Article first published as Manga Review: Naruto Volume Seven by Masashi Kishimoto on Blogcritics.
Naruto Volume Seven is a manga by Masashi Kishimoto, and it was released in North America by Viz Media’s Shonen Jump imprint in 2005. 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 Uzumaki is the main character of the series, and he is the number one hyperactive knuckleheaded ninja in the Hidden Leaf Village. His dream is to become of the leader of the village one day, and he wants everyone to acknowledge him. Naruto has spent his entire life up to this point being shunned by the adults in the village due to the fact that he has a fox demon sealed inside of him.
Naruto is a member of Team 7, along with Sakura Haruno and Sasuke Uchiha. They are competing in the Chunin Exam; at the end of the exam, the ninja who are deemed worthy enough are promoted from the Genin rank to the Chunin rank.
Volume Seven continues the second test of the Chunin Exam, which is survival test that requires the teams to acquire two scrolls and reach the tower before the end of the exam. The teams that can’t accomplish this task within the allotted time are eliminated from the Chunin Exam.
The early portion of the volume focuses on Shikamaru, Choji, and Ino trying to help Team 7 out of a predicament they’re in with a team from the ninja of the Sound Village. There’s also quite a bit of focus on Sasuke and Curse Mark he had received from Orochimaru in Volume Six. Team 7 also receives unexpected help from a ninja named Kabuto; however, is Kabuto’s help sincere, or does he have an ulterior motive?
It’s been an interesting experience for me to read the manga after seeing the corresponding anime episodes first. By reading the manga after seeing the anime, I was able to pick up on at least two instances of foreshadowing that appeared in Volume Seven. I couldn’t help but smile when I picked up on this foreshadowing, because I knew exactly what was being referenced.
This volume also lets us see a little more of the Sand Siblings (Gaara, Kankuro, and Temari) and their interactions with each other. While we saw a little bit of this interaction back when the Sand Siblings first arrived in the Leaf Village for the Chunin Exam, there’s a scene in Volume Seven that expands on the interactions and helps the reader to understand the character of Gaara a little bit better.
In the opening author’s note, Kishimoto mentions that this is the first Naruto volume to be created entirely digitally. I can definitely see a difference in the style of the art in this volume in comparison to the previous six volumes. Overall, the characters have a “smoother” look to them, and are starting to look a lot closer to their anime counterparts.
Even though I may already know what’s going to happen from seeing the anime series first, I’m still riveted by what I read in the manga; in fact, I have a hard time putting it down. If you’re read the previous six volumes of Naruto and enjoyed them, then you should also enjoy what you read in Volume Seven.
I wrote this review after reading a copy of Naruto Volume Seven that I checked out through the King County Library System.