The Last: Naruto The Movie, despite what the name suggests, was not the last Naruto…anything. In fact; it was the film that kicked off not only another short Manga run but another theatrical film titled Boruto: Naruto The Movie. Between the events of those two films lies the events of this here Manga; Naruto: The Seventh Hokage And The Scarlet Spring, which tells the tale of Sarada Uchiha’s search for who she believes to be her true mother.
After the events of The Last: Naruto The Movie, it seems as though the the once-innocent child Ninjas of The Village Hidden In The Leaves all decided to begin procreating with their significant others almost immediately after the great war’s end. I suppose the removal of fear must be replaced with emotions just as powerful, and Lust…now that’s a big one!
The issue with Sarada, the offspring of Sasuke Uchiha and Sakura Haruno, is that, well…she doesn’t believe any of this! After discovering a photograph of Sasuke’s old Taka teammate Karin, Sarada begins to believe that the only two Shinobi not to consummate their marriage was, in fact, her very own parents. Why though? Well, because she has similar glasses to that of Karin, and she doesn’t seem to understand that the frames you get after going to the optometrist have nothing to do with genetics…yeah.
With the world now safe and the ninja villages working together, Naruto’s work as Hokage seems pretty mundane. Giving his son, Boruto, enough attention is the toughest task he has. But then Sasuke uncovers a conspiracy that may involve surviving members of the Uchiha clan. And at the same time, Sasuke’s daughter Sarada begins to have doubts about the truth of her origins. – Madman Entertainment
Naruto: The Seventh Hokage And The Scarlet Spring, to live up to my name and be frank, is a mostly unnecessary story. Sarada’s drive to find her “true mother” doesnt seem to have been thought out as much as Masashi Kishimoto’s confident writing styles makes it seem, and the payoff of the handful of chapters isn’t necessarily worth the time it takes to read it.
Despite that, this wasn’t just a purely negative experience for me, in fact, it was one of the more enjoyable pieces of Naruto media I’ve had the privilege of experiencing in recent times. This short story makes the audience privy to certain “goings on” behind the closed doors of the Gokage council that details the reason behind Sasuke’s elusiveness over the years.
The most positive story feature of Naruto: The Seventh Hokage And The Scarlet Spring truly is seeing beloved Naruto characters older and, surprisingly, wiser. Witnessing Naruto as the Hokage , Shikamaru as his aid, Sasuke as his undercover agent, and Kakashi as a retired consultant brought a smile to my face like no other Naruto storyline has done before.
The antagonist of the story, unrelated to that of Sarada’s search for her mother, actually had solid footing within the lore of Naruto’s deep history: A former experiment of Orochimaru has gone rogue and believes that the only way for the world to take steps forward in evolution is for it to be affected by immense strife. Something that, in a time of peace, simply does not exist.
It’s no secret that Masashi Kishimoto is an incredible illustrator. He’s had a long career as a Mangaka, therefor he’s had a great deal of time to master his art. For the most part, Scarlet Spring featured great artwork, but at times it was clear that Kishimoto hadn’t put his heart into it. Luckily, as mentioned, this wasn’t something that remained constant throughout the stand-alone volume, it was just something I noticed in certain panels. Still, Masashi Kishimoto IS a fantastic artist, and he gives Naruto fans exactly what they’re used to in terms of cinematic paneling, and neat line style. Mishaps aside, the man still hasn’t lost his touch.
Naruto: The Seventh Hokage And The Scarlet Spring can be accurately related to that of an archeological dig. Allow me to explain: On the surface, sometimes literally, there’s nothing apart from mildly interesting dirt and rock, but start digging just below the surface and what you’ll find could be the discovery of a lifetime.
Scarlet Spring is truly one of those stories that gives as much as you can take from it. If you choose to only take what it has to offer on the surface layer…you will not be awarded with much, but read between the lines and what you’ll get is a heartwarming story about the naivety of children, the love of a dedicated parent, and the woes that come with growing up and shouldering incredible responsibilty. Masashi Kishimoto may have changed his writing style as the series transitioned into Shippuden, but regardless of whether or not you enjoy it, there’s no denying that, deep down, his writing still has heart, and this short Manga is proof.
Grab Naruto: The Seventh Hokage And The Scarlet Spring from Madman Entertainment’s online store by Clicking Here.