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~生まれた町で夢見てきた...~
"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
Naruto Shadow Box Limited Collector Set 
11th-Apr-2008 09:37 pm
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Kashira, kashira, gozonji kashira? Did you know that the woman who moderated the 2006 MangaNEXT Naruto discussion group had never read past volume five of the original manga and had never watched even a second of the anime? Yeah, yeah...I'm pathetic. At least I admit it. Fortunately, I can safely say that I'm not a total Naruto-ignoramus anymore.

Back last November, I noticed that barnesandnoble.com was selling Naruto Shadow Box Limited Collector Set at a discount as a part of their holiday sale--and guess who had a super-duper "additional 40% off" coupon? B&N had their sale in an instant. Suffice to say that I pampered myself with an early Christmas gift that only set me back $56.90. (Considering that the set was $189.95 suggested retail, that was over 70% off!)

But although the #287/5000 arrived right quick, instead of opening the box right away I forced it into an empty slot on my bookcase. And there it stayed. And stayed. And stayed. Until early this April, that is, when a sudden, inexplicable craving for mindless tournament shounen sent me flying like a spinning shuriken toward that bottom shelf.


The gift set on the merits of presentation alone is not especially impressive. Cheap Plexiglas and a few slivers of lacquered waste wood do not a great collector's item make. Even the stickers looked like something I could have done with my handy-dandy HP 3-in-1. But 27 brand spankin' new volumes of manga for $56.90 is nothing to sniff at, and that was all I really cared about anyway.

And lemme tell ya, marathoning 27 volumes of Naruto over the course of a week is quite an experience. I was surprised, really, how well the series held up to that kind of (self-)abuse, although it remained comfortably formulaic throughout. There were little moments of pleasure, such as the appearance of a super-strong woman who becomes the Fifth Hokage, to compensate for things that annoyed me during my first read several years ago. (Is it a coincidence that Kishimoto was courting his future wife at the time he was writing that particular story arc? I think not.) I also loved the joke about how Naruto is one of those born sidekick sorts of characters who can't even support the weight of the story named after him.

The ongoing relationship between Naruto and Sasuke is the finest iteration of the shounen manga rivalry to have emerged from late 20th century Weekly Shounen Jump. It begins with a comedic kiss and evolves into the promise "of a lifetime." Homoeroticism so thick and rich you can cut it with a butter knife; an entire generation of yaoi-istas are coming of age on it.

Well, now that I'm caught up with VIZ Media's English-language release, perhaps I will start reviewing individual Naruto volumes 28+ here. What do you guys think?
Comments 
12th-Apr-2008 02:13 am (UTC)
Stop it.

A period of boredom is no excuse to abuse your brain. Leave this sort of crack to those who won't be dumbed down by it.

/end elitist rant.
12th-Apr-2008 02:24 am (UTC)
Naruto only counts as abuse for 88 lb. waifs.

Watching 17 different anime series in less than 96 hours, however? Now THAT'S the sort of thing to have even me feeling a bit under the weather...
12th-Apr-2008 02:26 am (UTC)
I absolutely hate shounen manga (I am more of Hagio Moto fan, lol). Yet I can't stop reading Naruto. I've been reading it for... well, since I was pregnant with my first child, that's how long!

You thought introduction of Tsunade was out of the blue? I loved her... except I was annoyed by the ridiculous fanservice (I mean, c'mon!). I don't know how far you've read into the manga, but Jiraya-Tsunade-Orochimaru vs Naruto-Sakura-Sasuke subtheme is pretty poignant too.
12th-Apr-2008 02:30 am (UTC)
Oops...bad sentence structure. Must edit. I was totally taken by Tsunade (cup size aside). And after the explicit bit about Sakura's inferiority early on, that was redemption.
12th-Apr-2008 03:04 am (UTC)
I will be looking forward to your review. The manga itself is great, but it's completely compromised by the following. Finding anything at least remotely grammatically correct, never mind intelligent, on the subject is a challenge, which is a shame.
12th-Apr-2008 02:35 am (UTC)
*twitches* Review all 27 volumes? :(
12th-Apr-2008 02:37 am (UTC)
*twitches* Review all 27 volumes? :(

I meant starting with vol. 28. Obviously I'm too tired to articulate effectively.
12th-Apr-2008 02:40 am (UTC)
*pat pats*

Um. Can we pretend you did decide to review them only not actually do that? The manga might be decent but the fandom puts me off from wanting to see reviews for multiple volumes of it.
12th-Apr-2008 02:42 am (UTC)
Can we pretend you did decide to review them only not actually do that?

God, you sound like some girl out of my childhood going, "Let's not and say we did!"

:P
12th-Apr-2008 02:46 am (UTC)
I could say "AAAAAACK! NO! NO! NO! NO! NARUTO! NO! HELP! NO! ANYTHING BUT NARUTO! I'LL EVEN TAKE BLEACH! JUST NOT NARUTO!" but that seemed just as immature. :)
12th-Apr-2008 06:15 am (UTC)
With everything going on currently with the manga in Japan the series needs to be renamed "Uchiha".
12th-Apr-2008 11:13 am (UTC)
*snickers*

My seven year old nephew is a HUGE Naruto fan ^_^;;
12th-Apr-2008 11:52 am (UTC)
Why not? I've never read it and it's always fun to read your reviews.
18th-Apr-2008 01:53 am (UTC)
Bah hum bug. I would rather you review something else more worthwhile, and this coming from a Naruto fan. =Þ

Naruto is so formulaic; you can see how everything will pan out a mile away. Though I will say I was pleasantly surprised by his writing some characters off...

Can I just say, "I knew it!!" about Itachi? But that's another story. *yawn* Please review something else! ^_~

PS: Happy Birthday!
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