I quite literally started writing this review with my head down, fingers to my forehead, as I tried desperately to both think of something positive to say about this chapter, and come up with a new analogy for describing it as "drawn out". Unfortunately, the English language has failed me in that regard.
Well, best part of the chapter is that there was some pretty impressive action. Enjoy it while it lasts. It only makes up for three pages out of the seventeen.
So, has Kishimoto forgotten that Naruto currently is undergoing "open heart" surgery? Sakura still has her arm half buried in inside his chest. It is the ultimate in last second acts of desperation. Does this sound like the time for a history lesson or to get all introspective about the aggressive heart of humanity? This attempt of trying to redeem Obito in the eleventh-and-a-half hour is astoundingly ham-handed.
True, the idea that the power of chakra was abused by humanity is interesting on some level, but this is not even remotely the time for such an extended history class. Then, after Madara avoids all these advanced attacks, Obito is able to just punch him straight in the gut with no trouble. All while taking a complete 180 in character. Why couldn't he have just stayed the Dark-Naruto who believed in his path just as much as Naruto believed in his own? Who knows what this character truly believes in anymore?
As this arc just seems to go on without an end, I start to ponder if one day down the line we're going to hear some behind the scenes story of how this all went off the rails. I can only speak to my experiences, but I'm honestly curious how this is going over in Japan and the larger fan community. Am I the only one who's really bothered by all of this? Is it just my taste that's off, and everyone else is loving this stuff?
This series used to be sooo much better. The action was thrilling, and the villains were wickedly fun. I don't enjoy coming down on this series as hard as I am. Things were even looking up a few weeks ago. I just feel lost in this never ending cycle of needless expositioning and monologing that are punctuated by a few bits of action. Until next week's edition, hope unjustifiably springs eternal.
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.