Yoh yoh yoh, I am hot of the press of posting my review of the first chapter of Naruto Gaiden so why not get to the next one? In my review of the first chapter I gave a little summary of the chapter but I now realize that it might have been a bit repetitive, unnecessary and long. So I will instead list some highlights and then go on to discuss my thoughts on each one. As before, spoiler alert!
- Sasuke is attacked by a mysterious cloaked figure using chains
- Needing only one hand for seals, Sasuke promptly zaps him, revealing a young, pale-haired kid with the Uchiha crest and the sharingan!
- The chapter cuts back to Sarada, contemplating her place in life and where she comes from
- She inquires with Shizune about her birth but there is no record in the Konoha hospitals, which seems like a cover job to me
- Later, Sarada meets up with Chouchou and her family, the delusional Chouchou is now convinced that Chouji and Karui are not her real parents
- They are interrupted by the new kid, who is revealed to be Mitsuki, a transfer from another village who points out that the girls are having normal feelings of not belonging
- We cut back to the mysterious Uchiha kid who has somehow escaped Sasuke and is speaking about Sasuke and Itachi with another mysterious hooded figure wearing an akatsuki cloak
- Meanwhile, the “dream-team” that is Sarada and Chouchou decide to go on a journey to find their real parents and the true story of Sarada’s birth
- We then finally get a look at Naruto working as Hokage who receives as message from Sasuke about the kid with the Sharingan
- Naruto then notifies Kakashi and theorizes that he may be an old experiment of Orochimaru’s
- As they all decide to meet up with Sasuke, Sarada overhears and decides to tail Naruto in hopes of meeting her father, then somehow Chouchou joins in
I will first say that the timing and pacing of the story so far is quite on point. It manages to show enough characterization whilst progressing the story with no unnecessary tacked-on stuff. The last few pages of the previous chapter and the first few pages of the current chapter showed two distinct story lines that are converging by the end quite neatly. The first interesting point to note is that Sasuke can weave signs for chidori with only one hand. This is quite handy (#cheese) since he has lost an arm and may be a remnant of the rikudou sennin’s power perhaps? and reminds me of Full Metal Alchemist. The hooded figure is shown to be a young boy with the sharingan. This is a shock to Sasuke and to Naruto and Kakashi who believed that Sasuke was the only surviving Uchiha descendant. To further add to the mystery, the boy somehow escapes Sasuke to meet up with another cloaked figure who bears the akatsuki markings. Firstly, how did this little kid escape this god-level ninja that is Sasuke? Either Kishimoto did not want to focus on this, or just could not figure out how to do it and just left it out. The two figures discussed that Sasuke was unforgivable as an Uchiha for killing Itachi, leading us to believe that they are related to Itachi somehow. It is still unclear how this is possible. I can only speculate that Itachi may have had a child with some crazy woman who is now out for revenge for his death. Anyway, we see in the scene with Naruto that technology in this universe has become quite advanced with monitors and cellphones existing. This is an interesting point as we have yet to see how it influences the culture in the villages and whether ninjas are still needed in the future with further progress and peace. Kakashi makes a return, without a scar on his eye, which was weird to see. But he seems to be an adviser and may not be a front-line soldier anymore. Naruto decides to meet up with Sasuke to investigate but is overheard by Sarada, which converges their story lines. By this point Sarada is quite confused by her origins and is adamant on finding the truth. There is a parallel here between her and Sasuke after he finds out that Itachi protected him and sought to find the real story of the Uchiha. Similarly, there is no record of Sarada’s birth, either she was born outside the village or the higher ups wanted to cover-up her origins. I don’t see why they would want to do the later in this new world as I would expect Naruto would be averse to keeping secrets like these within his leadership. Or maybe he just does not know and there may be something sinister going on. Or maybe Sakura was just so desperate to Sasukes child that she took Karin’s as her own and then changed the records. Sarada is now joined by a delusional Chouchou also chasing some truth, which is largely imaginary. I think it is now established that Chouchou is comic relief, with many of the older characters now serious and all about the business, Chouchou silliness was probably intended to balance Sarada’s angst. But it is also a clear comparison to Sasuke and Naruto that by having a friend like Chouchou helps Sarada cope with her issues and not turn to the “dark side”. Well… hopefully. All-in-all this chapter provides some insight into the new world and some set up into what is to follow in the story. I rate this chapter as a beard scratching, eyebrow raising !/10.
This post was originally on the otakugamertist WordPress site which I closed to start this new site.
Image credits: Shueisha, VIZ media, Weekly Shōnen Jump