I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.
All the hidden villages are united in a war against the Akatsuki, which means people from different villages are teamed up together and need to learn to work with each other. The teams find themselves fighting Kabuto's reanimated puppets, and some of the battles are bitter – for example, Sai must fight his brother, and Kakashi finds himself facing off against Zabuza and Haku. Meanwhile, Naruto is continuing to train with Killer Bee, unaware that all of this is going on.
I have less that 20 volumes to go before I'm done with this series. I've been reading it for so long that it feels like I need to make it to the finish line, but this volume made me wonder if I'm going to be able to manage it.
Part of the problem is that it's been so long since I read the volumes prior to this one. The result was confusion – so many characters I either didn't know or could barely remember. Personally, I think Kishimoto is better at depicting one-on-one battles than large-scale wars. I miss the days of reading extended battles that were really just an excuse to reveal characters' thoughts and emotions and to maybe throw in a flashback or two. It should have been a more emotional experience, seeing characters I knew and loved, like Haku and Zabuza, reanimated and forced against their will to fight. Instead, I had to struggle to feel anything. There was just too much going on.
I continued to dislike Killer Bee's efforts to rap all his lines. I can't wait until Naruto is finally done training with him, because I would like him to go away. Why does such an annoying character have to be so important?
I'll wrap this up with a quickie comment about the jutsu Kabuto used to reanimate people. We're told that it can't be broken, even with the caster's death, and yet
(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)