As much as I don’t like to do it, (especially after the recent Kurama eps) one of my biggest gripes about this show is its tendencies to insert flashbacks and prolonged stalling for no apparent reason. It makes it very hard to blog sometimes, and to that end I should apologize for combining two weeks’ worth of episodes into one post. Episode 330 served very little purpose other than that small section of Sasuke walking around in the rain – I actually initially mistook it for another filler episode amidst watching people pile up the dead Zetsu, talk about the “real” Madara and run endlessly in the rain.

To be honest, Episode 331 wasn’t much better. Had we stuck to delivering content, we could have easily compressed both these episodes into one (and still have time left to spare). If Episode 330 was just general stalling, then 331 was a Sasuke flashback through the eyes of Suigetsu and Juugo, charting everything from the time Sasuke killed Orochimaru all the way to how they crashed the Five Kage Summit. Don’t get me wrong, there were developments – they were just hidden amongst a wave of flashbacks. Suigetsu’s found an interesting scroll with a Hannya mask on it, while Karin’s preparing to stage an escape (under the pretence of fangirling over a hand-drawn picture of Sasuke). It looks like her adoration of Sasuke is still going strong, even though she was victimized ruthlessly back when Sasuke fought Danzo.

I can’t believe the Zetsu clones seriously tried to take down Sasuke. I mean, they’re stupid – of course they are, they’re clones. But surely they’d know better than that, especially after all this time. I suspect the original intention was to give us a taster of Sasuke’s new EMS powers – that Susanoo does look more complete somehow, and I don’t think it was able to shoot Amaterasu flames like that before. More importantly though, the fact that Sasuke’s now on the loose means something very important. Coupled with a casual shot of Itachi, who’s free from control, the implications are more than obvious. An inevitable encounter is inevitable – after all, there’s no-one more able to tell Sasuke about the truth of Itachi…than Itachi himself.