The one who filled his lonely existence with the emotion called love.
The one who loves him with all her heart.
The one who waited for him.
The one who always wanted make him happy.

Haruno Sakura is the one who Sasuke loves.
Haruno Sakura is the one who he chose to be his wife.

Haruno Sakura is his family.
She is his lover, his hapiness

“ I’ll see you when I’m back… and thank you. ” - Uchiha Sasuke

Trying to understand Naruto Gaiden’s timeline and Sasuke’s absence

Ok guys, I’ve been quietly analyzing everything up until Naruto Gaiden Chapter 5 and frankly, the fandom is a total mess right now. I’ve read tons of theories and ideas, but a lot of things are still hazy to me.

Warning: The following post is long, but it’s the only way for me to understand the crazy world of Naruto Gaiden.

Honestly though, I believe that Kishi knows EXACTLY what he’s doing… everything is planned. OF COURSE we are given a complicated plot filled with mysteries and flashbacks. Did you really think that Naruto Gaiden would be a boring story where readers all over the world get to sit back, relax, and say: “Oh wow, so this is what happens when they’re all grown up?”… No. He wants his readers to speculate, discuss, question each other and come up with crazy theories to fill in the gaps that Kishi purposely left for us. Everything from family drama to the forever ongoing mission of maintaining peace in the ninja world.

Let’s face it, Kishi enjoys toying with our feelings and sanity. It has always been like this. We should be used to it by now.

Starting with what we know…

1. In Naruto Chapter 700, all the children of the new generation are still studying at the academy.

In comparison to Naruto’s genin days, we can easily conclude that they don’t have their teams assigned yet. Just to refresh your memory…

This is from Naruto Chapter 3 page 10, shortly after Naruto and Sasuke’s infamous accidental kiss, and where Naruto’s gets beaten up by Sakura:

As you can see, they all have their forehead protectors, which means they have officially graduated from the academy. Iruka-sensei is about to form their teams.

Now back to Naruto Chapter 700, we learn about Naruto’s position as the Seventh Hokage. Which brings me to the next point…

2. In Naruto Chapter 700, Naruto has only been Hokage for a short period of time.

This is from Naruto Chapter 700 page 13:

From what Gai-sensei is saying, this means that Kakashi usually accompanies Naruto throughout their Hokage duties and affairs, but TODAY seems to mark the first day where he’s not with Naruto.

Moving on to the Uchiha family…

3. Sarada has never (to the best of her knowledge) met her father.

This is from Naruto Chapter 700 page 21 and 22:

Here, we can see that she is comparing herself to Boruto with their similar daddy issues with having an absent father.

We also see that in Naruto Gaiden Chapter 4 page 12:

Even Cho Cho has never seen Sasuke. This completely destroys the theory of Sarada having her memories erased. Did they have to erase all of the villagers’ memories too? IT’S NOT REALISTIC! Is everyone keeping a secret from Sarada? I believe so, but I don’t think her memories of her dad have been wiped clean. She’s simply being kept in the dark about a lot of things…

We also see Naruto reminding himself that Sasuke “has been away for almost the entire time”… which means that Sasuke was most likely there when Sarada was a baby.

I’ll get more into Sasuke later on.  

Finally, the most obvious…

4. The ninja world is (or seems to be) peaceful with the cooperation of the Five Kage Summit.

This is clearly illustrated from Naruto Chapter 700 page 23:

Now comes the fun part… trying to put together the puzzle pieces! 

In Naruto Gaiden Chapter 5 page 12, we are given this flashback:

We can conclude from the above panels that…

5. The ninja world is threatened by an evil greater than Kaguya and the Five Kages are keeping it a secret for now.

A lot of Sakura haters are wondering why she’s present during this meeting. Why can’t she be there? She’s the Fifth Hokage’s disciple, she has surpassed Tsunade, she is one of the three new legendary sannins, she’s Konoha’s top medic and she’s wearing the Uchiha crest… to me, that means she’s Sasuke’s wife/woman/lover and needs to be in the loop with what Sasuke needs to say.

Also, some people believe that during this meeting, Sakura was pregnant. I can understand where they’re coming from if you look closely at her in the following panel:

But then again, this could easily just be her dress that slightly opens up near the waistline. The angle kinda makes Sasuke look pregnant too. And frankly, it just doesn’t fit with the timeline. We’ve already established earlier on that Naruto became Hokage when he already had kids… If Sarada and Boruto are around the same age, Sakura can’t possibly be carrying Sarada in this flashback. So this is a FACT…

6. Sakura is NOT pregnant with Sarada during this meeting.

Is she pregnant with a second child? Maybe. But if this happened in the past, she should have quite a visible bump by now, and she doesn’t.

