PikaBot (pikabot) wrote,

Bored at work today, so I reread the Forest Exam arc of Naruto. I gotta say, I must have been in a daze or struck by a fever or something when I first read this part, because there was a ton of stuff that I just plain forgot about.

-OK, for starters: I feel that the Chuunin Exam as a whole is where Naruto peaked out. The closest it's come to reaching the level it reached in this arc is the Sasuke In A Bucket arc, but even that was spoiled by the fact that Kiba's opponent had the most confusing powerset of all time, the fights went on forever, and that the Sand Siblings showed up. Oh, and the ending of it set the whole manga into a downwards slide by shifting the focus from Naruto (who is annoying, but has his moments) to Sasuke (who is just flat out a boring character, and actually gets worse after this point). It's all been downhill since then, with minor upward spikes for the chapter where Gaara and Deidara fought, and the chapter where Shikamaru finished Hidan off.

-I remembered Lee and Neji's relationship as being a lot more...antagonistic. Upon rereading, I find that they...they don't seem to like each other, really, but they seem to have a degree of healthy respect for each other as teammates and fellow fighters. They huddle together to discuss other genins' techniques when they see them in action, and Neji seems legitimately pissed when he finds out that the Sound guys roughed Lee up. Although, that could just be the Byakugan talking, it tends to make people look angry...

Anyways, I remembered Neji being really arrogant and thinking of himself as being above Lee, and although that is true, there was more there I was forgetting about. Their relationship seems more like Sanji and Zoro's now, which can be summed up by this icon here: I've got your back (asshole).

-I must have been on some AMAZING stuff when I was reading the part with Sakura protecting Sauke and Naruto, because I remembered all the 'hopping around replacing yourself with logs' stuff but somehow blanked out completely on the part where she BIT SOMEONE IN THE WRIST. Holy shit, that was hardcore. Ineffectual, but hardcore. Plus five respect points to Sakura.

-Kabuto is still awesome. Kabuto was always awesome. Will Kishimoto ever give us resolution on the whole 'Incorporating Orochimaru's Remains' thing? The answer is probably no, as it does not relate to any people named Uchiha.

-Tenten has more speaking lines than I remember. Not that she doesn't still have a ridiculous dearth of them, but...more.

-God, Kishimoto's art has decayed. Naruto used to make all these great facial expressions. Even if I never cared for him as a character, he was entertaining to look at. If you compare the artwork from then with the art now, the facial anatomy's gotten worse, the facial expressions are bland, and the linework is less clean. It's like Oda in reverse.

-On a similar note, it's honestly shocking to see how quickly shit moved back then. Compared with now, when we spend a chapter on Sasuke performing a single technique.

I also have thought on the Boiling Rock, but it's almost 4 AM now so I'm going to save them for tomorrow.
Tags: naruto, naruto peaked with the chuunin exam, rock lee deserves better than kishimoto, tenten should get speaking lines
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