Manga Mondays — Naruto Volume 5: Exam Hell!!

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The fifth volume starts with Rock Lee challenging Sasuke to a fight. Sasuke is about to either deny or accept, but Naruto gets in the way and tries to fight Lee himself, getting knocked out in the process. Sasuke then accepts Lee’s challenge, and their fight starts.

It doesn’t last too long, and Sasuke ends up losing before a turtle shows up and stops Lee from using a “forbidden” attack. This immediately ends any kind of battle they were going to have, and also causes a misunderstanding on Naruto’s part where he thinks the turtle is Lee’s teacher. His REAL teacher shows up, Might Guy, who looks freakishly like Lee and they aren’t even related. He scolds Lee for trying to use the technique that he had labeled forbidden, and then introduces himself to Team 7, but this causes Sasuke to have a slight internal freak out because Guy states he’s beaten Kakashi 50 times during their rivalry, and Sasuke can tell he’s not lying.

Once Lee and Guy leave, Naruto kind of mocks Sasuke for a moment, but all it does is make Sasuke even more interested in these exams, and they head off the classroom they have to meet in. Kakashi stops them right before they enter the room, and tells him he’s actually proud of them for making the deicions to do the Chunin Exams without any kind of sway from their teammates, and then lets them pass into the classroom. When they enter, the other two Genin squads show up and it’s like a cute little reunion, until another Konoha Genin named Kabuto shows up and starts telling them all about the Chunin Exams, and gives Sasuke a bit of insight into Lee and Gaara.

Soon enough, the proctor, Ibiki, enters, beginning the written test and explaining the rules, which basically say that the moment you run out of points, whether by cheating or wrong answers to the questions, your entire team fails and you have to wait until the next exam to come back.

Because of his not-so-smarts, all Naruto does for the longest time is freak out, while Sakura works to answer to the answer the questions on the test, and Sasuke finally figures out that you’re expected to cheat on this exam, you just can’t get caught. Naruto nearly does so, but a kunai flying by him to the student seated right behind him causes him to freeze, and he suddenly gets an offer of help from Hinata Hyuga to let him cheat off her exam.

Naruto, though, decides against doing this, because he doesn’t want either of them to get into trouble, and chooses to risk everything on the tenth and final question, which is introduced to them a moment later as an accept or reject question. Of course, this has everyone quiet, and several teams leave. Sakura is close to raising her hand to keep Naruto’s dream of being Hokage alive, but he does so first and says that no one should underestimate him and he would find another way to be Hokage if he ended stuck being a Genin the rest of his life.

This causes the proctor to pass them, saying there was no real tenth question and explains what a Chunin’s job is. Once his explanation is finished, someone comes flying through the window and introduces herself as Anko, the proctor for the next part of the exam.

The next day, the Genin meet at the Forest of Death, and the “capture the scroll” exam is given to them, and the volume ends just before this part begins.

We’re coming into one of my favorite parts of this series, apart from the ending itself. Learning about the role of Chunin, and watching each of the main and new characters during the written exam was a lot of fun, but a lot of information to take in at once.

The next few volumes go fast, but they’ve also got a lot of information, a lot of characters, and a lot of changes for some in particular. So get ready! We’re finally in one of the major parts of the story, and it only gets crazier from her on out!!

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