It’s a bird, it’s a plane… it’s a flying thunder god! (…I think.) To be honest, I’m still not sure what Naruto did in his newly acquired “Kyuubi Mode” other than move across the room at instantaneous-like speeds. For all we know, he might just be that fast with the demonic chakra at his disposal, because I don’t think a kunai with a seal on it can even get there as quickly as he did. As surprising as that was to see, the first thing that caught my attention when Naruto finally left his state of meditation was how long that fist pump mind meld’s been held for. When I first mentioned it, it was eight chapters ago. It may not have actually been that long with all the flashbacks, but it sure felt like an eternity on this side of the fence. Bee and Yamato have my condolences. I mean come on Naruto, people don’t have all day to help you harness the beast within you, so you could at least hurry it the hell up! No one wants to hear excuses about how it was a struggle to the death against one of the most powerful tailed beasts either, when you were really chatting with your mom for the past while. 😛
Anyway, I wonder what the official name of Naruto’s new transformation will be. It’s kind of weird how he looks like he’s on fire, but you can see the inner chakra frame of sorts through his clothes. Back when it was shown six chapters ago, I thought it was just to signify him harnessing the chakra and had no idea that it was going to be a form in itself. I guess it’s an improvement over having all his skin peeled away and losing control when the Nine-Tails used to take over, which leaves me wondering if the flames he gives off are the same black and red colors. This new look is probably to emphasize that he deserves the Hokage title more than ever now, being a living flame/shadow that radiates life energy. He just so happens to embody the meaning of the two kanji that spell the word too, 「火影」, so they may as well call it “Hokage Mode”. Whatever they decide to call it, it was cool how this chapter gave us an early taste of what he’s capable now, even though it doesn’t look like he’s fully aware of the extent of his new powers. It’s probably safe to assume that Naruto is ridiculously overpowered in terms of both power and speed though. Couple that with his ridiculous stamina, durability, and some new sensory ability that transcends chakra ones (…perhaps from his fox-like nose), and Naruto looks like a force that no one would want to reckon with.
It’s a shame that he won’t be the one to completely obliterate Kisame now that the latter’s been sniffed out, though seeing what new techniques Guy has picked up is appealing in its own way. I already got a pretty good laugh out of him stepping into the Falls of Truth (Shinjutsu no Taki) and being rattled by his inner demons calling him out for being a geezer trying to hang onto his youth, but Kisame popping out from behind the waterfall and confusing the hell of Guy was hilarious! Hilarious I say! In a way, his three-year-plus unsettled score with Kisame sort of is an inner demon of his, which we should see him trying to conquer next time. I gather the shot that Naruto gave Kisame already dazed him a fair bit, but Guy landed a pretty a nice opener himself. It should be pretty awesome seeing these two tango for a bit next chapter, but I can’t foresee Kisame sticking around for an actual fight when Naruto and Yamato aren’t that far behind.