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 Akatsuki strikes back!
After all their training and all their planning, the mission to rescue Sasuke Uchiha from the clutches of Orochimaru was a great failure for Naruto and Sakura in the end of Volume 34 of Naruto. Having finally discovered their teammate and friend’s whereabouts, their encounter with and older and more powerful Sasuke left a bitter taste in their mouths and the realization that they’re just not strong enough to go toe-to-toe with their former teammate.
That is all about to change in Naruto, Volume 35, though.
Coming back home to the Hidden Leaf Village , Naruto, Sakura and Sai get a little time to collect their thoughts. Sai spends the time in Konoha to ask his superior, Danzo, to stay a little longer as a member of Team Kakashi. He continues his search to become less of an emotionless, friendless person and become accepted by those around him. Unfortunately, Sai turns to self-help books that tell him to give people he meets a nickname … which is not good advice for somebody who puts things so bluntly that it comes off as rude. When he makes up a nickname for Sakura, for instance, Sakura unleashes her wrath on him.
The new trio do make a stop to visit Kakashi-sensei who is recovering from the battle with the Akatsuki that kidnapped Gaara. Having been briefed by Captain Yamato, Kakashi knew what happened when they finally found Sasuke. He tells Naruto that he might know how Sasuke became so powerful and that he might know a training technique that not only can make the Rasengan seem like a cheap parlor trick but also be learned in half the time. Using Yamato to contain the Nine-Tailed Fox spirit within Naruto, Kakashi begins his exclusive training with Naruto. Before you roll your eyes at the thought of another training sequence, Kishimoto manages to make it interesting.
Kakashi-sensei manages to come up with a brilliant training shortcut that requires Naruto to use his Multiple Shadow Doppelgangers Jutsu. Just like his training with Lord Jiraiya when the Pervy Sage helped him learn Rasengan, Naruto’s enthusiasm knows no bounds and there’s a chapter where Kakashi even sends Naruto to talk to Asuma for some tips. Speaking of Asuma, he has come to a sudden realization about his father’s sacrifice and what it meant in the end. He tries to tell this to Kakashi and later, as he plays Shogi with Shikamaru, he tries to pass the realization on to his best pupil.
While Naruto trains, the Akatsuki move their plans forward after having their plans ruined by the young ninjas of the Hidden Leaf Village that helped rescue Gaara. Deidara and Tobi are back as they take on a Jinchuriki host but we are also introduced to two other Akatsuki named Hidan and Kakuzu who viciously and successfully complete their missions. One thinks on money while the other follows a bloody ritual but it is safe to say that this pair is extremely dangerous.
With the Akatsuki making their move again, Lady Tsunade makes the decision to mobilize her specially selected teams that include Azuma and Shikamaru. Meanwhile, Naruto manages to surprise Kakashi by advancing his training. His source of inspiration and the driving force behind his determination isn’t surprising but it is very touching.
Volume 35 on Naruto feels like the beginning of an intense story arc that is sure to be some of the more exciting moments of this second chapter in Naruto’s life. There are funny moments in this one as well that, surprisingly, belongs to Sai (and the reactions he gets from interacting with Sakura and Ino). Then there’s the Akatsuki that could only mean things are going to get interesting.
MANGA REVIEW BREAKDOWN
Normally, another training arc will have me groaning but Kishimoto is able to make the experience such an interesting turn of events. While Naruto trains with Kakashi and Yamato, the Akatsuki continue their mission to capture Jinchuriki hosts and not too far from the Leaf Village . Things are going to get nasty now.
Kishimoto’s way of conveying feeling through expression comes out wonderfully clear in this volume. The battle sequences are also getting more exciting.
Do you know that feeling you get when you know something bad is going to happen? Well, Volume 35 of Naruto is like that as a sense of dread washes over the calm (and comical) moments that happen in-between. As Naruto trains and Lady Tsunade mobilizes her teams, the Akatsuki finally strikes and thus sets in motion what is sure to be some interesting chapters were are definitely looking forward to as longetime Naruto fans.