Looks like the Unohana heals/revives Kenpachi theory was right all along. There were also some people who suspected that in her battle all those years ago, Unohana had sealed Kenpachi’s powers. That theory was only half right in that Kenpachi’s powers were sealed, but they were sealed by himself and not Unohana.
The notion of self-sealing is a great example of silly Bleach logic, but it works here so I don’t mind its inclusion.
It also looks like Unohana actually did want Kenpachi to level up and was not just fighting him for her own pleasure. What a selfless lady especially since she is likely going to end up dead now.
It was quite shocking to find out that Kenpachi as a child was stronger than Unohana. That is just how strong he really is. I think that as much as the SS folk fear his strength, they should really not fear it now. Kenpachi might still love fighting, but he is a grown up now and I’d like to imagine that he is a bit more controlled of his impulses now.
See, I told you that a chapter around Sasuke would be much more entertaining than one around Naruto!
The lead up to the summoning was great.
I really like how Orochimaru had to go and get a mask to perform his jutsu. It might not seem like much, but the whole preparation process, the jutsu itself felt mythological or something. It felt like a throwback to the all the nice mythology that makes up the backdrop for this manga.
It was nice to see Naruto get back to its roots or well something similar to that.
Sasuke standing on top of a high place to view the city was a great scene and Orochimaru’s comment on its sentimentality was great as well. (Orochimaru’s comment on how those guys are no longer his snakes was great as well.)
As others have pointed out, it was similar to Naruto’s entrance at the beginning of Shippuden.
The symbolism doesn’t stop there though. Sasuke took something from the Uzumaki temple to perform a jutsu in the Uchiha temple. Even though we don’t actually know why the Uchiha hideout was used, its use combined with the Uzumaki mask shows a connection between the two, now nearly extinct, clans. It is a great little touch.
Actually, the fact that the Uzumaki clan still stands out there in open view (as destroyed as it might be), while the Uchiha clan is totally destroyed except for a secret basement is another nice piece of symbolism.
I love little things like this.
Now, the major questions that remain:
- What does Sasuke hope to learn from the 4 Hokage?
- What does Sasuke plan to do with the 4 Hokage after he is done interrogating them?
It is weird. I thought we had already learned everything relevant to the Uchiha/Senju conflict, but I guess there is more we do not yet know.
I am very curious about what Sasuke plans to do with the 4 Hokage when he is done.
He could just release them. He could use them in a fight against Naruto or he could use them to assist Naruto against the 10 Tails.
I really hope it is the last option. Naruto’s current fight is boring. Throwing in the 4 kages would make it much more exciting. I also really want to see a conversation between Madara and the 1st and also a conversation between Naruto and the 4th (though we likely already know exactly what cheesy stuff they will say).
Out of all the Kage summoned and their potential words to Sasuke, I am most looking forward to what Sarutobi has to say. Out of the 4 hokage, he is the only one who actually got to know Sasuke. I hope he gives Sasuke some much needed words of love.
(Isn’t it kind of interesting how all 4 of Konoha’s previous hokage ended up in the Shingami’s stomach? On that same note, this brings that age old question again. Who was the third person that Orochimaru tried to summon in his fight against Sarutobi. Given what we know now, it could not have been the 4th.)
I want to take a minute and quickly talk about Orochimaru.
Others have noticed this to, but Orochimaru seems to have become a lot nicer recently. He doesn’t feel as evil or sinister as he once did. Maybe that one escapade with death has satisfied some of his ambition or perhaps, he has finally decided to be a proper teacher and help out his student.
To be honest though, Orochimaru was never as sinister as most were lead to believe. Sure, he killed people and he killed many people for the sake of his experiments, but there was still an element of good to him, an element that Sarutobi probably noticed when they fought.
Orochimaru never did things just for the sake of being evil. Everything was done for his own ambition.
On top of that, even though he experimented on them, he gave a home to many who no longer had homes.
Almost all of his subordinates were outcasts or orphans. Orochimaru gave these outcasts and orphans a place to live.
As twisted as he might have been, I think he can be commended for that much at least. He also spent most of this manga without the ability to cast proper jutsu (as his arms were sealed), so for being able to cause all the trouble he caused, he is a pretty tough ninja.
Regardless of his personal morals though, Orochimaru is an incredible character simply because of his ability to move the plot along.
There is no other villain in Naruto, or heck maybe even Shonen in general who is as adept as moving the story along as Orochimaru is. He is an incredibly influential character . His persona and his deeds have become a very important, if not the most important, part of what drives this manga forward.
Not much happened for most of this chapter, so I don’t have much to say.
The G-9’s goodbye was pretty nice. Their whole “we are mean to them so we don’t end up loving them” charade was cute.
I was right to suspect that Don Flamingo wouldn’t meet up with the Straw Hats just yet. Law has really done a number on him and put him between two hard choices. Other folk have mentioned this, but there is a good chance that Law will not hold his side of the promise and will not return Caesar to Don. Or, he might still meet the deal but use a loophole (e.g. only return a part of Caesar).
I still wonder who that mysterious floating guy was and when we will see more of him.