WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Boruto: Naruto Next Generations #38 by Masashi Kishimoto, Mikio Ikemoto and Ukyo Kodachi, on sale now.
The Naruto Universe has been rocked by the revelation that another member of the Ōtsutsuki clan is planning to drain the world of all its chakra. This comes in the form of Isshiki, the mysterious alien possessing the leader of Kara, Jigen, who has already engaged Naruto and Sasuke in battle.
However, Isshiki is way more powerful than clan members such as Kaguya, Momoshiki and Kinshiki. And as the latest chapter of the Boruto manga illustrates, this villain is unlike anything the heroes of Konoha or the free ninja world have ever faced. At the very end of this fight, though, with Naruto battered, beaten and bruised, it becomes clear to him and a fleeing Sasuke that they need the biggest ninja alliance ever.
The last time such an alliance formed was for the Fourth Shinobi World War against Uchiha Madara and Obito. They didn't realize, however, that they were being played by Black Zetsu and Kaguya. Nonetheless, all the five villages put aside their differences and united under the Hokage (Tsunade) from Konoha/the Land of Fire, the Kazekage (Gaara) from Sunagakure/the Land of Wind, the Raikage (A) from Kumogakure/the Land of Lightning, the Mizukage (Mei) from Kirigakure/the Land of Water, and lastly, the Tsuchikage known as Ōnoki from Iwagakure/the Land of Earth. Naruto inspired this new coalition and they helped him and Sasuke take down Kaguya and her army, paving the way for a new era.
This is the world the Boruto franchise exists in. Yet, although there's unity, peace has been rocked by Jigen hunting Kawaki, his vessel in Konoha. We now find out Jigen's a pawn too and Isshiki is the true villain of the story pulling the strings to finish what Kaguya started. With Isshiki on the verge of killing Sasuke, Naruto urges his brother-in-arms to teleport away and leave him behind as he knows Sasuke can bring aid.
If he stayed to defend Naruto, he'd die, so a badly wounded Sasuke reluctantly follows his leader's orders, transporting via his Rinnegan to Sakura. With Naruto sealed away by Isshiki, Sasuke will definitely need a powerful legion once he heals up. However, the fact he and Naruto couldn't stop Isshiki doesn't bode well.
Previous alliances include the one forged by Hashirama and Madara in the early stages of Konoha's existence, which was formidable but not as expansive as what Naruto started. Sasuke will have to refer to strategies from both, though, as battle-weary soldiers and leaders from the Fourth War have retired and the subsequent armies haven't really had to face major enemies since.
Two intriguing options could be Orochimaru and former enemy Kabuto -- both of whom are once again allies of Konoha. Both wreaked havoc after being manipulated by Kaguya and the Zetsu, with Kabuto actually bringing Madara back to life. They're genius when it comes to experiments and using DNA/cloning to generate armies using the best ninjas that perished in the past. So while it may be frowned upon, desperate times call for desperate measures.
Forbidden resurrection rituals might also be required because people like Sasuke's deceased brother Itachi would help make a difference. This is an opportunity for Sasuke, who'll undoubtedly be acting Hokage, to bring back other legends from the past. It's worth noting they never anticipated the five villages would unite so it'd be a dream come true, giving them a greater sense of urgency to preserve what exists.
Madara, Tobirama (Hashirama's brother and co-founder of Konoha), Jiraiya and Hiruzen are some of the names being mentioned, not to mention Obito. They all wanted a brighter tomorrow for all in their own selfish ways, and now the chance has been provided for those who need to be redeemed fully to do so. The villages won't be enough. though. Sasuke will have to think outside the box to assemble the largest army ever, and most importantly, one that's capable of doing the job.
Boruto #38 will be released on Oct. 20.