Well, there you have it folks. Madara’s carnage is almost complete and we’re at a point where something’s got to give. With only the Third Hokage fully intact out of the revived Hokage, the current Kages and most of the medical ninja almost out of chakra, and both Sasuke + Naruto on the brink of death, Kishimoto’s bought the manga as close to the brink as possible, and it’s the moment of truth. Will Madara actually end up winning? Or will both Naruto and Sasuke somehow bring themselves back from near death to win?

Going back to what I mentioned last week, this chapter makes it abundantly clear that there’s only few ways left to go from here, and it makes you wonder what exactly all of this will culminate in (and if it’ll be a satisfactory conclusion to it all). Because as expected, Madara’s rampage has gone on unchecked, and it doesn’t look like any of the current Shinobi are in any shape to do anything about it. At the same time though, it seems virtually inconceivable that Kishimoto’s going to go the “Madara victory and then some kind of timeskip” route. Yet, it also seems quite far-fetched that anything can turn the tables in a conclusive way without it requiring some suspension of belief.

So what’s going to happen? Considering the genre, it’s easily to conclude that the latter is far more likely, and it’s something that makes things interesting because there are actually two wild cards left that could give our heroes one last chance. After all, Sakura still seems to have the Sozo Saisei chakra storage in her forehead intact, and Sasuke still has the “new jitsu” he learned from the First Hokage (assuming it hasn’t already been activated). Conceivably, this could be used to heal both Naruto and Sasuke (at least), and permit the latter to use the new jitsu he was taught (while also throwing back to the whole Team 7 working together thing). The thing though, is that this makes the entire arc potentially reliant on that one jitsu… and gosh darn, it’s going to have to be one impressive technique. It’s just too bad we’ll have to wait two weeks for the next issue (no chapter next week). THE SUSPENSE!


      1. But can yamato use all 5 elements? If he’s wood kekkai, then he should be water + earth release. I don’t think he can use the other elements on a kage level jutsu, unless Zetsu gives him super power ups.

    1. When I think about it, I did find it strange that Yamato didn’t make an appearance, along with that artificial clone, as the Gedo Statue popped out. Now I can guess where Yamato was.

      I am curious if it is Orochimaru’s is going to say “just as planned, Madara I will now take over your body.”

  1. Im calling it now, Orochimaru will save the day. He is the wild card I’m betting on. Anywho, not that it is impossible, but how exactly are all the shinobi getting the Nine-Tails chakra if he is currently extracted from Naruto and absorbed with the other tail beasts?

      1. Doesn’t mean it’s not running out though. Could merely be a residual left over eh, because the chakra was given to them initially and would be theirs to use until it ran out. The source being stopped just means the cloak doesn’t get replenished again after it’s exhausted.

      2. It was even said by Shikamaru that they were all running on fumes by that point to where they’re only barely able to defend themselves, and only Edo Tensei Hiruzen is able to actually counterattack.

  2. Hinata was doing her best to get to naruto and sakura, just too fall……….sad I hope naruto doesnt end up with sakura xD sasuke was cool too, the both of them on the verge of death what will kishi do now!!!!! and who was that Obito, white zetsu?? some random guy xD

      1. Still with Hinata? Don’t worry…in the end you’ll have…Naruto together with Sakura! Other pairing is in Sakura’s haters dream…as usual Hinata has swowed her utility: USELESS! Only her can trip…BAH! NaruSaku forever!

        NaruSaku forever!!!!
    1. I’ve given up on Naruto ever getting good again, but I swear: if Naruto doesn’t hook up with Hinata in the end, I will personally fly over to Japan, walk into Kishimoto’s office, and PUNCH HIM IN THE GOD DAMN MOUTH.

  3. O_o
    I’m shocked that Sasuke was actually one-shotted. I was sure it was a genjutsu or something. While the tension was really ratcheted up, it felt rather convenient that the entire alliance started running out of chakra at that exact moment, while still covered in Kyuubi cloaks no less.

    Calling it now; Gaara’s headed to Minato to put Yang Kurama in Naruto, while Sasuke’s going to awaken the Rinnegan.

    1. It didn’t even looked like Sasuke tried. All the tricks, summons, illusions, EMS, he showed in the past worth naught. Very anti-climatic compared to getting a bijuu extracted.

