We're equal-opportunity celebrators when it comes to Naruto and Naruto Shippuden characters – good guys, bad guys, we don't discriminate. Especially when the bad guys are as, um, unusual as Deidara is. So in honor of the explosive one's May 5 birthday, check out the Deidara wallpaper on naruto.com for your enjoyment, and a tribute written by our editor Joel Enos... Don't forget to pass on your wishes in the naruto.com forum, too.
It’s a little hard to say we should all celebrate the fact that a crazy member of the Akatsuki who tried to kill Gaara, starting in Episode 6 [Mission Cleared] has a birthday coming up.
But it would be kind of interesting to see what kind of art project Deidara would come up with if he let his mouth-hand chew up some birthday cake.
I bet it would explode.
When it comes to blowing things up, Deidara’s art is definitely magic. We first get a glimpse of Deidara’s modern-influenced creations when he takes off on that flying thing in Episode 3 [The Results of Training]. But it’s in Episode 30 [Aesthetics of an Instant] when he whips out the big bird (so to speak) and apparently blows himself up while trying to vanquish Kakashi and Naruto. The battle that starts one episode before that is one of best ever when Deidara holds off Kakashi Sensei.
Just one guy knocking down all those ninja – including Naruto? That’s a lot of chakra wrangling even for an Akatsuki. But when you find out that Deidara’s actually the youngest member ever of the mysterious organization, that’s when you realize how powerful he really is. The Akatsuki is not a place where you just happen to become a member. Most members have deep grudges against the Leaf and the political agenda of the Ninja World. For one so young, Deidara definitely harbors both.
His claims at artistry – considering all of his jutsu works of art rather than simply deft uses of chakra – seem pretentious at first. And his irritating speech patterns (that rhetorical hmmm?) might rub you the wrong way. But when you look at how far he’s come at so young – you have to hand it to him.
…just don’t try to hand it to his hand. You might end up getting bit.
-- Joel Enos (Naruto editor)
Wedged between May Day and Cinco de Mayo, we've hit May's installment of Shojo Tuesday. This happy recurring holiday marks the first Tuesday of the month, when VIZ Media releases new Shojo Beat manga. And this month, we're chock full of goodness.
Flower in a Storm
Check out the new series Flower in a Storm, the debut graphic novel by Shigeyoshi Takagi. The story of this imaginative romantic comedy stars Riko Kunimi, who is trying to lead a normal high school life when Ran Tachibana bursts into her classroom carrying a gun and tells her that her life is now his. Ran, the richest, most powerful 17-year-old in Japan wants her as his wife, and he's not taking no for an answer!
If Ran can't capture her by five o'clock the next day, he'll give up on her, but he has all that money can buy at his disposal. However, Riko has one trick up her sleeve--she has superpowers!
More Shojo Beat Volumes
Plus, we're bringing you the latest volumes of your favorite series.
You saw me at that club last night
And then you got into a fight.
I tried to make it up to you
But suddenly things aren't all right.
I didn't even want to go
And now I hurt more than you know.
You really want to say we're through?
Please tell me that the answer's no!
Despite the constant danger Misao finds herself in, she's determined to stay by Kyo's side no matter what happens. But a chance meeting with one of Kyo's best friends shows her just how hard a human-demon relationship can be.
Tadanobu, heir to the Kitsune clan, gave up everything to be with his human girlfriend. But now he is being forced to take on the clan leadership and abandon his love--and it's all Kyo's fault!
With Hisayoshi as her tutor, Rima attempts to enroll in prestigious Hakuô High. Although Hisayoshi's feelings for her are distracting, Rima needs his help if she's ever going to pass the entrance exam. And when he lands his first job in a commercial, she realizes that he's got the potential to be a star...one bigger than herself!
Princess Fuji informs Akane that the Eight Guardians must find the Four Sacred Talismans if they ever hope to control the Four Gods. That's going to be difficult since the location of these sacred objects is secret. Akane's got to be quick, however--Shirin and Sefle are looking for them too.
Kurumi's got it all--looks, popularity and friends. But underneath Kurumi's friendly exterior is a manipulative girl who'll do anything to get what she wants! And she wants Kazehaya! Will Kurumi's plotting drive Kazehaya and Sawako apart, or will it instead draw them even closer together?
Asuka's protégé Yamato has fallen in love with a girl and needs help winning her over. He pleads with Asuka to go on a practice date with him--and play the role of the girl! Practice makes perfect, but will that be the case for Yamato?
