Comics / Manga

Naruto: The Official Character Data Book

By Leroy Douresseaux
April 21, 2012 - 13:10

Rated “T” for “Teen”

Naruto: The Official Character Data Book cover image
Naruto is a shonen manga written and drawn by Masashi Kishimoto.  The series began serialization in 1999, published in the Japanese manga magazine, Weekly Shonen Jump, and is still ongoing.  Naruto is also a media franchise, which includes two animated television series, several animated feature films, tie-in novels, video games, and lots of Nartuo-related merchandise.  The manga has also been collected in 59 tankobon (trade paperbacks or graphic novels) as of this review.  VIZ Media published the 55th English-language trade edition in March 2012.

The series focuses on Uzumaki Naruto, a teen ninja (or shinobi).  When we first meet Naruto, he is a struggling ninja pupil with his eyes on becoming the Hokage, the champion of the village of Konohagakure, although his fellow villagers don’t like him.  When he was a baby, a nine-tailed fox spirit was imprisoned within Naruto’s infant body.  Now, Naruto is an irascible 16-year-old with a knack for mischief and a wild sense of humor.  He remains, however, very serious about his quest to become the world’s greatest ninja and the “Hokage.”

Naruto: The Official Character Data Book is part of the Shonen Jump Profile line of character and series guides covering manga that appear in Weekly Shonen Jump.  Naruto: The Official Character Data Book is a handy guide to the world of the Naruto manga from the beginning of the series through the chapters published in Volume 43.

Naruto: The Official Character Data Book opens with an eight-page color section entitled, “The Best Scenes in Naruto.”  Then “Shinobi Data” gives the reader the height, weight, likes and dislikes of 143 characters, including Naruto.  “Jutsu Data” is a comprehensive look at 115 jutsu (spells/conjuring).  In “Illustrations Data,” creator Masashi Kishimoto offers blueprints and details about the design of 18 characters and creatures, including Naruto.  In a bonus manga short story, Naruto and friends see Kakashi’s true face.

A few months ago, VIZ Media sent me two character profile books.  I reviewed Bleach Official Character Books 2: Masked some weeks ago.  Now, I finally get to Naruto: The Official Character Data Book.  The designers and editors packed nearly every page of Masked with data; it was enough to give me a headache.  The Naruto character book is also brimming with information, but I find it a bit more reader friendly; there is a lot of stuffy, but it is spread out over more pages than were in Masked.  In fact, this Naruto guide seems as if it would be easier for a young reader to decipher than the Bleach guide.

Smaller sections of data are spread throughout the book, including an eight-page readers’ survey chapter.  I don’t know how much Naruto: The Official Character Data Book would help new readers figure out the series, which isn’t at all hard to follow.  I do think Naruto fans will love it.  I love Naruto, and for me, at least, this book is a keeper.

Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12

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