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  1. - Top - End - #1021
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    Default Re: Naruto IX: [Epilogue Intensifies]

    Sasuke has seen Naruto use Shadow Clones while his Sharingan or it's advanced forms have been active dozens of times. He's been able to do it for most of the series. He just never has.

    Whether he's willing to use it and whether or not he's been able to adapt to do it one-armed, on the other hand?

    The power copying aspect of the Sharingan is the one everybody's afraid of but Kakashi is really the only one we see doing it, excepting Sasuke ripping on Lee's Taijutsu, and even then only a handful of times.

    You'd think the people famed for replicating other people's techniques on-sight and never forgetting anything would have a little more variety in their move sets.
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  2. - Top - End - #1022
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    Default Re: Naruto IX: [Epilogue Intensifies]

    Quote Originally Posted by Rater202 View Post
    You'd think the people famed for replicating other people's techniques on-sight and never forgetting anything would have a little more variety in their move sets.
    Yeah its an unfortunate trope of anime and such. its to preserve niche and uniqueness value. so then why give them the eyes in the first place? one wonders if the mangekyo sharingan was really a needed upgrade at all when you could've just had Sasuke copy and learn other peoples techniques that would be useful for his fighting style instead. it would be simple as

    Ninja A: haha, I have this unique technique I developed called Susanoo!
    Sasuke: cool I think I'll take it and master it

    instead of making it a sharingan only thing. nothing the sharingan does actually needs to be a sharingan exclusive ability, just say that the Uchiha stole all these techniques from other people or something, and you don't need the mangekyo.
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  3. - Top - End - #1023
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    Default Re: Naruto IX: [Epilogue Intensifies]

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    Yeah its an unfortunate trope of anime and such. its to preserve niche and uniqueness value. so then why give them the eyes in the first place? one wonders if the mangekyo sharingan was really a needed upgrade at all when you could've just had Sasuke copy and learn other peoples techniques that would be useful for his fighting style instead. it would be simple as

    Ninja A: haha, I have this unique technique I developed called Susanoo!
    Sasuke: cool I think I'll take it and master it

    instead of making it a sharingan only thing. nothing the sharingan does actually needs to be a sharingan exclusive ability, just say that the Uchiha stole all these techniques from other people or something, and you don't need the mangekyo.
    This is what a good series would do.

    Anyway aside from Orochimaru being around this sounds miserable.


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  4. - Top - End - #1024
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    Default Re: Naruto IX: [Epilogue Intensifies]

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    Yeah its an unfortunate trope of anime and such. its to preserve niche and uniqueness value. so then why give them the eyes in the first place? one wonders if the mangekyo sharingan was really a needed upgrade at all when you could've just had Sasuke copy and learn other peoples techniques that would be useful for his fighting style instead. it would be simple as

    Ninja A: haha, I have this unique technique I developed called Susanoo!
    Sasuke: cool I think I'll take it and master it

    instead of making it a sharingan only thing. nothing the sharingan does actually needs to be a sharingan exclusive ability, just say that the Uchiha stole all these techniques from other people or something, and you don't need the mangekyo.
    The problem with this is there is no external measuring stick to help the user feel familiar with how powerful a character is which lots of shonen readers expect. Now this is how real life reality with conflict and fight works, but what happens in fiction when this occurs people have no idea of what the rules are and what to expect. It is like the Guardians of the Galaxy 1 fight between the two sisters Nebula and Gamora. People were unaware of what their power sets were, what are their capabilities, what are their weaknesses etc. People crave rules when rules do not match reality and in "fantasy / sci-fi" settings you established the traditional rules do not apply, well people crave replacement rules.

    So yeah the stupid mangekyou sharingan was a storytelling crutch to say that Itachi was on a whole other level than Sasuke and even if he copied all those other techniques from other ninja clans and even Orochimaru a Legendary Sannin would not be able to teach Sasuke the techniques he needed to defeat his older brother. The conflict from a narrative standpoint was to put Itachi on such a higher level than Sasuke that it is the differences between heaven and earth and even if Sasuke climbs the tallest mountain he is not truly touching the sky, he would remain on earth like a lowly human or a snake and not a flying "god."

    -----

    I am not saying that a better measuring stick could have been created to provide this similar narrative structure but not rely on the narrative cheapness that the mangekyo was. There are different ways of crafting a story and I bet several of the ways done could be more satisfying than the final result. Just that there was reasons why the Sharingan was not developed in the obvious way of developing it.
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  5. - Top - End - #1025
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    Default Re: Naruto IX: [Epilogue Intensifies]

    I mean what most people want doesn't matter anymore except for universal appeal? with the fracturing of the media, one can appeal to their niche audience rather than try for something universal. sure it gets smaller audience, but that just means its more room for focused quality over mass appeal. the media fracturing can be a good thing, because now we can find a piece of media for a specific type of appeal rather than having to cater to a generic appeal, and thus hopefully mass media becomes more of a generic entry thing that can lead to one discovering more specific focused forms of entertainment that doesn't have to do that song and dance. so yeah I know realistically sharingan was going to be made that way in mass media for a big audience, but that doesn't mean I can't roleplay a sharingan user who goes megaman on people, or write a fan fic that does that instead, and the people who care about that can come and enjoy it with me and the people who don't can just do whatever they want. or I can come up with my own magical eyeball that does that because I want to personally do that sort of thing in something I write, its world of niches, a writer doesn't have to appeal to everyone.
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  6. - Top - End - #1026
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    Default Re: Naruto IX: [Epilogue Intensifies]

    I will say this for Naruto: at least there was an attempt to explain the different power sets. Most of the kid characters have powers where it's reasonable nobody else uses them.

    Rock Lee - requires insane taijutsu dedication to pull off.
    Neji/Hinata - requires Byakugan.
    Kiba - requires a close animal bond.
    Shino - requires letting insects live in your body.
    Choji - requires huge calorie intake and body mass.
    Ino - her Mind Transfer is a terrible technique outside of the specific Ino/Shika/Cho team attack.
    Naruto - his Shadow Clone shenanigans require an insane chakra reserve that other ninja don't have.
    Gaara - his sand control required Jinchuriki shenanigans to learn.


    The ones that stand out:

    Sakura - her medical techniques are not unique, but her super strength is exceptional without any reason given other than "she has good chakra control". If you can punch that hard, chakra control of that level should be standard. Heck, even punching with lesser force would still be superior to using a kunai.

    TenTen - other people use the scrolls the same way she does. She doesn't get anything special because being TenTen sucks.

    Kankuro - not the only puppet master. He's good at it, but he's not even the second most prominent puppet master.

    Shikamaru - this is the really odd one. Shadow Possession is an insanely overpowered technique, yet nobody else uses it besides Shikamaru's direct family line (his dad and his son). Naruto even asks to learn it at one point, and Kakashi fobs him off without giving a real reason why. The only reason appears to be "It's Shikamaru's ability, shut up"

  7. - Top - End - #1027
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    Default Re: Naruto IX: [Epilogue Intensifies]

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    Ino - her Mind Transfer is a terrible technique outside of the specific Ino/Shika/Cho team attack.
    Ino's clan's famous techniques, the Yamanaka techniques, is wonderful for the village and other forms of tactics but Ino does not develop it that way out of pride where she prefers to be more hand on.

    The Yamanaka Clan techniques are good at intelligence gathering, espionage and interrogation. Literally have two Yamanaka Clan members infiltrate a village using the boring transformation technique, kidnap someone (the 2nd person is to secure the body of the person who is doing the mind transfer jutsu), and then debrief the kidnapped person with mind control. Furthermore they can send long range transmission back to the main camp allowing them to share the information immediately over great distances.

    Literally the Yamanaka clan excels at acting like ninjas and spies but we rarely see this for it is so focused on Ino as the main representative of this clan.

    -----

    Furthermore we see Yamanaka Clan techniques that do not have the downsides of the basic Mind Body Switch technique from the Chunin exams. The Mind Puppet Switch Cursed Seal Technique allows the Yamanaka member to inhabit a puppet and attack at will with no regards of the puppet being destroyed. In fact this is the goal for the puppet to get injured for this triggers a consciousness switch where the person who engages the puppet in melee gets switched into the puppet and can't dispel the technique. While the Yamanaka member can dispel the technique at any time.

    The Mind Body Disturbance Technique that Ino's dad uses (Inoichi) allows the Yamanaka member mind to remain in their body while still taking control of another person's body or multiple peoples bodies with the Mind Disturbance Dance Technique. Since their Yamanaka Clan's member remains in their own body they can have these "puppets" injury their comrades and it becomes a battle of confusion that is win / win for the Yamanaka member when either their puppet or the other person they are targeting gets injured.

    Lastly while Ino is shown to be less effective at combat with her clans techniques compared to her father and the Root member, even her "signature" technique she is known for is improved throughout the series allowing her to curve the technique and inhabit multiple bodies at once even though it makes her body still vulnerable when she uses the upgraded form the "mind clone switch" technique.

