Manga Mondays: Naruto Volume 12: The Great Flight!!

Happy Manga Mondays, and Happy Halloween, dear readers! Let us begin!

Our last volume ended right when Naruto and Neji were able to begin their battle in the final round of the Chunin exams. For most of the match, Neji gives Naruto a lecture about destiny and how he’ll never become Hokage, because he wasn’t born into such a destiny. Naruto states that he came to the battle prepared to lose, and during the whole match, in between hand-to-hand combat, tries to convince Neji that people can change their destinies, no matter what others say or think.

This obviously strikes a cord with Neji, who tells Naruto about the Hyuga clan, and the history of the Main Branch and Cadet Branch, explaining that his and Hinata’s fathers were twin brothers, but her father Hiashi was the first born, and therefore a member of the Main Brach, while his father Hizashi was the second born, a member of the Cadet Branch, whose duty was to protect the Main Branch. When he was still a small child, Neji had a cursed seal placed on his forehead, a custom of all Cadet Branch members.

He states that a kidnapping attempt on Hinata happened when she was about three-years-old, and Hiashi ended up killing her kidnapper, who turned out to be the leader of the Land of Clouds, who Konoha had just signed a peace treaty with. Because of this, the Land of Clouds demanded Hiashi’s body as a repayment for the death of their leader, but Neji’s father was used in his place, being Hiashi’s identical twin. This has caused Neji to harbor a grudge against the Main Branch ever since.

As the battle continues, Neji attempts to stop all of Naruto’s chakra, but because of the Nine-Tailed Fox, it doesn’t work out as planned, and Naruto eventually overtakes him and ends up winning the match in the end. Afterwards, in the recovery room, Neji is approached by Hiashi who tells him the true story about why his father was handed over to the Land Clouds, and Neji appears to accept this, and begins to rethink his views about destiny.

The next match is supposed to be Sasuke against Gaara, however Sasuke still has not shown up, and the spectators are getting restless as time goes on. The Hokage nearly tells them that Sasuke must forfeit, before the Kazekage convinces him to wait, as everyone there was anticipating this one match more than any other, and he agrees. This moves up the next two matches, causing Kankuro and Shino to be the next battle, but Kankuro forfeits immediately, because of a plan he makes mention of this.

Shikamaru vs Temari is the final match in this volume, and it’s a whirlwind, literally. Temari uses her fan and wind style attacks, while Shikamaru uses his shadow possession and continually attempts to trap Temari to get a hit in on her, and eventually does so by using the holes Naruto made during his battle against Neji to trap her. And the ending of this match is a surprise to all who have never read this volume or seen the episode. You won’t be able to guess it unless you’ve seen it before.

So, this volume obviously had some good character development for Neji, but at this point in my Naruto obsession, I still did not like him (I came to do so much, much later), but he is more tolerable. Learning more about Shikamaru and his attacks were interesting as well, but I bet you all know exactly who’s battle I’m most excited for. ;D

We’ll get to that battle next time though. I can’t promise a Manga Mondays post next week, but I will try my best! 🙂

See you next time!

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