Naruto Volume 14 is a manga by Masashi Kishimoto, and it was released in North America by Viz Media’s Shonen Jump imprint in 2007. The series is rated “T” for teens; from what I’ve read of the manga and from what I’ve seen of the anime series, I would agree with this rating.
The main character of the series is Naruto Uzumaki; he’s the number one hyperactive knuckleheaded ninja in the Hidden Leaf Village. Naruto’s dream is to become the leader of his village one day and to be acknowledged by others. When Naruto was a baby, a fox demon was sealed inside of him; because of this, the adults in the village have shunned Naruto out of fear of the fox demon.
Naruto, along with his teammates Sakura Haruno and Sasuke Uchiha, are competing in the Chunin Exam; this exam determines which ninja are worthy enough to be promoted from the Genin rank to the Chunin rank. Unfortunately, the final part of the exam is interrupted by an invasion on the Hidden Leaf Village.
A major focus of Volume 14 is on the fight between the Third Hokage and his former student, Orochimaru. Orochimaru is able to use a reanimation jutsu to resurrect both the First and the Second Hokage and have order them to attack the Third. The fight between the three Hokage culminates into epic proportions; unfortunately, the confrontation between the Third Hokage and Orochimaru does not conclude in this volume.
While this is going on, Sasuke is chasing after the three Sand Siblings who fled from the village during the commotion. Kakashi sends out Naruto, Sakura, Shikamaru, and the ninja dog Pakkun to pursue Sasuke. As they start into their pursuit, Pakkun detects that they’re being followed by several enemies. The normally lazy Shikamaru has to make a decision to give their mission a better chance of succeeding.
Near the end of the volume, Sasuke catches up to the Sand Siblings. Temari manages to leave with Gaara, but Sasuke needs to fight with Kankuro. However, another character makes a surprise appearance right before the two of them battle, which allows Sasuke to continue his pursuit.
I would have to say that my favorite part of this volume would be the battle of the Hokage. Prior to this point in the series, we only ever saw the Third Hokage sitting behind desks and ruling his village. This volume gives us a chance to see him in action, and the reader begins to understand just why he ended up being selected to serve as the Third Hokage. This portion of the story also has flashbacks of when Hiruzen Sarutobi learned he would become the Third Hokage, as well as happened between the Third Hokage and Orochimaru before he left the Hidden Leaf Village. And even though they may have been in a reanimated state, the reader also got to see the First and Second Hokage for not only their appearance, but for their abilities as well.
The storyline with Naruto, Sakura, Shikamaru, and Pakkun was also good. My favorite part here was seeing Shikamaru making the decision that he did, because he is starting to show signs of a change in his character. It may be slight, but it’s still a change. I also liked Shikamaru thinking about how he thought we would live out his life as he finds himself in a tight position.
Even though I already know what’s going to happen in this volume from seeing this part of the story in the anime series, I was just as riveted when I read the original manga as I was when I first saw the story in the anime.
If you’ve read and enjoyed the previous 13 volumes of the Naruto manga series, then I feel confident that you’ll enjoy reading Volume 14.
I wrote this review after reading a copy of Naruto Volume 14 that I checked out through the King County Library System.