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01 September 2006 @ 18:35
Chapter 1: Uzumaki Naruto!! & Chapter 2: Konoha-maru!  
Let us begin! ~

Chapter 001: Uzumaki Naruto!!

Summary:
In Konoha, one of the hidden ninja villages, lives our protagonist Naruto. He's causing nothing but trouble when he actually should be studying: The graduation exams at the ninja academy are coming up and he has already failed the test twice. Things aren't looking good. The final test is to perform a Bunshin no Jutsu (create a clone of oneself) and that's something Naruto is especially bad at.
When his teacher Iruka says that he has failed the test, it's another examiner, Mizuki, who speaks up for him. It's also Mizuki who tells Naruto of a secret scroll hidden at the Hokage's (the village's leader) house. If Naruto could learn the techniques in there, he would surely be able to graduate…

Naruto steals the scroll and runs into the forest to practice the first technique written in there, the Kagebunshin no Jutsu (Technique of Shadowclones). It's only then that he is found by Iruka, who knows that Mizuki just wants the scroll for himself and is simply using Naruto.
Mizuki then reveals Konoha's biggest secret that Naruto was never supposed to know: That the boy is in fact the Kyuubi, a monster that attacked the village twelve years ago and that was sealed by the last Hokage inside the baby Naruto had been back then.
That's also why the other villagers have been avoiding Naruto. He was pulling pranks because he wanted to be acknowledged, but no one ever seemed to like him.

In the following fight, Mizuki tries to kill Naruto, but Iruka protects him. Later on, when it's Iruka whose life is in danger, Naruto uses the Kagebunshin no Jutsu to split into hundreds of Narutos and is able to beat Mizuki. Small wonder that that is enough to graduate, huh?

Things the characters learn:
  • Naruto's Sexy no Jutsu and the other children's transformations should probably be mentioned here, even though they know them already

  • Naruto learns the Kagebunshin no Jutsu in a very short time and, due to the circumstances, he's able to perform it with far more clones of himself than usual

  • Naruto also learns of the Kyuubi-secret and that Iruka in fact does acknowledge him

  • Mizuki can't be trusted ^.-


Things the reader learns:
Well, it's the very first chapter, so a lot of concepts have to be introduced:
  • The story of the Kyuubi (It attacked the village, there where a lot of casualties, the forth Hokage sealed it in Naruto)

  • Naruto is a boy who causes trouble every day

  • There's a school for ninja in Konoha, Iruka teaches there

  • Both Iruka and Naruto have lost their parents

  • Naruto loves Ramen

  • Naruto's dream is to become Hokage, because then people would finally acknowledge him (as the Hokage is the strongest ninja of the village)

  • Leaf forehead protector symbol of the Konoha ninjas

  • Naruto is seeking attention, Iruka was the same as a child


New Characters:
  • Naruto, our protagonist

  • Iruka, a teacher at the ninja academy

  • Mizuki, another teacher

  • Sarutobi, the 3rd Hokage


Foreshadowing:
  • On the cover, Naruto is already shown with a frog. Makes you wonder if Kishimoto already new about Jiraiya back then.

  • At the fourth page, we get to see the stadium where the Chuunin exams will later be held

  • Chouji's father (or a man who sure looks a lot like him) is standing with the villagers who are looking for Naruto after he stole the scroll


Discussion:
  • What do you think of Mizuki and his reappearance in the anime-fillers?

  • What's it with the crystal ball that Sandaime uses to watch Naruto? It only ever seems to be used with some kind of meta-analysis, but never when it would actually be important…

  • Do you remember what you thought about the manga back when you first read the chapter? What did you think the rest of it would be like? Did you expect it to turn out like it did or did it look like just another medicore shonen-manga to you?


Art:
Page 3: look at all those amazing details!


Page 11: I'm amazed how young he looks in this picture. Look at the boy now!


Page 15: I think this captures Naruto's loneliness beautifully


Page 32: Somehow, this was the scene that really drew me into the story. Ah, nostalgia.


Page 40: Heh. Iruka looking all badass.


Page 53: Just love it.




Chapter 002: Konoha-maru!

