This week’s chapter didn’t get me too excited I’m afraid to say. I thought I’d be more excited by a potential Sasuke versus Itachi Mangekyou Sharingan showdown, but I dunno, maybe Sasuke suddenly reverting back to his old angsty, Itachi-obsessed ways is throwing me off. This turn of events with Itachi and Sasuke’s reunion is a surprise to me to be honest, we’ll have to see how this plays out but how Itachi handles this will determine Sasuke’s course of actions in this war. The other highlight of this chapter is the return to the Madara versus the five kages battle. I had hoped to have seen more of Naruto’s fight against Tobi since the tide has shifted to the good guy’s side, but I guess we’ll have to wait. As well, by having the two battles occur simultaneously, Kishi has made it so that neither parties can come to the others’ aid; each group will have to win based on their own merits.
For the longest time, I had believed that Sasuke had gone far past the point of no-return and that any chance of redemption was nil. However, Itachi’s surprise chance encounter with Sasuke might just shine some hope here. This is because Itachi is the only person Sasuke would even consider listening to and be influenced by. Heck, Sasuke usually either shuns or attacks those that try to persuade him somehow, this time Sasuke is actually having to chase down the man he desperately wants some answers from. The fact is, Itachi made Sasuke who he is today. Of course, it wasn’t Itachi’s intention for Sasuke to become a hate-filled-Konoha-killer, but as we’ve seen, Itachi was very laissez-faire in how Sasuke matured. But this chance meeting is an excellent opportunity for Itachi to finally influence Sasuke down the right path. At the moment, Itachi is ignoring Sasuke, not just because he is busy tracking down Kabuto, but also because he is very disappointed in how low Sasuke has sunken that he feels there’s little use in trying to save his brother now. But I think Sasuke’s demonstration of his continual obsession with Itachi shows that his inner mentality is still that of the young boy looking up to his brother looking for guidance and approval. Itachi is the only link Sasuke has left to his childhood, and I do believe that Itachi can have a significant influence on Sasuke’s role in this war depending on his actions and words in the next few chapters.
I do believe a Sharingan showdown is inevitable because 1. the fans demand it and 2. Sasuke needs to fight his brother now that they have the same eyes in order to gain Itachi’s approval. I also personally believe Sasuke Needs to defeat his brother in order to bring some kind of closure within himself. Prior to learning the truth about his brother’s role in the downfall of the Uchiha clan, Sasuke only wanted to defeat Itachi for revenge, but now he needs to defeat Itachi in order the show the brother he has admired all his life how far he has come on his own. I’m hoping that by going through this battle, Itachi will convince Sasuke to reconsider the path he has chosen. At the very least, he should convince Sasuke to help him track down and kick Kabuto’s ass.
It looks like it’s time for Tsunade to now shine on the battlefront against Madara. Madara has pretty much formally declared a challenge to Tsunade to come get some. He has insulted her family’s name as well as making sexist comments about her being weak simple because she is a woman. Hot-tempered as she is, Tsunade won’t take those comments lightly. I hope she can put that anger to good use, because this Madara is a powerhouse the ninja world has not seen in decades. Hopefully, now that they know that Madara possesses Hishirama’s powers because he literally has his cells within his body, Tsunade can use the knowledge of her clan’s powers and her medical jutsu to come up with a way to defeat this monster.
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