    Sakura - her medical techniques are not unique, but her super strength is exceptional without any reason given other than "she has good chakra control". If you can punch that hard, chakra control of that level should be standard. Heck, even punching with lesser force would still be superior to using a kunai.
    To my recollection, Sakura's punches are not continuous chakra control but "burst-y" chakra control at the moment of application and no other time besides the moment of kinetic change. Aka when Sakura is punching something with her fists, she is doing somethign similar to Iron Man is doing with his repulsor beams
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  8. - Top - End - #1028
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    Default Re: Naruto IX: [Epilogue Intensifies]

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    Shikamaru - this is the really odd one. Shadow Possession is an insanely overpowered technique, yet nobody else uses it besides Shikamaru's direct family line (his dad and his son). Naruto even asks to learn it at one point, and Kakashi fobs him off without giving a real reason why. The only reason appears to be "It's Shikamaru's ability, shut up"
    its called a Hiden Jutsu. a technique that is kept secret within a clan. if Shikamaru taught others this technique, it'd be betraying his clan and thus destroying his clan's advantage and reason to keep them around. it would also mean more people know its weaknesses, and thus potentially leak it to spies, and thus more people would know how to counter it, the more common a move or ability the more people will innovate to counter it. it would be an advantage that only works until people start including flashlights in their standard ninja tool kit.

    its also because naruto is heavily based on japanese culture, and clans and family being important is a big thing, even though clans as a military power kind of a holdover from their warring clans era of naruto, so the fact they still have power to be things at all is important- it means that the villages can't just disband them and make everyone learn the hiden jutsu to vary up their tactics, probably partially because kekkei genkai exist so really what would happen is that the hiden jutsu clans get disbanded and the kekkei genkai clans continue to exist because its not as if your going to start orochimaru like experiments to transfer them unless your really twisted, and you need somebody in positions of power that AREN'T people like I dunno, the Uchiha or the Hyuuga who have twisted clan traditions involving killing your friend for power or place what are essentially slave brands on their branch house?

    that and disbanding clans to universally learn a jutsu might just end up with rebellious clans and a thus a civil war. akimichi, yamanaka, inuzuka, aburame are all hiden jutsu as well so you'd probably have like half the clans of Konoha rallying behind the Nara's to keep their shadow possession unique to them on the principle that every hiden jutsu should be hiden. you can't make an exception, its the rule of law and if you do it for one that means you can do it for all of them. so Shikamaru sharing that technique would be a really bad idea. naruto world's not a place of free information and learning like that.
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  9. - Top - End - #1029
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    Default Re: Naruto IX: [Epilogue Intensifies]

    Bleakbane Catches Up With Naruto

    Fūshin

    So, Sasuke sharingarns down the explode-y man, but then another three show up. Yamato grabs one in a wood shell, and hilariously, a peeved Orochimaru figures *sigh* he better Do The Right Thing with a load of snakes on another. Somebody chucks a chakra-charged knife at Sasuke (like that was gpoing to work), but before Sasuke can chase down the culprit, the little lady nearly gets asploded by the third 'splody-man. So Sasuke whips in and saves her.

    I mean... Fair's fair, he's really going all-in on this "I'mma be Good now," thing.

    Orochimaru sounds soooo disappointed (ha!) that it's all been a waste, since the secretive arms-dude will have run off, so we are again treated to Surprised Roachy Face when he asks to meet Sasuke.

    Sasuke, not taking any othis guy's attempts as pleasentries, grills him about this Fushin dude that used to work for him. Turns out he had a Tragic Backstory, sold by his family for having a bloodline. But this blood line is NOT the red-eyed one Sasuke saw in the last manky-yo-yo mind-dip - but a mate of Fushin's. The arms dealer is like, "I collect all these blood lines, because powerful and to keep that rarity, I do try to kill the clan off, so I have no idea why those kids ran off, really!"

    But this other kid apparently came from a clan (with red-eye genjutsu powers) who, in the pre-Village Era basically got banished due to Politics from the land of Lightning and the Uchiha were hired to do it. (Honestly, this is going back a big number of years and all kinds of excrement when down in that period so I'm not sure why Sasuke is like "oh my goodness, the Uchiha did some bad stuff in the past, I wonder if Itachi knew?" I mean... Before Hashirama, the Senju were just as much the same frack-heads, so why get upset about people who did bad crap decades, maybe centuries, before you were born, right?)

    Anyhoo, Sasuke heads off to this Hell Valley to have a look-see. The tiny lady and her large mate come along (Sasuke even TELLS the little lady where he's going when she asks...)

    On the road, they are attacked by more asplodey-men, and then somone takes another chakra-charged knife at Sasuke just after he HAXORZ them unconscious. He legs it after them, but when the chap starts lobbing more knives, Sasuke sees these aren't chakra-charged and puts two and two together and realises this dude isn't the same guy. He casually plugs the branch the guy's standing on and the muppet falls into a hot spring. Sasuke is all Bad Cop on him, but the poor wretch decides to fight, using... Rubber dodge balls. (From lava release apparently,how does that even work?) Dodge balls. Against SASUKE FRACKING UCHIHA.

    Look, I'm sure this is going to upset everyone but... Kinda enjoying seeing Sasuke cleave through these numpties like they're made of cheese? It's just nice to see some proper "oh crap and I'm screwed" faces of dawning horror as they realise how completely fragged they are for once. Even if it is Sasuke doing it.

    So, one amaratsu-your-leg-on-fire later, Sasuke straight Sharigarn-memory reads the guy (well, dude blew his chance not to have that earlier when he refused to talk, so!) Sasuke discoveres the one who was chucking things at him was...

    The big dude.

    Huh.

    Okay, this actually came as a surprise - I'd missed that the big dude chucked a charged knife at Sasuke back at the village. So, touché, show, touché.

    He then makes himself not fat and Crap Is About To Go down...

    The Ketsuryūgan

    Ex-fat-bloke makes himsself a load of wind and throws knoves into it, which of course kills Sasuke immed-ahahahahahahahahahaha!

    No, Sasuke whaps him in short order, because seriously, come on. Sasuke tries his sharingarn interrogation again (Sasuke asked the dude to talk twice and he wouldn't, so he asked for that), and gets a quick glimpse before the apparently lurking genjutsu actually forces him out again. When his head clears, dude's gone.

    Sasuke heads down to Hell Valley, which is exactly what it said on the tin.

    Little lady shows up and... Oh, she's, apparently, the last one of the genjusu clan. Okay, not as suprising as it might be, there. She uses her powers to show Sasuke her Tragic Backstory.

    Wherein arms dealer guy had her from birth (99% odds he probably killed the rest of her clan himself, given how he's bragged about that sort of thing) and forced the kids to fight or starve, until she manifested her power and went to the coloseum. She deftly trounced ex-big-guy, so he got transferred and they ended up talking. eventually, she discovered a scroll about ancient history, and she, bug guy and few dudes escaped, to head to Hell valley, because while he had a Tragic Backstory, she had nothing and no place in the world and thought it might help to go there. They got sidetracked being Robin Hood at the aforementioned villages, and also worked for the Mist under Yagura's reign. This probably explains the pants-on-head decision by Mist to hire them to kill a feudal lord and to hire themselves as his bodyguards to prevent him being assassinated just get favour with him (so wasteful).

    They esecaped, but as the villages decided NOW that they were trouble for no reason when they always helped them before, all the wounded died off. So the pair got to Hell Valley, found nothing alive and got attacked by the last couple of Mist ninja who were tracking them now for... I dunno, sheer blood-lust, they'd more than served their purpose as scape-goats. She manifested her ability to make people Asplodey during the fight, and then declared she would Have Her Revenge.

    ...

    On who, duck? The Mist? The Arms Dealer guy? On the land of Lightning?

    No, implication is on the descendant (the actual culprits being long, long, looong dead) of the people who exiled her clan - a clan whom she has never met - and of whom descendant has no clue any of this ever happened as is also, like the second-strongest person in the entire world.

    I watched Linkara's review of the top 15 stupid villain plans this morning and I feel this would have fitted into the top five.



    The Last One

    No, that was literally her plan, attack the leaf with exploding ninja to draw Sasuke in and then destroy the entire Leaf. (them running into him at the village was just co-incidental, they were just there to take revenge on the village.) Clearly this is anoth case of Magic Eyeball Powers Make You Crazy or something,

    She's like "so you know everything! Now let us, the last of our clans, fight to the death!"

    "No."

    Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

    No, no, I'm sorry, that was class. Sasuke, mate, mate... That was just really brilliant, like pause-the-DVD-funny.

    The look on her face when he just no-sells the thing is just... Worth it all.

    She, of course, tries anyway and oh no, Sasuke might be in mild peril for a few seconds, wait, no, this is SASUKE, and we get to see little lady's increasing pants-soiling as she realises she's completely FRACKED, totally outclassed and the funnist part is Sasuke is literally doing this one-handed.

    But then she cuts him and gains the upper hand and then he explodes, oh no and she wins and starts to walk away and Sasuke is all "ah, that's how you made the exploding people," and she realises that that entire fight probably didn't happen because he tsukiyomi'd here right at the start ahahahahahahahahaha! What a loser!

    We are then treated to a hilarious attempt at Talk no Jutsu by Sasuke, and preumably she's so pathetic she rolled worse than he did on his Diplomacy check, because she and ex-fat-guy, who shows up, surrender. (And we're doing what with these people, Sasuke, I mean they are, like, mass murderers...?)

    Cut back to a very mcuh seemingly more coinfident and professional Hinata (and a slightly less driven Sakura who's definitely regressed towards pre-chunin, sadly) healing the last dudes that could be saved and having a chat. Sasuke apparently had the pair and that other dude arrested, but he hasn't come back.

    Which, to be fair, is because he's first going back to Rich People Island to fight in the coloseum, win against all the ninja and set them free (those poor bastards, they don't stand a chance, even if there's like thirty of them). Because Sasuke, it must be said, never does things by halves, and that "if you stand by an do nowt, you're as bad as they are," got to him.

    Meanwhile Kakashi visits the the imprisioned murderers and reveals that Mei is coming to... Take them as mist ninja.

    Sorry, what? These people stright up murdered a good dozen or so people, some of whom were civilians and some which were Leaf ninja and that's it?

    Okay, Kakashi, yeah, spend the rest of the lives atoning (implication they remain ninja and don't get to retire), but seriously, these people murdered lots of people for the stupidest of reasons. Little bit more merited than a slapped hand, one thinks. (Smacks more of "hey, let's take these blood-line people into our village because, if, say for example, they happen to breed..." Ninja politics...)

    Back at the Rich Island, Ssuke has won all the fights (no, surely not) and the first poor sap staggers to his feet as asks what now, then the Raikage bursts in and says all of them will be adopted by the cloud, and incidentally everyone else is under arrest.

    Arms-guys slips away while A and Sasuke have a quick conversation, the crux of it is A saying "I'm glad I didn't kill you" and Sasuke feeling a bit sorry he made the guy cut his own arm off.)

    Arms-guy apparently went to tea with Orochimaru (I thought this guy was supposed to be paranoid?) and it is revealed that HE also is one of them dodgy genjutsu clan, he DID wipe the clan out and little lady is his daughter. (Steady on, we're another candidate for father of the year...) But presumably he lives for another day (though I'm headcanoning Orochimaru poisoned his tea, because the frack wouldn't he, right?)

    We end with Sasuke deciding maybe he will go home after Naruto points out he IS, like the police now, and then Sakura and Naruto having a chat and Sakura ending with saying he wished she could help Sasuke atone by being by his side, then flipping out because she said that and punching Naruto for basically no reason at all.



