Naruto Volume 49: The Gokage Summit Commences
Story and Art: Masashi Kishimoto
Release Date: 4th January 2010
Covers Chapters 454-463
Shonen Jump/Viz Media
The five Kage are the greatest ninja in the land and Naruto’s dream is to become the Hokage. A summit between all five is certainly something to look forward to then as the five group up to discuss what to do with the deadly organisation Akatsuki. Will the discussion form a plan or cause further chaos through arguing? And Sasuke is on his way to mess things up.
Volume 49 builds up a lot, the first full volume of a new arc does that with most of the first half being travel and meetings. The new Kage are introduced with two bodyguards each which is really expanding the character roster on the go and all the new cast manage to leave an impression. From small grumpy Kage to glasses wearing swordsman, they all offer little quirks and are welcome in the Naruto universe, there just leaves the hope that they will be utilised well as a lot of older characters who used to have large roles are just background these days. Samurai are also introduced, with the Kages and samurai land this volume really shows a lot about the ninja world unlike usual when it sticks to Konoha. Things are looking good and the meeting while going on for a few chapters helps develop the new characters and offer some plans and information on everything.
Then we have Naruto’s part of the volume. He is refusing to sell out Sasuke despite being a wanted criminal and he seems to really let it get to him. He gets beaten up, begs and cries while Sakura falls apart thanks to Sai who is sick of all this Sasuke obsession. It seems our main characters are heading towards a breakdown and Sasuke going berserk at the Kage conference shows little hope for Team 7. It’s interesting but the evil Sasuke seems to have been forced upon us with no explanation, but there is hope it will be delved into down the road.
The fights also begin this volume as Sasuke’s presence is made aware of and he and his team confront the Raikage! The fight shows team work and new visually exciting jutsu, the fight doesn’t seem to be Sasuke trying to survive the power of a Kage rather than beating him down and from this point on it is clearer things are going to get out of control And that’s the way we like it isn’t it? Interesting plot, new characters and fights make for an exciting start to the arc. Let’s hope Team 7 can keep together.