Chapter 490: The Truth About the Kyuubi
Note: I noticed a few discrepancies between the three translations I looked at (Binktopia’s, Sleepy Fans’ and psiten’s post on chuunin). In general, I base my summaries on Sleepy Fans’ translation, but where I noticed discrepancies, I compared the other two and went with whatever seemed to be the majority opinion.
This chapter begins where last week’s left off, with Madara responding to Kabuto’s offer to join forces. Madara asks what he would gain from the partnership, and Kabuto indicates the five resurrected Akatsuki members, who would lend Madara military strength. Kabuto also hints that he has other pawns besides these five.
Kabuto enumerates the dead Akatsuki members he now controls.
In return for this, Kabuto asks that Madara give him Sasuke, claiming that he wishes to use the young man in his research of ninjutsu. Madara seems reluctant to agree, but Kabuto has one more trick up his sleeve. He summons a sixth coffin and reveals the contents to a shocked Madara (but not to the ravenously curious fans).
What mystery does the sixth box contain?
Kabuto smugly insists that Madara can’t refuse. Indeed, Madara seems horrified by whatever it is Kabuto has revealed, and asks where he got it. Kabuto won’t reveal the source, but assures Madara he won’t tell anyone. Fans are left to puzzle over these cryptic comments.
Seeming to recover from his initial shock, Madara laughs and compliments Kabuto’s preparedness. He says he will only weaken himself if he tries to fight Kabuto now, so he will agree to the offer on one condition—Kabuto will not get Sasuke until the war is over. He also warns that he will keep Kabuto under surveillance.
Kabuto responds, “I expected nothing less of Uchiha Madara. You’re a different sort altogether.” Madara calls him a “cheeky brat,” suggesting there is more to this exchange than meets the eye. He tells Kabuto he will soon revise his plans when he sees what Kabuto can do, and asks Kabuto to come with him. He watches over his shoulder as Kabuto closes up that mysterious coffin.
Kabuto and Madara seem to be sharing a private joke.
Not far away, Anko and a team of Leaf ninja are on Kabuto’s trail. They come across some dead bodies, and Anko, sensing they are near their quarry, asks her Hyuuga companion to look at 2 o’clock with his Byakugan. He spies Kabuto and Madara entering an underground retreat. He informs Anko that “that masked guy from Akatsuki” is with Kabuto, and that they seem to be entering a hideout together. The other ninja mention that this guy “calls himself Madara” and wonder if this is his base and if he has now joined forces with Kabuto. But Anko has another thought: What if Kabuto led them here on purpose, to reveal Madara’s base? Either way, they must tell the village of this new development right away.
It’s good to see Anko getting some panel time.
Back on Mount Myoboku, Naruto hesitates before touching the scroll that the toads have offered to him. Fukasaku doesn’t understand, but the toad that carries the scroll agrees that Naruto has good reason to hesitate. He explains that to use the power of the Kyuubi, Naruto must draw out its chakra, but that when he does this the Kyuubi’s will naturally comes out as well.
The Kyuubi’s chakra and the Kyuubi’s will are closely connected.
Since the Kyuubi’s will is a mass of hatred, it tends to cling to any hatred in the user’s own heart, allowing the Kyuubi to gain control. The only way to control the Kyuubi’s chakra without unleashing its will is for the user to have a will that is strong enough to split the two, and a heart that is free from hatred.
If Naruto is able to split the Kyuubi’s chakra from its will, he can leave Kyuubi in the doghouse.
The seal Yondaime placed on Naruto allowed for a small amount of chakra to leak out and amplify Naruto’s chakra without engaging the Kyuubi’s will. But now, if Naruto unlocks the seal, he will no longer have that safety net. He will have access to all of the Kyuubi’s chakra, but at the risk of the Kyuubi’s will taking over—and the Kyuubi being fully revived.
However, while Naruto was training with Jiraiya, it became clear that the seal was weakening anyway. Because of this, Jiraiya had tried to train Naruto to control the Kyuubi, but that failed.
Naruto picks up the toad’s explanation at this point. He describes how, when Orochimaru angered him with taunts about Sasuke, he allowed the Kyuubi to take control, anxious to defeat Orochimaru with its power. But Sakura was hurt, and at Yamato’s advice, he chose to avoid using the Kyuubi’s power after that.
Naruto regrets hurting Sakura when he tried to use the Kyuubi’s power.
