Manga Review: Naruto Volume 25

The main character of the series is Naruto Uzumaki, and 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 25
Written by: Masashi Kishimoto
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: December 4, 2007

Volume 25 opens with Naruto and Sasuke’s confrontation at the Valley of the End. They exchange some words, Naruto remembers some memories of Sasuke from earlier in the series, and then the two of them begin their fight.

But only after a short bit, the story transitions into a flashback of young Sasuke and Itachi and seeing the events that led up to Itachi slaughtering everyone in the Uchiha clan except for Sasuke. This flashback ends up taking up more than half of the volume, but it’s a very important backstory. This flashback allows the reader to get to see Sasuke’s parents, as well as their interactions with their sons. The flashback is seen through Sasuke’s eyes, so there are parts of the story that we don’t get to see. Instead, missing sections of the story are mentioned in dialogue, and the reader is left to fit these pieces of information into what they’re reading in the flashback. From being further ahead in the anime series, I can say without providing any true “spoilers” that the information from this flashback will return much later on in the story. Even though I already knew what was in the flashback from seeing the anime series, I still didn’t want to put Volume 25 down as I was reading this portion of it.

After this, the story returns to Sasuke and Naruto at the Valley of the End. During this section, Sasuke declares that Naruto has become his closest friend. Unfortunately, this ends up confusing Naruto instead of making him happy because of the fact that two of them are fighting. It doesn’t help when Sasuke adds that because Naruto is his closest friend, he must kill him. The reason for this is made clear in the flashback portion of this volume. But these last few pages of the volume that focus on the fight between Naruto and Sasuke are very action oriented, which helps to make this portion of it a very quick read.

Volume 25 is a very important volume in the series, and it’s not just because of the backstory and background information that’s provided in it. It’s also important because of the showdown going on between Naruto and Sasuke. The series has definitely been building up to the showdown between these two particular characters, and the stakes have been set high if Naruto loses. This battle will definitely continue in Volume 26, so I expect that one will be a quick and intense read.

Even though I already know the story from watching the anime series, seeing it again in its original manga form is still a different experience. These scenes are just as powerful in their original manga form as they are in the anime adaptation. From reading 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 24 volumes of the Naruto manga series, then I believe that you’ll enjoy reading Volume 25.

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