It is quite unbelievable but prior to this chapter I was feeling detached and uninspired by the way Naruto was concluding and how the Naruto and Sasuke battle fitted in with the rest of the story, but just through this chapter, all those mixed emotions I had concerning the end of the Naruto came together and connected. This chapter dispelled the confusion I had towards the way Naruto was ending and put me in a state of mind where I could do nothing else but love the way Naruto was concluding. Sasuke expressing his true feelings was definitely the highlight for this chapter for me, it revealed a whole new dimension to his character I had never seen before and I found myself loving how he came around full circle again after his journey through the story of Naruto.
The symbolic nature of the Hashirama and Madara statue falling down and the hands forming the seal of reconciliation which Naruto and Sasuke were collapsed on top of was powerful. Right from the beginning of the chapter, I was instantly connected and completely engrossed in finding out what Sasuke will decide concerning his future and how he will move forward after coming to terms with his true feelings existing in his heart.
Having rejected the world and others so strongly for so long, Sasuke did become a character whom the reader wasn’t easily able to connect with, which was the case for me, so when the shackles of the past where removed and all Sasuke could do was accept the situation he was in (his loss to Naruto), it was fascinating and enjoyable seeing him be himself free from any burdens. Sasuke apologising to Sakura may have been too little too late for some, but it revealed a part of Sasuke that many were hoping he would embrace at some point in the story.
As the chapter went on and we got to learn more about how Sasuke feels concerning Naruto and the rationale behind his decisions and journey, I began to understand Sasuke more and the choices he decided to make. Having Sasuke’s feeling highlighted had the effect of highlighting the actual conclusion of the story for me. While everything may not go as planned, it is through those hardships and suffering that people become connected and a way forward into the future is revealed. Sasuke having made mistakes and caused others sufferings has come to see a unique side of the world many don’t get to see and through him being saved, he embodies the possibility of change and the possibility that the rest of the world can move forward into a new future free from the conflict of the past.
Sasuke taking the opportunity to utilise the clarity he has gained from his journey was an interesting development, but one which I was quite impressed by. Sasuke is aware of the mistakes he has made and the uncertainty the future holds, but he determined to see the world with his own eyes, eyes that are now open and more receptive to the world before him. It is a pity that this change in Sasuke came right at the end, as I would have loved to see more of this Sasuke featured in the story as I have come to like the person Sasuke has become. This chapter had taken me on a journey through Sasuke’s heart and arrived at a meaning the existence known as “shinobi” (ninja) embodies.
It may have been obvious throughout the series, but I am glad extra focus was given to Sasuke in the end to illustrate exactly how he feels towards Naruto and how he too does share the same feelings towards Naruto that Naruto has for him. The connection Naruto and Sasuke came to have from this battle with each other only added to the effect Sasuke being saved by Naruto had. And that final exchange by Naruto and Sasuke with the focus on the meaning of being a “shinobi” and Sasuke’s Konoha headband, that moment was magical. I can’t help but feel that this chapter concluded the conflict between Naruto and Sasuke incredibly.