Sakura Hiden: Thoughts of Love, Riding Upon a Spring Breeze – Review
Sakura Hiden: Thoughts of Love, Riding Upon a Spring Breeze is all about Sakura’s inner and outer strength.
Similar to other Naruto Hiden books, Sakura Hiden: Thoughts of Love, Riding Upon a Spring Breeze takes place after the Fourth Ninja War but before the manga finale. It is written by Tomohito Osakai and is the third book in the series.
This post contains spoilers. You have been warned! Shannaro!
If you have been following my Naruto coverage you would know that I have always been a fan of Sakura Haruno. The character has experienced a lot of hate from quite a vocal portion of fandom, especially due to her inability to do anything useful. Sakura started out a lot weaker compared to the male leads Naruto and Sasuke. However, over the years Kishimoto was able to develop her further. And near the end of the Fourth Ninja War, not only was Sakura able to save her teammates, she also helped them defeat the God-like being Kaguya.
After the Fourth Ninja War Sakura kept training and became even stronger than before. She also played a vital role in The Last: Naruto the Movie. Sakura Hiden takes place after The Last and I appreciate how Tomohito was able to portray the inner workings of Sakura’s mind. At first, I thought the novel was going to be about Sakura pinning after Sasuke. I also thought she was going to turn into a damsel in distress and would wait for Sasuke to save her. But all of my fears were laid to rest. This is novel tells readers that Sakura doesn’t need anyone saving her. She’s more than capable of not only rescuing herself but also saving everyone else.
While Kakashi is trying hard to keep things peaceful, there are ninjas who want war in order to profit from it. The two major antagonists, Kido and Magire, end up creating pills that made use of Naruto and Sasuke’s DNA to give the user immense strength. The first half of the story reads like a mystery where Sakura, Ino, and Sai try to reveal the truth behind who’s creating these pills, and why there’s an imposter Sasuke running around. Once Sakura gets kidnapped, the story picks up pace and the pink-haired kunoichi shows how far she has come from the Sasuke-fangirl she once was.
Even though Ino and Sai come to her rescue, Sakura is able to break out before they get to her. The three then take down the fodder ninja, and Sakura goes after Kida, while Sai and Ino take care of Magire. What makes the villains, even fodder ninja, powerful are the pills. These pills give the user tailed beast cloaks. So, one can say that the fodder ninja are more powerful than what our three heroes fought during the war.
Ino and Sai’s fight against Magire made use of strategy because they weren’t able to attack head on due to Magire’s tailed beast cloak. Sakura also used her intellect to defeat Kido. Her opponent’s tailed beast cloak was the strongest. One can argue that Sakura was fighting someone as powerful as a Jinchuriki. Taking down a Jinchuriki is not an easy task even for a group of the most elite ninja. But Sakura persevered because of her brute raw strength and sharp mind. Her Creation Rebirth skill was paralleled with Kido’s ability to heal. In the end, she was able to use Kido’s own skill against him, and that was brilliant to read.
Not only was Sakura’s immense strength and perseverance showcased in Sakura Hiden: Thoughts of Love, Riding Upon a Spring Breeze, her emphatic nature was also focused upon. Understanding that children were affected due to the war, she teamed up with Ino to open a clinic to access their mental health. Their efforts were noticed by other villages and while that lead to an increase in her workload, Sakura was happy to help anyone she could. Opening such a clinic felt right for her character. She understood that dark events can leave behind scars on a child’s psyche. Both Naruto and Sasuke experienced this, and I think that played a part in Sakura deciding to open a clinic. Kido was also a product of such events, and that strengthened Sakura’s resolve to help the young.
Sasuke and Sakura’s relationship was also mentioned in the novel. I was expecting Sasuke to show up and perhaps confess his love but that didn’t happen. Instead Sasuke showed he cared greatly for Sakura through another act. When Kakashi tried to get Sasuke to come to the village and help them with the current threat, he blatantly refused. But when he was told that Sakura had been kidnapped, Sasuke returned in a heartbeat. While he didn’t meet her personally, he did take down a group of ninjas under Kido’s command. And that was enough for Sakura and Naruto to understand his feelings.
While it all worked out between Sakura and Sasuke in the end, and they had a baby girl together, I hope to one day read more about their relationship. I want to know how and when they got married, and what happened when Sasuke decided to come back to the village. Kishimoto needs to get on that!
Sakura Hiden: Thoughts of Love, Riding Upon a Spring Breeze is a wonderful novel that shows how awesome Sakura is as a character, and why she’s one of the best female characters out there.
Have you read Sakura Hiden: Thoughts of Love, Riding Upon a Spring Breeze yet? What did you think of it? 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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