Friday, August 3, 2007

Naruto Manga Volumes 1-4

Overall Rating: B
Synopsis: I suspect that if you're reading this blog, you have some idea of who the fuck Naruto is, but in case you don't, here's a brief synopsis. Naruto is a 12 year old boy, who is the reincarnation of the nine-tailed fox that nearly destroyed the Leaf village, where Naruto lives. All of the adults fear him, and so they scorn him, and their children, not knowing the truth, scorn him and make fun of him. He has therefore become the equivalent of a ninja class clown. In short, he is annoying. He manages to pass his ninja training though, and along with his rival Sasuke and his dream girl Sakura, joins a ninja team. Both hate him. Hijinks and adventure ensue.

I didn't think I would be rating Naruto as highly as I did. I watched a couple of episodes of the anime on Cartoon Network (which I understand is censored), and didn't like it. Mostly because Naruto has a horrible tendency to say "Believe it!" in a really annoying voice all the fucking time. Seriously. Every couple of minutes he says "Believe it!" I'm getting pissed just thinking about it.

However, in the manga, Naruto, while still being somewhat annoying, is also more sympathetic. They spend a little more time focusing on how shunned he's been and how that led to his behavior. He still bugs me, but at least the manga doesn't throw the annoying catch phrase in every chance they get (he hasn't said it yet!) Instead, I find myself draw in by the secondary characters. Sasuke and Sakura are actually interesting and the world itself is pretty cool. Sasuke has a mysterious past ( wonder the fangirls love him) and Sakura provides some of the only actually funny moments in the book. The world revolves around the ninja villages (Leaf, Rain, Sand, Grass, Waterfall, and Sound) and their differences (each village teaches different techniques. All-in-all, the series is shaping up to be more interesting than I thought it would.

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