    All-in-all, not a bad arc, in the end. Little shakey towards the end, but the plot is interesting, the first three episodes keep the pace good with minimal to no flashbacks. Sasuke... Is slightly above tolerable, actually, because he's not completely stoic, just reserved and terse (no more, one feels than Neji or Gaara or Sai or Shino mkight be in similar circumstances) and, I realised as it came to the end, he's not ANGRY all the time. Which means he doesn't actually come across as petulent or emo and isn't like horribly grating. He's almost at Chunin Exam level again. A bit of flat-out curb stomping is nice to see for a change of pace, too.



    Next arc is a Shikamaru arc, which should be loads of fun!

  10. - Top - End - #1030
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    Default Re: Naruto IX: [Epilogue Intensifies]

    Bleakbane Catches Up With Naruto

    Actually, on second thought, the break between this arc seems like it would be a good place to watch Naruto The Last, on account of one feels a Shikamaru-centric arc is probably not going to have a lot of overlap.

    Naruto: The Last

    So we start out, after Jiraiya does some narration about everything.

    Then we see Chibi-Hinata being bullied, and rescued by Naruto (because apparently Naruto obliviously spent half his childhood rescuing her from one thing or another...) In the process, the scarf he had got all ripped up.

    We then see Iruka trying a slightly bizzare exercise in class to get everyone to write down the person they'd like to spend the last ay with if the world was going to be destroyed. Naruto doesn;t have a name, so he makes a paper aeroplane and lobs it out of the window, saying he doesn't believe the world would ever end like that. (I mean, I sort of see his point. Bollocks to the sentimental nonsense, that's giving in to defeat, and death cam quite frankly, go copulate with itself.)



    Then we cut to some dudes tryin' to beat up on Hisashi for some reason. (This is in the present, but I only realised this waaaaay later in the film; the way it's placed, I thought this was a flash back or something.)



    In the present, Naruto Has Fangirls. Like, loooooads of fan-girls, which baffles him. Konohamoru collars him to show him a bunch of stuff of Hiruzen's he found. Hinata has made him a new scarf (for a moment I was like "he she really been working on that for like, ten years"), but as usual is Hinata-ing on actually giving it him, despite Sakura's active encouragement.

    Hanabi, who is turning out to be Ino 2 (this is a good thing) has a jolly old laugh at Hinata, but finally Hinata heads out to give it to him.

    She finds him, Team Ten and Sakura having raman at Itchitaku's as per usual, but when his fangirls show up, she runs off, to Naruto's bafflement. Sakura says Naruto should walk her home. Naruto (and, to be fair, he has a point) is like "why do I need to do that, no-one's going to mess with her, because she's fricking Hinata Hyuuga!" Hinata accelerates off and Sakura runs after her, telling Naruto he's an idiot. (Also fair.)

    Meanwhile, the five kage are dealing with the slight issue that the moon is about to crash into the Earth. Quite why they keep this secret is a bit of a puzzle, since we see Sai in the forest on watch wondering why it looks so much bigger...

    Back in Konoha, Hinata confesses her love to Naruto, to thin air, and then, of course, Naruto spots her from behind. She see he has a scarf on, and immediately jumps to the wrong conclusion (callng it now, it's either Kono's or Hiruzen's) and Hinatas out and runs off, to Naruto's increasing bafflement.

    Then flying space ninjas come to kidnap Hanabi. (In hindsight, it's so obvious that they lured Hisashi out of the village so they could get to the girls easily (and meta-narratively got him out of the picture.) Sai spots them flying off with her (kudos that he recognises her straight away, which delightully implies she must have hung around with the everyone logn enough to have met her), but they can fly too, and also shoot homing orbs of force or something, so down he goes.

    They come for Hinata too, but Naruto arrives to stop them. It's a great chase sequence, actually, as Naruto mows through the minions without slowing down, slicing them in half with a golden-orange rasanshuriken that is like apparnetly homing now - up until the point he actually chops the guy grabbing Hinata in half without touching her. Hinata falls, and dangles by the scarf, ripping it. Hinata apparently has had some sort of panic attack, because she forgets that she's a freaking magic ninja who can walk on walls and nearly splorches before Naruto saves her. (Subconscious suppression, maybe?)

    The creepy leader's top half says he'll see her again with the end of mankind and naffs off.

    And cracking great meteors start fallling.

    Kakashi, next day, assembles a five-man sqaud consisting of Naruto, Sakura, Hinata, Sai and Shikamaru (yay!) to go hunt for Hanabi. He gives Shika a magic count-down clock, which only the Kages have (except for probably all the people tha made that magic jutsu and the kage's assistence and whatnot and the fact, that again, everyone can see the moon is getting closer, the secracy seem silly.)

    Sai has a place to start, and provides flying mounts. Hinata has very sensibly been paired with Naturo (as y'know, the strongesy ninja in the world as bodyguard). She spots Hanabi's kunai, and shortly thereafter a cave with a pool of magic water her eyes can't penetrate. She has a bit of a fit when Naruto puts he scarf away, not wanting it to get wet because it's very precious (totally Kono's or Hiruzen's...), but Sai finds the water is actually dry.

    They jump in, and get ensnared in a jutsu that scrambles memories.

    Naruto's confused memories of that one incident with the day-ending excercise, his fight with Kiba and such end up intertwined with Hinata's memories (they are inexplicbly linked by the scraf Hinata knitted) or that day, plus her badass moment with Pain.

    Ahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

    Oh my, Lichemaster.

    I mean, there's clueless and there's literally the universe panelling Naruto with a clue-by-four repreatedly with HINATA'S MEMORIES until he finally gets it, the most priceless part being Hinata's memory of her chat with Sakura where Sakura was like, "he doesn't know the difference between 'love' like he loves ramen and real romantic love" and Naruto, in Hinata's seat (and eating her food...) is like "there's a difference?"

    Class.



    Anyway, Sakura wakes them up because she made her Will save first, 'cos she's resistant, apparently. (No, she just made her save.)

    The team carry on down the corridor, but Naruto FINALLY GETS IT and is a bit hesitant with Hinata; as the other three dive ahead, he stops, intendign to talk to her, but clearly has no idea what to say. He dives in, but before she can follow, the creepy dude shows up again and says he wants her to marry him. We miss part of the exchange, but then Naruto explodes out, righteously peeved.

    Sakura and co meanwhile, have found a big cave, where something creates the balls that layer the genjutsu trap. She's just saying how Naruto and Hinata are taking too long and they should go back when GIANT CRAB ATTACK!

    So, while they beat the ever-fracking CRAP out of that in a suitably awesome fashion (yay Sakura getting to fight and be awesome!) Naruto beats the stuffing out of Creepy Dude and finds out he's a puppet. Dude says he'll meet Hinata in his real body to hear her answer and that Naruto will never lay a fist on him. Pfft, sure, dude, sure.

    Anyway, the five meet-up and enter a massive underground realm like it was a Vault or something in the depths of Golarion, with an massive ocean forests and everything, including artifcal sun. (They're inside the moon, aren't they?)

    With no clue as to where to go, they start hunting around and find a massive ruined city and Split Up to look for clues. We are the n treated to a rather delightful sequence of Naruto and Hinata sort of bumbling around and generally enjoyign themselves despite the situation (Naruto more self-conscious than usual now that HE FINALLY GETS IT, LICHEMASTER!) Sai grabs them though, as Shika's found a statue which seems to explain that Kakashi was right, this crap has something to do with the moon stuff. Hinata's presence opens up a secret passage which leads to a massive crypt. A zombie shambles out seeking the Byankugan Princess, and then disgorges a jaw-spanningly larger orb of energy which flashes, brunign right into Hinata's byankugan. (So she's either had an info dump or is under mind-control...)



    After this, she puts a bit of distance between her and an increasingly confused Naruto, just sitting and knitting over the course of the next couple of days as they move and search at least one more massive, unpopulated ruined city.



    Creepy Dude has meanwhile stolen Hanabi's eyes and put them in his own; wow this guy is creepy.

    At a firefly lit pond, Naruto manages to get a bit of a chat with her. hinata feels like crap because she's here knitting while Hanabi's in mortal danger and feels like she's a terrible big sister. Naruto fervently disagrees, promising he'll get Hanabi back; to which Hinata says he's very kind.

    "I'm not just being kind because I'm love with you or anything."

    ...

    WHAT.

    Pfftahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

    That's the most Naruto of Naruto things ever!

    Hinata is also "WHAT did you say?! No, before that!"

    And Naruto... ACTUALLY comes out says those the three words.

    Honestly, Hinata's look of total shock "holy [EXCREMENT]!!?" here (which was hilariously, by the way) was nearly a mirror of my own. I tip my helmet Naruto, can't say once you FINALLY GOT IT, you didn't beat around the bush!



    And then Creepy Dude shows up. It is at this point, he reveals gloatingly Hinata is going to come with him and marry him, and Hinata, clearly relucatant, goes with him willingly. Naruto is not about to just let them fly off, though, but he's shaken by this sudden rejection that Creepy Dude nails him with an attack that both drains ALL his chakra, but also blows a massive whole in the sky. Yup, called it, they're inside the moon.

    Creepy Dude's attacks on Earth have stepped up seriosly, though for the moment, the ninja are being all awesome. Tsunade gets the civilians into an underground shelter apparently to contain the entire Fire land population, Mei blows up meteors right and left, Onoki manages one (AWESOMELY, I'm sorry, Atomic dismantling Jutsu is just priceless) before his back goes out, and Rock Lee leads a team of ninja to literally punch one in half, ahahahaha! Sadly, ione half is still incoming, so Brief Sasuke Cameo for the save. Sasuke also dumps a rescued Hisahi down, who explains to Kakashi the crap is going on.



    Back on the moon, Naruto is in a very bad state and comatose.

    Hinata wakes up in Creepy Dude's fortress - inside the artifical sun. He is surrounded by puppets and not a single other soul (it is tacitly implied he killed everyone else or something), and Hinata follows along like a little lost lamb... But, of course, the is fricking HINATA HYUUGA and she's doing this undercover to inflitrate. See, we are told from Hinata's perspective now that Creepy Dude told her in the genjutsu passage that a moon ninja, who Homura gave instructions to destroy Hagoromo's world if (when) it failed, and he's decided because the Forth Ninja War happened, now is the time, because he is a creepy moron who has no idea.

    Turns out though, I was rigth about the orb-info dump. That was actually the ghosts of Homura's descendants to tell her that Creepy's branch wiped out the main family with the Tenseigan, a powerful weapon because, naturally, they mis-interpreted the rules. It's unclear what happened, but it's obvious that the moon-ninja were just as fractious and fallible as the earth-ninja.

