Manga Mondays: Naruto Volume 11: Impassioned Efforts

Happy Manga Monday!! Let’s get started with volume 11 of the Naruto series!!

The last volume left us with Naruto meeting a new character, who we find in the first chapter of this volume is the Toad Sage Jiraiya, the novelist of the Icha Icha Paradise series that Kakashi is usually seen reading. Because Ebisu is now out cold, Naruto demands Jiraiya to train him, and eventually convinces him to do so after showing off his sexy jutsu, which makes the old pervert agree.

Jiraiya starts by releasing the seal Orochimaru had placed on Naruto during the Chunin Exams, and that allows Naruto to finally control his chakra well enough to complete the walking on water exercise. After this, Jiraiya decides to teach Naruto to use the toad summoning, and the first one he summons is simply a tadpole. This continues for the next couple of weeks, with Naruto constantly trying to summon a real frog, and failing as he does so. Eventually, once his chakra is depleted, Jiraiya throws him into a ravine and Naruto is finally able to properly do the summoning, but ends up summoning the chief of all toads, Gamabunta. Of course, since Naruto is still just a young kid, Gamabunta doesn’t believe that he actually summoned him, until Naruto is out cold from using all his chakra, and the giant toad sees that he did in fact sign the summoning pact, before leaving Naruto at the hospital for rest.

In between this, we see Gaara is confronted by Dosu, who is killed by Gaara’s sand after trying to assassinate the killer redhead. As well, we see Kabuto speaking with Gaara’s squad leader, Baki, about the alliance between Sound and Sand, which Hayate overhears and notes that the Sand village appears to be breaking their peace treaty with the Leaf village. Right when he’s about to rush to tell the Hokage, Kabuto says he’ll take out Hayate, but Baki interferes and we soon see that Hayate has lost his battle, being killed.

Another cut away from Naruto shows Sakura and Ino at the hospital to see Sasuke, but they learn that he left the hospital in the night and no one has seen him, but at this point we also get a scene where Kakashi is shown climbing what looks to be a mountain and someone is there waiting for him (and if you read this and can’t tell who it is based on the silhouette, I feel bad for you). While they’re at the hospital, a nurse finds Rock Lee, who is still supposed to be recovering from his match against Gaara, outside trying to train, before he collapses and Sakura, while she and Ino wait for the nurse to return, asks why boys have to push themselves so hard with tears in her eyes.

Naruto eventually wakes up in the hospital with Shikamaru there, who tells him he’s been knocked out cold for three days, while in another scene we see Gaara in Rock Lee’s hospital room, appearing to try and kill him, before Shiakmaru and Naruto show up, stopping him with Shikamaru’s Shadow Possession and a kick to the face thanks to Naruto. As they talk and try to understand what the deal with Gaara, it comes out that, like Naruto, he has a living demon sealed inside of him, and it, along with other urges and things from his past, cause him to want to kill every living person, in order to feel alive. Before anything else happens, Gai appears and tells them to save everything for the finals of the Chunin Exams, and Gaara leaves.

The next day arrives, and Naruto takes his time getting to the arena for the finals, passing through the training grounds where Team 7 was officially formed, finding Hinata there, where she tells him that she thinks he’s one of the strongest working people she knows, and Naruto admits that he thinks he likes people like her. He then leaves and makes it to the arena, where people are coming in constantly, including the Sand Village’s Kazekage, and the exams are prepared to begin in the next volume, with Naruto up against Neji.

All in all, a very good volume that introduces a key character to Naruto’s growth and changes. Jiraiya is a crazy character that you’ll come to love, even with his pervertedness. I can tell you that we’ll be seeing some other important characters, once again, very soon, and we’re going to enter into a crazy arc in just about two volumes, and it’s going to be great!

See you next week!

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