Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Masashi Kishimoto and Tomohito Ohsaki (translated by Jocelyne Allen)
Publisher: Viz Media, LLC.
Naruto: Sakura's Story: Love Riding the Spring Breeze is a prose novel about Sakura Haruno two and a half years after the Fourth Great Ninja War. As a medical ninja, Sakura has set up the Children's Therapy Clinic to help young children traumatized by war. All is going well until a mysterious enemy begins to attack high level politicians, thus securing budgeting for Anbu rather than for the clinic. Sakura is soon drawn into the investigation as reports come in about a fake Sasuke, who begins to work with terrorists. Sakura is kidnapped, but uses her immense power to break free. She vows to continue fighting the enemy, despite his apparent unconquerable strength, because that is how she has tried to form a relationship with Sasuke for so many years. Overcoming her enemy, Sakura catches a glimpse of the real Sasuke and vows to wait for him.
As a prose novel, the writing is very clear and easily illustrates the fighting scenes that are common in the ninja stories. Occasionally, there are some obvious translation errors from the original Japanese version, including name switches, such as mistaking Sasuke's name for Sakura's. Sometimes sentences seem incomplete or have an extra word, but are not completely incomprehensible. The story is by Masashi Kishimoto, the original creator of the Naruto Series, however this particular novel is written by Tomohito Ohsaki. Ohsaki does an incredible job of writing Kishimoto's original characters, even expanding them with character development in this novel. Most notably, he marks how the characters have grown since this story takes place two and a half years after the end of the original series. Overall, it is an excellent addition to the series.
*Contains mild language and moderate violence.