- Story: Masashi Kishimoto.
- Art: Masashi Kishimoto.
- Released: April 24th, 2004.
- Imprint: SHONEN JUMP.
- Pages: 208.
Tazuna and the other workers work tirelessly to complete the bridge before Gatô steps in any further. In the meanwhile Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura train to develop control over their chakras in hopes of being able to master many new jutsu. Group Seven also learns more about the impact that Gatô has had on the village as well as the villagers. Just as things appear to quiet down Zabuza and Haku emerge to assassinate Tazuna and stop the completion of the bridge once and for all.
The characters have developed so much from the last volume. Naruto alone has gone from the most annoying character to one of the fastest developing characters I’ve ever seen. He just can’t be held down no matter what. Naruto always does what he needs to do to overcome the adversity. Sasuke has also developed quite a bit in this volume. I won’t spoil any of the developments but I will say that it is exciting and surprising. Sakura appears to catch on to most concepts faster than either Naruto or Sasuke though she is still unproven in battle.
This volume has a few emotional parts that took me by surprise. Again no spoilers but it was nice that the story had these small parts as it gives the characters a sense of endearment that pulls the reader in more. Naruto and Sasuke make quite the team and play off of each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Their coordination could use some work but for the most part they did very well and even had a few humorous interactions.
The art in this volume is also worth mentioning. Definitely not the main focus but each panel is perfectly detailed and gets the message through. I still can’t get over the fine detail in the jutsu that is used throughout the fights. Masashi certainly knows how to package an excellent product with great art and amazing story telling. The art is sure to keep you entertained throughout the volume.
As mentioned above this volume is one of the more emotional entries. I couldn’t help but feel bad for some of the characters as they had a rough way to go. Certainly my favorite entry as of now especially since we get a preview of what Naruto and Sasuke are capable of. I certainly didn’t imagine that Naruto would have these abilities hidden inside him. Sasuke also displayed a hidden talent that I was not aware of. I was very surprised and I am sure that you will be as well. A truly excellent read.