By Leroy Douresseaux
June 24, 2011 - 09:28
Rated “T” for “Teen”
Uzumaki Naruto is a shinobi (ninja), but when he was a baby, a nine-tailed fox spirit was imprisoned within Naruto’s infant body. The 16-year-old ninja with a knack for mischief and a wild sense of humor is very serious about his quest to become the world’s greatest ninja. Naruto also wants to be the “Hokage,” his village’s champion.
As Naruto, Vol. 51 (entitled Sasuke vs. Danzo) opens, Naruto learns that his teammate, Sakura Haruno, wants to kill their former teammate, Sasuke Uchiha. This is news that hits Naruto quite hard – enough to make him ill! Sakura does everything she can to avoid being stop, as she heads for a showdown with the boy she once loved – and probably still does. Meanwhile, Shimura Danzo takes Sasuke on in a death match, but Danzo tells Sasuke the truth about his brother, Itachi Uchiha.
THE LOWDOWN: As I always write of Naruto, it is the great ninja manga and fight comic book. It is, however, a great character drama because creator Masashi Kishimoto has invested so much in the characters by digging deep to bring out each one’s personality. The back story, motivations, and conflict are encyclopedic in their detail and scope. Kishimoto gives us the kind of great character writing that some readers don’t expect from juvenile fiction, but Naruto, like Harry Potter, proves those doubters wrong.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Readers looking for the world’s best shonen manga will find one in Naruto.