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Manga Summaries

Part One
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14
15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27

Part Two
28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50
51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59 | 60 | 61 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66 | 67 | 68 | 69 | 70 | 71 | 72




Volume Sixty-One Manga Summary
Naruto: VOLUME 61
Title: Kyoudai, Kyoutou!! ~ The Brothers Fight Together!!




Chapter 576: "The Reunion's Guidance" - Sasuke's eyes go wide as he recalls his life with his brother. His confusion turns to malice and he goes in pursuit, yelling for Itachi to stop. Itachi ignores Sasuke, which enrages him. He generates a Susanoo arm to grab his brother, but Itachi counters with his own to swat it away. The usage confirms Sasuke's suspicions that it is his brother, while Itachi offers surprise Sasuke can now use Susanoo too. Sasuke questions what he is doing, but Itachi says he is busy, he's there through Kabuto's Edo Tensei. Sasuke yells that he has many questions, but his older brother says wouldn't listen to what he says anyway. Sasuke asks if he remembers his declaration to meet again when they have the same eyes, is he running now because he lied? He knows the truth, it's why he plans to destroy Konoha. Itachi explains that it's like he said before, people live their lives with their own view of the world. If that is his truth, then he can't change it. Sasuke yells that he's not blinded by the illusion anymore, because he now has his brother's eyes. Itachi recalls Naruto's explanation for Sasuke's current mindset, and offers that Sasuke's confidence hasn't changed, but he has. Sasuke explains that he changed because of Itachi, because he didn't kill him along with the rest of the clan, why did he alone get to live? Itachi is quiet, but then offers that Sasuke was just a kid, he knew nothing of the clan's true desires. Moreover, he also felt he should be judged for the massacre, so he left Sasuke alive to do so. However, the hatred he created made him a criminal instead, who started down the wrong path. Sasuke declares that he had no desire to walk down a path without knowing the truth and even now he can see things clearly. Itachi laughs, thinking of Naruto he offers that there are other things that can affect the path one walks. Sasuke is confused and Itachi offers he will say no more. Sasuke demands to know if Itachi just plans to run away? Itachi explains it's like he said, he has important things to handle, he has to stop the Edo Tensei. We return to the Kage battle, as Madara asks Tsunade if she's a descendant of Hashirama. She asks why it matters, as Madara explains it will make her the first he kills. Mei offers that killing the medic first is a basic tactic, so does he really think they'll let him do that? As he begins to regenerate, Madara offers that’s not why he'll do it, he'll kill her because she's Hashirama's descendant. A medic like her could only delay their deaths a few seconds. She pales in comparison to the skills of Hashirama, who could heal himself without hand seals. His jutsu were on a different level, it's why he was called the strongest shinobi. They had a life and death fight, way beyond the game they're playing now. So compared to him, why is she so special? She can't use Mokuton and her medical jutsu isn't impressive. She's just a weak woman, and weak people are ugly, weak Senju even more so. A yells for him to stop the self-important complaining. Tsunade answers that she is indeed Hashirama’s descendant, she can't use Mokuton, her medical ninjutsu isn't as good, and she is indeed a woman. In addition, even though he is wrong when he calls her a weak woman, what she inherited was not strength but something that has been passed through the ages. That her true strength. Madara is confused but Tsunade stands resolute. Rolling up her sleeves, she warns to not underestimate the will of fire!...




Chapter 577: "Blade of Hatred" - Madara mocks such things, explaining that true power is a real thing. Tsunade passionately yells that he's wrong, it helped her grow strong enough to develop her own medical ninjutsu and improve the medical corps. She then lays out the three rules for medical ninja: Never give up on healing the injured if they yet live, do not engage in battles and be the last to die on your team. However, there's one more for her alone. Activating the seal on her forehead, she declares that only one who has mastered her mitotic regeneration jutsu may break the first three rules. The other Kage are surprised, while Madara retorts that he has never heard of the jutsu. As she charges, Tsunade says it's her Kinjutsu so it’s her battle. Madara says one medical ninja won't help, but Tsunade explains if four Kage won't work, she'll make it five. As the ribs of Susanoo take form, Tsunade slams her fist into them. Madara surmises her speed is slower than the Raikage, but she’s stronger. The ribs crack and Madara is sent backwards. He unleashes a wave of fire that is countered by two Suiton from Mei. The water hurls Madara into the air to meet the Oonoki enhanced A, who swats the man from his back, while Tsunade counters with a kick in front. The ribcage shatters as Madara crashes back to the earth. As he rises from the rubble, he acknowledges her power, but chides her risk taking should she die. Still unimpressed by their skills, he voices a wish that Hashirama himself be revived for a good fight, because as it stands all the Senju left behind was power now tied to him. He then explains that when his brother died, he left him his eyes and power. Tsunade again yells that he's wrong, but Madara says all they inherited was hatred. Elsewhere in his prison, Dan questions Madara's return. Chouza offers that Tsunade is now Hokage and fights beside her counterparts. Dan is amazed at her new position, leaving Chouza to explain she went through a lot after his death. Dan turns thoughtful but Chouza tells him to perk up, she won't lose, she's the only Sannin left now. Back at the battle, Tsunade slugs Madara, taking a huge chunk out of his ashen form. She deems him just a dead man, who shouldn't spread his hatred any more. A yells for Gaara, who moves to seal Madara in a sand pyramid. Tsunade is happy but then rocked, as a root bursts from the ground up through her chest. Emerging nearby, Madara explains that he used Hashirama's wood clone jutsu, so perfect that only his eyes could identify it. Back at the prison, Dan yells that they have to ignore Madara and focus on stopping the one who cast Edo Tensei, because only Shodai could defeat Madara. Dan silently urges Tsunade to stay alive, as we cut away to the forest as Itachi rushes on. He sends crows to stop Sasuke and continues on. A rock wall soon crumbles, as he enters Kabuto's lair. Kabuto expresses surprise the man penetrated his barrier. Itachi states he identified Kabuto's location when he was being controlled. Kabuto offers that it doesn't matter anyway, Edo Tensei wouldn't be stopped with his death, he has to end it. He laughs, stating things are looking up. As the shadow of Sasuke moves to enter the cavern, Itachi curses that things are actually worse than expected...


