Welcome back and as always thanks for reading. This is the place where I comment weekly on the latest chapter of Makashi Kishimoto’s sequel manga Naruto Gaiden. As always for those who missed my past write ups you can find Chapter 6 here and Chapter 5 here. Anyways thanks again for reading and welcome back, lets get to the reason you’re here and right back to Naruto Gaiden.
So getting right back into things with the first text bubble Kishimoto confirms what I suspected way back in Chapter Two that “Shin” is in fact merely clones of Shin and of course is little more then “Spare Parts” in case his father needs them. He further confirms his connection to Orochimaru by stating he is one of Orochimaru’s “experiments” for a as of now still unknown purpose.
After a failed attempt by Naruto using his heightened Sage mode senses to detect Sakura the group left behind quickly (although less so then the fans) deduces his connection to Orochimaru by his similarities with Danzo. A man who was previously given his Sharingan arm by Orochimaru. Oh ya... and Chōchō was there continuing to take up space that could otherwise be used by many more interesting characters like Naruto’s son Boruto who will haven’t seen since chapter three...
Back at Shin’s little shop of horrors the scientific abomination and Sakura have a philosophical debate over the merits of reproduction. Shin takes the very utilitarian position that child bearing is little more then a way to continue your genes and as a form of immortality. Effecting reasoning his clones/“children” are nothing more then tools for his longevity. Sakura naturally takes the opposite side arguing their is something more then basic biology at work in reproduction, it goes without saying she is of course talking about love.
Continuing on Shin’s evolutionary biology lecture Shin shifts his focus to war. Which to him is simply humanities most effective way of separating the wheat from the chaff in the ultimate test of the survival of the fittest. Which quite honestly seems to be the entire raison d’être for the new Akatsuki which sets up a nice contrast with the more live and let live attitude of the ninja world.
Back to the main group Naruto and Sasuke have picked up a familiar face in Captain Yamato to help the group through Orochimaru’s lair heavily referencing an early even during the early chapters of Part II (better known as Shippuuden by fans of the anime). Following on the theme of old friends we then run into two more Jūgo and Suigetsu who then take us to the big man himself Orochimaru who surprisingly looks younger and far more feminine then he had in the previous part. As expected Orochimaru fills in many of the blanks confirming something that I always expected that Shin is not an actual Uchiha and was also the source of Danzo’s right arm. Following this Sarada and Orochimaru have a conversation on the bio-ethics of cloning against the merits of real child birth mirroring her mothers conversation from earlier.
Finally we come to the end where with a bit of help from Suigetsu, Sarada performs a genetic test on herself “confirming” that Karin is indeed her biological mother. Of course Sarada is understandably upset by this revelation and lashes out at Naruto after he comes to find her. For me I find this a little to convenient for a few reasons. The main one being a gene testing machine that somehow is conveniently set up with Karin’s DNA, beyond that also is just how easily this subplot was advanced, furthermore this is just my view Suigetsu has long been shown to be less then intelligent and could easily screw things up (which isn’t how its going to be explained but is still funny). In short I highly doubt we have the full story yet as it just does not fit the information we previously have regarding Sarada or Sakura’s strong motherly reactions previously.
In the end after the action of the past chapter this was a very fitting follow up. A lot of issues have been resolved, mysteries uncovered, and more set up. Overall I had a very good time both reading and writing this article. The philosophical debates although certainly not as deep as you see in other manga are far more advanced then anything you see in the big Shonen Jump manga where these debates tend to be no more advanced then FRIENDSHIP vs POWER. Overall it was a very fun chapter and as always I’m looking forward to the next one and hope you’ll come back with me.