Still locked in a desperate effort to subdue the other, Naruto and Sasuke hit each other with their most powerful attacks. The clash sends out waves of destruction across the valley, decapitating the statues of Madara and Hashirama. Far away, Kakashi feels the shockwave from where he sits watching over a sleeping Sakura.
The boys fall beside the heads of the two statues.
Sasuke and Naruto seem to be evenly matched. All they’ve managed to do is knock each other out of the sky. They lie fallen next to the heads of their predecessors. With most of their fancier powers apparently burned out, the boys go at each other the old-fashioned way, mostly with punches and kicks and simple ninja weapons. And we get several pages of that.
Sasuke urges Naruto to give up (ironically, at a point when Naruto has just knocked him on the ground), and a memory is sparked of their childhood duel, of Iruka urging them to be good sports and use the seal of reconciliation.
Oh, Sasuke, you arrogant bastard, demanding surrender when you’ve just been knocked flat on your back.
Back at the now quiet field of the recent battle, Sakura wakes up and asks Kakashi if it’s evening and where the boys are. He says they’re probably having their last fight to settle all issues.
Worn out, the boys sink feeble punches into each other. Kyuubi tries to send Naruto some more chakra to give him an edge, but Sasuke uses his Rinnegan to siphon it off. With this power, Sasuke says, he is destined to win. He powers up a chidori to attack Naruto with. “See you, my only friend,” he says, as he draws his hand back to deal the final blow.
That’s it. End of story. Sasuke wins. *cough*
Thoughts on the chapter:
I don’t really have much to say about this chapter. Based on the comments at chuunin, it seems some readers found the fist fight satisfying. I have to agree that at least it was more interesting than the super-powered variety of fight. I also liked the way the flashback was worked in without completely taking over the story the way some flashbacks have. It was the right amount of flashback. Finally, the dramatic turn the chapter took at the end when Sasuke got the upper hand worked well, and hopefully it will be resolved well in the next chapter.
But I can’t help but be a bit disappointed with the way this fight has been supported by flimsy motivations on Sasuke’s part. It feels like a thin excuse just to get the two boys punching each other’s lights out. I wish there were a better way to resolve his character arc.
Well, this is probably my last review, and with the way my life is going right now, I might not have much chance to comment on the community before the series ends. So I just want to say, despite the varying quality of the story, I’m glad I found this community and got to be a part of this review project.