Manga Review: Naruto Volume 24

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. At this point, Naruto, along with Shikamaru, Choji, Neji, Kiba, and Akamaru, are trying to get Naruto’s teammate Sasuke back from Orochimaru.

Naruto Volume 24
Written by: Masashi Kishimoto
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: November 6, 2007

Volume 24 continues the battles that Shikamaru, Kiba, and Naruto are having with the remaining members of the Sound Four. But there’s a few surprises that take place over the course of these battles.

First, during Naruto’s battle with Kimimaro, Sasuke unexpectedly emerges from the coffin and runs off. As he does, Rock Lee suddenly appears on the scene. He’s survived the surgery, and he sneaks out of the hospital to try to help his friends out. Lee tells Naruto he’ll take care of Kimimaro so Naruto can go after Sasuke.

With this particular portion of the story, VIZ Media decided to make a change. Instead of accidentally drinking alcohol and being able to use the Drunken Fist, Lee accidentally drinks Tsunade’s “private potion,” which enables him to use the Potion Punch. OK, I understand that VIZ Media wasn’t wanting to show underage drinking in the manga, but the “private potion” and “Potion Punch” changes just sound stupid. And I find it interesting that the English dub of the anime didn’t make the same edit.

During this volume, Shikamaru, Kiba, and Lee appear that they’re about to lose in their respective fights. But another surprise takes place when the Sand Siblings arrive and save them. Temari backs up Shikamaru, Kankuro backs up Kiba, and Gaara backs up Lee. There’s some great scenes here, especially the interactions between Shikamaru and Temari. Temari and Kankuro seem to have an easier time dealing with their adversaries than Gaara does. But when all is said and done, Gaara is able to prevail over Kimimaro.

Another part of this volume that really stands out to me is the interactions between Lee and Gaara during both the fight itself and in the aftermath. I really loved seeing Lee tell Gaara that he doesn’t hold a grudge against Gaara for injuring him so badly during the Chunin Exam that he almost had to give up being a ninja. It’s really not in Lee’s character to hold a grudge, so I found this to be realistic. And during Gaara’s appearances in this volume, the reader can see that Gaara has started changing from when he was seen during the Chunin Exam arc. I don’t think this will provide too much of a “spoiler,” but this volume ultimately lays the foundation for the alliance that will exist between the Village Hidden in the Leaves and the Village Hidden in the Sand.

Volume 24 still has some action in it, but it’s nowhere near as action heavy as Volume 23 had been. This volume also has a focus on character interactions and providing some more moments with the Sand Siblings to help establish them more than they had been during the Chunin Exam arc.

Even though I’ve already seen the story from watching the anime series, seeing it again in a manga form is still a different experience. I still think seeing these scenes in their original manga form are just as powerful as when I saw them on television. By seeing the original manga source material, I can tell that the anime adaptation was rather faithful to the story as it was presented in the manga.

If you’ve read and enjoyed the previous 23 volumes of the Naruto manga series, then I believe that you’ll enjoy reading Volume 24.

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