After releasing Naruto
individual (and edited) volumes and then in
three-disc unedited sets for $50 a pop (MSRP) Viz has gone back and
the series again, this time in attractively priced 6-disc collections.
Based on the wildly popular manga by Masashi
Kishimoto, this action adventure series has a lot of laughs and some
Naruto is a 12 year old boy living in a village populated by
He isn't the best student around,
he's failed the test to become a ninja twice as the series opens and
looking good for the third time either.
What he lacks in discipline he more than makes up for in moxie:
loudly proclaims to anyone who will listen that he's going to be the
ever! The fact that everyone in the village shuns him and treats him
makes him even more determined.
There's more to the story than Naruto knows though. Twelve
years ago, a giant nine‑tailed fox attacked the land.
The village all turned out to face the
monster, and many ninja were killed, but the creature couldn't be
only way that the fox could be defeated was for the village elder to
his life and trap the fox inside a human body:
a baby boy named Naruto.
Shunned by the villagers and without a family, Naruto
becomes the class clown.
He figures that
it's better for people to be angry with him than ignoring him.
That all changes one evening though when the
boy is tricked into stealing a scroll of forbidden ninja techniques.
Naruto reads one, and miraculously masters
the complex maneuver which allows him to make "shadow clones" of
himself, countless copies that are solid, and not just illusions.
Armed with this technique Naruto manages to become a ninja,
but that's only the beginning of his training.
Next the young warrior has to go through advanced training as
part of a
He's teamed up with Sakura, a cute
girl he has a crush on, and Sasuke, the highest scoring student in
Together they have to go through
some rigorous training with Kakashi, a masked master who seems like a
Is he just putting on an act?
After their training, Kakashi and his pupils begin taking on
At first they are easy, Grade
finding lost cats, picking
weeds, and cleaning trash out of streams.
Eventually however they're given a Grade C assignment, to escort
back to his village and protect him from bandits while he finishes
What the ninjas don't know, and
what the bridge builder hasn't told them, is that he's been targeted
by a powerful businessman who does not want the bridge completed.
To accomplish this end, he's hired a powerful
ninja to kill the bridge builder, and anyone who gets in his way.
This show is a good deal of fun, though it is bit lighter in
tone than the manga.
They play up the
humor a good deal, but there is still a fair amount of action.
After the first handful of episodes where the
main characters are introduced and the premise of Naruto's world is
the show picks up the pace a good bit and the kicks start to fly.
Being a kid's action anime however, the
fights aren't based on reality at all.
That brings me to my main complaint about the show; the ninjas
magicians than martial artists.
harnessing their inner power these ninja can walk on water, create
sheets of ice, throw fireballs, transport themselves, and on and on.
There are a few too many times when a ninja
will pull a new, powerful technique out of his hat just when the
It's not a huge flaw
In other shows that are more
grounded in reality it would be fatal, but this show asks you to
disbelief right from the beginning.
The animation is okay, but not great.
isn't a lot of detail in the character
Hair is just a field of color
without and texture, and many people look two dimensional.
The motion is alright, with the action
flowing fairly smoothly.
The show does
cut more than a few corners too.
most grievous example of this is the repeated scenes.
Each episode opens by replaying the last 3 or
4 minutes from the previous show.
doesn't sound like a lot, but when you're talking about a 22 minute
that's nearly 20%.
Having said all that, I still enjoyed the program.
Like other Shonen Jump
based shows it has an
innocent charm and they cram each installment full of action and
The show moves so fast
hard to get caught up on the small flaws.
This set includes the first 25 episodes on 6 DVDs.
They come in a single double-width keepcase
with each disc on it's own side of a page.
They are not overlapping.