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Old 2012-04-27, 10:56   Link #101
iBeast
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milan kyuubi View Post
No! It's golden week in Japan.
It seems like every week is golden week in Japan. Do they have one once a month or something?

But new chapter next week right?
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Old 2012-04-27, 11:02   Link #102
milan kyuubi
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Originally Posted by iBeast View Post
It seems like every week is golden week in Japan. Do they have one once a month or something?

But new chapter next week right?
The new chapter should be out late April/early May.
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Old 2012-04-27, 11:20   Link #103
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Chapter 584 thread has been started (early). Please move all relevant discussions to the new thread.
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Old 2012-05-12, 19:47   Link #104
Sabaku Kyu
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Performing thread necromancy here, better late than never right (or maybe not, whatever, don't care. :P)

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Originally Posted by Hunter View Post
Except of course that it's not what happened. Sarutobi wasn't given counsel he didn't like but still listened to. He was told what's what, disagreed and it happened anyway because his "counselors" took the decision, outvoted him and acted upon it.
I don't think so. I don't see were it was ever stated that Danzou and the elder simply overrode Sarutobi's authority. I said numerous times that Sarutobi didn't support the decision. Maybe he never even officially gave them a green light to perform the kill. Personally, I believe he acted Pontius Pilate and say he was simply not going to play a part, but I don't see that as him being powerless against Danzou's decision. The only way this thing could've happened is if Sarutobi allowed it--not approve it -- but allow it nonetheless. We saw that was the case. If Sandaime had no real authority over Danzou, Itachi wouldn't have asked Sandaime to protect Sasuke from him.


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And I can't help but notice you carefully never adressed the fact that Danzou brainwashed and butchered war orphans to build his private army (which is something known by the characters and not just the readers) so I will ask again : how do you reconcile this with Sarutobi's character? Do you think he also "let that be carried out because he knew what was at stake"?
I see what you did there, Hunter. Nice phrase of words "butchering" and "brainwashing". Brings up images of Danzou putting puppies in a bag and throwing them into a wood chipper. This is the ninja world though. Many of the practices are Spartan, even cruel, by our standards. Children are sent into war. It's implied Ibiki performs interrogations that would violate every Geneva convention standard known.

Technically, the chuunin exams are taking kids who barely reached puberty putting them into survival contest where it's likely at least a few won't survive, then pitting them each other in battle where even though killing isn't encouraged, it's completely possible with no penalty and maiming/torture/inflicting brutal injuries on opponents are all completely ok. Wait, not "technically". I meant "literally". Yeah, and no one has a problem with this.

But yes. Danzou's actions are intolerably cruel. I wasn't "carefully" avoiding it. I don't see how it's relevant. What of it? Like you said many characters knew about it. If Danzou killing orphans was such common knowledge, how come Tsunade didn't have Danzou thrown out when she came into power? Don't recall Shikaku bringing up the fact that Danzou kill orphans and brainwash his men in the meeting when he was opposing Danzou as Hokage. If he did, it didn't seem to bother the daimyo much. Why is Sarutobi's character the only one called into question here?

So my answer remains the same. There seems to be "common knowledge" that Danzou did these things, but how much of this actually sustainable fact as opposed to just "word is, this is what goes on in there" (from the perspective of the characters, I mean, we know all that to be true of course)? Danzou was a master at covering his tracks and keeping the worst of his crimes a secret. I already acknowledge that Sarutobi should've kept tighter reigns on Danzou. But I think the story is far from portraying him as Danzou's bitch, letting him get away with anything. If that was the case, Danzou would'nt have been so desperate to take his position. He could've easily used Sarutobi as his puppet.
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Old 2012-05-12, 22:34   Link #105
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Originally Posted by Sabaku Kyu View Post
Performing thread necromancy here, better late than never right (or maybe not, whatever, don't care. :P)
It's better I assure you and with your parenthesis maybe hinting at an edgy answer I'm doubly overjoyed!

Quote:
I don't think so. I don't see were it was ever stated that Danzou and the elder simply overrode Sarutobi's authority. I said numerous times that Sarutobi didn't support the decision. Maybe he never even officially gave them a green light to perform the kill. Personally, I believe he acted Pontius Pilate and say he was simply not going to play a part, but I don't see that as him being powerless against Danzou's decision. The only way this thing could've happened is if Sarutobi allowed it--not approve it -- but allow it nonetheless. We saw that was the case. If Sandaime had no real authority over Danzou, Itachi wouldn't have asked Sandaime to protect Sasuke from him.