    Hinata, then, is looking for this dohickey to smash it, since only one with Homura's blood can do that.

    Creepy Dude wall passes the line several times, essentially seeing Hinata as a thing to be possessed (like his puppets) and being very annoyed that Naruto is in her memories. Hinata decieves him like a oss though, but admittedly a life with nothing but puppets and the social skills thus imparted means it's not her fault if he doesn't have any rank in Sense Motive. He spent all his skill points in "have all these creepy puppets, like the little girl and boy ones who are servants."

    After a bit - about three days - she sussess it out. Sadly, despite some arse-kicking, Creepy has HAX telekinetic powers and easily overpowers her and then puts her under mind-control and we have now offically passed from "doesn't understand how people work" to "inticipant rapist." I so hope this guys dies screaming...

    Naruto awakes only to fall into despression, until Shika finally needles him into some action - which is to see a completely chakra-exhuasted Sakura, who expended all her energy keeping him alive. Sakura gives him the figurative smack upside the head (she's too knackered to do it properly) to point out, duh, Hinata has loved him her whole life and is also a NINJA, so OBVIOUSLY this was part of a plan and Naruto is like, *facepalm* "of course it is."

    Shika has of course figured out how to get it with a previous little attack so off they go to save the day.

    Meanwhile, the Raikage has a massive frelling spacve-gun (WHAT) which which they are going to fire a chakra diffusion cannon to destroy all the meteors and then use the secondary weapon function to BLOW UP THE MOON!

    I have questions.

    Firstly, was this made AFTER the Forth Ninja War, and if not WHY THE HELL DID YOU NOT USE IT THEN!?



    Anyway, the moon-team punch into the Fortress and Awesome happens. Sai and Sakura go to rescue Hanabi (unconcious and unaware her eyes have been nicked - it's okay, eyeballs are just an item slot, she'll be fine) while Naruto and Shika go to resuce Hinata.

    It is still unclear as to WHY Creepy Dude needs to marry Hinata, if there is a reason other than motivated by lust, doubly-so at this point. Naruto, of course is like "I object," and while Shika holds the other puppets off (and Sai and Sakura fight little-girl puppets, which were creepy BEFORE they turned hostile). Creepy Dude again says Naruto will never lay a fisty on him and runs deeper, followed by Naruto.

    He sics Hnata on to Naruto, but, shock horror, Hinata is awesome but never in Naruto's class (especially when jst using regular, non-gentlefist taijutsu) and he quickly grabs her and yoinks out the mind-control guff. Creepy Dude says "she belong to me," - seriously, this guy NEEDS TO DIE - and blasts Naruto into the wall. But before he can re-establish his mind-control, he has another fit caused by his eyes integrating (something Hinata exploited for recon earlier) and he collapses. Hinata and Naruto leg it out, and Hinata apologises and explains. They get to the Tenseigan orb-doofer, and Hinata whales on it, but fails to make a dent. Naruto smirks and says that if she merges chakra with him, THEY can desrtroy it together.

    Obligatory-Movie-Atypical-Chakra-Rasangan!

    I'm sorry, but Lion-Fist-Rasangan is unquestionably Best Rasangan!

    And boom, doofer destroyed, moon stops moving! Also, the artifical sun dies, so all of the life inside the moon is going to die! Yay mass extinction!

    Also, the tenseigan was made of byankugan eyeballs and it is implied that all of the moon ninja died to give it their eyeballs WHAT IS WITH THIS SHOW?



    Sadly, Naruto and Hinata both forgot to drive a kunai into Creepy Dude's head while he was crippled, so he's now got HAX EYE POWERZ and summons a giant stone golem and starts the moon moving again. Naruto SUMMONS KURAMA as a seperate entity to go battle the giant stone golem.

    B (because of COURSE it has to be B, blows away all the meteors. The other kage tell A to lay off blowing up the moon, though, since they now know Naruto is up there, because Kurama and the golem are fighting on the moon's surface and he's KIND OF OBVIOUS. The kage tell A to give Naruto an hour, which he very begrudgingly agrees to, and only in part because the others are fracked at him for having a superweapon...)

    Creepy grabs Hinata and sticks her in a cage to watch Naruto die. (I am not going to question, at this point, how they can all breath on the moon's surface, where they are all fighting now, it's ninja magic, okay).

    Naruto and Creepy Dude go at it, until Creepy Loses his rag and lets out and attack which LITERALLY CUTS THE MOON IN HALF. Um... That's... Okay, then.

    He's REAL shoicked then when Naruto is totally not dead from this, Shadow Clone Barrages him and then upper cuts him like he was Chunin Neji. Creepy Dude has hit the "WHY WON'T YOU DIE!" phase of Fighting The Narutos, to which he is told "because it takes a long time to make a scarf!"

    (I mean, first of all, that's dumb, second, seriously, Hinata knitted a good half of a new one in unde three days because Creepy Dude thought she was doing it for him because he asked, inbetween her recon.)

    But Naruto's point is all power of love blah blah blah and then he Supermans his way through the dude's best attack and punches him harder than Sakura.

    His power gone, Hinata is released from her cage and storms up to the dude and is "right, I'll be having my sister's eyeballs back," and RIPS THEM RIGHT OUT OF HIS HEAD!

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Oh, Hinata, never change. that was the bets moment of the movie seriously, I had to pause the DVD to stop laughing.

    Creepy is still not done, though, and summons All of the eyeballs, but doesn't do anythig other than overload him and push him up to be cokked by the sun. Naruto, to my great disappointment saves him.

    They have Kurama crave a gaint "mission complee" sign into the moon (wow, the moon is going to be real messed up from now on, it's as bad as in the Tick!) and prevent A from firing the cannon (since B wouldn't, because Naruto).

    And we're pretty much done, apart from Naruto and Hinata going back together (she asks him about the scraf, and turns out it was one his mothere made for him and Hiruzen kept by, so I was three-quarters right!), and an actually good, symbolic montage thing as Naruto confesses again, culminating in Naruto using a jutsu to burst them right out into the sky and they kiss while hundreds of feet up in the air silhouetted by the moon.

    Y'know what? I'm not even going to question it.

    A quick montage of the wedding (yet to come!) over the credits, and apost-credits scene with the family and we're done.



    So, briefly, because this took WAY longer than I thought to write-up, frack it's taken nearly as long as the movie itself and it quarter to five (I apologise for typos, I'll try and fix them in the morning!)

    This was an excellent movie, second only to Will of fire. It concentrates on the characters that matter, doesn't bog us down with Random Movie Character (literally the only new character is Creepy Dude and he's the villain), we get plenty of cameos, of people being awesome, the action is good, the romance is handled pretty well by my metric (building on the years and years of the show) and it's suitably epic.

    If I have a complaint it is that Hinata wasn't able to do as much combatively as I would have liked, but that is what it is (and power-disparity and all). That said, she did rip the guy's eyes out.

    (No, wait, I have a major complaint - Creeepy Rape Dude did not get horribly killed, and no, I don't think being alone on the moon forever after having his arse kicked was good enough punishment.)

    If I have any more thoughts, they will have to wait until coherenc returns in the morning, but for now, this will have to do!



    So, with that done, next time will be Shika's arc!
    Last edited by Aotrs Commander; 2020-01-12 at 11:51 PM.

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    Default Re: Naruto IX: [Epilogue Intensifies]

    Quote Originally Posted by Aotrs Commander View Post
    Firstly, was this made AFTER the Forth Ninja War, and if not WHY THE HELL DID YOU NOT USE IT THEN!?
    My question exactly! Seriously how did they make this, why and where was this earlier?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    My question exactly! Seriously how did they make this, why and where was this earlier?
    I thought it was explained in the movie, but I heard that it was made after the 4th ninja war. Made in part for if Kaguya ever came back, or if another space entity came back to attack the planet. I don't remember where I got that explanation if it wasn't from the movie...

    Also, creepy (rapey) guy wanted Hinata because she is pinnacle Hyuga princess and he needed her heritage to make the ultimate prodigy to help "save the planet." Don't ask me why that's suppose to make any sense and it still doesn't justify the means. Just remember, instead of this creepy guy's child, we get Boruto. (Also Himawari, so completely worth it.)
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    Bit of trivia, the scarf plot thread was inspired by Kishimoto's wife giving him a hand-knitted scarf. The scarf Hinata makes for Naruto is identical to the one that Kishimoto's wife made for him.
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    Default Re: Naruto IX: [Epilogue Intensifies]

    Quote Originally Posted by Silverraptor View Post
    I thought it was explained in the movie, but I heard that it was made after the 4th ninja war. Made in part for if Kaguya ever came back, or if another space entity came back to attack the planet. I don't remember where I got that explanation if it wasn't from the movie...

    Also, creepy (rapey) guy wanted Hinata because she is pinnacle Hyuga princess and he needed her heritage to make the ultimate prodigy to help "save the planet." Don't ask me why that's suppose to make any sense and it still doesn't justify the means. Just remember, instead of this creepy guy's child, we get Boruto. (Also Himawari, so completely worth it.)
    I mean.....even Boruto is still a better child than a creepy guy's child growing up amid an post-apocalypse world expected to restart all of humanity because his father couldn't handle Kaguya getting out one time even though she was defeated.....rather have one spoiled brat amid peace than that....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    I mean.....even Boruto is still a better child than a creepy guy's child growing up amid an post-apocalypse world expected to restart all of humanity because his father couldn't handle Kaguya getting out one time even though she was defeated.....rather have one spoiled brat amid peace than that....
    Yeah, that's what I'm saying. (albeit not very well.)
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    Default Re: Naruto IX: [Epilogue Intensifies]

    Quote Originally Posted by Silverraptor View Post
    I thought it was explained in the movie, but I heard that it was made after the 4th ninja war. Made in part for if Kaguya ever came back, or if another space entity came back to attack the planet. I don't remember where I got that explanation if it wasn't from the movie...

    Also, creepy (rapey) guy wanted Hinata because she is pinnacle Hyuga princess and he needed her heritage to make the ultimate prodigy to help "save the planet." Don't ask me why that's suppose to make any sense and it still doesn't justify the means. Just remember, instead of this creepy guy's child, we get Boruto. (Also Himawari, so completely worth it.)
    Yeah, that sounds... Leg...it...?

