Naruto Gaiden: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring
Naruto Gaiden: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring (NARUTO -ナルト- 外伝 ～七代目火影と緋色の花つ月～, Naruto Gaiden: Nanadaime Hokage to Akairo no Hanatsuzuki) is a sequel mini-series of the original Naruto manga, part of the Naruto Project. This story takes place fifteen years after the Fourth Shinobi World War, and focuses on Sasuke and Sakura Uchiha’s daughter; Sarada. It received an anime adaption called the Sarada Uchiha Arc (うちはサラダ編, Uchiha Sarada-hen) as part of the Boruto: Naruto Next Generations anime, which covers episodes 19 to 24. It is preceded by the Academy Entrance Arc and is followed by the School Trip Arc.
Setting the Stage
As Shino Aburame explains to his class that within one week they’ll be going through graduation examinations for genin positions, the majority of the class voices their views on the opportunity. However, Sarada questions the meaning of a shinobi and her future, despite being told she must be proud of being born into the Uchiha Clan. Sarada walks home, jealous that her classmates were being trained by their fathers for the exams — with Chōchō Akimichi eating with her father; Inojin Yamanaka getting drawing lessons from his father; and even Boruto playing an expansive game of hide-and-seek with his ever-busy father, the Seventh Hokage, coupled with being given a lecture by Shikadai Nara and his father.
Seeing all this, Sarada quietly admits, at her best recollection, she has never seen her own father for as long as she can remember. Upon returning home and seeing a picture of her parents together, Sarada questions her mother about him. When Sakura can’t give her satisfactory answers, Sarada openly questions the validity of her parents’ marriage causing Sakura to violently lash out. Collecting herself, Sakura apologises to her daughter but realises her outburst has destroyed their house, much to her horror as apparently, this is not the first time Sakura destroyed it as she cries out about a loan she took out before fainting. Dropping off her mother to Shizune, Sarada returns to her house’s ruins to collect some valuables. However, as she picks up the picture from before, Sarada makes a shocking discovery: the family picture is fake. Pulling out the larger picture of her father, she sees him with the rest of his team Taka and, to her horror, Karin — a girl with glasses similar to her, causing Sarada to further question her own parentage.
All the while, Sasuke appears to be returning to Konohagakure. After encountering a mysterious boy possessing the Sharingan and wearing the crest of the Uchiha clan, Sasuke sends a hawk back to Konohagakure to contact Naruto about the matter. Meanwhile, Sarada’s identity crisis continues and she reveals to Shizune that she knows that there is no record of her birth in the village, with Shizune’s evasive demeanour on the topic not helping matters.
In a restaurant, Chōchō complains about her father’s excessive eating habits, which her mother, simply ignores. Annoyed that she is being ignored while trying to lose weight, she simply sighs as Sarada appears. Humorously, Chōchō explains to her that she doubts her parents are her real parents. This is challenged by an eavesdropping Mitsuki, who simply states that it was normal for girls at their age to start questioning their identity, angering Chōchō.
Sarada eventually decides to simply find her father herself or ask the Seventh Hokage about her dilemma. In his office, Naruto sees Sasuke’s hawk and realises the situation Sasuke is in and consults Kakashi. Together, they come to an agreement that the boy is not an Uchiha survivor, but more likely another one of Orochimaru’s experiments. Naruto leaves a shadow clone to run the village with Shikamaru as he heads out to meet Sasuke and Yamato. Sarada, however, secretly hears this and decides to tail him until she realises Chōchō has invited herself along, thinking Sarada is helping her find her “real” parents. Elsewhere, the mysterious boy meets a person cloaked in an Akatsuki mantle, informing him of his brief fight with Sasuke. They both declare they cannot forgive Sasuke for killing his older brother, Itachi, and promise to make him pay.
The Long-Awaited Encounter
Naruto asks Shikamaru to apologise to Boruto for him and heads off to meet with Sasuke. Just as Naruto leaves, Boruto arrives together with Mitsuki, with the intent of bringing Naruto his lunch. Sarada offers to help bring the food to Naruto and though he is hesitant at first, Boruto later hands it over to Sarada, and she heads off together with Chōchō. Unbeknownst to them, however, the two are being watched by a tiny creature with a single Sharingan. At a remote clearing, the mysterious boy Shin, is ordered by his father to capture Sarada. Sarada and Chōchō continue to pursue Naruto to deliver his lunch, which Naruto notices, using Sage Mode and hurries back to them. Stopping momentarily as they catch their breath, Sarada and Chōchō are intruded by Shin. Sarada remarks on his Sharingan as her mother had told her that aside from Sasuke, they were the last of the Uchiha. When Sarada refuses to go with him, Shin quickly engages and overwhelms the girls in their brief scuffle, which Naruto intervenes in the end to save them.
