Article first published as Manga Review: Naruto Volume Six by Masashi Kishimoto on Blogcritics.
Naruto Volume Six is a manga by Masashi Kishimoto, and it was released in North America by Viz Media’s Shonen Jump imprint in 2005. 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 Volume 6
Written by: Masashi Kishimoto
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: April 5, 2005
Naruto Uzumaki is the main character of the series, and he is the number one hyperactive knuckleheaded ninja in the Hidden Leaf Village. He dreams of becoming the leader of the village someday, and he wants everyone to acknowledge him. Naruto has been shunned by the adults of the village his entire life because he has a fox demon sealed inside of him.
Naruto has become a member of Team 7, along with Sakura Haruno and Sasuke Uchiha. The three of them, along with other Genin-level ninja in the Leaf Village and from some of the other villages, have gathered in the Leaf Village for the Chunin Exam. At the end of the exam, those ninja who are deemed worthy enough are promoted from the Genin rank to the Chunin rank.
The entirety of Volume Six focuses on the second test of the Chunin Exam; this is a survival test, where teams have to get two scrolls and reach a tower before the end of the time limit. The teams that don’t accomplish this task are eliminated from the Chunin Exam.
Volume Six is a very important volume in the story of Naruto. It is in this volume that the character of Orochimaru is introduced, and an event takes place between Orochimaru and Sasuke sets events in motion that will propel the story going forward in later story arcs. I really don’t want to say more, because I already know where the story is headed from watching the anime, and I don’t want to inadvertently provide spoilers for readers who are just delving into the Naruto universe.
This volume also shows the history of Sakura and Ino’s friendship and the events that led to them becoming rivals. An event that takes place near the end of Volume Six also shows Sakura beginning to understand that she is capable of being more than the member of her squad who follows in the footsteps of her comrades. The reader also gets to see flashback sequence for Rock Lee and see some interactions between Rock Lee and his sensei, Might Guy; this helps the reader start to get a little more understanding of Lee as a character.
For me, it’s been interesting to read the story in the manga after seeing it in the anime series. Because of this, the story arc in the manga feels like it’s moving faster than it did in the anime. Fortunately, the Chunin Exam arc in the anime didn’t feel as stretched out as the Land of Waves arc did.
Art-wise, most of the character designs for the newer characters are starting to look smoother. The main exception to this is Shikamaru; he still looks a lot rougher in the manga in comparison to how he’s drawn in the anime. Hopefully Shikamaru’s design will start looking less rough in subsequent volumes.
Even though I may know this story from the anime already, I’m still riveted by what I read in the manga; in fact, I have a hard time putting it down.
I wrote this review after reading a copy of Naruto Volume Six that I checked out through the King County Library System.
Additional posts about Naruto: