After another multi-week break since the last chapter, Naruto’s finally back… albeit with a chapter that brings with it a lot of mixed feelings.
On one hand, it’s nice to see what exactly happened to Rin—who, as it turns out, intentionally impaled herself on Kakashi’s Raikiri—but at the same time, the context behind this revelation (and the actions during and after it), admittedly had me going a bit “Hmmm…” I mean, sure, the previous chapters had kind of hinted at the fact that Kakashi wouldn’t be able to pull the trigger on Obito should the chance arise… but actually seeing Kakashi try to talk Obito out of what he was doing still caught me a tad bit off guard—not only because he should know by now there’s no way talking will work (and even if it did, he’d never be spared by the ninja of other villages), but also because this would ultimately lead to a sequence where Obito pretty much impales himself on purpose. I know it fits in with the whole flashback regarding Rin, and to that end continues the cycle of repetition that we’ve seen many times in Naruto before… but at the same time, it just doesn’t feel right. After doing all he’s done, I just find it odd that he’d choose this moment to just kind of “give up.” Again, this is something that could be rationalized by Obito being Obito—you know, him basically being a kid that never really grew up/matured properly—but gosh darn, it’s still a bit hard to accept that things ended up this way (assuming Obito is actually going to be out of the picture soon).
Moving on though, the revelation of what happened to Rin ultimately postpones the return of the Hokage… whose help seems desperately needed. And well, while it’s not surprising at the least—considering how Madara’s just pretty much insanely overpowered at this point—I still kind of would’ve liked it if the Ninja Army actually did something worthwhile to challenge him as the embodiment of the future so to speak. Yes, they’ve finally kind of unified to protect Naruto now that he’s out of gas defending them… but it feels too little, too late at this point. Again, this development kind of fits in with the cyclical nature of Naruto and the fact that it seems like Kishimoto’s trying to make it so that the older generation will be the one that fixes the problems they caused so that the new generation can safely deal with their own… but it still feels like the Ninja Army has been drastically under-powered (and under-used) up until this point. Though… I do suppose that’s what happens when you have an enemy like Madara hanging around.
Ultimately, yeah… it’s a lot of mixed feelings this week. I guess after all these delays, I kind of expected a bit more from this chapter. It’s not to say that Kishimoto dropped the ball, but I do feel like he’s kind of let it fumble a bit from time to time recently. Moving on though, at least the Hokage should be making their appearance soon—and well, let’s just say if it’s done right, it’d easily overshadow any of the “Hmmmm” elements from this (and recent) chapters. Gosh darn it, they just can’t arrive soon enough!
Author’s Note: Admittedly, I wasn’t quite sure if I was going to be in the mood/have the time to post this—considering everything that’s happened in the past few weeks (and will happen in the coming days)—but well, here we are. I’d just like to say though… if there’s one thing I’ve learned recently, it’s that life is short. As such, be sure to cherish the friends and family that are close to you—because you just never know what life has in store.