The Three Battles


Chapter 578: "Weakness of Despair!!" - Sasuke questions what Itachi is doing and then notices the snake and cloaked figure. Asking if the man is Orochimaru, Kabuto answers no. Sasuke asks what the man is doing but Kabuto says it's complicated. Itachi says the man is free to explain, he'll just stop the Edo Tensei in the meantime. Kabuto retorts that the jutsu has no counters and is risk free. Back at the Kage battle, Tsunade smashes through the root in her chest to free herself. She then swiftly withdraws it and uses it to club the nearby Madara. The ribs block the strike, while the Susanoo hand creates tama which are hurled into Tsunade's chest, sending her flying. As she gathers herself from the rubble, the wound on her stomach reveals healed flesh, which Madara recognizes as being similar to Hashirama's healing abilities. Madara then questions whether such a jutsu could make a difference, as Oonoki moves to fire a Jiton from the man's blindside. The jutsu fires, enveloping Madara. As it concludes, the man stands unharmed, questioning the elder man's faculties, as the Rinnegan will easily seal away such an attack. The only way to truly defeat him being to knock him out and seal him. Oonoki questions that the jutsu hit before, but Madara says that was by design. He wanted the Kage to see Hashirama's face and despair, however it has done the opposite. Tsunade counters with a question of her own, asking that wouldn't it be smart for him to use Mokuton Bunshin? But then that would also mean he lacks the faith in his own abilities to defeat them on his own. Madara is silent, but then admits that it is five on one against him. Mei declares that they know what he's capable of, so if having to team up is the only way to beat him, they'll do it and bear his contempt. Madara replies that he doesn't hold them in contempt, and in any case, five on one if the perfect number for a game. Forming a hand seal, twenty-five Mokuton clones soon surround him. Five clones quickly pair off and move to combat each of the Kage. Madara asks to not be held in contempt; they're the five Kage after all. He has a question of his own though, should the clones use Susanoo? We return to Kabuto's lair, where the man asks Sasuke if wants to defeat Itachi again, who stands opposed to both of them now. Should they join forces against him? After all they share the same power and mentor. Sasuke retorts that Orochimaru wasn't his mentor, he only came to talk to Itachi. Kabuto then questions just which side he's on. Sasuke answers by hurling shuriken at the cloaked man. The shuriken are countered by those of Itachi and fall to the ground harmless. Sasuke asks why he did that, as Kabuto is Orochimaru's lackey and surely both their enemy. Itachi says the can talk later, but they can't kill Kabuto. If he dies, Edo Tensei can't be stopped, so he'll have to use Tsukuyomi and force him to stop it. Kabuto compliments the plan, but reminds them that the jutsu has no weakness. Itachi counters that he himself is Edo Tensei's weakness. Ignoring the war of words, Sasuke calls Itachi a liar for never bothering to explain what happened after promising to do so, so he needs to do so now. Itachi relents and says he will as he stands beside his brother. As the snakes writhe around Kabuto, he offers interest at the new alliance to defeat him...


