Review by: Eduardo Zacarias
Publisher: VIZ Media
Author: Masashi Kishimoto
Genre: Graphic Novel (Shonen Jump Manga)
MSRP: $9.99 US
Rating: T (Teen)
Release Date: Available Now
And just like that the stage is set for war.
Having followed the Naruto series since the very first volume, I can safely say that there were very few times in the first half of the series that made me really look forward to the next volume but that is not the case in this second half. If it seems that something colossal happens in every volume, you wouldn’t be wrong because the past few volumes have been nothing short of shocking whether we’re talking about the destruction of Konoha or the death of Naruto‘s mentor, Jiraiya. As Naruto reaches Volume 50, the surprises just keep on coming.
For one thing, it is clear that there is no turning back for Sasuke Uchiha. He has not only crossed the line but he defiantly and angrily stomped on it and thus being marked for death by shinobi from all over the land. Targeting Danzo (the Leaf Village‘s new acting Hokage) in the Gokage Summit, Sasuke is in the fight of his life with the Raikage of the Cloud Village. Just as he is about to get dropped kicked by the powerful Raikage, it is Gaara of the Sand who steps in and saves both men.
In a touching scene, it is Gaara who tries desperately to reason with Sasuke in a way that even Naruto could not when Naruto and Sakura finally encountered their old comrade back in Orochimaru’s lair. It is Gaara who truly understands what it is like to be driven by hatred and that Sasuke can be saved just like he himself was saved. Sadly, Sasuke does seem to be lost in his continued quest to destroy Konoha and the resulting battle between the other members of the summit lead to a surprise.
You see, it is Madara Uchiha who finally shows up to not only whisk Sasuke away from the area before he is killed but also finally reveal his true intentions to the leaders assembled before him. I won’t get into the specifics – because you really should read this for yourself – but his detailed plan astonishes everyone there. While Madara claims his plan to use each of the Jinchuriki’s power is for the good of all mankind, nobody sees it that way and – as a result – Madara Uchiha declares war on all the nations. So begins the Fourth Great Ninja War!
While each member of the shinobi nation – minus Danzo who cleared out of the area – begins their plans to prepare for war as they agree to name the Raikage as leader of the newly established Allied Shinobi Force. Their plan also includes protection for the remaining Tailed-Beasts such as Naruto Uzumaki and the Raikage’s young brother, Killer Bee … who they now know escaped from the clutches of the Akatsuki. Meanwhile, a ninja tailing Danzo finds himself caught in the former Black Ops leader’s horrifying trap.
Not far from the summit, Sakura finally reaches Naruto who is continuing on his way to finds Sasuke. Not knowing that an official order to kill Sasuke Uchiha is in effect, Sakura instead makes a most surprising confession to Naruto. Really, here I thought the declaration of war was the highlight of the volume and suddenly here comes a chapter that will be hard to forget anytime soon. Naruto’s reaction to Sakura’s words is simply priceless.
The final chapters find Killer Bee running into Master Sabu-chan and his overgrown raccoon named Ponta as the pair share their passion for music and busting rhymes. However, they’re interrupted by a member of the Akatsuki who has been trailing Killer Bee since he escaped. It is the shark-like Kisame Hoshigaki as he attacks Killer Bee and Master Sabu-chan. Their fight is fierce (as well as comical thanks to Killer Bee) and also surprising as Kisame’s sword reacts strangely to Killer Bee’s chakra in a way that is more favorable to Killer Bee. As dangerous as Kisame is, however, he finds that taking on Killer Bee and his older brother (who finally arrives) is something else altogether. I won’t tell you how the battle ends but expect another major surprise.
Volume 50 of Naruto is one big surprise after another as plans are revealed, war is declared and an interesting scene between Naruto and Sakura unfolds. Pains destruction of the Leaf Village was but the beginning of new changes for the series and the aftereffects have ripples that continue to affect the events that continue to unfold before us. Naruto is quickly becoming that one rare manga series that continues to grab our attention.
MANGA REVIEW BREAKDOWN
Having infiltrated the Gokage Summit and launched his attack, Sasuke finds himself in a massive battle against the leaders of each nation but it is another Uchiha who shows up to reveals his true intentions as well as makes a shocking declaration. Meanwhile, Sakura finally reaches Naruto and delivers a message that catches Naruto by surprise. Then Killer Bee finds himself going up against the Akatsuki, Kisame.
There isn’t just one elaborate and memorable fight scene in this volume but two of them … with the last one being surprisingly surreal in the best possible way. However, what nearly steals the show, visually speaking, is Naruto’s reaction to what Sakura tells him.
A lot happens in Volume 50 of Naruto and much of what happens will genuinely surprise long-time readers of this series as the shinobi war is looking to head into a great war. Whether it’s Sasuke’s attack, Killer Bee’s battle with an Akatsuki member or Sakura’s plea to Naruto, it’s safe to say that this yet another volume Naruto fans have to pick up right away.
Review copy provided by VIZ Media