Aditi Amritesh, our pre-teen reviewer, introduces Naruto, a Japanese manga series and her favorite book character.
I have several favourite book characters and I am unable to choose between any of them, but for this review, Naruto was the first character who came to my mind.
The Naruto series is a manga (Japanese graphic novel) series written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto. It was serialised in the manga magazine Weekly Shonen Jump before being sorted into volumes. It has a huge cult following and is easily one of the world’s most popular manga.
Naruto Uzumaki is a Ninja boy. He is the main character in the series. The series is set in the past, in the village of Konohagakure. The characters grow up as the series progresses.
At the start of the series, Naruto is a silly little boy who likes playing pranks. He is trying to become a Genin (‘level 1’ ninja) by passing the final exam in his ninja training academy. After passing the exam, he goes on various missions and learns something new from each of them. He experiences extremely difficult situations but manages to survive them by working in a team with his friends Sasuke, a serious boy ninja with a dark past, who is brilliant at various ninja arts because he’s from the legendary Uchiha bloodline and Sakura, a sweet young kuniochi (female ninja) who originally dislikes Naruto but grows to respect him.
In the first story itself, Naruto’s backstory was revealed. A nine-tailed fox that tried to destroy Konohagakure was defeated by the first Hokage (village leader/champion) and sealed inside an orphaned newborn (Naruto). Naruto grew up to be hated by the whole village. But, ever since Naruto heard his past story, he has wanted to become Hokage.
In the stories, ‘Chakra’ (combination of physical and spiritual energy) is the main power source for ninjas to manipulate and attack/defend themselves. The intelligent fighters plan their moves very well. The strategy in each fight and move is extremely interesting and at some times, surprising. They are also very well-balanced, skilled ninjas are careful not to exert too much chakra as they might not be able to fight (or even stand) anymore.
Each story shows Naruto making a lot of progress on his ninja skills. He slowly becomes accepted by his comrades and become stronger and stronger. I enjoyed seeing this huge change.
Sasuke’s backstory also interested me. He has always wanted to avenge his parents who had been killed by his old brother. He was hungry for revenge but was stopped by Naruto.
I like the series because of its engaging stories, dynamic characters and BRILLIANTLY drawn art. Masashi Kishimoto (the author of the series) did a great job.
Naruto, in particular, is one of my favourite characters because he never gives up, he always stands by his friends, he learns from his every mistake, and he never goes back on his word. He is also a strong-willed character who never takes revenge and will always help a friend in need.
He works hard to defend his village in times of crisis. He slowly learns how to control the nine-tailed fox inside himself. I also like this character because even after being detested by everyone, having no parents and failing his final exam three times, he managed to stay happy and learn from every experience.
The series teaches many values: Naruto teaches us to work hard, Sasuke is an example of why revenge is bad, Chakra requires balance, the fights showcase strategy. Each character’s strengths are played up to show that everyone is unique.
ABOUT OUR REVIEWER:
“Hello, I’m Aditi Amritesh. I study in the 6th grade of Pathways Noida. I am a budding author and artist. My story was recently published in ‘For Kids By Kids: Award Winning Stories’, a short story anthology published by Scholastic India, to publicize stories written by the winners of the 2015 Scholastic Writing Awards. I also love anime and manga (Japanese animation and graphic novels) and I am part of an online community for artists. I am a self-taught anime art enthusiast. You can find my artworks at www.paigeeworld.com/u/mikumikuvocaloid”