Monday, October 20, 2014

(Short) Manga Reviews: Naruto, Volume 67, and D. Gray-Man, Volume 24

Naruto, Volume 67, by Masashi Kishimoto
Rating (Out of 5): ~2
Publisher: Shonen Jump (VIZ Media)
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Volumes: 70+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 66. 68.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Naruto is a young shinobi with an incorrigible knack for mischief. He's got a wild sense of humor, but Naruto is completely serious about his mission to be the world's greatest ninja!
Just as victory seems at hand, Obito turns the tables on the Allied Shinobi Forces and becomes the Ten Tails jinchuriki. With the powers of the great Sage of Six Paths now under his control, Obito seems unstoppable. Naruto and his father will have to team up if they have any hope against this beast!


I read several of the first volumes in this series, and watched about the same amount of the anime. But I never cared enough to continue it, or just never got around to it. But when I received this volume, I thought why not read it? I knew that I was way behind in the series—I’d heard things and saw things about it, so I knew I’d missed a whole bunch—but I figured I’d see what was going on, and if it would catch my interest enough to want to read more.
Sadly, it, um, didn’t.
I was definitely confused. I thought I understood at least some of the way the ninja thing worked, but most of this went way over my head. It didn’t help, I don’t think, that this entire volume was in the middle of a fight, so I had no idea what had already happened. There were several characters I recognized, but also a lot of new ones, and all of them in different positions than I knew of. And the enemy they were fighting just seemed to be god-moding, which bothered me.
I’ve pretty much just drawn the conclusion that this series isn’t for me. I was beyond confused, a little annoyed, and mostly just not enjoying myself.
I’m glad I read it, but I don’t think I want to read any more.


D. Gray-Man, Volume 24, by Katsura Hoshino
Rating (Out of 5): ~3
Publisher: Shonen Jump Advance (VIZ Media)
Release Date: August 5, 2014
Volumes: 24 (Hiatus)
Spoilers?: No.
Buy it here: Amazon. Barnes and Noble. Book Depository. Powells. RightStuf.
Volume: 1. 23.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Set in a fictional 19th century England, D.Gray-man is the story of Allen Walker, a 15-year-old boy who roams the earth in search of Innocence. Washed away to unknown parts of the world after The Great Flood, Innocence is the mysterious substance used to create weapons that obliterate demons known as akuma.

Allen, now joined by two companions, is still on the run and trying to deal with his demonic alter ego, the Fourteenth. This means avoiding erstwhile allies as well as overt enemies. He also has to prevent one of his companions, fellow Exorcist Kanda, from trying to destroy the Fourteenth while keeping the Fourteenth from destroying his other companion, Johnny, whose zealous devotion to Allen is gratifying but not much help in a fight!


I have not read any of the previous volumes in this series, nor have I seen any of the anime. So I was going into this volume pretty much blind, aside from the little recap at the beginning of the volume.
I was confused throughout this volume. Everything in the previous volumes is a mystery to me, including how their powers and politics work, and the relationships between everyone. Some of the powers, like the things that come out of people’s eyes, seemed gross to me. I’m pretty much confused by most of what happened in this volume—the entire plot didn’t make a lot of sense to me.
I was intrigued, though, particularly by the characters. Everyone has a history with each other, and I was interested in that, in how it came about. There are a lot of characters, too, and we only saw a handful of them in this volume, but I was interested in how they got to where they are now. And I’m glad that the confusing plot wasn’t so bad that it turned me off from the series.
I don’t know if I’ll pick up more volumes of the manga, since I’m already so far behind, but I might give the anime a try. It looks interesting enough for that.

A review copy (of both) was provided by the publisher, VIZ Media, and Erik Jansen from MediaLab PR. Thank you so, so much!

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