For a chapter with so many flashback revelations, it sure was hard to find a relatively spoiler free image to use that didn’t include Minato, Kushina, etc. In any case, it looks like I was a bit off the mark with my hunch last chapter that Naruto was still in Kushina’s womb when Madara attacked Konoha with the Kyuubi. Interestingly enough, the whole child birth portion of it did play a key role in all of this though. There were clearly more important things to focus on here, but I couldn’t help but feel how disadvantageous it is to have a female Jinchuuriki if the seal weakens when giving birth. If there’s one thing to be thankful about Naruto becoming the new host is that he has the Y chromosome, so he’s already a step up from his mother and the original host, Uzumaki Mito. The only thing I have a bit of difficulty accepting is how Konoha even allowed the Jinchuuriki to get pregnant in the first place if there’s a such a huge risk involved.
I suppose it technically isn’t that much of an issue since only the select few were even aware of the seal weakening, but word only had to reach the likes of Madara for it to become a history defining moment for all of Konoha. Still, both Mito and Kushina’s husbands were Hokages, so it would likely be more suspicious if they didn’t have kids for some reason and pass on their superior genes. What’s more, the story did emphasize that the host needs love to endure the difficulties that come with being one, making the outcome somewhat unavoidable as well. As such, I see the real cause of the problem as Madara and his vendetta with the Senju. Given Madara’s ultimatum at the end, I suspect Minato will end up saving Naruto over Kushina at the latter’s request. This in turn would result in the Kyuubi being harnessed from Kushina to attack Konoha later on, at which point we all know Minato sacrificed himself to reseal the tailed beast within Naruto. Incidentally, the whole family tragedy theme would still ring true for Naruto, though it’s nice to know that Minato and Kushina got to at least meet him before they died. At the same time, that was probably one of the most horrible moments for Kushina — seeing her newborn snatched away from her within minutes.
Story-wise, the linked ancestry between the Senju and Uzumaki reinforces the notion that the struggle between Naruto and Sasuke is the second coming of one between Hashirama and Madara. It also showed how Naruto’s one of the few remnants of the Uzumaki clan, none too different from Sasuke and the Uchiha. If nothing else, this revelation helped depict the different paths the two of them walked starting from strikingly similar circumstances. I find it hard to sympathize for Sasuke’s situation knowing that he willing chose to walk the path of darkness and hatred, but perhaps it’s simply a vicious fate he can’t escape as an Uchiha. It’s a shame to say the least, especially after seeing how well Kushina got along with Sasuke’s mother, Mikoto. I bet the last thing they were expecting their boys to grow up doing is trying to kill one another.