As expected, some of the pieces start coming together this week as this chapter focuses almost entirely on explanations. For one, we find out that Madara made short work of the Kages. The result is not surprising in the least, but what is surprising is how Kishimoto didn’t bother showing any part of that fight at all. Typically, he wouldn’t have hesitated to use that fight as a quick sidetrack away from the Obito explanation part, but I suppose when you’ve been gearing up for this moment for a while and have half the fan base screaming for answers, that’s not a luxury you’re going to have. That and the fact that it seems like he might be saving that fight for later, as the Kages are still barely alive, and Tsunade (at the expense of her life) may yet save them all for Round Two…
In any case, the explanations… we find out that Madara indeed was the one who saved Obito back then. A bit far fetched considering the timing necessary and so forth, but it does pretty much demonstrate that Madara was running around as Tobi for a bit and then passed it on to Obito following his death. It also explains how they’re familiar with another, as it turns out they’ve both been responsible for planning it out from the start. Granted, Madara was supposed to be revived by Nagato with the Rinne Tensei instead of Kabuto’s Edo Tensei… so the plan hit a bit of a snag, but hey, nothing he can’t handle of course. Either way, while the explanation’s not quite complete (still more to go in the coming chapter), it is going a long way toward answering many of the questions we’ve posed over the past few months, and is a surprisingly coherent one for the most part. It stretches some moments to barely believable (Obito surviving in that state and Madara being there etc.), but off the top of my head, there’s no real big issue with how it’s being explained at the moment. In the end, it’s a shounen after all, so what you can believe is going to be tested either way, and well, that’s what’s going on now.
I’ll reserve my judgment for until after all the explaining’s said and done, but I just have to say it’s looking pretty decent at the moment AND does make a fair amount of sense… considering the circumstances. The thing I do start wondering however, is the viability of either using Rinne Tensei or Edo Tensei to revive Rin actually, as it arguably could be done. Of course, there’s probably some restriction I’m forgetting, not to mention we actually don’t know much about Rin’s death at all, so this might yet be answered in the coming chapters in some shape or form… but just wondering at the moment. Moving onward, it’ll be some very intriguing chapters up ahead to say the least. There’s the explanations to look forward to, the fact that there’s virtually nothing Naruto, Kakashi, Guy, and Bee can do to arguably the two most overpowered ninja in existence at the moment, and also Sasuke’s ultimate, inevitable involvement too.
Overall, as ridiculous as it sounds, I have to say Kishimoto might’ve just pulled a bit of magic from out of nowhere, because even though it’s so close to the end, he’s managing to keep some major story threads going concurrently (thus keeping some semblance of interest), while also throwing down some viable explanations in opposition to all those that believed it impossible for Tobi to be Obito. And if it turns out that the explanation works out so well to the point it answers practically everything… wow, that’d be quite something, as that means Kishimoto had this sequence of events planned out hundreds of chapters ago. Guess we’ll see though.