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Naruto volume 55 by Masashi Kishimoto (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

February 7, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The Great Ninja war begins and the unity of the ninja villages take on the revived legendary ninjas of the past led by Kabuto.  A thrilling, all-action volume that “Naruto” fans will surely love!  Recommended!

© 1999 by Masashi Kishimoto. All Rights Reserved.

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MANGA TITLE: Naruto Volume 55

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: March 6, 2012

The Great War Begins.  Evil masterminds Kabuto and Madara instigate skirmish with Naruto and friends on Turtle Island.  The Allied Shinobi Forces prepare to attack, but are they read for Kabuto’s horde of reanimated dead ninja?!

The popular manga series “Naruto” has been going strong since its debut in Shueisha back in 1999 via “Weekly Shonen Jump” magazine.

The manga by Masashi Kishimoto is about a young ninja named Naruto Uzamaki, a ninja of the Konoha leaf village who grew up facing prejudiced within his fellow ninjas because the evil nine-tailed fox was sealed inside him. But throughout the series, we have seen how Naruto is a kind-hearted boy who has worked hard in protecting his friends and staying true to his word with the goal of someday becoming the next Hokage of the village.

In the beginning, Naruto was part of Team Kakashi, alongside Sasuke Uchiha and Sakura Haruno and as a team, have grown up together taking on missions and also, joining with other teams of Team Konoha as well as other villages in taking on other major missions as well.

But now years have passed since those earlier years of Team Kakashi and Naruto and his friends are much older and his teammate Sasuke has left the village to pursue his brother Itachi for revenge of killing everyone of the Uchiha clan but worst of all, Sasuke is in search of the traitor of the Konoha village, the evil Orochimaru, in order to obtain more power.

During Naruto’s last confrontation with Sasuke, it appears that a black evil curse has consumed him. But as a promise to his teammate Sakura, Naruto will do what it takes to bring Sasuke back despite whether or not Sasuke has become evil.

Volume 55 of the “Naruto” manga series features the beginning of the Great War as the ninja villages have united to take on the dead, past Gokage and deceased Akatsuki members and other deadly ninjas revived by Kabuto to take on the various ninja clans.

The dead know they have been revived but are not able to control their bodies (which is being controlled by Kabuto).  The goal of capturing Naruto for his nine-tail powers continues, but the ninja villages were able to hide Naruto in a moving island.  Meanwhile, Naruto is unaware of what is going on the outside world other than he is working on a mission.  But everyone is hoping that Killer Bee can train Naruto on how to gain control of the nine-tail fox and prepare for the big war.

Meanwhile, as ninja units have been assembled on both sides, it’s a battle to the death as the ninjas of other villages must take on the ninjas that have been revived.  This includes the return of a few of the deadly Akatsuki and also for Kakashi, the return of Zabuza and Haku.  But this time, Zabuza and the revived legendary swordsmen of the mist are ready to fight.

Here is a brief summary of each chapter of “Naruto Volume 55″:

  • Number 515 – The Great War Begins! – Naruto learns from Killer Bee on how to control the nine-tails chakra while the Ninja villages set up squads to prepare for the Great War.  Kabut sends out the revived Gokage and Akatsuki members and takes control of them for battle.
  • Number 516 – Gaara’s Speech – As rival ninja villages must work together, Gaara tries to bring unity to the rival clans and prepare for war.
  • Number 517 – Omoi’s War – Commando Unit Captain Kankuro takes his team to take on the revived Deidara and Sasori.  Meanwhile, Sai confronts his brother.
  • Number 518 – Battle of the Commando Units!! - The battle between the opposing units continue.
  • Number 519 – The Biju Bomb – Killer Bee tries to teach Naruto the Biju bomb and also learn of the ramifications of the new jutsu.
  • Number 520 – Secrets of the Edotensei – Kabuto reveals the secrets of the Edotensei.
  • Number 521 – The Main Regiment in Batle!! – The battle continues as Kakashi takes on the revived Zabuza.
  • Number 522 – We Died. – Zabuza and Haku find out that they have died and have been revived.
  • Number 523 – The Legendary Seven Swordsmen of the Mist!! – The commando unit led by Kakashi must take on the legendary seven swordsmen of the Mist.
  • Number 524 – That Which Ought to be Protected – Kakashi vs. Zabuza to the death.

“Naruto” vol .55 begins the Great Ninja War and one can expect plenty of action in these latest chapters.

And despite all ninja villages banding together for the war, Kabuto has revived legendary ninjas, swordsmen and former leaders of ninja villages, including the Akatsuki and he has complete control over them.  No matter how hard the dead try to fight Kabuto’s control, they are unable to break it and must fight against their former rivals, family members and friends.

As for Naruto, the training he is receiving from Killer Bee is starting to work but he finds out that through this new jutsu, he is unable to use shadow clones otherwise, the nine-tail fox will consume as much chakra to kill Naruto. Naruto must learn how to control the beast within and utilize its power (essentially swapping his power with nine-tails power) without dying.

Needless to say, this latest volume of “Naruto” is an intense, all-action fight-fes!  And the war is captured amazing well in this latest volume as Masashi Kishimoto tries to capture the essence of battle between the ninjas as the village may have the numbers, but Kabuto’s revived dead ninjas have the power.  Strategy comes to play and who will win and who will lose will be quite interesting because it seems that as of now, Kabuto has the edge.

I can’t wait to see how this overall storyline develops especially how Naruto develops from his training.

Overall, “Naruto” is an awesome manga series and for those who have appreciated the anime series first, will definitely enjoy the manga series as well. And once again, another thrilling, action-packed volume of “Naruto” the manga series. Highly recommended!

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Naruto volume 54 by Masashi Kishimoto (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

December 30, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Another action-packed volume of “Naruto” as Guy takes on Kisame, Konan vs. Tobi, Tsuchikage vs. Kabuto and the race to protect Naruto and Killer B from the Akatsuki continues!

© 1999 by Masashi Kishimoto. All Rights Reserved.

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MANGA TITLE: Naruto Volume 54

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: January 3, 2012

Naruto and his team engage in an intense battle with the Akatsuki organization as both sides seek the power to determine the future of their land. Internecine fighting weakens the Akatsuki, but will their dark forces sideline Naruto?

