I probably should’ve been more pumped up from Gaara’s speech that united all the ninjas under his command, but I’ve clearly gotten a lot more jaded and cynical over the years. It was one of those scenes that I know will have much more of an impact when it’s animated, in its attempt to get the reader excited about what’s coming up. In the pages of a weekly manga, I find the whole effect really depends on the mood of the reader coming in though, as there isn’t much in the way of voice acting nor music to set the tone. However, that’s not to say I didn’t feel it was well scripted for the series as a whole, seeing as it showed a side to Gaara that we haven’t really seen before.
While it’s no secret that he feels indebted to Naruto for saving him from being consumed by hatred, it’s like something else altogether to announce that to the ninja world. What’s more, he even went on to ask for everyone’s help protecting Naruto and the entire world, which the Gaara before would have never done. The first time he showed indication of turning a new leaf was back when he put his life on the line to protecting his village as its new Kazekage against Deidara. From then until now, he’s shown even more maturity, charisma, and most of all emotion, the last of which came as a bit of a surprise. Consequently, he sure did one heck of a job rallying the army and getting them to stop fighting amongst themselves by simply making everyone feel like their abilities are needed. With the army of Zetsu clones approaching from underground, we all know that it wasn’t just a leadership tactic to get everyone to cooperate either. Much like this fourth ninja war was made out to be last chapter, the casualties look like they’ll be plentiful as sheer numbers will be colliding head-on.
Other than Gaara’s big speech to further play up what a big deal this impending war is, the talks between Kabuto’s resurrected ninjas is definitely sparking my interest more on the sentimental and/or nostalgic match-ups we’ll likely see. Story-wise, I’m not expecting them to have too much more of a role than that, and instead, somewhat foresee Kabuto betraying Madara at some point. Given how he’s capable of keeping all the resurrected ninja under his control, I don’t think it’s too far-fetched believing that his improvements on the Zetsu army will allow him to take control of them as well. Whatever the case, Kabuto is definitely someone I’ll have my eye on as the battle unfolds, much like I will on Naruto when he finally figures out that there’s a war going on to protect him and Bee from Akatsuki. I can only see him charging head first into the front lines when that happens, but it should be pretty awesome now that he’s getting accustomed to controlling the Kyuubi’s chakra. Can you imagine the look on everyone’s faces when he reveals his new form and single-handedly changes the tides of the war? It should be good.