Naruto, Kurama, Sakura, Kakashi and Sai

Chapter 579: "The Brothers Fight Together!!" - Still standing over Anko's body, Kabuto explains that as an intellectual he's not use to all the staring. After pulling his cloak over his eyes, Sasuke surmises Kabuto is protecting himself from Genjutsu. Kabuto’s snakes stare on, leaving Sasuke to explain how snakes can sense temperature change and smell using their mouths. Itachi compliments Sasuke on being a snake expert. Sasuke explains he studied in order to defeat Orochimaru. Kabuto counters that a snake expert isn't enough, as nature is on his side. Forming a hand seal, the snakes grow in size. The snakes surge forward to attack and shatter rock. When the dust clears, Itachi's Susanoo holds two snakes at bay while Sasuke's cuts through two others. Itachi reminds his brother not to kill Kabuto, but Sasuke says the man won't die so easily. Itachi's Susanoo pulls the snakes and moves to rip off the cloak to expose Kabuto, but the man is no longer present. More snakes have taken his place, which slither away to the dark depths of the cavern. Sasuke hurls his sword in an attempt to pin one in place, but the snake continues on, ripping its tail apart to free itself. Sasuke chides Kabuto for taking the brainy persona too far, by now becoming a complete hidden shut in. He questions if shedding and running is all he can do, as implanting Orochimaru's flesh just made him a pale imitation. From the shadows, Kabuto warns to not underestimate him, even if his bingo book bounty is less than Sasuke and Orochimaru's. Sasuke scans the area with his Mangekyou Sharingan to locate Kabuto's chakra. Itachi reminds Sasuke to be careful, as the chakra is everywhere. Kabuto volunteers that he liquefied his body, an ability he picked up studying Sasuke's friend Suigetsu. He also now has an impressive recovery power, thanks to the Uzumaki woman he studied, Sasuke's old friend Karin. Sasuke is surprised by her connection to the Uzumaki, leaving Kabuto to offer that Uzumaki typically have red hair and strong vitality. In addition, as for his last comrade… well maybe not that any longer. In any case, wise to choose those three. He offers that in the ninja world those without talent are looked down upon, so all one needs to do is steal power and make it their own. Sasuke asks if he means he has Juugo's power as well, or Orochimaru's curse seal? Kabuto responds negatively, calling the curse seal just an affectation, the true power is learned at Ryuuchi (Dragon Earth) Cave. Itachi is surprised. As the snakes begin to slither from the shadows and converge into one, Kabuto offers that it's a legendary place like Mount Myouboku and Shikkotsu (Humid Bone) Forest. Kabuto reveals that under the guidance of the White Snake Sage, he mastered that ability and surpassed Orochimaru. Sasuke moves to shoot an arrow with Susanoo but Itachi tells him to wait. The arrow fires but misses its mark. The multi headed snake slithers around the bolt, and a chiding arm emerges from a mouth offering a disapproving finger wag. Kabuto reckons his perception is far great than before, as natural energy has become his ally. Itachi concludes he was right, as Kabuto offers another revelation, stating that Juugo's clan can absorb natural energy directly. However, this turned them stronger and violent. This is what Orochimaru wanted, Juugo's origin rather than his power, because the source of the clan's power was found at Ryuuchi Cave. Orochimaru wanted it but he did not have the body to wield it. Fully emerging from the snake mouth with dark circles around his eyes and horns on his head, Kabuto gloats that even Orochimaru couldn't become a true Sage like himself. Itachi offers that his assumption was correct, the power of Sennin Mode. Sasuke cautions that the man is still an imperfect snake but Kabuto counters no. He hoped a snake expert like Sasuke would understand; he is no longer a snake. Sennin Mode has let him shed his skin and obtain a perfected form, that of a dragon!!


Kabuto


Chapter 580: "The Brothers' Time Together" - Kabuto emits a snaking dragon, which wields a dark orb. The dragon begins coiling around the sphere, creating a vibrating blinding flash of light. The brothers wince in pain as the vibrations stun them, while Kabuto gloats that his abilities allow him to avoid its affects. He charges and Sasuke worries he will not be able to sustain Susanoo under the assault. Kabuto ponders regaining control of Itachi first, but then decides to pursue Sasuke. Opening his maw wide, he moves to swallow the young man. As Sasuke's Susanoo fails, Itachi's moves to grab him with a protective hand. Kabuto stops his capture attempt, and asks Itachi if his chakra sense is that good. Then he questions if Itachi lied before when he said he couldn't pinpoint his location. Itachi offers that he doesn't have that ability, he did so before with Nagato's aid. He protected Sasuke first because Kabuto was easy to read. Controlling Sasuke would give him an advantage, so he countered accordingly. Kabuto's complements the man intuition, saying he always knew how to read people, that's why he never told the truth before he died. Sasuke extends his Raiton sword to pin the man down, but Kabuto jumps to the ceiling and gloats to Sasuke that they stand no change against his perception. Furthermore with his unreliable older brother, there's no way to build trust. Itachi rejoins his brother and asks if he remembers the time they went after the giant boar? Sasuke smiles and says yes, and the brothers prepare to move. We flash back to a young Sasuke and Itachi mimicking the movements of their young selves. Young Sasuke draws his bow, while his Susanoo does the same. Itachi leaps over the target, to hurl explosive tagged kunai while his Susanoo flings his tama. The kunai and tama impact and explode, sending debris up. Kabuto and the boar brace themselves as the arrows fire. In the past, the arrow misses the boar's tail, but in the present, the arrow plants itself into Kabuto's snake tail, pinning him in place. Kabuto drops and swings in an attempt to grab Sasuke's previously implanted sword, and Sasuke yells in warning to stop the man from cutting off his tail. As Itachi charges, Kabuto counters by turning the sword against Itachi instead. Kabuto impales the man and chides the he told him to take his time. Itachi watches on but then bursts into crows, which engulf the snake sage. Kabuto moves to cover himself and drops Sasuke's katana, but in an instant Itachi is there to grab it and swing to cut the man down. Kabuto moves to avoid the strike, but loses a horn in the process. Touching his now missing horn, he explains that he still isn't use to the new horns, and didn't adjust as needed. In the past Itachi tells Sasuke he missed the boar and his young brother apologizes. Itachi offers that he still has a way to go and we return to the present, as Itachi says such a plan is now child's play to him. Sasuke offers they need to worry about the snake now, rather than the boar. Itachi agrees and stands beside his brother once again, the bond between them still unbroken.




