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「うちはサラダ」 (Uchiha Sarada)
“Sarada Uchiha”

My initial concern was that a top notch execution of original content might not translate into stellar adaption of source material. However, my doubts were (fortunately) off the mark, The introductory episode did a fantastic job of setting the pace, and included little details that even elevated the experience. So begins the Sarada Gaiden, and from the looks of it, it’s shaping up to be pretty awesome.

Sarada As A Character

Whether it’s because of the limited contact time Sarada gets with her parents, she is the most complete individual among her peers. Where you see Shikadai and Shikamaru both complaining about how life is a drag, Inojin being an obstinate rascal like younger Sai, Metal Lee enthusiastically training like Rock Lee, Boruto defacing Hokage Rock the same way younger Naruto did, these kind of similarities either don’t exist or are far less apparent with Sarada.

That’s not to say her character entirely departs from Sasuke’s moodiness or Sakura’s temperamental attitude. But she can seamlessly blend these characteristics while maintaining her own unique identity. When an obsessive crush doesn’t define your character, I think these kind of nuances come through a lot more easily.

Last of the Uchiha

For me, the best part of the episode was when Sarada was reading about the sharingan. Wasn’t it so awesome, when the sharingan illustration reflected in her glass to overlap with her eyes? Such gorgeous artistic direction! But I have to wonder what was going through Sarada’s mind as she read about the Uchiha clan. Seeing a large portion of your heritage blotted out by red ink must carry a heavy burden. A burden of blood that promises a curse of hatred, as we are reminded at the start of the episode. An Uchiha crest painted out of blood slowly fades onto the back of Sarada’s jacket. Talk about spooky symbolism!

Parental Doubts

I felt kind of sorry for Sakura, especially since she is basically a single mother who accidentally destroyed the family house, and now has to worry about footing extortionate repair bills. Nevertheless, I don’t feel she’s done an good job of adequately reassuring Sarada in her capacity as a mother.

As for Sarada, when you find a secret photo of your father containing a woman who looks more like you than your mother, no doubt it would start raising all sorts of questions in a child’s mind. Your identity might not seem like what you’ve been led to believe, and in that small moment, your whole world comes crashing down all around you.

On the bright side, Cho Cho offers a comedic foil that helps to highlight the stark contrast of Sarada’s plight. In the quest to find their ‘real’ parents, it also means that Sarada is not left alone and vulnerable to the evil elements out at play.

Concluding Thoughts

Trying to cope with the absence of a father must be difficult and it’s easy to see the strain it has on Sarada. On a tangent, I would be intrigued to see how Sarada would handle the fact her father used to be a wanted criminal and mass-murderer.

Sasuke is so introspective that we really don’t have any insight regarding whether he’s felt remorse for his past actions. For all we know, he could be a psychopath that doesn’t really care for anything other than the revival of the Uchiha Clan. That said, I get the impression that Sasuke is uncomfortable with re-entering society. After all those years being on the run, not to mention the amount of heinous crimes he has committed, it sure must be awkward to return and hang out with people who you know for certain that you have wronged.

Still, it’s interesting to see how Sasuke got waylaid upon his return from Kaguya’s dimension, as it raises many questions regarding the possible antagonist we’re seeing this time round. From the previews, it seems that the enemies possess the sharingan. Gee whiz, I sure wonder who could possibly have been up to some naughty genetic experimenting.

Preview

August 10, 2017 at 12:46 pm
19 comments »
  • August 10, 2017 at 1:38 pmebola-chan

    Cuckura hitting new lows…

  • August 10, 2017 at 1:45 pmdean

    And thus begins the so far worst part of the anime. Yeah, Naruto Gaiden was quite atrocious. Having Sarada as the focal character is quite nice, but the Uchia family drama was just horrible and it wasn’t even her fault. Her complaints and desires were more than understandable, but Kishimoto did imo not well in resolving them. ChoCho’s quest to find her real father stopped being funny after two chapters too. On a side note, there is something funny that the Uchia massacre was censored as an “unfortunate accident”. Though it seems that the anime was able portray Sakura as much less pathetic than the manga did.

