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Naruto Volume 16

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Cover artwork for Naruto Volume 16 by Masashi Kishimoto, published by VIZ Media / Shueisha

Naruto Volume 16

© Masashi Kishimoto

The Bottom Line

Naruto Volume 16 is largely a 'bridge' volume, as it ends one story arc, the battle for Konoha Village and begins another with the introduction of Itachi Uchiha and Akatsuki (Red Moon), a new band of rogue ninjas who will replace Orochimaru as the biggest threat to Naruto and his friends.

But it's not all battles and blood, as there are a few amusing glimpses into the lives of other ninjas of the Leaf Village, including cameos by the parents of Choji, Ino, Shikamaru and Kiba.

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Pros

  • The battle for Konoha Village ends with a mostly satisfying resolution
  • Introduction of a new story arc featuring Itachi, Sasuke's evil older brother
  • Great fun to see the parents of Kiba, Shino, Choji, Ino and Shikamaru in action
  • Rare spotlight on ninja mentors Kurenai and Asuma, who have been in the background until now
  • Lots of tantalizing tidbits and flashbacks that introduce new characters, storylines

Cons

  • Introduction of an incidental character that goes nowhere
  • Naruto beats Gaara with a head butt?
  • The departure of the Third Hokage

Description

  • Original Title: Naruto (Japan)
  • Author and Artist: Masashi Kishimoto
  • Publishers: Shonen Jump / VIZ Media (US), Shonen Jump / Shueisha (Japan)
  • ISBN: 978-1-4215-1090-3
  • Cover Price: $7.95 US / $9.99 CANADA
  • Age Rating: T – Teens, Age 13+ for martial arts violence, mildly bloody scenes and a few deaths.
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  • US Publication Date: September 2007
    Japan Publication Date: March 2003
  • Book Details: 200 pages, paperback, black and white illustrations

Guide Review - Naruto Volume 16

In Naruto Volume 16, the first third of the book features the final, decisive battle scenes between Naruto and Gaara, as well as Orochimaru and the Third Hokage. The rest of the volume offers a brief respite from the fighting as the Hidden Leaf Village ninjas mourn and recover from their losses. In the midst of the somber aftermath, a new threat comes to town with the return of Sasuke's murderous elder brother, Itachi, and his allies in Akatsuki (Red Moon). a rogue band of ninjas with fearsome abilities.

The final battle scenes between the Hidden Leaf Village ninjas and the invaders from the Sand and Sound Villages are satisfying, although it is a little anti-climatic to have Naruto and Gaara's face-off end with a head-butt, and to see Orochimaru get off relatively easily. Perhaps more entertaining is the brief cameos of minor characters like the parents of Choji, Ino and Shikamaru, who demonstrate in battle that the "Ino-Shika-Cho" threesome have cross-generational ties.

Speaking of minor characters, ninja mentors Kurenai and Asuma get a chance to show off their personalities and their battle skills, as they face off against Itachi and Hoshigaki Kisame, an outlaw ninja with a shark-like face and a huge sword with razor-sharp teeth. These brief battle scenes are just an appetizer, meant to whet readers' appetites for future clashes between Akatsuki and the Konoha ninjas.

Other cameos are less successful, as an un-named female black-ops ninja briefly appears to mourn Hayate, an early casualty in the attack on Konoha, then she fades away just as quickly and inconsequentially.

All in all, Naruto Volume 16 packs in lots of new details about characters old and new, tosses in a few tantalizing plot tidbits and launches a new major story arc that will bring major changes to the relationship between Naruto and Sasuke.

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