I’m still unsure as to whose side Sasuke will take when he rejoins the battlefield, as I still believe he’ll come around at some point, so it’s good to see him make a brief appearance this week to build up some reader anticipation toward his eventual return. He’s been sidelined for some time now after inheriting Itachi’s eyes, making his stretch of chapters a while back all but a distant memory.
On the Jinchuuriki side of things, Kakashi and Gai’s arrival did little more than even things up a tad bit, but where they lack up in sheer power, they make up with their experienced analysis of their opponents. This chapter made it fairly clear that the scale of this battle could be drastically tipped if Naruto and co. could find some way to disrupt Tobi’s control of the Tailed-Beasts. Naturally, that’s easier said than done, but it does give our heroes an angle of approach in this uphill battle. After all, if the Five-Tails was any indication, all the Jinchuuriki would quickly turn on Tobi if given the opportunity. The real question is what the Nine-Tails will do now that Naruto’s in a pinch (literally).
The Eight-Tails hinted that the Nine-Tails has grown more fond of Naruto than he cares to admit, and as his way of “helping” in this battle, he chose not to sleep and not inadvertently take any more of his chakra. The cliffhanger suggests that he’s on the verge of lending Naruto more of his demonic chakra though, which I would personally be disappointed about if it didn’t happen with all this build-up. The Nine-Tails clearly hates Madara for controlling him in the past, so I can’t imagine it sitting well with him to see his other fellow Jinchuuriki controlled the same way by Tobi.