Naruto is a manga by Masashi Kishimoto with an anime TV series adaptation. Its main character, Naruto Uzumaki, is a loud, hyperactive, adolescent ninja who constantly searches for approval, and recognition, as well as to become Hokage, who is acknowledged as the leader, and strongest of all ninja in the village.
The manga was first published by Shueisha, in 1999 in the 43rd issue of Japan's Shonen Jump magazine. VIZ Media published a translated version in the American Shonen Jump, and is currently within a few volumes of the Japanese publication. Naruto has become VIZ Media's best-selling manga series.
The anime series, produced by Studio Pierrot, and Aniplex, premiered across Japan on the terrestrial TV Tokyo network, and the anime satellite television network, Animax, on October 3, 2002, and is still being aired. Viz also licensed the anime for North American production. Naruto debuted in the United States on Cartoon Network's Toonami programming block on September 10, 2005, and in Canada on YTV's Bionix on September 16, 2005. Naruto began showing in the UK on Jetix on July 22, 2006. It began showing on Toasted TV on January 12, 2007 in Australia, although it could be watched on Cartoon Network in 2006. The first series lasted nine seasons, while the second began its first on February 15, 2007.
Growth and popularity Edit
The series' length, and popularity is comparable to that of Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball, another popular action/martial arts-oriented shōnen manga, and one that was said to have greatly influenced Kishimoto's manga, Naruto. Since its creation, Naruto has spawned a large number of fansites that contain detailed information, guides, and active forums. Some of the first, and most popular sites targeted at English speaking audiences were established shortly after the first English manga volume was released in August of 2003. Also like many other manga, and anime titles, Naruto has also spawned its own collectible card game.
Prior to the anime's North American debut in 2005, several scanlation, and fansub groups translated the series, and made it available for free download on the internet. Despite North American companies' perceived tendency to prosecute fansubbing groups more frequently than Japanese companies, there are some that have continued to translate new Naruto episodes due to the extremely large gap between the English, and Japanese versions.
Volume 7 of the manga has won a Quill Award for best graphic novel in North America. In TV Asahi's latest top 100 Anime Ranking, Naruto ranked 17th on the list.
Anime details Edit
Even though it debuted some time after the manga, the anime quickly caught up, since one anime episode usually covers one or two manga chapters. To prevent overlapping, the anime's producers tend to organise content from the manga chapters into long, uneventful sections followed by short bursts of action, sometimes adding filler content in between. By the time the Sasuke Retrieval Arc ended in the anime (episode 135), the series was at a point where it was quickly gaining on the manga. At the conclusion of this arc, the anime immediately switched to anime-only episodes to allow the manga to broaden the gap once more. Most of these episodes are stand-alone stories, with a few being part of arcs that were several episodes long, and lasted for a total of 85 episodes in the first series.
After the series moved back into manga-adapted episodes, it was renamed. The new series premiered on February 15, 2007.
The anime generally remains true to the manga, usually changing only minor details (causes of death, loss of limbs, and other injuries have been lessened in the anime), or expanding on parts skipped by the manga, such as the fight between Tenten, and Temari. The anime-only arcs, though unreferenced in the manga (save for a few scant scenes), deal with the breaks between manga volumes, which covers a short period before the Sasuke Retrieval Arc, and several months before the time skip. The anime-only arcs tend to cover the supporting characters, occasionally giving insight into an otherwise rarely seen character.
New episodes, animated by Studio Pierrot, air weekly on TV Tokyo in Japan during the Golden Time slot (Japan's equivalent of prime time in the US). As of October 5, 2006, it shows on Thursday nights. The series has also spawned seven movies, Naruto the Movie, Naruto the Movie 2, Naruto the Movie 3, Naruto: Shippūden the Movie, Naruto Shippuden the Movie 2, Naruto Shippūden the Movie 3, and Naruto Shippūden 4: The Lost Tower.