Angered by Naruto’s appearance, Shin activates his own Mangekyō Sharingan and uses his dōjutsu’s abilities to attack the three with his kusarigama, only to be be foiled by Naruto. Following the brief skirmish, the strange Sharingan creature appears and urges Shin to retreat, noting that he cannot defeat the Seventh Hokage. Shin agrees, and the creature, with the same Mangekyō pattern as Shin, teleports them away. Deciding it would be safer for the two young girls to stay with him, Naruto allows them to accompany him on his journey. As they stop for a break, Naruto tells Sarada how she is a combination of her parents and Sarada feels at ease with Naruto. After travelling for an uncertain amount of time, they finally come within range of the rendezvous point and decide to take a break. Too excited to meet her father, Sarada sneaks away from the group and continues onward. While imagining her first encounter with her father, Sarada’s intense emotions allow her to awaken the Sharingan. Arriving to the temple, Sarada finally encounters Sasuke and is overwhelmed by her emotions. However, Sasuke, taking notice of her Sharingan, mistakes her for Shin’s comrade and draws his sword, frightening Sarada.
As Sasuke attacks, Sarada shouts “daddy” and Sasuke ceases upon realising she is his daughter. While Sarada sulks at the fact that Sasuke didn’t recognise her, Naruto and Chōchō converge on the scene. Sasuke demands an explanation from Naruto as to why he brought along children, which prompts Sarada to reveal that she wanted to ask him about the identity of her biological mother, along with a slew of other questions regarding Karin in the photograph and the reason behind his absence. Sasuke refuses to answer any of her questions, and Sarada storms out of the temple in anger. As Naruto attempts to comfort her, he recalls when Sasuke held a meeting with the Five Kage and Sakura where they discussed an issue revolving Kaguya, the White Zetsu Army, and the possible emergence of a new threat. As Sasuke has taken it upon himself to investigate this matter, Naruto informs Sarada that her father is one of the greatest shinobi alive. Meanwhile, Shin’s father meets with his son and several copies of him, proclaiming the revival of the Akatsuki. Teleporting to the temple via the Sharingan creature, Shin and his father launch an attack on Sarada, which Naruto counters. Sensing danger, Sasuke emerges from the temple and prepares to confront the enemy. Elsewhere, Sakura awakens and begins her journey towards the temple where her family resides.
Reunions and Revelations
The mysterious man immediately guides his weapons towards Sasuke who easily counters with his sword and proceeds to attack. The enemy manages to block Sasuke’s advance while his son attacks, prompting Sasuke to evade. When Sasuke releases a large fireball at the duo, the older man uses his son as a shield against the attack. Defeated, the older man commends Sasuke’s skills and reveals himself as Shin Uchiha, possessing the same name as his son. While Naruto plans his escape with the children, he is stabbed in the abdomen with Sasuke’s sword, which Shin manipulated due to their earlier encounter. With Naruto weakened, Shin’s blades hurl towards Sarada, leaving Sasuke with no choice but to jump in front of her and take the blades. As Shin starts to make his next move, Sakura arrives and pummels him into the ground. Reuniting with her family and her former teamates, she begins apologising to Sarada for keeping secrets, to which Sasuke replies that the fault lays with him. While Sasuke does so, the Sharingan creature teleports Shin and his son back to their base, with Sakura caught in the middle and dragged in as well. Recovering from the battle, Shin begins to surgically replace his liver with his son’s, much to Sakura’s disgust.
During the surgery, Shin explains to Sakura that his son was just one of many clones of himself that he had created with his own teeth and nerves. After revealing that he was once a test subject of Orochimaru’s, he begins to explain his philosophy of how conflict is essential for human evolution and his views on the role of genetics, which Sakura vehemently refutes. Meanwhile, without any leads to go on after Sakura’s capture, Naruto’s group decide to meet with Orochimaru and ask him what he knows about the situation. After a briefing with Yamato, they enter the hideout and reunite with Orochimaru, Suigetsu, and Jūgo. Without wasting time, Orochimaru explains Shin’s history: he was a former experiment whose unique body would accept anything transplanted into it without rejection, which made him the perfect test subject. This resulted in multiple Sharingan being implanted within his body and his right arm being harvested for Danzō Shimura. Eventually, Shin learned about and became fascinated with Itachi Uchiha, leading to him abandoning Orochimaru and taking all but one clone with him. Orochimaru informs the group that the clones are unlike the standard Shadow Clone Technique, and that they can only be stopped by being killed. Orochimaru’s speech disgusts Sarada and Sasuke demands to know Shin’s whereabouts, to which Orochimaru agrees to tell him so Sasuke can kill Shin for him.