    (I mean, in the sense Avengers #200 is looking over the fence and going "how you doin'?" in an extremely in appropriate fashion.)



    HOW did this guy NOT end up being murdered all over the place, seriously?

    (Maybe Naruto just didn't actually GET what Creepy-Guy was planning to do to his girlfriend and thus not get triggered into a soul-smushing rage?)



    Bleakbane Catches Up With Naruto

    Righty, then! Let's have us some Shikamaru Arc!

    The State of Affairs

    It's two years after the end of thw war. Shikamaru is doing an excellent job as Kakashi's number two, but... Work is all he's doing. That and diplomatic jobs, like soundly whomping Onoki at shogi. Kakashi is his usual easy-going self (actually, Hokage suits him), but Shikamaru seems a bit lost. He and Kakashi have an interesting conversation and about adulthood (Shikamau seems to still think he's not it yet, despite all he's doing.) He thinks the only reason he's still at this is Naruto, and to ensure he gets to be Hokage (aww). Team Ten has drifted apart a bit, now only meeting up on occasion. Shika even cuts that short to go to the Shinobi Union meeting, where a point of concern is shinobi missing since the forth war, and a worrying drop in mission requests. Shikamaru is basiclaly just repeating "we'll handle this!"

    Temari catches him afterwards, asking what's wrong. He brushes her off, and says it's nothing. She asks if it's just something he can't talk to her about (because Temari is also pretty awesome) and he does so again. She asks if there's anything she can do to help, and he brushes her off a third time, and then says "looks, we're representives our of villages..." And Temari fricking DECKS him. And storms off, saying she clearly badly misjudged him. Ahahaha, you had that coming, Shika. When your not-quite-a-girlfriend is trying her damnest to help and you start talkiing like that, you deserve it.

    Kakashi ALSO thinks it hilarous, when Shika reports to him. But apparently the Leaf has found somewhere called the Village of Silence is where the missing shinobi are gathering and the drop in mission requests (it's implied they are undercutting he shinobi alliance). For some utterly stupid reason never explained, this information cannot be shared with the alliance, so the Leaf has to handle it alone, and cannot let any of their allies know.

    Why?

    No, really, why? That is so very, very dumb.

    Anyway, Sai and ten ANBU went to investigate and haven't bben heard from. A message from Sai comes in that the rest of the team are toast, and he's in big trouble and the leader of this village is world-threateningly bad news. So the only option is to send a three-man squad in to assassinate the dude. Kakashi can't go, becuse he's Hokage (aw), so Shikamaru says he'll go (Kakashi realises there ain't no point arguing) with two back-up ANBU. (Kakashi's surprised when Shika doesn't ask for Chouji and Ino, but Shika is adamant they have their own lives to live and it's too big a risk.)

    The two ANBU turn out to be Ro, a large gentleman whose speciality is Chakra signature suppression and enhancement, and Soku, who is, like, deadpan valley-girl and a fourteen-year-old progedy who ANBU grabbed righ out of the academy, because her special technique is FREAKING AWESOME!!!! She, like, shoots homing chakra lasers! That is SO FRELLING COOL! (Dear frag, I hope she survives the arc.) They can not only kill, but stun, and modifiy chakra flow, like a frakign ranged gentle fist or something! She and Shikamaru have a somewhat... Conflicting start (he';s a bit patronising and she's a teenager with only moderate respect for authority. You do NOT call her by her given name.)

    Shika cries off starting out until the morning, because it's time for his monthly grave-visit with dear ol' dad and sensei. He meets Kurenai, her lass and the babysitter (the kid adores Shika clearly).

    Shikamaru runs into Naruto on his way out, and Shika (Naruto's real best friend) tells him to, not, like, slack off, but quietly hopes Naruto never changes as he hops away.



    Dark Clouds

    Pre-credits, we see someone try to brainwash Sai. Excellent start...

    To get into the village, the trio need to pass a check point near an inn, whic is apparently the only way into the village of silence. (Really, you couldn't just... run up the walls or something...? 'Kay...)

    Soku wants to just straight-up murder all the sentries, but Shikamaru is of the opinion that the Gun Is Your Skill List is the wrong approach and thy will be going in under the disguise of coal salesman. With a wooden cart, because despite laptops and phones being a thing, apparently the internal combusion engine (of even non-wooden carts) is not.

    Soku spots and kills an enemy ninja, though, before he can report in; a second takes off and she sprints after him alone, angrily rebutting Shikamaru when he tells her to, like, not do that. Soku gets the dude, but in the process, breaks the cart.

    Plan B, information gathering at the inn.

    The barman is really rude, so Shika only gets somewhere by getting into a shogi game with a dude. He looks like he's about to get Soku to steal the dude's pass, but the merchant slags off how shinobi are tools and Shika has to stop Soku before she straight-up murders him. (She's ANBU how?!)

    They have a bit of a heated arguement about how that is a bad thing and she storms off - only for them to find the Silence ninja are checking all the papers (presumably having foudn their dead mate). A little lad, saying he hates the silence nnja, hides them in the cellar. Soku argues with Shika and grumbles about how she'd be freer in the land of silence (y'know, like a typical teenager), but Shikamaru comes down on her hard for that, pointing out how severe a crime that is. While they argue, the lad is spooked by a rat.

    Soku eventuially storms off again and vents angrily to the lad. He gives her a pep-talk, but as she goes back, she hears Shikamaru and Ro talking. Shikamaru is asking Ro whether he will be able to kill Soku as she's clearly a flight risk and the sneaking suspicion I've been having about this being a set-up is almost completely confirmed.

    Soku is ready to defect now, and the lad tells her how to get to the checkpoint without being seen. She does so and tries to defect. They put her to the test, and she deflty shoot one dude through the leg. But as the captain points out, their two dead mates showed the same injury. But, oh look, the lad from before vouches for her, as he's Secretly A Nnija.

    But, oh no, Shikamaru and Ro turn up. Shikamaru is furious now, out for blood, and the captain tells Soku to kill him to prove herself. Ro tries to stop Shikamaru from killing Soku, but Shikamaru turns on Ro and if anyone who actually knew Shikamaru was watching this, they'd be creasing themselves at how flawlessly the poor saps are being played. *gasp* Soku kills Shikamaru dead with her jutsu, and Ro thereafter, oh no, the guy checked Shika and found no chakra, he must be dead, oh I never thought Shikamaru would die likeahahahahahahahahahaha!

    Shika... Mate... This was just great.

    The lad, escorting Soku is like "and your guest quesrter will be here and-urk!" as she KOs him and goes to let the lads in.

    Outside, Shika and Ro utterly shockingly recover from being dead and are quiet smug at how stupid the bad guys are. (Seriously, they left the bodies in the middle of the road and no-one was on watch...) This was the plan from the start, Ro using his chakra powers to make a chakra burst in the cellar (the rat) - a civvie wouldn't have caught that, but laddo did, outing him as a ninja and thus allowing the plan to move even quicker. Ro says that it was a bit of a risk, because Soku has half-serious about her freedoms. but Shikamaru says "nah, it's all part of trust, dude. But don't tell her ui said that, it'll go to her head and she's standing right behind me, isn't she?"

    And THAT, ladies and gentleman, is how Soku is ANBU. Not only did she perform her part flawlessly, but the implication to me, at least, is she very likely USED that little part of her serious feelings on the matter (she really doesn't like the feudal lords) to make her cover more convincing, without any intention of ever acting on those feelings. I like her already.

    And in they go!



    Recklessness

    Soku hilariously gets herself "killed" by her own jutsu (sadly off-screen) during her initation, so she can slip out of the body bag and join Shika and Ro in the area. Shika is having nightmares (has been since just before they left the village) of Asuma's death and the Sasuke Retrieval mission, and Ro seems to be having the same. Soku returns with very little information on this dude, so they have no option but to sneak in the village directly.

    They spot a bloke who ro and Shikamaru recognise as ex-ANBU, who murdered all his unit and ran off. They corner him in an alley. To start with, he professes he doesn't know who they are, but he recongises Shika's Shadow technique and bircks himself. Shikamaru gets a little too intense with his interrogation, nearly snapping he chap's neck. But they get out that the shinoibi have had their eyes opened to this Gengo chap (mind-control...) and that they are revolutionaries who will depose the feudal lords and such. (By the accounts of the trader they spoke to, Gendo showed up a decade prior, and replaced the feudal lord, but just one tyranny with another.) The chap recognises Ro too, and grabs him (good job, team) and goes on about how he's a coward and stuff, before Soku (the only one with her head on straight at the moment) zaps him.

    Ro is very shaken, but explains eventually that he got his power as a genin, when on a mission, it went so badly he ended up hiding for day underneath the dead bodies of his comrades and suppressing his chakra, and he might be a teeny bit traumatised by it all.

    The trio off-screen knobble two more dudes to nick their clothes and infiltrate the revolutionaries, having learned Gengo is doing a speech later. (Some of them are working on what looks suspiciously like a gallows.) Shika finds a nice bell-tower for Soku to snipe from (AWESOME JUTSU) and then he and Ro join the crowd. Soku seems a little distracted, though, as she sees Gengo's point about the feudal lords. (I mean, I see his point about the feudal lords, they don't do frelling jack and squat...) But she is an ANBU, at the end of the day.

    Gengo comes out to all his little ninja dudes, and pulls the tarp of the construction they were making earlier and... Ah. Oh dear.

    It is Sai, tied to a crucifix (though they haven't tied or nailed his hands to the crossbar, mercifully). So, that changes plans a bit. Shika and Ro will need to set explosive tags as a distraction from the FREAKING LOADS OF NINJA, so Shika can rescue Sai before they KO Gengo. But as they are laying them and Gengo does his speech, Shikamaru starts having more and more waking nightmares and realises that Gengo has some sort of presumably area-effect genjutsu activated by his monologues. He has to slap Ro to break him out of it. Gengo is all "soon we shall rule the world! And let's kill this bloke (Sai) muahahaha!"

    The tags go off, Shikamaru leaps into save Sai... Who promptly grabs him. Oh dear. well, that wasn't entirely unexpected. I'll give Shika not thinking about that, since he was too busy fighting off nightmares. Sadly, Ro and Soku are grabbed very quickly, and outnumbered and Sai'd, Shikamaru is captured. Gengo doesn't have any intention of hurting them of course, why would he hurt his minions, especially one as valuable as Shikamaru Nara of the Leaf...

