In honor of his father's sacrifice, Might Guy finally opens the forbidden Eighth Inner Gate to sacrifice his life to protect those most precious to him. Autumn is about to fall on Guy's everlasting youth.
The art in the chapter looks really good, but most of it is spend on an unnecessarily long flashback about Might Guy and his father. I would have liked to have cared about this relationship, but the design choices made by the creator makes it hard to take seriously.
When I've had the pleasure of reading some of Tom's thoughts on the few times he's dipped his toes into the canon-NARUTO franchise, I've often seen him making direct references to the comedic spin-off ofROCK LEE AND HIS NINJA PALS. It wasn't that I couldn't see his point, but I never imagined that we'd ever see the day where the wall separating these worlds would share to wear down to the point of crossing over. Well, that day has apparently come.
Guy's father just reminds me of many of those silly skits that we'd often see in ROCK LEE. He looks just like Guy but with a goofy mustache. I kept expecting Neji to walk out in a dress. It completely undercuts all the father and son drama Kishimoto is trying to create when I spend the whole thing waiting for the punch line. It doesn't help matters when the flashback just happens to have all the Seven Swordsmen of the Hidden Mist gathered together in one location. One or two would have been more than enough. All seven is overkill.
To make matters worse, what is all of this leading toward? Not only do flashbacks normally herald a character's death, the entire theme of the Eighth Seal is that it's a suicide technique. Maybe I'm just being cynical, but how could this possibly threaten Madara at this point? Now, if Guy doesn't die, you've completely undermined the entire premise of the technique. It renders this entire chapter pointless.
Maybe I've missed it some reporting. I don't follow a great deal of the behind the scenes action of many manga publications, but has there been an "official announcement" for the end of NARUTO? This chapter puts out the same vibes I get when watching the final season of a TV show that knows it's closing up. You can always tell, because the writers start throwing in absolutely crazy ideas they couldn't pass at any other time. What are they going to do, cancel you? That's exactly how it feels for the Eighth Gate to be pulled out at this stage of the series.
For all the people that would criticize ONE PIECE for all its flashbacks. It seems as if Kishimoto is making up for lost time by fitting as many within a single arc that's humanly possible. If Kishimoto had either cut out or drastically shortened the flashback of this chapter, and instead focused on the actual action between Guy and Madara. This would have been drastically more entertaining.
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