Reviews: Naruto vol. 53 and Fullmetal Alchemist 27

Naruto volume 53 by Masashi Kishimoto

This volume shows why Naruto is such a great series. Despite my usual complaints about the series, it is stories like the birth of Naruto that make up for all of it.

After meeting his father during the climatic final battle with Pain, it was only a matter of time before Kushina Uzuamaki made an appearance. And, appropriately enough, it comes when Naruto battles to master the Nine Tails.

The long expected reunion is amazingly done and very heart warming. The bonds between mother and child interesting to watch form, and it is funny how similar Naruto is to his mother. And the ending is so bitter sweet, being only able to spend such a short time one’s parent.

But, there are some issues here as well. For one thing, I still think the defeat of “Dark Naruto” is a little too quick. It should have taken longer and been more in depth. Naruto, I think, really needs to explore the dark side of its protagonist a little more.

Another issue is I do not quite buy the rational for Minato’s actions. Of course, there needs to be an explanation made as to why Naruto is an orphan when he has two loving, but absent parents. That his father died sealing the Nine Tails into him is understandable, but revealing that his mother is the previous jinchuriki of Nine Tails boggles the mind.

Despite some of the issues, this volume is an excellent example of Naruto at its best.

Fullmetal Alchemsit volume 27 by Hiromu Arakawa

All good things come to an end, and Fullmetal Alchemist now joins that company. This series is one of the greatest manga of the past twenty or thirty years. The art may not be spectacular, but the story telling makes up for it by far.

The final battle with Father reaches its inexorable conclusion, and, much like any alchemist who dares human transmutation, he is punished for his hubris. And Ed, of all the alchemists, learns what the right answer is to restore his body without recourse to a philosopher’s stone. The conclusion is excellent.

The ending of the journey is undeniably heart warming. Amestris is freed from Father’s machinations and Ishabal is restored. The world is restored a better, more hopeful place.

In a way, looking at final volumes demands that one looks back over the series as a whole.  As such, it is amazing to see how seamless the narrative turns out to be. Everything just clicks.

Now, this volume, hell Fullmetal Alchemist is highly recommended. If you haven’t started on it yet, get to it!



Posted on February 23, 2012, in Manga and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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