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Naruto 512

[scanlation by Binktopia]

A chapter entitled “The Truth Behind Zetsu” and Kabuto on the cover. Looks like Kishimoto has finally heard my call for more exposition on the villains.

Poor Guy. No medical help is around, and Naruto isn’t exactly the delicate type.

Please stop making Sakura seem useful

Giant, island-sized tortoises aren’t exactly new, but the premise is effective here. I particularly like the tortoise’s hardened face.

Save us, Lavos

Finally, Kabuto steps out of the shadows and seeks some direct involvement with Naruto and Bee. Most excitingly, though, Kabuto’s reference to borrowing “this Zetsu’s body” alludes to Zetsu being more than just one person.

Excellent artwork on the Heretical Demon Statue.

I love how so many fascinating monuments and experiments are simply afterthoughts as Madara leads Kabuto down to their ultimate destination. This may not be the on-screen (on-page?) character development that I’ve wanted from Madara, but it does help to round out his overall image much better than simple explanations of his strength by the narration or by other characters.

There’s the big reveal: Madara has secretly developed about 100,000 Zetsu clones. This revelation carries with it a couple positives. First, it justifies the fact that “Zetsu” as we knew him was never explicitly strong, since individual strength obviously isn’t intended to be the highlight of a member of a massive army. Second, it provides the possibility of a massive ninja war, a scenario which would prove interesting if only because we’ve seen nothing like it in the Naruto universe.

Next week: Zetsu army vs. Dougal County Sheriff clones

Final Flash: Excellent setup chapter. Kabuto is like the antithesis of Sasuke, in that everything involving Kabuto seems to improve the plot.

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