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Naruto: Kakashi's Story Paperback – November 3, 2015
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From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—This light novel tells the story of Kakashi, one of the more popular and mysterious characters in the "Naruto" universe. Kakashi suspects sabotage on the first voyage of a new airship and sneaks on board. He soon discovers that enemy forces are taking over the ship, holding passengers hostage, and threatening to kill them unless their demands are met. Kakashi sneaks around for a while and then uses his superior fighting skills to fight the terrorists. But since this is based on a ninja-themed manga, these battles are fought with a mixture of magic and martial arts. Characters fight one another physically but also use a variety of other powers like ice and electricity to battle their enemies. Being familiar with the "Naruto" manga or anime before reading this book is essential, because otherwise teens will not understand the significance of different characters or plot points or even who the good guys and bad guys are. Also, a drawback of the light novel format means that the action and humor are not conveyed as powerfully as they would be in a manga, which is how most fans know these characters. VERDICT For fans of the "Naruto" series who are interested in a more in-depth view of the Kakashi character.—Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Library
About the Author
Author/artist Masashi Kishimoto was born in 1974 in rural Okayama Prefecture, Japan. Like many kids, he was first inspired to become a manga artist in elementary school when he read Dragon Ball by Akira Toriyama. After spending time in art college, he won the Hop Step Award for new manga artists with his story Karakuri. After considering various genres for his next project, Kishimoto decided on a story steeped in traditional Japanese culture. His first version of Naruto, drawn in 1997, was a one-shot story about fox spirits; his final version, which debuted in Weekly Shonen Jump in 1999, quickly became the most popular ninja manga in the world. The series would also spawn multiple anime series, movies, novels, video games and more. Having concluded the series in late 2014, Masashi Kishimoto has kept himself busy this year with the sidestory Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring and writing the story for the latest Naruto movie, Boruto: Naruto the Movie both of which will focus on the title character's son, Boruto.
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Top Customer Reviews
I do not wish to give too much away for anyone that has yet to read the story, but I will say that anyone that's read the manga will enjoy this book. The action and sequencing is fast-paced, and the dialogue is exactly what you'd expect from a Naruto book: at times, witty and comedic, but then melancholy and a touch melodramatic, but in a very good way. The author does a phenomenal job of making the reader feel like they're actually there with Kakashi, spreading chakra throughout his or her body, narrowly avoiding danger right alongside the Sixth Hokage. If only for the story, this book is a perfect ten out of ten if you are a Naruto fan.
I did, however, have one major concern with this book, and that was the translator's knowledge of the Naruto universe. Jocelyne Allen did a pretty good job of translating the book as a whole, but if a person has a full understanding of a language, translating a text to their native tongue should be a pretty straightforward task, so it's hard to get something wrong there. However, as a longtime fan of Naruto, I noticed a few things that were off, and because I am such a devoted fan, I was bothered every time I noticed them. Some Jutsu names were off, primarily Shikamaru's Shadow Strangle Jutsu (in the novel, "Suffocating Darkness"), and Choji's Human Boulder ("Human Juggernaut", seriously?). Ten-Ten was also, in the one line where she is referred to using a gender-specific pronoun, wrongfully identified as a " he." I myself had a profound issue with the translator constantly putting a character's last name before their first name, and while I understand that in Japanese the last name goes first, if a book is being written or translated into English, I would prefer it if somethings were kept right. Had the book been written out as though it were an episode from the English-Dubbed version of the show, I would have been much more pleased. There are still more errors within the text, but I do not wish to make the book seem bad. If the reader is as much a fan as I am, they might feel slightly bothered by the problems, but still, I cannot stress the importance of remembering that any errors a reader encounters should not be blamed on the book as whole, but rather the translator, who aside from the aforementioned mistakes, does a brilliant job bringing this story to life in the English language. If it weren't for the errors, this book would have a perfect five out of five from me.
Overall, if the reader is a fan of the series and longs to find out what happened in the blank period between chapters 699 and 700, then they should definitely check out this book and the rest of the novels that will be released shortly in English. This is one experience no Naruto fan worth his salt should miss out on.
The villains in the story are, as per usual, upset about the disparity of wealth/class/power in their native land (the Land of Mist) and are hijacking a newly constructed airship to force Konoha (whose ninjas have been hired as guards on the airship a.k.a. this is why Kakashi is there) to release their leader from prison. Once their leader is returned to them, they plan on making the world better by forcing everyone to follow their doctrine with their Kekkei Genkai ice-style abilities. But, one of the two villains on the ship (they are a brother and sister duo) is a beautiful, tragic woman who sort of has the hots for Kakashi, and he definitely has the hots for her. Her brother is more radical than she in how he escalates their plans when things go awry, etc. You can guess how things will progress.
Overall, the inconsistencies from the manga like: the fanfic-y romance (c'mon, Kakashi meets beautiful women on missions without immediately falling for them - although, it did happen in that one filler anime episode - but mostly he's depicted as a solitary guy that all the women fall for. He *is* supposed to be the "Sasuke" of his time, after all.), the villains are ret-conned in as I'm pretty sure Haku was said to be the last Kekkei Genkai ice-style user alive, details about the Village Hidden in the Mist are ret-conned in from Zabusa's time, and lastly, the conclusion of the story shows Kakashi's "first" edict as Hokage, but in the manga, he was already Hokage when Sasuke is pardoned and leaves the village; however, Sasuke is nowhere to be found or mentioned in this story - so the timeline is sketchy. Also adding to the mediocrity were random grammatical errors, and erroneous translations of some of the jutsu (i.e. Shikamaru's "Shadow Strangulation" is now called "Suffocating Darkness" - apparently whoever translated this is unfamiliar with the series) making it really feel like unedited fanfiction.
I had hoped these novels would have been more cohesive with the manga and anime, but I can see how creating a credible villain would be tough when the last villain was Madara/Kaguya *cough*lookingatyoulameBorutovillain*cough *. Couldn't they have a different sort of crisis that doesn't involve a maniacally laughing baddy, though? Like, some sort of agricultural/geographic/water/anything crisis in their newly formed alliance with the other nations? This novel is like the filler episodes in the anime where characters are mostly depicted faithfully but a few jarring notes are present that fulfill fan desires (like Kakashi falling for beautiful women instantly, or the anime episode where Hinata develops her own version of "Kaiten" which is never spoken of again because it doesn't jive with the manga). Oh well, I'll give the next novel a try when it comes out...
Also, there were a few editorial errors, but the biggest/most noticeable one was when TenTen was referred to as "he" and Shino was referred to as "she"! Lol