As intriguing as the possibility is, it’s kind of hard to fathom that Neji would betray his fellow ninjas and side with Madara for some yet to be explained reason. I entertained the idea for a bit because it’s completely out of left wing (i.e. a straight-edged ninja turning to the dark side), but before long, gave Neji the benefit of the doubt due to all the backstory I’ve seen about his character. Much like it was alluded to in the chapter, there’s always the possibility that he’s under the influence of Madara’s eye techniques, except it’s hard to buy into that suspicion when they haven’t come into contact with one another. This left me thinking that it’s good ‘ol Zetsu planting the seeds of doubt like the proficient spy that he is.

This latest development is almost like a test of sorts to see if readers are paying attention to all the subtle details in the story, as the chakra test by the sensory ninjas quickly ruled out the use of a transformation technique to infiltrate the ninja alliance’s medics. In all likelihood, that was intended to make unsuspecting readers overlook the fact that white Zetsu can create a perfect clone of someone he’s come into contact with — right down to their chakra — much like we saw with both himself and Kisame. As such, the real surprise came from the ninja sneaking about for a chance to profess his love to Sakura. He was effectively the red herring that diverted most of the attention away from “Neji”. In any case, the possibility that this is all Zetsu’s doing does seem to be the most probable explanation at the moment.

As odd as it may sound, what caught my attention the most this chapter were the earlier pages between Naruto and the Kyuubi. Our spirited protagonist is never short of big goals it seems, but what I really liked was how his declaration of eliminating all of the Nine-Tails’ hatred put a very literal spin on the idea that “change has to start from within.” In other words, before Naruto has any hope of eliminated all the hatred in the world, he has to eliminate all of the hatred in his own heart (which just so happens to contain a demon fox). It’s kind of cheesy when I put it that way, but the notion does serve as a morale to the story that I feel series like this should be promoting to its younger audiences.

Last but definitely not least was the little bit of dialogue between Itachi and Pain, which I gather is some foreshadowing of Madara’s unworldly powers now that he has both a Sharingan and a Rinnegan. I like to joke about how he probably has the ability to make the universe implode on itself by “crossing the streams”, except it doesn’t seem all that far-fetched since Madara specializes in space-time techniques. Hax + Hax = More Hax?

Note: I’ll be picking back up regular coverage of the Naruto manga. It’s not too time-consuming to cover and helps alleviate Kiiragi’s load a bit. I figured some people might like having me “around” too.


  1. Divine, thanks so much for the summary! You’re really fast! 🙂

    I hope that Neji is just being controlled by someone because I can’t imagine him betraying his clan and Konoha.

    1. I really doubt he’s being controlled. Kishimoto wouldn’t pull something like that. Since when did Kishimoto let his semi-important characters get into something like that? It’s like what Divine said… it is someone else!

  2. From what i see, there’s a possibility that neji is under a mind-transfering jutsu trap. Do u remember 1 of danzo’s body guard? The sensor-type ninja? The part where he tried to steal the byakugan from Mizukage’s bodyguard during the kage-summit arc. Its possible that neji fell into this trap while he was scouting the area with his byakugan. On page 3 he’s on byakugan, then after that he felt wozzy, much like just after someone switched body after a mind transfering jutsu. Well, this is just my thoughts.

      1. Well, didn’t Madara capture and later kill Danzo’s subordinate Fu. Isn’t he a member of Ino’s clan. I think Madara used Fu and Torune to have Kabuto demonstrate the Impure World Resurrection. They could have resurrected Fu and use his abilities. Just a thought.

      2. That would work, but it’s getting a bit convoluted and would require more time to be spent exploring Fuu’s character. Given the number of resurrected ninjas that we still have, I guess it comes down to whether or not more time will be invested in characters who were killed off not too long ago. I’m thinking no, but the possibility is definitely there.

    1. I came up with a similar idea as Destiny. I felt when he got dizzy while scouting and was told to go to the medics, that was when something happened to him. I’m not sure what just yet. Mind body takeover? Maybe. If I remember right, Neji’s father is one of the ones who was resurrected. Maybe that has something to do with it. I was expecting a conflict when I saw his father was among the resurrected, but haven’t seen anything yet.

      Divine brought up Zetsu which never crossed my mind before. Maybe that is it, he is just a clone.

  3. Looks like Itachi’s Xanatos gambit (that is still there) never expected this to happen.

    Kudos to Kishimoto for the red herring, I was hating the guy before the chapter ended.

    I doubt Neji is a true traitor (most likely controlled), it will be a big twist in the story and Kishimoto does not have the guts… uh…

    Lectro Volpi
  4. The interaction between Naruto and Nine-tails made me think that we’ll definitely see them unite pretty soon, even if it’s just because they have a common enemy [Madara]. And then they can fully transform like Killer Bee!

      1. Yeah, and this makes me think it’ll happen sooner rather than later. The bonds between them are starting to strengthen. I’m curious, though, who do you think Naruto will fight first, Sasuke or Madara?

      2. Oh Sasuke first with Madara being the endgame big bad. Unless Maadara somehow gets himself perished in this war and Kabuto/orochimaru comes back to haunt them (not likely but it is possible)?

