Title: Naruto – Mission: Protect the Waterfall Village!
Original Concept: Masahi Kishimoto
Author: Masatoshi Kuskabe
Translation: Tomo Kimura with Janet Gilbert
Publisher: VIZ Media
May Contain Spoilers
Squad Seven’s latest assignment is a boring C-rank assignment – escort young Shibuki back to his Waterfall Village. Once they arrive there, they’re set to work cleaning out the filthy village pond. Yuck! As Naruto chafes at his new job, Kakashi is summoned back home on urgent business. Now, with the Waterfall Village almost defenseless, a group of rogue ninja attack, intent on claiming the secret potion, the Hero’s Water, for their own. Whoever wins the Waterfall Village’s most precious possession will be granted almost limitless chakra to fuel their abilities. Can Squad Seven stop them from attaining this powerful weapon?
When I first picked up this novel, I had no intention of reading it right away. I was just checking out the interior pictures, but before I knew it, I was caught within the pages as tightly as if I was a victim of a little binding jutsu. The book sets a blistering pace, and never slows down. This was a fun, fast paced read, and I am totally surprised that I enjoyed it as much as I did.
Based on an animated adventure in the Naruto universe, the book is packed with stills from the anime. There’s a full color fold out with Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura in the foreground, and Kakashi, engrossed in his novel, perched on a tree limb in the background. The bottom right corner of the pages also include a flip-comic, which I spent way too much time flipping through. I guess I’m easily entertained.
The story was nothing special, but it was presented in an easy to read style that’s hard to put down. This would serve as perfect bait to get some reluctant readers more interested in the written word. Unfortunately, most of the manga/anime fans in my sphere are voracious readers so I can’t test out my theory. As one of them did scoff at the notion of a Naruto novel, I may have to see if I can’t get him to change his mind about it. I admit to scoffing, too, and I also admit that I was wrong to do so. Maybe it’s just the insidious power of Naruto creeping into my brain and taking control.
Review copy provided by Viz Media