Hello again and welcome back. This is the weekly place where I discuss the latest chapter of Mikashi Kishimoto’s sequel manga Naruto Gaiden. As always for those new to my write ups or those who have missed a couple you can find the write ups for Chapter 4 and Chapter 3 here. Anyways welcome back and lets get to the main event I hope you have as much fun reading as I had writing.
As I wrote last week I didn’t expect much to come of the Sarada Sasuke fight and likened it to false drama/a false cliffhanger because it was so obvious it would be resolved for a few simple reasons being, “Sarada looks like a female Sasuke, two Sarada has the ability to speak, and three Sasuke isn’t an idiot.”. Well Chapter five bore that out as Sarada effectively needed only to cry and say “Papa” for Sasuke to realize his terrible mistake at mistakenly attacking his daughter. I do have to wonder though which made Sarada feel worse the father who has long “abandoned” her not recognizing her instantly or the same father attacking her. Just because Sasuke isn’t an idiot (like our favorite baka Hokage) doesn’t mean he’s the most understanding of others...
Following this a quick reunion scene between Sasuke and Naruto takes place as Naruto (and Chōchō) enter the room. Sasuke is rightly pissed Naruto brought children with him leading to him almost killing his own daughter, however before Naruto can respond Sarada uses the chance to finally ask the question about her mother that has been haunting her since Chapter 1. Oh ya and Chōchō’s obliviousness to the situation at hand is once again shown.
After a quick flash to Konoha where Sakura is seen saying “that child of mine” we’re back to Sasuke and Sarada with the young ninja finally given a chance to get everything off her chest. Here she launches into a passionate tirade effectively (and I’d argue rightly so) berating Sasuke for never being around, for keeping her in the dark about everything, and generally speaking being a really lousy father. For me it’s scenes like this when I really like Sarada mostly just due to the fact the reasoning behind her action is so clear and can provide very effective drama, even if it can cross into melodramatic territory quite frequently. However despite her protest Sasuke doesn’t give much in the way of anything back showing he remains the cold aloof character we all know.
Sarada justifiably upset by Sasuke’s rather flippant remark runs from the tower leaving Naruto and Sasuke to reminisce about a mysterious threat that the Kage’s feared in the aftermath of the Great Ninja War. Apparently the threat was so great it surpassed even Kaguya and involved the White Zetsu Army, Sasuke in the past willingly leaves Konoha to investigate this threat telling Naruto to classify this as a secret mission, meaning nobody can speak of it explaining the secrecy around Sasuke’s disappearance from the village, furthering the themactic links between him and Itachi. This information is of course just for the readers sake as Sarada is left with nothing but general platitudes from Naruto about Sasuke being a good guy, of course I highly doubt Sakura will be that easy on anyone involved at the moment...
With all the family business concluded we find ourselves taken to the secret lair with Shin and his still as of yet unidentified Master. Where saying a lot is revealed would be an understatement of epic proportions. The first major thing is the goal of the new organization seems to be the “Resurrection of the Akatsuki”, considering however the fact the first Akatsuki was always merely a means to an end to it’s membership this is almost certainly merely a step towards knowing Kishimoto a very long, complex, and drawn out plan involving multiple dojutsu, some form of mysterious Chakra, and an army of clones.
Speaking of an army of Clones it appears the Shin is a clone theory is starting to pick up speed as we see multiple figures that seem very similar to Shin with each seemingly having a chibi-Juubi. My personal thought taking into account that just a few pages before the threat was said to involve the White Zetsu army that Shin and his ilk are a cross between the Uchiha and White Zetsu, but again this is all rampant speculation based off very limited information. Finally the leader of the Akatsuki is revealed to have Sharingan eyes planted all over his body very reminiscent of Danzo (potentially harvesting them from Shin clones perhaps), using the chibi-Juubi’s time space Jutsu the Akatsuki attacks the group, with Naruto and Sasuke there to stop them. Possibly setting up the first actually interesting fight of the series.
As one can clearly see just from the length of this write up alone a lot happened this chapter. I suppose after two relatively quite chapters we were due for a big one. Kishimoto delivered in a big way, with the first half being used to resolve at least partially the family issues and the second half being used to give us a little more information on the new enemy. With this structure the chapter could have seemed disjointed however in my opinion it flowed quite nicely probably due to the previous chapters set up. It’s now becoming clear at least to myself Naruto Gaiden in this early going seems to show a better understanding of pacing and the use of timing then Naruto previously. Although Kishimoto really does seem to like cliffhangers now with basically every chapter ending in one... that being said this cliffhanger totally worked for me as I’m very much looking forward to next week. Hope you are too and I hope you enjoyed reading my impressions on Chapter 5.