    Oh crumbs. as a wise hamster scholar oft noted.



    So, a great arc. Soku is cool, Ro is inoffensive and Shikamaru's plans are brlliant. (I'm honestly not sure whether Plan B actually started at the cart, or whether that whole thing was staged too...!) The checkpoint plan was fairly convincing, right up until the point Shikamaru was saying they needed to kill Soku, 'cos Shika would never say that - but of course dozy, anti-authoritarian stupid shinobi assue that anyone would...

    Assuming this sticks to this level in the last couple of episodes, this is a good way to close out as the penultimate arc.

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    So, as someone who hasn't watched the anime sin forever becuase I was sick of filler... When you say that Sai is tied to a crucifix, do you mean he's tied to a cross or do you mean he's tied to a depiction of the Crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth?

    The first is pretty standard fair. The second has vast implications for the setting.
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    Default Re: Naruto IX: [Epilogue Intensifies]

    Quote Originally Posted by Rater202 View Post
    So, as someone who hasn't watched the anime sin forever becuase I was sick of filler... When you say that Sai is tied to a crucifix, do you mean he's tied to a cross or do you mean he's tied to a depiction of the Crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth?

    The first is pretty standard fair. The second has vast implications for the setting.
    The former, it was late and my mind was slightly foggy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aotrs Commander View Post
    Outside, Shika and Ro utterly shockingly recover from being dead and are quiet smug at how stupid the bad guys are. (Seriously, they left the bodies in the middle of the road and no-one was on watch...)
    This is something that low-key bugs me throughout the series. The very first arc introduces a way to fake death. Shadow clones and other such nonsense exist. Super healing is a thing. We're also told that ninja corpses are incredbly valuable because people can do stuff with them - like stealing the eyes, stealing Hashirama's wood jutsu...etc etc. Heck, even Edo Tensei was known about by Orachimaru's first attack on Konoha, and IIRC it's implied the Third Hokage was aware of the technique even prior to that.

    With all that in mind...why isn't coup-de-gracing corpses a standard procedure? Why aren't ninja corpses cremated as a matter of course? In the fight against Kakuzu, Kakashi could have saved himself a lot of trouble if he'd followed up either of the times he "killed" Kakuzu with a Fireball. Or maybe just stabbing the corpse in the head would have done it. Especially the second time, since by then Kakashi KNEW that Kakuzu had multiple hearts.

    All I'm saying is, with all the trickery that goes on a bit of overkill MIGHT just be advisable.

    The one time it happens in the series that I can forgive is Sakura's first attempt to kill Sasori. After shattering him into a million pieces I would have expected him to be dead too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    This is something that low-key bugs me throughout the series. The very first arc introduces a way to fake death. Shadow clones and other such nonsense exist. Super healing is a thing. We're also told that ninja corpses are incredbly valuable because people can do stuff with them - like stealing the eyes, stealing Hashirama's wood jutsu...etc etc. Heck, even Edo Tensei was known about by Orachimaru's first attack on Konoha, and IIRC it's implied the Third Hokage was aware of the technique even prior to that.

    With all that in mind...why isn't coup-de-gracing corpses a standard procedure? Why aren't ninja corpses cremated as a matter of course? In the fight against Kakuzu, Kakashi could have saved himself a lot of trouble if he'd followed up either of the times he "killed" Kakuzu with a Fireball. Or maybe just stabbing the corpse in the head would have done it. Especially the second time, since by then Kakashi KNEW that Kakuzu had multiple hearts.

    All I'm saying is, with all the trickery that goes on a bit of overkill MIGHT just be advisable.

    The one time it happens in the series that I can forgive is Sakura's first attempt to kill Sasori. After shattering him into a million pieces I would have expected him to be dead too.
    You would think every ninja would have a body destruction seal on him as well once he reaches a certain rank. "If my heart stops beating for x seconds, I am instantly reduced to ash." If bodies are important, the last thing they need is for various bloodlines, evidence of training methods, or some super jutsu that extracts memories from removed brains, to get out if they pop their clogs. Danzo had the right idea with that self sealing technique. It goes off and might take your enemy with you as a final "you thought you won? haha eff you!" You know, maybe if they made it act faster and be less blatantly freaking OBVIOUS when he sets it off.
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    Default Re: Naruto IX: [Epilogue Intensifies]

    Quote Originally Posted by Traab View Post
    You would think every ninja would have a body destruction seal on him as well once he reaches a certain rank. "If my heart stops beating for x seconds, I am instantly reduced to ash." If bodies are important, the last thing they need is for various bloodlines, evidence of training methods, or some super jutsu that extracts memories from removed brains, to get out if they pop their clogs. Danzo had the right idea with that self sealing technique. It goes off and might take your enemy with you as a final "you thought you won? haha eff you!" You know, maybe if they made it act faster and be less blatantly freaking OBVIOUS when he sets it off.
    The counterargument is that these things require a certain type of "culture" in order to for individuals and groups of individuals to see it as necessary and beneficial.

    People who think it is beneficial think from the perspective of the group instead of the individual, and thus you will see resurgence of these beliefs during time of war, and especially people who lived during long wars, and were childlike during the start of the war.

    Aka their whole worldview was shifted and the shifted worldview become the new normal. Thus you will see more of this in people like Danzo, Madara, and Itachi.

    People who were "formed by war" with Itachi being one such a person but he disavowed his life experience for it was so poison, while Danzo and Madara were formed to expect this as the norm.



    While during times of peace the "culture" will be different. Yes the hypothetical of the clan loosing a bloodline limit, or a secret technique will always be present but do not put magic jutsu on me that allows a higher up to instantly kill me at their own discretion. Or an accident can happen and even though I am actually in safety the automatic cursed seal jutsu will activate and claim my life.

    ----

    Honestly if the goal is to preserve ninja techniques and to learn other villiages secrets, getting rid of the body with cursed seals would be a minor thing compared to real game theory of what would happen.

    Instead we would see more of a focus, more work about distrusting your neighbors countries and villages [to the point it becomes racist], hunting down runaway shinobi / missing-nin, and traitors.

    Literally a male ninja escaping their village as a teen or young adult with all their knowledge of the village is a double find with both their bloodline limit inside their body would be used as a breeding stock like we treat animals to sire a new combination of genes. Furthermore the male missing-nin would have all the internal secrets, cultural debriefing, etc that would be craved via a village.

    Likewise a female ninja who have bloodline limits would be captured as a child and also turn into a breeding experiment she may not have knowledge of her village but her bloodline limit itself would be useful. No agency would be allowed from this female kidnapped person for their entire life from puberty to their 40s would be to breed the next generation. They would not know what it is like to be a normal human they would instead be controlled and cultured much like how the villagers treat the jinchuriki.

    While female teen to young adult ninjas would be some in between state of these two extremes for while women can have kids they can only have 6 to 10 of them per decade so it is harder to bread humans like animals. These female missing ninja know what it is like to be human, they can also fight, but they would still be encouraged to be constantly breeding for the sake of their "NEW" villiage.

    This is what a "rational" un-ethical society would do where the thing you are optimizing for is not humanity, but instead trying to win a war, and morality is out the window. Total-War-Morals are in effect. Extreme tribalism morals are in effect, including the genocide of specific clans and culture for you are playing a total war game.

    In such a situation all of these behaviors are "rational" even though I would argue what is the point of living, what is the point of being alive when reality is literally hell in my opinion.

    [Sidenote starting off with these themes so vividly in the manga being explored would completely let out of the air of the villianness actions of Obito and Madara for we had already accepted "I'm in Hell" so understanding why villains were made by this world such as Pain, Madara, and Obito is to be expected not surprised.]

    ----

    I am so glad they did not went this route with Naruto for it would be a un-fun story, it would become nightmare fuel to a greater extent than literally a story about child soldiers and how 10 year olds could be leading an army platoon (Kakashi was a Jounin at 10.)

    Yes early Naruto talked a whole lot about protecting ones body to preserve the village secret techniques, but there is a reason that idea was lightly discarded / became less of a focus for it was too intense for serious exploration if the manga / anime went that route. Yes other animes / mangas would have explored this further but then it would be less a shonen and instead become more of a darker anime. Remember Naruto targeted audience is probably around 12 year olds aka aged up Star Wars fans, and it was not trying to target 17+. Have a PG-13 rating you can easily recommend to younger teens, and not a harder PG-13 rating or a rated R rating as the target demographic.
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    Default Re: Naruto IX: [Epilogue Intensifies]

    yeah that kind of child soldier darkness is more the naruto dark fic wheelhouse. the good ones anyways, and even then they're kind of hard grueling reads. trust me you don't want naruto-annoying as he is- turned into a sasuke-like killing machine thats dead inside going around steamrolling the ninja nations with his kyuubi powers and tons of clones like those fics do. its simply not worth it. Every time I come across those fics they don't make me feel anything that just make me feel hollow because none of it matters. you need the heart and humanity of Naruto for it to be a good story, or your just reading one toy soldier killing other toy soldiers while following orders.
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    Default Re: Naruto IX: [Epilogue Intensifies]

    I do personally wish the series kept the same general feel and theme of the Zabuza Arc. You can still have an upward, positive emotional trend with that sort of story.

    Because let's be real here. Naruto's universe is pretty ****ing dark. Even after it's sort of given up on those strong early themes, it still kinda has them show up some time. Sasori is killed by the first real loving experience he's ever had. Asuma's death, leaving his future child fatherless and that being considered normal. Hell, Boruto making a very clear and shockingly good case for "children who have been severely damaged by the world calling their abuse teaching are going to be severely flawed parents".

    The Ninja World is super ****ing dark, and if they'd kept that through-line and had it end somewhere hopeful where Naruto breaks this cycle of endless destruction while also proving you don't need to be some super duper special awesome guy, it would have been really amazing.

    But instead we get the son of the alien moon mom telling our hero he's the reincarnation of the world's strongest and best most cool badass ever, with his own unique bloodline traits and super cool power moves he just gets to have for being so special.

    Blegh.


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    Quote Originally Posted by LaZodiac View Post
    I do personally wish the series kept the same general feel and theme of the Zabuza Arc. You can still have an upward, positive emotional trend with that sort of story.