The popular manga series “Naruto” has been going strong since its debut in Shueisha back in 1999 via “Weekly Shonen Jump” magazine.

The manga by Masashi Kishimoto is about a young ninja named Naruto Uzamaki, a ninja of the Konoha leaf village who grew up facing prejudiced within his fellow ninjas because the evil nine-tailed fox was sealed inside him. But throughout the series, we have seen how Naruto is a kind-hearted boy who has worked hard in protecting his friends and staying true to his word with the goal of someday becoming the next Hokage of the village.

In the beginning, Naruto was part of Team Kakashi, alongside Sasuke Uchiha and Sakura Haruno and as a team, have grown up together taking on missions and also, joining with other teams of Team Konoha as well as other villages in taking on other major missions as well.

But now years have passed since those earlier years of Team Kakashi and Naruto and his friends are much older and his teammate Sasuke has left the village to pursue his brother Itachi for revenge of killing everyone of the Uchiha clan but worst of all, Sasuke is in search of the traitor of the Konoha village, the evil Orochimaru, in order to obtain more power.

During Naruto’s last confrontation with Sasuke, it appears that a black evil curse has consumed him. But as a promise to his teammate Sakura, Naruto will do what it takes to bring Sasuke back despite whether or not Sasuke has become evil.

Now, Sasuke along with his new team featuring team captain Yamato, Sakura and a ninja named Sai (an emotionless young ninja who was hired by the Black Ops leader Danzo to spy on Naruto) are now on a mission to investigate the Akatsuki criminal organization led by its founder Madara Uchiha who have been doing all they can to capture all tailed-beasts including Naruto’s nine-tailed demon fox.

As for the story thus far, Sasuke has aligned with the Akatsuki who wants to destroy the Leaf Village – Konoha.  Madara has declared war and thus an Allied Shinobi Force is formed. The elder leaders of all villages, allies to the Leaf Village have realized that the Akatsuki are after Naruto (Nine Tail) and Killer B (Eight Tail Beast).  They have since accomplished extracting the beasts (Jinchuriki)  from others.   Meanwhile, Naruto’s mother has reappeared to explain the secrets of his birth and learns about heir hopes and renews his vow to be come Hokage!

In volume 53, all was revealed about what transpired during the day of Naruto’s birth and who was responsible for attacking the Leaf Village with the nine tails.  And given the final moments to meet and speak with his mother one last time and eventually gaining the power to seal the Nine Tail jinchuriki.

And now the story continues…

For Volume 54, in order to hide the fact from Naruto that he is a prime target of the Akatsuki, Yamato, Guy and a few other Leaf Ninja, including Killer B have convinced Naruto that he is on an S-Ranked Environmental Mission at an island.

But hiding among them is the Akatsuki Kisame (who was thought to be dead) and has been spying on them all this time and now is trying to leak the intel back to the Akatsuki.  But in order to stop them, only one man will be to take him on…Guy.

Meanwhile, in a battle for peace, Konan of the Amegakure takes on Tobi (Madara Uchiha) in the battle to the death.  Who will become victorious?

Also, Kabuto unveils his secret army to use in the war.

Here is a brief summary of each chapter of “Naruto Volume 54″:

  • Number 505 – Nine Tail’s Chakra, Opened!!! – Naruto learns how to control the chakra of Nine Tails.
  • Number 506 – Guy vs. Kisame – Kisame tries to escape with the intel and Guy tries to stop him.
  • Number 507 – A False Existence…!! – The history of Kisame and how he met Itachi.
  • Number 508 – Shinobi Death Style - Kisame escapes!
  • Number 509 – Peace Viaduct – Konan vs. Tobi
  • Number 510 – Forbidden Jutsu Shock!! – Konan vs. Tobi continues…who survives?
  • Number 511 – We Shall Return – A flashback when Konan, Nagato and Yahiko were taken in by Jiraiya and learned from him.
  • Number 512 – The Truth About Zetsu!! – The elders learn about the leaked intel and know they must send help to where Naruto is located.
  • Number 513 – Kabuto vs. Tsuchikage!! – A battle between Tsuchikage vs. Kabuto.
  • Number 514 – Kabuto’s Plan!!! – Kabuto’s plan unveiled.

With the emotional volume 53, that revealed what happened on the day of Naruto’s birth and how he was sealed with the nine-tail jinchuriki, the setting of the danger of impending war continues.

With volume 54, we have another action-packed volume as Guy takes on Kisame, who had been thought to be dead.  But to realize, he had transformed and affixed himself onto Killer B’s sword and spying on the group all this time.  Now its a race against the clock as they try to stop him from leaking the intel to the Akatsuki.

Meanwhile, fighting for a peaceful future, Konan takes on Tobi (Uchiha Madara) but can Konan survive against Madara?  And the plant of Kabuto is unveiled when you learn about the secret army he had developed.

Needless to say, the actions of this “Naruto” manga volume has major ramifications that will affect the course of the “Naruto” manga series.

While the last volume was primarily focused on the history of Naruto’s parents and revealing that his father was the fourth hokage and that his mother was the previous shinobi that had the nine-tails within her, we now know that the ninjas look at Naruto, even from his birth, as possibly the person who will save the world from evil and right now, through this volume that Tobi and Kabuto working together is a significant evil, especially with the unveiling of this second army.

I can’t wait to see how this overall storyline develops.

Overall, “Naruto” is an awesome manga series and for those who have appreciated the anime series first, will definitely enjoy the manga series as well.  And once again, another thrilling, action-packed volume of “Naruto” the manga series. Highly recommended!

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Naruto volume 51 by Masashi Kishimoto (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

June 29, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

An awesome volume of “Naruto” as Danzo and Sasuke fight to the death, meanwhile Sakura plans to confront Sasuke on her own.  This volume is full of emotion and soul and balances quite well with the action featured in the manga.  A very impressive volume that fans will truly appreciate.  Highly recommended!

© 1999 by Masashi Kishimoto. All Rights Reserved.

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MANGA TITLE: Naruto Volume 51

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: June 7, 2011

Sasuke finally takes on Danzo, the leader of Konoha, determined to interrogate him about the Uchiha clan and what really happened between the political factions of Konoha and his brother, Itachi!

The popular manga series “Naruto” has been going strong since its debut in Shueisha back in 1999 via “Weekly Shonen Jump” magazine.