English-language broadcast Edit
On September 10, 2005, Naruto had its hour-long premiere in the U.S. on Cartoon Network's Toonami. The first episode of Naruto premiered in Canada on YTV on September 16, 2005. In the United Kingdom, Naruto premiered on Jetix on July 22, 2006. In Australia and New Zealand it premiered on Cartoon Network on September 27, 2006. In late 2009, Disney XD began airing English dubbed episodes of Naruto: Shippūden.
In its English anime release, Naruto was aired with a TV-PG rating in the US, and a PG rating in Canada. More explicit episodes, such as Jiraiya's debut, and the battle with Zabuza, have been given a TV-PG-DS, or a TV-PG-V rating. References to alcoholism, Japanese cultural differences, mild language, mild sexual situations, and even blood, and death remain in the English version, though reduced. Other networks make additional content edits apart from the edits done by Cartoon Network, such as Jetix's more strict censoring of blood, language, and the like.
Plot overview Edit
Twelve years before the events at the focus of the series, the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox attacked Konohagakure. It was a powerful demon; a single swing of one of its nine tails would raise tsunamis, and flatten mountains. It raised chaos, and caused the deaths of many, until the leader of Konoha, the Fourth Hokage, defeated it by sacrificing his own life to seal the demon inside a newly-born child. That child's name was Naruto Uzumaki.
The Fourth Hokage was celebrated as a hero for sealing the Nine-Tails away. He wanted Naruto to be respected in a similar light by being the containment vessel for the Nine-Tails. The village he grew up in, however, mostly shunned Naruto; they regarded him as if he were the Nine-Tails itself, and mistreated him throughout most of his childhood.
A decree made by the Third Hokage made it so that the other villagers were forbidden to mention the event to anyone, even to their own children. However, this did not stop them from treating Naruto like an outcast. Although their children did not specifically know why their parents treated Naruto the way they did, they learned through example to despise the boy. As a result, Naruto grew up as an orphan in a lonesome atmosphere without friends, family, or acknowledgment. He could not force people to befriend him, so he sought acknowledgment, and attention the only way he knew – through pranks, and mischief. However, that soon changed after Naruto graduated from the Ninja Academy by using his Multiple Shadow Clone Technique to save his teacher, Iruka Umino, from the renegade ninja Mizuki. That encounter gave Naruto two insights: that he was the container of the Nine-Tails, and that there was someone besides the Third Hokage who actually cared about him. His graduation from the academy opened a gateway to the events, and people that would change, and define his world, including his way of the ninja for the rest of his life.
Naruto maintains a balance between drama, and comedy, with plenty of action interspersed. It follows Naruto, and his friends' personal growth, and development as ninja, and emphasizes their interactions with each other, and the influence of their backgrounds on their personalities. Naruto finds two friends, and comrades in Sasuke Uchiha, and Sakura Haruno, two fellow young ninja who are assigned with him to form a three-person team under a very experienced sensei named Kakashi Hatake. Naruto also confides in other characters as well that he has met through the Chūnin Exam. They learn new abilities, get to know each other, and other villagers better, and experience a coming-of-age journey as Naruto dreams of becoming the Hokage of Konoha.
Naruto places strong emphasis on character development. Almost all outcomes are a result of decisions, character, and personality; very few things happen just because of chance. At first, emphasis is placed on Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura, who are the members of Team 7. However, other characters are developed, such as Kakashi, Guy, and Jiraiya, as well as Naruto's peers in the other Genin teams, and other villages.
Several major villains came into play as well, the first being Zabuza Momochi, a missing-nin from the Kirigakure, and his partner, Haku. Later, in the Chūnin Exam Arc, Orochimaru is introduced as an S-Class missing-nin at the top of Konoha's most wanted list. Later, a mysterious organization called Akatsuki begins to pursue Naruto in order to take the Nine-Tails inside him, and harness its power.
Naruto has a large and colourful cast of characters, running a gamut of detailed histories, and complex personalities, and allowing many of them their fair share in the spotlight; they are also seen to grow, and mature with the series, as it spans several years. As fitting for a coming-of-age saga, Naruto's world constantly expands, and thickens, and his social relations are no exception – during his introduction he has only his teacher, and the village's leader for sympathetic figures, but as the story progresses, more, and more people become a part of his story.
