Naruto Volume 51: Sasuke Vs. Danzo

Naruto Volume 51: Sasuke Vs. Danzo
Story and Art: Masashi Kishimoto
Release Date: 30th April 2010
Covers Chapters 474-483
Shonen Jump/Viz Media

Sasuke versus Danzo! A fight in the making we’ve all been anticipating since Sasuke went off on one about murdering him. An epic clash is about to begin, while the main character gets all upset and hyperventilates. Real hero material.

Volume 51 is all mainly the battle between psycho Sasuke and sinister Hokage wannabee Danzo. The battle between the two displays great tactics, visually striking shots and a whole bunch of new moves to surprise.The battle is one of the most exciting in the series yet, and what makes it is the uncertainty on who to cheer for.

Sasuke is the second main character, a anti-hero slowly on the verge of becoming antagonist. He has his special eye powers and some a harsh past, but is his new aim to destroy the Leaf Village Konoha really one to support? On the other hand we have Danzo. A man of the Leaf who lurks in the shadows, believing a mission should get accomplished no matter what the cost. He stopped Sasuke’s clan from causing an uprising in the past, but through sinister means. Neither are good guys, but both have opposing ideals. I put my bets behind Danzo, as during the battle we see his good intentions and it would be a waste to lose him now.

Unfortunately, Kishimoto is one to leave potential unrealised. Danzo is in command of the Foundation clan, top elites he has been commanding for years. The story always hinted that an uprising could be a rather exciting future storyline, but it ends here. Maybe due to popularity or rushing, Danzo is kicked out of the manga, affecting very little of the overall story. His first and final battle is one of the best in the series, and his flashback and finale is touching, but it all should have happened once he’d made a stamp on the world. The story pushes towards this being the point of the character, a man who remains in the shadows, but the potential is wasted nonetheless.

The story brushes over the battle quickly and new problems for Sasuke jump on in. It seems Team 7 could be in for a dramatic reunion, but hopefully Naruto won’t come with his poor mood. For a main character to pass out over problems is a little pathetic and one which continues to push the main character out of the central events. I like it in the way of some slight character realism, but a hero should be strong and giving us hope, not being like the rest of us. Naruto at the moment is delivering on battles, but it needs to deliver on foreshadowing and the worth of our main man. The manga might as well be renamed Sasuke at this point. An exciting story about a mentalist, but not the one we originally signed up for.

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