I don’t think anyone ever doubted that Naruto would start living up to his father’s potential and eventually surpass him, but in terms of sheer speed, it looks like he’s already done just that. Back in chapter 505, all eyes were on his newly acquired Kyuubi form, and I was personally wondering if he pulled off the flying god technique that Minato was renowned for. Thirty-nine chapters later, that’s clearly not the case anymore, as Naruto once again goes for the brute force-type development (i.e. simply moving that damn fast), rather than a more tactful teleportation approach. Ninja techniques were never his strong point, so in a way, it’s kind of cool to see Naruto continue to figure out how to do things his own way, just like he did with his three-handed Rasengan (…even if I still think it’s pretty handicapped way of pulling it off).
It took longer than I imagined, but Raikage is finally convinced to let Naruto through. While a part of me wanted to see Tsunade step in, it’s hard to deny the impact of having Naruto prove himself to Raikage alone. A subtle implication from their exchange is that Naruto is now the fastest ninja in the world — a title that kind of (but not really) levels the playing field against Sasuke. That was the first case of deja vu, in relation to the flashback of Minato dodging A’s attack two chapters ago, whereas the second case was Madara taking a page out of Pain’s book and creating the Pain Rikudou, a.k.a. The Six Paths of Pain. I almost wanted to call out our ultimate antagonist’s lack of originality at the sight of the six Jinchuuriki he bestowed his eyes upon, but it has the whole nostalgia factor going for it. I just hope that it doesn’t come with a big deus ex machina again, regardless of how happy I am that Kakashi is alive from the first one.