While changing rooms for more information on where to find Shin, Sarada gets Suigetsu’s attention, and they sneak away from the rest of the group. In a private location, Sarada requests that Suigetsu do a DNA test with the use of a umbilical cord that Suigetsu thinks belongs to Karin to confirm if Sakura or Karin is her birth mother. After comparing DNA from both Sarada and the umbilical cord, the test seemingly reveals that Karin is Sarada’s real mother. Meanwhile, noticing Sarada and Suigetsu to be gone, Naruto finds their location and eavesdrops on their conversation, becoming angry at the idea that Sasuke was unfaithful to Sakura and at Suigetsu’s involvement. While Suigetsu awkwardly exits the situation, Naruto attempts to remind Sarada that they must save Sakura from Shin. However, a devastated Sarada, with her Sharingan activated, lashes out at Naruto for lying to her and denounces any relation to Sakura. After calming down from her tirade, Sarada explains to Naruto that since everything she knows has been a lie, she intends on leaving the village and continuing her journey alone. Naruto stops her and asks her to remember her memories with Sakura. In deep thought, Sarada remembers when her parents taught her how to walk, and how Sakura loved her and comforted her as she missed her father. After reminiscing about their past, Sarada realises that she does care about Sakura and decides to help in the mission to save her. Returning to the others, Sasuke reveals that he has learned about the location of Shin’s hideout. Activating his tomoe Rinnegan and Mangekyō Sharingan, which was previously weakened due to him travelling through Kaguya’s dimensions in search of the mysterious enemy, Sasuke manifests his Susanoo to transport everyone to Shin’s location. Meanwhile, Shin has completed his surgery and notes that it is his goal to eliminate peace-lovers who are a menace to human evolution. Refuting his statement, Sakura prepares to take him on in combat, revealing she kept Shin alive this long so she can get information for Sasuke.
A True Family
While Naruto detects Sakura, Shin and his clones attack her, injuring her right arm. Sasuke and Naruto arrive in time to save her mid-battle. As Sasuke cares for Sakura’s injuries, Sarada watches, realising there is love between her parents. Later, Sasuke uses his Susanoo to fight a giant Shin clone to protect everyone while Naruto takes on a herd of Shin clones. Sakura is about to join in the fight when Sarada decimates the area and several Shin clones, shocking everyone. With everything now under control, Sakura checks on Sarada and declares that she is really her biological mother. Sarada believes her and says that she has learned that what is most important is the connection they share. She asks her father if he believes this, to which he confirms, with him reasoning that he and Sakura have her as their daughter, moving Sarada to tears. Sasuke asks Naruto what should they do with the Shin clones, and Naruto decides to place them in a new orphanage in Konoha. Upon returning to the village, Chōchō is relieved to know that she is not an adopted child after all. Sarada and her parents have their first family dinner before Sasuke returns to his travelling the next day. Before departing, he notices that Sarada is sad and comforts her by hugging her and poking her on the forehead, assuring her he will come home soon. When Sakura attempts to receive affection from him, Sasuke teases her by walking away and bidding them farewell, much to her disappointment.
The Shin clones are dropped off at the orphanage that is operated by Kabuto Yakushi and Urushi, and Kabuto tells the clones he will be giving them their own names and he will be their new father. At the Academy, Boruto thanks her for delivering the lunch to his father; however, she refutes him and thanks him instead because he helped her realise that it is her dream to be Hokage, which he brushes off. At Orochimaru’s hideout, Karin yells at Suigetsu for his actions; the umbilical cord he used for the DNA test was between Sarada and Sakura. Karin reveals that Sakura travelled with Sasuke on his journey while she was pregnant and that it was Karin who helped with Sarada’s delivery in the hideout. Even though she still has feelings for Sasuke, Karin says all that matters to her is that Sasuke is happy and she is friends with Sakura. Karin then orders Suigetsu to apologise to Sarada and give her a new pair of glasses. In the final scene, Sarada smiles at the family photo of her parents and herself.
The series was serialised in Weekly Shōnen Jump from the combined 22nd/23rd to the 32nd issue in 2015. The first and only tankōbon volume was released on August 4, 2015 in Japan.
|#||English title||WSJ release date||Volume number|
|701||“Sarada Uchiha ”||11 May 2015||73|
|702||“The Boy with the Sharingan…!!”||25 May 2015||73|
|703||“A Chance Meeting 1”||1 June 2015||73|
|704||“A Chance Meeting 2”||8 June 2015||73|
|705||“The Future”||15 June 2015||73|
|706||“Unevolving Species”||22 June 2015||73|
|707||“Genetic Slaves”||29 June 2015||73|
|708||“The Real Thing”||6 July 2015||73|
|709||“I’ll Protect You”||13 July 2015||73|
|710||“What is Reflected in Those Eyes”||20 July 2015||73|
|#||Episode Title||Japanese Airdate||English Airdate|
|19||“Sarada Uchiha ”||9 August 2017||23 February 2019|
|20||“The Boy with the Sharingan”||16 August 2017||2 March 2019|
|21||“Sasuke and Sarada”||23 August 2017||9 March 2019|
|22||“Connected Feelings”||30 August 2017||16 March 2019|
|23||“Bonds Come in All Shapes”||6 September 2017||23 March 2019|
|24||“Boruto and Sarada”||13 September 2017||30 March 2019|
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