The reunited Team 7 stands at an impasse, unable to get through the wall of Juubi-clones to attack the main body. While they think about what to do next, Naruto and Sasuke admiringly take note of each other’s new skills.
The shippers will love this one.
The other rookies want to get in on the action, too, and as if in a repeat of the Chuunin exam, they each show off their best attacks in turn.
I think the best way to describe this section is to show rather than tell:
Kiba, Akamaru, and Kiba’s shadow clone form a Cerberus-like monstrosity.
Shino injects one of the large clones with parasite bugs that grow and bust out of the host.
Hinata uses her memories of Neji and Naruto to inspire a 64-palm attack.
Team 10 displays a new combo attack: a yoyo created by Choji’s giant body and a long string-like shadow from Shikamaru; this is apparently controlled by Ino sensing the thoughts of all the Juubi clones in the vicinity.
Even Sai wants to get in on the action. He comes in from above on one of his bird creations, attempting to sweep in and attack the real Juubi. But his bird is shot down by a Juubi-clone before he can finish the attack. He joins the rest of Team 7, his fall broken by Naruto’s catch, and provides a bit of strategy advice instead.
Based on Sai’s advice, the neo-Sannin realize that they can fulfill the suggested strategy by calling upon their summons. Moving as one, they perform the summoning jutsu and bring a giant slug, toad, and snake to the battle.
The three prove that they carry the mantle of the original Sannin by calling upon their summons for help.
Thoughts on the chapter
- The rookie showcase
- The neo-Sannin
The showcase of the rookies’ powers was a bit contrived, but I still found it enjoyable to check in with each of the rookies and see how their skills have grown since their time as ickle Gennin. Hinata’s segment was my favorite, thanks to the emotional punch, but Shino gets my award for most creative.
Well, it’s clear that Kishi is really drawing on the Sannin parallels here. Again, it’s a bit contrived—but I didn’t really mind that much. I’m glad Sakura isn’t getting pushed back, and is still right there beside her teammates. And the fan speculation that she would eventually gain slug summons has finally been fulfilled.
I was a bit surprised that Sasuke summoned a snake rather than a hawk, but I suppose it makes sense that just because he gained a new contract doesn’t necessarily mean he’d give up the old one. Hopefully the snakes won’t double-cross him because of Manda’s death.
It was also nice to see Sai being included as part of Team 7, even if his attack didn’t turn out so well. He seems to have scored some points serving in an advisory capacity, at least.