The students at the Ninja Academy, where the story begins, are split up into teams of three after their graduation, and become Genin. Each team is assigned an experienced sensei. These core teams form a basis for the characters' interactions later in the series, where characters are chosen for missions for their team's strength, and complementary skills; Naruto's Team 7 becomes the social frame where Naruto is acquainted with Sasuke Uchiha, and Sakura Haruno, and their sensei Kakashi Hatake, also called the "copy ninja" for copying thousands of ninja techniques with his Sharingan, forming the core of his world-in-the-making. The other three-man teams of his former classmates form another such layer, as Naruto connects with them to various degrees, learning of their motives, vulnerabilities, and aspirations, often relating them to his own. The groups of three are not limited to the comrades Naruto's age – groups in the story in general come in threes, and multiples of three with very few exceptions.
Sensei-student relationships play a significant role in the series; Naruto has a number of mentors with whom he trains, and learns, most notably Kakashi Hatake and Jiraiya, and there are often running threads of tradition, and tutelage binding together several generations. These role models provide guidance for their students, not only in the ninja arts, but also in a number of Japanese aesthetics, and philosophical ideals. Techniques, ideals, and mentalities noticeably run in families, Naruto often being exposed to the abilities, and traditions of generation-old clans in his village when friends from his own age group demonstrate them, or even achieve improvements of their own; it is poignantly noted that Naruto's generation is particularly talented.
Many of the greater lingering mysteries of the series are questions of character motives, and identity. The legacy of Naruto's parents, the goals that guide Kabuto Yakushi, the identity of the mysterious Akatsuki leader – these are only a few of the fundamental unanswered questions of "who", and, by proxy, "why", currently at the core of the series. The story is remarkably character-driven; the theme of causality runs inherently throughout the series as characters reciprocate for their past actions, and relationships. In this respect, characters' respective destinies are very much intertwined, and large emphasis is placed on comradeship, and 'bonds' between the community, or individual.
Character names often borrow from Japanese mythology, folklore and literature (such as the names borrowed from the folk-tale Jiraiya Goketsu Monogatari), or are otherwise elaborate puns; often there is a noticeable influence of the story behind the name shouldered by the character.
Introducing Team SevenEditThe story starts off with the fourth hokage (Minato), facing off with the nine tailes. Just before the nine tails could attack, the fourth hokage does a hand-sign, and seals the nine-tailed fox into a new born baby (Naruto). Naruto fails his genin trial for the third time, so Mizuki tricks him into stealing the Scroll Of Sealing. Iruka gives chase, and acknowledges Naruto as Mizuki is about to kill him, but Naruto demonstrates what he learned, and defeats Mizuki with Tajyuu Kage Bunshin (Mass Shadow Replication). Iruka passes Naruto as a ninja.
Naruto encounters Sandaime Hokage’s grandson (Konohamaru), and his tutor (Ebisu). Both discover they want to be known for themselves instead of their reputations while training. Ebisu tries to pull Konohamaru away from Naruto, but Naruto defeats him with Harem No Jutsu. The boys acknowledge each other as rivals for the Hokage title.
