When the Naruto Manga was Good!
I just wanted to talk about how much I love the character development that happened during Kage Summit Arc and ending with Team 7’s emotional reunion after Sasuke killed Danzo. So much happens! I’d post the manga pages but then I’ll just end up posting the whole chapters.
So if you don’t remember this arc much, go reread it, its good. This is just my thoughts on everything.
Naruto’s Character Development
When Naruto hears from Obito the truth about Itachi, he gets pissed off and thinks Obito is just manipulating Sasuke! Of course, Naruto’s assumption is wrong. Despite the fact that Naruto doesn’t know whether or not what Obito said was true, he still comes to understand why learning the truth about Itachi would cause Sasuke to want revenge against Konoha. “I understand.”
When his friends misunderstand why Sasuke joined Akatsuki, he immediately wants to tell all of them THE TRUTH ABOUT ITACHI! Kakashi silences him, but ONLY because they don’t trust Obito and he think he could be lying.
This is so important.
It means that it was CANON CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT for Naruto to want everyone to know the truth about Itachi so that they could understand Sasuke! And it also means its CANON that Kakashi was OK with the truth being known as long as they had evidence to back up Obito’s words. Which is perfectly reasonable to want to confirm the truth.
To be fair, Naruto is still being obsessed over Sasuke. He isn’t thinking about telling his friends the truth for the sake of justice for Uchiha. No, his concern is solely about Sasuke. It’s understandable why Naruto is only thinking about Sasuke, the whole world wants him dead!
What will Naruto do? Sasuke is an international criminal, akatsuki, attempted murder. Sai reminds him Konoha wants Sasuke dead and all of his friends are ready to kill Sasuke. Sakura tells him to give up on Sasuke. And Gaara challenges him, what could you possibly do for Sasuke?
It’s all too much, his world falls apart and he falls to the floor unable to breathe.
What will Naruto do? Naruto doesn’t know himself. He has no idea what he can do for Sasuke.
But, he knows that if he continues on this path he’ll never reach Sasuke! As Naruto was resting from his panic attack, Yamato tells him he’s been ordered back to the village. Naruto disobeys! He sneaks out without Yamato noticing and races towards Sasuke.
This is one of my favorite Naruto moments that many people don’t talk about. When it comes to Sasuke, Naruto will follow his own path, not Konoha’s wishes.
As he races towards Sasuke, Naruto still doesn’t have an answer. But he’s confident he’ll have his answer if he sees Sasuke again! Naruto finally has his answer only after clashing fists with Sasuke. “I’ll die with you.”
After Naruto gives Sasuke his answer he’s relieved. He’s believes its fate that he and Sasuke will fight. And he believes with certainty that if they fight, they will both die. Therefore Naruto believes that very soon, he will have this final battle with Sasuke and die with him.
And Naruto is relieved. Think about that.
But why is Naruto so convinced that he and Sasuke will die? I thought they were friends! It’s not like Sasuke is so evil that he would actually kill Naruto right? Hah.
Sasuke’s Character Development
It’s understandable how pissed off the fandom is when it comes to a happy ending for Sasuke. He doesn’t get any real justice for the Uchiha. Because of this, a lot of fans just want Sasuke to stay in avenger mode.
But the fandom is forgetting something BIG. Sasuke didn’t stay a pure noble avenger. Once upon a time, Sasuke ONLY wanted to kill the Konoha elders. But in this arc, Sasuke has fallen into true darkness - He wants to slaughter EVERYONE in Konoha.
His murderous intent to kill EVERYONE is canon. And had his character done so, he would have been unforgivable.
Taka suffers the worst of Sasuke’s descent into hate. During his battle with the Kages, his chakra becomes so cold and hateful Karin was disturbed. He then demolishes the area and abandons Suigetsu and Juugo without so much as checking on them after he caused mass area damage. He “saved” Karin, but only to demand where Danzo is.
Karin was captured by Danzo and Sasuke pierces through her chest. But it’s how Sasuke reacts after piercing Karin that shows just how far into darkness he is. He smiles, and happily says ‘I got one niisan’.
When Danzo and Karin fall to the floor lifeless, Sasuke smirks again.
There are no tears, there’s no remorse. This isn’t an anti sasukarin post. I’m just saying, he was cruel, heartless, hateful, kinda evil.
Obito tells Sasuke to kill Karin, she’s useless. Sasuke readies chidori and stands over Karin’s dying form. Karin would have died, had Sakura not shown up and distracted him. Sasuke would then attempt to murder Sakura twice. (But you can argue that was self defense.)
When Naruto shows up Sasuke professes twice he will kill everyone in Konoha. He was no longer a pure hearted boy who just wanted justice for his clan. Sasuke was “lost”.
Naruto and Sasuke
The development between these two reach epic heights despite not having an epic battle. Naruto tries to talk no jutsu Sasuke. It’s not working, Sasuke’s like “shut the fuck up”. But then, they exchange fists!! The boys once again enter that psychic realm, and Sasuke can’t help but see what’s in Naruto’s heart. “I’m so happy I met you!”
After their psychic communication, Naruto has renewed confidence and the answer he was looking for. Of course Naruto has to protect Konoha from Sasuke, who professed he will kill everyone. But Naruto gives Sasuke his answer. “I alone will bear your hatred and die with you” You’ve heard it a thousand times, but there’s a real journey that Naruto goes through to come to that answer. (several chapters)
Naruto did influence and change Sasuke. If only a little bit. Afterwards, Sasuke stopped running around saying he’s going to murder everyone. Instead, he aims to kill Naruto first. So whether or not he admits it, he accepted Naruto’s answer.
Sakura’s Character Development
Sakura also has unforgettable development here with regards to both Naruto and Sasuke. Um, she tries to manipulate them both lol. Sakura gives Naruto a false love confession to manipulate him to give up on Sasuke. This was her way of saving Naruto.
This scene in all honesty killed Narusaku for me, Naruto was disgusted and pissed off by her lies. (No man wants a manipulative woman) But more importantly, what this scene did show was that Sakura valued Naruto’s safety OVER Sasuke. So it’s a still a meaningful Narusaku moment.
Hey, you know what, this arc also destroyed s*s for me. Sakura no longer desired Sasuke in any romantic way. Canon.
Sakura “saved” Karin and tells Sasuke that she’ll run away from Konoha and do as he says. This was a great throwback to genin Sakura. But unlike genin Sakura, this Sakura is lying. Her only intention in this scene was to kill Sasuke that she perceived to be unsavable.
I consider this one of the most important Sakura scenes because it was showing how much she’s grown since a genin. Yeah her attempt to kill Sasuke was a total flop. But at least she resolved to kill him as is expected of a shinobi.
Sakura cries over Karin. Not because she was moved that this woman was almost dead. But because it hurt her so much to see Sasuke become someone who would kill so cold heartedly. He did after all ask her to kill the helpless Karin.
But after Naruto gives Sasuke his answer Sakura has renewed hope that maybe there is an alternative. True to her character, Sakura has faith that these two boys will figure it out. And she hopes one day for a happy Team 7.
Not s*s, but a happy team 7.
Karin also has some great development. She gives up on Sasuke too (for awhile). You know what, good on her. Sasuke almost murdered her, and then again almost murdered her when she was completely defenseless and not even a threat in any stretch of the imagination.
She was saved by Sakura, she meets Naruto and finds his chakra warm. She was hilarious in Konoha. It was great to finally see a member of Taka interact with team 7 in some fashion.
Anyways, I just felt like blabbing. You take all this character development and there’s just a strong expectation of where the story will go next. And I consider THAT story more canon than anything in Boruto.