With the conclusion of Naruto a few months back it was announced a sequel mini-series would be continuing the story of Naruto through the next generation of characters. While most of the media including the upcoming movie has focused on Naruto and Hinata’s son Boruto the first chapters focuses much more strongly on the seemingly more interesting character Sarada Uchiha daughter of Sasuke and Sakura. Indeed the majority of the drama for the chapter centers around Sarada’s sadness of never knowing her father who seemingly abandoned her and Sakura while she was only an infant.

This stands in stark contrast to Boruto who is basically the second coming of Naruto (who saw that one coming?). However unlike Naruto, Boruto grew up in an idyllic setting surrounded by friends and family. His biggest issue with his father is that as Hokage Naruto is too busy to spend as much time with him as he’d wish. A point made abundantly clear by Naruto’s seeming attendant Shikimaru.

In the end the first chapters theme of family as shown through the two presumably main characters grants the series a strong start, as one of the things that made Naruto stand out was unlike many other Shonen Jump anime’s it always had heart. Beyond that I found it interesting how while outwardly similar Boruto is to Naruto without the sadness at his core he feels quite distinct even this early on. While Sarada’s internal trauma certainly made her a strong addition to the cast and the revelation at the end setting up presumably an interesting plot point. Overall while clearly Naruto, Naruto Gaiden has a feeling of similarity and uniqueness that is welcome.