Revisiting scenes and people from earlier days drives Ann to an impulsive act of desperation. Who will stand by her now? And will she ever make peace with her past...and herself?
Do everything you can while you still have the chance.
That's what I think it means...
...to have a "happy heart."
The One Piece manga speed-up is still going strong as a fistful of new manga volumes hits the shelves this week -- that's fistful as in five fingers, as in five volumes! And pay special attention to volume 46, which includes an exclusive sticker that unlocks a wallpaper on onepiece.viz.com! While we're here, please also give a warm round of applause to our editorial team, who has worked days and long nights to make this speed-up possible.
Get the new One Piece volumes for a discount in the VIZ store, and be sure to check out our other manga, DVDs and games while you're there.
Vol. 44: Let's Go Back
The battle between Luffy and CP9 agent Rob Lucci escalates while the rest of the crew tries to escape to safety through the Gates of Justice. Suddenly, a fleet of warships sent by the Navy Headquarters arrives on the scene and begins bombarding the island. Will the crew get away before the island is blown to smithereens?!
Vol. 45: You Have My Sympathies
Without a ship to sail, the Straw Hats are grounded for good. Luckily, the inhabitants of Water Seven rally together to help them out to show their appreciation. But the crew will need to set sail quickly when Vice Admiral Garp comes after them. Luffy knows all too well that he won't stand a chance if this fearsome Navy officer catches him!
Vol. 46: Adventure on Ghost Island
Adventure on Ghost Island When the Straw Hats encounter a mysterious barrel on the open sea, little do they know that it's a trap. Losing control of their ship, they're steered toward Thriller Bark. Any rational sailor would think twice before going ashore on an island full of zombies. But with Luffy at the helm, the Straw Hats are in for a scare as they become the targets of the dreaded Gecko Moria!
Vol. 47: Cloudy, Partly Bony
The Straw Hats find themselves caught in the Florian Triangle when the mysterious island "Thriller Bark" suddenly appears. Gecko Moria, one of the Seven Warlords, and his zombie army are also on the island, and they're preparing for a Night Hunt! Can the crew survive this fearsome evening?
Vol. 48: Adventures of Oars
The Straw Hats rush back into Thriller Bark in an all out battle with Gecko Moria's zombie generals. But Gecko Moria has a secret weapon: Oars, a massive zombie warrior who's got all of Luffy's fighting skills! Have the Straw Hats finally met an opponent too powerful to beat?
A bunch of new manga hits stores today, and atop the list (at least for SHONEN JUMP fans and followers of The Prince of Tennis anime) is Prince of Tennis volume 37. Visit the VIZ store to get a copy for a discount, and check out our other major releases while you're over there...
Seishun's semifinal matches against Shitenhoji continue, and now it's Kaoru and Momo's turn in No. 2 Doubles. Their opponents, Koharu Konjiki and Yuji Hitoji, are highly skilled players but have a style that's a little...unusual. Next, two power players step onto the court for No. 2 Singles: Taka and Gin Ishida, the originator of Taka's Hadokyu shot. In this match of Hadokyu vs. Hadokyu, it's the last player standing who'll win!
NANA Season 1, vol. 3 and NANA Season 1, vol. 4 hit the iTunes Store today, in all their dubbed glory. While it's great to watch the subtitled episodes on VIZ Anime, it's also awesome to hear the dub. The English-language voice actors put their hearts and souls into their characters, so you can really hear their emotions play out.
In NANA Season 1, vol. 3:
Nana K, is happily involved with Takumi from Trapnest, though she doesn't fully trust him. Nana O. graciously stays away from the apartment for a while, and both Nanas feel the loneliness of their separation. Then in the midst of Blast preparing to sign their first record deal, Nobu makes a surprise confession to Nana K. Now she must make a difficult choice, and someone's heart is bound to be broken.
In NANA Season 1, vol. 4:
As if Blast's debut wasn't causing enough stress, Takumi and Nana K.'s announcement sends everyone reeling, but none more than Nana O. and Reira. While Reira turns to Shin for comfort, Nana O. is drawn to Yasu and his calm understanding, leaving her questioning her relationship with Ren. Nana K. meanwhile is happily nesting in her new home, but her continued estrangement from Nana O. weighs heavily on her heart.
(The NANA anime is rated M for Mature. Please check the VIZ Media Ratings page for more information.)
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