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 rise and sudden fall of a snake called Orochimaru.
If revenge is a dish best served Shikamaru-style then what we just witnessed between the brilliant young tactician and one of the most dangerous members of the Akatsuki is one of the most appetizing morsels this series has produced so far. If Volume 37 belonged to Shikamaru as he and his teammates take on the enemy that had murdered their mentor then Volume 38 of Naruto belongs to Sasuke Uchiha in yet another unforgettable volume.
Yeah, you read that right. I said that this volume belongs to Sasuke … the same Sasuke that had turned his back on the Hidden Leaf village and then on his comrades when they went looking for him in Orochimaru’s secret hideout. I’m getting ahead of myself here because Volume 38 begins where the last one ended … with Naruto unleashing his latest’s jutsu called the Rasen-Shuriken on Kakuzu. It’s a powerful new jutsu alright but Kakuzu isn’t the type that goes down that easily.
Oh, but make no mistake, Kakuzu does go down and does so in a way that shocks even Kakashi-sensei. The result is Naruto’s arm injured and a massive crater where the Akatsuki foe is struggling for his last breath. When they get back to the Hidden Leaf village, Kakashi and Yamato are instructed to never let Naruto use the Rasen-Shuriken ever again. At the same moment, Shikamaru proves that the kid that thought everything was a drag has grown up a little.
Elsewhere, that snake Orochimaru watches Sasuke in quiet awe as the young man leaves a trail of unconscious ninja. Clearly, his skills have become something even more impressive and this is good news to Orochimaru whose health is finally beyond the skills of his medical ninja, Kabuto. Laying sick in his bed, Orochimaru is suddenly attacked by none other than Sasuke himself.
“I knew you’d come for me,” Orochimaru says to him and with that begins a fight that has Orochimaru literally fighting for his life.
What happens next is something I won’t even begin to describe. It’s really one of those moments that have to be seen and even more so when Kabuto suddenly realizes that the man he has been following is no longer there. Yes, Orochimaru is a snake (and he pretty much proves that in this volume) but as we catch a rare glimpse of his youth we come to realize that a Orochimaru’s childhood wasn’t at all a very happy one despite the fact that men like the Third Hokage had nothing but affection for him. In the end, Orochimaru’s fate is sealed by his own greedy nature.
In the wake of Orochimaru’s end, Sasuke begins to assemble the team that would help him carry out his mission at last. His first choice is Suigetsu who Orochimaru had imprisoned in a tube. Grateful that Sasuke had freed him, Suigetsu does join but not before testing the young Uchiha first and then complaining about his two other choices for potential teammates. His second choice is a girl named Karin who Orchimaru has set up as a prison warden. When they finally reach the prison, Sasuke frees all the prisoners and asks Karin to join … who says she’s not interested in joining but clearly her romantic interest in him leads her to do so anyway.
Finally, Sasuke decides to locate the last member of the team. Despite protest from Karin and Suigetsu, the trio cross the desert in search of Jugo … who is not only an unstoppable and bloodthirsty force to be reckoned with but there’s a secret about him that might be the reason Sasuke picked him in the first place. When they reach their destination, Sasuke and his team encounters a massacre.
Kishimoto is certainly shaking things up and so far he is not disappointing Naruto fans with a continued story that just keeps getting better and better with each volume. Where the story will go from here is anybody’s guess but we’re just happy to go along for the ride. Add Volume 38 of Naruto as another favorite volume in this series.
MANGA REVIEW BREAKDOWN
As Naruto and Cell 10 finish off the last remaining Akatsuki foe using Naruto‘s new Jutsu, Orochimaru’s health begins to fail him up until the point that Sasuke decides to severe the bond between them. In the wake of Orochimaru’s defeat, Sasuke Uchiha begins his real mission with the aid of two of Orochimaru’s former followers.
What can I say about the art that hasn’t already been said before except that Volume 38 has some truly unforgettable scenes.
Volume 38 of Naruto is like a sudden splash of cold water to the face as you automatically realize that nothing will really ever be the same after this volume. Kishimoto seems to be on a role as he continues to not only surprise his readers but keep them hoping the next volume comes out quickly. He does it again in this one as Sasuke finally begins his mission for revenge.