It’s kind of amazing how Madara and Kabuto haven’t killed each other yet and continue to play a dangerous game where they both think they’re using the other person. From their conversation, there’s little doubt in my mind that they’re well aware that they’re keeping tabs on one another and have both planned many steps ahead to take that into account. This of course means that I’m not entirely convinced that Kabuto’s explanation on how Madara could use his Sharingan on him to get him to cancel the Edo Tensei is entirely truthful, much like how Madara wasn’t buying it either. For all we know, it may very well trigger a backup technique that Kabuto has planned in case he falls under the effects Madara’s doujutsu.
Even if that isn’t the case, Kabuto was pretty clever in stating that the technique would persist even if he’s killed, as it dissuades Madara from killing him at his convenience and risk losing control over all the resurrected ninjas. This could even be a straight-up lie as well, but isn’t something I can see Madara calling Kabuto’s bluff on without knowing for sure. I still get the feeling that Kabuto is withholding some information about the technique and has only partially explained how it works, which isn’t in reference to how he used Anko’s body to power up the ninjas he brought back. What’s more, I’m still suspect he’s made certain “improvements” to the Zetsu clones that Madara isn’t aware of, which is what might ultimately tip the balance in Kabuto’s favor. It may even be that the “release” seals he’s told Madara actually release some sort of effect in all the clones instead (e.g. Madara’s control over them).
Other than that, I really like how the story’s going into a bit of detail on how the ninja divisions are deployed, giving off a real sense that there’s a war going on. Rather than just depicting ninja battles all over the place, the military strategics provide an overview of the status of the war and also place emphasis on which battles are absolutely crucial. Granted, that was pretty much overshadowed by the eruption of Zetsu clones from underground, and the ninja alliance lying in wait to take as many of them out as they could with a preemptive attack. After seeing that spectacle of bodies in the air, I’m curious to know exactly how many Zetsu clones they managed to take out in one fell swoop. I somehow get the feeling that they may have managed to get away without too many losses, meaning that all hell should break loose now that the opposing armies are face to face.
Whatever happens, I’m glad to see Kakashi up against Zabuza again, as he’s the only one who would’ve made their fight interesting from a story standpoint. I was a bit surprised by how remarkably noble Zabuza is though, as it’s something that I would’ve only really expected from Haku. This includes how he asked how Naruto’s doing before eventually making a plea to Kakashi to free them from their immortal existence as tools. The fact that they had a very respectable conversation made me feel sorry for Zabuza and Haku, and hoping that something can be done for them even in death. Before even getting underway, this has already turned out to be one of the sentimental match-ups I was looking forward to, so I can’t wait to see how their battle unfolds.