For someone who has read the Sasuke Retsuden novel and is also currently reading the manga adaptation, Boruto anime episode 283, titled ‘Sasuke’s Story: Star Lines’, felt too rushed. It was a bit disappointing.
I was looking forward to watching ‘Sasuke’s Story: Star Lines’ because it was going to introduce Sakura into the narrative. The current mission just wouldn’t be possible without the husband and wife duo working together. And while we did get to see Sakura arrive just in time to save a poisoned Sasuke during his rematch with Meno, I feel that the anime writers ended up cutting a bunch of important parts from the novel and the manga.
There was no mention of the hawk that Sakura used in the manga to send a sample of Sasuke’s blood back to Konoha for the unique poison introduced into his bloodstream from Meno to be analyzed. Sasuke didn’t even ask Sakura how Salad was doing during their conversation in the infirmary. Like, come on. At least, allow Sasuke to ask who was going to take care of Salad while Sakura was in the Land of Redaku!
Also, I was quite surprised that we didn’t get a single scene depicting what Kakashi was up to. I was very excited about the current anime arc also adapting moments from Kakashi Retsuden. So, I have my fingers crossed that we get to see more of Kakashi’s mission soon. Like, why bother introducing anime viewers to Prince Nanara if we aren’t going to get some kind of a follow-up to that story?
‘Star Lines’ did have Sakura take a stand in front of Sasuke and refuse to return to Konoha. Sakura understood that Sasuke was worried about her. Sasuke knew how strong she was, but he still didn’t want to risk her getting hurt. However, she was right to stay and help. The current mission required Sasuke to work with a partner to find the Ultra Particles mentioned in the old book that Kakashi found.
As for the romance aspect of the story, the current episode had Jiji talk to Sasuke about how husbands and wives were supposed to stay together. He also made Sasuke a bit insecure due to the possibility of someone else coming into Sakura’s life while Sasuke was out on missions that were known to last several years.
Even though Sasuke’s love for Sakura was never going to falter, Jiji did have a point when he mentioned that Sasuke never really had such a conversation with Sakura. Was he really sure about Sakura’s feelings for him?
I mean, we know that Sakura’s never leaving Sasuke. They both knew that Sakura was needed inside the village while Sasuke’s required to handle threats outside of it. However, it was still nice to see Sasuke ask Sakura about her feelings while they walked toward the forbidden library to find a book called ‘The Map of the Heavens’. I think the anime team did a good job of amping up the romantic vibe of said scene, especially by making moonlight the only source of lighting for the two lead characters.
Kudos to Sakura for being truthful about her feelings. She knew they were both ninjas who had responsibilities to Konoha. But yes, she also missed not having Sasuke by her side, even if it was sometimes. Sasuke deserved to hear the truth. In my opinion, being honest about their feelings was one of the core reasons for the SasuSaku relationship to continue even if they couldn’t be together as much as they wanted to… yet.
Coming back to moments that felt too rushed, Sasuke and Sakura figuring out the meaning behind the drawings present in ‘The Map of the Heavens’ book and how they related to the Sage of Six Paths was one of them. The novel and the manga allowed the mystery to marinate a bit while Sasuke and Sakura tried to figure out the riddle, encouraging the audience to think about the answer, too. The anime didn’t have time for that.
We did, however, get a quick moment where a mysterious inmate was seen listening in on Sakura and Sasuke’s conversation. So, yeah, anime viewers should be ready for a twist coming soon.
Also, as some fans expected, the anime team did decide to cut out the highly-anticipated scene depicting Sakura debuting her Sensory-Jutsu. After that particular scene wasn’t handled properly in the manga adaptation, I held hope the anime version would do it justice. But nopes. The anime was like, “Ha! You thought!”
Sakura being able to use her Perfect Chakra control to create a Sensory-Jutsu that only she can perform is a feat in the Naruto/Boruto franchise. And I would have loved for anime-only fans to see her use it. Sigh!
At least, the anime team allowed Sakura to showcase her smarts by not cutting the scene where she quickly memorized the imperfections in a deck of cards for the ‘Star Lines’ game and then used her perfect memory to win the keys to the library from Penzila. We even got an explanation about how Sakura came up with the method of always coming to a draw with her opponent during gambling games because that was the only way she could make Tsunade feel bored and quit playing.
Sakura taking off her doctor’s coat and sitting down to play the ‘Star Lines’ game with Penzila while surrounded by a bunch of inmates was quite sexually charged in the manga. She even cheekily dared Penzila to pat her down if he thought she was cheating. Sakura’s a ninja who isn’t above using her beauty to distract others when necessary. But I can understand why the moment was toned down for the anime.
Talking about an extra scene that we got for some reason, ‘Star Lines’ showed Zanzul looking over the dead body of the Meno Sasuke attacked in the previous episode while another fully-healed version of Meno the velociraptor walked in from behind him. I get that Zanzul’s up to no good, but personally, I would have cut said scene from the episode. In my opinion, it took away from the air of mystery when Sasuke wondered if he was fighting the same Meno or not. Why not have the audience be as confused as Sasuke about what’s really happening inside the Tatar Observatory?
Anyway, what did you think of ‘Sasuke’s Story: Star Lines’? Do you also feel it was rushed?
Let us know.
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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