In the first installment of this book review, I described the way in which I used the book Naruto the Official Character Data Book by Masashi Kishimoto to prepare for my adventure at Anime Boston 2012. In this portion of the review, we'll see how I did in terms of using the book to learn about the Naruto characters and understand the story.
As I was rushing to finish everything I was juggling at work in order to take Friday and Saturday off for Anime Boston, I asked myself "Why am I doing this?" After all, it's my daughter and sister who are the big manga and anime fans. I'm just a tagalong. Those thoughts disappeared once I arrived, just like last year. Anime Boston is just plain fun!
A little history about Anime Boston. This year was the Con's tenth anniversary. It started out as a small event with a few thousand attendees. In 2012, I am told there were 21,500 tickets sold. Anime voice actors from all over the world fly in as do the bands who play the music, vendors and small artists who make anime-inspired art work. There are fascinating conference sessions discussing everything from new episodes of favorite anime to the relationship of the manga and anime storylines to Japan and Japanese culture.
One of the most amazing things about the Con, however, is the costumes. Many people dress up as their favorite characters (with varying degrees of success) or other theme-based things, such as the guy I saw this year dressed as the Japanese snack food "Pocky." It was among these cosplayers that I intended to test my skills in identifying the characters of Naruto. While it is protocol to ask permission before photographing the cosplayers, just about all of them are thrilled to be snapped with other attendees and the press.
From the moment I arrived, I was on a quest to find Naruto. It didn't take long. I finally saw the signature orange jumpsuit and the ninja headband of The Village Hidden in the Leaves.
Next, I found Kakashi, who put on a great show for me with his book. After all, one who fights so well can train young ninja while reading a book!
These were the easy ones though. I felt ready for a challenge! I identified this guy by the coat.
It took me a little while to figure out the character though. Finally, I settled on Sasuke, because of the hair.
Thoughout the two and a half days, I ran into many varieties of the Naruto characters. Now from the book I knew that the guys in the swirly orange masks were Tobi and I could spot the Ninja headbands from across the room. Finally though, I had my chance to use the Jutsu Data part of the book. I found my answer on page 216. The balls were for the jutsu of Change in Chakra Form.