Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Naruto - Chapter 623: A View

Synopsis: Hashirama and Madara continue to spend time together, as Hashirama realizes that another kid besides him wants to change the chaotic world around them - instead of a surprise however, he considers this a divine revelation. They don't agree on everything however, as Madara calls Hashirama's hairstyle and clothing lame.

The two boys continue to meet up often, never revealing their surnames, but they did show their shinobi techniques to each other, and talked about the future. The two boys come out even in their spars, and sit down to discuss how they can even change the world if they want to. Madara says that first you must become strong while keeping your ideals, or nobody will listen, which Hashirama agrees with. Madara says that you must overcome your weaknesses and master even jutsu you're not good at, and claims he's already better than the adults in that regard. He then takes a leak in the river, but can't manage it properly with Hashirama standing behind him, who teases him about it. Madara threatens to throw him into the water where he peed, and Hashirama reflects that the more they met, the closer they became.

One day, Hashirama says he came up with an amazing jutsu that they should master together - the 'Secret Taijutsu: Super Katon Genjutsu Cutting Big Shuriken Double Drop Technique', which Madara says he can't understand. Hashirama starts to explain it better, but Madara brushes him off and says that they'll have a vertical wall climbing challenge instead. Hashirama is depressed and Madara scolds him, but Hashirama dashes up the wall, revealing he was faking it. Due to his head start, Hashirama wins the challenge. Hashirama notes that they can see the entire forest from the top of the mountain, and Madara says he's confident that he can beat him in sight and challenges Hashirama. Hashirama says he seems to be really proud of his eyes, and Madara almost slips up, saying 'Of course! I have a sha-'. He stops just short however, and Hashirama looks at him curiously. Madara then says that he's not much in the end, surprising Hashirama. Madara claims that if he were as good as he boasted, his brothers wouldn't have died. Hashirama asks him if he has any brothers left, and Madara says he still has a younger brother that he'll protect no matter what.

Enthused by Madara's attitude, Hashirama proclaims that they should build their ideal settlement on the mountain top, a place where children won't have to kill each other. He says they'll build a school where children will be taught how to grow strong, and missions will be chosen depending on skill and strength, with seniors assigning the proper level. In this village, children won't be sent to the most violent battlefields. Madara laughs and says that only he would come up with something so stupid, and Hashirama asks him for his own thoughts. Madara concedes though that when they build their settlement, he'll watch over his younger brother there. The two smile, and Hashirama says that that place did later become the Hidden Leaf Village. At that time, he made his decision to resist and to be able to make his ideals come true.

The two boys skip a rock back and forth from opposite sides of the river, and Hashirama says they can both do it well now. Madara says the rock he skipped to Hashirama is good for skipping, and he can keep it until they meet again, and the boys leave for their homes.

As he heads home, Hashirama is confronted by his younger brother Tobirama, who says they need to talk. Tobirama takes Hashirama before their father, who says he's been meeting with a boy - it seems Tobirama had been tailing Hashirama on their father's orders. Their father says he's looked up info on the boy, and discovered that he's not only from the Uchiha clan, but he's killed some of the experienced adults from their own clan, saying he was a very skilled shinobi from birth. Hashirama isn't surprised, and his father asks if he already knew, but Hashirama says they never revealed their surnames to each other. Hashirama's father says that he hasn't talked to anyone else about this yet, but if Hashirama doesn't want to be considered a spy, then he should tail Madara the next time they meet, and bring back information about the Uchiha clan. If Madara finds out along the way, he must kill him.

Hashirama asks if Madara is really from the Uchiha clan, and his father confirms this, saying that Madara may already know about Hashirama's own clan and is pretending not to so as to steal information. Hashirama tries to say that Madara wouldn't do this, but his father won't listen, and says that Tobirama and himself will come along next time to make sure the job is done.

Madara and Hashirama meet up again, and decide to greet each other by skipping their stones, and both catch the rocks that are skipped to their partners. Both are shocked when they look at the rocks, and make excuses to head home early. It's revealed as they leave that both boys had written warnings on their rocks, and as they leave, Hashirama's father (revealed to be named Butsuma Senju) and Tobirama step out to find themselves face to face with Madara's own father 'Tajima Uchiha) and younger brother (Izuna).

Thoughts: There was a lot in this chapter as well it seems like, but at the same time, not really much has changed since the previous chapter. Mostly, we got more of Madara and Hashirama's bonding.

Beyond that though, it already seems that the two factions are not so different as they might seem. Kishimoto is doing a really good job (though he may be overstressing the point a bit) by having the two sides almost being a mirror to each other in this chapter. Just like Hashirama, Madara has lost some of his brothers, and just like Hashirama's father and younger brother, Madara's own family have figured out who it is he's meeting with and already are planning to strike.

I have a feeling that by the end of this flashback we'll see why Madara turned out the way he did, but at the same time...I can't help but wonder if we'll still feel a little sorry for him or not. It seems like the two boys are friends through thick and thin, so it's going to be really sad to see what finally tears them apart and makes them go to war just like the rest of their respective families. I mean, just think how much larger the village would be if things hadn't turned out the way they did, and instead turn out the way the two are envisioning it now.

There doesn't exist a perfect world however, so it's little wonder things are going to go south pretty soon.

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