Saturday, February 28, 2015

I Reads You Review: NARUTO Volume 66


Creators: Masashi Kishimoto; Mari Morimoto (Translator), John Hunt (Lettering)
Publishing Information: VIZ Media (@VIZMedia); 192 pages, $9.99 (US), $12.99 (CAN), £6.99 U.K.
Ordering Numbers: ISBN: 978-1-4215-6948-2 (ISBN), paperback (July 2014)

Rated: “T” for “Teen”

Uzumaki Naruto is a young shinobi (ninja) with a knack for mischief.  Once, he was the biggest troublemaker at the Ninja Academy in the shinobi Village of Konohagakure.  However, Naruto was also two things:  special and an outcast.  When he was a baby, his parents (father Minato and mother Kushina) imprisoned a nine-tailed fox spirit (Kurama) inside his infant body.  Now, 16-years-old and incorrigible as ever, Naruto is still serious about his quest to become the world’s greatest ninja.

Guided by their secret ally, Uchiha Obito, Akatsuki villains Uchiha Madara and Kabuto declare war on the Five Great Nations of the ninja.  This begins the Fourth Great Ninja War, and the five great shinobi leaders, known as the Gokage, form the Allied Shinobi Forces to fight this war.  Obito and Madara's goal is to revive the monstrous tailed-beast, Ten Tails.

As Naruto, Vol. 66 (entitled The New Three – Chapters 628 to 637) begins, Obito and Madara have indeed revived Ten Tails.  While Madara guides Ten Tails, Obito faces his one-time teammate, Hatake Kakashi, who is also Naruto's teacher and mentor.

All is not lost for the shinobi forces.  The Four Lords Hokage arrive, including someone dear to Naruto.  Speaking of our favorite teen ninja, Naruto and Sakura Haruno are reunited with their prodigal teammate, Sasuke UchihaCell 7.  Will they be enough to stop Ten Tails?  Meanwhile, troublemaker Lord Orochimaru and his partners, Suigetsu and Karin, make their play.

It has been almost 11 months since I last read a volume of the Naruto manga.  Naruto is my favorite comic, and I put off keeping up with it, as I read other things.  I recently snagged two volumes, including Naruto Volume 66.

A year ago, in a review of Vol. 65 for the ComicBookBin website, I wrote that Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto was doing some of his best storytelling.  That is still true.  Naruto is on the precipice of making its next big leap, but first this, long war of the tailed-beast needs to wrap up.  Kishimoto is using this time in the narrative to not only make shocking reveals, but also to reunite many characters and to dig into the past of some.  As always, Kishimoto gives his readers a reason to keep reading, because Naruto Vol. 66 is as good as the promise made by Vol. 65, which sets a high standard for Vol. 67.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

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