I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.
Okay, so this volume is blatantly emotionally manipulative, what with Minato and Kushina tearfully fighting over which one of them will have to die, and Minato leaving a mortally wounded Kushina with newborn Naruto so she could have a little more time with him. And it totally worked on me. I cried.
I think this was Kushina's first appearance in the series, and I had been looking forward to it for a long time. Naruto's excitement over hearing his mom say “You know” just like him was adorable, and I kind of wish I could have gotten to see more happy Kushina, Minato, and Naruto, even though that would have meant delaying the story. While this volume was technically about Naruto training to fully control Nine Tails (which happened way faster than I expected – I guess even Kishimoto was feeling impatient), it was really about Naruto and his family, and I very much enjoyed that.
Which isn't to say that this volume was perfect. I didn't like that young Kushina went from wanting to be the next Hokage to wanting to be the wife of the Fourth Hokage. Her “we fell in love because he rescued me” story was lame. And I found the whole story about pregnancy and childbirth weakening the seal binding Nine Tails to be frustrating. If that were the case, then why would any girls ever be made into jinchuriki?
(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)