Today is the 23rd of April, 2015. On November 10th of last year, a monumental even occurred. I’m of course speaking about Masashi Kishimoto’s long ass running manga series, Naruto FUCKING FINALLY coming to it’s at long last end. I was elated! Partially because I really feel that we could’ve ended this shit storm years ago but, clearly I know nothing about character utilization or characterization or developmemt, writing, pacing or anything that kind of makes me cringe when I think of Naruto in it’s later years. Then again, I really kind of gave up with the series…about the point where Jiraya died so, really what do I know. What I do know was that I was ELATED when the series ended and I was PISSED when it was announced that there’d be a spinoff series focusing on the many many children of the main characters who are all carbon copies of their parents. I was not at all happy but then it was announced that the mainest of the crotch dumplings, Bolt…or Boruto if you’re saying it phonetically, would be getting his own movie. My interest piqued I’ve decided to give both the spinoff and the movie a chance because for all my bitching about it, I truly do love Naruto as both a series and a character.
And so today, the 23rd of April, this dropped
This is the first page of Naruto Gaiden: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring. The first chapter does not focus on Naruto himself nor his carbon copy clone filled with angst that he’s passing off as his son named Bolt. No, this focuses on the child I’m probably least fond of because it forces me to acknowledge that my least favorite ship in this entire stinking universe is now canon. This chapter focuses on the girl with the shitiest name in the world, Salad Uchiha. The chapter opens with Shino Aburame, now relegated to teacher, announcing that the kids will be taking their graduation test to earn their Ninja Headbands and from there it follows Salad as she observes her…dare I say “friends”…(? I don’t know, nothing’s quite clear yet) as they interact with their fathers and she begins wondering about her own father who’s been absent her entire life, Sasuke.
So first of all, I actually really liked this chapter. I like that it deals with an issue that should be present in this spinoff, what these kids relationship with their parents is considering that all of their parents are war veterans and heroes in their own right. Bolt probably has it hardest as his father is the fucking Hokage so while he’s constantly there, he never actually is a factor in Bolt’s life. Naruto is raising his child in the exact way that I figured he would be, utilizing his Shadow Clone Jutsu to parent or interact with his son when need be as a result of his very busy life as the Hokage. Most of the kids seem to take after their parents but manage to be slightly distinct from them. Bolt in particular is extremely similar and different to his father in both characterization and motivation. He resents Naruto for not being the father that he should be and then there’s Salad over in the corner, despite being the focal character of the chapter which I also liked. The chapter also opens with her even wondering why everyone’s so hyped up to be a ninja in the first place. She also advises…Chocho, Choji’s daughter, to not skip training because at least she gets to spend time with her dad…despite how embarrassing he is. Salad then wonders things like “Did dad have glasses? Where is he?” and things like that and then asks a very legit question to her mother asking if she actually did marry Sasuke at all. After Sakura has reduced the house to rubble, Salad finds a picture of Sasuke with Karin and probably begins suspecting what some of us have been wondering.
Relationships are the name of the game here and it works. The kids relationships with their dads are all highlighted specifically to counter one another and Salad who has no relationship with Sasuke whatsoever. Bolt feels neglected, Chocho feels embarrassed, Sai’s daughter and Shikadai (Shikamaru’s son) seem to be on good terms with their dads to balance things out and further isolate Salad as the only one who doesn’t know her dad. The chapter actually ends with Sasuke’s return so I’m looking forward to the next one. If introspective looks in the character’s lives and relationships with their parents and one another are the name of the game, I’m ready to play. Here’s a link to the chapter itself!
I’m John Cortez, and I’ll be covering this every chapter as it comes out! Look forward to it, DaWaRou!