Review: Naruto Gaiden: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring

(Jump Comics 2015)

Story & Art by Masashi Kishimoto

Chapters: 1-Ongoing

Summary: It’s been many years since the finale of Naruto, our hero is the current Hokage and people live in a time of peace. All of the original characters are adults now with kids – kids who are about to become full fledged ninja of their own. But, before that can happen, Sarada – the daughter of Sasuke – embarks on an adventure to discover the truth about her own heritage… what revelations await?!

[MAJOR Spoilers from this point on…]

Review: And just like that, as one door closes, another opens… and we’re greeted with the continuing adventures of the ninjas in the land of the dancing leaves. This time though, we turn our focus to their kids. For how long? I really don’t know, probably not for the next 700 chapters though. I’m pretty sure this is just a mini-series.

Either way, Kishimoto this is shpaing up to be one of your boldest tales yet. Instead of focusing on Bolt and Himawari – Naruto and Hinata’s kids who have a movie coming out soon – you’re instead focusing your efforts on the “mystery” surrounding the nature of Sasuke & Sakura’s daughter, Sarada. And I am a-okay with that.

Ever since the final chapter of Naruto I have wondered if Sasuke and Sakura reallly did it only for Sasuke to leave her to raise the child alone, as well as the fact that she wears glasses; a trait neither Sasuke or Sakura share. I also often speculated, and hoped, that what truly transpired was that Karin who longed after Sasuke as much as Sakura did and wore glasses – was really the mother, and Sakura was nice enough to take care of Sasuke’s child after something happened to Karin.

If the final panels of this fast moving chapter are anything to go by, that seems to be exactly the case of what’s going on, and if it turns out to be true then I will just be over the moon delighted. Because I never thought Sasuke and Sakura were right for one another. Sasuke simply never loved her.

I actually do enjoy that we’re getting to know the kids. I like second generation stories usually, they’re breath of fresh air and allow for the chance to start over. In the first chapter the focus is one father/kid relationships, with Sarada running into her friends and their fathers, and wondering why she doesn’t get to be with Sasuke. It’s understandable, and I feel bad for her throughout the entire chapter.

I also feel bad for Bolt, I kind of wish Naruto had turned out to be such an uninviting father. It really isn’t in Naruto’s character, and yet, here we are. Here we see Bolt playing hide-and-seek with his dad, but it’s revealed to be a clone. Bolt is okay with it though, he’s used to it by now, and I think that’s pretty sad. I get that as Hokage Naruto is a busy man, but I wish achieving his dream didn’t come at the cost of being with his family. Especially in a time of peace. The man’s gotta have some days off right?

The most off thing about this chapter, honestly, was the pacing. It kind of slows to a crawl until the end, when Sakura non-chalantly destroys her and Sarada’s house and everyone just seems to be a-okay with it. Like it’s a normal way of life for those two. I get Sakura is super strong, but if it happens so often that your daughter kind of just laughs off the entire ordeal, then you should be trying to put your temper in check. That means it happens a lot, and surely there are some construction workers who just loathe her.

Either way, I’m certainly interested in seeing what happened between Sasuke and Sarada, and I’m also certainly interested in finding out what happened to Karin. I was never a big fan of her in the original series, but now she’s left behind a legacy and that I’m totally interested in. Also, who knows, it might lead to finding out what happened to Orochimaru. The best, and still currently alive, Naruto villain.

Final Score: 4 Fatherly Figures out of 5

 

DERRICK-imageDerrick is a born and raised otaku with a love for comics, anime, manga and movies. The full list is pretty long, but that’s just the basics. Stories set in space are his bread and butter.

You can find more of his writing at IndieComix.net

@KazekunForever

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