The tide may have turned, but it's sure taking a while for the Shinobi Alliance to put an end to this arc.
Back in last week's review, I lamented on how Sakura was the only one out of Team 7 that didn't get their own summons. However, that makes more sense given the scene at the starts off the chapter with the confrontation with Orochimaru. Another summoned creature wouldn't have the history with Orochimaru and had to make the hard decision of risking to trust him to save Tsunade.
Orochimaru is among the members of this cast that annoys me by their mere presence, but I actually warmed up to him in this chapter. I especially loved his conversation with Tsunade about Jiraiya. He makes an intriguing point. Sure, Jiraiya may still be alive if Orochimaru hadn't betrayed the village, but Jiraiya may not have become the same person as a result. Change can influence other changes, but that doesn't mean for the better. That could be directly connected to Naruto and Sasuke.
Sakura was really hard to read in this chapter, and I'm torn how to evaluate this scene. She appears to by lying becasue she knows Sasuke can't really be trusted, but it's irritating at how much pain that revelation seems to be for her. Where does this devotion come from? Sasuke has done little more this entire series than mock her and try to kill her. Sakura reminds me of the type of girl we've all known in some form in our lives. She always seems to go out with the wrong person who keeps hurting her, but she always takes them back. The fact that she knows it's bad for her makes it all the more worse.
Speaking of annoying fan girls, Karin pulls out all the stops in the sycophant department. She truly is the Harley Quinn of manga. There's something about the hypocrisy in her own words that makes it more annoying. Honestly, what is it about Sasuke that inspires such admiration other than being a tragic, pretty boy? He's entirely self motivated, and how many times does he have to betray and attempt to kill a woman before she says enough is enough?
I very nearly rated this chapter a 3 out of 5. The fan girl drama, and Sasuke's willingness to just let the Ten-Tails burn despite those that could die really dragged things down. Anyone willing to let Samui die isn't to be trusted. You may disagree with my reasoning but not the sentiment on which it's based. However, the reappearance of the Kages, and that interesting dynamic with Tsunade and Orochimaru really improved matters. Not much, but enough to raise the score.
I would almost be annoyed with that cliffhanger we get in this chapter, but Kishimoto has been making it a practice of following up with his shock endings these past few weeks. I expect we will be getting some clarification on these events at the start of next week. See you then.