Chapter 581: "Everyone's Konohas" - Chapter 581: "Everyone's Konohas" - Kabuto offers amusement that the brothers now get along and asks what Sasuke wants from his brother. Sasuke answers that he wants to know the truth, causing Kabuto to ask if that means Sasuke thinks he already knows it? It's why he joined Akatsuki and wants to destroy Konoha, he seeks to punish Konoha because it made Itachi suffer. Sasuke remains silent and Kabuto continues, stating that you followed him for details, to confirm it's all true. Itachi did lie, which is strange because he killed his comrades to protect the village, which means Sasuke current actions are against his will. If anything, Sasuke's goals now match his and Orochimaru's, to crush the Leaf. So now's his chance to take out Itachi and switch sides. Sasuke looks on and we flashback some months before as he sits cloaked alongside Tobi in a bar. Four ninja from Konoha drink and relax and discuss updating their Bingo Books to reflect the death of the traitor Itachi. The captain points out the irony that Itachi killed his family, and then was killed by one himself. He was indeed a vile criminal. They joke that the village will probably give Sasuke a reward and a medal further enraging the young man. He quickly stands, tipping over his chair. Tobi stays his hand and cautions that the villagers don't know the truth. Sasuke says then he'll tell them, but Tobi points out that they won't believe him, even the current Hokage doesn't know what really happened. In the end Itachi did kill his clan and joined Akatsuki, that part is true enough. Sasuke tries to compose himself, agonizing that Itachi killed his clan for them, and now they label him a traitor. Tobi asks what he plans to do then and we return to the present. Sasuke warns to not be compared, as his Konoha destruction plan is his own. Kabuto admits he understands Itachi's motivations. He himself was once just a young boy found on the battlefield. Taught medical Ninjutsu so he could be a trustworthy spy. Traveling from country to country, always pretending to be someone else to gather information. He didn't know his true self and he kept erasing it, which caused Konoha to stop trusting him as well. Like Itachi they were betrayed by Konoha and dishonored, so what did the village ever do for them? Itachi's life shaped Sasuke's own, even though he still lives he himself was also molded in the same way, so let him act as his new brother so they can work together. Itachi interjects, cautioning Sasuke to not listen; Kabuto was always a better spy than he, which also means he was a better liar. In addition, even if Konoha was clouded in hypocrisy, he was still Uchiha Itachi. It's his fault Sasuke is now the way he is, so he's in no position to criticize. He will offer one thing once the time comes, but they need to stop him first. Kabuto challenges that as the Edo Tensei caster, he can't be stopped. His healing powers mean he can't be hurt, and his precautions mean he can't be put under Genjutsu. There is no way for them to win, Edo Tensei is unstoppable. Itachi retorts that he's sick of the man's speeches but he doesn't know the true strength of the Uchiha. They possess the ability to affect the five senses in exchange for their eyesight. Sasuke offers "Izanagi", explaining he saw Danzou use it. Itachi offers surprise Sasuke survived, but his brother says it doesn't matter, how can he use it? Itachi reveals it's not Izanagi; it's a Kinjutsu that forms a pair with it. He's made all the needed preparations to seal Kabuto's fate. As Kabuto charges to attack, Itachi announces it "Izanami" the Goddess of Creation and Death. Itachi locks his sword with Kabuto's claws and the two men then retreat back. Itachi explains that while Izanagi alters fate, Izanami decides it. Standing beside his brother once again, Itachi asks Sasuke to stick close...