    Because let's be real here. Naruto's universe is pretty ****ing dark. Even after it's sort of given up on those strong early themes, it still kinda has them show up some time. Sasori is killed by the first real loving experience he's ever had. Asuma's death, leaving his future child fatherless and that being considered normal. Hell, Boruto making a very clear and shockingly good case for "children who have been severely damaged by the world calling their abuse teaching are going to be severely flawed parents".

    The Ninja World is super ****ing dark, and if they'd kept that through-line and had it end somewhere hopeful where Naruto breaks this cycle of endless destruction while also proving you don't need to be some super duper special awesome guy, it would have been really amazing.

    But instead we get the son of the alien moon mom telling our hero he's the reincarnation of the world's strongest and best most cool badass ever, with his own unique bloodline traits and super cool power moves he just gets to have for being so special.

    Blegh.
    That was my outlook. The wave arc brought into stark reality that the ninja world isnt all flashy jutsus and cool sword fights, there was plenty of darkness there, including the bloody mist graduation exam where its treated as no big deal by mist, and considered brutal by leaf but not the sort of human right violation hearing thats how x nation kids graduate from high school would be in the real world. It gave us an actual darkness for naruto to fight against. Instead its all the fault of zetsu manipulating everything behind the scenes to create the world they live in and make it possible to bring big momma back. I DO agree that we had no need to go full grimdark, or even heavy grimdark, Grim would have been enough because its serious business once you get past the kiddie games of genin and academy students and the idea of naruto seeing this world for the dark place it is and continuing to fight to make it better was a part of what got me hooked on the series originally. Wave was a MASSIVE arc of character growth for naruto. His first taste of true combat and freezing, coming up with the plan to save kakashi, learning how bloody the world really is, and how ninja are looked upon as tools and rejecting it. Saying he will find a better way, oh, and lets not forget the origin of "protecting his precious people"
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    Default Re: Naruto IX: [Epilogue Intensifies]

    Yes Traab I think we all agree that the Land of Waves arc did that to Naruto.

    But the point I am making (I am not sure if others are making it.) Is that if you continued that level of grimdark throughout the series and overlaid that level of grimdark onto the rest of the first 1/3rd of Naruto (aka the pre-shippuden era) and you would get a different product entirely. The Chunin exams may be darker than a typical shonen but it is not as dark as the grimdark of the Land of Waves and if they made the Chunin exams the same level of darkness than the whole manga and anime would be a different story even if the actual events are the same.

    It literally changes the style, genre, and the response community of the manga who is reading it. Our "expectations" of what is possible in this darker more grimdark naruto would be different if the Chunin exams was as dark as the Land of Waves. Would we readers of the manga expect any surprise from Naruto and Shikamaru when Gaara just lashes out and kills people during the Chunin exam finals? I would argue the answer is no for we had 2 years and over 100 manga chapters establishing the idea of Grimdark instead of an individual event that was less than 33 chapters of the manga.

    Naruto the manga has a 13 year old protagonist [much like Kitty Pryde in the 1980s X-Men comics] the world out there seems crazy and cut-throat but ones own team, ones own village seems to operate on rules of comradery, caring, and trust. When in reality one's own village is just as absurdly created by its place in the world and it also perpetuates the absurd world continuously. Birthing an absurd world and simultaneously being molded by this absurd world in turn (thus creating a negative cycle, a feedback loop, a world locked in purgatory / hell.)

    Naruto the story needed the concept of hope, innocence, the world can get better, etc in the protagonist main character, a 13 year old boy. If it did not have this expectation then the later installment of Jiraiya's insanity, the Tale of the Gutsy Ninja, would feel out of place in this story. It would not have gelled with the story. If everything is grimdark and without hope where Naruto is Sasuke-Lite it just would not have made sense.

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    Remember the story of Naruto is the inversion of the story of the MCU's Dr. Strange. Orochimaru like Dr. Strange experienced loss and the MCU movie is about said character forgiving the world and rebuilding it instead of being angry at the world and hating it out of spite. The world stole Dr. Strange's hands and he can't handle it so the first half of the movie is him punishing himself and punishing others until he is ready to move on. This is the lesson Orochimaru refused to learn until the end of the 4th Ninja War and the day that just would not end. Dr. Strange the MCU movie is showing what would have happened to Orochimaru if he picked a different path.

    Likewise the story of Sasuke is the same as the story of Orochimaru and thus Dr. Strange. He too repeated the path of hatred, while simultaneously trying to break the cycle who created him. Sasuke after learning about the dialectical truth and how it was Itachi who felt imprisoned by the world and wanted to give Sasuke a chance to escape this cycle of hatred (and Itachi is a bad older brother / parental figure for he never knew what it was like to help Sasuke grow in a healthy matter) repeats the cycle of hatred while simultaneously trying to escape it.

    Naruto, the tale of the Gutsy Ninja, is about having faith and hope even when there is no reason to have this expectation, to continuously strive for a better world even though you have little past history that such a world is possible and thus it looks like an absurd No Place, a fictional ideal like a Utopia even though we from the outside the text knows such a world is possible that peace can occur.

    Make the story too grimdark and it changes the audience relationship with Jiraiya, and it changes the audience's relationship with Naruto, and thus by addition it also changes the relationship Jiraiya has with Naruto. The style of the story would be fundamentally shifted instead of changed at the margins.
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    Default Re: Naruto IX: [Epilogue Intensifies]

    The thing is though that wave wasnt truly grimdark because while it established that mist did some horrible things to train its ninja, it also established that leaf didnt. The idea that dead bodies are valuable for the information they might contain was grim, but it was hardly grimdark endless despair and shadow terror. It was just the knowledge that in the background, somebody is coming for those bodies being left behind to either see what can be learned (as an example, orochimarus sound 5) or prevent other villages from learning about them. It makes logical sense as it was explained and wasnt edgy dark and hopeless. While learning that fact was a bit shocking to the genin it wasnt soul shattering knowledge because why would it be? There are degrees between Guts and MLP setting wise. You dont have to go all the way into endless misery and horror as you seem to be jumping to the conclusion of.
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    Default Re: Naruto IX: [Epilogue Intensifies]

    Bleakbane Catches Up With Naruto

    Cloud of Suspicion

    Shikamaru is, as they say, kinda screwed. He's stubbornly refusing to give in to Gengo, but he also can't get through to DSai, and Gengo is meanwhile brainwashing the others.

    Gengo eventually makes the mstake of taking Shika out of his cell. He tried on his blather, about how his land should have a Tailed Beast and when refused, goes on about how Peace is Bad, and War is the onyl way for shinobi, the usual guff.

    He takes Shikamru to his magic plant lair, and Shika quickly figures that it's the plants that are giving him his mind-control powers (or, at least triggering them). Gengo gets awfully close to having his head removed, but with Ro and Soku as his guards, Shika flees.

    He finds a point to rest, and determined he can't leave, he has to go back and deal with this dude.

    And then he does The Thinking Pose.

    ♫Some-body's gonna get screw-ed!♫

    He goes to confront Gengo, who has made the bizzare conclusion that Shikamaru won't leave without his lighter. Apparently all the information he's gathered on Shika missed all of the actual basics of who he is, clearly, the dumbass.

    Anyway, Shikamaru manages to sucker Soku into damaging his ears with her stun-blasts, so Gengo's voice doesn't work in him, and Gengo gets within a few feet of having the head cut off, but sadly Sai intervenes, and four to one - okay three-to-one, Gengo does a runner through the curtain behind his throne - Shika is just out-matched and is soon down from a shot from Soku. (His memory of his dad then deals the low blow and points out, once again, He Got Beat Up By A Girl. *snerk*)

    And the the wall explodes! (And conks the trio for six for a moment.)

    Chouji and Ino, here to save the day!

    And lead by a REAL peeved Temari, who got the truth out of Kakashi and she's NOT happy with Shika lying to her. She slaps him again (hahahaha!) and that seems to clear his head a bit. The three of them will deal with the brainwashed ninja, while Shika, despite his poor state, is going after Gengo. Temari chucks him one of Asuma's trench-knives, and Shikamaru uses it to frelling cut Gengo's throne in half on his way passed!

    Ahaha, there's an arse-kicking coming up...!



    Dawn

    Shika chases down Gengo, while Temari square off against Sai, Soku and Ro.

    We have a lovely little flashback to Temari talking to Gaara, explaining she thinks he's hiding something. Gaara says he agrees, Shikamaru doesn't act like that unless it's something big and tells Temari go get on with, whith whoever she needs (aww). Temari is like "but he's Leaf," and Gaara's like "so? Also, you can get it out of Kakashi, just use the upmost subtlety."

    *cut to Kakashi's office, where he's talkiing to Ino and Chouji*

    *Temari smashes the door in*

    Ahahahahahahaha!

    Sai is being uncharacteristically, arrogantly confident, so Temari says she'll make him cry. Ino, perhap sensing the inticipant loss of one of her friends, says she'll take Sai. Chouji says he'll deal with Ro, leaving poor Soku to deal with Temari.

    Sai is abruptly taken back when Ino just leaps at him and gives him a punch that shows she's learned quite a bit from Sakura. But she's still a little overmatched.

    Ro is like "hah, little brat. Ohcrap, that's very big brat." Chouji punches him through the wall. Bless his cotten socks, he is so worried about having accidently killed Ro(being unaware that Ro is just hiding his chakra, he lets Ro get the drop on him. Ro says that even now, Shikamaru will by bowing to Gengo, and that riles Chouji's goat so much he breaks the choke hld, chucks Ro into the wall and literally punches the genjutsu out of him! Ahahahahahahahahaha, NICE one, Chouji!

    Ino, meanwhile, is struggling a tiny bit against Sai, with all his minions. Sai keeps mocking her, buit she says she's not about to give up on a precious friend. "Shikamaru is doomed muahaha," says Sai.

    "No," says Ino, "I mean you!"

    That actually stuns Sai to the point of tears, and allows Ino to mind-transfer.

    Poor Soku gets Temari'd, and HER genjutsu gets BLOWN out of her by Wind Scythe. Soku, duck, sorry, you may be a very talented ANBU, but fricking TEMARI.

    So that just leaves Sai. Ino just floats right up to him in the mindscape and effortlessly talk no jutsus him.

    (I do NOT get why people say Ino is a bad ninja! She's fracking AWESOME and totally broken, just in ways that are not brute force.)

    Sai, coming around, is really worried about Shika, because he musn't turn around! That's how Gengo gets you. For some reason.

