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Editor’s Note: [Heh — fooled ya! I bet you thought there would be a note from an editor here. Alas, it’s just me. But I wanted to explain the following post. This week I have to read a bunch of comics for my lovely job, including manga (Japanese comics). And I’ve never read any manga before in my life. Ever. Just thought you should know.]

 

Naruto had to be the first manga I read in my effort to learn about Japanese comics, since it’s absolutely hands-down the champion high king bestselling comic book throughout the entire known universe at the moment. Naruto kicks sales ass in ways we haven’t seen in the comics industry since the 1940s, if ever. I had to see what it was all about.

What I want to say before I get too deep into it is that Naruto is a very poorly done comic. The figure drawing and linework is fine enough, but the storytelling — that all-important sequential clarity that all comics require — is sorely lacking. I spent a lot of my time doubling back a page or two trying to figure out what had just happened only to learn that there was no way to tell other than to read ahead and hope I got it in context or expository dialogue later on. The writing is equally bad, by necessity, since there is indeed a lot of expository dialogue needed to explain very simple plot points that I could have gotten on my own if the drawing was better.

With that out of the way, I also want to say that I really liked Naruto, I want to find out what happens next, and I completely understand why kids are gobbling this up like cookies all around the world.

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