Naruto Gaiden – Naruto x 701 Review: Uchiha Sarada
Part three of the Naruto manga has officially debuted, and it focused on the next generation of the Hidden Leaf Village. While we’ve already seen most of the new characters in the Naruto finale, it was good to see them fleshed out a bit more, and I can’t wait for the next installment — especially after the twist at the end!
As the title stated, the whole issue was about Uchiha Sarada, daughter of Sasuke Uchiha. The English version of her name is Salad and that’s the name I’ll use because it’s just too awesome to ignore. I don’t know about you all, but I immediately fell in love with her character. She’s very aware of her surroundings, and her inner monologue at the Ninja Academy showed that she’s quite mature for her age. While her classmates were excited about finally becoming ninjas, she was contemplating what it meant to be a ninja.
I also like her design. She looks a lot like a young Sakura. Being an Uchiha, I don’t know why Kishimoto gave her glasses. Maybe to give him an excuse to draw a panel where Salad throws away her glasses in a very dramatic way when she activates her Sharingan to save someone?
After years of Naruto manga chapters showing the Ninja World War, it was nice to see familiar characters laying back and spending time with their children. With the graduation exam coming up, familiar characters from Naruto were training their kids. It was good to see Naruto finding time to play and train his son Boruto, even though he could only send out a Shadow Clone to keep his kid company while he went about his duties as Hokage.
The panels showing fathers bonding with their children was a sharp contrast to Salad, who had never seen her father, Sasuke.
She went home and started asking Sakura a lot of questions, especially about her parent’s relationship. This is where Masashi Kishimoto got a bit meta on his readers. There are fans that find Sakura and Sasuke’s relationship unhealthy, and don’t ship them. Having read Naruto for years I know that Kishimoto likes to troll. The hint he added at the end — that Karin could be Salad’s actual mother — is just his way to get fans to talk.
Salad’s character needs an internal conflict to make her arc move forward. Boruto is struggling with his internal conflict to be appreciated by his father, Naruto. In the same vein, Salad’s internal conflict about being unsure about her parent’s real identity will give her a lot of character-developing material as the story progresses.
Being a fan of Sakura Haruno, I was surprised by her role in the issue. She couldn’t give satisfying answers to Salad’s questions about her relationship with Sasuke. She also ended up destroying her house by accident and fainting afterwards. Is it just me or does Sakura look as if she’s under a lot of pressure? She’s definitely hiding something and it’s taking a toll on her. I can’t wait for Sasuke to come back to the village and see how this family drama escalates!
What did you think of Naruto Gaiden: The Seventh Hokage – Uchiha Sarada? Anybody have an idea who that blue-haired kid sitting next to Boruto was? Do you think Salad is really Sakura’s daughter? 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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