Well the possibility of wrapping up Asuma, Dan, and Hanzou’s subplots in one fell swoop was quickly put to rest when Ino, Shikamaru, and Chouji darted in against Asuma and were never seen again for the rest of the chapter. I wasn’t expecting Mifune and Hanzou to get as much attention as they did, but their bit of backstory did help emphasize why Hanzou was in a samurai get-up. He’s likely based on Hanzou Hattori after all, who was a samurai turned ninja much like it was depicted here. I just wouldn’t have pictured him as a supposed “fallen samurai” that turned to the way of the ninja. Still, it was an interesting subplot and one that had me looking up a bit more about the real Hanzou’s history.
In contrast, the flashback with Yahiko, or more specifically Nagato/Pain, came a bit out of the blue. More so than how Hanzou had a run-in with Akatsuki in the past, I was dwelling on mention of Danzou’s involvement. I could be mistaken, but I don’t recall there being any hints that Danzou was conspiring with Akatsuki leading up to now. He did enlist the help of Orochimaru with all the ability stealing though (i.e. Uchiha and Senju), so there’s always that avenue given how the latter was once a member. I get the feeling I’m forgetting about something though, so feel free to jostle my memory if you have a better recollection of it.
In any case, I gather this is the conclusion of the Mifune/Hanzou bit, although something still has to be done about sealing him away. It was minor, but I just love how Chiyo helped the good side by spilling the beans on Hanzou’s abilities. It kind of makes me wonder why more of the resurrected ninjas who don’t want to be used as tools don’t do the same. i.e., “My weakness is…!” Too much pride even in death perhaps?