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 art of brilliantly exacting revenge.
Asuma Sarutobi is dead.
He was the type of man that – like his father who just happened to have been the Third Hokage – was bigger than life and beloved by those who knew him well. He was a kind teacher who saw the best in his students and inspired them to be so much better than him. This was the type of guy who won the heart of Kurenai-sensei and was a good friend to Kakashi-sensei. He’s the type of man you will do anything to avenge even if it means ignoring the Hokage’s orders.
As Naruto Uzumaki continues his training with Kakashi and Yamato, what remains of Cell Number 10 returns from the fierce battle against two formidable Akatsuki enemies known as Hidan and Kakuzu. They bring the sad news of Asuma’s demise to Lady Tsunade. Shikamaru takes it upon himself to tell Kurenai Asuma’s last words to her. It’s a touching chapter that brings to mind the funeral of the Third Hokage.
Speaking of funerals, Shikamaru doesn’t attend his Master’s memorial service and the reason is obvious. Shikamaru is a genius tactician, which is something we knew when he joined Naruto on the mission to rescue Sasuke from the Sound Ninja after Sasuke turned his back on the Leaf Village. Time passes but we can see that Shikamaru has something up his sleeve. It isn’t until Shikamaru meets Ino and Choji near the gate with their weapons and equipment that is becomes clear that they plan on heading out on a mission for revenge.
Oh but you better believe that Lady Tsunade gets the idea of what is going on and she confronts the trio only to be surprised when Kakashi-sensei shows up to inform the Lady Hokage that he plans to go with them. Meanwhile, the Akatsuki are on the move again and Hidan and Kakuzu are making their way towards Konoha to capture Naruto. Like Shikamaru predicted, Hidan and Kakuzu took a different route to Konoha and thus begins the ambush that leads to Cell Number 10’s finest moment. I have to admit that I sat up in my seat when I saw Shikamaru, Ino and Choji’s attack hurt their mentor’s killers.
I won’t spoil what happens during the battle. This is a battle you will really have to see for yourself but what I will say is that there are times when Hidan and Kakuzu do manage to turn the tables on the trio and there’s a time when Kakuzu gives Kakashi – who, for the most part, stayed out of the fight until the team was in danger – quite a workout. I’ll even add the fact that Hidan even manages to mimic the same move he used to kill Asuma on Shikamaru.
As far as Naruto is concerned, he does show up as backup with his teammates backed by Yamato. With Shikamaru taking on Hidan, the rest of the group learns a terrifying truth about Kakuzu and why he and Hidan share a common bond. At the last moments of the fight, Naruto proves that his determination knows no limits as he prepares to show off his new Jutsu move on an enemy that can’t seem to die … or at least not die by normal means.
In other words, the Akatsuki make Orochimaru look like a total weakling.
This is truly one of the most exciting volumes of Naruto and it’s certainly one that made me like Shikamaru even more as he not only manages to impress even the demanding Kakashi but also carries out an elaborate attack plan against the men that killed his mentor. The fight doesn’t end in this volume and that’s Ok because it’s chapters like this that are best savored in more than one volume. At risk of annoying readers by repeating myself, this is a volume you will want to buy right away.
MANGA REVIEW BREAKDOWN
With the death of their teacher still weighing heavily in their mind, Shikamaru, Choji and Ino head out on a mission of revenge with the aid of Kakashi-sensei who tags along. We all know Shikamaru is a naturally brilliant tactician but, as they catch up to Hidan and Kakuzu, the level of brilliance even surprises Kakashi.
Kishimoto’s art unfailingly surprises me with each volume and you just have to love the impressive splash panels in this volume.
Revenge is a dish best served by a talented ninja capable of setting a trap worthy of a master as we see in Volume 37 of Naruto. With the fall of their beloved teacher, three young ninja (with some help in the end) exact justice from two most dangerous opponents. You’ll love every panel of this riveting few chapters.