Something like that? (chap399-400 about the quarantine and kill order respectively if you wonder)
So yes it's pretty clear Sarutobi disagreed with everything Danzou and the Elders wanted but his voice mattered not and his opinion ended up being irrelevant. He wanted none of that and he failed.
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I see what you did there, Hunter. Nice phrase of words "butchering" and "brainwashing". Brings up images of Danzou putting puppies in a bag and throwing them into a wood chipper.
I'd say my description was accurate and even toned down compared to the situation at hand. If it only brings up images of animal cruelty to you then I obviously failed to convey what Danzou actually did because it was considerably worse than a few dead dogs.
And quotation marks, really? You think brainwashing is too strong a word to describe the fact that Danzou took young orphan and made them murder one another to raise them into emotionless drones living and dying at his whim? That to force them to slaughter their own comrades to make them more pliable to his orders wasn't butchery?
I'm curious, what words would you use then? Enhanced education?

Quote:
This is the ninja world though. Many of the practices are Spartan, even cruel, by our standards. Children are sent into war. It's implied Ibiki performs interrogations that would violate every Geneva convention standard known.

Technically, the chuunin exams are taking kids who barely reached puberty putting them into survival contest where it's likely at least a few won't survive, then pitting them each other in battle where even though killing isn't encouraged, it's completely possible with no penalty and maiming/torture/inflicting brutal injuries on opponents are all completely ok. Wait, not "technically". I meant "literally". Yeah, and no one has a problem with this.
They are cruel by our standards but Danzou is cruel by their. What he did in Konoha is what made the Mist village being known as the Bloody Mist, the ninja who lived through this still call it a reign of terror.
And that's without going into the fact that Konoha is consistently depainted into a much nicer place.

Quote:
But yes. Danzou's actions are intolerably cruel. I wasn't "carefully" avoiding it. I don't see how it's relevant. What of it? Like you said many characters knew about it. If Danzou killing orphans was such common knowledge, how come Tsunade didn't have Danzou thrown out when she came into power? Don't recall Shikaku bringing up the fact that Danzou kill orphans and brainwash his men in the meeting when he was opposing Danzou as Hokage. If he did, it didn't seem to bother the daimyo much. Why is Sarutobi's character the only one called into question here?

So my answer remains the same. There seems to be "common knowledge" that Danzou did these things, but how much of this actually sustainable fact as opposed to just "word is, this is what goes on in there" (from the perspective of the characters, I mean, we know all that to be true of course)? Danzou was a master at covering his tracks and keeping the worst of his crimes a secret. I already acknowledge that Sarutobi should've kept tighter reigns on Danzou. But I think the story is far from portraying him as Danzou's bitch, letting him get away with anything. If that was the case, Danzou would'nt have been so desperate to take his position. He could've easily used Sarutobi as his puppet.
First I'm not sure where you got the "only Sarutobi" thing, I find his successors just as weak as him in this matter. It's just that Sarutobi let it be for decades instead of months and that he was the guy in charge during most of Danzou's nefarious actions so he takes most of the blame.
As far as I'm concerned Tsunade should have executed him after the Sai debacle.

And yes sure Shikaku didn't talk about it, nor did Asuma I guess... Are we to list all the characters who didn't talk about it as if it somehow balanced those who did? Should we forget that Yamato explained it all to team 7 (hell he even told them matter-of-factly that Danzou might try a coup d'etat and end Konoha as they knew it, that's how much Danzou's schemes are common knowledge!) because another character didn't?
His training method wasn't a secret and yet they let him be. Danzou should have been executed or assassinated a long time ago, every breath he took was a testament to the incompetence of Konoha's leaders.

