With Madara Uchiha fully resurrected again, he’s set his sights on the tailed beasts and absorbs them with the Gedo Statue (for like, the second or third time now). Naruto is somehow caught by Madara, despite his OP power level, and Kurama is completely ripped out of him, sending our hero flying through the air catatonic. Gaara manages to save his ass with a Nimbus cloud of sand, and because the Kazekage is now the only one currently fighting this crazed entity, the plot shifts to focus on him and his relationship with Shukaku. Gaara swears to prevent Shukaku from getting captured (mirroring Naruto’s newfound friendship with Kurama), and we even get some touching background story on Shukaku and his previous Jinchuuriki…. before Gaara fails and the One Tails is captured. AGAIN. Seriously, it’s like we’re running in circles now.

All the tailed beasts are captured, including the Hachibi (we think, he just kinda disappeared off-panel), and Gaara retreats to carry Naruto to Sakura for medical aid. Not surprising, considering Gaara died when he lost his tailed beast, so Naruto would be in dire need of treatment. At the same time, Sasuke finally steps in to take on Madara with a new (undisclosed) jutsu Hashirama gave him. The plot FINALLY shifts from Naruto and Gaara to all the other characters you haven’t seen in 50 chapters, and fills you in on what they’re up to. Nearly everyone is fighting Hashirama’s Mokuton statue that Black Zetsu/Obito has managed to control, and their only line of offense is the Third Hokage. Everyone is losing their strength, and in a battle whose tide is slowly turning to Madara’s favor, it’s become a race to save Naruto, while Sasuke’s one-on-one match takes a turn for the worst.

What’s most hilarious is that multiple characters, including Orochimaru, state during these three chapters that the battle has dragged on for far too long and they must finally end it. Well no shit. It’s just been one meaningless fight after another, with no real progress! They beat Obito, then they lost Obito again; they freed all the tailed beasts, then even Naruto lost his; Sasuke agrees to help, then gets stabbed through the chest. Is the end of this manga anywhere near in sight? We will be sad when Naruto goes, but we’d prefer not to see it off as a former ghost of what it was- a suspenseful ninja comic that DIDN’T require defeating your enemies through brute strength, but by finding an enemy’s weakness and utilizing that during combat. However, it was pleasant to see faces like Shikamaru and Hinata again… especially when she made that awesome faceplant. We also began to see another plot point come full circle with Hashirama’s remark that Sasuke reminded him of Madara’s brother, Izuna Uchiha, and that he could have a crucial part in defeating the power-crazed lunatic. However, that possibility was quickly shot down after Sasuke’s (pathetic) attempt at charging Madara failed, and he was promptly gouged with his own sword. 

All in all, the final moments of chapter 662 left us on a cliffhanger that obviously wasn’t going to follow through. Naruto and Sasuke are the two main characters of this series- trust us, they’ll be okay. There’ll be another break for the next chapter, so we’ll see you guys around for Chapter 663!

-The A7 Team


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