Naruto (3-in-1 Edition), Vol. 3: Includes vols. 7, 8 & 9 (英語) ペーパーバック – 2011/9/6
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The world’s most popular ninja comic just got bigger with this collection of Naruto volumes!
Reads R to L (Japanese Style), for audiences T
Containing volumes 7, 8 and 9 of Naruto! Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura passed the written portion of the Chûnin Exam, but that was only the beginning! Now in the thick of the exam's second phase, held in the aptly named Forest of Death, instructor Mitarashi Anko has promised to cut the number of advancing teams by half. And a mysterious predator in their midst is after Sasuke!
Author/artist Masashi Kishimoto was born in 1974 in rural Okayama Prefecture, Japan. After spending time in art college, he won the Hop Step Award for new manga artists with his manga Karakuri (Mechanism). Kishimoto decided to base his next story on traditional Japanese culture. His first version of Naruto, drawn in 1997, was a one-shot story about fox spirits; his final version, which debuted in Weekly Shonen Jump in 1999, quickly became the most popular ninja manga in Japan.
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I've only read volumes preceeding these and seen only a few random episodes when it had hit the television as well as the episodes from the beginning up to the second half of the chunin exams. So needless to say, I'd been a hooked sucker to the series.
The artwork feels a little "cleaner" than his earlier works. However it sacrifices a bit of the human feel in his drawings, which it still clings onto. The art is still very much shonen with a variety of drawings for the eyes and his exceptional skills at bringing the action in the story to life. He also toys with his skill set with little nicknacks here and there for each of the characters truly defining personality.
As for the story, Naruto is still off in the second part of the chunin examinations with Sasuke and Sakura. There another spy among them is revealed to the audience but not to any of the characters. Later, most all the characters bust into the third part of the examination, and are forced to go through "preliminaries." This sets up a few character development points showing off some freaky characters and a couple dramatic battles. The first shows the blooming rivalry of Inu and Sakura, while later Hinata and Neji- both of the Hyuga clan, however in seperate branches, face off, bringing out a little spark of romance between Hinata and Naruto (personally, I'd like to see them together soon! haha).
The copy I recieved was alright. I can't complain too much for half price. Still, despite the covers being for the most part fine, the inside reminded me of dust while page 67/68 had a third of the page torn off (this really pissed me off).
Anyway, even with the page torn, I still feel like this was more than worth my anticipation as well as the couple hours I invested in it. With the comic relief and the dramatic fights, I've got some pretty high hopes with this shonen as I read on.