      1. TOTALLY agreed. Like, put the flipping sword away and be a fucking NINJA, Sasuke. Where the fuck are your hawks/giant snakes now? Seriously? Not even an Amaterasu? Susanoo? YOUR EYES WERE/ARE STILL OPEN—NO EXCUSES.

      2. Um,and what’s wrong with a NINJA using a SWORD? A well aimed-stab is enough,no need for huge,flashy techniques to kill someone who’s not protected by any jutsus or has high regenerating powers.

      3. There’s nothing wrong with using a sword, but he didn’t even try to resist after the initial attack. He could have at least activated Susanoo to try and defend himself; this is the same guy that pulled the “great snake escape” out of his rear against Deidara. When he goes down this easily it feels like PIS instead of Madara dominating. It would have been better if Madara stabbed him instantly instead of dangling him around for so long.

      4. Yeah the attacking from behind with a sword move was pretty stupid. I don’t know if Sasuke was watching the battle between Madara and the Bijuu, but the guy can take a hit. I mean he was shot with sand bullets and just shrugged it off. A sword would’nt have done much better. As randomly pointed out, not even an Amaterasu? That would have been the perfect technique. Hit the guy that can regenerate with a flame that doesn’t burn out until target is reduced to nothingness. It might not be the “kill” shot, but at least it could’ve created an opening for something else.

      5. @Sain92787

        Well, it’s not the first time that Amaterasu failed. Obito was able to, presumably, teleport it away when Itachi’s trap Amaterasu in Sasuke’s eye got him, and Edo Tensei Nagato was able to blow it away when it was used on him with a simple Shinra Tensei, so it’s easy to see someone who is SO much more powerful than either of them (and probably could use it himself) being able to easily take/get rid of it.

    2. This is important to note as well, because remember, The part of Kurama sealed inside Naruto was actually stated to be a small portion, since not only did he not have the power at the time to hold the entire nine tails, Minato thought it would be easier for him to gain control over his power if it was a smaller portion.

      The part sealed inside Minato however, is MUCH larger, being the lions share of it’s power. If that part is extracted and replaced in Naruto, not only will it potentially reverse the “removal of bijuu means death” rule, but he should gain an instant humongous power boost.

      Then, using the power boost, he can take back the other portion of Kurama, and with the two of them finally reunited, fight on equal ground with madara until he inevitably loses again thanks to some ridiculous “This isn’t even my final form!” Kubo esque bullcrap.

      C’est la vie.

      1. Where was it stated that Minato’s half was bigger? I always thought it was 50/50. I agree on the Kyuubi being reunited though, having 2 of him running around would be ludicrous.

      2. As I recall it was somewhere back during the “taking control of the kyubei” arc, as I’ll call it, for lack of a better title, I seem to remember Minato saying that he was sealing a small portion into Naruto, rather than the full thing for reasons I stated above.

        I don’t know, I could be wrong, but I suppose I won’t find out for sure unless somebody else confirms or denies it, since I don’t feel like going back through like 50 chapters of manga to figure it out for sure myself…

        Either way though, it’s almost certainly going to play out the way I put it there, just as many others are saying as well.

      3. Minato sealed half of it into Naruto; the Yang (“light”) half of the chakra while he sealed away the Yin (“dark”) along with his soul into the Shinigami’s stomach.

  4. This is it. This is EXACTLY where Kishimoto should end it: with Naruto and Sasuke dying and Madara conquering the world. The shitstorm of delicious tears of all the Narutards in the world would be fucking glorious.

  5. Okay, I’ll admit it: I’m REALLY happy with the direction the story has taken in the last 2-3 chapters. While I don’t buy that either Naruto or Sasuke will die (at least not permanently—remember that we still have Obito fighting with Black Zetsu over Madara’s other Rinnegan), I won’t lie about being on the edge of my seat to see how this will all pan out. I think I’m enjoying it so much because I feel like we’re finally pushing towards a conclusion for both this arc and the series as a whole; though realistically, the “end” may not be for another 100 chapters or so, I nonetheless feel like we’re finally inching closer to the climax and resolving some outstanding issues.

    For example, I’ve been wondering for a while now about how Kishimoto was going to resolve the issue of Kurama’s chakra being split in two between Naruto and Minato, and I do think this is his opportunity to “unite” both halves by returning the yang to Naruto and saving his life. I’ve also been wondering what the hell happened to Yamato, and I agree with the theory that he’s likely being controlled (?) by Spiral Zetsu—it’s the only way I can really rationalize how Spiral Zetsu got so overpowered, and why Orochimaru was so immediately interested in him (Orochimaru helped “create” Yamato in the first place).

