REVIEW: ‘Naruto’ Chapter #697 (1999)

Naruto (1999)

Chapter 697
Story & Art by Masashi Kishimoto
Chapters: 697-Ongoing

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: Well damn, I really wasn’t expecting that amount of intensity.

Up until now the Naruto vs. Sasuke fight has been more or less standard shounen. Loud, awesome attacks that defy expectation and reality. While this chapter brings an end to all that, it does continue the fight with a very real, very physical brawl that brings both parties to a near stand-still.

Punch after punch, kick after kick, and even a few shuriken mixed in. By the end of this chapter both Naruto and Sasuke are a bloody mess and at their limits. With Sasuke about to kill Naruto. Now, I highly doubt Naruto will actually die but Kishimoto truly is putting out all the stops to end the feud between them.

And I’m loving every bit of it. There isn’t a lot I can truly comment on as far as story goes, this chapter was all action and it was glorious to behold. In a lot of ways, this reminds me of a certain other series that took two rival characters and had them dish it out to one another in the final hour – using their final forms and brutal, physical confrontation. That series is one of my favorites, s-CRY-ed, and no doubt this is a fight to rival that one. Kazuma and Ryuho’s feud is legendary, and forevermore so shall be Naruto and Sasuke’s.

At this point I’m expecting an ending that solves none of the loose ends and instead goes for shock-value over story. But we still have a few chapters left to go until then. Whether it’s 2 chapters, or 3 chapters left, I don’t even know at this point. Nor do I care anymore.

The art is even better this chapter than it has been recently and you know how much I’ve been bragging on Kishimoto’s art lately. I thought he was pulling out all the stops before, he really tears it up this week with an amazing display of physical brutality.

A few chapters to go, and really I have absolutely no idea how everything is going to go down. Next week shall be interesting though. Here’s to hoping for something good! This chapter alone has been my favorite in a good, long while.

Final Score: 5 Sealed Shuriken out of 5


DERRICK-image

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

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