- Story: Masashi Kishimoto.
- Art: Masashi Kishimoto.
- Released: June 6, 2006.
- Imprint: SHONEN JUMP.
- Pages: 184.
The ninth round of the Chûnin exams has begun. No matter how fast or strong Rock Lee is, he just can’t seem to penetrate Gaara’s “ultimate defense”. Even as Rock Lee taps into the power of the “eight inner gates”, it is not enough. After a strenuous, and epic battle, Gaara is victorious. The tenth, and final round of the preliminaries begins. The battle between Choji, and Dosu is short, and sweet as Dosu quickly incapacitates Choji. The preliminaries are now complete, and the finals will take place in one month. The finalists now have one month to hone, and develop their skills. Kakashi will train Sasuke, and Ebisu will train Naruto. The finals are right around the corner, can Naruto train enough to assure his victory?
Minor story developments were sprinkled throughout the volume. During the battle between Rock Lee and Gaara we learned more about Gaara’s “ultimate defense” and, why Rock Lee was in over his head, even with the power from the gates. We also learned about the “eight inner gates”, and how they imbue the user with unimaginable skills. This begs the question that if Rock Lee couldn’t defeat Gaara in this state, then who can? Gaara is fighting Sasuke in the finals, so we will see. Speaking of Sasuke he hasn’t been seen since his fight, and as the preliminaries concluded, someone attempted to kidnap him from the hospital. The mystery continues to grow surrounding Sasuke’s past and his uncertain future.
The tenth round was disappointing as it was literally over before it began. I was hoping that Choji was more skillful, considering his teammates are Ino and Shikamaru. Choji is the weakest link on his team, but there is still plenty of time for him to improve. I find it humorous that everyone counted Naruto down and, out before the exam even started, and several of them did not even make it. I had also believed that Naruto would fail at his first Chûnin attempt. Being the main character of a story does not exclude him from hardships. In fact, given Naruto’s past he was forged through hardships.
Now that all the fighting has concluded, I hope we will be able to return to the more story filled volumes. I enjoy the action, but I prefer story developments. I cannot wait to see what happens to Sasuke, or if Rock Lee will be okay. I understand that given this type of series, action is a staple in the plot. I also understand that only so many things can happen in 200 pages or less. Regardless of that, this volume was still amazing.
This volume was full of quality action, and writing. You cannot help but develop some type of connection to the characters, and feel concern for them when something happens. The writing was superb as always, and I look forward to the following entries in the series. Masashi has set the stage for some amazing things to happen, and I eagerly look forward to them. Naruto volume 10 was an amazing read, and you don’t want to miss it.