    Also, I’m not positive about what role she’ll continue to play, but I definitely don’t think we’ve seen the last of Hinata. Based on those last few panels of anguished looks/determined quotes, I’m confident she’ll chase after Gaara and Sakura to make sure he’s safe (Gentle Fist style CPR anyone?). I mean, the poor girl tried to take on Nagato and giant tree branch missiles by herself—I wouldn’t put it past Kishimoto to send her on yet another kamikaze mission.

  6. You forgot Zephyr, that Naruto is actually being taken somewhere. Sakura just has to keep Naruto alive long enough for Gaara to get him there. I’m assuming he’s being taken to Minato.

  7. Am I forgetting something, cuz Orochimaru is still around.
    You just know something is gonna happen when Orochimaru is still around. Especially when his precious Sasuke is in trouble. 😛

  8. I can’t be the only one that was actually glad that Hinata didn’t get to do anything. The moment I saw the part with Hinata beginning, I was really fearing that there’d be some sort of deus ex machina pulled in order to tease the Naru/Hina fans again. Thank god those fears went unfounded.

    I have a feeling that whatever jutsu Hashirama gave Sasuke will end up playing a role if not Orochimaru. I just hope that there’s no near-death meeting of Naruto and Sasuke meeting the original Rikudo Sennin and being given some healing Talk no Jutsu.

  9. I see why Kishimoto had originally made the statement that he is not quite sure how he wants to deal with Madara’s defeat; the guy has brought a shitstorm on the ninja alliance with a chance of corn. Well at least we know he is going to be defeated; I expect to see more breaks in the future as kishimoto tries to mull over how exactly how he is going to make this happen without it coming of as shoddy writing.

    Now in regards to Sakura and Hinata, at this point it has become obvious who has Naruto’s heart…it’s kinda always been obvious since the first Naruto series. There is just no other direction the narrative could go. As a guy on youtube said (to which i agree), as much of a wonderful character Hinata is, she and naruto are almost like strangers. It wouldnt fit from a narrative standpoint for her to hook up with him in the end…a lot of suspension of disbelief would be needed to see that pair working. Hinata’s role in this series in relation to Naruto is suppose to be yet another demonstration of how a guy like Naruto seemingly moves the hearts of people around him. In Hinata’s case, a shy girl who felt that she was tied by her destiny to be no more but a weak, lesser person, to which Naruto’s charisma and zeal smashed all perceptions of that reality she created for herself.

    Again as much as think Hinata is a great character, the story has not lead itself properly to a naruhina conclusion and so it would feel a bit off to see that happen now (Naruhina fans please dont hurt me). The writing has been on the wall with NaruSaku for a long time and the development has been steadily building. I think kishimoto has pretty much sealed the deal and having Hinata trip was his subtle (or not so subtle depending on how you perceive it)way of telling us “It’s a wrap guys”

    1. >Now in regards to Sakura and Hinata, at this point it has become obvious who has Naruto’s >heart…it’s kinda always been obvious since the first Naruto series. There is just no other >direction the narrative could go. As a guy on youtube said (to which i agree), as much of a >wonderful character Hinata is, she and naruto are almost like strangers.

      Nice man!!! Unfortunately seems there’s still lot of Sakura’s haters there that hope for the contrary. I’m a strong NaruSaku fans of course, but unlike most of NaruHina pairs, i don’t dislike Hinata. In fact i found her adorable but…she’s not the main character. And this is a fact. Sakura it’s a tsundere, the classic tsundere type so…why she’s hated? For example…Taiga from Toradora? Louise from Zero no Tsukaima? Haruhi from Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu? Aren’t there tsundere? So why only Sakura is hated? But seems there’s this kind of “sport”: to hate the main female protagonist. Koko Kaga from Golden Time too for example. I simply don’t undestand those kind of reasoning…what they wanted? That Sakura will be already in love with Naruto from the start? Her fault is because she loved Sasuke? Anyway…it was obvious that Naruto and Sakura will be the only couple in the end (Kishi has stated that there will be a couple). I’m sorry for Hinata, but the fact is: her love will be always unrequieted. As you said, Naruto don’t see her as a love interested. Even so…there’s still this “pairing” war. Naruto it’s a shounen and if Kishimoto want…maybe he could choose to end the story without a couple, this isn’t a shoujo, but a shounen. Who knows? ^_^

      NaruSaku forever!!!!
    2. “I hate people who lie to themselves”

      This chapter didn’t change anything pairing wise; there was no N->S (he’s unconscious), and no S->N beyond her usual concern over a dying friend. Calling victory over this chapter is even more ridiculous than declaring NH cannon over the handholding in 615 was. At this moment none of the “big 3” are developed enough to definitively declare victory, and probably won’t be until the epilogue.