Summary:
When Naruto is talking to the Hokage, Sarutobi's grandson comes running in to "attack" his grandfather. The boy fails, of course, but that doesn't keep him from telling everyone that he will one day be the Hokage and everyone in the village will acknowledge him. Sounds familiar, huh?
Later, when Konohamaru follows Naruto and talks him into teaching him the Sexy no Jutsu, we find out that everyone always only calls the boy "the Hokage's grandson", but he wants them to see him as a person of his own.
Konohamaru's teacher Ebisu comes to take him back home, but Naruto's newly created Harem no Jutsu knocks him out easily. One day, Naruto tells Konohamaru, he'll fight him for that Hokage title. ^_^

Things the characters learn:
  • Konohamaru learns the Sexy no Jutsu

  • Naruto develops the Harem no Jutsu


Things the reader learns:
  • Only the adults who lived twelve years ago know that the Kyuubi is sealed in Naruto. They aren't allowed to tell it to their children so said children don't know a thing. They do, however, see how the adults treat Naruto.

  • The fourth Hokage wanted Naruto to be seen as a hero

  • Ebisu says that one must know over a thousand skills to become Hokage


New characters:
  • Konohamaru, Sarutobi's grandson

  • Ebisu, his teacher


Foreshadowing:
Nothing that caught my eye. Did you find any?

Discussion:
  • Did this chapter feel like a "filler" for you? Things start to get more interesting with the next chapter, but what about this one?

  • Ah, the first time Naruto changes someone by simply being himself. More nostalgia… so, let me ask: Which "change" in characters after they met Naruto did you like best so far?


No art this time, but a quote from the Hokage I liked:
"When a person hates and doesn't acknowledge another's existence… The eyes that they use when looking at him… are frighteningly cold."
 
 
 
Landlady of the Universe: This is Willy as my Anti-druguchuunoyanushi on 1st September 2006 19:47 (UTC)
Chapter 1:

So, this never occured to me before, but how the heck did Naruto manage to sneak into the Hokage's tower? After everything we've seen the Third do, and knowing the kind of enemies he's got, doesn't the man have some security? I mean, I know the ANBU drop like flies whenever an enemy appears, but surely they're good for something. Rent-a-cop, anyone? -_-;

Mizuki can't be trusted ^.-

I think the better lession is that a lot of people, particularly ones of the ninja persuasion, can't be trusted. But I don't think Naruto learned that lesson very well. *sigh* So cute. But so stupid. Hey, that's why we love him.

As for the frog, it's entirely possible that Kishimoto-sensei came up with the frog summon idea, and later decided to insert Jiraiya into the picture. I can't remember the exact chapter, but I think it's in volume 3, one of the chapter covers has Sasuke with snakes twining around him. That might have been around the time it all came together.

Why, exactly, is Kage Bunshin a forbidden jutsu when every Jounin in the village uses it?

Chapter 2:

Naruto's tiny! Konohamaru is nearly his size! *gratuitous squee!age*

Filler? Most definitely. I watched the anime at my school's anime club way before I ever read the manga. The first episode (which is basically chapter 1), I thought Naruto was going to be a pretty cool series. The second episode (basically chapter 2), turned me off the series entirely until I happened to catch the beginning of the Chuunin exams, when Gaara was introduced. Then I was hooked for good. =P

My favorite change? Did Naruto have any effect on Zabuza? I can't remember. O.o Otherwise, Gaara's my vote for most obvious effect, and Sakura for a more subtle flavor.

Is anyone else craving ramen now?
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Landlady of the Universe: Handsuchuunoyanushi on 1st September 2006 22:57 (UTC)
I figured the Hokage was already aware of Naruto breaking and entering

Good point.

So, my friend and I decided to cosplay as ANBU a couple of years ago, thinking, "Oh, we are such going to be spiffing cool ninja". We entered the cosplay contest together, and we were describing our characters and one of the judges was like, "but what to the ANBU do?" My friend and I kinda looked at each other, and my friend goes, "uh... we kinda drop like flies, actually." -_-; Though, most of the ANBU that drop dead are the ones wearing cloaks. The ones with the vests and armguards, on the other hand, tend to make people ded.

