Naruto Volume 1 Cover.
Image courtesy of VIZ Media.


  • Story: Masashi Kishimoto.
  • Art: Masashi Kishimoto.
  • Released: August 16th, 2003.
  • Imprint: SHONEN JUMP.
  • Pages: 192.

There was once a nine-tailed fox spirit that raged across the land. The presence of the beast alone would cause disaster, the shinobi gathered to stop the spirit but in the end only one shinobi could defeat the menace. The shinobi was the leader of the Village Hidden in the Leaves, the forth hokage, the fire shadow. Giving his life, the shinobi stopped the demon and brought peace to the land. Meet Naruto a hopeful ninja to be. Naruto wants to be the best ninja the world has ever known, though he is more focused on playing tricks and causing trouble in his village. Can Naruto do the impossible and successfully pass his ninja exams and become a full-fledged ninja, or will he fail?

At first glance Naruto seems like a brat that would rather goof off than do what he needs to do to be a ninja. His actions are quite counterproductive, he wants to be a ninja, yet doesn’t go to school, complete his assignments or apply himself. So, when he fails his graduation exam it is no surprise.

The bad here is that with first impressions Naruto nor the other characters introduced so far are easily likable.  We have the typical brooding “bad boy”, the “love-struck” girl whose crush doesn’t even know she exists and then Naruto who is obnoxious and annoying. Not a very good first impression with any of the characters.

The good here is the story and art. The story is interesting enough to hook me in and keep me wanting more. The art is very lively and heavily detailed. Aside from the typical shinobi garb most characters have their own style which is a nice touch. The story offers many interesting points. Each character has ambitions and dreams of their own and that makes them relatable. I genuinely want to know more about Sasuke’s family, and Naruto’s past. A lot of the characters are shrouded in mystery. One character that is very interesting is Kakashi. Kakashi is their teacher and does not appear that he wants to be there at all. With his aloof and care free demeanor he is a difficult character to read.

I look forward to seeing how these main characters’ progress. A small side note to add, Masashi Kishimoto writes the story and as well as handles the art. A talented person indeed. There is a lot of good and some bad in this first volume. Characters aside, the story and art are both phenomenal. I’m sure that as we go through future chapters the characters will come into their own and develop further. The characters thus far are my only gripe. They seem one dimensional to an extent.  I am eager to read the following volumes as I am sure this series will be great. All in all, Naruto volume 1 is worth checking out.