✴️ NARUTO ナルト ✴️ Arc 1: "Prologue - Land of Waves" 🌊

:ocean::ninja: Welcome to the NARUTO ナルト Arc 1 Discussion :ninja::ocean:

Return to the Home ThreadGo to Arc 2

The “Prologue - Land of Waves” Arc covers Volume 1 through midway into Volume 4.

Natively Rating: Level 25 (JLPT N3) Furigana: Yes

Check out BookWalker’s free reading sample of Volume 1 here!

Physical Purchase: AmazonJP | CD Japan | KinokuniyaJP
Digital Purchase: BookWalker | AmazonJP | eBook Japan

:fish_cake: Prologue - Land of Waves Arc

No. Volume Name
1 Uzumaki Naruto (うずまきナルト)
2 The Worst Client (最悪の依頼人)
3 For the Sake of Dreams…!! (夢の為に…!!)
4 The Hero’s Bridge!! (英雄の橋!!)

This arc ends after Chapter 33, midway through Volume 4. For comments or questions regarding Chapter 34 onward, please move on to the discussion for Arc 2.

:fish_cake: General Discussion Rules

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Despite NARUTO’s widely recognizable orange main character, there are many of us who have neither read nor watched any part of this series. Avoid giving accidental spoilers by using Blur [spoiler] [/spoiler] or Hide Details [details="Summary"] [/details] for predictions, comments containing specific plot points, or any story-revealing panel images.

If you ARE familiar with this series, it is also a good practice to hide decades-old memes or jokes that come to mind, as they too can contain accidental spoilers. :sweat_smile:

When asking language-related questions, please include the chapter number, page number if available, and/or general context surrounding the sentence. This will make it much easier to answer questions without confusion.

:fish_cake: What Should I Post in a Manga Discussion?

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Great book club discussions include more than just grammar questions! If you want to join the discussion but aren’t sure how, try adding these:

  • Interesting panels you saw
  • Moments that made you laugh
  • Moments that made you cringe :grimacing:
  • Predictions about where the story could go
  • Clues or foreshadowing that stood out to you
  • Questions about characters or settings
  • Comparisons to the anime (though this can tiptoe a spoiler-y line, please be careful!)

I hope that you will join in on the discussion, or poke it when it needs some new energy. Fostering an enjoyable reading atmosphere is my ninja way, believe it!

:fish_cake: Vocabulary Sheet

Vocab sheets are a community project, meaning that we can all work together to add new/unknown vocabulary for fellow readers to reference. Please read the guidelines on the first tab to ensure the sheet can remain clean and easy to read.

:fish_cake: Polls

Polls are anonymous and your answers can be changed at any time

:books: Natively Level 25 - JLPT N3
  • I usually read books lower than this level
  • This is in my normal reading level range
  • I usually read books higher than this level
0 voters
:open_book: Readers: How far are you in the story?
  • I hope to start soon!
  • I’m in the Prologue
  • I’m training with Team 7
  • I’m in the Land of Waves
0 voters

Want to rejoin the discussion when future readers have questions or comments? Set the thread status to Watching below!


Some things I forgot to mention!

:fish_cake: Schedule

I said this in the home thread, but I just want to reiterate that this is part of an informal book club that does not have a set reading schedule. You can start when you want, read at the pace that suits you best, and reply to each discussion thread on your own time.

I chose this method because this series is lengthy and therefore more susceptible to life getting in the way of your reading time. For myself, I have much more time to read some weeks than others. Enjoy on your own schedule - I’m always excited to hear your thoughts, even if a bit of time has passed!

:fish_cake: Casual Speech

Some of the characters speak with casual contracted grammar. I suspect this is to emphasize 1) that there is a distinct hierarchy in the world of ninja, and 2) that Naruto doesn’t abide by it!

Check out this guide on contracted forms, just in case any stump you during reading: What are the chau, cha verb endings?


i made it halfway through the first chapter today before needing to head to an appointment

the casual speech is sooo intense in the first chapter, and its primary purpose here is definitely to show you that absolutely everyone hates Naruto, makes it obvious that they see him as the lowest human, and he responds to them the same way

