Manga Mondays — Naruto Volume 6: The Forest of Death

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***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.***

The sixth volume of Naruto starts off with the teams entering The Forest of Death. It first shows Team 8, made up of Kiba, Hinata, and Shino, planning to lay traps for the other teams, because they hear the screams of an enemy team who had been taken over by leeches, and they fall to the ground from the trees.

Team 7 hears the screams, and while it scares Sakura for a moment, Naruto makes a statement about needing the bathroom, and Sakura sends him away. When he comes back, though, Sasuke instantly attacks him, and shows him to be a fake, an enemy using a transformation technique to look like Naruto.

Sasuke chases him off and they find Naruto after a moment, and after regrouping, they make a password so they know that it’s each other, and are then quickly separated. Sakura finds Sasuke quickly, while another fake Naruto shows up and attacks them, showing death to Sasuke and Sakura, terrifying them both enough that they’re frozen in fear. Sasuke, though, is able to cause hismelf enough pain to break free and save Sakura, running to hiding place.

Naruto, however, is trapped near a snake and ends up being eaten by the snake, but uses shadow clones to make the snake explode and get free. He eventually gets back to Sasuke and Sakura, who are back to fighting their enemy, and Naruto, when Sasuke tries to give up their scroll, calls Sasuke a coward before the enemy knocks him out.

Sakura yells at Sasuke that he really is the coward this time, and it causes Sasuke to waken his Sharingan again, and he fights their enemy, seemingly having him beaten before he and Sakura are once again frozen. The ninja introduces themself as Orochimaru, and then bites Sasuke on his neck, giving him mark that causes him so much pain he eventually collaspes, leaving Sakura to care for both Naruto and Sasuke.

Anko enters the forest after the revelation of Orochimaru being there, and she eventually runs into him, taking him on before he retreats and warns her not to tell anyone.

The next day, Sakura has stayed up protecting Naruto and Sasuke, and the Sound Ninja under Orochimaru’s guidance show up, telling Sakura to wake Sasuke so they can fight him. Sakura had laid a couple of traps, but both proved ineffective, and Rock Lee appears to protect Sakura and help her out, and he does so until his main attack fails, and he’s taken down by the Sound Ninja.

Before she can do anything, Sakura is trapped in place by the female Sound Ninja who has taken a hold of her hair, and mocks Sakura for taking care of her hair. Sakura, though, takes out a kunai an cuts her hair off, promising to protect Naruto, Sasuke, and Lee, and she proves herself by fighting the Sound Ninja until she’s beaten, but at the moment when one of them is about to attack her, Team 10–Ino, Shikamaru, and Choji–stop in front of Sakura and Ino tells her she won’t let Sakura show her up.

So, the Chunin Exams are in full force in this volume! There’s so much fighting and it’s done in a great way, with so much backstory to come for a number of the characters, Sakura getting to fight and show her stuff, and this volume also shows the REAL reason why Sakura and Ino are frenemies.

I actually enjoy Sakura and Ino’s story. I think it works in this series, and seeing how it’ll evolve and change is going to be great, trust me! The next volume has even more fights in it, and a lot of good story as well, and I can’t wait to get to it next week!

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