Story & Art by Masashi Kishimoto
Summary: Naruto is a young ninja-in-training, having grown up in the Village Hidden in the Leaves, who is shunned and isolated from those around him because of the mysterious beast lurking inside of him. This causes Naruto great pain, but he decides to work past it in order to become the greatest ninja that ever lived. Along the way he makes many friends and enemies. Can Naruto do it?
[MAJOR Spoilers from this point on…]
Review: THE COUNTDOWN BEGINS! 5 WEEKS TO GO! – So let’s begin by first discussing some rather distressing news… Naruto only has 5 weeks left in publication! That’s insane, with how this series progresses its story lines, and with how many plot threads are left in the open, and how many characters need an epilogue… I honestly figured the series would last until the end of this year, maybe early next year. But even more so, Naruto has been a huge part of my life for a long time – regardless of how I feel about its story now – and to even think that it may be coming to an end is… is surreal and unreal at the same time.
The reason I say it’s distressing news though is because of everything that will potentially be left unsaid and undone once the series wraps up for good. With how many characters Kishimoto has built up, and where they’re currently stuck within the cocoons of a chakra stealing tree, I just don’t see him pulling it all off well in 5 weeks. Who knows what he has planned at this point.
Now, onto the main event itself. There is very little that actually transpires in this chapter other than Naruto & Sasuke both going all out on one another, going for their most powerful moves first. It’s quite the spectacle to be honest. It also makes sense, and I’m glad Kishimoto went the route of letting them go big or go home right off the bat. Any other gradual build up would just be painful knowing how much is left in the series.
That being said, this chapter mimics Naruto & Sasuke’s first big fight when Sasuke left the leaf village by putting in a lot of the flashbacks we saw back then. And while I see the semblance of doing it in order to mirror how far the two characters have come, this really isn’t the time for talking nor showing any other flashbacks. If Kishimoto was smart, he’d use the next two or 3 chapters to let Naruto and Sasuke just have one, giant, dialogue and flashback free fight. And then use the last two chapters to bring it to an end and tie everything up in a giant-sized bow. Or is that just wishful thinking on my part?
The art is really stepping up in this chapter though, the panels of Sasuke’s Susanoo form & Naruto’s Kyuubi form against one another are beautiful and definitely poster worthy. I’m glad Kishimoto has decided to pull out all the stops not just with the characters but also with his art to bring us a fast, gorgeous, final fight worth witnessing. I think that’s what I was most impressed by in this chapter, and if he can just keep his art brilliant and his dialogue/flashbacks to a minimum I will be happy.
That’s all I really have to say, again there wasn’t much in the way of the chapter to actually discuss. It feels weird knowing that I just started reviewing the series weekly & I’m about to have to replace it. Good thing I have plenty of Attack on Titan to catch up on! So stayed tuned for that!
One last comment to make though regarding the end of Naruto: at 5 chapters to go, counting this one, that places the final chapter of Naruto at chapter 699… Okay, that REALLY messes with my OCD concerning numbers. Kishimoto, why? Why?! Why couldn’t you have just gone one more chapter and given us an even 700 chapters to Naruto??
Final Score: 4 Chapters to go out of 5
Derrick is a born and raised otaku with a love for comics, anime, manga and movies. The full list is pretty long, but that’s just the basics. Stories set in space are his bread and butter.
You can find more of his writing at IndieComix.net