Written by Shiggins
This was just so weird I had to give my thoughts on it. (And no, this isn't going to be a weekly review thing, sorry.)
The name Naruto is so controversial in the fandom world and so difficult to be a part of. On the one hand, amazing action scenes and characters as well as a huge world of myths and legends. On the other hand, underdeveloped romances and plot-holes galore. To be a fan of Naruto is like being a fan of comic books; You can't take every detail too seriously. And unfortunately, that's what the Naruto fandom does.
|The cape is so dorky! I love it!|
As a fan of Naruto myself, I've always been somewhat aware of the massive popularity and notice the series has gotten. All over the world and one of the biggest selling manga series of all time, Naruto Part 2 ended November 2014 after an impressive 15 year run. Of course, it was never going to just disappear and although films are the most obvious route, Shonen Jump are bringing us more with a live-action musical, databooks, the obligatory movie and most noticeable and controversial of all, Naruto Gaiden; The Seventh Hokage.
|I guess somebody has been playing Ratchet and Clank recently?|
This chapter begins with Boruto Uzumaki and Sarada Uchiha, the offspring of NaruHina and SasuSaku, in their class being taught by sci-fi teacher Shino. It turns out that next week is the famous graduation exam, which they must pass to be put into teams and become ninjas. There is a mixed level of excitement from every student and the noticeable response is from Sarada, who actually seems to dislike ninjas.
|I don't think I'll ever grow tired of seeing Konoha.|
We then see Sarada and Chōchō Akimichi, the child of Choji and Karui. (Yeah, remember that randomness?). Chōchō is expressing her disinterest in having to train for the exam and mistakes Sarada's words for condescension. Another interesting fact is that Sarada doesn't really get the big deal about being a Uchiha, despite what everyone says. Just as Sarada is about to explain what her "condescension" meant, they are interrupted by Choji. With Choji here, Sarada takes her leave and goes home.
|Who is that guy... and why is his sexy ass not the main character?|
We then finally see the title character Naruto, the seventh Hokage. He appears to be training with Boruto, and Boruto manages to get away and hide-and-seek begins. Naruto sees Sai and his son Inojin who are training with their admittedly cool drawing jutsu that Sai has used his entire life. Sarada sees Boruto hide and when Naruto asks, she lies to make Naruto run around more. Just as Boruto thanks Sarada, they are discovered by Shikamaru and his son, Shikadai.
|Son Goku would be proud.|
Boruto gets in trouble for distracting Naruto, despite the fact that this is a shadow clone and the real version is in the office working. (Which makes it odd that this is such a problem. He probably has one with Hinata right now too). Anyway, Shikamaru uses his Shadow-Binding jutsu to stop Boruto from getting in the way.
|"People ship me with this loser?"|
And now for possibly the worst thing any fan of Sasuke, Sakura or SasuSaku could hear; We discover that Sasuke left when Sarada was still a baby. Yes, that is actually part of this story. Sarada then goes to her mother Sakura and asks if Sasuke wore glasses, but of course he didn't. Sarada then starts to question if Sakura really is Sasuke's wife and Sakura raises her voice, smashing the ground beneath her. Of course, she apologises for that outburst and tells Sarada that Sasuke will be back soon.
|If you listen carefully, you can actually hear Tumblr burning with rage and assholes gloating.|
Then the entire house breaks apart because of Sakura's punch, (wee bit of symbolism there?), and Sakura faints out of shock. Shizune offers to take care of Sakura, looking damn fine in her timeskip clothes, and Sarada goes to the house to get the family photo but... the photo of Sasuke is a group photo. And in it is Karin... a girl with glasses.
|So many questions raised by this one panel. For example; Why did Sakura only have that picture to use?|
How fucking weird is this chapter? I was expecting some sort of new evil threat to attack Konoha and Naruto would be unable to stop it or something but this? This is so strange and shocking. Such an unexpected path for Kishimoto to take and I'm still unsure if I really like it or not.
