I am very late to the Naruto series. Before binging it this year my experience with Naruto was limited to having seen a few episodes of the Chūnin Exam Arc that aired during a 24 hour marathon when I was in high school, glimpsed a snow filled Naruto film playing in the background at a CiCi’s, and had a college roommate who used the name “ItachiEyes” for his username everywhere. I always read it as “Itchy Eyes” and assumed he had a condition, but now after seven months of washing dishes I finally get it! I also have incredibly dry hands. Like come spend a week at my house washing bottles and you will know pain, Nagato.
(Only being able to watch TV while doing dishes is a whole being a parent to a small child thing that you would know about me if you listened to my podcast, Too Young for this Trek: A Star Trek Podcast, where I watch the best and worst of what Star Trek has to offer for the first time in a random, nonsensical order. Plug, plug, plug)
Anyways after I don’t even want to know how many hours of watching Naruto/washing dishes I still want more. Of Naruto that is. The dishes have to get done and yeah sure there are 200+ filler episodes, a handful of movies, and an ongoing hundreds of episodes long sequel series I could and will likely watch but that’s not at all what I want to watch next. This article actually began as a listicle. I was going to dream up five or so Naruto Spinoffs I’d want to watch but instead became fixated on one idea… Sasuke Uchiha Ninja Detective.
After Naruto and Sasuke’s final fight Sasuke accepts that Naruto’s ninja way is superior to his own and goes out into the world to atone for his sins. We get the tiniest taste of Sasuke’s journey in Naruto: Shippuden Episodes 484-488 which adapts the light novel “Sasuke Shinden: Book of Sunrise”. In this mini arc Sasuke gets word from Kakashi that the Hidden Leaf has been attacked by exploding zombies and not so coincidently Sasuke encounters them as well. During his journey to solve the mystery of the exploding zombies he encounters new companions, uncovers a shadowy underworld we’ve never seen before in the series, and uses Naruto’s classic “we’re the same, you and I” technique to take down the enemy and set them on a new path (even though they murdered lots of innocent people).
It was some Lone Ranger meets The Witcher meets Mr Robot shit and I loved every second of it. Which was really surprising to me because I was not a fan of Sasuke in the least bit until this series of episodes. It sets up this very intriguing dark world run by wealthy elites such as En Oyashiro, who “collects” kekkei genkai, by which I mean he kidnaps people with unique skills and forces them to fight for him. He also often wipes out their entire clan to make their abilities more rare.
In my head the series would be Sasuke’s 15 year journey across the world taking place from the end of Shippuden to the start of the Borito film. Every arc Sasuke would pick up a new mission either by stumbling upon it or a request from the Leaf. He’d investigate, seeing things only someone with the visual prowess of the Rinnegan could detect. Then during his investigation he would pick up new companions who would be with him throughout the arc and then sort of go away, kind of like how things go on Doctor Who. The mission would be lower stake than what we saw near the end of Naruto but equally important, such as taking down En Oyashiro’s whole human trafficking hobby.
In addition to developing Sasuke’s character the series could give us the opportunity to visit lands we’ve rarely or never seen before, provide both Sasuke and Orochimaru the screen time to receive a proper redemption, develop Sasuke and Sakura’s relationship, and we could see how the world evolves over time with the introduction of new technologies. For instance maybe Sasuke has to occasionally return to the Leaf and we see how that changes overtime. We could even see more adult Naruto as he becomes the Hokage. I wouldn’t want him to be a central figure, but it’d be weird if Sasuke didn’t see him or Sakura ever, right?
I’d love to see more of the former members of team Taka. Sasuke just kind of awkwardly left them with Orochimaru to babysit. Maybe he could even properly make it up to Karin for nearly killing her. It could become the “My Name is Earl” of Naruto where Sasuke has to go through a list of people he’s hurt over the years (including the tailed beasts) and make it up to them for Karma. That’s worse than my original pitch, but heck I’d still watch it.
Well… guess I’m off to find out if Boruto: Naruto Next Generations is worth watching!