Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Masashi Kishimoto
Illustrator: Masashi Kishimoto
Publisher: Viz Media, LLC
Naruto: Volumes 1-3, by Masashi Kishimoto is published in a three-in one format. As a graphic novel, it details the beginning of the Naruto Saga, starting with Naruto graduating from the Ninja Academy. Naruto discovers that he is the vessel for a demon fox spirit and realizes it is why he has been ostracized his entire life. He vows to become leader of the village so that everyone will appreciate him. He is placed on a three-man-squad with Sakura and Sasuke, with Kakashi as their mentor. They go on low level assignments, until they are assigned to escort a builder back to his home town. It turns out to be a dangerous mission and they are constantly forced to grow their skills in order to survive. In the end, Sasuke is taken down, awaking a supernatural rage inside Naruto.
This three-in-one graphic novel is is an intense beginning to a beloved series. Naruto grows and his courage and stupidity make him endearing. Fans of the TV show will notice that the graphic novel is nearly the same as the show, following episodes one through sixteen. The novel is translated from Japanese, so sometimes the lines from the show and the book are similar with the exception of a few translation differences. Also, the novel follows the standard Japanese set up and is read right to left. All in all, it is an enjoyable read. It is recommended for ages 13 and up.