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Manga Review: ‘Naruto’ Volume 10 by Masashi Kishimoto

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Naruto Volume 10 is a manga by Masashi Kishimoto, and it was released in North America by Viz Media’s Shonen Jump imprint in 2006. The series is rated “T” for teens; from what I’ve read of the manga and from what I’ve seen of the anime series, I would agree with this rating.

Naruto Uzumaki is the main character of the series, and he’s the number one hyperactive knuckleheaded ninja in the Hidden Leaf Village. He dreams of becoming the leader of his village one day and to be acknowledged by others. When Naruto was a baby, a fox demon was sealed inside of him; because of this, the adults of the village have shunned Naruto out of fear of the fox demon.

Naruto, along with his teammates Sakura Haruno and Sasuke Uchiha, are competing in the Chunin Exam; this exam determines which ninja are worthy enough to be promoted from the Genin rank to the Chunin rank.

The vast majority of this volume is dedicated to the preliminary battle that pits Rock Lee from the Hidden Leaf Village against Gaara from the Hidden Sand Village. In addition to the action-packed fight that takes place, there is also some character backstory provided for Rock Lee through some flashback sequences.

Even though I already knew what to expect in the story from seeing this in the anime series, I was just as moved by Rock Lee’s backstory as I read as the manga as I was the first time I  saw it in the anime series. It’s at this point in the series that Lee becomes a much more sympathetic character; prior to this, he basically came across as a bit of a braggart who could also be a bit of a goof. However, once you reach the end of the fight with Gaara, you realize that you feel for Lee and actually care about him.

Outside of this plot point, the remaining preliminary match is wrapped up in a hurry. The Genin who have progressed past the preliminaries are briefed about what’s going to happen next, and there’s also a plot point that involves Sasuke and Kakashi. The volume ends with Naruto getting a new teacher to work with him over the next month to help him improve his skills before the final portion of the Chunin Exam.

At this point in the series, Volume 10 is one of the strongest volumes in the Naruto manga series. However, since I’m much further along in the anime version of the story, I know that there will be future volumes of the manga that will be even stronger than this one is. I’m looking forward to reading Volume 11 to see the original manga version of the story to see the portrayal of this point of the series in print.

If you’ve been reading the Naruto manga and have enjoyed the previous nine volumes of the series, I’m sure you’ll also enjoy Volume 10.

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About Lesley Aeschliman

Lesley Aeschliman is a freelance writer who began writing on a full-time basis in 2007. She has served as the Anime editor at BellaOnline.com, and she also writes and maintains two blogs: Lesley's Musings... on Anime and Manga and AeschTunes.