- Story: Masashi Kishimoto.
- Art: Masashi Kishimoto.
- Released: December 6, 2005.
- Imprint: SHONEN JUMP.
- Pages: 192.
Group Seven has finally reached the tower and learned what it means to be a ninja. Though Group Seven was successful time to celebrate is short as the preliminaries for the next exam are about to begin. As too many teams survived the Forest of Death, they must now fight to death to see who moves into the next exam. Sasuke, Shino, and Kankuro advance to next exam. Sakura and Ino now fight to death with no clear victor in sight.
A lot of action has taken place in this volume. Through a few of the fights a small glimpse at the character’s history was revealed. It is nice to see where a few of the minor characters had come from. Though they are minor characters they still have immense and unique power. As of right now Shino is probably the most unique with his ability to command insects that live within his flesh.
Sakura had the biggest character development during her fight with Ino. She has completely left the sniveling, love struck Sakura behind and moved forward with a stronger, and independent image. I completely change my mind about Sakura. In the previous volumes, she has made a lot progress with proving herself but now that we know more about her past and we see where she came from, it has come full circle.
Other story developments had occurred as well during the fights. Kakashi confronts Orochimaru and his plan involving Sasuke. Though we still do not know Orochimaru’s full intentions, his plans are coming together and he is getting closer to Sasuke. I look forward to the following interactions between Kakashi and Orochimaru.
I still enjoy seeing all the individual ninjas special abilities and look forward to seeing even more. Hopefully in the next volume we will see the conclusion of Sakura and Ino’s fight, as well as Naruto’s fight. Either way this was a great read and I am excited to see which ninjas survive and get promoted. Naruto volume 8 was a fantastic read, you should read this volume.