Chapter 582: "Nothing" - Sasuke is surprised, while Kabuto is unimpressed, questioning if they really know just who he is. Forming a hand seal, Kabuto uses Muki Tensei, which causes the surrounding cavern to warp. The stalactites and stalagmites converge on Itachi, impaling him. Kabuto explains that the jutsu gives life to something without it to control it. Sasuke will be his specimen, but he shouldn't be worried, he won't be hurt. Withdrawing a charmed kunai, he explains he'll re-write Itachi. He charges but Sasuke is quicker, unleashing a protective wall of Amaterasu. Kabuto compliments the defensive capabilities of an offensive jutsu, and then remarks how the heat reverted the cave to normal. The crumbling Itachi voices an apology. Kabuto apologizes as well, for winning. Gloating that Orochimaru's studies are now perfected within himself, from human to snake to dragon. He's now closer to Rikudou Sennin than even the Uchiha. Sasuke yells that the man knows nothing of his clan, but Itachi moves to stop him. He admits to Kabuto that he reminds him of his past self, and that's precisely why he will lose. Kabuto is unmoved, delighting that he's not on the sidelines any more, he's manipulating Akatsuki and managed to corner the brothers. Itachi admits he feels sympathy for the man, because he knows Kabuto also lived in the world of lies that is a spy. Itachi explains that "knowing oneself" means knowing his own limits. Kabuto calls that loser talk, asking if that means he should just quit. Itachi says no, he just needs to know what he can't do, and rely on his comrades to make up for it. He needs to reexamine himself so he can know his true nature, he himself didn't do that, instead lying to himself and others. Those who can't acknowledge themselves with thus fail, like he did. Kabuto counters that it is they who don't know him, he spent his whole life trying to find his true self. We flashback to a young unconscious injured boy. A nearby boy named Urushi questions a bespectacled religious sister if they should just leave the kid from the nearby destroyed town for dead. She says no and begins to heal the boy, pointing out that Urushi himself was once injured even worse. She asks the child where his parents are and his name, but he does not speak. They help him to their orphanage and a short time passes. They remark that his wounds are healing well. The boy's silence annoys Urushi, who says the kid should thank them. Slamming a large helmet onto the kid's head, he jokes that should help protect him in the future. The sister tells the boy he'll live with them now and she'll act as his mother. Urushi offers the boy should have a name. Seeing the helmet on the boy's head, she names him Kabuto. The other orphans question the quality of the name but the sister tells them not to focus on it. Kabuto smiles and the orphans guess he must like the name. In the middle of the night, Kabuto is thinking over Urushi's words and gets up. In a nearby room, an elder sister, a priest and the young sister debate being able to support yet another orphan. Kabuto is dejected but the young sister says she'll find a way. Hearing Kabuto outside the elder sister asks why he is up. The young sister says he is new and doesn't know the rules but the elder chides her for being too kind. Putting Kabuto before a wall clock, they show him that it's past curfew and ask him to read it. The young boy squints and the young sister notices. The priest admits the boy is simply too young to make such calculations but Kabuto's voice chimes out 9 o'clock. Now wearing the young sister's glasses, the woman tells Kabuto he's right. The priest admits the boy is smart for his age, and the elder sister rebukes him for not telling them he couldn't see. Kabuto moves to remove his glasses but the sister stays his hand, offering hope that the lenses will be okay for him. Kabuto begins to cry and offers his thanks. We hear the thoughts of the adult Kabuto, proclaiming that names are codes and glasses tools. As the young Kabuto continues his profuse thanks, the adult Kabuto explains he was no one from the beginning and had nothing...




Chapter 583: "Who is This?" - We return to Kabuto's past, as he and the other orphans heal injured Leaf shinobi. Urushi questions the work, but Kabuto explains they need the money. Kabuto heals a ninja and the man compliments the boy and suggests he should become a ninja. Orochimaru offers assurance the boy would be a great one. Kabuto explains he's not interested in such things, instead wanting to repay his mother and the orphanage, as all he's done so far is get her new glasses. Orochimaru expresses regret and we advance in time again. A voice offer surprise that the "walking maiden" is raising children. We then see Danzou flanked by two cloaked Root bodyguards, a tattooed man and Orochimaru. Danzou says it has been awhile, and tells Nonou she looks worn out. The sister says she no longer goes by that name and asks what they want. Danzou explains that she was their most valuable spy and the tattooed man reveals they need her to investigate Rock's war plans in a possible long term mission. She counters that she's no longer that person, as the priest and other mother stress her importance to the orphanage. Danzou explains that only she is trustworthy enough, as she would never break down to the enemy. Nonou looks on with hard eyes and Danzou voices that he can see her agreement. The elder mother yells that they had a deal with Sandaime, but the cold bodyguards question the security of the orphanage's money and children. The priest is incensed by the veiled threats but Danzou is unmoved, declaring it a small price to protect the village. Nonou voices understanding, leaving Danzou to surmise she was never cut out for her current work anyway. Outside the building, Kabuto listens in secret. Danzou also reveals that gaining that information cost him a loyal follower, so he'll be taking one of their children. Nonou yells that she already accepted but the tattooed man says they are separate issues. They'll be compensated for both next time, and anyway, maybe one of the children wants to become a ninja? Kabuto ponders outside and we advance in time again, as he stands before Danzou. Nonou asks him why and Kabuto explains he can become a good ninja and wants to master medical Ninjutsu. Urushi yells for him to come back, questioning what the last 3 years were for then. Kabuto smiles and asks if he forgot the rules, saying it's bedtime. We scroll through time, as the young Kabuto wears the ninja outfits of other villages. We see him spy in Kumo, Kiri, Suna and finally Iwa. As he gathers his data he worries that he's being surrounded. Looking at his watch, he notices the time, feeling sad that his mistake has meant he missed bedtime. Thinking back he reminisces that it's been five years since he saw everyone, and offers regret at not being able to see them again. Kunai fly in from above, forcing him to escape to safety. As an enemy ninja moves to attack, Kabuto spins with his chakra infused hand to swipe at the attacker. The enemy kunoichi falls injured. To Kabuto's horror it's Nonou, with her glasses broken nearby. He frantically questions what she's doing and attempts to heal her. His mind races, as he wonders if she's still on her mission. Nonou asks what he's doing and who he is. Kabuto voices that it's him and places his glasses on her. He promises to save her and returns to healing her. She asks who it is and Kabuto is shaken, as his healing hands stop. Kabuto is silent and we see Kitsuchi and another ninja rush to "Nanigashi's" aid. By the time they arrive, Kabuto is gone. We cut to Kabuto looking at his reflection in a pool of water. He asks why mother didn't recognize him, why she didn't remember. Was he someone else up until then? What did she give him? A name and the glasses? Removing the glasses he looks at his fuzzy reflection and asks just who he is. The person he sees isn't him, it's not his real self. A voice from his reflection offers that the boy isn't really seeing himself. Kabuto moves back as the figure of Orochimaru rises from the water. Orochimaru compliments the boy on becoming a fine shinobi and offers that he remembers him...




