This chapter felt a bit run-of-the-mill, but I attribute that mainly to the fact that I’ve been taught the moral of “accepting the darkness within oneself rather than trying to conquer it” many times in the past. It’s not exactly something new and I already foresaw it coming two chapters back, so any impact it would’ve made was clearly lost on me. However, despite being a rather overused cliché, I don’t find that its inclusion here a negative effect on the direction of the story. Taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture, I can easily see the really young generation of fans learning of such a moral for the very first time. As such, it’s hardly what I’d consider a wasted venture when elementary school kids will read Naruto just as much as high school or older individuals.
With Naruto’s inner darkness now cleansed, it looks we’ll be moving on to bigger and better things in the upcoming weeks. Namely, Bee getting all buddy-buddy with Naruto and offering to help him learn how to control the Nine-tails. In this case, it’s already sounding like he has to give it a good ass-kicking first to earn its respect and/or acknowledgment, which is an approach opposite of the aforementioned moral. All I’ll say about that though is that demon foxes within you are a special case and need to be handled differently. =P Other than that, I did get a cheap laugh out of Yamato asking if he can come along, most likely out of concern that Naruto might go berserk again and he’d have to contain him. Yamato sure has it rough. That said, any predictions on how the Naruto versus Nine-tails bit will play out?