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Edo Tensei is a technique to revive the dead, and bind their souls into living bodies. However, after releasing the technique, all of the dead should get back into being dead.

How can Madara still stick around even after the Edo Tensei had been ended? I am not sure if it was something that we needed to think about and figure out by ourselves or is it yet to be revealed?

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It should be possible to add spoiler marks on questions themselves. People who haven't read the Manga will have serious spoilers just by reading the title... -.-' –  JNat Dec 11 '12 at 21:20
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Not anymore, thanks to @MadaraUchiha ! –  JNat Dec 12 '12 at 15:44
    
awesome! thanks MadaraUchiha –  MozenRath Dec 12 '12 at 18:55

3 Answers 3

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First, the most important thing to know is that anyone who knows the Edo Tensei seals can free themselves from the contract if given the opportunity. Now, there are multiple ways that one can be unrestricted in Edo Tensei form. These are their opportunities:

  1. The grace period when one's soul is released (Example: Dan meeting Tsunade)
  2. The revived person is strong enough to withstand the Edo Tensei (Example: Hashirama not under Orochimaru's control)
  3. The controller allows the revived person free movement (Example: Madara being revived by Kabuto)
  4. Some other force is able to place a stronger control over the revived person (Example: Kotoamatsukami being used on Itachi)

In Madara's case, Kabuto had claimed to revive him in a form stronger than his prime. Madara questions Kabuto's ignorance of his prime state and then Kabuto gives Madara full control of his own body in order to demonstrate his abilities.

After Kabuto gave control to Madara, Madara was able to used the Edo Tensei seals to free himself.

enter image description here

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One can probably argue that even if Kabuto tried to control Madara, Madara can overpower it. Either way, Kabuto let Madara have full control (perhaps for this very reason). –  krikara Dec 20 '13 at 18:26

When Edo Tensei ends, the summoned soul is freed from the Edo Tensei's control, and then the soul ascends to the pure world (afterlife). However, there is a small "grace period" between the two. During this grace period, the soul can act freely.

During that grace period, Dan used the Reika no Jutsu to go meet his girlfriend. Itachi shared his memories and feeling with Sasuke (though granted he had been freed from the Edo Tensei's control long back). Most other shinobi stood around doing nothing significant.
However, during that grace period, Madara released the Edo Tensei's summoning contract itself. As such, his soul is no longer bound to "ascend to the pure world" and can continue to stay in the impure world.

He could have done the same thing even before the Edo Tensei was released, if Kabuto had let him, and the effect would be the same. Also, if others knew the seals and chose to use them, they would be able to stick around too.

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While the grace period does exist, Madara didn't actually use it. Kabuto gave him full control to begin with. –  krikara Dec 20 '13 at 18:28

From what I understood, if you know the Edo Tensei technique yourself, and you're resurrected, you can use it on yourself, after the technique was dismissed by the original caster.

So actually, what Madara Uchiha did was use Edo Tensei again, using the original sacrifice Kabuto gave him, so that he is now the new caster, and he revived himself. Like Madara said on Chpater 591 page 17, there is one risk to the technique. If you know the seal, you can release the summoning contract itself. Basically, freeing you from the caster's control. Madara's soul wasn't bound by Kabuto anymore, but by himself.

Tell them not to use forbidden jutsu so lightly next time.

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@MozenRath: I am Madara, problem? –  Madara Uchiha Dec 11 '12 at 21:01
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@MozenRath: Yes, by the way. That's what I said after I came back. "If you know the seal yourself, you're able to break the Edo Tensei contract itself". –  Madara Uchiha Dec 11 '12 at 21:11
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I said that on Chapter 591, page 17. Added to the answer. –  Madara Uchiha Dec 11 '12 at 21:23
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@MozenRath: I transferred "ownership" of the Edo Tensei from Kabuto to myself. Basically now, it's as if I used Edo Tensei on myself. That's why I'm practically invincible. No one can undo my jutsu now. Maybe except Sishui's eye, Komoamatsukikami. –  Madara Uchiha Dec 11 '12 at 21:28
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@MozenRath: No, I didn't explicitly say that. That's why I said, that's how I understood it, and it also makes the most sense. That's why my soul started leaving my body, and then it returned, because I reinitiated the technique. –  Madara Uchiha Dec 11 '12 at 21:38

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