And no, the post title isn’t in reference to Kakashi pulling out his Sharingan in the anime spoiler-free image above. The real “hax” is Kabuto’s seemingly endless number of famous ninjas that he keeps pulling out of his coffins. This time, it’s the Seven Swordsmen of the Hidden Mist. He had already tipped the scale in his favor by powering up his undead summons too, with the use of Orochimaru’s chakra found in Anko. The sight of a bruised and battered Kakashi after going toe-to-toe against Zabuza seemed to suggest as much anyway, plus the various other Kekkei Genkai (Bloodline Limit) users that laid waste to his group. In terms of giving off a sense of a very scrambled effort from a bunch of ninjas who aren’t up to snuff for war, this chapter did impeccably in that regard and left me thinking that a lot of them should just stay back and not get in the way of the veteran Jounin. The last thing Kakashi’s division needs are medical ninjas like Sakura working overtime to try and save lives. Amidst the slaughter, the one thing that was worth taking away is how talking to the resurrected ninjas isn’t going to be enough to release them from the technique.
This actually comes as a bit of a surprise to me, since I was expecting it to be the means of dealing with the numerous emotion-filled battles battles to come. Now that it’s gone with Kabuto strengthening his control over all his pawns, I’m curious as to what will become of those. Even for former enemies such as Zabuza and Haku, the psychological effect has already been shown to work to a certain degree, which had me to looking forward to what happens for those who are up against ninjas once considered friends or more. I gather it would’ve been similar to when Hiruzen had to fight the First and Second Hokage, except without the chiseled resolve that comes with age and being a Kage, so I’ll be slightly disappointed if everyone becomes mindless tools without any resemblance of their former selves. Whatever the case, this raises a much more interesting question on how to defeat these immortal ninjas, short of some sacrificial sealing technique such as the Shiki Fuujin. Even if there were willing sacrifices, it’s not exactly like it’s a low rank ability that anyone can perform either. The outcome of this latest battle will hopefully address that in some way, because I don’t have many ideas in mind based on what we know about the technique. I guess there’s always Kakashi’s Kamui technique to warp them off to another dimension, but even if that does work, some planning is in order on how to deal with the rest of Kabuto’s ninjas. I suspect he’s still withholding the true weakness behind Edo Tensei, which should turn the tide whenever it’s discovered.
With all that going on, I had completely forgotten about what became of Juugo and Suigetsu. At the moment, it seems like their brief appearance in this chapter was more to emphasize that the broken Kubikiri Houchou, a.k.a. Decapitating Carving Knife, found its way back into Zabuza’s hands, but it did also hint at some further development on the Team Taka (Hawk) side of things. Sasuke we know still in the recovery process after getting Itachi’s eyes transplanted, whereas Karin is in Konoha’s custody after she was sacrificed in his fight against Danzou. I don’t doubt they’ll all have a prominent role to play later on, but which side it’ll be on is the real question.