No, the post title isn’t in reference to the StarCraft II trailer, but to all the resurrected ninjas at Kabuto’s disposal. Among them is Shin, Sai’s brotherly figure from his days in Root, who looks like he’ll be providing the first interesting fight in this war. While I can’t say this match-up is anywhere near my top list on ones I’d like to see first, I’m curious to see how Sai handles it now that he shows more emotion than ever before. The other interesting pairing is a rematch between the puppet masters, Kankurou and Sasori, the latter of which who was able to walk away as the victor with ease before. If things do play out that way, Omoi will likely be left to deal with the highly volatile Deidara, who won’t hesitate to make a living bomb out of anyone. On paper, it looks like the stage has been set for three one-on-one battles taking place concurrently — which is completely fine from an action point of view — but does leave me wondering exactly how much time will be spent on all of these encounters. As seen this chapter, the war itself got underway fairly quickly with lots of casualties on the ninja alliance side, so it would be kind of odd to see that rapid development on several fronts come to a complete standstill to focus on the individual fights every time. Should that be what’s in store, I can definitely see this war dragging out for a full year of manga releases if need be. It would be a good thing for those who care enjoy the fighting first and foremost, though probably not be the most interesting form of progression for those who want to see the story move forward.
Personally, I sit somewhere in between. I’m all for the shounen action, but I’m not all about it either. Hopefully there will be a good balance so that the chaotic nature of the war isn’t lost to formalistic battles. As much as I’d like to see each of these group battles depicted in detail, I’m leaning towards the idea that the vast majority need to be covered noticeably briefer than we’re accustomed to, otherwise we won’t be seeing Naruto come into the picture for a long time to come. However, I do realize that nothing has happened in the story quite to this scale before, meaning that anything’s possible at this point. Story-wise, one notable tidbit is the order to capture Kabuto alive in hopes of getting him to cancel the Edo Tensei technique, as if that were the easiest thing to do in the world. Even with all the ninjas in the world assembled to stop him and Madara, part of me thinks they should just try to take him out (if they can) and know that he won’t be summoning any more. Capturing him alive just upped the difficulty a fair degree, especially when Kabuto/Orochimaru can slither his way out of almost any situation.
Other than that, I can’t help but look far into the future on what this alliance means for all the villages. With all their ninjas working together and reorganized according to their abilities, I’d imagine that a lot of their hidden techniques will get revealed to former enemies along the way. From that point on, it almost seems like there would be no going back to the way things were before, at least not without a shift in power from all the intelligence gained. As such, I’m looking forward to seeing the state of the world after the war, just as much as the end result of the war itself.