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
Konoha feels the Pain at last.
While the playful tone of the earlier chapter in the Naruto saga isn’t completely gone, it would be the understatement of the year to say that the series has gotten darker and surprisingly intense to the point that you will not help but get caught up in the shocking developments of each volume. Once again, Kishimoto does it again as Pain and his Akatsuki followers carry out their plot to infiltrate the Hidden Leaf Village in Volume 45 of Naruto.
Having accepted the Great Sage Frog’s invitation to train in Mount Myoboku, Naruto’s Sage training has already begun to show greater improvement to the point that the Great Sage Frog thinks he has already surpassed Lord Jiraiya in that respect. The training is not easy, mixing familiar Chakra with a flow of nature-based Chakra, but Naruto’s determination to become stronger makes him grasp the basics a lot sooner. Of course, he also has a reason to learn the way of the Sage when he leafs through the first book his fallen mentor wrote.
Meanwhile, Sasuke and his Taka go up against the Jinchuriki known to the Akatsuki as Eight-Tails but it better known as Killer Bee. It’s an impressive battle as Sasuke, aware of what a Jinchuriki could do thanks to his fight with Naruto, pushes his skills and abilities to its limits. While disabling his teammates, Killer Bee sees Sasuke as a major threat and unleashes his host transformation form. Seeing no other choice, Sasuke pulls off his most powerful new Jutsu to finally bring down Eight-Tails.
As news of Killer Bee’s defeat begins to reach the nearby Raikage, the latest Intel on his brother’s attacker begins to surface. It seems like Sasuke’s insistence on continuing to wear the symbol of his clan has the Raikage looking to send Konoha a message the he will be the one to take down the rogue Konoha ninja. He assembles a cell to seek out Sasuke even after he finds out that Sasuke and his friends manage to eliminate shinobi hot on their trail.
Back in the Hidden Leaf Village, meanwhile, the autopsy reveals something peculiar about the black rods and studs that Pain’s closest followers have all over their bodies. On the other investigative end, the interrogation leads to a new development but all of this is too late because Pain and his closest Akatsuki members breach the barrier into Konoha. Their attack is immediate, fierce and destructive to the point that it makes Orochimaru’s assault on the village pale in comparison.
As all the Konoha shinobi band together to battle Pain and the others, Tsunade makes it clear that Naruto should be recalled back to the village to help defend it despite the fact that the Akatsuki are in Konoha to capture him. This doesn’t sit well with the Elders and another person who, secretly, will certainly become a problem. As building explode and ninja fall, Kakashi seeks out Pain and takes him on only to learn that Pain has unique Jutsu that make him a formidable opponent that will not be easy to take down even in a one-on-one battle.
Volume 45 of Naruto begins the battle we’ve been waiting for since Naruto left the Hidden Leaf Village with Lord Jiraiya. As Pain finally launches his assault on the village to find and capture Naruto, all of Konoha gather together to fight in what is sure to be one hell of a battle as things get even more interesting in the world of Naruto.
MANGA REVIEW BREAKDOWN
As Naruto begins to unlock the mysteries of his Sage training, the intelligence gathering division in Konoha unlock another type of mystery. Meanwhile, Sasuke pulls no punches when it comes to facing off against Master Killer Bee. Finally, Pain and his followers have finally launch their assault on the Hidden Leaf Village as Lady Tsunade comes to a decision regarding Naruto.
The most visually stunning artwork comes in the final chapter of this volume as Konoha is viciously attacked and all the village shinobi are finally facing off against the Akatsuki. As always, Kishimoto’s art is absolutely stunning.
The moment we’ve been waiting for is finally here as Pain and the other members of the Akatsuki attack the Hidden Leaf Village and thus making Volume 45 one of the more shockingly intense moments in the Naruto series. The fight to save Konoha begins now and believe me when I say you will not want to miss what happens next.