He explains that since hatred is a normal part of battle, he was afraid of trying to use the Kyuubi’s power in a fight. Then, in his battle with Pain, Hinata was hurt, and he was so filled with hatred and regret, that the Kyuubi’s will connected to him automatically. Yondaime replaced the seal after that, but Naruto still fears what will happen if he loses control again.
Naruto fears losing control like he did when Hinata fell—but he must find a way to overcome his fear in order to face Sasuke.
Naruto thinks of Sasuke and adds that he will need the Kyuubi’s power in order to fight him. Naruto says that he can’t run away from his fate as the Kyuubi’s host. He remembers his father’s words during the battle with Pain: “The reason I left half the Kyuubi’s chakra and sealed it in you is because I believed you could master it.” Naruto finally touches the scroll, affirming to himself his dad’s belief that he can control the Kyuubi.
Remembering Yondaime’s words, Naruto makes up his mind to unlock the seal and utilize the Kyuubi’s full power.
Fukasaku declares that they are ready to find the octopus. Cut to Killer Bee, who is totally not paying attention during the war meeting at Kumo. While one ninja suggests forming a search party to find the enemy’s base, Killer Bee stares at his rhyme book and tries to think of a new rhyme. He uses the last couple of syllables of the speaker’s words, messes with the lettering a little bit, and comes up with “ttebayo”, the same nonsense ending that Naruto often tacks on to the ends of phrases (often translated as “Believe it!” in the anime). For a full explanation of this word play, I recommend looking at the translation note in this post.
Little does the aspiring rapper know that Kisame is still hiding in his sword, listening in on the meeting. Oblivious, Killer Bee decides he doesn’t like the phrase after all and discards it. (I’m sure he’ll hear it again, though. :D )
Kisame lurks inside his sword, listening in on the war meeting.
Meanwhile, the meeting has come to a conclusion. Raikage declares that they will meet with the Shinobi Alliance in three days, and orders that notification be sent to the other villages.
The mystery of the sixth box
This is probably the most discussed aspect of this chapter. Who is in that sixth box? Here are a few of the possibilities that I’ve heard suggested:
The “real” Madara
Izuna (Madara’s brother)
Kushina (Check out the theory here (link contains some offensive language).)
I think either the “real” Madara or Izuna is most likely. What do you think?
The secret of the masked man
Before this chapter, I never gave much credence to any theories that the man calling himself Madara was anyone other than who he claimed to be. However, I have to admit that this chapter has me questioning that. It’s clear that whoever (or whatever) is in the sixth box reveals some secret about the masked man that he would rather keep concealed. That the person in the box somehow proves he is not who he claims to be seems a likely possibility. Add to that his “cheeky brat” reply to Kabuto’s compliments of “Uchiha Madara”, and the Leaf ninjas’ apparent skepticism about his identity (“the guy who calls himself Madara”), and I can’t help feeling the theorists who have proposed he is not really Madara may soon be vindicated.
Love and hatred
Please note: I’m using the word “love” in a non-romantic/sexual sense throughout this section.
Finally, I want to bring up the revelation that Naruto’s mastery of the Kyuubi will be tied to whether or not he can free himself from hatred. Love and hatred have already factored into the themes of the series quite a bit. Early in the story, it was shinobi who were motivated by love—the Leaf ninja who chose “the will of fire”, the desire to protect their comrades, over the desire for power or personal gain—that had the most success. They could see their fights through despite impossible odds.
In more recent chapters, we’ve seen examples of corrupted love—in Nagato and Konan, and most prominently in Sasuke, whose love for his family, Naruto has said, is what has motivated him to turn against his former village. Now we see how love and hatred are tied.
Naruto’s narration in this chapter on his struggle against the Kyuubi also plays on this theme. He submitted to the Kyuubi once because of his love for Sasuke, and he fell to the Kyuubi’s will again because of his love for Hinata. He also resisted using the Kyuubi primarily because of his love for Sakura. And now because of his desire to face Sasuke on equal footing, he’s willing to use the Kyuubi’s power again. Whether that’s love for Sasuke, love for the people of Konoha, or both (I think both), is open to interpretation.
But now we learn that the key to controlling the Kyuubi’s power is for him to overcome hatred. If he gives in to hatred, then he risks releasing the Kyuubi. In many ways, I think Naruto has already learned to overcome hatred, considering the conclusion of his fight with Nagato. So I’m interested to know what Kishimoto means by hatred. Is Naruto meant to forgo anger of any kind? Or will he be allowed to have some “righteous indignation”, as we say at church, without giving the