Manga Review: Naruto Volume 28

Naruto Volume 28 focuses on Naruto Uzumaki, the number one hyperactive knuckleheaded ninja in the Hidden Leaf Village who has a fox demon sealed inside of him. He’s spent his life being shunned by the village due to fears of the fox demon, but Naruto is determined to become the leader of the village one day and be acknowledged by others.

Naruto Volume 28
Written by: Masashi Kishimoto
Publisher: Shueisha Inc.
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: March 4, 2008

At the beginning of Volume 28, more than two years have passed since the events that took place at the end of Volume 27. Naruto returns to the Hidden Leaf Village after being away on a training mission with Jiraiya during the timeskip, and it’s readily apparent how much time has lapsed when the reader sees Naruto for the first time. He’s definitely taller than before, and his outfit is different. Much of the early portion of Volume 28 shows Naruto running into some of his peers and seeing how much they’ve changed in appearance as well. Seeing the design changes for these characters can be a little shocking for the reader at first, but they will likely adapt to it quickly.

It’s also revealed that Gaara has become the Kazekage of the Hidden Sand Village during the timeskip, which offers another parallel between him and Naruto. Both of them have a tailed beast sealed inside of them and both of them went through the experience of being shunned by their respective villages, but Gaara has already achieved the dream that Naruto has been pursuing. But it’s nice to see that Naruto isn’t upset that Gaara is already leading his village; instead, it seems to drive Naruto to want to become Hokage even more.

The story of Naruto is also kicked up a notch in Volume 28. The Akatsuki finally make their move, and this plot development introduces two new characters: the puppet master Sasori and an explosive clay artist named Deidara. Gaara becomes an important part of the story when it’s revealed that he’s the target that Deidara and Sasori are after. This volume features an epic battle between Gaara and Deidara, which is very riveting to read.

Most of the latter half of Naruto Volume 28 focuses on the Hidden Sand Village, and also includes the introduction of a couple of new characters: a pair of elderly siblings who are revered by the people of the village. When one of the characters’ lives is in grave danger, these elderly siblings are asked to assist in trying to save this character. It’s very clear that one of the siblings harbors ill will toward the Hidden Leaf Village and is not supportive of the alliance between their two villages. I can already tell that this particular character will somehow be an important part of the story and will likely be an interesting character as well.

While Volume 28 is establishing what’s happened during the timeskip, it also doesn’t waste much time getting the action of the next story arc going. By the end of it, there’s already been an epic battle, and a character’s life is in grave danger. The action in this volume is so riveting that I didn’t want to put it down.

Naruto Volume 28 is a wonderful progression for the story, and it’s nice to see how much some of the main characters have grown and changed during the timeskip. Readers who enjoyed the storyline during the first 27 volumes of the series should be able find a lot to appreciate about the direction that the story and characters are going in after the timeskip.

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