For any of our great followers who do not read manga, especially Shonen Jump, I would honestly advise you to stop reading now and wait for one of our normal posts within the next twenty four hours. For anyone else, follower or not, that has an interest in Naruto, Bleach, and/or One Piece, and is currently up to date on the Japanese releases of those mangas, you might want to keep reading.
I had to write about this as I just finished a few pages from this week’s Japanese release of Weekly Shonen Jump (I’m still waiting for Toriko to be scanned and eventually translated). And with that, I am going to start with the biggest news; this was one of the most obvious/anti-climatic missed opportunities in the history of manga. You have a character, Tobi, who is arguably the largest antagonist in one of the largest and most popular series in history. For years, or what has felt like years, Kishimoto has been stringing us behind the identity of this masked villain who has always behaved differently from your typical main bad-guy. Now, as soon as his name was revealed to be Tobi, all of us super-fans immediately tried to figure out the importance of his name, and with the release of the Kakashi Gaiden arc, no one’s name showed more promise than Uchiha Obito. OBITO. TOBI. It might not be a perfect match, but it’s close enough when you have these types of reveals happen all the time, i.e. A Song of Ice and Fire (I won’t say who or when).
Now, as the series developed it seemed far too obvious that it was Obito to a point that everyone figured Kishimoto would never let the fans easily figure out who it was. Some other clues, the Sharingan was the opposite of Kakashi’s, the ability to know and use Uchiha abilities, and the motive. Sure, Obito wasn’t evil, he wasn’t overly ambitious, but he was mysterious. The Kakashi gaiden arc was short and fans could make up their own opinions about Obito. Although it might have seemed like he was jealous of Kakashi because of Rin’s feelings for him, he asked Rin to transplate his eye into Kakashi. Was Obito plotting some project to take over the world as a small child? I don’t think so but Kishimoto might prove me wrong in the upcoming weeks. There was no way Obito could have expected to survive the cave in that crushed half his body when he was really only capable of using basic Sharingan techniques and fire-based jutsu. We saw him die, or at least we thought we did. Somehow, perhaps with the help of a random Orochimaru or someone else that could corrupt his mind and use his body as a surviving member of the Uchiha clan, as they would later be slaughtered, helped him get to where he is now.
As the flashbacks in this week’s issue show, it seems Obito was a weaker willed Naruto that had a bad break with the cave-in. Team Minato mirrored Team 7, and Obito mirrored Naruto with the exception of that hidden fire and will to overcome everything and be confident even if the abilities aren’t there. Surely, the impact of the Third Shinobi World War, led Obito who was crushed (mentally and physically) to develop Project Tsuki no me, in order to create a peaceful world void of the ability to truly live and be yourself in order to preserve life. Having witnessed and suffered from such a horrible event at a young age could have that sort of impact, and it seems his feelings for Kakashi have somewhat changed judging by the anger he has shown him recently. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not taking Obito’s side. He has obviously been corrupted and like many others before him, has created an evil plan no matter how he justifies it. I’m just curious how a weak genin could become so powerful, before having acquired the Rinnegan. Shame on Kishimoto to let us all be right and make it the obvious choice, although it leaves for many questions to be answered and will end up being better than making it a no name character from the war that witnessed the Kannabi Bridge destruction and picked Obito’s eye off of him after he was crushed. I personally cannot wait to see how he survived and if Rin, a medical ninja, had anything to do with it since she went missing after the war… Heck, maybe he’s just pissed Kakashi didn’t take care of Rin, which was his dying wish and now he has come back to wreak havoc for the girl he completely was in love with…
For a quick note, One Piece was more or less a filler. The most exciting event was Vergo’s confidence in his ability to crush the Mugiwara crew, Law, Smoker, the Samurai, etc… good luck to him….
And Bleach continues to be getting back to being amazing, despite Kenpachi getting destroyed in a fight we didn’t get to see…. no surprise there.
Captain Commander is pissed off and the troops are getting amped up so let’s see what happens in this huge clash of the titans. Hopefully, it won’t be like Yamamoto v Aizen.
Leave comments if you want to discuss anything in these issues or series. I’d be more than happy to do so.
P.S. I want to know how Tobi grew up so quickly…