Manga Review: Naruto Volume 27

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. Unfortunately, they fail in their mission.

Naruto Volume 27
Written by: Masashi Kishimoto
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: December 4, 2007

Volume 27 spends the first three chapters wrapping up the Sasuke Retrieval Arc. Naruto tries to reassure Sakura that he will bring Sasuke back someday because he never goes back on his word. After hearing this, Sakura realizes that primarily what she’s done up until now was cry for help. She decides she wants to become more than that and asks Tsunade, the Fifth Hokage, to take her on as an apprentice. Tsunade agrees, and we see Sakura begin her training. This is a very important developmental milestone for Sakura. While she’s declared a couple of times that she wants to become stronger, she only did token gestures to make to it seem like she was doing something. Taking the step to become Tsunade’s apprentice is a big one for her and she’s truly showing that she’s ready to do what it takes to become more than just the girl constantly crying and asking Naruto for help.

When Jiraiya comes to visit Naruto, he tries to dissuade Naruto from going after Sasuke. But Naruto makes it clear that Sasuke is his friend and that he’s not giving up on him. In the end, Jiraiya decides to take Naruto on a training journey so Naruto can become stronger in order to take on the Akatsuki and maybe to even try to save Sasuke. The third chapter of the volume ends with Naruto and Jiraiya heading out on their journey as the other ninjas Naruto’s age return to their training and normal lives in the village. Getting to see how the others are doing makes for a nice epilogue for the first part of the Naruto manga series, since the second part begins in Volume 28.

The remainder of the volume features Kakashi Chronicles ~Boys’ Life on the Battlefield~. This story is set when Kakashi was much younger, right at the time he was promoted to Jonin. We get to know the other two members of his team, Rin and Obito. Kakashi is a very different person at this point, and we learn through an explanation from Kakashi’s master why Kakashi is acting the way he is. This story not only provides some background on Kakashi, but it also explains how he got an eye with Sharingan. I had actually already seen this story in the Naruto Shippuden anime, but it moved me just as much reading it in the manga now as it did when I first saw it in the anime. I loved seeing how Obito was ultimately the one to open Kakashi’s eyes and make him realize that the way he’d been acting wasn’t entirely right. It’s also thanks to Obito why Kakashi is the way we know him now in the series. There’s a very touching scene with Kakashi and his teammates right near the end of the story.

Probably the strangest thing for me when reading Kakashi Chronicles is getting used to seeing Kakashi as a much younger character because there are enough differences between this younger Kakashi and the Kakashi that we see in the regular series. The others really don’t bother me, since most of them haven’t appeared in the manga before now. When it came to the art in Kakashi Chronicles, there was one page that really caught my eye: it’s a full body picture of Obito on page 144. It’s very striking to look at, and it really stands out in comparison to the panels on the page next to it.

Even though I already know what’s going to happen from watching the anime series, I’ve enjoyed reading these events in their original manga form just as much as I did when I first saw them in the anime. It’s really impressed me to see just how closely the anime and manga look and feel at times.

If you’ve read and enjoyed the previous 26 volumes of the Naruto manga series, then I believe that you’ll enjoy reading Volume 27. The conclusion of the first part of the Naruto manga, as well as Kakashi Chronicles, makes this volume a great read.

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