Since Masashi Kishimoto ended Naruto manga we’ve seen the universe continue to live on with new content. The biggest example of how the Naruto Universe has continued is Boruto: Naruto Next Generations anime and manga. In addition we’ve gotten various light novels that tell the story of various Naruto characters. Most of these light novels have taken place during the period that is known as the Blank Period between Naruto and Boruto series. That said we’ve had some light novels that have taken place during the present day of the Naruto Universe. One of these light novels is Sasuke Retsuden: The Uchiha Descendants and the Heavenly Stardust, which takes places some time before the Kawaki Arc in Boruto: Naruto Next Generations. Now Shonen Jump has created a manga adaption of the light novel, titled Naruto: Sasuke’s Story—The Uchiha and the Heavenly Stardust. Let’s see how this light novel is adapted into manga form.
Original Story: Masashi Kishimoto and Jun Esaka
Manga Story: Shingo Kimura
A sick Naruto tries but fails to stop Sasuke from going to the Land of Redaku alone.
Sometime later Sasuke is asking the people of Redaku about the Sage of Six Paths (Hagoromo Ōtsutsuki) but no one knows who Sasuke is talking about.
Sasuke eventually runs into someone named Lyla who saws her mom (Kail) knows about the Sage of Six Paths.
Before they reach Lyla’s house some thugs run out after stealing things from Kail’s antique shop. Sasuke is quick to stop them with a Genjutsu and has the local police take the thieves to prison.
After Sasuke clarifies that he is married when Kail thinks he is there to propose to her daughter they discuss what Kail knows about the Sage of Six Paths.
Sasuke then reveals that his friend (Naruto) is suffering from the same illness the Sage of Six Paths once had that damaged his Chakra Pathway System due to being a Jinchūriki. While not having information on a cure Kail finds the Book of Yore where it is written that the Sage of Six Paths once stayed at the Tatar Observatory.
Several weeks later, Sasuke has gotten himself arrested and placed in the Tatar Observatory. During lunchtime some prisoners pick a fight with Sasuke, who easily defeats the prisoners. Tatar Observatory Director Zansūru clears Sasuke of being in the wrong in the fight so he doesn’t end up in solitary confinement
Seeing his strength one of the thieves that Sasuke stopped weeks ago tries to recruit Sasuke for a prison break that Sasuke turns down.
Sometime later Sasuke and the prisoners are shocked to find the guy that tried to recruit Sasuke earlier a Menō dragon eating him after his attempted escape.
Witnessing this Sasuke suspects that Director Zansūru is up to something sinister that may take his attention away from finding information on the Sage of Six Paths. End of chapter.
Going into Naruto: Sasuke’s Story—The Uchiha and the Heavenly Stardust I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t read the light novel going into the manga adaptation so I had no preconceive notion outside of knowing that this takes place at some point in the Boruto: Naruto Next Generation series. Now that I’ve read it I will definitely say that it did feel like returning home to a universe I grew a close connection to.
What’s helped is that the story in Naruto: Sasuke’s Story—The Uchiha and the Heavenly Stardust is very focused. Sasuke Uchiha being the lead character made this a story very easy to get behind. While there is a bigger story teased at the end of this first chapter the story does feel very contained. This is a ninja mission Sasuke has taken on by himself to help out his best friend, Naruto Uzumaki, who is suffering a dire health condition. It does not need to be more complicated than that and I’m glad original story creators Masashi Kishimoto and Jun Esaka along with the mangaka for this adaption Shingo Kimura recognize that.
This creates a natural flow to the story as there isn’t a long drawn out explanation for why Naruto: Sasuke’s Story—The Uchiha and the Heavenly Stardust is happening. We get all the information as the first chapter goes on as Sasuke is in search for a cure for an Chakra illness that Naruto that the Sage of Six Paths once suffered from as well. Going with this direction for the story made the story flow much more naturally as it felt like we were returning to a world that kept living on even after the end of the original Naruto series.
Credit to Kishimoto, Esaka, and Kimura going with a story structure that isn’t tied to any of the events of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations. While we are clued into how this story takes place during the Boruto timeline it is not handcuffed by that fact. This was a very easy read as the structure makes it reader friendly for fans who may have only read the original Naruto series. And with the time period it takes place the characters voices all are able to sounds more mature as Sasuke, Naruto, and Shikamaru are adults by this point.
Tying the story back into the Sage of Six Paths was an unexpected direction for this story. Kishimoto, Esaka, and Kimura did a good job with establishing how there is a serious ramification to Naruto’s powers that he is dealing with in his adult life. Tying it all together to something the Sage of Six Paths also suffered from gets over the cost of having both the Jinchūriki and Six Paths Senjutsu powers that made him one of the strongest shinobi’s in history.
Having this stakes involved made everything even more personal for Sasuke as he chooses this mission to investigate the Land of Redaku alone to save his best friend. There wasn’t more that needed to be done in this respect since we know how deep Sasuke and Naruto’s friendship goes. Which allows for a natural transition into the greater mystery of Tatar Observatory. How whatever is going on in the Tatar Observatory ties into the Sage of Six Paths could expand the mythology fans know in interesting new ways.
While we are only briefly introduced to him the presentation of Director Zansūru worked really well. The design of the character does hint at him leaning more towards the villain side. Which is a great contrast to how he takes such a kind approach in his word choices when helping out Sasuke during the prison fight. It all adds to whatever mystery that is going in the Tatar Observatory that Director Zansūru is likely involved in.
Naruto: Sasuke’s Story—The Uchiha and the Heavenly Stardust immediately hooked me in with an intriguing first chapter. The story is kept simple for all Naruto fans to get into with Sasuke taking the lead role. How the story expands as we get more into how things all relate to the history of the Sage of Six Paths is something I look forward to finding out more of.
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10