Welcome back and as always thanks for reading. This is the place where I comment weekly on the latest chapter of Masashi Kishimoto’s sequel manga Naruto Gaiden. As always for those who missed my past write ups you can find Chapter 9 here and Chapter 8 here. Also as you probably saw above this is the final chapter of the manga and therefore the last of these which is a little weird I must say but it was a fun ride wasn’t it. Of course this isn’t the end of Naruto with my suspicions of this being a little more then a lead in for Boruto: Naruto the Movie being confirmed a few weeks ago. However regardless lets get going we have a bit of ground to cover yet.
With an explosion of rocks Sarada’s strike ruptures the earth sending enemies flying starting this final chapter of Naruto Gaiden off with a bang and surprising Sakura all in the process. Concurrently Naruto forcing a Shin to use an old Uchiha trick introduces one of the Shin’s to Kurama a being the little clone is not really too pleased to see. In an effort to broker a peace between the two opposing sides probably due to the fact the Shin’s are nothing but children who were only following the orders of their “Father”.
Of course Sasuke disapproves of the idea saying Naruto is being his usual soft self and should instead just destroy the lot of them. Naruto retorts by saying they could easily be treated as war orphans and should be taken in by Konoha. Now with the battle winding down Sarada and Sakura have for the first time in the series a proper mother daughter reunion in which Sakura scolds Sarada for doing some absolutely stupid things like a pre-Genin fighting an army of Mangekyō Sharingan users...
After another Chōchō scene in which the always observant Chōchō comments on Sarada’s Sharingan eyes and monstrous strength Sarada finally gets the answers she and the readers always long wanted regarding her family. When confronting her father about his feelings for her mother and herself Sarada gets in Sasuke’s trademark brevity a simple answer, yes he loves her and her mom. An answer the young kunochi is more then happy enough to receive.
Following this comes another blast from the past as Kabuto is revealed to be the new head of the Hidden Leafs orphanage. On first seeing this my initial thought was “what” however upon further reflection it makes a lot of sense and is actually one of the more fitting moments in the epilogue. As if one remembers Kabuto himself was a war orphan who was turned to dark ends by a nefarious power, it was only through deep (and forced) self reflection that Kabuto was finally able to break free of the cycle of hate. With that in mind he seems the perfect character to guide the Shin’s back from the dark place they went to under their fathers tutelage. I’d actually say it was a very smart end to this particular plot point while simultaneously tying up a loose end from the previous manga.
Following this Chōchō completes her filler arc within the manga by finally finding her dad Chouji who is now actually quite lean and actually Chōchō’s dad... We also see an adult Ino who remains all of her distinctive character traits (including referring to Saskue as Sasuke-kun...) now only slightly older. Following this aside, Sarada finally receives what she has long being longing for a real family with her two parents. However this is short lived as Sasuke has to return to the road on a mission, however before he leaves him and Sarada share a touching moment once again again referencing Itachi and Sasuke before them.
We then flash forward to the Ninja academy where Sarada thanks Boruto for asking her to deliver her fathers lunch, the pretext for the entire mission. However due to no longer wishing to be a glorified delivery girl Sarada declares her dream for the world to hear “I will be Hokage”. To which Boruto scoffs calling it a stupid dream. Again reinforcing the reversed roles hinted way back in Chapters 1 and 2 of Sarada being the Naruto of the new generation with Boruto being the Sasuke.
Back at Orochimaru’s lab (this chapter really jumps around) Karin is tearing into Suigetsu due to the idiots blundering of the genetic test. Of course as I’ve long written even if it doesn’t matter (which it doesn’t) I always expected the Karin subplot to be a red hearing and Sarada to be Sakura’s biological child which she is. Karin was Sakura and Sarada’s doctor in labour due to the fact Sarada was born on a mission at one of Orochimaru’s hideouts. Most likely due to the fact Sarada was conceived during a long term mission of a reformed Team Seven. Following this revelation Karin demands that Suigetsu apologize for misleading the poor girl and to give her a new pair of glasses as the kid has outgrown the ones they gave her.
Well that’s it it seems. I’ll keep this section short as next week at the usual time I’ll have a wrap up/review of the entirety of Naruto Gaiden to properly send the manga off, however right now here is a few thoughts. Called it! Clone Sarada... ha nope. Sakura is Sarada’s biological mom yup. The whole thing doesn’t matter a bit, also yep because as Karin stated their are different types of relationships. All around basically everyone had a nice warm fuzzy moment this chapter even Chōchō. Well except for Naruto and Bortuo who was almost totally absent from the chapter and manga respectively presumably due to the fact he’s going to be the protagonist of the movie. Regardless this is weird that this could be Masashi Kishimoto’s last chapter of Naruto but I thought it was a good ending to this little mini-series and has certainly got me excited for Boruto: Naruto the Movie. Anyways as always thanks for reading and I hope you come back for my recap/review of Naruto Gaiden next week.