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
Sasuke Uchiha and the rise of the Hebi.
Orochimaru is dead.
News of Konoha’s biggest threat and one of the most dangerous villains to come along in a long time has finally reached nearly ever village that knew of the snake’s treacherous path of destruction. In Volume 38 of Naruto, the killer was none other than young Sasuke Uchiha … who, soon after slaying Orochimaru, wasted no time in setting off to kill his brother with the aid of two others. In Naruto, Volume 39, Sasuke’s path will lead him to an even darker side as he forms his own cell.
As I mentioned above, though, news spread fast of the defeat of Orochimaru as Naruto and Sakura are called into the Lady Hokage’s office where Jiraiya tells them that the person responsible was their former teammate. This is seen as good news to Naruto since he felt that his friend would never let himself be completely corrupted but when he hears that Sasuke hasn’t let go of his desire for revenge it could only mean that Sasuke is going after the Akatsuki.
Knowing that Sasuke’s life would be in danger if he went after Itachi Uchiha, the suggestion to reach Itachi before Sasuke does sounds like a good idea. However, knowing that the Akatsuki have targeted Naruto and all other Jinchuriki, it is Kakashi that suggests his team work closely together with another cell they worked with in the past. It’s a good suggestion seeing as Itachi and Kisame have already taken down a Jinchuiriki host without breaking a sweat.
Meanwhile, Sasuke finds the final member of his newly created cell he calls the Hebi. Having already convinced Suigetsu and Karin to join his cause, the last member – Jugo – turns out to be an uncontrollable force that doesn’t want to cause the violence and mayhem of his past … but then again he’s enjoys the slaughter at the same time. Jugo joins out of a past memory of a friend that was willing to sacrifice his life to capture Sasuke. It’s puzzling to Sasuke’s teammates as to why he picked Jugo to join the team Sasuke tells them will help him slay his brother.
As Sasuke and his Hebi head out to outfit themselves, Naruto and Team 8 (which consists of Kiba, Akamaru, Hinata and Shino) begin their search for Itachi with the aid of Kakashi’s Ninja Dogs. As the others split up up, it is Naruto, Hinata and Yamato that encounter an old familiar foe who appears to have gone mad during the recent events that lead up to this particular mission. Judging by his appearance, he has become twisted and demented to the point that he is certainly going to be troublesome sometime down the line.
As word of Lord Orochimaru’s defeat also reaches the Akatsuki, it is Deidara who wishes to kill Sasuke for personal reasons. Not caring with the older Uchiha says, Deidara takes the hilarious Tobi with him as they find Sasuke alone in an open space that is perfect for Deidara’s type of explosive attack. Sasuke finds himself taking on the two Akatsuki in a battle the impresses Deidara who witnesses the young man’s transformation and new strength. Deidara can’t help but remember his first encounter with Itachi, knowing full well the potential of those Sharingan eyes.
The battle between Sasuke and Deidara doesn’t finish there and the chase is on as Naruto and the others continue their quest to locate the elder Uchiha as Volume 39 of Naruto sets up what is sure to be one interesting encounter. Naruto is quickly becoming one of those manga series that keeps its fans glued to their seats.
MANGA REVIEW BREAKDOWN
As Sasuke manages to convince the third member of his new cell to join him on his quest to kill Itachi Uchiha, Naruto and other Kanoha ninja are sent to reach Itachi first before tragedy strikes. Meanwhile, Sasuke begins his quest only to find himself going up against Deidara who has a personal grudge against him.
Kishimoto-sensei’s art continues to impress as the series is reaching its fortieth volume. The fighting scenes are among some of his best work even more so in this one.
Volume 39 of Naruto finds Naruto and Sasuke on a very dangerous path that all leads to the Akatsuki threat that is finally aware of Orochimaru’s death. As enemies clash on the battlefield, it is clear that Sasuke is determined to finally carry out the mission that has haunted him for so long while his friends attempt to find a way to save him. This is yet another great volume in a series that continues to hold us captive.