      The problem most (rational) people have with Sakura is not her “tsundere” attitude (though I’d argue her and Naruto are more a bokke and tsukuyomi routine), but rather her poor character development. In the Forest of death, she resolves to become a more serious ninja and cuts her hair, then gets beat up by the sound nin. The only other fight she has in part one is the catfight with Ino, which was rather underwhelming compared to Hinata vs Neji and Temari vs Shikamaru. Then, she spent the fight with Gaara playing damsel in distress. A the end of part 1 she resolves to help bring Sasuke back, and shows some growth in the rescue Gaara arc, but gets fodderized again by Kabuto and Kyuubi-mode Naruto then stands around doing nothing when she actually does see Sasuke in the next arc. She doesn’t show any growth after that (while Naruto learns elemental manipulation), and in the Pain invasion just sits around and screams for Naruto to save the village. Again, in the Iron Country arc she resolves to deal with Sasuke herself, only to fail to do anything but deceive everyone and end up playing damsel in distress again. In the end, she regresses and decides to leave it all up to Naruto. You see the pattern here? Most recently she activated the forehead seal and decided to stand with Sasuke and Naruto as an equal member of team 7, only to be rescued by them practically the next page never actually lift a finger against Obito, Madara, or the Juubi. It’s this pattern of setting herself up to do something/improve herself only to fall short and rely on others coupled with her lack of relevance compared to the other “main” characters that really makes people dislike her.

      1. Still, those same people have to admit that Sakura has gone through a lot more noticeable developments than Hinata, and the fact that Sakura constantly tries so hard to change for the better is a plus for me. Even Hinata’s confession didn’t feel like “development” to me, but more like she only did so because she “knew” she was going to die, so had nothing to lose by doing so.

        And I don’t really blame Sakura for constantly falling behind (at least since Shippuuden), but more so the fact that Kishi kept HUGELY advancing Naruto and Sasuke so much so quickly along with increasingly stronger opponents while all but ignoring Sakura’s development again.

      2. Ditto everything, Hochmeister. I am rooting for Hinata because I think Sakura is worthless, but I think it’s retarded for either fandom to start claiming either party has “won.” Technically, the only character Naruto’s gotten anywhere with romantically is Sasuke, who he kissed in like the second chapter and has been obsessed with ever since. People need to remember that this is a Shounen manga—I highly doubt Naruto with get together with either girl during the full course of the series.

      3. To be quite honest, it’s not about people calling the Narusaku flags because of one chapter. Again, this is something that has been in the making for some time since the beginning of the entire series in and of itself. I guess you can say that this is just another chapter that reinforces the developments that have been happening since the start of the series. Naruto and Sakura have come a long way from being 12 years old to now 17 years of age; 5 years of history that is has all been boiling down to something. This chapter is not a confirmation per se but just another piece of writing on the wall in what has been an apparent development in the making. But anyone is free to interpret all those developments any way they chose. Characters make a story for me, so even though the pairings are just a side-thing in relation to plot, i still think it deserves mentioning. But to avoid a shipping war ill just stop here.

      4. @HDI: “Other characters are developed worse” is no defense, irregardless of whether or not you’re right. Yes she tries, but she almost invariably fails to live up to her own words or status as a main character as I outlined above. Naruto’s acknowledged by the entire ninja world now. Sasuke’s gone from wanting to kill his brother, to destroying Konoha, to finally having a constructive long term goal. Sakura’s two main goals in Shippuden were to bring Sasuke back and protect her teammates, and she hasn’t had much positive development with either. Yes it’s Kishi’s fault for writing her poorly, but that doesn’t change the fact that she is poorly written and people will dislike her character for it. Bashing Hinata does nothing to make her seem like a better character. Besides we all know that Hinata’s much more developed.

        @sonic: Arguing pairings is like debating politics; very messy and you probably won’t convince anyone. However, I do find it rather presumptuous for someone to say that it’s “obvious from the start” and that there’s “no other direction the narrative could go” when that is clearly not the case. NaruSaku and probably the entire plot of Naruto has never been set in stone and you’re lying to yourself if you don’t at least acknowledge the possibility that you could be wrong.