Speech-Style Examples (possible spoilers)

the righthand panel shows the village leader speaking to naruto, the lefthand panel shows naruto’s teacher speaking to the leader

naruto’s speech style

i tried to add as many terms to the vocab sheet that had been convoluted by contracted forms as i could, just to add some clarity regardless of the word level. lemme know if it’s actually helpful or just overwhelms the list

i was surprised to find that a couple of the ending particles are actually considered N1 - idk why but i assumed they’d either be lower level or not part of the N system at all :sweat_smile:

image image

translating while reading definitely takes more time than reading for fun, I’ve discovered :woozy_face:

panels i liked (actual spoilers here lol)

i hope to finish the first chapter tomorrow (ᵔ◡ᵔ)

edit: i forgot to mention that the language in the, like, pre-chapter fox page is way harder than the actual chapter ahaha. i forgot that it was even there, but i guess it’s important for initial backstory? the explanation text uses archaic poetry-form that i added to the vocab sheet as well


i finished chapter one today, which makes 67 vocab terms added to the sheet („• ᴗ •„) those were just the ones that i sought clarification for - if you read chapter one and there are more words that you looked up, please feel free to add them!

for some reason this grammar stumped me for a few minutes.

without thinking much i just expected it to be some form of にとって, but then i couldn’t figure out what おき was doing there after it? like, was the おき missing kanji that would’ve helped me out? was it meant to be ておく? i know that Kishimoto often uses hiragana even when the word has easy kanji. well, turned out this was one of those times - except it wasn’t the おき that had kanji, instead it was meant to be 取っておき “trump card, ace up one’s sleeve” :upside_down_face:

and then the end of chapter one has some crazy iconic double-page moments in it but this one always takes the cake:

(major spoiler)

hoping to start chapter 2 on Wednesday ( ˙▿˙ ) i may speed through that one, since i already read it just a few months ago. so it’s likely that there will be a Ch. 2 void on the vocab sheet haha


You don’t even need to know Japanese for this page. :sunglasses:


Ok I caved and bought volume 1 on bookwalker. @taiyousea I didn’t want to leave you alone in this thread!

I’ve read two pages and I’ve already looked up so much slang and casual speech stuff HAHA. Also employing the ‘if i didnt get it who cares’ method because this is such a long series, I’ll probably be through with genki 2 by the time I finish crawling through just these first 4 volumes.

lmao took one look at this page and was like skip!

I’m actually loving the super casual language because now I totally understand why English manga translations always have characters who are like ‘ey man, ya know??’

Also when I read ペンキ my first thought is that it was pink, not paint. even worse, this time, it’s… PINK!!!


YES EXACTLY! the tadoku method of “don’t break your reading flow to look stuff up, just absorb and enjoy” 'cause there’s not about to be a quiz at the end, just have fun!

it had like ancient poetry style, i saw it and sighed ahahaha skipping it was the better option.

for future readers who look at the fox page and are about to say hell nah to the entire series, here’s my very accurate translation so you can skip that page:

now everyone can nod sagely and confidently skip :relieved: pfftbt


chapter 2 is shorter than chapter 1 by an entire half, so this one is super easy to get through! only 24 pages. and mostly comprised of shenanigans :kissing_smiling_eyes:

the profile :sob: “interests are pranks, favorite thing is ramen ONLY, especially (edit: took me a min to realize that was とくに) miso” I never bothered reading the writing before ahaha

also his hairstyle in the photo resembles the yondaime imo :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

something I really love about this chapter is that Kishimoto seems to have more fun drawing naru expressions:

no spoilers, just faces

Screen Shot 2023-10-18 at 8.05.01 PM

Screen Shot 2023-10-18 at 8.05.47 PM

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chapter three, naruto’s new teammates enter the story!!

I remember an interview from forever ago where Kishimoto explained that Sasuke is the most self-insert adjacent character he’d ever written. Like, oh, okay Kishimoto, so in that case it looks like you wrote an entire 72-volume series about what if you had a friend :thinking: pfft

Anyway, my conspiracy is that he almost made a light-eyed Sasuke before deciding on dark eyes based on the wobbly continuity just in chapter 3 alone:

no story spoilers, just sasuke spoilers

he eventually looks like this for the rest of the series:

I added lots of the fun new words in this chapter to the vocab sheet. Tomorrow is Friday, so I’m not sure if I’ll have time for chapter 4, but I’m having so much fun I’ll definitely try (´・ᴗ・ ` )


Chapter four! The switch from “prologue” to “training with team 7”!

The 50-something pages of the first chapter made me think it’d take a long time to make it through the first volume, but the subsequent chapters have been much shorter than the first. Just three more chapters until Volume One is complete!

Chapter four introduces Kakashi-sensei :flushed: :smirk: and it also has some great panels featuring all three kids


Volume One is complete!

