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 secret life of Itachi Uchiha.
Hatred can be a powerful motivator as we can see in the case of Sasuke Uchiha. He has harbored a hatred for his older brother, Itachi, who had – mysteriously – slaughtered nearly all the members of the Uchiha clan including his own parents. While Itachi let Sasuke live, the boy was dead inside and thought only of the day that he would stand before his big brother and slay him to restore the Uchiha name. This hatred had him abandon his friends, the village where he lived and even turn to the treacherous snake Orochimaru.
In Volume 43 of Naruto, Sasuke’s hatred has led him to the day he has been waiting for and now, with the power of the fallen Orochimaru, he leaps into the most fierce and personal battle of his life. Of course, Itachi’s strength and ability is beyond Orochimaru’s own power and he pulls no punches and does not hold back any Jutsu as they fight. Even when Sasuke thinks he has him, Itachi manages to push back with everything he has in order to take Sasuke’s eyes.
As the battlegrounds crumble and the nearby forest catches on fire, Sasuke calls upon lightning to try to bring his brother down. The power is enormous and it is devastating but Itachi still remains on his feet. It isn’t until Sasuke calls upon another power that Itachi truly comes to life. You see, that power is none other than that of a certain somebody we thought was completely dead. Revealing an even better Jutsu, Itachi is the one that finally takes care of that said somebody once and for all.
With their chakra spent, however, it is Sasuke who pushes himself to his very limits when he notices that his brother suddenly weakens. Could his attacks finally injured the older Uchiha or did something else cause his brother to suddenly cough up blood? Either way, the young Uchiha takes advantage of this and strikes but a barrier protects the shuffling, bloodied thing that is slowly heading Sasuke’s way. This leads to one of the greatest moments connected to Sasuke and one you will not forget anytime soon.
While the battle makes up this beefy 241 page volume’s most action-packed and moving chapters, it pales compared to what happens after the fight. Exhausted and badly injured, Sasuke is rescued by the most unexpected source … the Akatsuki member known as Tobi. Without spoiling the surprise, we come to learn that Tobi isn’t who he says he is and on top of that he turns out to be somebody connected to the Uchiha clan. Although Sasuke doesn’t want to listen, the mysterious figure who also possesses the Sharingan tells him everything about the Uchiha clan and about Itachi.
I would be doing readers a major injustice if I revealed even half of what the mysterious figure tells Sasuke. What I will say is that he tells the story from the very beginning, mentioning the exploits of Madara Uchiha that Itachi mentioned in Volume 42. He tells the story of the Uchiha clan and their rivalry with another clan during troubled times of war and later the formation of villages like Konoha. Then he drops another bomb, mainly about Itachi’s real mission that includes the reason he slaughtered his clan and why he did not kill Sasuke. You must really read this volume for yourself.
Volume 43 of Naruto is a shocking volume that is both tragic and surprising enough that you will probably want to read it again. Yes, the story focuses on Sasuke and Itachi’s confrontation but there’s a big revelation in the later chapters that is tragic, shocking and sure to replace Sasuke leaving the Hidden Leaf Village as one of the most monumental Sasuke moments. Plus, it’s one of the thickest volumes yet at a regular price tag.
MANGA REVIEW BREAKDOWN
Sasuke’s confrontation against his older brother, Itachi Uchiha, continues in a take-no-prisoners show of power between the two siblings. The destructive power of the two brothers is beyond impressive but the fight comes to a most astonishing end. Oh, but the real surprise comes later as we learn about the history of the Uchiha clan and the secret behind Itachi’s betrayal.
Sasuke’s battle with his brother is simply one of those visually stunning and rare treats that really makes Naruto, Volume 43, an utter delight for the eyes.
All we ever wanted to know about Itachi and the Uchiha clan is finally revealed in one fat volume that you will not want to put down until the very last page. Volume 43 changes everything for Sasuke as he comes to understand the truth behind the events that lead to the fall of his clan by the most unlikely source. It’s manga like this that makes me glad I’m a manga junkie.