But I do agree with one thing here : your answer does remain the same... Because you still haven't answered my question!
So here it is for the 3rd or 4th times, how do you reconcile Sarutobi's character with the fact that they knew what Danzou did to those kids? Do you think your theory about the lack of absolute proof is enough to explain their inaction?
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Old 2012-05-13, 02:07   Link #106
Sabaku Kyu
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Originally Posted by Hunter View Post
It's better I assure you and with your parenthesis maybe hinting at an edgy answer I'm doubly overjoyed!
Yes, we both enjoy a healthy amount of sarcasm don't we? You know I don't mean any offense by it (not sarcasm)

Quote:
So yes it's pretty clear Sarutobi disagreed with everything Danzou and the Elders wanted but his voice mattered not and his opinion ended up being irrelevant. He wanted none of that and he failed.
The first panel you posted seems to be squarely in regards to the segregation of the Uchiha, which it seems Sandaime was also had qualms about, but the elders and Danzou managed to get their way there too. The coup and the resulting massacre are mentioned in the next few pages.

The second, I have seen other translations, not stating he refused to accept what was going on, but simply that he tried to reach a truce.

Regardless. Are you saying that what happened wasn't Sarutobi willingly setting aside his authority to acknowledge majority consensus when his own alternative failed, but instead just being too powerless,inept,weak--whatever you want to call it, to do anything? How's that more plausible?

Obviously, Sandaime hated the idea, but everyone knew something had to be done. I don't see how you can interpret it as him simply being powerless to interfere.

Quote:
And quotation marks, really? You think brainwashing is too strong a word to describe the fact that Danzou took young orphan and made them murder one another to raise them into emotionless drones living and dying at his whim? That to force them to slaughter their own comrades to make them more pliable to his orders wasn't butchery?
I'm curious, what words would you use then? Enhanced education?
My quotes were just quotes. I wasn't saying you exaggerated, but obviously you meant to highlight the cruelty. That's why I bring up the chuunin exam. I can describe it as a brutal test where children pitted against each other in combat to see which are most fitting to become future mercenaries and assassins. There's no exaggeration in that description, but obviously I make it very colorful to sell the most horrible aspects of this practice. You do that, and it makes it seem like anyone who could possibly allow it to happen is a horrible monster.

Yes, what Danzou did was extreme by any standard. Monstrous. But let's call it what it is. These methods were Root's extremely strict conditioning. Danzou wanted perfectly loyal soldiers who could carry out missions without remorse or attachment.

Quote:
But I do agree with one thing here : your answer does remain the same... Because you still haven't answered my question!
So here it is for the 3rd or 4th times, how do you reconcile Sarutobi's character with the fact that they knew what Danzou did to those kids? Do you think your theory about the lack of absolute proof is enough to explain their inaction?
My answer is that there's nothing to reconcile. I don't see how Danzou's crimes smear anyone's character. I agree that the lack of subtly handling his character was bad (agreed, he should've been made to answer for his actions after the Sai thing). But we already knew before Danzou's introduction that Konoha had ugly sides. There's a clan where higher family members can kill the lesser ones anytime they want. Going AWOL is an automatic death sentence, no trial or anything. You're simply hunted down and killed. Then your corpse is usually defiled. ROOT's actions seem like just another item to add to the dirty laundry list. The inherent harshness of this world is not something that any character can simply make completely disappear, except the main character of course.

As Kage's job is to run and protect their village. And from what we've seen, Sarutobi (and all the other Hokage) did this job to the best of their ability. But their job isn't to police their own allies. We saw that Root was an extremely convert and near autonomous organization. It's easy for such an organization's practices to become infamous without the group itself actually being exposed. I mean, some fraternities haze and it's "known" that they do but the way it's carried out makes it difficult to pin down. Or how about actual intelligence organizations issues with controversies such as waterboarding and such? Corruption is like a weed, it's not that simple to just hack it away.

Yamato stated he knew about Root's practice of making its members kill each other only after he saw Sai's picture book. That makes it seem like he was using the book to confirm what he understood about Root rather than just stating pure fact
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Old 2012-05-25, 23:12   Link #107
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Originally Posted by Sabaku Kyu View Post
The first panel you posted seems to be squarely in regards to the segregation of the Uchiha, which it seems Sandaime was also had qualms about, but the elders and Danzou managed to get their way there too. The coup and the resulting massacre are mentioned in the next few pages.

The second, I have seen other translations, not stating he refused to accept what was going on, but simply that he tried to reach a truce.

Regardless. Are you saying that what happened wasn't Sarutobi willingly setting aside his authority to acknowledge majority consensus when his own alternative failed, but instead just being too powerless,inept,weak--whatever you want to call it, to do anything? How's that more plausible?

