And here comes the wave of Sasuke-centric chapters. It’s kind of interesting to see what Karin, Jugo, and Suigetsu are up to, the first of whom is already planning an escape from Konoha, but I couldn’t help but question the timing of this chapter. Yes, there was some good foreshadowing with Orochimaru’s hidden research that likely serves as Kabuto’s trump card against Tobi; however, learning about it now kind of disrupts the high tension of Naruto vs. Tobi and Five Kages vs. Madara battles.
On the plus side, this chapter does set things up for an eventual reunion between Sasuke and Itachi, where I hope to see Itachi reason with his younger brother and make him realize that destroying Konoha would just counteract the sacrifice he made to protect it. The more I think about it, the more curious I am to see how Sasuke will react, because I can actually picture the revenge-crazed Uchiha feeling little remorse about fighting the resurrected Itachi. I am however hoping that Sasuke will be drawn into a fight very reluctantly instead — due to the self-cast genjutsu on Itachi to protect Konoha (that was originally intended for Sasuke) — as it wouldn’t really reflect well on his character if he has no problem fighting Itachi when he’s supposedly taking revenge for him now. Any remaining compassion I have towards Sasuke’s character would pretty much go out the window if he didn’t hesitate at all, and I don’t even dislike his character as much as some other people do.
Incidentally, this latest development does seem to further sidetrack the fact that Itachi presumably went off to find Kabuto and put a stop to his Edo Tensei technique. There’s some inherent suspense on whether he’ll be able to get past Sasuke in order to do so, seeing as the latter’s newly transplanted eyes have taken him to a whole other level, so I’m starting to wonder if this encounter was the goal all along. Sasuke will get in the way of Itachi , while the Kages will likely have their hands full against a resurrected Madara.