An animator known for his work on Boruto: Naruto Next Generations just posted a sketch online showing off his NaruHina and SasuSaku love.
Cheng Xi Huang, better known as Sekibeing online, is credited as an animation director on the Boruto anime series. However, as an artist and an animator, he has been a big part of the Naruto fandom for a long time, and he just showed that he has not lost his simple sketching chops.
On Friday, Sekibeing shared a two-panel sketch of Konoha's two most beloved couples. Naruto and Hinata stood side-by-side smiling in one frame while Sakura and Sasuke held each other close by a fire in the other. According to the auto-generated translation of Sekibeing's tweet, the characters were celebrating the Tanabata, or the lunar festival celebrated both in Japan and in his native home of China.
The tweet garnered some precious responses, particularly from long-time shippers of both NaruHina and SasuSaku respectively. The couples were mired in mounting controversy throughout the initial run of Naruto and Naruto: Shippuden, particularly as Sasuke grew more and more antagonistic.
As we all know, Naruto ended up realizing his feelings for Hinata while Sasuke ended up redeeming himself and returning to the village to be Sakura. Boruto centers primarily around the former classmates' children, and their family lives are a big focus of the franchise.
Still, some fans cannot stand to see an official animator on the series celebrating these pairings openly online. People who did not approve of the ending, or are still holding out for a shinobi divorce, flooded Sekibeing's replies with angry tweets.
"Just stop being stupid and let him draw whatever he wants," one fan snapped back at the trolls. "If he wants to draw SS, so be it, if he only wants views (which I think is unlikely), so be it. It's his free time, he does whatever he wants and you have nothing to do with it."
Just stop being stupid and let him draw whatever he wants, if he wants to draw SS, so be it, if he only wants views (which I think is unlikely), so be it. It's his free time, he does whatever he wants and you have nothing to do with it.— Tori da URSAL (@Torikoti) August 18, 2018
Sekibeing has already faced a lot of negativity for his work over the years, both as a fan and a professional. Just this past winter, he posted a mildly NSFW animation of Naruto and Hinata together on Instagram, which fans found so infuriating that he was harassed on all channels. The short clip was deleted, and Sekibeing ultimately issued an apology on Twitter. His Instagram page now bears a staunch warning to trolls.
"This is my private account," it reads. "No request, no argument."