Kakashi uses Kage Bunshin on several occasions, as an intimidation technique against Gatou's men, and during both fights with Itachi. Sandaime uses it during the fight against Orochimaru and the two Hokages. Every Jounin who sees it recognizes it instantly, as if it's a fairly common technique. It is mentioned on several occasions that Kage Bunshin isn't the best use of ones chakra, but it's never again mentioned that the jutsu is forbidden. Thus, I find it odd that Naruto would find it in a scroll of super-dangerous, highly forbidden jutsu.
(Deleted comment)
Schattensternschattenstern on 2nd September 2006 06:20 (UTC)
I'm not sure about the fight with Itachi, but against Gatou, Kakashi did use Kage Bunshins. (I had to look it up, but yes, he both says "Kage Bunshin no Jutsu and he uses the right hand seal. He is the copy ninja, though.)

It's all pretty strange anyway. 0_o
Landlady of the Universe: Korean Belleuchuunoyanushi on 2nd September 2006 08:41 (UTC)
Ah, you found it! I've been madly downloading chapters looking for that part, but I hadn't gotten that far yet. >.<

When Itachi and Kisame first show up in Konoha and they're facing off against Kurenai and Asuma, Kakashi sends his Kage Bunshin to back up Asuma while facing off with Itachi himself. Then, when they're on the way to save Gaara, he uses that burrowing jutsu to dodge Itachi's fireball, then sends a Kage Bunshin to grab Itachi so Naruto can get both of them with his Rasengan.
Schattenstern: Naruto - Heart and...schattenstern on 2nd September 2006 06:14 (UTC)
I think the better lession is that a lot of people, particularly ones of the ninja persuasion, can't be trusted.

Very true. I find the fact that Naruto never really learns this lesson so very adorable too. And isn't that also part of why so many characters end up looking at Naruto and ultimately begin to change?

Why, exactly, is Kage Bunshin a forbidden jutsu when every Jounin in the village uses it?

Same question here. However, my translation (I'm not sure how accurate it is) also says that the scroll Naruto steals is the one Yondaime used to seal the Kyuubi, so maybe that's the main reason why it's a forbidden scroll, and not the techiques written inside?

Filler: Actually, I watched the anime first as well. Thankfully, Kakashi's test with the bells and the introduction of Zabuza and Haku a bit later was enough to hook me again.

Oh yes. It's way too early in the morning and I should be having breakfast now, but ramen... hmm.
Landlady of the Universe: Gaara Teddyuchuunoyanushi on 2nd September 2006 08:46 (UTC)
However, my translation (I'm not sure how accurate it is) also says that the scroll Naruto steals is the one Yondaime used to seal the Kyuubi, so maybe that's the main reason why it's a forbidden scroll, and not the techiques written inside?

Hmm... that would make a lot of sense. Doesn't Sandaime summon a scroll that looks similar when he's about to use that jutsu against Orochimaru?

If you eat ramen for breakfast, not only will Naruto worship you, you get the award for biggest fan EVER. ^__^
dr. combined gasstaticlights on 2nd September 2006 11:36 (UTC)
The translation I have, says that the scroll contains many forbidden jutsu's, but Naruto, being interupted by Mizuki and Iruka, was only able to learn the first one.
Seeing how kage bunshin is a B-rank jutsu, it wouldn't make any sense for Mizuki to go through all this trouble to steal it; so it would make a lot more sense for there to be other forbidden jutus's on the scroll.

Ramen for breakfast=^_^
dr. combined gasstaticlights on 2nd September 2006 11:52 (UTC)
Sorry, I just re-read the chapter
Oh, during the battle against Mizuki, Mizuki says "That scroll was used to seal you up"
Maybe if Naruto had continued to read we would've learned the Yondaime's freakin name...^_^

The 3rd says later, when he's looking into his ball:
"The power that is sealed may be released...plus he is holding the scroll of seals...the odds of him being able to break the seal and reverting back into the nine tails fox...is one in a million, but it is possible...if that happens..."

Landlady of the Universe: Handsuchuunoyanushi on 2nd September 2006 20:14 (UTC)
You're right. I completely missed it (must be because in the next panel Naruto's flipping the bird in stereo). That explains a heck of a lot, actually.