The manga by Masashi Kishimoto is about a young ninja named Naruto Uzamaki, a ninja of the Konoha leaf village who grew up facing prejudiced within his fellow ninjas because the evil nine-tailed fox was sealed inside him. But throughout the series, we have seen how Naruto is a kind-hearted boy who has worked hard in protecting his friends and staying true to his word with the goal of someday becoming the next Hokage of the village.

In the beginning, Naruto was part of Team Kakashi, alongside Sasuke Uchiha and Sakura Haruno and as a team, have grown up together taking on missions and also, joining with other teams of Team Konoha as well as other villages in taking on other major missions as well.

But now years have passed since those earlier years of Team Kakashi and Naruto and his friends are much older and his teammate Sasuke has left the village to pursue his brother Itachi for revenge of killing everyone of the Uchiha clan but worst of all, Sasuke is in search of the traitor of the Konoha village, the evil Orochimaru, in order to obtain more power.

During Naruto’s last confrontation with Sasuke, it appears that a black evil curse has consumed him. But as a promise to his teammate Sakura, Naruto will do what it takes to bring Sasuke back despite whether or not Sasuke has become evil.

Now, Sasuke along with his new team featuring team captain Yamato, Sakura and a ninja named Sai (an emotionless young ninja who was hired by the Black Ops leader Danzo to spy on Naruto) are now on a mission to investigate the Akatsuki criminal organization led by its founder Madara Uchiha who have been doing all they can to capture all tailed-beasts including Naruto’s nine-tailed demon fox.

In Japan, a total of 56 volumes have been printed so far (as of June 2011) and in the US, the 51st volume has now been released.

In the last volume, the story takes place after Pain has tried to destroy the Konoha village and Hokage Lady Tsunade uses up all her energy to summon Katsuyu to protect the village but in exchange for the powerful summon, she has now gone into a coma and Danzo of the Black Ops (a rival that Tsunade has never trusted) has now been appointed as sixth hokage in Tsunade’s place.

Raikage has summoned all Ninja leaders to come to Gokage summit but immediately, Sasuke Uchiha has now shown up. Along with his friends, they start attacking those who have attended the summit. Meanwhile, the Konoha ninjas (Naruto’s friends) try to convince Sakura to tell Naruto that she cares about him, so he can stop looking for Sasuke.

In volume 51, Naruto can’t understand why Sakura would tell him that she loved him when she really loves Sasuke but he learns the truth.  She does not want Naruto to fight her battles, she has depended on him for so long that this time, she wants to do the right thing for the Konoha village and that is to take care of Sasuke on her own.

When Naruto and friends find out what happened at the Gokage summit and what Sasuke has done, Naruto starts to realize that the friendship and bond of protecting Sasuke has now changed as many of his friends are planning to sacrifice their life in taking out Sasuke, including the one person that he knows loves Sasuke… Sakura.

Meanwhile, this latest volume shows us Sasuke’s explosive potential as he takes on Danzo in a fight to the death.  Who will win, who will die?

But most of all, what happens when Sakura tries to eliminate Sasuke?  Will she get herself killed or will Naruto and friends stop her in time?

Here is a brief summary of each chapter of “Naruto Volume 51″:

  • Number 474 – A Hokage’s Decision!! – Sai tells Naruto the truth about Sakura and her true actions.
  • Number 475 – Madara’s True Worth!! – Madara takes on Danzo’s men.
  • Number 476 – Sasuke vs. Danzo…!! – It’s a battle to the death, Danzo shows us his true power vs. Sasuke.
  • Number 477 – Do Not Speak of Itachi – Danzo tries to observe why Itachi would go so far to protect his younger brother?
  • Number 478 – Sasuke’s Susano’o – Sasuke shows Danzo his true power by unleashing the beast Susano’o.
  • Number 479 – The Izanagi – Sasuke shows Danzo his true power by using the Izanagi!
  • Number 480 – Sacrifice – Danzo is surprised by how much power Sasuke has that he needs to sacrifice part of himself to continue fighting.
  • Number 481 – The Death of Danzo – The fight concludes.  Meanwhile, we learn a little about Danzo’s youth and his relationship with the Hokage.
  • Number 482 – Just One More Time… – Sakura tries to trick her teammates in order to face Sasuke alone.
  • Number 483 – Master and Student Reunited!! – Kakashi comes to the rescue but will he make it in time to prevent Sasuke from killing Sakura.

What can I say about volume 51 of “Naruto but….”WOW!”

I said the same about volume 50 but this time, I emphasize the awesomeness of this latest volume as not only do we get to see how powerful Sasuke has become, but to see how much he has fell to the darkside.  If anything, a perfect juxtaposition of Sasuke would be of “Star Wars” Anakin Skywalker, a person who wants so much power that he would side with pure evil to do so and his actions in this latest volume are surprising but also a reminder to loyal fans of “Naruto” that the Sasuke Uchiha we knew back then, he’s gone.

Also, for the first time, I think Naruto realizes how evil Sasuke has become and learns that if Sakura is able to kill the person she loves because he has become evil, her sacrifice is for love.  For Naruto, it’s a difficult situation because Sasuke is his true friend but can he do what Sakura has done and kill his best friend for the purpose of doing so because he is a good friend and doesn’t want to see him fall lower towards the dark side?

And of course, the battle between Danzo and Sasuke is surprising, action-packed and was exciting!  Especially the teaser as we get a glimpse of who may be taking on Sasuke next!

So, all I can say is that if you enjoy “Naruto”, this latest manga volume is fantastic and I can’t wait until vol. 52!

Overall, “Naruto” is an awesome manga series and for those who have appreciated the anime series first, will definitely enjoy the manga series as well. This latest volume has a lot of emotion and soul to balance off the action and it takes things back to the original team, the original members and a realization for the first time that they may not be able to rescue Sasuke like they once thought.  Rescuing him now, may have to be by ending his life.  Can Naruto and Sakura do just that?  I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

But once again, another thrilling, action-packed volume of “Naruto” the manga series.  Highly recommended!

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Naruto volume 50 by Masashi Kishimoto (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

February 28, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

All is revealed of the Akatsuki’s goal and who is pulling the strings in the latest volume of “Naruto”.  Also, a character’s death?  So much action and excitement in this latest 50th volume of “Naruto”!

