Naruto 3 by Masashi Kishimoto: B-

From the back cover:
Zabuza, the ninja assassin, was stopped from his first try at killing Tazuna the bridge-builder—but Zabuza still lives! While the ninjas recover from their injuries, Kakashi puts Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura on a strict training regimen to protect Tazuna’s family—including Tazuna’s embittered grandson Inari—and prepare for Zabuza’s next attack.

But the next time won’t be as easy, because joining Zabuza is his deadly apprentice, Haku. And as the bridge comes closer to completion, our heroes must be willing to die—or kill—to protect the ones they love…

The ninjas recover, train, and discover new abilities in this volume. Par for the course for shounen manga, in other words. I started to think something might finally happen with Sakura, after her uselessness in previous volumes, when she was the first to master a new technique. But no—Kakashi mentally states that the boys have much greater reserves of power than she does and, after some practice, they’re able to duplicate the feat. Later, in the battle with Zabuza and Haku, Sakura continues to stand around and do nothing. Sigh.

While Naruto pushes himself to improve so he can protect those he cares about, he ends up inspiring a little kid who’d lost the dad who fought the anti-bridge thugs to protect his son and his town. It’s about as exciting as it sounds.

The final battle itself is pretty good—Kakashi’s ability of hypnotic mimicry is thwarted by some new techniques of Zabuza’s, and the fight with Haku (whom I quite like) awakens some latent power of Sasuke’s that allows him to see through the illusions that Haku creates. I think those two are probably related, since much is made of how Sasuke is the last of his tragic clan and he makes some reference to an older brother that could be interpreted to mean Haku.

So, this volume was okay—I was sufficiently entertained—but it wasn’t great.

Did you enjoy this article? Consider supporting us.

Speak Your Mind