It could be that the "forbidden" jutsu on the scroll aren't forbidden so much in the sense of "don't use on pain of getting your butt kicked by the authorities" as much as forbidden in the sense of "don't use lightly". If that's the case, the Kage Bunshin's inclusion makes more sense, because, for normal ninja anyway, it can be more harm than help if used improperly.
hellishduchess on 1st September 2006 21:42 (UTC)
Chapter 1:
I wonder if Naruto might have graduated a bit later than the rest of the Rookie Nine. It doesn't seem like that are any recognizable characters in the classroom scenes (except one kid who looks like Sasuke).

On that same note, I've always been glad that the scenes of crowds shouting at Naruto have been vague. I hate knowing that it's possible that all the people who Naruto's come to hold dear might have been saying those things.

The anime-fillers destroyed everything that I liked about Mizuki. He was such a manipulative bastard and he gave Iruka ample opportunity to be bad ass. I miss the real Mizuki and the kicking-ass taking-names side of Iruka a lot. T_T

Chapter 2:
I never did like Ebisu. Of course, people who take Naruto as a piece of trash for housing a demon tend to rub me the wrong way. There is a KILLER DEMON trapped inside of that seal, why on earth are you going to abuse the boy who holds it in check?

Aw, Sandaime looks so sweet at the end of the chapter. "The way to the true ninja is still far away. tThough knowing this, Hokage smiled kindly as he watched over this young man Naruto's large dream and his difficult journey ahead." <3

Filler while the artist probably worked out other things, but heartwarming none the less.
Landlady of the Universe: Gaara Teddyuchuunoyanushi on 1st September 2006 23:02 (UTC)
There is a KILLER DEMON trapped inside of that seal, why on earth are you going to abuse the boy who holds it in check?

Such wisdom. And people say you can't learn anything from manga...
Schattenstern: FF7 - Healingschattenstern on 2nd September 2006 06:27 (UTC)
I wonder if Naruto might have graduated a bit later than the rest of the Rookie Nine.
Hmm. I guess that would depend on when those other two tests that Naruto failed took place, right? It couldn't be too long ago, since none of the others have been placed into their teams yet and I imagine that this happens very soon after graduation. (In the anime though, the other Rookie Nine where actually shown in the first episode instead of the "random kids", preforming the transformation into Iruka, so that would imply that they did graduate at the same time.)

I miss the real Mizuki and the kicking-ass taking-names side of Iruka a lot. T_T
So true. -.- I haven't seen much of the fillers (I think I stopped somewhere in those episodes where they're out hunting bugs to follow Sasuke's scent or something.), but Mizuki definitely worked better as a one-chapter-villain.

Aw, Sandaime looks so sweet at the end of the chapter. [...] but heartwarming none the less.
*nods* It made me smile and feel all fuzzy and I guess that counts as a good sign, no matter how little I liked the episode/chapter as a whole.
hellishduchess on 2nd September 2006 19:50 (UTC)
Hmm. I guess that would depend on when those other two tests that Naruto failed took place, right?
Yeah, it would. If Nartuto did in fact graduate a bit later then the rest of the Rookie Nine, it can't have been very long after. I'm just going to assume the character designs for Naruto's classmates weren't completed on time to make it into the first chapter.

...but Mizuki definitely worked better as a one-chapter-villain.
I couldn't agree more, though as he's the character that got me reading Naruto, I would like to see him in a cameo or flashback. I kinda miss the evil bastard. Besides, he probably got thrown to ANBU's torture department and executed. Which is a shame
dr. combined gasstaticlights on 2nd September 2006 13:06 (UTC)
//On that same note, I've always been glad that the scenes of crowds shouting at Naruto have been vague. I hate knowing that it's possible that all the people who Naruto's come to hold dear might have been saying those things.//

Yeah, in the anime, Shikamaru's shown as one of the kids whose dad won't let him play with Naruto, and I'm sure if I re-watched the anime, I could find more.
And of course, there's the guy that looks like Chouji's dad in the crowd angry with Naruto.

//There is a KILLER DEMON trapped inside of that seal, why on earth are you going to abuse the boy who holds it in check?//
The village of the Sand certainly learned that lesson. Thankfully Naruto had Iruka.