© 1999 by Masashi Kishimoto. All Rights Reserved.

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MANGA TITLE: Naruto Volume 50

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 1, 2011

Killer Bee vs. Kisame! Plus, the realization of Naruto’s worst nightmare seems inevitable as the war he’s tried to stop for so long looms on the horizon. And Sakura corners Naruto with a reveal that’s gonna knock him for a serious loop. Then, a truth behind the modern ninja world sheds new light on Naruto’s true role in the fate of his universe.

The popular manga series “Naruto” has been going strong since its debut in Shueisha back in 1999 via “Weekly Shonen Jump” magazine.

The manga by Masashi Kishimoto is about a young ninja named Naruto Uzamaki, a ninja of the Konoha leaf village who grew up facing prejudiced within his fellow ninjas because the evil nine-tailed fox was sealed inside him. But throughout the series, we have seen how Naruto is a kind-hearted boy who has worked hard in protecting his friends and staying true to his word with the goal of someday becoming the next Hokage of the village.

In the beginning, Naruto was part of Team Kakashi, alongside Sasuke Uchiha and Sakura Haruno and as a team, have grown up together taking on missions and also, joining with other teams of Team Konoha as well as other villages in taking on other major missions as well.

But now years have passed since those earlier years of Team Kakashi and Naruto and his friends are much older and his teammate Sasuke has left the village to pursue his brother Itachi for revenge of killing everyone of the Uchiha clan but worst of all, Sasuke is in search of the traitor of the Konoha village, the evil Orochimaru, in order to obtain more power.

During Naruto’s last confrontation with Sasuke, it appears that a black evil curse has consumed him. But as a promise to his teammate Sakura, Naruto will do what it takes to bring Sasuke back despite whether or not Sasuke has become evil.

Now, Sasuke along with his new team featuring team captain Yamato, Sakura and a ninja named Sai (an emotionless young ninja who was hired by the Black Ops leader Danzo to spy on Naruto) are now on a mission to investigate the Akatsuki criminal organization led by its founder Madara Uchiha who have been doing all they can to capture all tailed-beasts including Naruto’s nine-tailed demon fox.

In Japan, a total of 54 volumes have been printed (as of February 2011) and in the US, the 50th volume has now been released.

In the last volume, the story takes place after Pain has tried to destroy the Konoha village and Hokage Lady Tsunade uses up all her energy to summon Katsuyu to protect the village but in exchange for the powerful summon, she has now gone into a coma and Danzo of the Black Ops (a rival that Tsunade has never trusted) has now been appointed as sixth hokage in Tsunade’s place.

Raikage has summoned all Ninja leaders to come to Gokage summit but immediately, Sasuke Uchiha has now shown up.  Along with his friends, they start attacking those who have attended the summit.  Meanwhile, the Konoha ninjas (Naruto’s friends) try to convince Sakura to tell Naruto that she cares about him, so he can stop looking for Sasuke.

Here is a brief summary of each chapter of “Naruto Volume 50″:

  • Number 464 – The Power of Darkness…!! – As Sasuke and his friends continue their attack, Gaara and a few from the Sand Village arrive in time to join in battle.
  • Number 465 – The Summit Hall Attacked! – The leaders vs. Sasuke part III.
  • Number 466 – The Great Battle in the Sealed Room!! – The leaders vs. Sasuke part IV.
  • Number 467 – Declaration of War – Uchiha Madara reveals the true intention of the Aktasuki and his plan.
  • Number 468 – Eight Tails and Nine Tails – Now knowing Uchiha Madara and the Akatsuki’s plan, the various leaders debate on how they should protect the eight tail (Killer Bee) and the nine tail (Naruto).
  • Number 469 – Sakura’s Confession – Sakura goes to Naruto and tries to convince him that she loves him and not Sasuke.
  • Number 470 – Killer Bee vs. Kisame!! – As the Akatsuki look for the eight-tail, Killer Bee takes on Kisame.
  • Number 471 – Eight Tails, Version 2!! – Killer Bee’s chakra is being swallowed by Kisame’s sword, how can he fight him?
  • Number 472 – Water Prison Death Match! – Kisame unleashes his water prison on Killer Bee.
  • Number 473 – Bro – Killer Bee’s brother and the Raikage arrive in time to battle Kisame to the death.

What can I say about volume 50 of “Naruto but….”WOW!”

For those who have waited for Sasuke to make his move, this latest volume shows how powerful he has become.  And to see him take on leaders of various ninja clans at the Gokage Summit was very exciting to read but what is more important is that you get the true revelation of what the Akatsuki were trying to accomplish and who was pulling the strings.

And that’s not it.  You also get to see of a character’s death and let’s just say that it’s a death that one doesn’t see coming.

Suffice to say, volume 50 of “Naruto” is all action-driven and while you get Sasuke and his friends battling the various ninja leaders, you get the battle between Killer Bee vs. Kisame.

Naruto does have an appearance in this issue but it’s more or less about him trying to figure out Sasuke’s motivation and of course, Sakura and friends trying to prevent Naruto from chasing after Sasuke anymore.  To stop him before he gets killed.

So, all I can say is that if you enjoy “Naruto”, this latest volume is fantastic!

Overall, “Naruto” is an awesome manga series and for those who have appreciated the anime series first, will definitely enjoy the manga series as well. A thrilling, action-packed volume of “Naruto” the manga series.

Definitely recommended!

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Naruto Uncut: Season Four Box Set Vol. 2 (a J!-ENT Anime DVD Review)

January 29, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The conclusion to the first “Naruto” anime series and the second-half of the all-filler episode fourth season. Regardless of each episode being filler episodes, I have no doubt that “Naruto” fans will enjoy them and the fact that you get 28-episodes in one set for a great price is fantastic! But if you dislike episodes that are not canon to the manga and filler episodes in general, this volume of “Naruto” may not be for you.