    • August 13, 2017 at 5:42 pmKarmafan

      What I find ironic is the MC (Boruto) is the least interesting member of the cast. I was tired of Boruto’s “Oh woe is me” attitude by episode 2.

      I wanna see more effort put into the other cast members like who is Cho-Cho’s mom? I guess Ino is Sai’s wife but how did they end up a couple? How did that mutant Rock Lee ever get a wife?

  • August 10, 2017 at 6:35 pmL002

    http://randomc.net/image/Boruto%20Naruto%20Next%20Generations/Boruto%20Naruto%20Next%20Generations%20-%2019%20-%20Large%2024.jpg
    Well, obviously Sakura needs to work on her parenting, seriously.

    Anyway, Sarada, if you are that curious just take a blood sample of your mom and yourself. Honestly, you visited hospitals, why not ask someone to take a blood test.

    http://randomc.net/image/Boruto%20Naruto%20Next%20Generations/Boruto%20Naruto%20Next%20Generations%20-%2019%20-%20Large%2007.jpg
    Maybe the kid should wear a turtle costume the next time he hides in the sewers

  • August 10, 2017 at 6:52 pmJackpot21

    I think Sarada having to wear glasses might come from Sasuke. It makes sense when you remember how his overuse of the Mangekyou Sharingan nearly left him blind.

  • August 11, 2017 at 6:12 amMistic

    Zaiden, I thought you were going to leave Boruto to Takaii while you were in Japan?

    Ok, now about the episode: I agree that Sarada is certainly the new generation kid that is more different from her parents. She evidently has parts of Sasuke and Sakura in her, but she isn’t a carbon copy of either of her parents. She’s more of a mix with a unique family situation.

    And yes, I liked how the anime added and improved the manga:

    -First, the additions. The scene where Sarada researches about her family is perfect to introduce new characters into the Uchiha lore. At the same time, it painfully illustrates how little the poor girl knows about her father. Then, I must commend Chocho’s flashback that shows that her delusions about not being her parents’ child have a bit more evidence than just the usual rebellious phase. Not unlike Sarada’s discovery of the woman in the photograph, I must add.

    -Second, the aesthetics. You already talked about the blood/paint symbol and the sharingan’s reflection, great ideas of the anime, but I also want to mention the scene where the sheet stands between Sarada and Sakura as a metaphor of the lack of communication and trust.

    Honestly, I side with Sarada 100% in her criticism of her family situation. She hasn’t seen her father since she was a baby, yet she’s asked to have a blind faith in the concept of a “Uchiha family” that she’s never known. It doesn’t help that everyone around her, including the very library, isn’t very open about telling her more about her father.

    • August 11, 2017 at 5:29 pmZaiden

      Currently in Japan for the next two weeks. Takaii will be taking over for August the 17th and 24th. I worked on and released the post before my connecting flight.

      I’m not going to be able to reply to comments in great detail during this period of time. So I guess see you guys in two weeks? XD

  • August 11, 2017 at 8:55 amWorldwidedepp

    i wonder, why they bring it only now. This Arc was not the introduction Arc from the Manga? Oh well, i wonder in how they modify the manga line in the Anime run

    • August 11, 2017 at 12:07 pmMistic

      Well, this arc was part of a different manga from the Boruto manga, Naruto Gaiden, by Kishimoto himself. If we add the shorts “The Day Naruto Became Hokage” and “Boruto: Road to B”, both also by Kishimoto, the anime had a lot of “introduction manga” to work with.

      Interestingly, for their introductory arc the anime chose its own path, with new characters and a new threat. I think it was the best idea. After fleshing out Boruto (he’s the titular character, after all) and the academy, now they’re fleshing out Sarada and her family circumstances.

    • August 11, 2017 at 12:51 pmLord Nayrael

      No, it was not introduction to the Manga. The Manga completely skipped this arc and started with adapting the movie’s storyline.

      I’d say the TV Anime started the best way: easy, slow, and with strong focus on characters and their development. The Manga started with the movie and I must say… it does not work well at all.

