Masashi Kishimoto’s long running manga, Naruto, has enthralled audiences for the past twenty years. The titular hero is goofy but has inspired thousands within and outside his world. Of course, longtime fans are more than happy to recommend Naruto’s journey to new readers.
As the digital hub for all things books, GoodReads has thousands upon thousands of reviews in multiple languages for users to scroll through. There’s also a rating system where users discuss their favorite and not-so-favorite reads. each Naruto volume has been ranked and reviewed by various GoodReads users, but this list consists of the ten best choices and their respective ratings.
10 Despite Being Last, Naruto’s 1st Volume Was Enough To Charm Readers — 4.41/5
It’s no surprise that Naruto‘s first volume, Naruto Uzumaki, made it to over 170,000 readers’ top-ten list. Published in August 2003, readers fell in love with the cheeky, loud-mouthed Genin. Kishimoto’s unique take on the ninja world enthralls audiences, adding a new perspective on everyone’s initial perceptions of shinobi as a whole.
While it wasn’t as popular as the later volumes, Naruto’s first volume still managed to capture audiences for the long haul. It still received an average 4.41 out of 5-star rating, which isn’t bad for a first volume. Naruto reveals the reason behind his unruly behavior, which creates more meaningful connections than he realized.
9 Naruto Receives His First Real Mission In The 2nd Volume — 4.45/5
In the second volume, titled The Worst Client, Naruto, Sasuke, Sakura, and Kakashi embark on their first mission outside the Leaf Village. Since Team 7’s formation, the Genin have been doing menial tasks such as catching lost cats and volunteer work, much to Naruto’s annoyance. After his complaints, the Hokage finally grants him an opportunity to show his skills.
The Worst Client came in third place, with an average rating of 4.45 out of 5 stars from around 25,000 readers. While it’s only the second volume of the Naruto series, readers appreciated the quick change in pace and more of Kishimoto’s world-building. The Land of Waves arc proves to be more of a challenge for Team 7’s Genin and an entertaining read.
8 There’s More Revealed About The Land Of Waves In Naruto’s 3rd Volume — 4.45/5
For the Sake of Dreams..!!, Naruto‘s third volume, made it on GoodReads’ top-ten list. A simple D-rank mission quickly changes to a C-rank as Team 7 faces more dangers in the Land of Waves. There’s much more to this mission than they signed up for, as Tazuna, the bridge-builder, reveals more about the village’s seedy underbelly.
Even with about 18,000 readers, the third volume got an average 4.45 out of 5-star rating. The Land of Waves’ not-so-pleasant history and Zabuza and Haku’s longtime partnership sent chills down readers’ spines. It shows the effects of a village under oppression and how its corrupt leaders have weakened the people
7 A New Villain Emerges In Volume 7: The Path You Should Tread — 4.46/5
The Path You Should Tread, Naruto’s seventh volume, gives Team 7 no rest. They have to deal with Orochimaru and his minions, and Sasuke still hasn’t recovered from Orochimaru’s strange Curse Mark. Time is running out, and they must capture the final scroll to pass the exam preliminaries.
Over 13,000 GoodReads users gave the seventh volume an average 4.46 out of 5-star rating. Some reviewers complained about Naruto’s childish behavior with such high stakes, but he manages to pull through to help his scared and worn-out comrades even if it means relying on the Nine-Tails.
6 Naruto Made Quite The Comeback In The 12th Volume — 4.47/5
The one-month waiting period is over, and the Chunin Exam finals are in full swing. In the twelfth volume, The Great Flight, Naruto is ready to face off against Neji with a few tricks up his sleeve. However, the Hyuga prodigy is the crowd’s favorite, so Naruto has the odds against him.
Over 13,000 users rated The Great Flight an average of 4.47 out of 5 stars, praising Neji’s harsh backstory and how he’s suffered under the affluent Hyuga clan’s strict traditions. Naruto’s quick thinking shocked the crowds and readers alike, but he proved that talent isn’t always enough.
5 Emotions Run High In The 4th Volume — 4.49/5
The fourth Naruto volume, titled The Hero’s Bridge!!!, is the last of the Land of Waves arc. It’s violent, brutal, and heartbreaking all at once, with a 4.49 out of 5-star rating from over 16,000 readers. Published in August 2004, it’s the perfect summer read for manga fans looking for something more suspenseful.
Team 7 is still involved in the battle against Zabuza and Haku, but the shipping magnate, Gato, and his gang have now entered the mix. Not to mention, Naruto’s rage unconsciously releases the Nine-Tailed Fox lying dormant in his body. Seeing Sasuke dead sends him into a rampage, making the battle much more complicated.
4 Naruto’s 5th Volume Introduced A Pivotal Story Arc – 4.5/5
Published in December 2004, Naruto‘s fifth volume, The Challengers, comes hot off the Land of Waves arc and jumps straight into the Chunin Exam preliminaries. Readers were ecstatic about Team 7’s next adventure, and it’s quite the doozy. This arc takes almost 100 chapters to flesh out, but it gives room to introduce the rest of Naruto’s Genin classmates.
On GoodReads, Volume 5 has over 20,000 people with an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. Whether it’s a re-read or someone new to the franchise, this volume doesn’t disappoint in keeping fans interested. One reviewer even jokingly compared the Chunin Exams to the Hunger Gamesanother popular book series.
3 Family Rivalries Rear Their Ugly Heads In Naruto’s 9th Volume — 4.51/5
In the ninth volume, Neji and Hinata, the story is still in the Chunin Exam preliminaries but has moved from the Forest of Death to one-on-one matches. After Naruto’s victory over Kiba, the next major battle is between the Hyuga cousins, Neji and Hinata, where Neji harbors a severe grudge against his uncle’s family.
Neji and Hinata got an average rating of 4.51 out of 5 stars out of over 16,000 readers. The volume shows Naruto’s growth since the manga’s start—to his classmates’ surprise—and his positive influence on the soft-spoken Hinata. Each chapter is emotional and has a lot of teachable moments.
2 The 11th Volume Moves Closer To An All-Out War — 4.56/5
Impassioned Efforts is Naruto’s eleventh volume, published in September 2006, with an average rating of 4.56 out of 5 stars. This is the second to last book in the Chunin Exams arc as the story moves closer to the finals and an upcoming disaster that will shake the village to its core.
Naruto has a month to prepare for his fight against Neji, but he struggles to see eye to eye with his new mentor, Jiraiya. The Sannin is ruthless in his training, but they’re just the basics Naruto needs to pull through. But what Naruto and other Leaf Village ninja don’t know is a conspiracy hiding in plain sight.
1 Naruto’s 43rd Volume, The Man with the Truth, Reveals One Of The Biggest Plot Twists – 4.6/5
Naruto has some heartbreaking moments, but Volume 43—also known as The Man with the Truth—has to take the cake. Published in April 2009, the battle between Sasuke and Itachi reaches its peak and crashes with a heartwrenching final chapter. Sasuke’s quest for revenge has been thrown into chaos, and upon his brother’s death, he learns the seedy truth behind the Uchiha Clan’s assassination.
The Man with the Truth earned an average rating of 4.60 out of 5 stars from over 50,000 readers. Sasuke prioritized his goal more than anyone in Team 7, and to see it torn from him was devastating. He finally defeated Itachi, the man he’d sworn to hate for many years, but at a heavy price. He’s already turned his back on the Leaf Village, not to pursue power but to carry out a newfound hatred.
NEXT: Naruto: 10 Worst Things Orochimaru Did That Everyone Forgot About