After the high action content of the previous few books, this eleventh volume of the Naruto manga takes a somewhat slower pace with an increase in the humour as Naruto trains for the Chûnin exam finals. While this is going on Orochimaru's plans are also continuing apace and some light is shed on Gaara's unfortunate past.
Although this is something of a comic relief volume there is some nice tension towards the end and the hints at Orochimaru's ongoing plans are also intriguing. This volume also sees the introduction of the Toad Sage Jiraiya, a brilliantly funny character who, along with Gaara and Kakashi, is one of favourite characters from Naruto. By the end of this volume things are set up nicely for the next few volumes too be very good.
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