Chapter 584: "Yakushi Kabuto" - Orochimaru explains he's been watching them and asks Kabuto to become his pupil. Kabuto is wary, but Orochimaru offers he'll explain why Nonou didn't recognize him. Later Orochimaru shows Kabuto his secret base. Kabuto questions why he’s there, and Orochimaru compliments his search for answers. An impatient Kabuto demands to know the truth, leaving Orochimaru to reveal the pair were to be eliminated. Kabuto is left confused and angry, but Orochimaru smiles and says they were simply too good, knowing too much. Kabuto questions why, since he spent so long risking his life. Orochimaru ruminates that information can sometimes be more deadly than jutsu. However, it was the plan from the beginning to set up a mutual kill. Danzou told Nonou why Kabuto was leaving, to make money for the monastery. Nonou begged for Kabuto's freedom and Danzou agreed, on the condition she kill a certain man, unknown to her Kabuto himself. Kabuto asks why she didn't recognize him and Orochimaru reveals it was a simple trick. They kept them apart and sent Nonou photos of Kabuto growing up, switching to a completely different man over time. Nonou had no idea he was the real Kabuto, just that the boy was a traitor. Kabuto glares at the man and asks if that means Orochimaru was dispatched to finish off the victor? He affirms and Kabuto charges with his chakra hands. He quickly pins Orochimaru to the ground and slices through his chest. Enraged, he yells that he always wanted to know his true self, he thought he finally found it, but now because of Orochimaru he’s lost again. In anguish, he pleads that the glasses connected him to mother, and his name was only for him. He cries out that only she would remember him, but none of that is true, so who is he? Coming to his senses, he sees Orochimaru is a bloody mess. He suddenly falls back as Orochimaru snakes out unhurt from the mouth of his destroyed corpse. Orochimaru declares that Kabuto just lacks the needed information to know his true self, his glasses, name and status were not him. He just needs to find something new to fill his needs. Kabuto questions why Orochimaru is saying those things, if he's to kill him. Orochimaru offers that he was the same once, so he collected all he could. As a nearby vial fills with blood, Orochimaru explains that he performed experiments and gathered data little by little, accumulating knowledge and skills. Thus, he was reborn, heading towards a new perfect self. Once again, he found something new... Kabuto. Orochimaru smiles and tells Kabuto to gather information as well. If he collects enough, he'll understand it. Kabuto questions why he's important. Orochimaru says he sees his talent, and this medical lab is for him. He wants to create a place that does not snuff out the self, the Sound Village, which belongs to no country. Orochimaru explains he'll leave Konoha, and become Kabuto's superior and guardian. He'll protect him from Danzou and give him a new background: When Kabuto was an infant he was found by a medical corps captain at the Battle of Kikyou Pass. He became Nonou's son and today he'll be reborn as Yakushi Kabuto. Extending his hand, Orochimaru offers his name and states if the boy wants to know who he is, to join his side. We see the blood vial continue to fill as Kabuto joins him. The years pass and Orochimaru asks Kabuto to investigate Akatsuki. Time passes and Sasori asks Kabuto to learn what he can on Orochimaru's human experimentation and Edo Tensei. Sasori compliments the man's value, as his ability to erase himself makes him like a puppet. Time advances and we continue to see the vial fill as Kabuto assists with experimentation on Juugo, Kimimaro, the Sound Four, Suigetsu and Karin. The vial nears filling as Kabuto condenses down the destroyed white snake body that Sasuke cut down. The precious fluids drip into the vial and it finally becomes full. Kabuto smiles and empties the vial into an IV bag. We hear Orochimaru's words echo, that if Kabuto can't accept what's happened, then find something new to fill himself with what he needs. A screams yells out as the blood flows into Kabuto. As he profusely sweats, he declares that it's not enough, it's still not his true self...




