The end of Naruto's life swiftly approaches as the Nine-Tails has been ripped from his body and absorbed along with all the other Biju byMadara Uchiha. Neither Tobirama nor Sasuke can stop him from reveling in his victory.
It's getting to a point where I feel as if I'm giving a very backhanded compliment as I mainly focus my positives for the chapter on the art alone. It's just that I can't find any real fault in the art. It all looks good. On occasion, this has even been some of Kishimoto's best work within this arc.
I should be thrilled, worried and/or excited by these events. Naruto's Biju has forcibly been removed. However, this chapter undercuts itself by making it one of the smallest moments of the issue. There are two to three pages before the plot suddenly shifts to this idea of comparing Sasuke with Madara's younger brother.
I'm shaking my head at how uber-powerful Madara has suddenly become. He can just yank in all nine Biju with the ease of teacup Chihuahua on a leash. Yet even that isn't as silly as what follows. The author seems to want us to think that Tobirama was just waiting till Madara thought he succeeded to strike. Rather than say hit him while he was distracted for the past ten to fifteen minutes.
The two then start chatting about motives, and the revived Uchiha dips into one of the most overplayed clichés in the antagonist playbooks. He feels that humanity, has seen my Hashirama, is a failure, so he plans to "cure" it with the Infinite Tsukiyomi. It never even really explains why he's so personally invested in trying to fix it. Aizen's motives made more sense.
Kishimoto honestly seems as if he wants to end this arc but can no longer find the path to it. If he would just tighten the narrative a bit more and stop trying to settle old scores. Bring us back to Naruto, or the alliance members that have just suddenly disappeared. I know Kishimoto is better than this. I would say that he needs an editor, but I doubt that would help at this point.
For as long as his arc has been in the manga, it'll be a nightmare in the anime form. This is probably going to last five to six years, and that's if they don't add filler arcs in the middle.
Follow along with the latest NARUTO chapters yourself, tune in for the SJ Podcast, and check out the free starter pack sampler at ShonenJump.com here. You can download the free app for both iOS and Android devices.