The plan to win the war for the Shinobi Alliance has been delivered, but first there is the set up. With Naruto being the key to victory, it's the Hyuga Clan that steps up to guard him. Meanwhile, Obito and Madara share a foreshadowing conversation.
I know last week I praised the noble sacrifice of Shikamaru and Ino's fathers, but I also questioned if they were actually dead. We now are dealing with two self sacrifice scenes within as many weeks. He makes you think it's going to be Hinata dying for Naruto - - again, but throws a slight curve ball when Neji jumps in the way to shield them both. The part that makes me think this death may actually last is that we are nearing the end of a Shinobi World War arc with no real main cast death. This sort makes the all powerful enemy and beast seem pretty ineffective if they can't take out one person of significant note.
If this death actually sticks. It makes me question Neji's role in the ROCK LEE AND HIS NINJA PALS spin-off.
There was no real progress shown on Shikaku's final, victory plan, but that makes sense. Wouldn't be much of a grand plan to be revealed in a single chapter. I just hope it's not something we need to wait long for. The only real plot development is in Obito talking about their ploy to revive Madara so he can become a Jinchuriki.
Ever get the feeling of deja vu. I know I did while watching the scene of Neji's final moments. It was bad enough when we saw that the Moon's Eye Plan bore a remarkable resemblance to the theHuman Instrumentality Project. Now, we have the death of Neji. It's has a lot of similarities to the death of Portgas D. Ace in ONE PIECE. They both happen during a war, the protagonist collapses from exhaustion, the character leaps in the way of the attack and is pierced through from behind, and they both give their dying words to the hero as his head rests over the right shoulder. Couldn'tKishimoto have done something a little original to kill off such a popular character?
It makes me wonder how many times manga characters have died while sharing a bromance hug. Does this happen more often than I realize, and I'm only noticing this more now becasue ONE PIECE did this only two years ago?
I honestly want to mourn Neji, but Kishimoto has gone to this well a few too many times in the past. He did it with Kakashi and countless others during the Invasion of Pain arc, and pulled them all back. They even plant the seeds of a possible new revival from Obito's conversation with Madara, but that would require Obito having a sudden turn in motives. Am I being too nitpicking on how Neji's death was conducted?
Ace's death was a tipping point for Luffy to make him realize that he wasn't strong enough for the New World, What will Neji's death lead to for Naruto? Was there a purpose for it, or was he just a name to kill? This does build a motivation for Naruto and Hinata to unite together in a meaningful way. That would be a positive outcome.
Next week is the Christmas break. I'm not sure there will be a review up. On that same note, I'm also not even sure there will be aSHONEN JUMP published next week. That would make a review not only pointless but impossible. Happy Holidays, everyone.