Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring is a one volume spin-off for the Naruto manga series. This story focuses on the next generation of ninja, with the primary emphasis placed on some of the children of Naruto and his peers.
While other Naruto spin-offs with the new generation have focused on Naruto’s son, Boruto, he is not the main character of this story. Instead, the emphasis is placed on Sarada Uchiha, the daughter of Sakura and Sasuke.
Sarada sees her peers interacting with their fathers, and this affects her greatly because for as long as she can remember, she has never met Sasuke. Sarada starts pestering Sakura with questions about her father, and getting to the point of asking Sakura if she’s really Sasuke’s wife. Sakura is so angered by this line of questioning that she accidentally destroys their house. But in the rubble, Sarada discovers a picture of Sasuke with Team Taka. She notices that Karin has glasses just like hers, and decides to try to find either Sasuke or Karin to get some answers about her parentage and who she is. Cho-Cho, the daughter of Choji and Karui, gets the idea in her head that her parents aren’t her real parents. She ends up joining Sarada on her journey, with the hope that she’ll track down her real parents.
Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring includes several angles that examine the relationship between parents and children. I enjoyed most of the angles, but I thought Cho-Cho’s part of the story was weak. To me, it really didn’t add anything, and I thought it made Cho-Cho come across as annoying rather than funny.
But in the midst of Sarada’s soul searching and trying to find out who she is, a new enemy appears. This new enemy seems to have the ocular powers of the Uchiha clan, but there’s a secret behind them that is revealed over the course of this volume.
Even though I was annoyed with Cho-Cho, I thought that Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring presented some compelling ideas about trying to find your identity and the relationships children have with their parents. I think Sarada is an interesting character, and I’m glad to see that she got to be the focus of a story.
As someone who’s followed Naruto for a while, I enjoyed seeing the characters I know and love all grown up and interacting with their children. However, it took me a while to get used to seeing the designs for the characters as their older selves. I was also amused to see the technological advances that have taken place in the world of Naruto between the end of the original series and the time that this story takes place.
Even though the main characters from the Naruto series have aged, and that significant changes have taken place in their world, I still felt as if I was seeing an old and familiar friend as I read this volume. I would highly recommend Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring to fans of the original Naruto manga so they can find out what the future holds for the characters and to get to see some of their children.
The reviewer received a review copy from VIZ Media