There was very little doubt in my mind that it would be Naruto arriving to the battlefield with a Rasengan, or the fact that he would finish off a Kage quickly to make an immediate impact, so the real surprise came in the form of his evolved Rasengan technique — the Wakusei (Planetary) Rasengan. With three small Rasengan orbiting the main one and spinning in the opposite direction, it’s nothing short of an absolute “clusterf-ck” when it hits its target. It may not have a wind element attached to it like the Rasenshuriken, but if the recipient is spinning one way and three smaller orbs are spinning the other way around him, there’s got to be a good amount of tearing going on. The way I see it, it’s like being fed through a grinder. If this weren’t a shounen series for kids, I would imagine limbs would be flying off in every which direction.
I kind of wished Naruto showed some more modesty about his sudden “Hyperbolic Time Chamber-like” growth, instead of acting all smug towards Gaara, but it was pretty cool to see them fighting side-by-side for the first time. (I guess the pursuit of Sasuke didn’t count, back when Gaara stepped in to help with Kimimaro.) Like I suspected five chapters ago, there really isn’t any notable ninjas left to deal with the former Raikage and Mizukage among Gaara’s group. Temari seemed to be the only one (as suggested here), so it highly likely that Naruto was going to make a timely arrival like he did. It was good kind of anticipation though, which in conjunction with the revelation that Sasuke’s Eternal Mangekyou is ready, really sets the stage for the inevitable showdown between our two main characters. At this point, it doesn’t really even matter what Madara’s up to, though I do still want to see what Itachi has planned to deal with Kabuto.
The Mangekyou designs continue to get more elaborate and creepier.