One really does have to admire Naruto’s determination and guts to never stay down and give up, despite a situation seeming improbable and hopelessly devoid of any hope, he still manages to back himself and commit himself to the decision he has made. And through that belief he has in himself, he ultimately does find a path forward. Life itself can be filled with such despair that in those moments you can’t help but feel empty, numb and just plain depressed, so I have always seen Naruto’s ability to rise above his worries and continue forward with such energy as inspiring. Naruto grew up in tragic circumstances, but the way in which he embraced the situation instead of having it consume him has been one of the qualities in Naruto that I have truly admired. I guess deep down Sasuke also respected such qualities in Naruto and came to connect with him.
While I do feel the climatic battle between Naruto and Sasuke was too dramatic that it felt manufactured as opposed to natural, I really did enjoy the highlighting Sasuke got regarding his feelings towards Naruto during their childhood and currently. Sasuke having being left alone at a young age came to perceive the world in a light that no one else could understand, that is until he met Naruto and noticed the pain Naruto was affected by also led him to perceive the world in a light not understood by other people. It was that pain and the differences in their personalities that made the two of them intrigued in each other. The pain they each endured allowed them to understand each other, and through that connection, a bond was formed, one that made the other forget about their feelings of loneliness. Despite the differences in personality and in goals, they came to care for each other and admire each other.
Sasuke having buried his emotions wanted to become the darkness that guides the world, but Naruto having understood the pain Sasuke would have to endure wanted to become the light that helps his friend see the world for what it is. Neither paths Sasuke and Naruto intend to walk may be right but at the same time, neither is wrong as well. Sasuke may believe that the destiny of the Uchiha and Senju will bring the world back into the conflict it existed in for decades, but regardless of him giving his life up in hopes of ending it, the future itself can be changed through the decisions that are made in the present moment.
Naruto has always said (after Sasuke left Konoha) that if he can’t save his friend, he doesn’t deserve to be Hokage, so with him having saved Sasuke, or at the very least made Sasuke aware of alternate paths that can be traveled to lead the world towards an era of peace, I really do wonder what Naruto has planned. If Naruto and Sasuke can serve as examples of how clans with path differences can unite (Uchiha and Uzumaki/Senju), it may inspire the rest of the Shinobi world to set aside their differences and consider making an effort to understand and work together with other nations. Even if there is no enemy for the world to unite against, the world can still be united if they choose to be.
The final panel was beautiful and extremely meaningful regarding Naruto and Sasuke’s relationship and the understanding they came to have for one another after their battle. Looking forward to the final chapter.