Naruto Shippuden Episode 324: The Unbreakable Mask and the Shattered Bubble
“I’m gonna rip that mask off of you!”
It’s Naruto vs Tobi! Or rather, it’d be more accurate to describe it as a Jinchuuriki battle royale, with every single Jinchuuriki from this generation (save for Gaara, who doesn’t have his any more) duking it out. Tobi’s absolutely right – it won’t be easy ripping that mask off, especially when Naruto couldn’t even scratch his mask during their initial clash. It reminds me of that finale at the Valley of the End with Sasuke, when he challenged Naruto to put a scratch on his forehead protector, if he can. Naruto removing Tobi’s mask will definitely be a focal point in the series, finally answering the question of just who is hiding behind that mask. Hmm, I wonder…
You guys are probably aware of my…dislike of Naruto fillers, so it should be no surprise to hear that I’ve never actually seen the Utakata filler arc. So I wasn’t too sure what was up with the whole Hotaru thing…never mind, I’m sure that doesn’t really matter :D I know Utakata’s the Jinchuuriki of the Rokubi, who uses some sort of bubble ninjutsu that’s apparently quite versatile. He can make them explode, or drown heads in them – I suppose it can be overwhelming if used in large quantities. It seems like he wasn’t on the best of terms with Kirigakure and their ANBU, and was living like a fugitive up until his death, which is a standard quality of life for a lot of Jinchuuriki. Even so, he’s strong – strong enough for the Akatsuki to send all Six Paths of Pain to capture him. That has to mean something, especially when they usually work in groups of two (e.g. Deidara and Sasori went to capture Gaara). One of the paths is the summon girl, meaning this happened after Jiraiya’s death, but before the invasion of Konoha. And if Jiraiya couldn’t defeat all six of them at once, Utakata never stood much of a chance. He did really well though, even through those chakra suppressing rods. I was surprised a six-tailed form of a Jinchuuriki could be that adaptable – with the Rokubi, that’s the maximum number of tails, yet Utakata was still fairly functional.
I think this week was the first time we’ve seen Tobi get flustered since the start of the war. He’s clearly not too happy with how Kabuto’s happily revealed the existence of the real dead Madara. Looks like he was planning on keeping that trick up his sleeve for a while longer. Ultimately, though, the Tsuki no Me project is very much for his own personal gain – because it’d create a whole new world in a genjutsu, Tobi doesn’t care about any collateral damage, nor his own identity (apparently). Like many shinobi in this series who have fallen to the dark side, he’s obviously gone through a lot of tough shit when he was younger. With that in mind, I can see why he’s at odds with Naruto (even fundamentally), who has the boundless optimism much hated by avengers like Sasuke.
Looks like a bit of help’s turning up next week. If the dead Jinchuuriki can turn into their Bijuu at will, Naruto and Bee will need it.