I've read a lot of criticism that Kishimoto's world ending threat came across as a rip-off of the Human Instrumentality Project from EVANGELION. That seemed like a pretty fair negative comparison. This week's edition of NARUTO brings back memories of later episodes of GURREN LAGANN, but in a good way. It's a fact that creators often inspire other creators. I can't speak to the intentions of such a comparison, but the spectacle of Naruto and his friends fusing into one giant attack is well worth it. I'd recommend playing "Sorairo Days" as you read this chapter.
I sometimes wonder if Kishimoto is conscious of how events he draws will appear when animated. Does it influence him in any way? I can't help the feeling that this was at least an influencing factor of this chapter. It has an almost cinematic influence. This is all going to make for an amazing episode to watch when this all gets animated.
"If I had just made a different choice." That's probably what goes through the head of most people as they are failing at their life goals. Kishimoto has made it a tradition to have his villains become suddenly introspective moments before their defeat. That's occasionally fine, but I think he's started to abuse that theme.
He wants to show a character that kills and betrays, but then drops a sob story from the past at the eleventh hour to get us to sympathize for the baddy. When it comes to Obito, I have none. This is the killer of Naruto's parents. He's betrayed everyone who ever cared about him. All because of the death of one person, and she chose to die to protect others. He's only begun to regret things after he's started to fail.
This was a great chapter with some amazing art but with a few dark spots around the edges in its attempt to be introspective. It's also a bit disappointing that Sakura was left out of the big fusion. Once the euphoria of Obito's defeat started to wane, I suddenly remembered that this can't be the end of this arc. There is still the issue of Madara. I very much doubt that Obito's loss will mean Madara will just give up. Especially given how often he's talked about taking Obito over. Get comfortable, we still have a ways to go before this is all over.
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