Image courtesy of © 2002 Masashi Kishimoto. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Naruto Uncut Season Four Box Set Vol. 1

ANIME RELEASE: 2002

DURATION: Episodes 192-220 (650 minutes)

DVD INFORMATION: Original and Uncut Episodes, Bilingual (English and Japanese), Subtitles: English, 4:3

COMPANY: Viz Media

RATED: T for Older Teen

RELEASED: December 14, 2010

Originally created by Masashi Kishimoto

Directed by Hayato Date

Script by Akatsuki Yamatoya, Junki Takegami, Katsuyuki Sumisawa, Kou Hei Mushi, Michiko Yokote, Satoru Nishizono, Shin Yoshida, Yasuyuki Suzuki, Yuka Miyata

Character Design by Hirofumi Suzuki, Tetsuya Nishio

Art Director: Shigenori Takada

Music by Toshio Masuda

Anime Production: Studio Pierrot

Featuring the following voice talent:

Junko Takeuchi/Maile Flanagan as Naruto Uzumaki

Chie Nakamura/Kate Higgins as Sakura Haruno

Noriaki Sugiyama/Yuri Lowenthal as Sasuke Uchiha

Akira Ishida/Liam O’Brien as Sabaku no Gaara (Gaara of the Desert)

Houchu Ohtsuka/David Lodge as Jiraiya

Kazuhiko Inoue/Dave Wittenberg as Hatake Kakashi

Kentarou Itou/Robbie Rist as Chouji Akimichi

Kouichi Toochika/Steve Staley as Neji Hyuuga

Kousuke Toriumi/Kyle Hebert as Kiba Inuzuka

Kujira/Steven Blum as Orochimaru

Nana Mizuki/Stephanie Sheh as Hinata Hyuuga

Romi Paku/Tara Platt as Temari

Ryoka Yuzuki/Colleen O’Shaughnessey as Ino Yamanaka

Shinji Kawada/Derek Stephen Prince as Shino Aburame

Yoichi Masukawa/Brian Donovan as Rock Lee

Naruto and his fellow Leaf ninja are desperate to find a set of stolen blueprints revealing secrets of the Hidden Leaf Village, and in their search they discover something even more devastating: someone has set paper bombs all over the village. Is the Hidden Leaf doomed to destruction? Then, the legendary Toad Sage, Jiraiya, returns to the village, and for Naruto, another amazing adventure begins!

Contains episodes 192-220.

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

For the anime series, since 2002, “Naruto” lasted until 2007 with a total of 220 episodes. The series would follow the adventures of a boy named Naruto Uzamaki, who may not be the brightest ninja from the Konoha Village but he makes it up with heart and also tremendous power as the killer beast known as the nine-tailed fox has been sealed within him.

Earlier in the series, the anime series focused on Naruto and his team members Sasuke Uchida and Sakura Haruno as they would go on adventures and learn to become a team and also honing their ninja abilities. The series would then begin to introduce other young ninjas from the village who Naruto would be paired up with and the young ninjas would take on rival clans to helping people in need. But somehow as the series continued, Sasuke Uchida would then go off on his own personal mission to stop his brother Itaki Uchida, who murdered the whole Uchida clan and his family, only leaving Sasuke alive.

Within those six years, we have seen Naruto and his friends grow as friends and also in their abilities. For Naruto, all he has wanted is to become the next Hokage (the leader of the village) when he grows older and to help his friends accomplish missions. He knows that to be a good leader, he will need to get stronger so he can protect the village once he grows older. Of course, there is so much involved in the “Naruto” anime series and what makes its special is its humor, its action but also how well the series integrates so many characters but yet features a good number of character driven episodes that makes the viewer appreciate many of the characters in the series.

But in Japan, the anime series creators started to face a typical snag when the TV series starts to come close to where the manga series storyline is at. And because the series was so close to Masashi Kishimoto’s timeline of where he was at in the series, the only thing animators could do to provide adequate spacing without discontinuing the popular series was to create filler episodes (note: This has been done in the past with popular Shonen Jump series such as “Dragon Ball Z”, “Inuyasha” and “One Piece”) and for “Naruto”, many episodes would have to be written and with so many characters featured in the series, it gave writers a chance to show teamwork between Naruto and other Konoha ninjas.

While filler episodes are not seen as favorable from the hardcore fans perspective, it all comes down to how well the filler episodes are written.

With the re-release of the “Naruto” anime series on DVD, “Naruto Uncut: Seaspn Four Box Set Vol. 2″ features a total of 28 episodes and six DVD’s total and this final volume of the “Naruto” anime series features the final episodes (192-220, note: In Japan, these episodes are part of season 8 and season 9).

Here is a brief spoiler-less synopsis of each episode featured in this set:

DISC 1

  • EPISODE 192: Ino Screams! Chubby Paradise! – Ino and Naruto are on a mission to help a chubby princess find her man.
  • EPISODE 193: Viva Dojo Challenge! Youth is All About Passion! – Lee has created his own dojo and wants Naruto to spar with him, but Naruto has someone else in mind to fight Lee.
  • EPISODE 194: The Mysterious Curse of the Haunted Castle – The Mysterious Curse of the Haunted Castle – Naruto, Kiba and Hinata enter a haunted castle.
  • EPISODE 195: The Third Super-Beast – Tsunade is concerned that Rock Lee may be overexerting himself and his career as a ninja.

DISC 2

  • EPISODE 196: Hot-Blooded Confrontation: Student vs. Sensei – Guy is trapped inside a pagoda fighting kung fu training dummies.  Who is after him?
  • EPISODE 197: Crisis: The Hidden Leaf 11 Gather! – Naruto has lunch with a kind man named Gennou but it appears he may be planning a suicide bombing attack.
  • EPISODE 198: The ANBU Gives Up? Naruto’s Recollection – The ANBU agents try to learn from Naruto about Gennou, as a hunt is after the alleged suicide bomber.
  • EPISODE 199: The Missed Target – The group try to look for Gennou and the bombs that may be all over the village.
  • EPISODE 200: The Powerful Helper - The group tries to disarm all traps before Gennou can find out.

DISC 3

  • EPISODE 201: Multiple Traps! Countdown to Destruction – Naruto goes after Gennou.
  • EPISODE 202: The Top 5 Ninja Battles – A special recap episodes featuring Naruto and Sakura talking about the five battles when they tried to retrieve Sasuke.
  • EPISODE 203: Kurenai’s Decision: Squad 8 Left Behind – Naruto meets a girl named Yakumo and that same day, finds out that Kurenai Yuhi has resigned as leader of Team 8.
  • EPISODE 204: Yakumo’s Sealed Power – Naruto has a dream that Kurenai is trying to seal Yakumo’s genjutsu abilities.
  • EPISODE 205: Kurenai’s Top-Secret Mission: The Promise with the Third Hokage – The reason why Kurenai left Team 8 for Yakumo.

