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!