Manga Review: Naruto Volume 11

Naruto Volume 11 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 Volume 11
Written by: Masashi Kishimoto
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: September 5, 2006

The main character of the series is Naruto Uzumaki; he’s the number one hyperactive knuckleheaded ninja in the Hidden Leaf Village. Naruto’s dream is to become 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 in 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.

A lot of the first half of this volume is dedicated to Naruto doing some training before the final test of the Chunin Exam. We are introduced to Jiraiya, the Toad Sage; he ends up taking over Naruto’s training after he knocks out Ebisu, the ninja who was supposed to be training Naruto. Jiraiya works at trying to help Naruto master chakra control by teaching him a summoning jutsu. There are times that the results of this training can be rather amusing to read.

This volume also provides a bit of backstory for Gaara from the Hidden Sand Village. Through the flashbacks, we begin to learn more about why Gaara is the way he is, and he slowly starts to become a more sympathetic character.

Volume 11 ends just as the first battle in the final test of the Chunin Exam is about to begin; the first match will feature Neji and Naruto, and will begin in Volume 12.

Since I’ve already seen this portion of the story in the anime, I already know what’s going to happen. It was also interesting to note that a section that appears in the anime during this portion doesn’t actually appear in the manga; this is the section where Naruto is running late and has to divert various obstacles in order to make it to the final test on time. I’d always suspected this was added to the anime to kill some time, so it was nice to see that I was proven right. I do think the story flows a lot better without that filler scene, so it was nice not to have to deal with it when I read the original manga version of the story.

In my opinion, Volume 11 of the series is even stronger than Volume 10 was. Since I’m a lot further into the story in the anime series, I know that future volumes of Naruto will be even stronger. Even though I may already know this section of the story, I still look forward to reading the manga volumes to see how the original manga version compares with what appeared in the anime series.

If you’ve read the previous 10 volumes of the Naruto series and enjoyed them, I know you’ll enjoy reading Volume 11.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Naruto Volume 11 that my husband and I purchased.

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