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Manga Review – Naruto: Sakura’s Story

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Many of us have followed the Naruto manga series to it’s completion, and have inevitably started it’s sequel following the exploits of Naruto’s son Boruto, however during our transition between the two we may have found a plot line that may be vastly more interesting than the status quo. That being the story of Sakura and Sasuke, and the mystery about how they became a couple. We got a hint of it after the main series ended in the brief couple of chapters following Sarada in her pursuit to find her father which ultimately ended with us having a couple questions answered about her parents, but not enough. With Naruto: Sakura’s Story I assumed the unanswered questions about them would be addressed in a story of love and romance.

 

For those of you hoping for the same, I think it’s better to inform you now that this story will not answer how they got together “AT ALL”. There is no romance in here for them. Instead what you get is a story about Sakura yearning to be noticed by Sasuke and a plot that is as by the book as they come.

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Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way let’s talk about the book.

The Great Ninja War did not only harm adults, but left many damaged children behind. Medical ninja Sakura travels the land, opening clinics dedicated to healing children of the mental trauma they experienced. She learns of a series of attacks against Konoha, and her investigation leads to an impossible conclusion: Sasuke is the terrorist mastermind behind them all! Using her skills and her heart, Sakura strives to clear Sasuke’s name and bring the real perpetrator to justice.

 

Yes I copied and pasted that, I’m not going to take extra time articulating a synopsis for this book, There’s just not enough reason to do so. What I will add to it is that the story does feature other characters other than Sakura, including, Gaara, Naruto, Hinata, Kakashi, Temari, and most notably, Ino and Sai, “who are featured the most and actually have a romance built during the story, heck I think it should be called Ino’s Story. At least that way I wouldn’t have gotten my hopes up for finding out more about how Sakura and Sasuke became a couple, got married and had a daughter. The story doesn’t even feature Sasuke at all. All we get are mentions and sightings of him, and what annoyed me most is that he is featured in on the character page, so I assumed that he would make an appearance in the book with Sakura.

So all in all same old Sakura wanting a man who pays her no interest……..

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Unrewarding plot aside, the book does have one other small issue that continued to pop up in it all the way through to the end. That being that the translator mixes up Sakura and Sasuke’s names a couple times which for some readers may seem like lazy translation by VIZ Media, but for me it really didn’t bother me as I quickly realized the error and internally fixed it while reading. Also the copy you buy at the retailer or digitally, may have been updated to correct this little oversight found in the review copy we used.

As for the physical book itself, I must say I liked the cover design a lot which features Sakura as a sketch surrounded by pink frame, similar to the other Naruto Story line of  books. Add that to the look, and the feel of a well made paperback and the experience is the ideal way to read this novel. 

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Final Verdict

Sakura’s Story was my most anticipated read so far for the year, but alas it was not what I expected it to be. Was there a story here? Yes, but it’s not one you’d care too much about. What this story does deliver is more questions about the relationship between Sakura and Sasuke resulting in an underwhelming story that by the end felt incomplete. Yes there are a few interesting moments where Sakura defies the odds placed against her, but they pale in comparison to the mini plot surrounding Ino and Sai. This I accredit to Kishimoto’s misguided focus on showing just how independent and formidable Sakura can be instead of the romance between her and her love interest, while only hinting at what is to come.

Qudduws Campbell
That messy hair bloke: Romantic, Food lover, Gamer, Sports Fan, Manga Reader, Tech Head, Podcaster... Pretty much do a bit of everything.

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