyuubi, the way it has been done is a bastardized version of how it should have happened. Unless we see that the hinted at talent's that Naruto has, then his training trip with Jiraiya for 3 years will have been for naught and could only have been used as an excuse to advance the story for 3 years into the future.