Mania Grade: B
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- Art Rating: B
- Packaging Rating: B+
- Text/Translatin Rating: C
- Age Rating: 13 & Up
- Released By: Viz Media
- MSRP: 7.95
- Pages: 192
- ISBN: 1-56931-900-6
- Size: Tall B6
- Orientation: Right to Left
Naruto Vol. #01
By Megan Lavey
July 20, 2004
Release Date: July 01, 2003
© Viz Media
Translated by:Katy Bridges
Adapted by:What They Say
In another world, ninjas are the ultimate power - and in the village of Konohagakure live the stealthiest ninja in the world. But 12 years ago Konohagakure was attacked by a fearsome threat - a nine-tailed fox demon which claimed the life of the Hokage, the village champion. Today, peace has returned, and a troublemaking orphan named Uzumaki Naruto is struggling to graduate from Ninja Academy. His goal: to become the next Hokage. But unknown to Naruto and his classmates, within him is a terrifying force...The ReviewPackaging:
This is a very colorful cover set against a black background with a shot of Naruto set against some of the items we'll come to see in the series from what I take. Naruto is written in a bold orange font that works well with the orange in Naruto's outfit. The back of the book is black and white which features a fantastic shot of Naruto emerging from the mist.Artwork:
There are a few pages where the printing runs dark and the text is hard to read, mainly the opening page that gives a brief prologue to the story. Other than that, the reproduction of the art is pretty good. The characters themselves are typical of other action manga that I've read, with the greatest detail paid to the fight scenes. Text:
The pages are unflipped and the SFX is translated. The language feels a bit punkish to me, and is almost overdone in places as the English uses tired, stereotypical phrases to bring out the rebel in Naruto, something that is already apparent by the actions he takes in the book. The font used for the chapter titles is very hard to read, and I had to sit and figure out the one for chapter six for awhile. While it's suppose to be "Not Sasuke," it looks like "No 1 Sasuke."Content (MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS):
Uzumaki Naruto is trying to graduate from the Ninja Academy for the third time and become a full shinobi. But when he fails to do so, one of his teachers, Master Mizuki, clues him into a secret scroll that teaches him the advanced arts of ninjutsu. Naruto takes the scroll, thinking it will help him to get better. But as Master Iruka, the only teacher that understands Naruto finds out, it's a setup designed to kick Naruto out of town and for Mizuki to get hold of the scroll himself. THe scroll, as Naruto finds out, contains a forbidden ninja art.
But then Naruto finds out the truth about himself and what the scroll actually does to him - he is the sealed form of a nine-tailed fox demon that wrecked havoc on the village a dozen years earlier and killed Iruka's parents in the process. But, this doesn't stop Iruka from protecting Naruto and trying to get the scroll back so it doesn't fall into Mizuki's hands. Naruto manages to keep the scroll out of Mizuki's hands, and in the process earns the status he's always coveted - that of a shinobi.
The rest of the book starts to take Naruto through the natural process of beginning to grow as a shinobi - including gaining some new comrades and an enemy in the process.
This is the typical opening volume of the series, but immediately gives away one of the big background secrets about Naruto himself that other series would normally keep buried as a result. I like this because it allows us to focus on Naruto dealing with the fox demon he keeps inside him and how this affects his relationship with others. He is the true school prankster, wanting no more than to be accepted by his village. It is ironic and sad that he is put into this place, we find out in this volume.
The supporting characters introduced are a mixed back. I like Iruka and Sasuke a lot, but don't care for Sakura. She's a bit too stereotypical for me, though I love seeing her reactions paired with her "inner Sakura" responses, which is what she's really feeling. While I see a lot of potential from both Sasuke and Naruto, right now, Sakura feels thrown in just to fufill the girl requirement in the series.
The book moves along at the right pace here - slow enough to where you can take a break if you need to, yet fast enough to be absorbed while reading. I spent half the book feeling sorry for Naruto and the other half wanting to throttle him - which I suppose is a natural reaction. But, by the end, more than anything I want him to succeed.Comments
This is one of those series that is immensely popular among fans. When I first picked up the volume, I noticed it has already gone through four printings. That alone, for me, testifies to its growth on American shores. And it is an enjoyable series that has a great beginning. It sags some after the opening chapter, but with the cliffhanger the book's left on, I want to move on to the second volume to see how it's resolved. Still, Naruto is a pretty long series, and I'm waiting to see how it will manage to hook me for the next 22+ volumes.