Obviously, Sandaime hated the idea, but everyone knew something had to be done. I don't see how you can interpret it as him simply being powerless to interfere.
You don't see it because it offends your view of Sarutobi, not because of lack of evidence. It's really that simple : I gave you a direct statement about Sarutobi disapproving an issue and being overuled by the rest of the Elders who went on their merry way and did what Sarutobi didn't want them to do.
I've already proven my point with that : Sarutobi's wishes could be -and were- overuled by the rest of the Elders who saw their own decision applied. That put Sarutobi in a weak position as a leader by definition.
Your own interpretation of Sarutobi grudgingly letting this happen for lack of better option is not evidenced by anything in the manga, there is litteraly not a single line even remotely implying that this is the case. The manga doesn't show the Elders helping Sarutobi to take a distasteful decision, they show them overuling him to do what they thought best.

Quote:
My quotes were just quotes. I wasn't saying you exaggerated, but obviously you meant to highlight the cruelty. That's why I bring up the chuunin exam. I can describe it as a brutal test where children pitted against each other in combat to see which are most fitting to become future mercenaries and assassins. There's no exaggeration in that description, but obviously I make it very colorful to sell the most horrible aspects of this practice. You do that, and it makes it seem like anyone who could possibly allow it to happen is a horrible monster.
Yeah, they were just "quotes".
I don't find that colorful, merely accurate except for the last part : this doesn't make them monsters. Very brutal yes but I wouldn't say monstruous. And if you were to re-read the speech Sarutobi made after the 2nd part of the Chuunin exam he aknowledges as much, those are brutal people living in a brutal world, that's one of the main point of the story... And irrelevant because what we're talking about is beyond brutal by several orders of magnitude.
All those examples you make to try to put in perspective Danzou's actions fall short, they don't even come close.

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My answer is that there's nothing to reconcile. I don't see how Danzou's crimes smear anyone's character.
Because you compartmentalize Danzou's action completely in spite of all logic to avoid facing the dichotomy between Sarutobi and Danzou. The man wasn't rogue he was of the highest level of Konoha's governement and his methods were known and yet not stopped which mean either of two things : Sarutobi let him work like that or he was powerless to stop him. The first option flies completely against Sarutobi's character, the 2nd makes him weak (which arguably also goes against his character but then my argument is about this problem in the first place).
And yes the fact that he couldn't change the way the Hyuga behaves also shows weakness though it's more logical considering the feudal-like universe they live in.

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As Kage's job is to run and protect their village. And from what we've seen, Sarutobi (and all the other Hokage) did this job to the best of their ability. But their job isn't to police their own allies. We saw that Root was an extremely convert and near autonomous organization. It's easy for such an organization's practices to become infamous without the group itself actually being exposed. I mean, some fraternities haze and it's "known" that they do but the way it's carried out makes it difficult to pin down. Or how about actual intelligence organizations issues with controversies such as waterboarding and such? Corruption is like a weed, it's not that simple to just hack it away.
This is the kind of paragraph that shows the depth of incomprehension I'm talking about.
Of course it's a leader's job to police his own men -and not just allies- Root are Konoha ninja they are supposed to be his men. The very fact that Root was autonomous is proof of weakness, it's amazing that you can't see that.
Waterboarding? It was authorized at the highest level of governement, it wasn't corruption it was orders and it goes against your very argument : its use did smear the administration who allowed it -as it should be since they were the ones responsible.

Quote:
Yamato stated he knew about Root's practice of making its members kill each other only after he saw Sai's picture book. That makes it seem like he was using the book to confirm what he understood about Root rather than just stating pure fact
No it doesn't, nothing he said hints at that. There is nothing about guesses or confirmation or anything of the sort. He looked at Sai's drawing himself fighting other people and explained to team 7 that Danzou made Root members kill each other, period.

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Old 2012-05-29, 00:11   Link #108
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First, thanks for replying. Everyone else has long since tired of this. But I'll give it one more go. This will probably be my last reply, but I'm still interested in seeing what you have to say if you got anything.

