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Naruto 3-in-1 Omnibus vol. 4 (Volumes 10-12) by Masashi Kishimoto (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

February 3, 2013 by  



The fourth volume continues the third exam with more one-on-one battles including Rock Lee vs. Gaara.  Also, the beginning of the fourth and final exam featuring Naruto vs. Neji! If you love ninja action, “Naruto 3-in-1 Omnibus vol. 4” (Volumes 10-12) is definitely recommended!

© 1999 by Masashi Kishimoto. All Rights Reserved.

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MANGA TITLE: Naruto 3-in-1 Omnibus Vol. 4 (Volumes 10-12)

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: February 5, 2013

A Splendid Ninja

Naruto is a young shinobi with an incorrigible knack for mischief.  He’s got a wild sense of humor, but Naruto is completely serious about his mission to be the world’s greatest ninja!

With only a few matches left to be fought in the preliminaries to teh third portion of the Chunin Ninja Selection Exams, the bout between Gaara and Rock Lee begins.  And in preparation for the finals, Naruto struggles to harness the power of the Nine-Tailed Fox chakra locked within him.  Too bad his first opponent is considered a genius!

Collects volumes 10-12 in an omnibus edition.

The adventure of Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura continues in “Naruto-3-in-1” Omnibus Vol. 4 featuring the collected manga volumes 10-12.

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 a 600-page omnibus edition.

What is “Naruto”?

“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.

While these young ninja learn their training, during their first mission, they come in contact with a powerful enemy, Zabuza Momoichi, of the Land of the Mist and his consort Haku.

Will these young ninja who are still being trained, will they be ready to fight against Zabuza and Haku? And can these three young ninja work as a team or will they continue to fight as individuals?

In volume 2 of “Naruto 3-in-1”, the battle between Team Kakashi continues as Naruto wants vengeance against Haku for killing Sasuke. Team Kakashi takes on Zabuza and Sakura protects the bridge-builder Tazuna.

The volume is also the beginning of the Chunin Selection Exams in which young ninjas from different villages have come to the leaf village.

We are introduced to Gaara and friends from the sand village, meanwhile Rock Lee of Team Guy challenges Sasuke to a battle. We are also introduced to Team Asuma: Akimichi Choji, Nara Shikamaru and Yamanaka Ino. We are also introduced to other teams such as the mysterious Otonin (Sound) teeam, the mysterious Kusanin Grass Ninja team and a team led by Kabuto.

For the first challenge of the Chunin exams, each team must take part in the written test exam and pass, followed by a second exam in the forest of death in which 26 three-member teams must acquire the “Scroll of Heaven” and the “Scroll of Earth”. Whichever team acquires both scrolls wins the exam. With poisonous plants, bad animals and everyone vying for the scrolls, if any member is injured or dead, the team is disqualified. Also, each team is forbidden to look at the contents of the scrolls.

How will Naruto and team fare?

What happened so far?

In “Naruto 3-in-1 Omnibus” Vol. 3 (vol. 7-9), with Sakura trying to protect Naruto and Sasuke and Rock Lee who tried to protect Sakura, now taken down by the sound team, with Sakura fighting for herself, Ichimaru, Choji and Ino decide to help Sakura. But also Rock Lee’s teammates Neji and Tenten waiting to jump into the fray and fight against the sound ninja.

Meanwhile, Sasuke returns to battle but in a new transformed state and more powerful than ever.

As for the other leaf ninjas, we are introduced to Kiba Inazuka and his dog Akamaru, Shino Aburame and Hinata Hyuga who are following the sand ninja, Gaara and team and each witness the immense power of Gaara.

In the next battle for Naruto and friends, we are introduced to the evil Orochimaru and Kabuto’s connection with him.

And for the third round of the Chunin Exams, the surviving teams take part in one-on-one battles: Sasuke vs. Yoroi, Abumi vs. Shino, Misumi vs. Kankuro, Sakura vs. Ino, Tenten vs. Temari, Shikamaru vs. Tsuchi, Naruto vs. Kiba, Hinata vs. Neji and Rock Lee vs. Gara.

Who will win each battle?

What is happening in this volume?

It’s the qualifying round and those who win their battles, get to move on to the next round.  The first battle features Rock Lee, a member of Team Guy taking on Gaara of the Sand Village.  But can Rock Lee, who has no ninjitsu or genjutsu ability, but only taijutsu ability, have any chance against Neji?

In the final tenth battle, Chouji takes on a member of the sound village (who is secretly working with Orochimaru).  Who will win this battle?

On to the finals in which the final nine members will compete until there is one winner.  That winner gets to become a Chunin.  It is also revealed that Kabuto has been working with Orochimaru and Orochimaru has ordered Kaubot to kidnap Sasuke.

As the final nine train for a single month for their final battle for the exam, Naruto teams up with elite tutor Ebisu to learn to water-walk.  But before their training can start, a wise sage named Lord Jiraiya comes to help train Naruto and learns the art of summoning and also trying to draw out the nine tails chakra.  Who is Jiraiya and why is he so intent of training Naruto?

Meanwhile, Gaara confronts Naruto and the two become rivals.

So, now the finals begin with the Sasuke, Shino, Kankuro, Temari, Shikamaru, Naruto, Neji, Gaara and Dosu.  And the first battle features Naruto vs. Neji, the second battle features Kankuro vs. Aburame Shino.

Action-packed from beginning to end, “Naruto 3-in-1 Omnibus vol. 4 (Volumes 10-12)” is the volume that fans want to see…more one-on-one battles featuring Naruto but also to see him get stronger and in this volume, we get to see Naruto learn a few new tricks!

Also, Rock Lee vs. Gaara, Kabuto has been exposed, the rivalry between Naruto vs. Gaara begins and a wise old sage named Jiraiya makes his entrance.

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.

The fourth volume is rather interesting because we get to see Rock Lee in action but also learn more about Rock Lee and Neji and their abilities and what drives them.  But of course with Naruto, to see his growth and finally tapping into the Nine Tail Fox’s chakra but also learning summoning from pervy sage, Jiraiya.

But this is an all-action volume as there are plenty of one-on-one battles and to see how strategy is used in these battles.  From Rock Lee vs. Gaara, Naruto vs. Neji and also seeing Orochimaru and Kabuto making their move to kidnap Sasuke.

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.  Kishimoto writes about his personal history and also guest manga-ka wishing Kishimoto a happy second anniversary.

Overall, this is another excellent volume of “Naruto 3-in-1”. And if you have always wanted to read the manga series, now you can especially with the omnibus volumes which is an excellent value!

If you love ninja action, you definitely want to check out volume four of “Naruto 3-in-1” omnibus and also the previous three volumes as they are fantastic!

Definitely recommended!

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