EDICOLA NEWS: THE REVIEWS nr. 334
album: Naruto Shippuden – A new beginning (Panini)
stickers: 186 (1-174, P1-P12) + 54 cards (C1-C50 + 4 limited)
starter pack: album + 4 packets + 2 cards limited 4,90€
box: 24 packets (4 stickers + 1 card per packet) 1,00€ each
blister: 5 packets + 1 card limited random 4,90€
hard cover + 5 packets + 2 cards limited 19,90€
cards limited edition: Obito, Pain, Kisame, Itachi
A new beginning? If a good morning starts in the morning then we are left with some doubts. In the “royal rumble” of the Panini albums on newsstands, in the ring we are ready to bet that Tex and Mickey Mouse will remain until the last, even on Wednesday, if Spider-Man Verse and Naruto, possible sacrificial victims, will remain.
Too many albums at the same time, probably the reasoning is to think that the Tex collector is certainly not interested in Naruto and vice versa. True but up to a certain point when it comes to stickers. Another mistake by Panini is also that of not having brought the album to Lucca Comics (at least as far as we know), where it could have had a certain response among manga lovers. Finally, if you wanted to entice the most passionate part of the fans, perhaps it should have been thought of like the others with paperback albums and internal card holder envelopes, including the four limited ones, not with the little box which they try to “sell” as wonderful but in reality it is little What.
On the other hand, we are happy that Panini is also trying to introduce Japanese products into the market; except for the ever green Holly & Benji (Captain Tsubasa) no albums had been produced for years. Two collections of One Piece and that of Naruto are a good start, this could be a new beginning! There would be many characters, Slam Dunk comes to mind but we could also try something vintage by re-proposing the heroes of the past, starting from the legendary robots. In the 70s the Panini brothers missed out on the success of Grendizer (Atlas Ufo Robot), maybe after 50 years don’t you think it would be a great coup to see it back on newsstands?!?
Returning to the Naruto album, considering that Panini is also the publisher of the comics, couldn’t we have thought of something different? Maybe it wasn’t possible with One Piece (published in Italy by Star Comics) but for Naruto it’s different, the publisher of the comics is the same as the stickers. Panini, when it wants, knows how to dare, here it seems to have gone lightly, without taking too many risks. It was truly unthinkable to also include a comic story, perhaps not an unpublished one; Is it possible there isn’t something short? Just as was done with Tex.
“But this is the cartoon!” Of course, but if one wanted to dare… The album dedicates itself to the first two seasons of the anime, covering the story and some of the most significant events. The captions are rightly present, giving a mix that also reminds us of the legendary albums on Japanese cartoons that came out 40 years ago. Back then, if you missed part of the adventure, you could relive it through the stickers, now you can do the same, a pleasant and functional detail, above all.
Well, thinking back to our initial discussion, this album was probably designed and set up with a format that inevitably could not continue the same path as Tex and Mickey Mouse, but not even that of Spider-Man. Remember the format of One Piece, there is a logic in all this.
The 50 cards can therefore be there, even if they do not have that added value that for example we find with other collections (but think of the much less captivating effect if we were not able to keep them inside the albums…). Average stickers without particular hits, old-style central poster to be removed for the stickers numbered P; the opening solution is much better as it makes everything more significant and does not force you to dismember the album. Here too, a little is enough.
We are perhaps going against the grain, we like this new formula of limited editions which are only found in blister packs and which are not available with the Panini missing service and will not be present in the complete set sold subsequently. From the company’s point of view it will probably be seen only as a way to sell more, from ours it is a small reward and sense of respect to those who make the collection when it is on newsstands and not, easily, a year or two later on the Panini website, also spending a much lower amount. Well done!