(Jump Comics 2015)
Story & Art by Masashi Kishimoto
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: This was a pretty slow chapter for a “short-running” sequel, and I hope this isn’t setting the pace for the rest of the event. I didn’t mind it this week when compared to last week’s chapter, however I did find the entire conversation about who was going to give Naruto his lunch rather out of place.
I mean, first we get further proof that Naruto really needs to step up the parenting skills, as Bolt just wanted to give him his lunch for his journey, but then we get Sarada giving a not-quite-thought-out argument as to why she needs to run after Naruto to give it to him.
Doesn’t take a genius to figure out Sarada, who is a member of the Uchiha clan, is following Naruto who is going after an Uchiha bad guy. I may have missed something, but when Shikamaru just lets her and Chouchou go I couldn’t help but thinking “Why Shikamaru? These kids are literally about to be put in danger and you’re just going to let them go? You should’ve already figured out the situation by this point and stopped it.”
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for Sarada’s journey to discover her true parentage. But so far I’ve felt the overall set-up to get her on her journey has felt convoluted or contrived at best (both? Probably both). And I’m just not stoked for yet another Uchiha-based villain. We’ve gotten enough of those at this point.
However, we do get to see Sarada, Chouchou, and Naruto in action this chapter. And those two girls, despite not being official ninja yet do a good job at fending off the enemy for just a few moments before Naruto swoops in to save the day. This is our first real look at Naruto as a “responsible” adult when put up against the next generation. I’ll admit it’s kind of cool, having watched this little kid go from a snot-nosed brat to a fully-fledged Jiraiya-like figure (minus all the perving) is rather… satiating.
I’ll be remiss though if it I didn’t say it does feel weird at first though, but I think this is one area where Kishimoto will do us justice. Now, the real question remains, given the fact that they’re really not that far from Konoha right now, will Naruto make the two of them go back or will one of them (probably Chouchou) get kidnapped and Sarada and Naruto will have to team-up to save her?
We also get our next inklings at a possible Bolt/Sarada relationship, which I assume is to be expected at this point. Although she may be playing the Hinata character, and I find that even more interesting. We’ll just have to see though, assuming they start focusing on the next generation if not through manga than through a new series of movies (such as the upcoming Bolt film – because I refuse to call him Boruto).
Finally, something I failed to discuss last chapter was how funny I find it that these characters are now using cell phones. It makes sense, peace brings progress of technology, but it’s still really funny. But this also means that if Naruto does get in trouble he can just pull out his telly and let Shikamaru know that he’s in need of ninjas, which sadly takes away from the suspense. We’ll see how Kishimoto plays up this fact, and if he’ll put it to use or ignore it completely.
Overall, better chapter than last week, but it’s still waking on eggshells with me. I guess I should expect nothing less, but I all want is a good story. There’s not a lot Kishimoto has to do in order to make that happen, he’s gotta try at this point in order to make it bad. So far, it isn’t bad.
Final Score: 2.5 Not-Quite-Ninjas out of 5
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