Beamcast – Episode 88

Jean, Jon, and Danny are back again to break down the Big 3 on Beamcast!

First is the contrast of styles on display in Bleach 571, wherein Gwenhael’s plans are set back considerably by the near-feral instincts of Yachiru. Her simplistic logic and amusing behavior is a welcome change from the dour tone of recent fights.

After briefly acknowledging that all readers correctly predicted who came to help Sasuke, Naruto 667 largely focuses on Guy, a character whose actions typically brighten up the series. His participation in the battle with Madara isn’t exactly cheerful, but it’s a notable improvement from where the series has been.

Finally, One Piece 740 continues the chaos, sending the Straw Hats and their allies all around Doflamingo’s estate. Everyone has been put into an interesting scenario, but the situation requiring the most immediate focus is Usopp being left on his own thanks to Robin’s defeat at the hand of Sugar.

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1:17 – Bleach 571
13:14 – Naruto 667
36:42 – One Piece 740


  • While Naruto is the titular character, Sasuke and Kakashi are main characters as well. A character is not automatically irrelevant if they have no significant connection to Naruto, because anyone who has read this series know that while he is the most important, he isn’t the only one that matters and these two, especially Sasuke, who is portrayed as equal to Naruto character wise, are significantly important as well.

    • Naruto is the only true protagonist. He embodies the central theme of the series, and his perspective and actions are repeatedly heralded as the “correct” approach to all the conflict he faces. Sasuke can be considered “a” main character by our modern, loose definition of the term, but he is consistently portrayed as the alternative to Naruto’s ideals. Sasuke is important, but his primary role is to be Naruto’s opposite in the central themes (hard work vs talent, loyalty vs betrayal, seeking friendship vs seeking isolation, etc.); they are not presented as equals whose actions are balanced solutions to the same problem, but instead as one correct path (Naruto) and one misguided yet understandable path (Sasuke).

      Kakashi, meanwhile, is not a main character. He is certainly important, but in a reactive and complementary way. He exists to support Naruto and Sasuke, he is affected by the central themes of the series rather than embodying them, he is too dissimilar to the central character to serve as an alternative to him, his progress does not define the progress of the story, he is not meant to be relatable to the audience, he receives a comparatively small amount of focus, and most of all, he is not technically vital to the series. Removing Naruto from the series would destroy the themes, while removing Sasuke would unbalance them; removing Kakashi would change only the plot, not the themes. (Note: None of this is a criticism of Kakashi, whom I like; it’s merely an observation on his role.)

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