Beware massive spoilers.



As one might expect, my favorite part of the chapters I just read (the Leaf ninja's departure from Sand through part-way through Four-Tail Kyuubi!Naruto's battle with Orochimaru) was Naruto and Gaara saying good-bye. They stood staring at each other, and Naruto seriously looked like he was about to burst into tears, and then Gaara used the sand to lift Naruto's arm, and their hands clasped, in their identical black sleeves. Awww...

I was also awfully amused by Gai carrying Kakashi, Sakura's bemused reaction ("I didn't realize they were so... intimate,") and Rock Lee offering to carry Neji (!)

We finally got to see the last of the new time-skipped teen ninjas. I loved the bit with Shino, who was hurt that Naruto didn't recognize him in his new, "I am stealthy like Bela Lugosi's stand-in holding a cloak over my face" outfit. And Dire Puppy Akamaru! Kiba is kind of hot now. I still want to see Hinata kicking ass while still remaining Hinata...

I was not terribly interested by the stuff with Sai, whom I do not find interesting, and who sparked Naruto to behave in a dismayingly immature manner. Also, I do not wish to contemplate Naruto's penis, thank you very much, Sai. On the other hand, Sakura's new-found strength continues to delight me.

Infighting and backstabbing between the various Groups O' Evil does not particularly interest me either. Jiraiya's bombshell about Naruto being in danger from the Foru Tails Form, however, did. I wonder what the story was about how they found that out-- training accident? A real encounter?

In conclusion, I eagerly await the disappearance of Sai and the appearance of Sasuke.
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