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: Available Now
The moment we’ve all been waiting for is finally here!
If you’ve been reading manga just as long as we have then you know that a long running series like Naruto has those few (or many) volumes that hold that special place in your memory. Personally, I have a number of favorite moments in Naruto, one of them being the cold, dark night Sasuke decided to leave the Hidden Leaf Village by turning his back on the girl who tells him how much she loves him. Well, Volume 34 of Naruto is yet another one of those volumes that will be hard to forget.
In the last volume, a major battle between the new Team Kakashi and the villainous Orochimaru and his loyal follower, Kabuto. While Commander Yamato and Sakura were busy tending to Naruto who unleashed the power of the Nine-Tailed Fox spirit, Sai approached Orochimaru with a letter and then runs off with the evil snake. What words were exchanged between Orochimaru and the young spy for Danzo isn’t clear to Yamato, Sakura and Naruto but Sai’s sketchbook he left behind does give them an idea that Sai might not be as detached as he likes to think.
As the trio follows Yamato’s wood-styled clone to a hidden underground fortress Orochimaru calls home, Sai’s intentions become more clear to the point that Orochimaru has no reason of suspecting a double-cross. In the meantime, Sai meets another one of Orochimaru’s followers and this one seems to be in an eternal bad mood. Meanwhile, Naruto and his two companions manage to infiltrate the hideout in search of Sai and Sasuke. They do manage to run into Sai and confront him about his real mission. It isn’t until Yamato finds a Bingo Book (what ninjas call an assassination list) that belongs to Sai that it becomes painfully clear that Sai is here to eliminate a threat to Konoha and that threat is none other than Sasuke Uchiha!
I’m not spoiling the identity of the mysterious figure seeing as the volume is titled “The Reunion.” I won’t go into details about the reunion but I must say that Kishimoto-sensei does a brilliant job of conveying the emotions the characters feel about seeing Sasuke. It’s clear that not only did Naruto and Sakura change over the years but so did this troubled young man who not only had become more powerful but is completely detached from the place he called home and the people that once called him friend.
In the end, Volume 34 of Naruto is the kind of volume that will have you glad that the series is still in print and going strong. If you’re like me and have a few favorite volumes, you will most definitely consider this one yet another addition to the epic saga that is the Naruto series. Missing this one would be very wrong, Naruto fans.
MANGA REVIEW BREAKDOWN
Team Kakashi finally discovers the location of Orochimaru’s secret hideout and finally finds out why Sai had taken off with the enemy. Taking out Kabuto, the trio make their way into the hideout only to make a startling discovery about Sai’s intentions as well as the moment we’ve been waiting for since a certain member of Team Kakashi took off.
A visually stunning volume from start to finish, Kishimoto says more with one panel than a whole thought bubble filled with text. The art in Naruto just keeps getting better and better with each volume.
If you’ve been following the Naruto series since the beginning, you know that there are volumes in the series that not only stand out but will make you glad you picked up this manga series in the first place. Volume 34 of Naruto is that kind of volume and one you won’t soon forget.