A one-way love triangle occurs between Naruto, who likes Sakura, who in turn likes Sasuke. The three are put into a team as part of their training. Naruto’s pranks end up causing some confusion among the team while Sandaime shows their instructor (Kakashi) around Naruto’s house to help assessment. He doesn’t seem impressed. The team formally introduce themselves to him, and discuss their ambitions. Kakashi devises a test, to steal one of two bells from him. The person without one will have to return to the academy. Kakashi permits them to act as though they are trying to kill him. Kakashi schools the team in the 3 main categories of techniques, barely flinching once while remaining calm, and even reading a book while fighting. This also marks the first use of Sennen Goroshi. Naruto uses Kage Bunshin to try and steal a bell, but his plan messes up at the last second. Naruto ends up falling for a rope trap, and while Kakashi seems off-guard, Sasuke finally makes his move. Kakashi educates him about Kawarimi (replacement), and then teaches Sakura about Genjutsu (illusion techniques). All three learn the hard way. Kakashi, and Sasuke square off. Sasuke’s fingers lightly brush a bell, but after an exchange of Goukyaku, and Shinzu Zanshu between them, Sasuke ends up buried up to his neck in the ground. Kakashi decides that after Naruto tried to steal the reward, and the others were simply too weak, all three should stop trying to be ninjas. Iruka, and Sandaime discuss Kakashi’s methods, revealing he has never passed a team before. Kakashi, meanwhile, tells the team that working together was the key to obtaining the bells. He gives them another chance after lunch, but demands Naruto not be fed. The team defies him, and feed Naruto against Kakashi’s orders. To their surprise, he passes them for showing true team spirit.
Ninja From The Hidden MistEditThe team are sent out on a mission to escort bridge expert, Tazuna. Kakashi speaks about the 5 Great Shinobi Powers to the team. Further down the line, the group are attacked by two unknown ninjas who ambush them, shredding Kakashi to pieces in front of the team and Tazuna.
Gouzu, and Meizu (the Demon Brothers), and Zabuza Momochi; ninjas who have gone missing from Hidden Mist. Sasuke does his best to protect Tazuna, but Kakashi makes a surprise re-entry with Kawarimi, and praises Sasuke for his effort. It is revealed Tazuna was the target. Elsewhere, the assassination is discussed by Zabuza, and his client.
Tazuna tells of how he is targeted by a greedy businessman who’s profits would be cut by the bridge Tazuna is working on. Kakashi prepares for the worst, and Zabuza makes his true entrance, forcing Kakashi to play his trump card...
Zabuza addresses “Sharingan Kakashi”. The Sharingan is revealed as a highly beneficial eye condition which he possesses. Zabuza attempts a quick kill with Kirigakure no Jutsu (Mist Hiding), and Mizu Bunshin (Water Clones), but Kakashi outdoes him, and gains the upper hand by stealing his moves.As the two continue, Kakashi becomes trapped, and helpless, with Zabuza now having an ace up his sleeve. The team starts devising a plan to strike back, but also have to protect Tazuna. Suddenly, Sasuke, and Naruto come up with an idea to kill two birds with one stone.
The past of Zabuza is revealed. Even as an infant, he was a brutal killer that slaughtered a hundred children, abusing the rules of his village. Sasuke, and Naruto put their plan into action. Using trickery, Naruto gets behind Zabuza, and aims right for his head with a kunai.Naruto’s distraction frees Kakashi. He, and Zabuza once again clash, only with Kakashi now predicting, and copying every one of his moves, then appearing to read Zabuza’s mind. To prove it, he beats Zabuza to the punch in making a move, and reveals another Sharingan bonus, to see the future. Right as Kakashi predicts Zabuzas death, the Hidden Mist ninja drops to the ground with needles in his neck, flung by a newly arrived masked ninja.
The masked ninja explains that Zabuza is a criminal, and it was his job to hunt the traitor. Naruto is outraged at the child’s ability to kill Zabuza in a flash. The masked boy takes Zabuza’s corpse for disposal, but turns out to be his accomplice who helped Zabuza fake his death. Kakashi, and the team recover at Tazuna’s home, but Kakashi awakens with a bad feeling about Zabuza.
Kakashi realized he was deceived by the masked boy. Inari’s cynical, and pessimistic attitude displeases Naruto. To prepare for Zabuza’s counterattack, Kakashi trains the team in Chakra control, and the proper technique to perform jutsus.Kakashi has his team learn to control chakra by making them run vertically up trees using a balanced amount of chakra in their feet. Zabuza recuperates in Gato’s HQ, but Gato thinks the failure is wearing out his welcome. Zabuza’s accomplice, finally named as Haku, warns Gato not to trouble Zabuza.
