I guess the chance of a Tsunade/Sakura Slug Sage Mode just got really high. The chapter had alot of things to ponder about, but the inclusion of another form of Sage Mode pissed me off. It was supposed to be unique to Naruto and the "Good Guys", but now Kabuto has it, granted its different, but its still Sage Mode.
The fact that Karin is an Uzumaki is kinda surprising. I would expect that being family, she might've felt a connection to Naruto when she felt his Chakra, but maybe not.
The Dragon part is kinda weird for me. If from Snakes you go to Dragons, then from Toads and Slugs, you should be able to go higher as well. It might however be due to the snake-dragon relationship in Japan Mythology: the dragon being a serpent associated with water.
Further speculation on Sage Mode:
-So Orochimaru was an imperfect sage which is a perfect parallel with Jiraiya. Is there really a slug sage mode? Tsunade might be more badass than anyone of us thought.
-Frogs and snakes being essentially different kind of creatures, their sage mode might draw upon different aspects of nature. The possible danger of frog sage training is to turn into a frog, and even more so than that, a statue; snake sage training might have different consequences like the trainee turning into a snake(did Orochimaru go a tad too far and permanently become snakelike; perhaps his white snake form was not due to experimentation like Sasuke assumed but as a result of his sage training), aaaand possibly a homicidal madman lol.
-Snake sage mode might also not only add pigmentation around the eyes like frog sage mode, but affect the eyes themselves, frog sage mode give frog eyes, snake sage mode make the white part of the eyes black(pretty cool) as well as adding a snake like pupil it seems. As a side note, Juugo's whole skin has pigmentation when he draws upon his source of power which seems specifically connected with the dragon cave realm and the snake sage energies. Is there a possible way to master snake sage mode without turning snake-like, like Naruto did with frog sage mode; Orochimari was an imperfect sage exactly like Jiraiya, and Kabuto already screwed himself up by integrating Orochimaru's white snake form cells into his body before even finding the dragon cave; though perhaps that's what made Kabuto's body suitable for mastering snake sage mode.
-What are the benefits of entering into snake sage mode? Well, we can imagine the benefits to be very similar to Juugo's abilities, the curse seal minus the body transformation, and even frig sage mode. Chakra boost, augmentation to ninjutsu, genjutsu, and genjutsu; enhanced strength, endurance, attaining higher senses because of becoming aware of the natural flow of energy, etc. We saw how the curse seal amplified Sasuke's fire ninjutsu, lightning ninjutsu, and the strength of his sharingan.
Implication of the Kabuto fight:
-For one, and to simply get it out the way; Sasuke will become at least somewhat familiarized with sage mode now in preperation for his encounter with Naruto.
-This is more speculation on my part, but Sasuke might become a master snake sage to be put on par with Naruto. Why? Naruto has finally reached the pinnacle of his power as the kyuubi jinchuuriki, Sasuke has reached the pinnacle of power in regards to being an uchiha by attaining the EMS, they are paralleled very much the same way Jiraiya and Orochimaru are paralleled. Yet we know this is not the end of their growth, Naruto in particular has been foreshadowed adding his frog sage mode with kyuubi mode, which is going to be badass. Sasuke, won't have to gain the rinnegan which might still be a later upgrade just like Naruto becoming the jinchuuriki for the Juubi might become his final upgrade, Sasuke can simply become a master snake mode which would augment his eyes, and not only put him on par with Naruto's frog sage-kyuubi mode, but solidify the parallels between the two. Sasuke's body is already accustomed not only to the curse seal but Juugo's chakra, and even more so than that Sasuke had access to the power of the white snake and was able to use it accordingly; the removal of the imperfect curse seal(along with Orochimaru) would only give Sasuke the opportunity, plot-wise, to familiarize his body to those energies to eventually becoming a snake sage by his own right; I think this would be extra sweet, and make Naruto's and Sasuke's battle all the more epic. Sasuke shed his scales to become a hawk(why not become a dragon) but plot-wise, he shouldn't have lost what he gained from Orochimaru; Naruto draws upon everything he gained from his teachers(kakashi, Jiraiya) and family(Minato and Kushina), Sasuke should retain and draw upon the same from his(Kakashi, Orochimari, and Itachi).
Seriously, EMS-snake sage mode Sasuke(with horns) vs Kyuubi-frog sage Naruto would be awesome!
What else can be said about this chapter. Oh yeah!
-I don't want to see Orochimaru come back, Kabuto has done an excellent job in surpassing his mentor! Though he might be very well ultimately defeated by his fellow classmate Sasuke with the needed help of Itachi, the same way Naruto beat his classmate Nagato with the help of Konoha.
-the scroll Juugo and Suigetsu found is the location of Ryuchidou or a snake contract scroll or something like that, which they plan to give to Sasuke
-as far-fetched as it sounds, i have a feeling that the Names situation with Naruto is that the tailed beasts all gave Naruto their power as he acknowledged them like none since the SSO6P
What I don't understand is the whole Senju/Uzumaki healing power... so that means Tsunade has the technique she cultivated (i'm not really spending a lot of time on accuracy here so bare with me) concerning the tattoo-like markings, AND a natural ability plus a possible Slug Sage mode? If Sakura is of Uzumaki lineage too, does that mean she will fall in line to surpass her masters just like Naruto, Sasuke and Kabutorochisennin? Speaking of which, I haven't decided if he's just straight hax now or if this sh*t is about to level way the f up.
pretty sure this is my first post but i read this forum a lot. glad to finally have something to say!
Plenty of cool developments in this chapter.
The revelation about the cursed seal was quite interesting. Nice job by Kishi tying it back to the Natural enery and Sage ability angle. So all this time Orochimaru was searching for a way to fully activate another version of Sage Mode. Makes one wonder if he got the idea from seeing Jiraiya's Sage Mode (we know Jiraiya bascially stumbled upon the Toad sanctuary) or if they both just happened to go along a similar path.
The revelation of Karin being an Uzumaki was cool. I get a feeling she knows, and am now more eager to see what her next moves will be.
Even though Kabuto had this type of trump card he was still wary of Tobi. Ever the cautious one.
As for the theories of Sasuke obtaining Snake sage mode down the line, I'm not seeing it.
He currently has a "contract" with hawks, and so far the only person who's managed to summon different types of animals is Nagato, using the Rinnegan of course. I doubt Sasuke wants anything more to do with snakes.
However, since he does has some of Juugo's flesh attached to him it isn't inconceivable he could obtain sort altered Sage mode form in the future.
So can we conclude that healing powers are an attribute of the Senju/Uzumaki lineage? Hashirama could heal his own wounds without forming seals. Tsunade likewise is able to heal herself using the chakra she stores in the diamond on her forehead. Mito had a similar diamond on her forehead. Kushina, Mito, and Naruto are all uniquely able to withstand the Kyuubi's chakra, which is incredibly harmful to anyone else it touches. And now here's Karin, who can heal people with her chakra without performing seals. Kabuto was even able to copy her ability, and has instantly healed himself after being sliced cleanly by Sasuke's sword.
I think there's some solid evidence at this point that Naruto's own miraculous healing throughout the series wasn't necessarily a result of the Kyuubi. It's possible that the Kyuubi provided the chakra needed for the healing, and also amplified Naruto's own powers, but it was primarily the Uzumaki clan's ability at work.
A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.