This chapter wasn’t quite what I had expected, and it’s probably the same for other readers. Wwe we’re all on the edge of our seats waiting to see what Izanami is, only to have an anti-climax instead this chapter with a story about how Kabuto got his glasses…. It is kind of Kishi’s style to do this as he often skips around to different stories within a single chapter but I’d rather have had Kabuto have his flashback just prior to his death, having it here just slows things down.
I think most of us long-time Naruto readers should recognize what a flashback typically signifies in this manga. Not that Kabuto’s death was not inevitable, but the lengthy flashback pretty much hammers the nails in his coffin. Kabuto was also extremely cocky and arrogant throughout this whole encounter, and generally those types are doomed to be defeated since this manga is all about the triumph of the underdogs over the elitists. Kabuto definitely has demonstrated his arrogance isn’t just unfounded bravado, he has the techniques and tactics to pull off all his boasts. If it had only been Sasuke or Itachi alone that came to fight him, this battle could have gone in Kabuto’s favor (especially against Sasuke, who is behaving like a noob this fight ). But when he saw that both Itachi and Sasuke had arrived, I think Kabuto should have re-evaluated the situation to either withdrawal or feint a retreat to separate the brothers somehow. Many times in this fight so far, Kabuto had the opportunity to incapacitate one of the brothers, but could not maintain that hold due to the interference of the other. And now Kabuto is resorting to using offensive jutsus to take both brothers down together and laughing off Izanami like it won’t affect him, and that will be his downfall.
Kabuto’s flashback was somewhat interesting, but overall I felt it was out of place in the middle of the fight. Now we know that Kabuto’s name derived from the helmet he was given as an orphan and where his glasses came from… all interesting information but they have very little relevance to what is happening currently. It seemed like an excessively long flashback just to relay to the readers that Kabuto had nothing as a youth and that is why he is striving to become a megalomaniac. The detail which Kishi is putting into this flashback makes me think he’s planning on expanding on Kabuto’s backstory in the next chapter as well. Maybe we’ll learn a bit about how Kabuto was recruited to be a spy for the Leaf or how he became Orochimaru’s lackey. In the end, it will all just be filler unless Kishi somehow links it to the current events somehow.
So next chapter will either be more Kabuto flashback or (hopefully) the reveal of Itachi’s Izanami technique. I feel that Izanami is going to play a major role in the entire war. Itachi will most likely have to sacrifice himself or his eyes to pull it off to defeat Kabuto, which will probably inspire Sasuke to reconsider the path he has taken and maybe use the Izanami technique to help out the good side in this war. Also, because Izanami is a reality altering technique and vaguely mentioned to have the ability to decide one’s fate, perhaps Itachi will use it to alter Sasuke’s fate so that he won’t continue his one-man suicide march to kill all of Konoha.
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