By Leroy Douresseaux
September 7, 2011 - 09:25
|Naruto Volume 52 cover image is courtesy of barnesandnoble.com.
Rated “T” for “Teen”
Uzumaki Naruto is a shinobi (ninja). When he was a baby, his village elders imprisoned a nine-tailed fox spirit within Naruto’s infant body. Now, Naruto is a 16-year-old ninja with a knack for mischief and a wild sense of humor. Still, he is very serious about his quest to become the world’s greatest ninja and also the “Hokage,” his village’s champion.
As Naruto, Vol. 52 (entitled Cell Seven Reunion) opens, Naruto confronts his former teammate, Sasuke Uchiha. While Sasuke wants to kill Naruto, Naruto only wants to restore the old Sasuke. Meanwhile, Madara Uchiha, the villain behind everyone’s troubles and Sasuke’s comrade (so to speak), makes a deal with Kabuto, another enemy of the ninja. As another “great ninja war” looms, the ninja villages form the Allied Shinobi Forces, so why do they see Naruto as a problem?
THE LOWDOWN: Of course, anyone who reads my manga reviews has already figured out that I’m crazy in love with Naruto. Very few volumes disappointment me, and Vol. 52 does not disappoint because creator Masashi Kishimoto packs so much into the chapters that make up this volume. The histories of the shinobi villages converge, pitting former friends in battles that have as much to do with political intrigue as they do with revenge or defense. There are subplots within subplots, and characters continue on their journey of self-discovery, as they struggle to understand their place in this world.
Or perhaps it is really simple. People will buy Naruto because it is a great comic book from an exceptional creator. Kishimoto is not afraid to give readers the equivalent of 3 volumes worth of material in one collection.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Readers looking for the world’s best comics will find one in Naruto.