Sakura is assigned to watch Tazuna while Naruto, and Sasuke continue the tree exercise. The Wave Country is revealed as a poverty-stricken area thanks to Gato’s extortion. Tazuna’s bridge would make them independent from his methods. The team, and Tazuna accidentally strike a nerve with Inari over dinner about the “hero of the city”.
A flashback shows Inari’s father figure, Kaiza, who saved him from drowning, and rescued the entire village against incredible odds when the dam broke. To break their hopes, and make them dependent on his shipping, Gato amputated Kaiza’s arms, and publicly executed him. Naruto vows to restore the faith of the city.
Naruto trains in the forest again, and bumps into Haku. Haku recognizes him, but Naruto is oblivious to the “girl’s” identity. Haku peacefully leaves Naruto to his training, which has improved his skills. Back at Gato’s HQ, Zabuza has fully recovered, and tells Haku that now is the time to make their move.Naruto, and Inari clash again over believing in hope. Worn out, Naruto rests while the team goes back to the bridge with Tazuna. They arrive to find Zabuza, and Haku waiting, with many workers face down. Zouri, and Waraji pay Tsunami an unfriendly visit. Sasuke impresses Zabuza, and Haku with his new skill, marking him as Haku’s rival. Sasuke, and Haku fight. Gato’s henchmen attempt to kidnap Tsunami. Naruto rescues her with Inari’s help, and the two reconcile their differences. Naruto heads off to the bridge while Inari alerts the rest of the people in the area. Sasuke, and Haku continue their duel with the advantage slipping between each other until Sasuke out-maneuveres Haku in terms of speed. Kakashi warns Zabuza, and Haku not to grow overconfident. Haku then performs Makyou Hyoushou (Demonic Ice Crystal Mirrors), and traps Sasuke, then slices around him with unbelievable quickness. Sasuke takes a real beating, but then Naruto shows up with a flashy entrance. Naruto attempts to rescue Sasuke from Haku’s technique, but ends up needing rescuing himself as Sasuke’s fire-breathing moves have no effect on the mirrors. Kakashi finally realizes Haku must be of a special bloodline that matches even his Sharingan for power. Naruto refuses to give up, and his words make Haku remember how Zabuza saved him as a homeless urchin. Kakashi promises to end the confrontation with Zabuza as fast as possible.
Zabuza admits to Kakashi that he knows the secret of the Sharingan’s weakness. By using Kirigakure again, Zabuza lowers the visibility, and relies on his special style of attacking based on conditions without sight. Naruto, and Sasuke remains helpless in Haku’s trap. Zabuza makes his move to kill Tazuna again, bypassing Sakura. Kakashi steps in, but Zabuza appears to be too quick...Sasuke rouses his own Sharingan eyes, less potent than Kakashi’s, but slowly adjusting to Haku’s trap. Kakashi himself survived Zabuza’s sword, but not perfectly. He then promises to show Zabuza his techniques that don’t rely on the Sharingan. Sasuke, meanwhile, shields Naruto from an attack that seems fatal, dropping him to the ground while full of needles. Under immeasurable emotional stress, Naruto begins to unleash the power inside himself.
The chakra of the monster inside Naruto begins to leak out, healing, and empowering him. Kakashi panics, and rushes to end the battle. Naruto grabs Haku out of the air, and with one punch, sends him crashing through a mirror, breaking his mask, and defeating the mirror technique. Haku realizes he cannot defeat the enraged Naruto.Naruto stops himself from killing Haku by a split second when he recognizes who he is. Haku informs Naruto of his past as a persecuted child, and his joy of finally being wanted by Zabuza. Kakashi traps Zabuza in the meantime with his summoned dogs, and prepares to deliver the final blow.