|My favourite expression of the week. Sarada has the sass!|
Ok, let me think here... I love Sarada. That's one hugely positive trait here. Sarada has a likable personality, being tough and independent. She's going through development and is confused about her predicament, but isn't breaking down because of it. In fact, I'd argue she's the strongest female lead the series has ever had. One thing I noticed with her is how she is almost speaking for the fandom at some points, like when she questions the relationship between Sakura and Sasuke. That's a valid complaint many have made over the past few months, and even the past few years. She's confronting an issue that so many fans have wanted to see confronted, including myself. (I'm not against SasuSaku. I just want to see more development of it).
|The face you make when you realise how much of a little shithead you once were... because your son is one now.|
The rest of the kids are... interesting I suppose. Chōchō was fun and sassy while Inojin and Shikadai seem to take after their parents in several ways. Inojin is very aggressive and refuses to be passive (Ino was like that when Sasuke wasn't involved), and Shikadai has his mother's smirk but also his dad's laziness. To be honest, I have trouble truly caring about them right now. Especially Boruto. I don't know if it's his pout or the fact he is basically Naruto from Part 1 again but I dislike this kid so far.
|Sarada, you already put up with way too much shit in your life.|
The city has changed slightly, with more advanced buildings. Thankfully, nothing as modern as skyscrapers but I do fear we'll go a bit too close to it. There doesn't seem to be any mention of laptops or phones, but we can't be sure they won't make some sort of appearance in this world now.
And now... Sasuke. He left the village again. And this time it's worse because he left behind a daughter. I'm 100% sure Kishimoto has a plan that will explain where Sasuke has been this whole time but it must fucking hurt to be a Sasuke fan right now. Until his explanation is given, and it better be a damn good one, he's going to have to endure a lot of hatred right now. In fact, I suspect Sasuke's reason for departure is either related to Kaguya, Madara or hopefully, Orochimaru.
|Or maybe the head of Hidan has crawled it's way out and is seeking revenge against the world!|
Poor Sakura! She's been through so much and she doesn't even have her happy ending yet? So that means she's had no boyfriend, relationship, sex or... anything. That's a lot of lonely nights she's gone through because of this. And I know she's got Sarada for love and such, but it's still a shame. I know it's weird, especially since I used to hate her, but I want Sakura to have a proper happy ending after all this is over.
No Hinata or Himawari, surprisingly. I guess there was a lot to get through, and we'll definetly see them soon but it was still quite odd. I wonder if they'll play a role in upcoming events, although I sadly doubt it.
|Sakura... stop being so lame. Please. For me? So I can finally like you?|
Karin isn't the mother. There might be a twist or something but glasses does not make you related to someone. For all we know, Sakura's grandfather wore glasses. Sarada is a child and this is a child's way of thinking so it works. In a way, I think it's brilliant to answer this massive complaint people have been having. The fandom kept whining about how she looks more like Karin, and now the series itself is focusing on that! Hell, maybe Karin is the mother. It'd be fucking stupid but it's possible now.
Manga Rating: 2.5/5 (because I have no idea if I liked it or not).
Predictions: Sarada is going off on an adventure! With Boruto and possibly Shika-Ino-Cho, they are going to find Sasuke and discover the truth. Maybe Sasuke is doing this to protect Sarada, or maybe he truly is the dick we all thought he was. Again. Naruto will ignore the rules and go off to get the kids back. Hopefully, we'll see more of Hinata, Lee, Kakashi and so many more soon. (I'm starting to think we have too many characters to deal with...)
Best Part: Sarada Uchiha.
Worst Part: There is a 3% chance that Kishimoto will take this series down a very stupid path.
|"I sense something... A presence I've not felt since Chapter 700..."|
Shiggins enjoys many strange forms of communication, especially those including cosplayers or presents or videos. However, until that wonderful day comes when people care enough to give him things for being him, you can contact him on his Skype; shigginsishere. You can find out about him or ask him stuff on ask.fm/shigginsishere or go to his tumblr page http://otakugajeel.tumblr.com/.