  5. “His declaration of eliminating all of the Nine-Tails’ hatred put a very literal spin on the idea that “change has to start from within.” In other words, before Naruto has any hope of eliminated all the hatred in the world, he has to eliminate all of the hatred in his own heart”

    Well in this day and age sometimes people forget about themselves and its a nice reminder to help yourself and treat yourself as well XD

  6. It was kind of obvious to me that the “guy” was not the real culprit. He showed up waay too much to be an effective spy/villian. Nevertheless, the confession did come out of nowhere. I agree with the poeple above in that Neji was probably taken over when he fainted a little. The real Neji probably wouldnt have gone to the medical tents at all.

  7. Wait a minute! Didn’t Sasuke take Itachi’s eye? If so how did Itachi get a new par, I can understand Nagato having a eye left because Madara only took one eye.

    1. The state of the corpse doesn’t have a bearing on their revived form. Keep in mind that only their DNA is required to resurrect them, so they’re brought back in a form that allows them to use all their abilities. The body itself is just the human sacrifice’s, which has taken on the appearance of the resurrected ninja.

      1. it is important to note that they are not brought back in their prime. Pain appears to still be unable to walk as a result of the explosive tag attack.

        I wonder if itachi can see?
        Or if he now has an eternal mangekyou since his eyes will be continuously regenerating.

      2. they are brought back in the state before they died both Itachi’s and Nagato’s eyes were removed after their deaths so they keep them

        Nagato got his legs blown up way before his death

  8. Couldn’t it have been Neji’s father? They sort of look alike don’t they? You guys are probably right in that Neji was taken over but I sort of thought of his father. Anyways I like how they cut off Sakura saying who she loves.

    1. Well when Neji was first introduced in the Chuunin exam fighting Naruto he definitely had QUITE a bit of hatred for destiny/fate. Maybe he’s finally deciding to pull a Sasuke? lol

  9. Boo. I like Neji, he better be under control. Also i really did like that short little chat with Nagato and Itachi, to be honest that was my highlight, i was wondering where they went anyways after getting ressurected. I highly doubt this would happen but i thought it would be interesting if Sasuke somehow encountered Itachi in his current state, then the hilarity ensued….well for me anyway.

  10. It’s weird to see Neji as the bad guy again and it’s weird that I’m happy to see Nagato and Itachi again. This whole pause on the war is not going to be long I hope.

    random viewer
  11. Somehow it seemed suspicious that they showed the moon right before Neji got all stumbly. Doesn’t Madara’s endgame have something to do with the moon? Maybe it’s already in its early stages. Though I could just be overly suspicious of moons O.o

  12. Maybe it’s madara’s eye moon technique. I mean neji did look at it right? And since it doesn’t have the whole oxtopus and fox in yet that probably means the power isn’t as strong 😛 Only one person at a time?

    Yeah what Pip said. 😀

  13. @Divine
    “In other words, before Naruto has any hope of eliminated all the hatred in the world, he has to eliminate all of the hatred in his own heart (which just so happens to contain a demon fox).”

    I think it’s the other way around. Naruto will have to deal with the hatred in the world caused by the war, and Sasuke’s hatred before he can overcome the hatred of the Kyuubi.

  14. I can see Naruto meeting Neji right now.
    Naruto: “Darn it Neji I already save you from the darkness! Now I have to kill you.”
    Neji: (No, Naruto Im being controlled!) “Try me bitch!”
    “Today we remember Neji and all the fodder ninja who died for us in this war.”

    Yep Kishi is getting ready to kill someone “important” for once with this plot.

    Btw I think its that weird guy in the shadows controlling Neji.
    “I just wanted to give you a love letter” That’s a load of BS, grown ninja dude checking out the 15-16 yr-old Sakura.

    Azul Flamed Samurai
  15. I like the idea that Naruto mastering his demon-fox form is dependent on erasing all the hatred from the Nine-Tails, who describes itself mockingly as a ‘mass of malevolence’. The Kyuubi’s hatred is what keeps them from being able to properly work together, after all, and keeps Naruto from being able to transform like the other Jinchurichi.

    The ‘love letter’ thing just came off as creepy and Sakura-pandering. I hope something painful’s coming up in her near future, tho death is far too much to wish for. Even if the bad guys killed her they’d rez her as a zombie to fuck with Naruto’s head.

  16. anyone notice that neji looked at the moon with his byukugan and then kinda stumble, i think hes under itachi and pein eye technique since they did say they could anything with there combination of eyes.

  17. I’m hoping that this is something that’ll ripple and be more long-term (a lot more mistrust between the different villages, which can cause some people to act on their own rather than as a whole like they started out as, which will end up causing more chaos from within) rather than simply be a 1-3 chapter event that’ll simply be “forgotten” once it’s been resolved.

  18. I think Neji is probably being controlled or that’s not him at all. I mean, come on. We all know Neji is good.
    The dialogues with Pain and Itachi was what interested me the most. I got so worked up when I saw them again. It’s gonna be hell with those two around. They ARE quite strong.
    I’m wondering if Kishimoto is going to revive Jiraiya back too. I’ve been wondering this for a LONG time now.

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