Hello, long time no see.
As Naruto’s manga came to a close quite recently, and the anime series is approaching the end as well, I thought it’ll be the right time to post about this; the first book from the Naruto Chronicles series – starring the one and only, Hatake Kakashi. I’m excited to post this because I have a physical copy of the book, and having physical copies don’t usually happen to me, whoops haha.
I’ll try to keep this spoiler-free as much as I could and will try to talk about my opinions on it more, but just proceed with caution, just in case. This will probably be long and full of rant so more under the cut! Fair warning, I never reviewed a book before and my posts on this blog is full of my opinions so… brace yourselves? Haha.
As an introduction, the Naruto Secret Chronicles series (Naruto Hiden) are canon stories about various characters, taking place after the conclusion of the manga in particular, between chapter #699 and #700 (more about it here). These light novels don’t directly tells a story about Naruto himself but the characters around him but, of course, Naruto’s in it too here and there (who would leave out the baby?).
Each book is illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto, but they’re all written by different authors. Yes, you read that right! For Kakashi Hiden, the author is Akira Higashiyama, translated by Jocelyne Allen (who I think is a very good translator omg.)
So far, the books published in English are; Kakashi Hiden, Shikamaru Hiden and Sakura Hiden. I’m still waiting for the rest to be in English, for Konoha Hiden in particular because I am so ready for the feels and Gaara Hiden too, ahh. I’m not a big fan of Shikamaru so I don’t actually need to buy his Hiden, but I might buy it to complete my collection and for the sake of my Temari love (cues my ShikaTema feels). That is, if the other Hiden gets published in English soon. There’s no date for it yet, only the Itachi Shinden dates are set for November. Viz Media, y u do thiz to me.
Anyway, sorry, that was long, but on to the book!
“A new series of prose novels, straight from the worldwide Naruto franchise. Naruto’s allies and enemies take center stage in these fast-paced adventures, which each volume focusing on a particular clan, mate, ally, team…or villain.
A year has passed since the Fourth Great Ninja War, and Kakashi’s appointment as Hokage looms. But first he heads to the Land of Waves for a dangerous mission rescuing hostages from a top-secret airship.
There, he confronts a ninja whose heart is frozen by tragedy.
Having lost both his friend’s eye and his greatest abilities, can Kakashi protect anyone from this coldhearted foe? What is the true meaning of the Will of Fire gained in the distant heavens?
Kakashi finds these answers and more as he enters a new ninja era.”
(omg lol “new ninja era” // Kakashi, feel old yet?)
Basically, Kakashi was assigned on a mission to guard a secret airship in the Land of Waves. He had to stand guard on land with some other ninjas while some 50+ lucky people get to be on the airship for a first-flight experience. Everything was glittery fun and fleeting of happiness, when suddenly Kakashi found himself in the airship because he was chasing a figure who’s in wheelchairs (guess who), and on the airship, they discovered that the airship was getting hijacked by some people who could do some Ice Style jutsus.
It might seem like a typical “airship getting hijacked” to some but in the land of ninjas, nothing is typical yo. I’m just glad Kakashi is there in the airship with his… companion.
In this book, you’ll be able to discover Kakashi’s worries and thoughts behind that mask of his (“internal struggles” doe) and experience the pure action of watching Naruto Shippuden itself. I’m not sure if it’s because it was written by someone who’s not the original author of Naruto, but wow, Kakashi does think a lot — but that’s what makes it more interesting! Also, the action scenes felt so so real, it’s as if you’re reading the manga or watching the anime itself, no kidding. Of course there are violence. I’m not even sure how I handled that but I did, yay.
And you might think, for a book of 185 pages long, would it be all about the airship getting hijacked and Kakashi trying his hardest to save it and the hostages in it? Yes, but for a fan like me, it gives me new insights and perspectives of Kakashi, seeing his wittiness and quick thinking in action and being able to get into his mind and understand him better, also not to forget the power of friendship. I will always love Kakashi and Gai’s friendship. There was this one page of the book that totally struck me; page 83. And that made me realize how motivational Gai can be. And seeing our other favourite characters from Konoha in action as well made me really happy, okay.
Though I’m sure we’re all spoiled already from Tumblr and whatnot, this book has even more spoilers of the series, in case you haven’t finished it. Just wanted to point that out because I never knew what happened to Naruto and I found out about it in this book. Thanks Sai for spoiling it for me, I appreciate it berry much.
I can’t do a ‘characters’ section or ‘art + bgm’ section so this section will make up to the additional musings and fangirl, yeah? Okay.
Translation: There are translations for these books made by wonderful translators online. (Google to find them). I compared the translations beforehand and the translators did a great job. What I noticed from the raw Japanese text and the English published one was that they added a few lines here and there to give it more of a ‘novelty’ feeling, but still gives out the Japanese aspect of a literature. Hmm, I’m not even sure how to explain this but if you know a little bit of Japanese and read the English book, it really clicks in your head how well the translator did their job. But of course, other people could say otherwise. Let’s agree to disagree.
Book Extras: I just wanted to have something physical to read. I haven’t read a physical book in ages and the moment I got the book, I feel so… connected with books again, haha. I thought I would get like a thin book the size of a Reader’s Digest, but I got a book as thick as a real manga and the words/fonts are so easy to read and it feels so nice having it. (See how much I miss having a book to read). It’s a light novel after all, so haha. Anyway! There’s these pages of sketches in it and… we can see how much Kakashi has aged. It’s okay Kakashi, I still love you anyway. :3
The Ending: Do you understand what “Spring has arrived” or its equivalent means? I understand the metaphor, but to me… I don’t see it’s depicted much in the novel and I don’t wanna think of it that way. I’m a Kakashi fangirl and of course it’s typical of me to not want him to be paired with anyone, so I’ll stick with that mindset. Some people hate on this book just because of that phrase, but it depends on what you wanna believe, isn’t it? People believe what they want to believe no matter what they read, so that’s pretty much what I’m doing. That’s why I’m happy with whatever it is haha because I’ll either just ignore it if I don’t like it or accept it if it’s okay with me. It’s as simple as that. (I’m done crying over Sai marrying, I’m glad Gaara is still there okay.)
I really love this book because; it’s about Kakashi who is a bae of mine, it has action scenes that are easy to understand and even easier to imagine and experience (lol), it has friendship and it has Gai’s dumb but funny jokes + whatever he does, it has the Konoha ninjas in action and teamwork (!!!), it has my baby Naruto and also it has our…vulnerable sixth Hokage being bullied by his students. Yeah, let’s end it at that. I’m all for people supporting original authors and creators so please, buy it if you could! I would rate this book… eh, 9/10 is okay? Since it’s an original work and whatnot and I follow the series almost religiously.
Oh my gOD have you guys seen the episode where Kakashi’s face is revealed? A lot of errors on that episode oh but to hell with it. The anime’s reaching its ending and I can only hope for Sasuke to get over his teenage angst and just… come on bro… live.
Anyway, this took me 3~4 hours of writing up and I don’t know why it’s so hard to churn out posts for this blog, I apologize. I hope you guys know that I appreciate you guys for reading this blog, really, because all the crappy posts here are just me trying to promote things I love so that many people love them, but I ended up dis-higlighting the important parts to avoid spoilers and gushed out feels instead. Sorry about that.
Here, have AKG’s Blood Circulator MV as an ending for this post.
Thank you very much for reading, you guys are awesome! See you in the next post, hopefully soon, haha. Byeom~!