Manga Review: Naruto Volume 13

Naruto Volume 13 is a manga by Masashi Kishimoto, and it was released in North America by Viz Media’s Shonen Jump imprint in 2007. 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 13
Written by: Masashi Kishimoto
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: March 6, 2007

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.

Early in Volume 13, we see Kakashi and Sasuke finally make it to the arena for the final test of the Chunin Exam. When Sasuke and Gaara finally have their battle, it ends up taking up a good portion of the volume. Unfortunately, their match is interrupted by an attacked that’s launched on the Hidden Leaf Village by an alliance between the Hidden Sound Village and the Hidden Sand Village. This invasion includes casting a genjutsu in the stadium to put the spectators to sleep. Some of the ninja are able to break the genjutsu.

Gaara, who was injured during his match, is taken out of the village by his siblings, Temari and Kankuro. Sasuke goes in pursuit of them. Kakashi orders Sakura to wake Naruto and Shikamaru, and sends them, along with his dog Pakkun, on a mission to pursue Sasuke. The Third Hokage also gets a surprise when he discovers that a former student came to the exam disguised as the leader of the Hidden Sand Village.

The early part of Volume 13 is a little deceptive, and can basically be thought of as the “calm before the storm.” While there’s action with Sasuke and Gaara’s highly anticipated battle, the action really gets going once the invasion of the Hidden Leaf Village is launched.

With this volume, Kishimoto was able to convey through his art just how bloodthirsty Gaara had become by this point. Now only was he able to convey it, he was able to truly make the reader believe in the change that Gaara had undergone with his personality.

Another very memorable portion of Volume 13 is when Sasuke and Kakashi make their grand entrance into the stadium. The visual of all the leaves swirling around really leaves an impression with the reader; in fact, I can still visualize those particular panels hours after reading the volume.

Volume 13 finally takes the story beyond the Chunin Exam and toward “the next level.” During the past couple of volumes, the reader could tell that something was building, but just how drastic that something was didn’t become evident until near the end of Volume 13. This is the point in the series where the story is progressing from being a simply story about a young ostracized ninja trying to prove himself into something much bigger. From being much further along in the anime series than I am in the manga series, I know where the story is headed; however, I’m not going to say in order to avoid providing “spoilers” for readers who haven’t progressed past this point in the story.

If you’ve read and enjoyed the previous 12 volumes of the Naruto manga series, then I believe you will be pleased with how the story progresses in Volume 13.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Naruto Volume 13 that I checked out through the King County Library System.

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