This week, we finally get a shift back to the battle proper—no more flashbacks, no drama, just actual serious fighting. And it’s just what the doctor ordered. Following quite a few chapters of flashbacks, we’re finally going back up the roller coaster that is Naruto, as Kishimoto kicks things back into high gear and leaves us with quite a few things to discuss.
First and foremost, the combination of Kakashi, Naruto, and the Nine Tails versus Obito. Combining with the Nine Tails’ ability to control its chakra and distribute it to others when necessary, we have Kakashi now freely able to utilize his Kamui technique and appear in and out of the alternate dimension at will. With Naruto piling on the attack from the main dimension and Kakashi hitting whatever body part appears in the other, they’re finally able to deal some consistent (and brutal) hits on Obito. Suffice to say, the term “it’s about time!” comes to mind, as Obito’s time-space jitsu is finally overcome—and with a rather straight forward method too. I have to admit I didn’t see this exploitation coming (even though I should’ve), but it just goes to show not only how well the group works together, but also how Kishimoto obviously plans at least some of the events in the series well ahead of time. And as a result of this forethought, well, things just make so much sense. They’re not the most spectacular or exciting of tactics/explanations, but the important part is they’re not nonsensical, which is pretty much all I’m asking for.
Moving on, another thing I have to mention was the random insertions of priceless comedic moments throughout the chapter. I mean, how about that headbutt? Just Naruto being Naruto all the way. And that toss of Kakashi at Obito? That reaction picture from above just tells all. What can I say? It’s just nice having some light-hearted moments (and well implemented ones) from time to time, where the creator just doesn’t hesitate to have some fun. It’s a whole other aspect, but these days people just seem too serious (both viewers and the industry itself), and it’s nice just seeing that despite this, Kishimoto hasn’t lost some of his sense of humor and that he still remembers to include some of the traits from the Naruto we knew from the start of the series.
Last but definitely not the least is the awakening of the ten-tails… which was also an interesting twist. I had anticipated this development at some point in time, but from the looks of it, it looks like we’ll be continuing this fight for quite a while. The previous prediction was that at some point, the battle would be halted or diverted to something else (say, Sasuke)… but with every passing chapter, it seems more and more unlikely. Part of me is starting to wonder if it’ll develop in such a way where Sasuke just ends up joining the fight, influenced by some information he learns from whoever he was going to visit a few chapters back. Following the defeat of Obito (presuming this is the case), we’d then get a discussion on the events up until his reappearance being discussed in a later chapter…? Then perhaps one last fight between Naruto and Sasuke to end things…? Not quite sure at the moment, but it’s just a theory that just popped up into my head after reading this chapter. Either way, I guess we’ll see. A fairly enjoyable chapter to say the least.