DISC 4

  • EPISODE 206: Genjutsu or Reality? – When Naruto and Team 8 return back to Konoha, has the village been destroyed?
  • EPISODE 207: The Supposed Sealed Ability – Naruto and members of Team 8 do what they can to stop Yakumo.
  • EPISODE 208: The Weight of the Prized Artifact! – Naruto and Kiba escort a man named Shinemon who is in danger because of a rare artifact that he is transporting.
  • EPISODE 209: The Enemy: Ninja Dropouts – Naruto, Sakura and Lee are hired to escorted a Ninja Dropout criminal, Gantetsu to prison. (note: in Japan, this is the first episode of season 9)
  • EPISODE 210: The Bewildering Forest – Naruto, Gantetsu and Todoroki’s boat falls over the waterfall and the three are in the forest.

DISC 5

  • EPISODE 211: Memory of Flames - The Ninja Dropouts attack Naruto and Todoriki.  And we learn what happened to Todoroki’s brother.
  • EPISODE 212: To Each His Own Path – Naruto, Todoroki and Gantetsu make their way to the Ninja Dropout mansion to take on the ninjas.
  • EPISODE 213: Vanished Memories – Naruto meets a guy named Menma who has lost his memory and brings him to the village, but what if he is a spy?
  • EPISODE 214: Bringing Back Reality - In order to find out Menma’s true identy, Naruto along with Menma, Neji and Tenten go on a mission.
  • EPISODE 215- A Past to Be Erased – Menma’s true identity is revealed.

DISC 6

  • EPISODE 216 – The Targeted Sukaku – A group of rogue ninjas from the Takumi Village, Shitenshonin invade the sand village and kidnap Matsuri, a student of Gaara.
  • EPISODE 217 – Sand Alliance with Leaf Shinobi – Gaara, Temari and Kankuro chase after the Shitenshonin.
  • EPISODE 218 – Sealed Sand: The Counterattack! – Gaara, Temari and Kankuro vs. the Shitenshonin.  Lee and Naruto come to help them out.
  • EPISODE 219: The Ultimate Weapon Reborn – Jin plans to use Gaara to revive Seimei, leading to a battle between Naruto vs. Seimei.
  • EPISODE 220: Departure – Final episode of the “Naruto” anime series.  Gaara vs. Seimei and a new adventure in the life of Naruto Uzumaki.

VIDEO:

“Naruto Uncut: Season Four Box Set Vol. 2″ is presented in 4:3, standard definition.

Maybe it’s me but I have felt there was a bit of a simplistic style of character designs in the later seasons of “Naruto” versus the earlier seasons and sometimes I wonder how many episodes were being done all at once because most shots were either closeups and the fight scenes were simple and not fluid. If anything, the series makes things up with Naruto’s witty dialogue and the overall writing but animation was OK, not spectacular for these later episodes (note: This is typically how things have been with a lot of longtime anime series and possibly the most drastic of an example is “Ranma 1/2″).

But there are some scenes which do look good with shading and lighting for the artistic backgrounds but in general, you can tell that they kept to a formula of keeping things simple for animation and artistic backgrounds.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Naruto Uncut” is presented in bilingual Japanese and English uncut. The acting are well-done for both languages and since the first day I started watching the English dubbed version of “Naruto”, I have always felt the voice acting for the series was excellent. But whichever language you choose, both are well-done and grateful that both audio tracks are included in this set.

It’s important to note that this series is a TV series and thus, one should not expect an immersive soundscape especially from the surround channels or LFE. But if you have a receiver that can output stereo on all channels, you may enjoy that option for a more immersive soundtrack than just the two front channels.

Subtitles are presented in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Naruto Uncut: Season Four Box Set Vol. 1″ includes the following special features:

DISC 3

  • Production Art – Featuring 15 pages of production art.
  • Volume 16 Sneak Preview – (4:14) Featuring a trailer for the older “Naruto” Vol. 16 DVD release.
  • From Sketch to Screen, Episode 193 – Featuring eight pages of the storyboards and corresponding video clip.
  • New from Viz Media – New releases from Viz Media
  • DVD Trailers – Viz Media trailers
  • Game Trailers – Featuring clips from various “Naruto” video games.

DISC 6

  • Production Art -Featuring 15 pages of production art
  • Naruto Shippuden Sneak Preview – (2:37) Featuring a preview for “Naruto Shippuden”.
  • New from Viz Media – New releases from Viz Media
  • DVD Trailers – Viz Media trailers
  • Game Trailers – Featuring clips from various “Naruto” video games.

If you haven’t purchased the original “Naruto” series on DVD, I have to say that Viz Media’s release of these uncut box sets are much more economical than the old 14-episode sets. You get 28-episodes and for the most part, it’s easier to follow a 220+ episode series with these DVD new box sets.

As for “Naruto Uncut: Season Four Box Set Vol. 2″, it all comes down to of how much of a big fan you are of the series because similar to “Naruto Uncut: Season Four Box Set Vol. 1″, this second volume is literally all filler episodes.  Granted, it ends the “Naruto” anime series which will lead into “Naruto Shippuden” but the conclusion for the first animated series was not as great as I was expecting.  But needless to say, a reunion of Naruto and Gaara is still a notch ahead over a regular filler episode.

Back when I watched this series on television, I admit to becoming more impatient as I wanted the storyline of Naruto’s quest for Sasuke to become the focal point as we got a taste of the new Sasuke vs. the Naruto in which the fox spirit is starting to consume him but also help him become more fierce in battle. I thought at the time that filler episodes would last about a 2-3 episodes long but nowhere was I expecting nearly 30+ filler episodes. I enjoyed “Naruto” but the filler episodes were really hurting the quality of the series. They went way too long and by the time you reach a major storyline, it doesn’t happen until the last dozen of episodes and then it transitions to the action-packed “Naruto Shippuden” series which takes place seven years after the final episode.

