Masashi Kishimoto: The man behind the adored Shonen Jump series Naruto. The world knows who he is. In fact; it’s harder not to know who he is than that of the inverse. Between the Manga’s first (published in 1999) and final (published in 2014) chapter, a lot has changed for this talented Mangaka. Not only did his writing style change over the many years of the series’ run, but so did his illustration skill, eventually coming to master the practice of sequential art in much the same way the legends before him had done.
For the first time in SnapThirty history, and for the first time in my personal career as a pop culture-centric writer, I’ve been given the opportunity to review the, somewhat, collected works of Masashi Kishimoto in the form of the recently released Uzumaki Naruto: Illustrations art book which, as you may already know, is wonderous release dedicated to the illustrative work of Naruto’s Shippuden Era which spans from the titular character’s return to the village to his eventual role as the Hokage of The Village Hidden In The Leaves.
Madman Entertainment have presented me with a review copy of this new piece of Naruto collective media, and I cannot be more thankful! As many of you know, I am not the greatest fan of what Naruto became by the end of it’s run, but one thing I still believe with the entirety of my being is that Masashi Kishimoto is a remarkable artist that, through his illustration work, has lit a creative fire in the hearts and minds of many readers around the world that still burn to this day, and may burn until the very end of time. Change in writing style or otherwise…this is something that only few throughout history have done, and it takes a special artist to be able to achieve such feats of greatness.
The Uzumaki Naruto: Illustrations art book is the perfect addition to any Naruto fan’s collection. Actually, I’d go as far as to say that this particular art ensemble belongs on the shelves of any of you out their who aspire to be something great in the creative world, or for any of you out there who can simply respect the wonder of great Manga art. What I’m trying to say is that this release is essential in the lives of many people, much like the series itself has become in the hearts of countless Naruto fans over its many years in publication.
Masashi Kishimoto is a man that understands good image composition. Most, if not all, of the artworks featured in the collection featured as the covers of many Naruto volumes, so as you can imagine; they feature eye-catching colour, and incredible scenes both action-packed and heartfelt. Alongside these cover images, the collection features many pieces done by Kishimoto that appearing in many alternate publications like Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump and/or as promotion for a new video game. The list goes on and on. Regardless the reason for it’s creation, every piece in this collection shows a huge sense of blood, sweat, tears, love, and dedication, not only to the specific work, but to Naruto as a whole. This is the culmination of Kishimoto’s life work, and it truly does show.
The release also comes with a few added extras that, while they don’t make the purchase of the book all the more justifiable (because it simply doesn’t need to be), it did make for a nice surprise when first opening the book. Alongside a fantastic dual-sided dust cover that portrays both Naruto and Sasuke as they were at three different times in their life, the release also comes with a complementary poster that folds out of the second page, and a set of stickers which show images that can be seen in full throughout the book. No matter how young or old you are, there’s nothing that puts a smile on one’s face more than stickers, and considering what’re on these stickers are amazing works of art by Masashi Kishimoto, it’s hard not to grin unbearably.
What more is there to say about this fantastic release? I’ve already said it was fantastic, that was in the last sentence, so I think I’m stuck…but I’m not sure that’s a bad thing. You see; there’s only so much good you can say about a certain piece of media. The way I write; I usually detail all the good points first before inevitably moving onto the bad points, but the Uzumaki Naruto: Illustrations art book doesn’t have any negative features, so where do I go from here? I guess I can just urge you to experience this release for yourself. I can guarantee…you won’t regret this picking up this treasure. You may have an overwhelming need to practice drawing though, but I don’t think that’s a problem at all.
Purchase the Uzumaki Naruto: Illustrations art book through Madman Entertainment’s online store by Clicking Here.