Naruto is a troublesome young ninja-in-training who is trying desperately to pass the exam and graduate from the Ninja Academy in his Village of the Hidden Leaves. His major problem is that he can't seem to master any of the techniques. His goal is to become a Hokage, the leader of all the Ninja in his village, but he doesn't see that his current struggle may make this dream impossible. One night, he gets wrapped up in a plot to steal a sacred scroll. While the scroll is in his care, Naruto manages to master one ninja technique: the Art of the Doppelganger. Naruto, thankfully, doesn't read the rest of the scroll, which also has the secret to what his village did to defeat the Nine-Tailed fox spirit and why everyone in the village seems to hate Naruto.
Kishimoto wastes no time getting readers into the action and worries about world building much later into this volume. Naruto gets some surface-level characterization to start with - he loves pranks and eating ramen and he has lofty goals, but some of the other characters around him are fairly one-dimensional. There is some character development for Master Kakashi, the ninja who is assigned to Naruto's first mission, so hopefully the other side characters will get a chance to develop as well. It is clear that Kishimoto has put a lot of thought into the world and history around these ninja societies, so hopefully we will get more of it as the series progresses. So far, the tone is pretty lighthearted, but there were a few instances where it shifted and became serious, so there is opportunity for some deeper development later on.
I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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