Chapters 5-7 go by super quickly. There are several pages of just cool attacks and ninja abilities and hardly any dialogue. I only added 33 words to the vocab sheet across those three chapters, which are mostly just attack-related terms and swear words :sweat_smile:

I’ve never really used a vocab sheet for more than simply referencing while reading, but I’m thinking of maybe going back through the sheet and mining words for my vocab srs. Particularly the onomatopoeia!

These chapters had some iconic Kakashi moments!


And a sick double-spread for the first time we see Sasuke’s special ability



It also seems a bit obvious to me now that Kishimoto had no idea which direction he wanted to take with Sakura at first, considering that he had her completely fail an ability that she will soon (next volume? before the end of the arc for sure) suddenly be the best at among the three kids. But there are a lot of moments like this during Part One of the series haha. I fully believe Kishimoto was just having a fun ninja time with this story before realizing that 1) it was actually becoming a big deal, and 2) it would one day need to come together at an endpoint, for which he crafted the highly-detailed Part Two (that sometimes ends up contradicting details from Part One).

I’m excited to reach the Land of Waves portion of this arc ⸜( ´ ꒳ ` )⸝

Onto Volume Two: The Worst Client!


Not sure why Uchiha clan is うちは, having fan-shaped emblem (団扇) and things like 内輪揉め.

I didn’t see much of Sakura yet. Maybe a little during training, and barely at the end of Vol.4. Still, 内なるサクラ しゃーんなろー .


Yes! I remember early fan translations would go back and forth between Uchiha/Uchiwa as the translated name because Uchiwa seemed to make more sense. The anime is really what put that particular disagreement to rest, for the most part, but I still came across “Uchiwa” on fan websites/graphics/art every so often as a teen in the 00s. I almost miss how various websites would publish different translations and there would be so many ways to read the emotions of the story :sweat_smile:

しゃーんなろー!! Poor Sakura doesn’t get much proper thought given to her character in Part One except for the occasional moment, but I love how her strength develops over the course of Part Two. :smiling_face_with_tear:


Damn, it feels pretty good to be able to read that, even if with context.


Hi, I am new here. I found wanikani book clubs from reddit :sweat_smile:. I am excited to try reading ナルト, even if my reading level and experience probably a little low…I am having some trouble with a few words here and there.

On page 10 bottom right, someone says またいたずらばっかりしやがって, I’m not sure what verb しやがって is from? する?

Then next bubble over is 毎日いいかげんにしろ, is the しろ also from する?

On page 11 at the bottom, イルカ先生 yells 早く降りてこい, what does こい mean? Is that some kind of sentence ender?

Finally on page 13, middle right panel, ナルト says せいだぞ. Again I am not sure what verb this is :sweat_smile:

Btw the vocabulary list is super helpful!


Thanks! I guess I missed studying the imperative form somehow :thinking:

Questions are always welcome, I’m so glad you found us!! I’m also having my struggles, the casual shortening of the dialogue confuses me pretty frequently :sweat_smile:

I’m so glad to hear this. It’s an open Google sheet, so if there’s anything you see popping up in the text every now and then that isn’t on the vocab list but continues to need a definition please feel free to add it to the list ^–^

I’m hoping to pick back up with Volume 2 soon, but it will probably have to wait until the JLPT is over ahaha :melting_face: But again, questions/comments are always welcome! Thanks so much @polv for the response :raised_hands:

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I’ve started Volume Two!! Finally :sob:

Chapter 8 picked up after Volume One’s cliffhanger ending but it was quite dialogue-dense for just being 25 pages. This background Sakura had me rolling though sjlfksldfj

But even though it was a wordy chapter, I only added maybe 10 new vocab words. I felt like 99% of it was repeated vocab from the previous volume or just known vocab. Feel free to add anything that tripped you up.

This chapter didn’t have a special double-page spread but it did have some great panels :sweat_smile:


And, of course, the origin of Background Sakura


Chapter 9 took me a while to finish ahaha. It was long and fairly wordy with the explanations of how the mission desk and commissions work.

We should win an award for just for making it through this page:

(No story spoilers) You'll see what I mean in a sec


My favorite word that I learned in this chapter was 「ぺーぺー!」which essentially means “small-fry” but, in the context of the scene, was more like “get good noob” lmao

Anyway, otherwise, chapter 9 is the end of “training with Team 7” and is the beginning of being in the Land of Waves!

Bonus scene

(flips to next page)

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