The shady man doing unspeakable things to Sasuke… turns out to be Kabuto after all—at least, physically. As it turns out, he’s mentally anything but the Kabuto we used to know, and it looks like Itachi’s Izanami ended working out quite well. It’s a tad bit on the corny side —IT’S PIERCED DEEP INTO MY OWN HEART—and it isn’t exactly the most unpredictable of developments, but the important thing is that it fits in the grand scheme of things, and I’m alright with that. Because as Kabuto said himself, both him and Obito are trying to make amends in their own (ironic) ways, and it’s a situation that ends up intriguing to see from a developmental standpoint—even if some of us may not have liked how we ended up here in the first place. I mean, who would’ve thunk that we’d see both Naruto and Sasuke killed, then ultimately revived by someone they’ve considered an enemy for most of the series?
All things considered, things continue to come full circle in a variety of ways, and it also demonstrates itself in the reappearance of both Gai and Rock Lee too. Noticeably missing from a fair amount of the action recently, their return means that we’re officially rotating back to some of the first people we were introduced to way back when, and it plays well into the whole general atmosphere. The Kakashi x Gai pairing, the Obito x Kakashi x Minato grouping, and even the Orochimaru x Kabuto x Sasuke reunion… everything’s linking back to the way they were originally (or were at some point)—something that is extremely fitting considering it’s “nearly the end” (I say this arc-wise) of the series.
Ultimately, it’s actually a pretty interesting chapter when you think about it in hindsight. It wasn’t quite as interesting upon first glance, but things are working out quite nicely despite the occasional developmental issues present throughout the war. Looking forward, what can I say? Gai’s rocking out his best technique, and we may be seeing the beginnings of what could be the valiant sacrifice that buys enough time for Naruto, Sasuke, and everyone else to get back into the picture. BEHOLD THE BEAST.