But I understand that in order to keeping the show from catching up to the “Naruto” manga, fillers are needed, especially for continued interest in the extensive “Naruto” merchandise and video game releases.

With “Naruto Uncut: Season Four Box Set Vol. 2″, there are a few cool episodes that caught my attention.  The episode about the ninja with amnesia, Menma was good.  Also, the “Ninja Dropout” episodes featuring Naruto escorting a criminal to jail was good but still these are all filler episodes.  Some that didn’t seem right because even in the “Ninja Dropout” episodes, when a child is about to be attacked and kidnapped by an enemy ninja, Rock Lee and Sakura don’t do anything to defend them.  They just stand back and watch… and we know that in previous non-filler episodes, these two are capable of defending this kid let alone the children around them.  So, those are typically things you see from filler-episodes.  It’s a been ridiculous in some aspect if you are a fan who has been following the series regularly but when you think about the targeted demographic in Japan and many children are watching this series, children typically don’t care about the inconsistencies.

If anything, the filler episodes were entertaining but the problem is, how much can one endure episode after episode of filler-based storylines especially when viewers were teased between the battle between Naruto and Sasuke. Also, it didn’t help when people had to watch many filler episodes of “Bleach” on the Cartoon Network as well. So, it was a double-dose of filler episodes from two extremely popular anime series.

With that being said, it’s been awhile since I have re-visited these filler episodes and I actually appreciate them more several years later (especially watching them after “Naruto Shippuden”) and see what the writers really had to contend with by trying to remain faithful to the characters and storyline but trying to come up with as many filler episodes as possible until the next major story arc. What best than to have Naruto paired up with Neji, Rock, Shino, Chouji and many others in crazy but fun filler episodes.  They are not the greatest episodes but the fact that Naruto teams up with every one of his friends from the Leaf Village is pretty cool.

Back when Vol. 14 and 15 were released as uncut sets, I admit that I would probably have scored this much lower. But because we are getting 28 episodes sold for a pretty good price these days, its hard to complain other than the episodes being filler.  If you are a fan of “Naruto”, it’s a great deal!

If you are fan of the anime series “Naruto”, especially if you are a completest and want to own all sets, “Naruto Uncut: Season Four Box Set Vol. 2″ is definitely worthy of having in your collection, otherwise if you are more focused on “Naruto” manga canon, then this latest volume can be passed over and you can move on to the awesome “Naruto Shippuden”.

Naruto volume 49 by Masashi Kishimoto (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

October 10, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Another entertaining and action-packed volume of the “Naruto” manga series, as well as an emotional storyline which also features the return of Sasuke Uchiya who starts his attack on the village elders, including the Raikage.  Also, Naruto learns about his destiny alongside Sasuke.  Another highly recommended manga volume of “Naruto”!

© 1999 by Masashi Kishimoto. All Rights Reserved.

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MANGA TITLE: Naruto Volume 49

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: October 5, 2010

As the five leaders of the strongest villages in the ninja world meet to discuss the fate of their universe – and how to deal with the ever-looming threat of the rogue organization, the Akatsuki – plans are made that will affect Naruto deeply. The new Hokage, leader of Naruto’s village, is not afraid to make the final end move against Naruto’s old pal, Sasuke!

The popular manga series “Naruto” has been going strong since its debut in Shueisha back in 1999 via “Weekly Shonen Jump” magazine.

The manga by Masashi Kishimoto is about a young ninja named Naruto Uzamaki, a ninja of the Konoha leaf village who grew up facing prejudiced within his fellow ninjas because the evil nine-tailed fox was sealed inside him.  But throughout the series, we have seen how Naruto is a kind-hearted boy who has worked hard in protecting his friends and staying true to his word with the goal of someday becoming the next Hokage of the village.

In the beginning, Naruto was part of Team Kakashi, alongside Sasuke Uchiha and Sakura Haruno and as a team, have grown up together taking on missions and also, joining with other teams of Team Konoha as well as other villages in taking on other major missions as well.

But now years have passed since those earlier years of Team Kakashi and Naruto and his friends are much older and his teammate Sasuke has left the village to pursue his brother Itachi for revenge of killing everyone of the Uchiha clan but worst of all, Sasuke is in search of the traitor of the Konoha village, the evil Orochimaru, in order to obtain more power.

During Naruto’s last confrontation with Sasuke, it appears that a black evil curse has consumed him.  But as a promise to his teammate Sakura, Naruto will do what it takes to bring Sasuke back despite whether or not Sasuke has become evil.

Now, Sasuke along with his new team featuring team captain Yamato, Sakura and a ninja named Sai (an emotionless young ninja who was hired by the Black Ops leader Danzo to spy on Naruto) are now on a mission to investigate the Akatsuki criminal organization led by its founder Madara Uchiha who have been doing all they can to capture all tailed-beasts including Naruto’s nine-tailed demon fox.

In Japan, a total of 52 volumes have been printed (as of August 2010) and in the US, the 49th volume has been released.

The story takes place after Pain has tried to destroy the Konoha village and Hokage Lady Tsunade uses up all her energy to summon Katsuyu to protect the village but in exchange for the powerful summon, she has now gone into a coma and  Danzo of the Black Ops (a rival that Tsunade has never trusted) has now been appointed as sixth hokage in Tsunade’s place.

Raikage has summoned all Ninja leaders to come to Gokage summit.

Here is a brief summary of each chapter of “Naruto Volume 49″:

  • Number 454 – Enter the Gokage…!! – Leaders of various villages make their way to Gokage, meanwhile ninjas punish Naruto for not giving the information on Sasuke.
  • Number 455 – Links…!! – Naruto wants to meet with the Raikage.
  • Number 456 – Naruto Heads Out…!! – With the Gokage summit heavily guarded, will Naruto, Kakashi and Yamato make it through?
  • Number 457 – The Gokage Summit Commences…!! – Naruto tries to plead with a ninja leader to not pursue vengeance against Sasuke.
  • Number 458 – The Great Gokage Debate…!! – The Gokage Summit begins and various leaders debate on who should be the next Gokage.  Meanwhile, Sai confronts Sakura.
  • Number 459 – Sakura’s Resolve…!! – The ninjas of the Konoha village and friends of Sasuke know that with him joining up with the Akatsuki, they have no decision but to take him down.
  • Number 460 – Trapping Sasuke…!! – Madara Uchiha makes his presence known to Naruto, Kakashi and Yamato.
  • Number 461 – Kumogakure vs. Taka!! – Sasuke and the Akatsuki barge into the Gokage summit and start attacking the village elders.
  • Number 462 – Sasuke’s Shinobi Way…!! – Madara explains to Naruto, Sasuke’s ninja way and how Naruto and Sasuke were destined to be rivals.
  • Number 463 – Sasuke vs. Raikage!! – Sasuke vs. Raikage in a battle.

