Manga Mondays: Naruto Volume 10: A Splendid Ninja

Happy Manga Monday, dear readers! Let’s get going with our 10th Naruto manga summary and review!!

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So this volume picks up where the last left off, with the beginning of Rock Lee’s battle against Gaara. As he attempts to get some hits in on his enemy, everyone quickly sees that Gaara has sand in the gourd on his back that protects him on his own, keeping him from ever suffering any injuries from opponents. After being given permissions to remove the weights around his ankles, Lee is able to move fast enough that Gaara’s sand almost can’t keep up, and he’s able to strike a blow on the Sand Genin.

Gaara, however, has a sand shield around himself, which helped to ease the blow from Rock Lee’s attack. Lee is given permission from Guy to used the Forward Lotus (called the Primary Lotus in the English dub of the anime), and he does so, only to see that Gaara had replaced himself with a sand clone. Because of this,a fter recovering quickly, Lee begins to open the eight Gates, a forbidden technique that can, and will, result in death once all eight are open. Lee can only open the first five, however, and does so, landing attack after attack on Gaara. Once he has Gaara down, everyone believes Lee has won, until Gaara appears to be fine, and ends up using his Sand Coffin on Lee’s left arm and leg, crushing them. Before Gaara can attack again, Guy stops the fight, telling Gaara that he wouldn’t let him harm his precious student anymore, which it appears Gaara cannot understand.

Although he’s stopped the fight, Guy and everyone else is surprised to see Lee standing back up, though Guy notices it’s by his own sheer willpower to continue, and he’s not consciously there. The medics enter soon, and one of them pulls Guy to the side, telling him that Lee’s injuries are too severe for them to care for, and that he can never be a ninja again. Of course, pretty much everyone is shocked by this, but there’s nothing they can do at the moment, and they turn to the tenth and final fight, Choji against Dosu.

The final battle begins right away, with Choji remembering that he had seen Dosu’s sound attacks, and he uses his own Jutsu to turn himself into a human bowling ball, hiding his ears. He chases Dosu to a wall, but gets stuck there for a moment. Dosu uses his jutsu during this moment, knocking Choji out of the match and ending the preliminaries. After this, the 8 victors (would be 9 but Sasuke is still in the hospital) have returned to the ground floor, and are told by the Hokage that the final round will take place in a month, allowing the Genin who will compete to rest and prepare new attacks. Before they’re released, they each select a number and the battles are chose. The order is Naruto vs. Neji, Sasuke vs. Gaara, Shino vs. Kankurou, Temari vs. Dosu, and because of the odd number, Shikamaru ends up tacked on the end as an extra round match. The Hokage releases them to do as they wish for the next month, and Naruto asks Sakura where Kakashi has gone, being told he’s most likely at the hospital with Sasuke.

Which we see he is, after a scene where Kabuto and Orochimaru are discussing the finals and Sasuke. After which, Kakashi finds Kabuto in Sasuke’s once ANBU gaurded hospital room, preparing the kill him (he’s still unconscious at the moment). When Kakashi questions Kabuto if he is in league with Orochimaru, but doesn’t receive a straight answer before Kabuto attacks. Kakashi knocks him down, however, one of the “dead” ANBU guards jumps up and escapes through the window, and reveals himself to the be the real Kabuto, who has used a jutsu to change places with the dead guard.

Naruto is next shown at the receptionist desk, asking where Sasuke’s room is before Kakashi shows up and tells him to be quiet. Naruto tries to request Kakashi to teach him, but Kakashi informs him that he’s already set up a different teacher for Naruto and it turns out to be Ebisu, who we haven’t seen since the second chapter of the manga. Naruto doesn’t believe that Ebisu is a better teacher than Kakashi, but he relents to being taught by him after a moment. Their place of training in the hot springs, where Ebisu intends to teach Naruto how to walk on water, a chakra control technique. After watching him for a while, seeing the blond is getting the hang of it, Naruto notices someone trying to speak in women’s bath, and when Ebisu attempts to scold him, he realizes just who it is right before being knocked out cold.

So this volume, obviously, finishes the first set of one-on-one battles from the Chunin Exams. It’s hard for me to write about this one, simply because the battle between Lee and Gaara ends in such a sad way, but the rest of the volume is, surprisingly, funny. We’re introduced to a major character who will be a big part of Naruto’s life from now on, and get a little bit more about Kabuto and Orochimaru’s partnership. This series can be a bit complicated at times, haha, especially when you’re trying to summarize and review it!

Well, I’ll see you guys next week for volume 11!

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