This is from the most recent panel of her in Naruto Gaiden Chapter 5 page 15, when she’s heading out to the tower:

Do you see a baby bump there? No. Maybe she’s doing like Tsunade and is using chakra to conceal her physical appearance, but that’s just pulling it by the strings… We’re digging a little too deep, and I have to admit that as a SS shipper, we shouldn’t be THAT desperate to prove that Sarada is biologically Sakura’s daughter.

What else do we learn from this top secret mission that Sasuke appoints to himself? The only one capable of following after Kaguya’s traces is someone with the Rinnegan. So Sasuke is the only one who can investigate further. Ok… but that still doesn’t explain why he hasn’t been present in his daughter’s life. He could visit, or write to her… They even have technology now! Honestly, this pisses me off more than anything.

From here on we can only try and guess what has happened since Naruto Chapter 699. We all know Sasuke left to “see the world”. This is from Chapter 699 page 16:

Sasuke wants to make sure that there isn’t anything worse than Kaguya out there. Something has been bugging him and now we can see that he was absolutely right. But at some point HE CAME BACK TO MAKE SARADA HAPPEN.

Yet, we see in Naruto Chapter 700 page 22 that he’s in the woods…

Why must you always be a lone wolf Sasuke? Why must you always be on solo missions? In respect to what I said earlier, in THIS specific panel, Sasuke is most likely searching for the remnants of the Zetsus and upon discovering something, he asked for a meeting with all Five Kages.

(Side note: I nearly face-palmed the entire Chapter 5 of Naruto Gaiden when Sarada finally confronted him at the tower):

Sasuke was always hard to read, and a lot of people get frustrated with that. We need to remember that he’s Sasuke, and that he rarely shows his emotions. To that I can only say…

How Sasuke and Sakura got together/married is still a big question mark. What happened before, during and after Sarada’s birth is also a mystery.

The above is from Naruto Gaiden Chapter 2 page 10.

Shizune is CLEARLY trying to hide something from Sarada. Kishi is doing it on purpose. I have a feeling we’re not going to know until the very end.

Here’s the sad truth about Sasuke:

7. Before being a father, Sasuke deemed it more important to be a ninja.

Protecting the village has become his top priority. To me, that’s the same as protecting his family. So if people run around saying that Sasuke doesn’t care… well… this is enough for me to prove that he does CARE. He just sucks at showing it. 

Sarada on the other hand…

8. Sarada does not find it admirable to be a ninja.

We learn the above fact in Naruto Gaiden Chapter 1 page 4:

And also in Naruto Gaiden Chapter 5 pages 14 and 15:

She clearly doesn’t feel like it’s something to be proud of… Having a father who is a great ninja ripped her away from actually having a father. It’s one thing to have a dead father, but it’s another knowing you have one who’s alive and well but who seems to not give a damn about you.

Now here’s the real question: Why has Sarada never met Sasuke?

Like I mentioned earlier, maybe she has, but she was too young to remember.
This is from Naruto Gaiden Chapter 1 page 18:

Notice how the house is different from Naruto Chapter 700. Also, Sarada is definitely taller and older. All her life up until now, Sasuke has been gone.

And then we have this from Naruto Gaiden Chapter 1 page 21:

My theory is that Sakura has been in contact with Sasuke all these years, just like how we know he has been communicating with Naruto. She and the Five Kages know about the threat out there and has been sworn to secrecy. Why trouble their children with such things? 

We saw earlier that Sakura and Shizune were both pretty shady. In Naruto Gaiden Chapter 4 page 10, Naruto is also unable to answer Sarada’s questions truthfully, even when it’s not about her father.

Because that guy is the enemy, and he’s after your sharingan.

It’s not fair… of course it’s not fair! Poor Sarada… but what if this was the least painful way for her to live her life? Maybe as a toddler, she would cry whenever her papa had to leave her… so maybe as parents, Sasuke and Sakura decided it was best that Sasuke stayed out of her life until they have defeated whatever was out there. Ignorance is a bliss after all…

What do you think?

A lot of things will be cleared up in the next chapter, so we’ll just have to wait and see!