Monday, June 13, 2011


Story & Art by Masashi Kishimoto

I've enraged some people, the way geekdoms can get enraged, in the past when I have said the successor to Harry Potter in creativity, adventure, and fun was not Twilight or Percy Jackson or even A Series Of Unfortunate Events {which I love} but the true successor to Harry Potter was and is Naruto.

Every since the Shippuden growth happen within the series I'll admit there have been a few volumes that fell flat for me but with the end of Volume 50 and here with 51 I think the series is starting a good run again.

Mandara is my least favorite Naruto character. I know in a way he is suppose to be a vapor but in this universe where almost all of the characters have such presence he stands out too much as a vapor but here he was just in the background as Sasuke does battle with Danzo.

People always want to compare the battles in Naruto with Dragon Ball battles but I don't see them as similar. The battles in Naruto are chess matches, not just power up to another and another and another level of strength as it is with Dragon Ball. A battle in Naruto reminds me of someone trying to set a mathematics trap. These fights are personal, unique, and character driven.

One of the things I've always enjoyed about this series is how much of a flake the lead character can be. A flake, a spaz, but always always heroic in the end. But just when you think he may have cracked he shows how strong he can be. Shippuden is about Naruto growing up and now we are coming to the point when he will have no choice but to truly do so. 

And the same can be said of Sakura.

Sasuke, Sakura, Naruto, and Kakashi, Team 7 are about to face a confrontation that has been brewing for so long. All four have had their lives lead by the back street politics and actions of others. This seems like the moment that happens in a lot of people lives in that even though you may have not always had control of where your life is leading, there always comes a time when you must take control and lead your own footsteps.

4 out of 5 stars
Naruto 51


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