By far, Sakura and Karin were the stars of this chapter and their actions in trying to save the ones they care for are what made this chapter so awesome for me. Sakura finally getting the opportunity to perform the medical ninjutsu she is so adept in and Karin finally getting the opportunity to unleash her Uzumaki power, for those two reasons and seeing them so determined, I absolutely love this chapter. Madara may have absorbed the Bijuu he captured and transformed in the “Rikudou Sennin”, but I really didn’t care much for that, it just signaled the beginning of his defeat now that he has attained that form. I’m more interested in seeing Naruto and Sasuke being saved.
What made the chapter for me was the focus on Hinata and Kishimoto-sensei actually making some effort to have her express her love for Naruto through action…such a dam shame he made her trip and fall. Hopefully though since she is reflecting on Neji’s death and how he left Naruto’s protection to her, she ends up getting back up and running to Naruto’s side. Apart from that, Spiral Zetsu surprised me, does he have himself wrapped around Yamato enabling him/his will to use the Mokuton jutsu and the five elements? Well at least now we know what the Kages and the Shinobi alliance have been up to since we last seen them.
Oh Ichigo, I remember when you were the star of Bleach, shining so brightly that nothing was impossible for you and even an otherworldly organisation boasting insane levels of power like Gotei 13 couldn’t wall off your desires and conviction. But now Ichigo, truly sadly now, in most situations you are no more the star of Bleach, but instead the darkness in the background that brightens and emphasises the “star”. Throughout this arc, rather than Ichigo grabbing hold of his conviction to get his Shinigami powers back, he has instead been thrown around like a ragged doll, pushed and pulled, manipulated and fooled, Ichigo has become nothing more than a string-puppet being controlled by the new mind-manipulating characters in Bleach – Ginjou and Tsukishima.