Fans of Naruto know and love the series for its character depth. It has even become a staple to get a detailed, heartfelt background for the most trivial of characters, which enabled the anime counterpart to create so many filler episodes of.
However, in 622, readers are getting the character background of the two most important characters of the series. A past they've been craving since they first saw the first Hokage's face etched into Konahana's cliff in the first series: Hashirama versus Madara.
With the tension between Naruto and Sasuke, the battle between Hashirama and Madara has been continually referred to. While Madara already revealed his own memories after his battle with the First, in Chapter 622 readers experience the characters' relationship years before the legendary fight.
The author depicts these two characters together as children who unknowingly come from opposing clans. These children longed only to be themselves, and escape the daily pain of the war which engulfed their clans.
The Madara who now threatens the world, was once clumsy and hot-headed, much like Naruto.
The talented Hashirama continually back talks to his father and hates the Shinobi world because the death it kills Itama. The readers, seeing this adolescent "god of the Shinobi", are lead to question how a boy who hates the ninja world could come to lead it.
The beauty of this unlikely, Fox and the Hound-esque relationship, is that even though Hashirama realizes Madara is a shinobi, and likely suspects he is an Uchiha, still reaches out to him for understanding and friendship. The two express the desire to know how others think and feel, though their view on whether this is possible differs.
The reader knows the story ending for these two: their battle before the series determined the fate of the ninja world. Still, there are questions unanswered. Did their warring clans drive them apart, or was it the own differences in their personalities?
Certainly the reason why will be the difference in the current war against Madara and Tobi.