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
If I could use only one word to sum up this volume it’s: WOW.
Just when I thought that Masashi Kishimoto could not possibly top all the monumental moments that make up the second half of Naruto’s story, there he goes dropping yet another bomb on his readers that leave us shaken up and wondering what exactly will happen next. He does exactly that with Volume 51 of Naruto as a character slips further into darkness and the one who loves him makes the most difficult decision of her life.
Having infiltrated the Gokage Summit and challenging the Shinobi leaders, Sasuke Uchiha’s real target was Danzo – who has been named the new Hokage. However, Danzo takes advantage of all the chaos and slips away with his two bodyguards but what he wasn’t counting on was Karin … Sasuke’s teammate who sensed the older man’s position. It doesn’t take Sasuke, Karin and Madara long to find Danzo and – in the start of Volume 51 – it is Sasuke who launches his attack on the man who Itachi Uchiha had told him was responsible for setting him on the path to slaughter the Uchiha clan in the name of Konoha.
As Madara takes care of Danzo’s bodyguards, he lets Sasuke fight Danzo all by himself. All we didn’t know about Danzo is suddenly revealed to us as he first reveals what he was hiding behind his bandages and, more importantly, the robe that hides his right arm. As a matter fact, Danzo’s right arm is made up of something the Uchiha clan will recognize and his shoulder contains an even more gruesome secret.
It’s clear that Danzo is a very dangerous person and his power makes him even more formidable as he manages to repel Sasuke’s attacks. Even when the younger Uchiha unleashes the power of Susano’o, Danzo is an intelligent fighter who uses his right arm to pull off power that is more advanced than Genjutsu and jutsu like Wind style vacuum bullets as well as the ability to summon a creature. Still, youth and rage win over and Sasuke gets Danzo to confess the truth about Itachi’s mission and the involvement of Konoha’s elders.
Oh, but the tables are turned quickly and – in a moment – Danzo recalls a moment in his youth that involves a young Sarutobi Hiruzen who became the Third Hogake of the Leaf Village over Danzo whose competitive nature was more his undoing than the reason he would be recognized. What happens in the final moments of the battle is shocking.
Meanwhile, Sai tells Naruto that Sakura’s confession to him was just a way to mislead him. Her true intentions, as we found out in the last volume, was to find Sasuke by herself and do what Naruto should not do. Could Sakura kill Sasuke even though she loves him more than anyone has ever loved another person? The very thought of what Sakura is about to do is overwhelming to the point that Naruto has a panic attack that makes him blackout.
As Kakashi Sensei and Sai’s clone try to reach Sakura (who is traveling with the real Sai, Rock Lee, Kiba and Akamaru), Naruto manages to slip past Captain Yamato. Sakura is so determined to face Sasuke alone that she tries to knock four of her companions out but Sai gets wise to her and there’s a scuffle. Still, Sakura is a lot smarter than the others give her credit for and she manages to slip away and finally find Sasuke. Their meeting is powerful and shocking as Sakura tells the young man she loved for a long time that she wants to join him on his quest to destroy Konoha.
Sasuke then makes a proposition to Sakura that shows that he doesn’t care about anything or anybody but his mission. It was clear many volumes ago that there is no going back for Sasuke Uchiha but we didn’t know he was willing to do the unspeakable to somebody who was by his side for a long time. If Kakashi didn’t arrive this would have been even uglier. I won’t say anything more because you really do have to read it for yourself but I will say that you will never look at Sasuke the same way ever again.
Without a doubt, Volume 51 of Naruto is a visceral and powerful volume in the series that will make you see Sasuke Uchiha in an even darker light. If the fight with Danzo wasn’t enough and his encounter with the girl that loves him a heartbreaking moment, we cannot wait for the fight between master and student in the next volume. Once again, this is a Must Not Miss volume, Naruto fans.
MANGA REVIEW BREAKDOWN
Sasuke and Madara finally catch up to Danzo with the younger Uchiha confronting the man responsible for sending his brother on a mission of self-sacrifice. Danzo, meanwhile, reveals his true strength as young and old clash in a fierce and tricky battle. Meanwhile, Naruto realizes that Sakura set off on her own to put an end to Sasuke once and for all.
Kishimoto fills this volume with more than enough eye candy and scenes that will have you turning the page back just to soak it all in better. Sasuke’s battle with Danzo is intense but the final pages of the last chapter will have your eyes glued to its pages.
Volume 51 of Naruto is one you will not forget anytime soon and its impact will definitely leave a bad taste in the mouths of Sasuke Uchiha fans as takes another step towards becoming the ultimate villain that will make you forget all about Orochimaru. This is, simply put, Kishimoto Sensei at his very best and a volume you need to own right away, Naruto fans. We definitely cannot wait for Volume 52.
Review copy provided by VIZ Media