Foreign Friday: Naruto Shippuden

“How can I ever be Hokage, when I can’t even save one friend?” – Naruto Shippuden

Okay, so I’ve done Naruto before, but this week we’ll be looking especially at part two of the series: Naruto Shippuden by Masashi Kishimoto.

The Story

It’s been two years since Naruto left to train with Jiraiya. Now he reunites with his old friends to find out he’s still not the most accomplished of his former teammates. But when one of them is kidnapped, it’s up to Naruto to prove he’s got the stuff to save him!

The Characters

 Because of the two year gap in the story plot, Kishimoto is able to change not only most of the characters’ appearances, but he does manage to make some subtle changes to some characters’ personalities. Some show more change than others. The entire series from this point gets more mature, as the characters face challenges such as the deaths of loved ones and the prospect of war. Naruto’s personality doesn’t change much at all, although he does occasionally show that he’s gained a bit of wisdom.

What I Thought

In case you were wondering, no you really can’t read part two without reading part one if you want to get the whole picture. That aside, I believe that Naruto Shippuden (Shippuden means hurricane, or so I’ve been told) as a whole has a stronger plot, more sophisticated character development, and better art design that the first half of the series. Naruto is good, and has the air of a young boy’s action story. Naruto Shippuden is awesome, intense with a plot that even older kids (like myself) can really enjoy. Naruto’s an idiot, but he’s brave, persistent, and kind. Who can’t like that sort of hero?

One of the best features of this series is the reappearance of minor characters. I am a character driven reader (and writer) and I always love to see old faces. Kishimoto has yet to let a character appear only once. Even if they die. Some of the plot is stretched a bit thin to accomodate previous events or explanations that took place in the first half of the story, but as a whole the plot is very intriguing. Shippuden starts at volume 28 of the Naruto series, and is currently sitting at volume 55 in English in the U.S.

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