  • August 11, 2017 at 1:32 pmOri

    It always blows my mind how horrible of a parent and husband Sasuke is.

    Sakura is just doing her best to cope with the consequence of falling in love with such a man, but poor Sarada – it’s pretty shitty that no one is willing to be forthcoming about her father.

    • August 11, 2017 at 2:15 pmMistic

      I think that despite his cool attitude, Sasuke has a guilt complex, still carries some family traumas and feels uncomfortable with the idea of enjoying a happy family life in Konoha.

      Nevertheless, yes, he’ll never win a “Father of the Year” award.

      He has teleportation magic, yet hasn’t met his only child since she was a baby. For all the talk about “he’s a secret agent, he needs to live in secrecy to protect his family” card, the fact that he’s one of the only two living Uchiha in the world and that the other one is his daughter is literally public knowledge. Even if his personal profile is top secret, the laziest spy wouldn’t take long to find out that there’s a famous Uchiha Sakura doctor in the hospital, a Uchiha Sarada student in the academy and a house with the Uchiha symbol in Konoha…

      Wait, no, the house is no more. Good job, Sakura, you took care of that security risk!

      • August 12, 2017 at 1:06 amOri

        Oh I am sure he has a guilt complex like there’s no others. I pretty much predicted that even in a fan-fiction I wrote like 10 years ago.

        But I think even in my wildest imagination I just never quite imagined him quite that bad as a husband and father. I mean I know he would be distant, yes, he wouldn’t know how to communicate, yes, he wouldn’t be very affectionate, yes, but completely absent for x years of a child’s life? Nope.

        The craziest thing to me is that you can totally tell Kishimoto actually likes Sasuke (just look at how many more details Sasuke’s clothes have in comparison to say Naruto’s), I don’t want to know how Sasuke’s character would have turned out had Kishimoto not liked him.

      • August 12, 2017 at 1:45 amWorldwidedepp

        Sasuke’s Love and hatred about his own Brother in his own past, could be the Key they are looking for. And it was Naruto’s “wood head” will to bring.. no to even pull Sasuke on his leg, out of his Hate bubble, because Naruto sworn it on their friendship.. and i mean the tree of them. Naruto, Sakura and Sasuke. Perhaps the influence of both teachers Kakachi and the other, made Naruto the one that wanted to pull back Sasuke out of the Hate pool

        So, if they want to give Sasuke an turn into more become a father he never knew, then he could look at Naruto’s way being a dad, and some distant happy memories with his Brother in old good times. Before all happens. The bond when he was in Team Kakachi. Also did not Kakachi show him his “lightning strike” fist technique? Kakachi could be play some sort of distant Uncle when it comes to feelings. If Kakachi would not care about his team and about Sasuke, he never would show him his “Lightning Strike” also not his try to correct Sasuke’s way of his dark pathing

        There where close “friends” he made on his way of life, also his love and “hate” for his Brother

        This is an reasonable key to turn Sasuke more family compatible. Use of his Teleport skill, just worn him out and his Eyes get overused…

      • August 12, 2017 at 1:47 amWorldwidedepp

        The Key scene will be when Sasuke see in his daughter his own young past, without parents…

    • August 13, 2017 at 9:06 amGuile

      I’d always subscribed to the idea that Sasuke would be one of those overbearing, overprotective parents, given the whole ‘revive the Clan’ thing.

      Like, Sarada scrapes her elbow in sparring and Sasuke is already drawing up training regimen plans and following the other kid looking for weak points for Sarada to destroy him.

  • August 11, 2017 at 9:52 pmLeBlah

    The best part about this arc in the manga was how little we saw Boruto in it, because Sarada is a far better character.

  • August 11, 2017 at 11:40 pmJohnPeacekeeper

    I’m glad they toned down Boruto’s pranking and even if in the process making it less like Chapter 700

    But I was disappointed they also cut out Boruto sparring with Naruto. I would have liked to see how his taijutsu matches up :( At least they show he’s got good presence sensing as opposed to manga counterpart

  • August 12, 2017 at 12:37 amK

    Interesting.

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