With the Five Kages and Madara fight sort of taking center stage again, I’m reminded of my suspicion from 65 chapters ago about how mixing the Senju and Uchiha bloodlines not only leads to ultimate eye technique, Rinnegan, but also the embodiment of the ultimate ninja, Rikudou Sennin. There’s still nothing definitive as to whether that’s indeed the case, but with the capture of Yamato way back when and the resurrected Madara possessing both the Rinnegan and the extremely rare wood element, it’s probably not too far-fetched of an idea that one led to the other. At some point down the stretch, I imagine there will be a not-so-shocking revelation about all this DNA-swapping. For now, I’m quite content with the extra characterization that characters like Oonoki are getting to make the fight against Madara a little bit personal.
Oddly enough, what caught my attention the most about this chapter wasn’t actually what happened — not even Sasuke crossing paths with Itachi — but the state of the story as a whole and what a “good” place the manga’s in with everything that’s going on. There are so many well-established developments playing out in parallel that Kishimoto is free to switch between them every chapter, leaving us hanging like he has been, and not have the transition be terribly disappointing because the focus usually shifts to something else fairly monumental. Just take the Five Kages and Madara’s fight for example. I was initially disappointed to see it put on the back burner, but looking back on everything that’s happened since then between Naruto and Tobi, one can hardly complain. I’m expecting more of the same when things eventually switch over to Sasuke and Itachi.