Years ago, I remember one of the co-creators of the series CODE GEASS made a comment that was basically summed up as, "If Lelouch and Suzaku ever cooperate again, that will be the end of the series.". When opposing forces start working together, it almost always leads up to a finale. You just have to look back to DRAGONBALL where Goku and Vegeta finally merged. How will that translate toNARUTO after this arc?
In this week's chapter, we have Naruto and Sasuke combining two of their more powerful attacks to jointly strike at Obito. Now, I was a rather vocal critic when these two first did something similar a couple weeks back. In that case, it was ridiculous that two people who haven't worked together for years could mesh so perfectly on the first try as they attacked separately. Here, it made far more sense. You get that outcome by having Sasuke say he's going to use his unique ability to match Naruto's Rasengan rotation.
I know Naruto can be a doofus at times, but Kishimoto takes it a bit too far this week. It's all in that early exchange Naruto has with Tobirama. Wherein he calls him, "Second Mountain-Side Image Guy". Seriously?? Oda can get away with stuff like this on Luffy, because it's normally for people he's just met. Naruto has seen this Tobirama's image his whole life on the monument mountain, and he knows darn well who he's talking with. It's the equivalent of an American child calling Abraham Lincoln, "That Bearded Mount Rushmore Guy". Justifiable for a three year-old. Not a sixteen year-old. I almost wonder if this is a translation issue, but I doubt it.
The monstrous display of power between Madara and Hashirama felt completely superfluous to the events at hand, but you can't deny how awesome it looked. It just seems silly that you suddenly have two enormous creatures fighting off to the side as everyone else is trying to stop Obito. It does give Shikamaru a nice spotlight to shine in.
This is an incredible action-based chapter this week, and the art is great. Isn't it amazing how much better this series moves when Kishimoto doesn't have his antagonists monologuing? I personally found the whole hand-in-hand attack scene a touch too corny, but at least Kishimoto actually earns it this time. Remember that it was only a chapter ago that Sasuke repeated his desire to kill Naruto himself. You can be assured that this final panel will inspire vast amounts of slash-fiction.