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Originally Posted by Hunter View Post
Your own interpretation of Sarutobi grudgingly letting this happen for lack of better option is not evidenced by anything in the manga, there is litteraly not a single line even remotely implying that this is the case. The manga doesn't show the Elders helping Sarutobi to take a distasteful decision, they show them overuling him to do what they thought best.
I gave you the implication. Again, I ask you if Sarutobi literally had no authority regarding the Uchiha matter, why did Itachi specifically entrust Sarutobi to protect Sasuke from Danzou afterwards? If Sarutobi was totally ineffectual against the wishes of the elders and Danzou, why even make that request? Danzou could simply go over Sandaime's head like he did before and finish the job by killing Sasuke. Tobi even stated that Itachi appeared in the village again after Sarutobi's death because he knew nothing was keeping Danzou away from Sasuke with the Sandaime dead.

You're saying Sarutobi was powerless to stop Danzou and the elders from having the Uchiha killed, but for some reason the same people were unable to kill the last remaining Uchiha in the village, a mere boy. What was stopping them??

Offer your explanation of how Itachi's request that Sarutobi protect Sasuke from Danzou meshes with the concept that Sarutobi had no authority over him regarding the lives of the Uchiha and I'll be satisfied (well, at least i won't argue over it )

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I don't find that colorful, merely accurate except for the last part : this doesn't make them monsters. Very brutal yes but I wouldn't say monstruous. And if you were to re-read the speech Sarutobi made after the 2nd part of the Chuunin exam he aknowledges as much, those are brutal people living in a brutal world, that's one of the main point of the story... And irrelevant because what we're talking about is beyond brutal by several orders of magnitude.
All those examples you make to try to put in perspective Danzou's actions fall short, they don't even come close.
I wasn't saying chuunin exam is a monstrous practice. Well, by non-fantasy standards it absolutely is ... but most of the characters don't treat it much worse than taking SAT's. Again, I was saying that it can easily be made to seem monstrous by describing it using the right words (if you don't find the description of having kids fighting bloody battles to whet the appetites of potential clients whom one day it's hoped will purchase their services as murders "monstrous", you have narrow definition of the word) And yeah, the exams still fall far short of Danzou's cruelty, but it's still children pitted in deadly combat.

Keep in mind I'm not trying to justify Danzou's actions here. I'm just pointing out that even the acceptable practices in Konoha can be very Spartan and brutal. With that in mind, it's not really all that shocking to me that a covert cell could exist where the recruits pitted each other in fight to the death and that it wouldn't illicit the same level of response you'd expect in a normal world. Even if it is considered heinous by the characters.

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Because you compartmentalize Danzou's action completely in spite of all logic to avoid facing the dichotomy between Sarutobi and Danzou. The man wasn't rogue he was of the highest level of Konoha's governement and his methods were known and yet not stopped which mean either of two things : Sarutobi let him work like that or he was powerless to stop him. The first option flies completely against Sarutobi's character, the 2nd makes him weak (which arguably also goes against his character but then my argument is about this problem in the first place).
And yes the fact that he couldn't change the way the Hyuga behaves also shows weakness though it's more logical considering the feudal-like universe they live in.
I don't mind the criticism on Sarutobi's character. I just don't see exactly what Danzou's actions revealed about Sarutobi's character that suddenly make him so weak. Because Danzou did bad things while under Sarutobi's command? That happened with Oro. Because Sarutobi yielded to a decision that killed innocents? That happened with the Hyuuga. It's nothing new.

I mean has his character perceived always been perceived as weak or was Danzou just the straw that broke the camel's back?

Totally agree, mentally breaking the kids and forcing them to fight each other.. that's taking it to another level. Still, there's nothing saying Sarutobi for a fact knew it was happening. It's just assumed because Yamato confront Sai about it. And I admit, if Yamato knew it's completely logical to say that Sarutobi must've known, but that doesn't really agree with the notion that Danzou tries so hard to keep everything in Root secret. If his methods are so well-known, why all the secrecy like the sealed tongues (yes, I realize that's a retcon dince Sai blabs freely about Danzou early in Pt II) Still, it's obvious Danzou wasn't brazen about his operation. He obviously strived for secrecy. Why would that even matter if everything he does is established fact in Konoha?


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Of course it's a leader's job to police his own men -and not just allies- Root are Konoha ninja they are supposed to be his men. The very fact that Root was autonomous is proof of weakness, it's amazing that you can't see that.
I'm talking about a leader attempting to control every single aspect of the organization, not placing any faith in their subordinate leaders' ability or loyalty. Realistically, actually exposing Root would require planting spies and placing full time surveillance on Danzou without his knowledge. Even then, we're talking about infiltrating a secret organization that specializes in infiltration. Unless we're just talking about scenario where Sandaime gets rid of Danzou, because hey, some orphans are missing, then I don't find it implausible to believe Danzou managed to slip through their system.

