Hoo boy. Bleach and Naruto with no One Piece to help make me feel better this week. This oughta be fun.
This week's Naruto was bad, though I am glad the fight between the Kages and the real Madara is not being glossed over. This chapter is at the bery least better than the last couple for me by that alone. I can understand skipping a bit of a fight if nothing of consequence is occurring. Although nothing of real interest has happened this chapter either. The Kages are getting their asses kicked unsurprisingly by one of the strongest ninja to ever ninja who is now an immortal zombie with First Hokage cells. Once again having genes/cells/organs of anyone relatively semi-related to the Sage of Six Paths instantly means you're super-Jesus until someone with more/bigger/stronger genes/cells/organs beats you into submission.
Anyone else ever think that Kishimoto took a Psych class and only payed attention to deterministic (aka biological=everything) theories?
To give credit to this chapter I did like the Tsuchikage's flashback. I can't quite articulate my thoughts as to why into words exactly, but having a "but what matters is inside" speech in this series without it sounding like a Dora the Explorer lesson is refreshing. Plus the fact I kind of like the old man helps. Granted it's a generic as fuck plot device of "I had a flashback and now I'm not giving up" attack but hey I'll take what I can get. It's certainly better than what is going to occur next chapter when/if Itachi and Sasuke meet up.
As far as the art is concerned I agree with the consensus that it's rather bad. I think the big thing for me is that the fight scenes with Madara just look unfinished. Like, stuff like the first 3 pages with the flower thing and the environment look like they were drawn in but someone forgot to ink them or they just look like the opposite; a blob of ink that forgot to be properly detailed like Madara's ink aura on page 4. As a result everything looks really bland at best (like Madara's ink aura) or just ugly and sketchy (like page 10 with the Tsuchikage's attack).
Oddly enough the best drawn pages were the last few with Sasuke and Itachi. Gee I can only wonder why~
As for Bleach...eh. By Bleach standards it wasn't an awful chapter but it still gets very low points for being so samey. Aizen face guy shows himself to Ichigo, Ichigo is caught offguard by the power he uses (again, way to go with the whole genocide of the Quincies thing Soul Society), and a new faction of enemies who no one knew about make their presence known and ugh. Kubo is so incapable of going outside his usual formula of New arc= reveal new team of characters until I think of what to do next. I mean, shit I barely even noticed those two new pipsqueak shinigami were even in this chapter, which is certainly bad writing to almost immediately make any new characters from not more than 2 chapters ago already seemingly irrelevant.
Oh and this page needs to win some kind of award for bad art. All of the big series this week seem to be pretty shoddily drawn. I guess it's Naruto x Bleach: Scribble War 2 now