Naruto Vol. #28 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Release Date: Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Translated by:Mari Morimoto/Deric A. Hughes & Benjamin Raab
Adapted by:Mari Morimoto/Deric A. Hughes & Benjamin Raab
What They Say
There once was a time where anime and manga were a struggle to find outside of the internet. High priced Dragonball Z VHS tapes and Gundam Wing notebooks were devoured by fans who were dying to get their hands on anything anime related. Now, all you have to do is blink and there’s a ninja in an orange jumpsuit grinning at you, proclaiming that he will be the best ninja there is. There once was a time when Naruto was only seen at anime conventions where headbands and Kakashi plushies were one of the most expensive things in the dealers room. Now, he’s all over the place, on TV and in bookstores, on T-shirts and lunchboxes. And now, twenty-seven volumes of manga down the line he’s about to start a whole new adventure.
Seeing this volume is almost surreal. To think, in only a few months we’ve gone from a cute, preteen Naruto to an older, taller, and wiser (sort of) Naruto. Viz’s plans for a speedy release has worked and now here we are, at volume twenty-eight, ready to kick off part two of Naruto.
This volume serves as a way to see how a number of characters have changed over the two year time jump, both in appearance and in their skills. We don’t get to see too much of what Naruto is capable of, which is a little bit disappointing (especially with Jiraiya telling him to not use that jutsu), but we do get to see that Sakura has become freakishly strong due to her training with Tsunade. We also learn that everyone is either a chuunin or a jounin, but the biggest surprise is how high of a rank Gaara has achieved. The reunion between Naruto and his friends also brings back some old enemies: Akatsuki. Two new members show up and cause trouble in the Sand village, and Tsunade is quick to assign the remaining members of Team Seven a mission to take care of things.
The manga feels a bit more… adult. Naruto doesn’t feel like some prankster ninja with a huge dream and you can tell that a lot has happened to him and everyone else. All of the characters have, for lack of better words, grown up. That doesn’t necessarily mean that Naruto has matured, he still has moments that gets him punched in the face, but seeing the comedic moments of the series (though there aren’t nearly as many in this volume) after everything that happened prior to this volume is a breath of fresh air. There is still that heaviness of Sasuke leaving and you know that Team Seven will never be the same again, but this volume gives a little bit of hope with the reunion of friends and allies.
The only bad thing about this volume is the translations, which I thought I had gotten use to by now. But it’s still annoying to read through Viz’s inconsistent translations where some terms are left in Japanese and others are translated into English. And at times characters use words that don‘t really fit, such as Sakura saying that Kakashi is “lackadaisical.” Granted, the word fits him, but it seemed like it would be easier to call him “unenthusiastic.” There is a nice recap of part one of Naruto, just in case readers forgot what happened (but with Viz’s speedy releases I’m sure they haven’t). There is also a page full of characters that appear in this volume, but it does reveal the two members of Akatsuki before they show up in the story.
All and all, it’s nice to be this far along in the Naruto manga here in the U.S. While its true that a good chunk of Naruto’s fans are well past “the homecoming,” it’s nice to hold part two of the series in my hands instead of reading it off of my computer screen.
Mania Grade: B+
Art Rating: B
Packaging Rating: A
Text/Translatin Rating: B-
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Released By: Viz Media
Orientation: Right to Left