Naruto Volume 12 Cover.
Image courtesy of VIZ Media.


  • Story: Masashi Kishimoto.
  • Art: Masashi Kishimoto.
  • Released: December 5, 2006.
  • Imprint: SHONEN JUMP.
  • Pages: 192.

The fight between Naruto and Neji begins. Naruto uses all the tricks up his sleeve but none of them faze Neji at all. Neji shows Naruto the true power of the Hyuga clan and presses Naruto’s chakra points, thus rendering them useless. Just when the battle looks bleak, Naruto taps into the chakra of the Nine-Tailed Fox and gives Neji everything he has. With luck, it may be just enough to secure victory. As Sasuke has still yet to arrive, his match against Gaara has been postponed. In the next round between Kankuro and Shino, Kankuro has decided to withdraw from the match and Shino advances forward. Shikamaru and Temari are set to fight in the next round. Temari has Shikamaru kept at a distance using her fan, Shikamaru used this time to plot his strategy. Using quick thinking Shikamaru used his shadow possession jutsu and possessed Temari. The fight between Shikamaru and Temari ends here.

This volume was completely made up of fighting. Not a lot of story development could take place. We still have no idea where Sasuke is or if he’s coming at all. Although during the fight between Naruto and Neji we did receive a brief history lesson about the Hyuga clan and why Neji is the way he is. Personally, I feel bad for Neji and the hand that he was dealt in life. But if nothing else he is still a genius and fierce competitor. I am still surprised that Naruto could give him such a run for his money and push him to his limits.

All the fights that we had seen here were amazing. Each competitor is capable of such amazing and unique things. I am now more excited than ever to see the fight between Sasuke and Gaara. I believe wholeheartedly that if anyone will defeat Gaara, it will be Sasuke. I say that because Sasuke is supposed to be training with Kakashi. Sasuke and Kakashi have a similar style and both have the Sharingan. So, it would only make sense that Kakashi could train Sasuke to be nearly as skilled as himself.

I would have liked to see the fight between Kankuro and Shino. Both competitors have the most unique skills in my opinion. With Shino having command over insects and Kankuro being able to manipulate a puppet, that would have made for a great fight. Perhaps in the future there will be another opportunity for these two to fight.

I would say that from an action only standpoint this volume was perfect. The small bits of story that were thrown in made for a nice bonus as well. I am eager to see the conclusion to the Chûnin Exams and hope we get to see Sasuke and Gaara fight. All in all, this was a great volume and excellent addition to the series. Naruto volume 12 was an amazing read.