Warning: It is impossible to write an honest review of this volume without major spoilers and reveals. Please stop reading if you don't know Tobi's identity.
Uchiha Obito's past and his sudden reappearance as the villainous Tobi of the Akatsuki is a heart-rending story steeped in bloodshed, misfortune and tragedy. I can only think of a few backstories as heartbreaking as his (Nico Robin and Nami of One Piece and Midora of Toriko), and it all comes to light in Naruto volume 63.
Over a decade ago, the Third Great Ninja War left the shinobi world in tatters. Skirmishes and conflicts broke out all over the lands, leading to massive death tolls suffered by all nations. During this time of grief and tragedy, a young and impressionable shinobi vows to become the greatest ninja in all of Konohagakure...
Uchiha Obito has big dreams. He wants to become the Hokage, leader of Konohagakure, but he's a bit of a slow learner. Teamed together with Hatake Kakashi and Nohara Rin under the leadership of the legendary Uzumaki Minato, Obito finds himself struggling to keep up, especially with Kakashi.
In this volume, there's a chapter where Kishimoto Sensei eschews traditional dialogue and text, and instead decides to masterfully tell the story of Obito's past simply with a sequence of images. It's an especially effective technique, one that allows Kishimoto Sensei to paint a very telling portrait of Obito's past in as efficient a manner as possible.
Despite his shortcomings, Obito comes through when his friends are in danger, awakening his Sharingan just in time to save both Kakashi and Rin. And just when it seems like Obito's on the verge of starting his path towards his lofty goals, his dreams are literally crushed when he's trapped under a large boulder. As his last dying gift to his rival Kakashi, Obito offers his left Sharingan. And with that, the legend of Uchiha Obito dies. One's name becomes engraved on a tombstone, while the other lives on in fame as Kakashi of the Sharingan.
If the story ended here, I'd still consider it one of the more tragic arcs in Naruto, but Obito's misfortunes continue, unbeknownst to his former comrades and friends. Saved by the notorious Uchiha Madara, the infamous ninja that clashed with the first Hokage Hashirama, Obito's youthful enthusiasm and ideals are displaced by Madara's machinations.
One incident in particular, painfully revealed within this volume, sends Obito over the edge, plunging him headfirst into a world of chaos that he simply cannot accept. He now shares Madara's delusional belief that the world would be a much better place if they could eliminate all strife and conflict under an artificial illusion. But does Obito realize that an illusion is still an illusion and can never truly replace the real thing?
What happened to Uchiha Obito and how did he end up so jaded and delusional? Find out with the release of Naruto volume 63, in stores now!
by John Bae