(Jump Comics 2012)
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: Okay guys, this is it! This is the kind of chapter I have been waiting for. We got Yamato (if ever so briefly), we got Orochimaru (yassss), we got explanations, and we got the closest confirmation yet that Karin is in fact Sarada’s mother, which makes me really happy.
Was the chapter perfect? This is Naruto, what do you think, of course it wasn’t perfect, but thankfully for this chapter the worst part about it is simply that it’s tied to and building upon previous chapters that I simply haven’t liked as much. That being said, overall, this was a pretty stellar chapter.
In this one we see Naruto and the gang making their way to Orochimaru’s lair, which Yamato seems to be there for whatever reason, but I’m done questioning it, I like Yamato a lot so it’s just nice to actually see him again after he was treated in the previous series.
We get to see the other members of team Hawk, except for Karin of course, which was rather nice; Orochimaru seems to be even younger than he was at the end of last series. Which our heroes comment on. We get an explanation on who Shin really is, and his minions, which was something I actually did find rather intriguing. Suigetsu runs a DNA test on Sarada to see if she is Karin’s offspring and it comes up a match, which makes me so happy. And Chouchou is still being a dunce.
So, yeah, a lot happens. It was quite nice for a change.
I mostly enjoyed getting to see a lot of older characters that I actually enjoyed from last series, Orochimaru is the best villain of Naruto, so to see him having turned over a new leaf (see what I did there?) is a little saddening, but at leas it allows for interesting conversations with these characters.
The explanation that Shin is an old experiment by Orochimaru who became obsessed with Itachi, and is 1. not actually a member of the Uchiha clan, and 2. is just dream struck with the idea of being in Akatsuki, did make me feel better about the villain. That being said, I do feel Sakura needs to just go ahead and kill Shin while she has the chance but instead she’s allowing him to just continue talking and explaining how his minion, or children, are actually just clones that he sees as throwaway flesh and organs.
We’ll see how the story goes, but what I’m most weary about with this villain, especially now that I don’t mind him as much as I did before, is that ultimately he’s just going to be a disappointment. Which is usually the case with Naruto villains.
I did however like the look on Naruto and Suigetsu’s faces when the DNA confirmation came on the screen for Sarada. Both of them see Sakura as Sarada’s one, true, flesh and blood mother, so it has me wondering what Naruto was up to when/if Sakura was going into labor all those years ago. Surely, then, he’d know that yes Sakura actually did give birth. Let alone the 9 months he should’ve seen her with a pregnant stomach. It’s little things like these two examples that always make me second-guess storylines like this.
I also liked Sarada’s reaction, it was quite emotional, and the fact that she’s super pissed and doesn’t even want to help Sakura now seems very in character. I think it’s the little details like this that make me like these character more and more. When they react realistically. Sure, this is a fantasy world, but the characters should be as real as possible. And out of most of the characters in this sequel manga, Sarada seems to be the most realistic of them all.
Final Score: 4 Shin Clones out of 5
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