Manga Review: Naruto Volume 17

Naruto Volume 17 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 17
Written by: Masashi Kishimoto
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: September 4, 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.

At this point in the story, Naruto has left the village with Jiraiya of the three Legendary Sannin. Their mission is to find Tsunade, another of the Legendary Sannin, and convince her to come become the Fifth Hokage in the wake of the death of the Third Hokage in the recent battle in Konoha. As they travel, Jiraiya uses the time as an opportunity to teach Naruto a new jutsu.

On their journey, they encounter two members of the Akatsuki organization: Itachi Uchiha (Sasuke’s older brother) and Kisame Hoshigaki. They are wanting to capture Naruto because of the Nine-Tailed Fox Demon that’s inside him.

After Sasuke learned that Itachi had been in the village in Volume 16, he went on a search to find him. Sasuke finds Itachi right around the same time that Naruto encounters the two members of the Akatsuki. Sasuke works at getting his revenge on Itachi; during the battle, the reader gets to see a flashback of what Itachi had done and why Sasuke wants to get revenge against his older brother.

Unfortunately, Sasuke’s revenge doesn’t go as planned, and Jiraiya ends up entering into the fight. Even with a Legendary Sannin present, Itachi and Kisame are still able to escape.

After this, the majority of the volume focuses on Naruto trying to learn the components of the new jutsu that Jiraiya wants him to try and master. The reader is also officially introduced to Tsunade in this volume, although most of her appearances here are rather brief. However, from the description given for Volume 18, it looks like Tsunade will be a major focus in it.

One of the strongest points of this volume is the fact that the reader is finally given the backstory of what happened to Sasuke’s clan, as well as for his burning desire for revenge against Itachi. When I saw this portion of the story in the anime, I felt like I had at least a little bit of sympathy for Sasuke. It’s hard for me to say too much more, because I’m a lot further along in the anime, and I don’t want to inadvertently provide spoilers to readers who haven’t made through a significant portion of the Naruto Shippuden television anime series.

However, after having a rather “heavy” story early on in Volume 17, the mood lightens a bit once Naruto starts his training for the new jutsu he’s trying to master. The light-hearted tone of this portion of the volume is a welcome change of pace after a rather serious story early on.

When it comes to Tsunade, I have to admit that when I reached this point in the story in the anime, I wasn’t so sure I wanted her to become the Fifth Hokage. Her gambling problem and the fact that she would find ways to disguise herself to escape from debts didn’t exactly endear her to me at first. I don’t want to provide spoilers, but it appears the story in Volume 18 is when the reader will learn more about Tsunade and why she’s the way she is. That’s all I’m going to say here for now, in order to avoid any spoilers, but I suspect I’ll touching a lot more on Tsunade’s character when I write the review for Volume 18.

Even though I already know what’s going to happen in this volume from seeing this part of the story in the anime series, I was just as riveted when I read the original manga as I was when I first saw the story in the anime.

If you’ve read and enjoyed the previous 16 volumes of the Naruto manga series, then I feel confident that you’ll enjoy reading Volume 17.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Naruto Volume 17 that I checked out through the King County Library System.

Additional posts about Naruto:

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