Manga Review: Naruto Volume 67

Naruto Volume 67 is a manga by Masashi Kishimoto, and it has been released in North America by VIZ Media’s Shonen Jump imprint in October 2014. 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 67
Written by: Masashi Kishimoto
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: October 7, 2014

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. He started proving himself a little during the Chunin Exam, and has started receiving training from Jiraiya, one of the three Legendary Sannin.

When Sasuke defects leaves the Hidden Leaf Village to seek out Orochimaru to gain power to exact his revenge on his older brother, Itachi, Naruto tries everything in his power to stop Sasuke. Unfortunately, Naruto fails, and Sasuke trains under Orochimaru.

Two years pass, and Naruto finds himself being targeted by the Akatsuki, an organization bent on acquiring all of the tailed beasts. Even with this going on, Naruto is still determined to rescue Sasuke.

At this point in the series, Naruto and the rest of the ninja world is embroiled in the Fourth Great Ninja War. Obito, a former teammate of Kakashi’s who was thought to be dead, is actually alive and working with Madara; they are attempting to get the Ten Tails’ power. The four former Hokage have been resurrected with a jutsu that makes them Edotensei. Sasuke reunites with Naruto and Sakura on the battlefield, but Obito turns into a jinchuriki for the Ten Tails.

A lot of battles take place over the course of Volume 67, at first with Obito taking on the Second Hokage and Madara facing off with the First Hokage. The four Hokage become overpowered, so Naruto and Sasuke jump into the fray; unfortunately, they aren’t able to inflict damage on Obito.

We get to see an awesome moment during the battle when Minato, the Fourth Hokage and Naruto’s father, works together with his son by sharing their chakra and the chakra of both halves of Kurama. It’s just really awesome to see Naruto getting a chance to know his father through this battle, since Naruto never got to know him while he was growing up. It’s also revealed that the day we’re on in this volume is the anniversary of the death of Naruto’s parents, which means it’s also Naruto’s birthday.

Later in the volume Obito releases the true form of the Ten Tails, which is the Divine Tree; this tree starts attacking members of the ninja alliance to take their chakra in preparation for creating an illusionary world.

After the Ten Tails becomes the Divine Tree, the reader, as well as many of the characters, receive a history lesson of how chakra came into the ninja world. Many years ago, the Divine Tree bore a fruit that was said to be produced only once in a millennium according to legend, that fruit was never supposed to be touched. A princess named Kaguya Ohtsutsuki tasted the fruit to reap its power and win her war. Kaguya gained the power of a god, and became the first person to have chakra. Her son was born with chakra already in him, and he became known as the Sage of Six Paths. As I read the story about the Divine Tree and the fruit that’s not supposed to be touched, I couldn’t help but wonder if Kishimoto had been inspired by the Tree of Knowledge that appears in the Bible in the Book of Genesis. Obviously, the results of eating the fruit are very different between the two stories, but the basic concept is rather similar.

I have to admit that when I read this volume, I was jumping ahead a bit from where I’m currently at in the Naruto Shippuden anime; from my research, it appears where I’ve left off in Naruto Shippuden would be around the beginning of Volume 53 of the manga. That means I’ve jumped ahead 14 volumes in the story. And now that I’ve been reading Weekly Shonen Jump weekly for several months, I know what’s going to be happening beyond this point. So, getting to read this volume did help to fill in a small portion of the gap that I have in following the story. And seeing some of the concepts introduced here, such as the Divine Tree, provided me with a few “ah ha” moments.

Volume 67 is primarily an action-oriented volume, and it has much of the same feel as some of the more recent chapters of Naruto that I’ve been reading in Weekly Shonen Jump. And from looking around, it appears that I started following the story in Weekly Shonen Jump in the chapters that are late in Volume 68 and early in Volume 69, so it looks like I’m only missing a small portion of the story between the end of Volume 67 and what I know from Weekly Shonen Jump.

Even with all the jumping around that I’ve personally been doing to following the story in Naruto, I’ve enjoyed how Kishimoto has built up the story up to this point and seeing how various pieces that readers have been introduced to in the series up to this point are all coming together. This just continues to show just how much of a “world builder” Kishimoto is.

If you’ve been following the story of Naruto and are still interested in the story at this point, I would recommend that you not only ready Volume 67, but to continue reading as future volumes are released. From what I know from later chapters, there’s going to be a lot of fighting and it may seem to drag at times, but there are going to be very key moments and character development coming up that you don’t want to miss.

I wrote this review after reading a review copy of Naruto Volume 67 that was provided to me by VIZ Media.

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