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Naruto: The Official Fanbook
Author: Ross Liversidge

Ross founded the UK Anime Network waaay back in 1995 and works in and around the anime world in his spare time.

Naruto: The Official Fanbook

Masashi Kishimoto

Hot on the heels of the "How to Read" Death Note encyclopedia comes a similar tome for fans of the knucklehead ninja.

Comparisons are hard to avoid, and the biggest difference between the two is organization. Where Death Note was structured and logical, this book is scattalogical to say the least. It's less an enclopedia and more of a scrapbook, with sections just slapped in almost willy-nilly, which makes reading it cover to cover a challenge. However, it does make dipping into it a pleasure, as you could be presented with pretty much anything - including how to cut your hair like Rock Lee, a complete guide to shakra incantations, recipes, clothing guides or even a character profile.

The other major difference is in the content providers - the Naruto book features a great number of contributions from fans - cosplay pictures, fan art, which of their friends is Rock Lee... It's quite daunting, and as you'd expect from a book that contains professional and enthusiast content, the quality is incredibly inconsistant.

There are some gems buried within these pages however. The very first Naruto strip from 1997 is in place, much like How to Read's original Death Note treatment. There's also an interview with the creator, but you'll have to wade through some pretty varied content to get to it.

The value of this book will depend on a number of things - your interest in Naruto, your opinion of unnoficial content and whether or not you're a fan of the "scrapbook" approach.

By nature, a mixed bag. Fun, in a preteen kind of way. Certainly for fans only.
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