Well, it was one of the possibilities that I had in mind last chapter, namely that Itachi left a Sharingan counter for his own Mangekyou under the assumption that Sasuke would take his eyes one day. I wouldn’t have suspected that it was Shisui’s Sharingan though, nor the ultimate genjutsu Kotoamatsukami (“Distinguished Heavenly Gods”) that Danzou used before. Back then, it sure didn’t seem so “ultimate”, compared to now when it freed Itachi from the technique that supposedly has no weaknesses, Edo Tensei.
Interestingly enough, the one thing that stood out to me the most during Itachi’s explanation is that he helped Shisui “quietly depart from this world”, which showed that Itachi was loyal to both his clan and his village even when he acquired his Mangekyou. It sure put a new light on all those flashbacks where they had us believe Itachi murdered Shisui to activate his eyes. Now we know it was more like an assisted suicide. What gets me is why Shisui decided to kill himself to rid the world of his eyes rather than fighting to stay alive and being responsible for them. I guess he could have been mortally wounded when Danzou stole his right eye, but that’s purely speculation on my part.
So after all this time, things didn’t really turn out all that unexpectedly; however, there’s a sense of closure in knowing that Itachi always had Konoha’s best interest in mind — even when Shisui was killed — and that he did in fact entrust Sasuke with Naruto. We all suspected as much, but were never given confirmation until now. With that chapter closed, where things go from here is the real question. Kabuto’s after Shisui’s eye, but can probably dismiss the Edo Tensei effect on Itachi if he wants to just take him out of the picture. From my understanding, Itachi isn’t obeying Kabuto’s commands anymore, but is still tied to this world because of Edo Tensei. There doesn’t really seem to be any need to keep Itachi around either, seeing as the crow’s eye won’t simply disappear if he’s gone (or else it wouldn’t have been in Naruto all this time after Itachi died).
Be that as it may, I do want to see Itachi linger around for a while longer, especially now that Nagato’s eating Amaterasu like it’s nothing and busting out his Path techniques — Preta and Human (Gakidou to Ningendou). The cliffhanger was pretty good, but I’m skeptical as to whether or not Naruto’s soul can be pulled out so easily. Before it would’ve been instant death, whereas now he has a thick layer of Kyuubi chakra protecting him. There always seems to be some jutsu pulled out of the hat to escape these situations, and Naruto looks pretty poised to do that with a tailed-beast’s powers under his control.