(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: Man, I wish real life played out like a Naruto pep talk. We’d definitely have a lot less stubborn people in this world. The talk is heavy this chapter, with Naruto giving one of his signature pep talks to Sarada who’s sharigan has activated and is so angry over recent revelations is attempting to pull a Sasuke and abandon her friends and her village.
Like father, like daughter I suppose.
That being said, the talk works and in just a few words Naruto is able to convince Sarada to think back to her days growing up under Sakura’s care in order for her to realize “hey, even if Sakura ends up not being your mother, she is still the one who raised you, if that doesn’t make her your mother, I don’t know what does.” I’m paraphrasing of course, but that’s basically what happens.
We also get a flashback to Naruto’s first chapter, when Naruto was still alone in the world and no one cared about him but Iruka-sensei. It allowed him to connect with Sarada, and break down her barrier of hatred. The girl is confused, and for once Naruto isn’t in a position to be able to tell her what’s going on, as even he doesn’t. Which I’ll admit is refreshing for once.
Overall, I did like this chapter, and Sakura this chapter embodies my exact feelings when it comes to not only this chapter, but the series of Naruto as a whole when she says: “I was just biding my time listening to you… understand?” And she proceeds to get ready to kick Shin’s ass. We’ll see how that plays out.
Really, I don’t have a lot of words to say about this chapter. I did like it, but it was also a very typical Naruto chapter. Not a lot happened, and majority of the page count was taken up by flashbacks. Thankfully some of those flashbacks were from Sarada’s p.o.v. meaning they were also new material at the same time. It was refreshing to see Sakura actually being a mother to Sarada growing up. I’m totally fine with Sakura being her “mother,” and being the woman who raised Sarada. My hope is that Karin, in fact, does end up being her biological mom. Even though we seemingly got that confirmed, only time will tell is Kishimoto throws us a curve ball on how wrong we were really were.
Final Score: 2.5 Flashback Scenes out of 5
You can find more of his writing at IndieComix.net