Like I said before. After Danzou pulled his stunt against Sasuke and Sai spoke out about Danzou's motives, it's ridiculous he was taken into any kind of custody. But before that, it doesn't seem so outrageous to me.


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No it doesn't, nothing he said hints at that. There is nothing about guesses or confirmation or anything of the sort. He looked at Sai's drawing himself fighting other people and explained to team 7 that Danzou made Root members kill each other, period.
Yamato doesn't explain anything to Team 7 right after seeing the picture book. Sakura finds the picture book in chapter 300. They look at it together and Yamato says nothing about it. In chapter 303, Yamato explains to Sai that he was able to figure out that the drawings were about him and his brother fighting each other. Then he goes on to say that Root are forced to undergo the same training as the Bloody Mist.

Point is, he waits until he confronts Sai to say anything then tells him that he deduced the meaning of the story before explaining about Root. That implies to me he was awaiting for some kind of confirmation (or rejection as the case may be) from Sai. If there's a strong common held belief that a kid's dad is abusive, and then the kid draws a picture of his dad hitting his mom, I'd go right ahead and tell the kid his dad is abusive. Because then it's just blatantly obvious.

Yamato states the information like a fact. But he was also about state Sakura's feelings about Naruto like a fact. Is it because he "knows" that? He can get inside Sakura's head? Or is it because he just pieced something together that's become obvious to him.
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Old 2012-05-29, 09:37   Link #109
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First, thanks for replying. Everyone else has long since tired of this. But I'll give it one more go. This will probably be my last reply, but I'm still interested in seeing what you have to say if you got anything.
That's ok, as often when this kind of discussion goes further than 2-3 posts we're mostly repeating ourselfs at this point anyway.

Quote:
I gave you the implication. Again, I ask you if Sarutobi literally had no authority regarding the Uchiha matter, why did Itachi specifically entrust Sarutobi to protect Sasuke from Danzou afterwards? If Sarutobi was totally ineffectual against the wishes of the elders and Danzou, why even make that request? Danzou could simply go over Sandaime's head like he did before and finish the job by killing Sasuke. Tobi even stated that Itachi appeared in the village again after Sarutobi's death because he knew nothing was keeping Danzou away from Sasuke with the Sandaime dead.

You're saying Sarutobi was powerless to stop Danzou and the elders from having the Uchiha killed, but for some reason the same people were unable to kill the last remaining Uchiha in the village, a mere boy. What was stopping them??

Offer your explanation of how Itachi's request that Sarutobi protect Sasuke from Danzou meshes with the concept that Sarutobi had no authority over him regarding the lives of the Uchiha and I'll be satisfied (well, at least i won't argue over it )
You gave me the implications of your claim yes but you haven't provided any basis for this claim in the first place. You also try to dodge the bullet by asking me an explanation of Itachi's request in regard to the points I have provided instead of answering them but your argument is a false dilemma for several reasons :
  • First I don't have to find an explanation for how X and Y fit together because my very argument since the beginning is that they don't fit and that Sarutobi's character doesn't make sense given what we learned over the story. You willfully ignore all proofs of weakness by giving me one element of strenght (or supposedly so, I will go into that later) whereas said element does nothing to weaken my argument to begin with.
  • Secondly even ignoring for the sake of the argument that it was a false dilemma it's not even a good one. For Sarutobi to be a weak leader (ie only one out of four persons making the decisions -decisions which are enforced only if enough of the others share his view) doesn't mean he had no power whatsoever, just that this power was severely limited to the point where others could decide of Konoha's policies against his wishes if he was outvoted.
  • And finally I'd also point out that Itachi didn't feel it was enough to ask Sarutobi to protect Sasuke, he also threatened the rest of them to release Konoha's secrets to their ennemies.


Quote:
I wasn't saying chuunin exam is a monstrous practice. Well, by non-fantasy standards it absolutely is ... but most of the characters don't treat it much worse than taking SAT's. Again, I was saying that it can easily be made to seem monstrous by describing it using the right words (if you don't find the description of having kids fighting bloody battles to whet the appetites of potential clients whom one day it's hoped will purchase their services as murders "monstrous", you have narrow definition of the word) And yeah, the exams still fall far short of Danzou's cruelty, but it's still children pitted in deadly combat.

