Manga Mondays: Naruto Volume 4 Review — NEW Characters to the story!!

***VizMedia did not have a hand in this post other than the publication of the series in the US. They did not provide me with a copy of this book to review. It was done for fun, not monetary gain.***

Naruto volume four finishes off the first, real mission Team Seven goes on. Naruto had released part of the Nine-Tails chakra and finally breaks out of Haku’s ice mirrors. He aims to attack Haku, but it stopped when he realizes that Haku is the boy that he met the morning before in the forest, and is shocked.

Haku, though, tells Naruto to kill him, as he believes he is no longer of use to Zabuza, and was only being used a tool by Zabuza to further his ambitions. During this, Kakashi traps Zabuza with his ninja hounds, who keep him down and allow Kakashi to charge up his Lightning Blade attack to land a final blow on Zabuza and end the battle.

However, this doesn’t go as planned, because Haku moves before Naruto can kill him, and protects Zabuza, being killed by Kakashi’s Lightning Blade. The whole thing angers Naruto, but he can’t do anything before Gato and his hanchmen show up.

Sakura, also, has run to Sasuke’s side when Naruto doesn’t answer her where he is. Tazuna tells her that she can go ahead and cry, but she recites a ninja creed that states shinobi are not allowed to shed tears, while she cries over his “death”. Sasuke, though, wakes up a few moments later, perfectly fine though he’s still got many of Haku’s needles stuck in him.

Gato is angered by Zabuza failing, and kicks Haku’s dead body because he had almost broken his hand before, which makes Naruto even angrier and he yells at Zabuza about how much Haku cared for him, which moves Zabuza to tears. Zabuza takes Naruto’s kunai and kills Gato, right before all the villagers show up with Inari and scare off Gato’s henchmen.

Zabuza dies alongside Haku, and two weeks later, Sakura asks Kakashi about a shinobi’s place in the world, and he basically tells her not to worry about it. Naruto says he’s going to change the way ninja are used by their villager, and it makes Kakashi smile.

After they return home and start missions again, it becomes time for the Chunin Exams, which are used to select ninja to become journeymen and aide their village even more.

Team Seven find out about this when meeting ninja from the Hidden Sand Village, and then Kakashi gives them applications, but Sakura is unsure about joining and it seems she almost decides against it when they go to the school and are stopped by other ninja, who let them know about all the things that they’ve seen during their times in the Chunin Exams.

Sasuke, though, helps Sakura out by bringing up how she’s the most analytical of the three, and it cheers her up to convince her to join, and they meet three other ninja from their village, Team Guy, named TenTen, Neji, and Rock Lee. The volume ends with Rock Lee challenging Sasuke to a battle.

~~~~~~

OK, so, personally, I’ve never been the biggest fan of the first real story arc of this series. I love Naruto very much, but never truly cared about the whole ordeal with Zabuza. I do like it a little, but it’s not my favorite.

The characters introduced during this little arc are very interesting, and there’s absolutely zero reason to skip this arc. It gives development to Team Seven, and lets you see more of them, and introduces the concept of ninja being used by their villages as tools, as Haku talks about.

The Chunin Exams, however, I just love. I think a lot of fans adore the Chunin Exams, and I’m super excited to read them again! The characters that are introduced here show up multiple times during the series, and they all become very different later on, but it’s good! You get to see everyone develop and grow up, I love it!

Next week is the real start of the Chunin Exams, and I can’t wait to go through it with you guys!!

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