Naruto is a ninja-in-training with a need for attention, a knack for mischief, and sealed within him, a strange, formidable power. His antics amuse his instructor Kakashi and irritate his teammates, intense Sasuki and witty Sakura, but Naruto is serious about becoming the greatest ninja in the village of Konohagakure!
There comes a time in every ninja's training when he must put aside his morals and face the truth: ninjas are tools for killing. For Naruto, seeing Sasuke dead, that time is now. Rage awakens the nine-tailed fox spirit within Naruto, giving him the strength to overcome Haku - but can he bring himself to finish the job? As the battle for the Land of the Waves comes to a tragic ending, our heroes return to the village of Konohagakure in time for the chunin (journeyman ninja) exams. But junior ninjas from around the world have gathered to take the exam, bringing their own strange ninjutsu and mysterious goals.
Author/artist Masashi Kishimoto was born in 1974 in rural Okayama Prefecture, Japan. After spending time in art college, he won the Hop Step Award for new manga artists with his manga Karakuri ("Mechanism"). Kishimoto decided to base his next story on traditional Japanese culture. His first version of Naruto, drawn in 1997, was a one-shot story about fox spirits; his final version, which debuted in Weekly Shonen Jump in 1999, quickly became the most popular ninja manga in Japan.