Last week we saw the chapter end with Naruto and Sasuke throwing their biggest projectile at each other and that's exactly where we pick up on chapter 697, then again it's not like there is any other story going on right now aside from this final fight. The result of their attacks colliding is a pretty huge thunderstorm.
Madara said that when he and Hashirama fought they changed the landscape, Naruto and Sasuke will take it one step further and change the entire climate now. The results of the explosion even reach Kakashi and the Jyuubi tree and we see him narrow his eyes as he looks at the human cacoons, I wonder what exactly he is thinking but we aren't given much of a clue.
The result of global-warming-no-jutsu is that the heads of the statues are cut of clean, Naruto and Sasuke a-head of Hashirama and Madara I guess. They also take some heavy damage and lose their ability to fly. I don't know why it bothers me so much when I see characters fight in mid air so much, I once saw a few episodes of bleach where the two combatants spent 5 episodes without touching the ground, at which point I was turned off by the series. (No insult to Bleach fans, purely my own preference here).
After their fall it definitely seems like Sasuke is in the rougher situation, he is low on chakra, can't use his Rinnengan anymore and he is worried that the Bijuu might escape his technique, at which point he'd better pray for a quick death, cause what Itachi did to the Uchiha clan will look like a picnic compared to what the Bijuus will do to Sasuke.
Naruto begins his combo, appropriately named Naruto combo but he can't finish his sequence as Sasuke manages to interrupt hi with an elbow to the face, Sasuke then uses his sumoning technique to bring in some Shurikens, I loved seeing this technique because he used it once before against Itachi, it's been a while but I like seeing callbacks to previous (better) chapters.
Sasuke has always been more skillful with tools than Naruto, he is able to take out 3 of his enemy's clones and then immediately start choking the fourth one, Naruto manages to land a solid blow though and then proceeds to use his Rasengan, Oh yeah, its on now sucker, Sasuke can't even use a Chidori so you know Sasuke gonna get a face full of some sweet Rasengan goodness, right in kisser, Checkmate Sasuke, you were a good Indra reincarnation but you lose bro. Go Naruto! Nothing can stop you now!.
I don't expect their kids to be able to walk a straight line. Of course Naruto only tripped due to his chakra exhaustion but I do wish Kishi had instead made it so that Sasuke somehow sweeps his legs or something, rather than making Naruto look kind of awful.
Sasuke sees his chance and just starts pounding into Naruto, Naruto starts fighting back and it's a complete slug fest, don't worry though fans because Kishi still manages to sneak in a flashback this chapter, not sure why cause all it does is slow us down a little. we also see the classic shounen "yell my name" trope, where both characters identify each other a long time after a fight has begun, it somehow makes them stronger, you can see how well done it can be though. Another thing that slows this chapter is Sakura waking up to ask what is happening to Naruto and Sasuke, I hope this actually becomes relevant and we see her do something but I doubt there is time left, I do think Kakashi might show up after the fight is over or maybe to stop a killing blow.
It seems the fight has raged on to it's breaking point, neither Naruto or Sasuke are able to do much and their blows slow down to the point where they aren't even hurting each other, we also get another callback to their first fight when we see Naruto punch Sasuke's forehead and Sasuke hitting Naruto in the stomach, it's how their first fight ended and it's fitting that we see it in their final fight as well.
Naruto does have an advantage though, Kurama has been gathering chakra and is able to give some to Naruto, but the moment Sasuke notices this he is able to absorb this chakra using the Rinnengan's Preta path ability (The one Pain used to absorb all ninjutsu). Thanks a lot Kurama.
Thanks to Kurama, Sasuke is able to use his Chidori again and the chapter ends with him ready to land what is likely to be the final attack of the manga, while claiming Naruto is his only friend. If this is what Sasuke does to his best friend I'd rather be his enemy.
1- I think this fight is over, both people are barely standing yet either they both get hurt or both escape unscathed, I can see Naruto somehow finding a way to talk to Sasuke while they are both immobile.
2- Sakura and Kakashi will show up at some point and bring them back, after all we still need to free the people stuck in the trees.
3- We didn't see Naruto's 4th clone poof did we? I think the Naruto that Sasuke is about to hit is some sort of clone and Naruto might land an upper-cut or something.
4- Still waiting for the importance of the Akatsuki rings, Tenten and the tools of the Sage, "That technique".
Does it save this fight though? we spent 2 chapters with Kaijus and only one good chapter of the fight so I don't know, still this fight is entertaining and I'll give it a 4.5 out of 5. Wish we didn't have flashbacks or Naruto tripping but apart from that it was perfect.