    Shika, meanwhle has chased Gengo into a sealed room in the dark, covered in bones. With no light and smell overwhelmed, it mean hearing naturally becomes the dominant sense, so Gengo has now the advantage.

    Gengo is all "soon the world shall be as I decree!" and rambles on about he was a student of Zabuza, but Zabuza changed and became slightly less psychotic or something, so Gengo sold him out. Well, if his idea of a perfect world is based on Bloody Mist, it perhaps explains why he's such a nut-case.

    He says he has minions in every village, ready to strike at unsuspecting targets - like say Kurenai's daughter. Shika wavers, but snarls he's doing all this so Naruto can become hokage.

    In his mind, he sees Naruto standing in the light. Naruto turns to him, and smiles, presumabkly about to impart a talk no jutsu and words of wise wisdom.

    "Ramen!" *poof*

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    That's just... So perfect!

    Shikamaru turns around, and sees his younger self, still beating himself up about the Sasuke Retrival Arc. Older Shika tells younger Shika not to sweat it, and not to take it all on himself.

    Gengo is like "you broke my jutsu!" Because apparently he's like Spock's brother from Star Trek V and Shika just Kirk'd him.

    Then the wall explodes, because Gengo is alone with the dead bodies of his comrades, and Shika has five mates behind him.

    Shikamaru calls Ro and Soku to help him finish the job (Ino is like "let's help!" and Temari is like "nah, they got this.")

    They do, as Ro blows holes in the ceiling to let light in, Shika uses a load of regular clones to get close enough (and behind) to Shadow Paralysis Gengo (who summoned hisself a big-ass sword, for all the good it did him). Gengo is like "you fool, you will destroy the world of ninja!" And Shikmaru is like "if that allows a lazy guy to not have to do anything, then I'm okay with that!"

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

    Oh Lichemaster, that's SUCH a Shikamaru thing to say, it's perfect!

    Some people fight for love. Some fight for duty. Some fight because it's the right thing to do. Shaikamaru is probably the only person in the multiverse who fights for laziness.

    While the guy splutters in disbelief, right in the middle of his rant, Soku shoots him in the tongue and cuts his chakra off! Ahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Perfect!



    So all's well that ends well. Soku and Ro decline to go back with the other ANBU, since, hey, orders said they were a team until back in the Leaf, so they'll stick with Shika.

    Shika wanders up to Temari and starts out saying she should maybe not slap people so hard next time, and she's like "I'll fricking slap you as hard as I want," and he's like "I'm counting on it!" *snerk*

    Ino, watching from atop the gate tower with Chouji, fumes about how impossible awkward Shikamaru is about asking Temari on a date is, only to be blindsided by Sai, who was apparently deeply touched by her Doing the Saving that he wants to take her on a date. (Fair. Sai being who he is, and the fact he was exposed to her genuine feelings, I can see how that would work out. (The hug she gave him probably helped too...) I did wonder how all that started, and this is actually way better than I might have imagined.)

    Then the hilarity of Shikamaru stumblingly asking Temari on a date, with the reply that yes, but he'd better be prepated, as a date with her could be a real drag (pfftahahaha!), as she walks off.

    Ro and Soku immediately jump in, asking Shikamaruabout his plans. It's utterly delightful to see Shika's quiet, overwhelmed horror at what he's gotten himself into, while the two ANBU (one of whom, remember is a fourteen-year-old girl) giving him dating advice like it was preparation for a military campaign.

    Shikamaru espouses that this sounds more difficult than taking down Gengo.



    Well, that was a FANTASTIC arc. It was to the point, showed Shika being clever, Soku was great and Ro was pretty good and it's a really nice character piece for Shika. Everyone got a chance to be awesome. If I have but one complaint was that Temari was not in it as much, but she stole the show in every scene she was in. She has really come into her own as an adult, I must say.



    Onwards then, to the final arc!

    Naruto's Wedding

    Konohonaru is trying to record a congratulatoty message from all of Naruto's friends. This goes about as well as expected. (And poor Shino doesn't get asked again...)

    Iruka completely fluffs it, and asks to have a think about it. At the school he deals with some trobule makers (after Naruto, they are just... small) and then is told that he is being offered a promotion to vice-principle of the academy.

    Meanwhile, Kakashi has the really difficult task of trying to work out how the frack to get all his best jonin the day off for Naruto's wedding. Shizune (hey, it's been a while!) finds a scroll that says you're supposed to have it graded by present quality. Kakashi says if he follow this rule (it must have been made by Tobirama, it sounds like is level of asshatetery, unless Madara sneaked it in on the sly) he'll be the worst hokage ever.

    (I mean, don't they have like, hundreds of shinobi? Or did they lose THAT many they can't afford a handful to not be on mission duty for one day? Really?)

    Ebisu meets Iruka and Kono at Ichiraku's, and the topic of promotion comes up, which of course makes Ebisu insanely jealous. As the discussion abotu whether Iruka is going to take it up, Kakashi (who's been st ther quietly) says he think it might be difficult, and then sods off.

    Ebisu, in a fit of jealous, thinks this clearly means Iruka can't do it, which of course causes Iruka to double-down on it and go on a Teacher rampage. The three trobule makers don't like it (one in particular) to be told that they are nothing comnpared to Naruto (and they are), and eventually, one of them tries to steal the sealing scroll like Naruto did.

    Iruka catches him on top of the kage mountain and says he's sorry he kept comparing him to Naruto and failed him as a teacher and all sorts of stuff the little poo-stain really hasn't shown he deserves, as he frankly comes across as an attention-whore without any of Naruto's redeeming features. This is apparently all sorted now, but to prove the point, the child managed to not EVEN steal the real scroll, but one with Itcha Itcha inscribed instead, because Kakashi isn't dumb. (Proof in point? After this episode? dude is never heard from again. You, my friend, will never be the next Naruto.)

    As Iruka gawps at Kakashi showing basic commen sense, Kakashi explains to Iruka that actually, he just meant the exam is sheduled for the same day as Naruto's wedding, but that he can have them do it another day; but Iruka turns it down, saying he's not been looking out for his student, by comparing them to Naruto.

    This appears to Give Kakashi An Idea, and we cut to him explaining the mission to like a hundred or something of the shinobi (all of them left...?) that they have a secret mission to get Naruto and Hinata a present and that they'll be graded on it.

    Iruka is baffled, but Kakashi is smugly, like "I'm going to be the worst hokage for this and it's all thanks to you!" Because he clearly has some sort of plan and he's going to make himself so unpopular that he can give Naruto the hat as a wedding present isn't he.

    Bonus points for this episode's Random Orochimaru cameos, which serve no other purpose than complete hilarity, as we have Kono, for some UNFATHOMABLE reason getting him to film a message (with Yamato doing frantic "HELL NO!" gestures in the background) and then just randomly walking past Ichiraku and making snide comments.



    Next time! One last episode of Rock Lee's Springtime of Youth interjects into the series, as with long-suffering Tenten along for the ride, Lee and Guy combine all their wits and cunning (in total just enough to maybe challenge Dave Lister) to come up with a suitable present! (But with the deepest Sad of there being no Neji-in-a-dress. The world is truely a darker place without you, Neji.)



    I would just also like to say at this juncture, I give Kishimoto a lot of flack, but DAMN, I can only salute his character design. I am really impressed with the way he's managed to roll the characters through from chibi to adult with a fair bit of subtly. It's the faces, in particular, that impress me - costume and hair changes are one thing and fairly easy signposts - but the way he's just subtly changed the faces is another. Doing it once was one thing, but him managing to do it again for the blank period is impressive again. I'm not even sure exactly what it is, but I can only tip my helmet to it.
    Last edited by Aotrs Commander; 2020-01-17 at 09:43 PM.

  28. - Top - End - #1048
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    Default Re: Naruto IX: [Epilogue Intensifies]

    Quote Originally Posted by Aotrs Commander View Post
    (I do NOT get why people say Ino is a bad ninja! She's fracking AWESOME and totally broken, just in ways that are not brute force.)
    I don't either, there are fanfics where she gets good spotlight because of what the authors figure out what they can do with Yamanaka mind jutsu. like there are some time travel fics where the yamanaka are pretty much vital to making sure everyone doesn't kill each other in paranoia. there are fics where Ino basically plays psychologist to the ninja she befriends, and often she breaks away from being a sasuke fan girl much earlier because she has actual defining qualities outside of being one, unlike Sakura. and there is a lot of potential for their jutsu in general, particularly in a world of spies, information and deception. like the Yamanaka are one of those powers that when used smart can become something terrifying without needing a lot of brute strength because they just need to find the right information to end you and tell the right person what to do with it.

    like if she wasn't a sasuke fan girl at all and was on Team 7, she'd probably just straight up be a better character for the position. and while Naruto/Hinata is still my favorite pairing? every time I see Ino/Naruto its always good, and I can totally see it. like Naruto/Ino is like a good second best pairing, because its just the right balance of caring and strong-willedness on both sides to make it work. Ino is awesome, she is just underappreciated and underused for the story she lives in because when put her in a story where information and such become important, she suddenly becomes real important and good.
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  29. - Top - End - #1049
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    Default Re: Naruto IX: [Epilogue Intensifies]

    I think its primarily because she doesnt get a lot of face time in the series, and most of that time is idiot fan girl time. She is a character with a lot of potential and the same goes for her jutsu. But additionally part of the problem is, she is always treated as an appendage to the ino shika cho team. There to do her part as a capture specialist but not seen as much of a stand alone ninja. Both shika and choji got to strut their stuff at various times including stuff like the sasuke retrieval arc. Meanwhile inos best crowning moment of awesome was a slap fight with fellow fangirl sakura at the chunin exams which led to a double knockout. There was a LOT of bad stuff to overcome is what im saying. Oh wait, even better, the 4th war, her main job was communications, when everyone else was showing off their special awesome combat skills against the juubi and its claymation minions, shika gets to be a shadow warrior using giant choji as a yoyo but ino? She kinda... linked them together or something? It was odd. And less than impressive. The fanfics you mention are people literally MAKING THINGS UP SO INO DOESNT SUCK. Seriously, aside from the epilogue arc here, has she really ever done much impressive personally?
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  30. - Top - End - #1050
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    Default Re: Naruto IX: [Epilogue Intensifies]

    and I like them doing that Traab. anything is preferable to someone sucking. like, I don't see why I wouldn't make stuff up to make a character not suck, unless the character was an intentional hate sink so.....*shrug*
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