The latest volume of “Naruto” is a pretty action-packed volume in which we finally get to see Sasuke making his move and also displaying his new power of utilizing not just fire but also lightning.  We also get to see Sai confronting Sakura about Naruto’s true feelings about her and how this promise he made to her to find Sasuke has started to take its toll on him.

Also, in this latest volume of “Naruto”, Madara Uchiha explains the destiny of Naruto and Sasuke and why the two will always be at odds with each other.

So, we get a pretty solid series featuring a lot of action, return of Sasuke but also some new developments on Sasuke’s ninja way and also showcasing other powerful ninja warriors from other villages as they try to take on Sasuke and those working with him.

It’s a pretty thrilling volume by far and it will be interesting to see how things develop between Naruto and Sakura from here on in.

Also, it will be interesting to see how often the “Naruto” volumes will be coming out because the US releases are getting caught up to the manga releases in Japan and are only three graphic novels behind.  So, more than likely we are going to see these manga releases spaced apart about five months as volume 50 is slated for February 2011.

Overall, “Naruto” is an awesome manga series and for those who have appreciated the anime series first, will definitely enjoy the manga series as well.  A thrilling, action-packed as well as a more emotional volume of “Naruto” the manga series.

Definitely recommended!

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Naruto volume 41 by Masashi Kishimoto (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

March 3, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

naruto-41
“Naruto” is an awesome manga series and it’s going to get better from here on in as the stakes are higher and things are going to start looking quite grim for the Konoha Leaf ninja.  Prepare for the emotional rollercoaster folks because “Naruto” volume 41 is the start of one heck of an action-packed yet emotional ride for longtime “Naruto” fans.

© 1999 by Masashi Kishimoto. All Rights Reserved.

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MANGA TITLE: Naruto Volume 41

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: March 3, 2009

Mysteries from Naruto’s teacher Jiraiya’s past rise up to confront the Toad Sage. Could something that the Three Great Shinobi of Konoha legend did in their youth have deadly consequences now? Find out as Jiraiya’s investigation into the secrets of Pain and the Akatsuki organization bears shocking fruit!

Jiraiya is on a mission to uncover the secrets of the Akatsuki and what he discovers will shock him.

In volume 41 of “Naruto”, Jiraiya finds out that the leader of the Akatsuki is his former pupils that he once took care of and trained when they were children.  But these children have changed, especially the one named Nagato who now goes by the name of Pain.

And the revelation of why they were going after the jinchuriki is revealed in this exciting volume of “Naruto”!

What is “Naruto”?

The popular manga series “Naruto” has been going strong since its debut in Shueisha back in 1999 via “Weekly Shonen Jump” magazine.

The manga by Masashi Kishimoto is about a young ninja named Naruto Uzamaki, a ninja of the Konoha leaf village who grew up facing prejudiced within his fellow ninjas because the evil nine-tailed fox was sealed inside him. But throughout the series, we have seen how Naruto is a kind-hearted boy who has worked hard in protecting his friends and staying true to his word with the goal of someday becoming the next Hokage of the village.

In the beginning, Naruto was part of Team Kakashi, alongside Sasuke Uchiha and Sakura Haruno and as a team, have grown up together taking on missions and also, joining with other teams of Team Konoha as well as other villages in taking on other major missions as well.

But now years have passed since those earlier years of Team Kakashi and Naruto and his friends are much older and his teammate Sasuke has left the village to pursue his brother Itachi for revenge of killing everyone of the Uchiha clan but worst of all, Sasuke is in search of the traitor of the Konoha village, the evil Orochimaru, in order to obtain more power.

During Naruto’s last confrontation with Sasuke, it appears that a black evil curse has consumed him. But as a promise to his teammate Sakura, Naruto will do what it takes to bring Sasuke back despite whether or not Sasuke has become evil.

Now, Sasuke along with his new team featuring team captain Yamato, Sakura and a ninja named Sai (an emotionless young ninja who was hired by the Black Ops leader Danzo to spy on Naruto) are now on a mission to investigate the Akatsuki criminal organization led by its founder Madara Uchiha who have been doing all they can to capture all tailed-beasts including Naruto’s nine-tailed demon fox.

With volume 41, Naruto and his team continue in pursuit of Sasuke Uchiha, while Jiraiya goes to investigate the Akatsuki and who is leading them.  But what he finds out are those responsible are none other than his former students that he trained.  Nagato, Yahiko and Konan…three students that Jiraiya hoped they would fight for the path of good have changed.

But only two have shown their presence, with the third have not shown himself yet.  Why have these former students of Jiraiya turned bad and what is their purpose of trying to get all the jinchuriki?

The latest volume of “Naruto” is an action-packed volume featuring Jiraiya and for those who have watched the anime series or have caught up with the spoilers know that the Jiraiya/Pain storyline is one of the biggest shockers to happen in quite some time in the “Naruto” series.

In this volume, we are introduced to those responsible for the Akatsuki and get to know Pain.  Meanwhile, in a battle between Jiraiya and Pain, we get to see Jiraiya showcasing his true power against one of the most powerful adversaries that he had to fight.

Major revelations are in store for “Naruto” fans in this 41st volume and I’ll leave it at that, as I don’t want to spoil the storyline.

As always, Masashi Kishimoto does a wonderful job in his artwork and story, he really came through in showcasing a deep storyline surrounding Jiraiya and his former pupil but also showcasing Jiraiya that many have never seen before.

Overall, “Naruto” is an awesome manga series and it’s going to get better from here on in as the stakes are higher and things are going to start looking quite grim for the Konoha Leaf ninja.  Prepare for the emotional rollercoaster folks because “Naruto” volume 41 is the start of one heck of an action-packed yet emotional ride for longtime “Naruto” fans.

Definitely recommended!

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