Chapter 585: "So That I Can be Myself" - Kabuto explains that he wants their DNA and abilities, not their sermons. They are of the legendary Uchiha, who harbor many secrets and jutsu. Itachi admits that he's been overestimated, as he failed. Kabuto offers that he admires the Uchiha, but Itachi counters that it's just a name, and taking it on means nothing. Kabuto recalls being cold and alone as a boy in the rain, and angrily declares there is a meaning. He forms a hand seal and Sasuke questions again if they can kill him. Itachi says no, leaving Sasuke to ask how much longer Izanami will take. Itachi explains that it's still not ready. On Kabuto’s chest a mass begins to come forth and take form. Kabuto declares that it's as Orochimaru said, if you want to know who you are, gather up all the data in the world you can. The mass takes the form of Sakon, as Kabuto uses the cellular manipulation of the dead Sound Four member. Sakon changes form into Jiroubou, and Kabuto casts a Doton to part the Amaterasu flames. The mass changes again, as Kidoumaru blankets the brothers in webs. Sasuke yells that the web can't be cut, leaving the brothers to cast Amaterasu again. Before the flames can take shape, the newly created Kimimaro on Kabuto's chest casts a forest of bone, which sprouts around the brothers to further trap them. Sasuke moves to the rear to swipe at the barriers, while Itachi moves to use Susanoo. They begin to cut through the bone and web, as Kimimaro withdraws a bone flute. As Sasuke and Itachi escape further back into the cave, Kabuto declares their actions pointless. The newly formed Tayuya begins to play as the brothers hide behind stalagmites as the music echoes. Itachi begins to ask Sasuke if he's okay, but he and Sasuke are suddenly shaken, finding themselves trapped in the musical Genjutsu. Kabuto offers that even Susanoo can't block sound, which leaves only one thing left. As the mass on his chest changes once again to that of Orochimaru, Kabuto gloats that now all that is left is to take them in. As Orochimaru's mouth begins to open wide, it enters the white snakes form. Kabuto laughs and asks Sasuke if he remembers the form? As Sasuke looks on in recognition, Itachi chides Kabuto, stating the man isn't Orochimaru. It's good to imitate those you respect, but becoming them is taking it too far. They could never be the same. Kabuto counters that plenty of people do it, Sasuke himself set out to imitate Itachi. Itachi recalls his father's direction to Sasuke to become a great shinobi like his brother, and offers that it's done in order to grow, not to be used as a costume to be someone you're not. Kabuto is silent as Itachi continues. Itachi explains that linking yourself to someone won't show you the reason for your existence, so don't lie and deceive yourself, as those who can't acknowledge themselves will fail. Kabuto will have none of it and questions just how he can fail? Suddenly the Orochimaru on his chest shoots out to attack. Still hidden, Itachi directs Sasuke to look into his eyes. Sasuke does so and offers understanding. The brothers utilize Genjutsu and Tsukuyomi to enter each other's minds and free themselves, just as Orochimaru reaches the pair. With no time to spare, Susanoo arms cut and slam the Orochimaru into the ground. Kabuto looks on in silence and Itachi reveals he'll use Izanami now, Kabuto has failed. As Itachi forms a hand seal, Kabuto falls over. Instantly a second Kabuto emerges from the Orochimaru mouth to cut Itachi in two with his chakra hand. Sasuke and Itachi are stunned as Kabuto looks on in cold calculation. He offers that there's no way geniuses like them who had everything could understand, he simply wanted to be himself, and no one will get in his way...




Chapter 586: "Izanami Activates!" - Kabuto moves to insert a control kunai so Sasuke responds, hurling his sword. However, Kabuto's snake grabs the blade and stops its movement. The brief distraction gives Sasuke an opening to swipe at Kabuto with his Susanoo arm, but the Snake Sage jumps to the ceiling to avoid the attack. Sasuke unleashes a Katon and Kabuto responds with a Suiton. The two elements converge and Sasuke is knocked off his feet. Kabuto looks on as Itachi fades from view in the steam. Kabuto instinctually moves, stabbing forward with Sasuke's sword. The now impaled, reformed Itachi locks eyes with the man. The Mangekyou in Itachi's left eye fades away and he bursts into crows. Kabuto drops the sword to protect himself and the blade is turned against him, as Itachi retrieves it and slashes away. Kabuto senses the strike so he jumps to safety. He explains he can still sense their movement, and his regenerative abilities make such attacks pointless. Moreover, their Genjutsu won't affect him after severing his eyesight. Itachi counters that the man's destiny is already in his hands, thanks to another Uchiha Kinjutsu. A drop of water falls from the ceiling onto Kabuto and the maniacal man charges with his chakra charged hand. He yells that he would love to see it as Itachi declares Izanami and moves to parry the hand with Sasuke's sword. The two men retreat and Sasuke rejoins Itachi's side. Itachi directs Sasuke to step away, while Kabuto reforms Orochimaru and states this seems familiar, declaring he wants the battle finished. He begins to walk forward, stepping on a crow feather in the process. Itachi offers that he control's Kabuto's destiny but Kabuto himself will decide it. He directs Kabuto to ponder that. The other man counters with confusion, stating he only knows he is strong now. He sends forth Orochimaru and Itachi again grabs the snake with his Susanoo arm. Itachi asserts that only one who can forgive themself and accept their true nature are strong. Kabuto bursts forth from the Orochimaru mouth and derides the speech. He is stopped though, as Sasuke's own Susanoo arm grabs hold. Kabuto regurgitates himself again and bites through Itachi's arm. Grabbing Sasuke's sword in the process, he moves to the ceiling, turns and stabs Itachi in the back. Itachi bursts into crows again and Kabuto moves to protect himself, dropping Sasuke's sword... Kabuto is shaken, questioning that something is wrong. Itachi grabs the falling sword and swipes, cutting off the man's horn. Kabuto jumps to safety and feels the missing protuberance on his head. He questions his certainty that that the horn had already been cut. His mind races, wondering if he could somehow be in a Genjutsu, but how? A Katon races towards him, forcing him to counter with a Suiton. He stands confused, as a drop of water hits his shoulder again. He asks what they've done as Itachi bursts through the steam to attack. Itachi pronounces the man in his Genjutsu, which Kabuto refuses to believe. Kabuto moves to strike with his chakra hand, which is again parried by a sword wielding Itachi. Itachi announces Izanami and the two men break apart. Kabuto insists there's no way the attack worked and that he can't be defeated, as he's all powerful. He races forward, steps on a feather and swipes at Itachi. The man jumps to the ceiling and Kabuto follows, stabbing him through. Itachi bursts into crows, which rattles Kabuto. He drops the sword, suddenly aware his horns are once again whole. He dodges a swipe from Itachi, losing a horn in the process. He stands stunned as Itachi assures again that Kabuto's destiny is in his hands. Kabuto yells Itachi's name in derision, as Itachi explains that Kabuto can't escape from the loop. We then see reality for the first time; Kabuto stands helpless as a one Mangekyou eyed Itachi rests his hand on Kabuto's head. Itachi avows to the nearby Sasuke that it is the jutsu which decides fate, the one known as Izanami...