      5. As for Sakura “do nothing”:

        Personally I like both Sakura and Hinata, but from the series Sakura is my favourite. The problem of haters is – they watch over some characters and the storyline. They miss things. From all of the teams female characters are the most weak. As for team 7 – Naruto ans Sasuke have always had some monster powers so they looks more advanced than Sakura. As for Sakura – she isn’t just a fighter (nevertheless she proves it in many fights), she is a healer and a great healer. Without her skills Naruto and Hinata and Kankuro and many others had probably be dead now.

        As for anime:
        Also regards to “Sakura is tsundere and always beat Naruto” – in manga she don’t do it for nothing. She beat him when he plays stupid and risk his life.

    3. I wish there were more people out there who could see this.

      I also don’t hate Naru/Hina pairings, but I could only actually enjoy the pairing in fanfictions that actually build them up and develop them from the ground up, thus making them believable. Even if Kishi does a 10+ year time skip and shows Naruto and Hinata together and married, it just wouldn’t be believable or enjoyable for me because there’s no showing of how it happened, so would come off as a total cop-out.

      1. And how would Sakura suddenly falling in love with Naruto be any more believable? She hasn’t shown genuine romantic interest in him even when he was at his best and Sasuke at his worst. If you’re looking for high romance you’re in the wrong genre.

      2. Where did I say she would “suddenly fall in love with Naruto” or looking for such romance?

        I’m saying that Sakura has gotten to know Naruto more and more far beyond what her total fangirlish self would’ve let her see in Part 1, and there have even been problems like her half-hearted “confession” in order to spare Naruto the pain of forcing himself in trying to save Sasuke in which even SHE saw was pointless by that point (when she was one of the ones most adamant in saving him before). She was even the first one among the rookies besides Sasuke to truly learn that Naruto was the Jinchuriki of Kurama.

        If anything, I was just as pissed at people who thought Sakura’s “confession” was some surefire Naru/Saku pairing, but even then, I at least see Sakura did it, again, in an attempt to get Naruto to stop chasing Sasuke since she feels the most responsible for it due to how she acted in Part 1 whereas Hinata did her confession as more like a deathbed confession with her last breath.

        I’m saying the Naru/Saku path has had far more development and would come off as far more believable down the road if it happens (so long as there’s further development up until then and not merely a time skip) as opposed to Naru/Hina, which has had next to no development at all.

      3. I think you’re misinterpreting both the scale and nature of their developments. Sakura’s relevance to the plot and to Naruto has always been tied to Sasuke; rescuing him was the issue the two of them could relate about, and even then they didn’t fully understand each others point of view. Aside from that even recently Naruto doesn’t understood her desire to stand as an equal part of team 7, and Sakura has not been involved in Naruto’s quest to become Hokage and bring peace to the ninja world. It’s not the amount paneltime together that is significant, but what it was about. Furthermore, Sakura’s (and every other females) romantic inclinations haven’t changed; she still loves Sasuke. At this point, after the events in Iron country and Sasuke’s reformation it would be implausible for her to switch mere days later, especially when those feelings have been the main force behind her character for fifteen years of the manga and five of her life. Not sure about you, but I find a romance build atop another man and abandoned dreams both unsatisfying and unbelievable.

  10. Man a real dead end Naruto & Sasuke are hurt badly & Madara bring chaos I dont think the two will die but how will they come back from the battle field is the question & what did Kurama said to Gaara to save Narutos life? The fact its a long wait from an 1 week break!!!!!

  11. I know this may be a rushed message. Has anyone even considered the spirit world a factor? I mean if they don’t move their butts and help out they will be Madara’s slavea. I mean Madara could pretty much break the boundaries of life and death if he wanted to right?

  12. I think Orochimaru is going to interfere and save Sasuke, while Garaa is clearly taking Naruto somewhere to save him (probably to Minato), that’s the only way they could survive without a deus-ex-machina coming out on nowhere .. i’m sure Oro has something on his mind aside from helping the alliance defeat Madara but he also can’t let Sasuke die like that, same with Garaa, he surely isn’t acting haphazardly, he seems to have an idea that he “thinks” might save Naruto’s life .. after all he also did go through the same experience Naruto is going through now (the Bijuu extraction).. so he has some experience/understanding with this situation.

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