Kurosaki IchigoNaruto, you played right into my hand!
There you have it. As anticipated previously from a few commenters, Obito does end up trying to use the Rinne Tensei in order to try and revive the people he killed. Only, he gets intercepted by Madara, and his technique ends up giving back Madara the physical body he’s been wanting all along. After multiple weeks of anticipating Madara’s eventual involvement, we finally get it, and it looks like we’re officially moving on from Obito and onto the “final phase” that Kishimoto mentioned in his recent interview. In case you missed it, he recently mentioned that the final phase for Naruto is here, and it’ll be a progression that takes us from Madara and then Sasuke. Of course, this doesn’t mean the end is near regardless—it could conceivably run at least half of next year either way—but it does give a clear picture of what’s to come.
Indeed, if there’s something toe extrapolate from that explanation, it’s that both Naruto and Sasuke will likely survive past Madara, and likely have a fight that both determines the future Hokage and ends the series. That said, the question this ends up bringing up is how exactly they’re going to defeat Madara in the first place. There’s quite a few routes Kishimoto could take here, and each of them brings with it some pretty interesting scenarios. Naruto officially becoming the Sage in lieu of Obito… some/all of the Kages potentially sacrificing themselves in the process… etc. Combine that with what’s likely to be some insane techniques from Madara—more meteors, anyone?—and this could conceivably be one of the better arcs in recent memory. At least, I would hope so, considering that the entire Obito fight ended up below expectations in terms of epicness, and my personal preference that the series end with the bang.
Guess we’ll see how things work out, though there are conflicting reports as to whether or not we’ll be seeing it next week or not. For now though, it seems like the hiatus mentioned a few weeks ago was actually the one we just got, so there should be weekly chapters without break for at least the next few weeks. If not, then you’ll know why there’s no post next week around this time!