Thursday, September 6, 2012

Naruto's Fourth Shinobi War - Top 5 Worst Fights

So last time, I looked at the best fights the Fourth Shinobi War had to offer. This time, let's dive right in and take a look at the worst!

#5 - Kakashi's Rampage

Kakashi's rampage against the Seven Swordsmen of the Mist was... well, I don't know. See, this battle was built up and everything, only to take place off-panel. In fact, I'd like to go ahead and include a few more fights that were set up and off-paneled in this pick as well: Hiashi vs. Hizashi; Choza vs. Dan; Darui, Izumo, and Kotetsu vs. Kakuzu; The Feudal Lord Guardians vs. Black Zetsu; and anything else I might have missed. Consider these fights all Dishonorable Mentions.

I just can't help but feel like Kishimoto was a little in over his head going into this war arc, and he set far too much up, more than he could honestly handle. And it shows in the sheer amount of material that he skipped over in his efforts to rush Naruto out onto the battlefield. And for those who kept clamoring that he was skipping these fights in order to let the anime expand on them, whelp, that hasn't been happening so far either! Blah!

#4 - Naruto vs. Dark Naruto

Before Naruto could begin his training to tame the Kyuubi, he first had to do battle with his inner darkness. And, well, this was one hell of a missed opportunity. This had the potential to explore so many aspects to Naruto's character: his on-going obsession with Sasuke, how he's neglected Hinata after her love confession, his issues with Sakura after her own false confession and subsequent actions, how Naruto's been getting somewhat big-headed as of late, etc. And those are all just things off the top of my head.

But instead, they chose solely to focus on Naruto's conflict with the villagers, and how they treated him badly as a kid. A conflict that has been mostly resolved by this point, and hasn't really been brought up much at all as a real nagging issue anymore for Naruto in the past several years. In fact, the only reason it appears to have even been brought up now is because Naruto recently felt a little uncomfortable signing his autograph for some of the villagers after gaining some fame from defeating Pain. It felt like it was retreading old ground (a common issue with the war arc. See: Kakashi's Battalion vs. Zabuza, Haku, and the Kekkei Genkai shinobi; Shikamaru, Choji, and Ino vs. Asuma), and honestly didn't add much growth to Naruto's character once it was resolved. Like I said, the potential was there, but Kishimoto kinda blew it with this one.

#3 - Itachi and Sasuke vs. Kabuto

Now, this one wasn't all bad. It started off really great, with Kabuto showing off his own Dragon Sage Mode, and his use of the Sound 5's abilities was awesome. And Kabuto's flashback was very interesting, and certainly one of the series' best. However, on the other end, we have Sasuke. I mentioned before how Naruto's character has been inconsistent, but it's nothing compared to Sasuke's. This guy went from being a reserved and fairly calm gray area figure, to suddenly becoming a raging, psychotic lunatic. But then he ran into Itachi, and he reverted back to his calmer, cooler self, more similar to how he acted before he left the village in part 1. He's just all over the place, and I'm not sure if it's Kishi's fault, or his editors interfering, but somebody involved just can't decide what they wanna do with Sasuke, and it sticks out like a sore thumb.

But despite the good and the bad, what really drags this whole fight down is just one thing, that being Itachi's Izanami. This is a technique that basically traps someone in an infinite loop playing out in their head. It's one of the most broken techniques we've seen, and came entirely out of nowhere. No hype, no hints, no foreshadows, just Itachi happened to have this overly overpowered technique lying around in his repertoire, and only waited until now to make any mention of it. Yet, despite this, it came intact with an overly complicated explanation and convoluted backstory, all of which was, again, never once made even the slightest mention to before now. After Izanami is activated, Kabuto is put entirely out of commission, and Itachi cancels out his Edo Tensei jutsu, removing all of those revived shinobi from the battlefield before we even got a chance to see most of them in action. This whole ordeal felt like one big convenient cop-out, and for this to be the way that Kabuto goes down, after being the longest running villain in the series to date, well, that's just a damn shame.

#2 - The Five Kages vs. Madara

Speaking of poor writing, Madara may well be the worst written character in this whole series. In a world where we see people perform incredible feats on a regular basis, Madara's strength and abilities are so much that it actually breaks my suspension of disbelief. Here he is, taking on five of the strongest ninja in the entire world, the leaders of their respective villages, Tsunade the Hokage, Gaara the Kazekage, A the Raikage, Onoki the Tsuchikage, and Mei the Mizukage. And yet, Madara is completely toying with them. At no point did they ever legitimately have the upper hand against him. And apparently, nobody in the entire world could stand a chance against him other than the Hashirama, the First Hokage. But... why is this? How come, in all the years since Madara's and Hashirama's time, has there not been one single shinobi who has been able to attain this ungodly level of power? I find it extremely hard to believe, especially in this series where the message has been constantly drilled in that the next generation will surpass the previous one.

The worst was Madara's Ultimate Susanoo, which is basically a mountain sized samurai aura that is able to crush mountains with a single blow. It's an instant win move, and the Kages don't stand a chance. But it's only when Itachi cancels Edo Tensei that this technique is, too, cancelled. Only, Madara's such a bad ass that he somehow knows how to remain revived through Edo Tensei, despite the technique being cancelled. And the only reason he doesn't resume using his idiotically powerful move is because he's already used it, and that would be tacky or some such dumb shit.

This whole fight was a sloppy mess, and the last that we saw was Tsunade getting her second or third teased death, only to be rescued at the last minute by the walking, talking deus ex machina, Dan. He somehow knew that Tsunade needed his help, and was only just then, at the very last minute, able to use some bullshit ghost technique in order to save her. And like Izanami, there was no hype or foreshadowing to this moment. It just sort of came out of nowhere, and for no real rhyme or reason. And it was bullshit. And not only that, but as crap as the fight was, they didn't even bother to show the conclusion, as Madara has apparently left that battlefield in order to join Tobi's fight. God this fight was a wreck.

#1 - Darui, Samui, and Atsui vs. Kinkaku and Ginkaku

This isn't just the worst fight in the whole war, it may well be the worst one in the whole series. The Kinkaku Brothers feel like something the anime filler writers would have spewed out. Their abilities don't fit in with the established Naruto style at all. They use a series of weapons that all act in conjunction with one another in order to seal one's soul if they say a certain word. It was just a convoluted load of crap, and it went on for far, far too long. While most of the fight in the war have last for a chapter or two, this one just dragged on for week after week after week.

These characters were horrible, and this fight was a boring chore. If there was a single good thing to come of this, it would be that it at least makes the Sora filler from the anime somewhat believable now, seeing as Kinkaku and Ginkaku are pretty much canon pseudo-Jinchuurikis. But if that's the best contribution that this fight can offer, to make a ridiculous filler arc from the anime seem legit, well, then, this fight really doesn't have much going for it. And, well, really, that's pretty much all there is to say about this one, which isn't much. This fight sucked.

So there you have it, my picks for the best and worst fight in the Fourth Great Shinobi War. But the war is still technically going on, so who knows, my picks might shuffle a bit in the coming months. We'll see...


  1. Honestly, I'm tired of this arc. It's too long and some of the fights don't make sense anymore. I'm going to wait out and read them all once in a while instead of reading one episode per week.

  2. Yeah, it has gone on a bit long. And hobestly, some of the fights do read better in chunks rather than on a weekly basis, so that's probably not a bad plan.

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