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Naruto 3-in-1 Omnibus vol. 2 (Vol. 4-6) by Masashi Kishimoto (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

August 7, 2011 by  



If you have missed the original manga series of “Naruto” and want to read where it all began, I highly recommend “Naruto 3-in-1 Omnibus” as it features three volumes for the price of 1.5 volumes.  Watch as Team Kakashi take on Zabusa and Haku and also the introduction of various young ninja  from the Konoha Village and Sand Village.  A fantastic compilation for a great price.  Highly recommended!

© 1999 by Masashi Kishimoto. All Rights Reserved.

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MANGA TITLE: Naruto 3-in-1 Omnibus Vol. 2 (feat. a collection of vol. 4-6)

STORY AND ART BY: Masashi Kishimoto (岸本 斉史)

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: SHUEISHA, Inc.

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Media, LLC/Shonen Jump Manga

RATED: T for Older Teen

RELEASE DATE: July 5, 2011

In the Land of Waves, Naruto and his teammates Sakura and Sasuke, along with their sensei Kakashi, struggle to protect the bridge builder Tazuna and his family from Gato’s hired thugs. When one of Naruto’s friends falls in battle, Naruto is faced with the most difficult choice of his life. How far will he go to protect his friends? And does he have what it takes to be a hero?

Collects volumes 4-6 in an omnibus edition.

Since 1999, “Naruto” created by Masashi Kishimoto (“Karakuri”) has been one of the most popular manga, anime and video game series in Japan and has easily become a favorite best selling anime/manga series among fans all over the world.

Currently in Japan and also the United States, “Naruto” is currently in “Shippuden” mode focusing on an older teenage Naruto Uzumaki and for fans who were not around when “Naruto” was airing on television or were not around when the manga series was first released, some newer fans may have not had a chance to know how it all began.

Fortunately, Viz Media has released an omnibus for “Naruto” featuring three volumes in one 600-page graphic novel.

“Naruto” is a manga series based on a young boy with big dreams, a boy who dreams about becoming a hokage (the leader of a ninja village) and is very determined in getting stronger to prove that he can one day become a leader. The problem is that he is often teased, ridiculed because his ninja arts has not been like everyone else and because he is often ignored or teased, he has become a bit of a prankster/trouble maker for the village.

But the reason for the ridicule is because Naruto has the spirit of the Fox with Nine Tails sealed inside him.

The Fox Spirit was an evil spirit that it took several ninja clans, great shinobi’s to work together, sacrifice their life in order to make sure that the villages will continually thrive and survive the onslaught from the Fox Spirit and the Fourth Hokage, the champion of the village, Konoha, hidden in the leaves, would seal the Fox Tail spirit in a boy, the boy is Naruto Uzumaki.

And thus the reason why the village has treated Naruto with disdain.

While trying to pass a test to become a ninja, unfortunately Naruto’s ninja arts are so weak that he continually flunks. His teacher Iruka is a littler harsh on him but he really wants Naruto to pass. One day, one of the ninjas in Konoha lied to Naruto and told him that in order to pass and become a ninja, he would have to steal secret scrolls. Naruto, being the naive boy that he is, does so. The ninja who told him to steal it, then tells the village that Naruto has stolen the sacred scrolls of the village that have been under lock and key, in fear that someone can use the jitsu’s for the wrong purpose.

The thing is that Naruto did read one jitsu and has mastered it, he learned to create hundreds of doppelgangers of himself and uses it to protect his teacher Iruka from the ninja traitor. And with his new skills, he has passed to become a real ninja.

From this point on, Naruto Uzumaki joins Team Kakashi and becomes teammates with Sakura Haruno and Sasuke Uchiha. This will be the team that Naruto will train and go on adventures with but part of the problem is that the team is not exactly well-disciplined and it doesn’t help that Naruto and his teammate Sasuke get on each others nerves.

With the third volume ending with Team Kakashi encountering a powerful enemy, Zabuza Momoichi, of the Land of the Mist and his consort Haku.

