Review: Naruto Gaiden: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring Chapters 4-5

(Jump Comics 2015)

Story & Art by Masashi Kishimoto

Chapters 4 and 5-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: I’m clumping these two chapters together because they both came out before I could write this review, basically. These last two chapters have actually been pretty good, some of the best this sequel has had to offer since it started. I’m still not sold on the villains, and Chouchou has continued to prove herself to be a selfish, little [insert bad word here], but I’m really enjoying Sarada and the way she plays off of Naruto is quite fun.

In these chapters we get Sarada’s long awaited meeting with Sasuke which ends up being less than the perfect as she envisioned it, which I felt was the proper way to handle it. Sasuke doesn’t know what Sarada’s face looks like anymore, so when he mistakes her for the enemy at first I felt like that made perfect sense. Although, she’s also a kid, so Sasuke probably should’ve taken that into consideration as well. – However, I’m very much against the reason why Sasuke has been gone for so long.

Something is out there more powerful than Kaguya? Like crap! I’d be more impressed if there was something out there with more personality than her, but that’s not really how Naruto villains work. I do think this is my biggest issue with this sequel, is the villain. I’ve just gotten past the point of enjoying the villains of this series, but they give our characters a threat to face so I would like to care about the villains as well to some extent. – Here we learn that this new villain is planning on resurrecting the Akatsuki, which I don’t understand why.

Other than being pawns in Madara’s scheme to unite all the tailed beasts, and also being powerful ninjas themselves, there was really nothing special about the Akatsuki. There’s nothing special about them that would require a fanatic to want to resurrect the group – I know not the characters, obviously, but a new generation of Akatsuki is just useless at this point, especially after all these years.

Before all this though, Naruto and Sarada share a nice moment where Naruto gets to reminisce about the good ole days with Sasuke, something that was both satisfying as well as unsatisfying because we got to see Naruto share some of his feelings about Sasuke with Sarada, but also unsatisfying because we all know Sasuke is totally a little [insert bad word here] who betrayed everyone and killed many people because of ever-changing feelings regarding information he never knew the full story about.

It was nice though, I like their dynamic. I also very much appreciated Sarada calling Sasuke out on his terrible fatherhood skills and not being there for his family. For a girl who was barred from being told the truth, her outburst is fully understandable. Sasuke’s reaction… not so much, but still in character. So it’s whatever. Chouchou, on the other hand, needs to accept her parentage and leave it at that.

These chapters were actually very good at nailing down some key characters moments for our players, and also introduced more questions that I hope are answered soon. It seems the match between Naruto and Sasuke vs. whoever this new Akatsuki/Uchiha leader is beginning, but is it the final battle? Probably not, but we’ll see how it goes. I suspect either Sarada or Chouchou is gonna get kidnapped, probably Sarada, and then Sasuke and Sakura – who’s headed for their location – will have to team up to save their kid. And that’s how Sarada will find out that Sakura is indeed her real mom – even though I really want it to be Karen.

I’m very interested to see what happens next, if the rest of this sequel is like these last two chapters than maybe this won’t be so bad after all. I certainly hope so since Sarada deserves a good story. Hell, Naruto deserves a good story. Come on, Kishimoto, let’s do this!

Final Score: 3 Sage Mode Tranformations 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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