Keep in mind I'm not trying to justify Danzou's actions here. I'm just pointing out that even the acceptable practices in Konoha can be very Spartan and brutal. With that in mind, it's not really all that shocking to me that a covert cell could exist where the recruits pitted each other in fight to the death and that it wouldn't illicit the same level of response you'd expect in a normal world. Even if it is considered heinous by the characters.
I don't think I've a narrow definition of the word. The Chunnin exam is brutal and cruel no doubt and the possibility of death is there but it's also a controlled environment full of cameras and observators ready to jump in when things go out of hand. This is no battle royal by any stretch of the imagination.
And as you say it's a pointless argument anyway because it doesn't relativise Danzou's actions which do illicit the same level of response in out world and their.

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I don't mind the criticism on Sarutobi's character. I just don't see exactly what Danzou's actions revealed about Sarutobi's character that suddenly make him so weak. Because Danzou did bad things while under Sarutobi's command? That happened with Oro. Because Sarutobi yielded to a decision that killed innocents? That happened with the Hyuuga. It's nothing new.

I mean has his character perceived always been perceived as weak or was Danzou just the straw that broke the camel's back?

Totally agree, mentally breaking the kids and forcing them to fight each other.. that's taking it to another level. Still, there's nothing saying Sarutobi for a fact knew it was happening. It's just assumed because Yamato confront Sai about it. And I admit, if Yamato knew it's completely logical to say that Sarutobi must've known, but that doesn't really agree with the notion that Danzou tries so hard to keep everything in Root secret. If his methods are so well-known, why all the secrecy like the sealed tongues (yes, I realize that's a retcon dince Sai blabs freely about Danzou early in Pt II) Still, it's obvious Danzou wasn't brazen about his operation. He obviously strived for secrecy. Why would that even matter if everything he does is established fact in Konoha?
Sarutobi found out the rumors about Oro, hunted him down and Oro had to fleed Konoha for his life, if you don't see the difference with Danzou we've a real problem here. The Hyuga incident was indeed a stain on Sarutobi but not in the way you seem to think, Neji's father was a willing sacrifice which make things completely different. The real problem is that a huge portion of the Hyuga are de facto slaves and that nothing is done about it but like I said it's not that much a problem in the current subject of our discussion because it doesn't show incoherence in Sarutobi's character like Danzou does.

Look I will try to summarize the Danzou problem in 3 points. Danzou ran an autonomous praetorian black ops operation made of brainwashed war orphans so either Sarutobi
  • knew about it and let him continue to operate this way : goes against everything Sarutobi's character is all about.
  • was oblivious about it : knowledge is power, Sarutobi ignoring all this was going on for decades shows a terrible failure in leadership.
  • knew about it but was powerless to stop it : same as above.

Hell, just to highlight how the Kage position in general looks powerless in front of Danzou : after the man was destituted and Root disbanded it changed nothing and they knows it. The man can simply walk in the Kage and the Elders, have one of his own man officially part of a mission whereas he's not supposed ro run anything anymore and commit treason as he sees fit with absolute impunity which is such common knowledge that Yamato flatly told team 7 about it at the beginning of the mission.

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I'm talking about a leader attempting to control every single aspect of the organization, not placing any faith in their subordinate leaders' ability or loyalty.
Yes that's called oversight, if a governement can't have that over its own military forces it is indeed in deep trouble.

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Point is, he waits until he confronts Sai to say anything then tells him that he deduced the meaning of the story before explaining about Root. That implies to me he was awaiting for some kind of confirmation (or rejection as the case may be) from Sai. If there's a strong common held belief that a kid's dad is abusive, and then the kid draws a picture of his dad hitting his mom, I'd go right ahead and tell the kid his dad is abusive. Because then it's just blatantly obvious.
Yamato states the information like a fact. But he was also about state Sakura's feelings about Naruto like a fact. Is it because he "knows" that? He can get inside Sakura's head? Or is it because he just pieced something together that's become obvious to him.
Sorry but you're making this up as you go, the only thing Yamato deduced was that Sai's "brother" was the one he was forced to kill to remove his emotion. There was no deduction or rumors about the special training Root is subject to and certainly not that Yamato had just found out that Root were having identical training to the bloody mist just because he saw a book with Sai fighting people.
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