Review by: Edward Zacharias
Publisher: VIZ Media
Author: Masashi Kishimoto
Genre: Graphic Novel (Shonen Jump Manga)
MSRP: $7.95 US
Rating: T (Teen)
Release Date: Now Available
The other side of Naruto we have not seen.
With one teammate short, Naruto and Sakura know very little of their commanding officer named Yamato and even less of the odd young man that calls himself Sai. What they do know is that Commander Yamato really knows how to spring a trap and dressed as Sasori – one of the Akatsuki the others defeated after Gaara’s kidnapping – the trap seems to be a success. In the end of Volume 32, we learn the true identity of the Akatsuki spy and boy was it a huge surprise. Oh, but surprises have a way of blowing up in your face as we can see from the beginning of Volume 33 of Naruto.
I won’t be spoiling things now by revealing that the spy was actually the medical ninja named Kabuto and Yamato’s trap seemed to be going great until another surprise is revealed to us. It seems that Orochimaru has been following Kabuto and, in an instant, Commander Yamato’s disguise is torn the shreds. It’s clear that the confrontation will be an ugly one without back up and Naruto and Sakura spring out to come to the Commander’s aid.
While Naruto and Sakura have grown up and become more powerful now, Orochimaru hasn’t changed at all. In fact, he’s the same manipulative, power-hungry and dangerous enemy that he always was and – despite the fact that he recognized Naruto’s new strength – he certainly knows how to get under his skin. Just the mere mention of Sasuke’s name sends Naruto into a rage that manifests itself in a most hazardous manner. We all know that Naruto, as a Jinchuriki, holds the Nine-Tailed Fox spirit but what we don’t know is that the unleashing of the Fox spirit’s power is nearly uncontrollable. In fact, Lord Jiraiya knows this first-hand during their two-year absence.
Surprised by Naruto’s transformation, this is the first time we see Orochimaru really put up an effort to fight back against Naruto. Equally surprised is Sakura who sees the physical effects of the manifestation as frightening. I’d describe the transformation but it’s really something you should see instead. What I will tell, however, is that Naruto’s attacks are not only impressive but also extremely destructive without giving much of a thought as to who might get hurt in the process.
Meanwhile, Sai sees this as an opportunity to carry out his real mission. Having been under direct orders of Danzo, a member of the Hawk faction whose past is linked not only to the Leaf Village but also to the Third Hokage, Sai approaches Orochimaru. So committed to his mission, Sai doesn’t even lift a hand to save Sakura when she is flung back by one of Naruto’s attacks. Words are exchanged between Sai and Orochimaru and the trio runs off together. Who is Sai really? What is his true mission and Danzo’s intentions?
While most of the volume concentrates on Naruto’s battle with Orochimaru, a big secret is finally revealed about Commander Yamato as well as the reason he has been chosen to take over Kaskashi’s position. Besides that, the real surprise comes with Sakura’s reaction when Naruto is restored to normal. For years, we have come to know that Sakura and Naruto’s relationship was mainly composed of Naruto pissing her off and being clobbered by Sakura. Yet in a surprisingly tender moment, Sakura sheds tears for Naruto. What this means is yet to be revealed but it’s intriguing nonetheless.
Naruto, Volume 33, shows us another side of Naruto that had yet been revealed since his two-year absence and it’s quite shocking. This also marks the return of Orochimaru but, most importantly, we learn a bit more about Commander Yamato and come to question Sai’s intentions. Oh yeah, it’s just one of those volumes that is sure to be truly memorable.
MANGA REVIEW BREAKDOWN
The trap Commander Yamato, Naruto and Sakura have set for the spy blows up in their faces as Orochimaru springs his own trap successfully. Unleashing the hidden power of the Nine-Tailed Fox, Naruto becomes an uncontainable force to be reckoned with that shocks even his teammates. In the wake of Naruto’s destructive power, revelations are made.
Kishimoto-sensei’s expressive artwork is simply leaps off the pages in this volume and you can definitely feel the helplessness Sakura feels when she sees the uncontrollable power Naruto unleashes.
Volume 33 of Naruto is nothing short of surprising and even more so now that some of the missing parts of Naruto’s training is finally revealed. The villainous snake, Orochimaru, is back and the confrontation is yet another unforgettable moment in the Naruto saga. The good news is that we don’t have to wait too long for the next chapters.