After Naruto ended around seventh months ago, I haven’t been reading any manga (Sorry, Bleach and One Piece). When news surfaced of a manga continuing the story of The Boy with the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox was announced, I didn’t pay it much attention. I thought the epilogue Masashi Kishimoto did was great and didn’t need any more addition. Several chapters passed and I finally succumbed to the temptation to read Naruto Gaiden: The Seventh Hokage. I have mixed feelings about it and I wrote this post to discuss why.
1. Old and New Characters
Of course, part of its appeal is the nostalgia of seeing your favorite characters as adults. That, to me, is the best part about this continuance. I absolutely love seeing Naruto as a father because fans of the series know that he was orphaned at birth. He shouldn’t be this loving or responsible but his upbringing with Iruka, Kakashi and even the Third Hokage saved him from becoming a broken man. Boruto’s only complaint about the older Uzumaki is that he’s too busy what with the responsibilities of being the strongest ninja in Konoha. But the main focus of the story is Sasuke and Sakura’s child, Sarada. Like Naruto, she struggles with her identity because she’s never seen the Uchiha survivor since she was born. I’m tempted to say more details but that would ruin your reading pleasure so I suggest you go read the manga instead. Also, it’s fun seeing the nine rookies as parents and how their children turned out.
2. Weak Enemy
I’m not referring to the fact that our protagonist is superior to the villain. But I think that the story was a bit forced that they came up with an interesting arc with an uninteresting antagonist. Yes, Sakura got kidnapped and Naruto was wounded. But the main purpose of everything was for Sarada to realize her true connections. Don’t get me wrong, I like the plot twists. However, this feels like fan-fiction more than canon.
The previous manga left a lot of plot holes and I was hoping for The Last Movie and Naruto Gaiden: The Seventh Hokage to clear things up. A few questions were answered but many still remain. But since Kishimoto already introduced Boruto and Sarada, I bet fans would like to see more of them. However, I don’t know how the author is going to do it due to the fact that the power levels of the characters have been maxed out. It’s tough to come up with enemies stronger than Kaguya.
It seems Naruto Gaiden has also come to a close and only time will tell if fans of Naruto (like me) will get more fan service in the future. But for now, ‘Sayonara!’