Beamcast – Episode 90

Jean, Danny, and Jon run through the Big 3 in this new Beamcast!

After the series embarrassed itself last week, Naruto 669 had a long way to go to deliver, but surprisingly enough managed to do so. Months of frustration over aimless plot and woeful pacing were alleviated this time around by straightforward action and characters actively working towards resolving conflict.

Next, Bleach 573 pits the newly-returned Kenpachi against a formidable enemy. Whether Kenpachi should even be here at all is a worthy question, but now that he is, the way he deals with the amazing power being directed at him will make for interesting development.

Finally, since Oda has the week off and this chapter wasn’t reviewed last week, Usopp’s character growth from One Piece 741 gets a brief examination.

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1:14 – Naruto 669
26:39 – Bleach 573
40:52 – One Piece 741


  • Naruto: First thing’s first, last week’s chapter wasn’t bad at all. It was actually very good. The flashback accomplished quite a few things. It perfectly linked Guy’s past with the current situation. Guy’s situation was one where he didn’t think he could succeed, and people told him he couldn’t succeed, but his father became the inspiration he needed to show that he could change his weaknesses into strength, and overcome that situation. The current situation is one where Guy is serving as the motivation for the others to show that they can overcome the situation that Madara is telling them that they can’t succeed in. Since Guy’s past is so similar to Lee’s (this isn’t recycling, it’s done on purpose), Lee recognizes this. That’s why he stepped up in this chapter, and got the development that he did. That was Guy’s intention as well, because last chapter when Madara called the blood vapor “dried and rotted leaves”, Guy says that those leaves will become nourishment for the new, fresh leaves. Last chapter set this chapter up perfectly, and let everyone know that Lee, Kakashi, Gaara, and Minato were going to fight back, and begin the revival of the Alliance’s effort to stop Madara. It wasn’t useless at all. This week’s chapter was even better. Not as good as chapter 663 though.

    Lee knows about Night Elephant because it’s a technique used with the Eight Gates, and Guy taught Lee the Eight Gates. Just because Lee can only open 6, doesn’t mean he’s forbidden from asking about them or the techniques you can use with them. Especially since he already knows about Morning Peacock and Afternoon Tiger.

    How is this fight not supported by plot? The same thing has been pushed for close to a year now; the Alliance being put in a situation where they think they can’t possibly win, but then someone gives them hope. First it was Kakashi and Guy; then it was Naruto releasing Kurama; then it was the Alliance; then it was the 4 Hokages, Orochimaru, and Taka; then it was the 5 Kages; and now it’s Guy again. This is the same theme Kishi has been trying his hardest to push time and time again. That shonen idea that you should never give up, and that you can accomplish anything you put your mind to. This is exactly what this fight is supposed to prove. How many people do you think were wondering “How can the Alliance actually beat Madara?” The situation was hopeless…was. Because of Guy serving as motivation for them to persevere, they will be able to overcome this situation. It’s been built up quite a bit, and this situation with Guy specifically was built up with last week’s flashback, as I said earlier, and the fact that Taijutsu is one of the only two things effective against Madara.

    Bleach: Nothing happened in this chapter, so I don’t have anything to say about it specifically. Not good. As far as this fight goes, I have no faith that it’ll be good because every Sternritter (except Bazz B, Uryu, Hachwald, and Juha Bach) comes off as a bona fide jobber. They’re only purpose is to lose to make the Soul Reaper look good. Gwenhael is the perfect example of that. I guess you could say that Mask accomplished something because of Rose and Kensei, but I don’t trust that they’re dead yet. That top right panel on page 13 from last week’s chapter gives me doubts.

    One Piece: I already said everything I had to say about this in the review that was posted. Not really good development at all. What I would have preferred is if Usopp hid instead of running away. If he’s hiding, he’s still showing that internal struggle, but in chapter 740, he just said “screw you, I’m saving myself”. At the end of the series, Usopp will not only be able to stand against his enemies with the resolve to fight, he’d also have the confidence to say that he can win. If he hid here instead of running away, and then decided to go fight, even if his legs were shaking like crazy, it would have been better than what Oda did. He’d still have room to grow for the end of the series as well.

  • I’m not going to pretend like I liked seeing Usopp pull a dick move on the tontata by simply trying to leave them. True he has no attachment to them as he does to any of his crew members(and that he forgot about robin due to being a toy), but I don’t recall him being one to let his lies harm those that aren’t his enemies so easily like that. I feel that’s a valid complaint and that Oda could have handled that better by making it more of a struggle on Usopp’s part.

    However I won’t deny that Usopp has received some Development, he fully admitted to the fact that he was lying and he outright used his own name to directly confront his enemies. Just the other day I saw a video that mostly focused on why Sogeking shouldn’t be back (yet) and I will admit since then I have seen this chapter in a bit or a better light. Despite this I still think the beginning could have been handled better and I also would have liked the rest of the chapter to just focus on this and finish it, buut…

    The flashback with Kyros. Honestly it wasn’t bad, but the flashbacks have felt pretty choppy in this arc so it feels kind of odd. I would have liked it if this got it’s own chapter with whatever Toy!Kyros was actually doing present time but I feel like Oda knew he was going to be on hiatus so he arranged the chapters to be like this. Hopefully we finish up Usopp’s section quick and have everyone turn back from toys, I’m really ready to get things moving.

  • One of the (many) things that bugs me about Naruto is all of the parallelism. Guy is basically a carbon copy of his father with more skill, Lee is a carbon copy of Guy (which I get is intentional because of Lee’s backstory, but still). Team 7 is basically a reincarnation of the Sannin. Every. Single. Villain has somehow been “like” Naruto. The Ino-Shika-Chouji trio has literally been around for generations. Sasuke is like Madara’s dead brother. The list goes on. Some similarity is good, but by saturating the series with parallels Kishi does himself a disservice, ruining the characters for which the similarities work well and disillusioning his audience to the whole concept.

    That being said, Guy kicking around Madara was highly satisfying, plus there was some decent teamwork. If the art were better I’d say it was excellent, but since it’s not I’ll rate it 7.5/10.

    • Worse still, all of those characters are somehow parallels of Vongola Primo. It never ends.

    • The entire purpose of Naruto is to show how fate keeps repeating itself, to make the protagonists think that fate is something that can’t be beaten, then have them rise up and finally be able to go against fate. The cycle of hatred and revenge, the constant battles between the Uchiha and the Senju, fate (and things repeating themselves) is a crucial part of what the series is about. The villains you talked about who are like Naruto, they have to be that way. If Naruto didn’t go through the experiences he went through with them, if he hadn’t had similar experiences to them, he wouldn’t have been able to: understand their point of view, look at the world differently, understand how it really works, and grow as a character the way he did. Look at how crucial Pain’s Invasion was to Naruto finally deciding to listen to what Jiraiya had been telling him for 2 years. All of this repetition is incredibly crucial to the goal of the series. The repetition doesn’t ruin characters either, because the Will of Fire ensures that every generation has grown more compared the last.

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