With the second volume of “Naruto 3-in-1” which features a collections of volume 4-6, it appears that Zabusa and Haku is a much  more powerful duo than expected and could it be…someone in Team Kakashi dies?  Also, what happens to Naruto when he gets really, really angry!

In Vol. 5, Team Kakashi has been selected to take the Junior Ninja Selection Exams.  This is important for them to pass to the next level of their ninja training and all ninjas from various villages have come to take the exam.

But as Naruto, Sakura and Sasuke will soon find out, their are many other young ninja who are determined like they are.

Meanwhile, a student named Rock Lee has challenged Sasuke to a duel.   And we are also introduced to the other ninja teams from the Konoha village.

As the students take the test, many find it very difficult and try to find ways of cheating (or not cheating).  But when they get to the tenth question , each student is presented with a no-win situation.  If you don’t complete question 10, you lose all your points.  If you participate in question 10 and get the wrong answer, you and your team are ejected and can never ever take the test again.

In volume 6, Team Kakashi has passed the Chunin Selection Exam but now they have to take the second part of the test and that is take part in the Forest of Death.  The object is for a team to find two scrolls and return with them within five days.  Each team member must return alive but with 26 teams competing for those two scrolls, who is going to win?

Meanwhile, members of the Village of the Sound are up to no good and they have teamed up with a vile enemy named Orochimaru.

Entertaining, fun and possibly one of the best manga series to appear on “Shonen Jump” since “Dragon Ball Z”.

As a long time reader of the Japanese Shonen Jump magazine and long time anime viewer/reviewer, the “Naruto” series was a bit of surprise when I first had the opportunity to read and watch the series. Mainly because of how entertaining and how well-written the series was but also how mangaka Masashi Kishimoto built upon its characters by character development, making you care of what is happening with the protagonist Naruto, his teammates and also becoming captivated by the world around him.

Naruto is the classic underdog. The boy that everyone seems to hate, the boy who just wants to fit in, the boy who wants to have friends and in some ways, many of us have a little of “Naruto” within us and having those emotions of dreaming big, even though you feel that everyone doesn’t expect much from you. Insecurities, sadness, being a practical joker, for me, I can identify with Naruto and feel his pain.

But what made me enjoy this series is seeing him persevere, working hard to prove that he is a capable ninja and most of all, his way of thinking helps to inspire those that come across him.

He may be goofy, he may seem lazy at times and also always hungry but he is also dependable and a teammate who will fight to protect you, a ninja who knows that he has a cursed beast inside him, that everyone fears and he lives with that pain.

With this second volume of “Naruto 3-in-1”, this is where many new readers will be introduced to the various ninjas who play a significant role in the series from here on out. We are introduced to Rock Lee, a young ninja with no inherent ninja abilities like others, but who is an excellent fighter with awesome techniques that he learned from Guy Sensei.

We are introduced to Ino, Sakura’s rival who is also pursuing Sasuke.

But most importantly, we start to see how Naruto affects many people he’s around.  His dedication but also his kind heart, especially during the final battle with Zabusa and Haku.

For those who watched only the anime series, you will noticed there is much more storyline in the manga series pertaining to the examination test.  And many cope with cheating or not cheating.

But overall, this is an action-packed, highly enjoyable three volumes in one release!  The stories are well-written, character designs are well done and it was a blast to read!

For anyone getting into “Naruto”, this 3-in-1 omnibus is fantastic! For the price of less than two manga volumes, you are getting a total of three. And if you have only watched the anime series, “Naruto” fans may want to check out the manga series because there are a few scenes that didn’t appear on the anime series.

And also, throughout each volume, you get to read notes and even see sketches from series creator Masashi Kishimoto of how he originally drew Naruto (he had goggles) and also other early character designs for other characters and also thoughts that Kishimoto had at the time.

Overall, if you have wanted to read the “Naruto” manga series from the beginning, now is the time!

“Naruto 3-in-1 Omnibus” is highly recommended!

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