Review: Naruto Gaiden Chapters 9 and 10

(Jump Comics 2012)

Naruto Gaiden: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring (2015)

Story & Art by Masashi Kishimoto

Naruto Gaiden: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring (2015)

Chapters 9 and 10

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, so that was unexpected. I still think the entire story could’ve been handled a lot better, but I’ll eat my words and say that overall I was satisfied with its conclusion. I also am still very adamant that Karin should’ve been Sarada’s real mother, but the quick explanations for everything at the end did help make everything make a lot more sense. As to why Naruto wasn’t there for Sarada’s birth (even though he must’ve known about it, and thus could’ve told her as much), and how everything about Sarada resembling Karin connects.

In these final two chapters, Naruto Gaiden: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring comes to a quick and abrupt end. After several chapters of build up, and still plenty of weak explanation when it comes to not only the villain, but no explanation whatsoever about the little creature Shin was using to help him teleport away, the best I can say about this story now is that I felt it could’ve been… better.

Overall, it’s alright. Not the best Naruto story out there, but by far not the worst. It was a very nice coming of age story for Sarada, and it was nice getting to reflect on another character that wasn’t an Uzumaki for once. And even Chouchou who drug along for the ride got less irritating by the end, but that’s mostly because she was barely in it by the end as well.

I do have a lot of issues with the ending though, mostly where it concerns the villain. How easily Shin was defeated, and how once again the final boss ended up carrying with him a massive army of clones. Because we needed more of those in Naruto didn’t we? It’s in chapter 9 specifically that we continue the trend of making sure every last heinous villain from this series is a good guy as well. We get to see Kabuto again who has been promoted to an Academy Headmaster in Konoha, because Naruto logic, and has now been placed in charge of making sure the clone army of young Shin get trained to become strong warriors in the name of good _ because Naruto logic am I right?

Sarada’s journey was… an interesting one to say the least. It had its good moments, and a lot of standard moments, bogged down by lack of exposition from characters (whoa, I NEVER thought I’d say that about a Naruto storyline) and reminders of the things that made the original series so weak in its later years. But jumping back to the good moments, when they did show up they showed up as a grand beacon. Sarada herself being the prime example, she’s an interesting character, and I cannot wait to see her relationship with Bolt bud into hopefully something greater in the upcoming Bolt anime movie.

It was really nice taking this journey with her, and getting to see her bloom into a fine young lady who finally knows what she wants to do with her life. It was great to see Yamato again, and Orochimaru, even if they didn’t help out, and Yamato was there for a panel for some… reason? I dunno, it was still cool to see him though!

If you like Naruto, definitely go check out this story. At 10 chapters, it’s not very long at all and it at least provides you with more time to spend with these characters, even if you may or may not agree with everything Kishimoto did with them. I did like this story, I do think it’s more or less standard affair for Kishimoto at this stage, but I did like it. And I guess in the end that’s all that matters, right?

Now that Kishimoto is finally, truly finished with Naruto, what will he work on next? I have no idea, but in my personal opinion I think he should stay far away from ninjas in orange jump suits and focus on something a little more light hearted, and also a lot shorter instead. I know he’s working on the next Bolt movie, but that’s not manga, I’m just talking about manga. Definitely shorter manga.

Sayonara Naruto, sayonara Sarada. It was a fun journey.

Shanarooooo!!! – Sakura & Sarada

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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