Chapter 587: "At 9..." - Sasuke questions when Kabuto was put in the loop. Itachi explains that it happened when he was first stabbed. It's a Doujutsu which doesn't require eye contact, merely usage of you and your opponent's senses. At any moment, the movement of bodies can be recorded by the eye, for explanation purposes A. One then recreates that moment, recording it again and setting it as A'. Izanami connects these two events (the first and second stab and bursts into crows), overlapping A and A' to create an endless loop in exchange for ones' eyesight. Sasuke offers understanding, asking if Kabuto is stuck forever. Itachi says no, as Izanami was made to combat Izanagi. Izanagi was known as the perfect Doujutsu to change fate. If something happened which one didn't like, one could change it, picking the result wanted. However, in battles it made the wielders conceited, as multiple users always sought to use their own reality. Izanami was designed to be used before Izanagi. So when Izanagi was used during Izanami, the wielders would be caught in a loop until they stopped running away from the truth, finally accepting their own fate. Due to its powerful nature, it was deemed forbidden. For Kabuto, he has to stop trying to be something other than himself. Sasuke questions why Kabuto was left an out. Itachi offers that he sees himself in Kabuto; he believes he can do everything and thus cannot fail. He himself stopped believing in others, while Kabuto sees others’ power as his own. They were both manipulated and couldn't forgive themself. Kabuto is in the wrong, but before the end, he wants the man to realize that unlike him... Sasuke interjects, accusing the men of being nothing alike, as Itachi was perfect. Itachi reveals that he went so far as to use a jutsu called Kotoamatsukami to try and change Sasuke. He treated him like a child and didn't trust his strength. In any case, nothing is perfect. Everyone is born with the ability to learn and see what they lack. Just the same as Izanagi and Izanami. Itachi directs Sasuke to look upon him and see that he's not perfect, first of all... Kabuto stands motionless, but we cut inside his loop as he yells out that it can't be, he's supposed to be perfect! He expels a new regenerated form, leaving Itachi to once again warn him to give up being Orochimaru, or he'll never get out. Kabuto refuses to listen, and prepares to counter the Katon he knows to be coming. The two jutsu clash, and he lands frustrated on the ground. The water drop falls on his shoulder and he frets, asking how he failed in all he has done. We see Kabuto over time, from the orphanage until the present. Words echo in his head, a plea that he just wanted to be seen, to be acknowledged... how did he fail? We return to reality, as Itachi explains that first one must acknowledge their true self as they really are. Once done, one won't have anyone to which to lie. Lies blind one to your true self. In the loop, Kabuto picks up his glasses and looks into a nearby water pool. His frustration whirls inside and he concludes he would surely have won the war already if he could just get out. A young Kabuto looks back at him from the water and chastises his old self for missing bedtime. Kabuto curses Itachi and charges once again... We leave the cavern to the view the battlefield, as a Leaf medical ninja works on another injured Leaf. The medic comments that it's already past 9 and the injured ninja asks why that matters. The medic explains that he wishes the war was over so he could get some sleep. Grunts like them never get details on what's going on. The injured ninja asks what he plans to do afterwards and the medic explains that he hopes to go home. Moreover, if the Five Great Shinobi Nations remain friends, it will hopefully mean his brother can finally come home from his secret mission. The injured ninja offers jealousy that the medic has somewhere to go. The medic asks if he wants to come with him, it's an orphanage, and if his brother is there he can inspect that man's wounds. The injured ninja thanks Urushi, and the medic offers a silent hope that Kabuto can finally come home. We return to the cavern, as Itachi announces it's time to deal with Edo Tensei...