Kakashi shows his own personal technique, Raikiri (Lightning Edge). Haku begs Naruto to kill him now that he is useless to Zabuza. Naruto is about to avenge Sasuke, but Haku makes a last-second deception, and vanishes when he senses that Zabuza is in danger. As Kakashi lands his killing move, he recoils in shock as he sees his hand piercing through Haku’s body. Haku’s final act was saving Zabuza’s life as a human shield.Inspired by Naruto, and Kaiza, Inari attempts to round up the locals to rebel against Gato. Sakura weeps for the fallen Sasuke, but Zabuza seems heartless at Haku’s death. Kakashi evades Zabuza’s near-fatal slice, and slices his arms at strategic points, disabling them permanently. Just as Zabuza is rendered harmless, a spectator arrives to comment.
Gato arrives with a small army of hired thugs, and then proceeds to kick Haku’s corpse in revenge for him guarding the recovering Zabuza. Naruto’s emotional outburst to protect those who love you inspires Zabuza, who borrows his kunai. Zabuza runs the gauntlet of thugs, and slays Gato in front of them by clutching the kunai in his teeth, and decapitating Gatô.Sasuke comes back from the brink of death, Zabuza says that Haku was holding back on Sasuke. Sakura rejoices too soon as Gato’s army closes in to finish their job, however, Inari and the rebels appear in far greater numbers. Naruto, and Kakashi back them up with each performing Kage Bunshin. After the thugs flee, Zabuza, and Haku are buried together as companions. Out of respect for Naruto’s deeds, Tazuna names the completed bridge after him. The team departs for Konoha, ending their adventure in the Wave Country.
Chuunin Exam Test OneEditBeing his usual perky self, Naruto runs around Konoha being loud, and meets Konohamaru, and his new play-gang. Sakura has a bad first impression of them which sends them fleeing, until Konohamaru literally bumps into an unknown pair of ninjas. The male one takes offence, and grabs him violently. Then the Third Hokage announces to an assembled group of Jounins that soon, the Chuunin (mid-level ninja) Exam will begin. The Jounins nominate their entire teams for Chuunin selection, with Iruka disagreeing uselessly against Kakashi’s decision. Sasuke forces Kankurou to release Konohamaru, and Gaara steps in before Kankurou can spill blood. The 3 intruders are revealed as Hidden Sand ninjas arriving for the Chuunin exam. However, they are not the only outsiders...
Despite Kakashi nominating them for the exam, Sakura feels inferior to her teammates. Various Genins from Konoha, and other villages gather for the exam. Lee is smitten with Sakura, and makes a promise to protect her for life. Upon recognizing who Sasuke is, Lee makes a request of him. Before the exam begins, he’d like a fight with Sasuke.Lee’s impressive martial arts easily make short work of Naruto, and Sasuke, even rendering the Sharingan useless. Lee explains that while Sasuke can see his moves, his body is too slow to react to Lee’s insane speed. However, before Lee can unleash an unnecessarily powerful move, he is interrupted by someone telling him to stop. Lee’s Jounin trainer (Might Guy) appears riding a turtle, and looking like an older version of Lee. He gives Lee physical discipline about abusing his moves, and also talks to the team about his eternal rival, Kakashi. The team then heads off to finally enter the exam together.
Kabuto, a veteran of the Chuunin exam, gives everyone a few tips on how to complete it. Sakura, and Ino argue over Sasuke while Naruto shoots his mouth off in a fit of overconfidence, which only provokes a trio from the crowd to test his claims. Three ninjas from Hidden Sound demonstrate their abilities against Kabuto, but the fight is broken up by an intimidating examiner. He imposingly tells them how they will take a written test, and that their actions will also affect their teammates. Moreso, they will be closely studied in case of cheating. Sakura, and others soon notice that the test is intentionally too hard, and that cheating is the only way to win, but the less obvious cheats will prosper as someone caught for the fifth time is disqualified, and shown the door. Naruto struggles with it as other ninjas use their special abilities to take down the correct answers from others.
Hinata willingly risks failing herself to help Naruto, but he declines. More, and more teams fail, slowly choking up the grip on the candidates. The classroom seems extremely strict with experienced Chuunins making up the cheat-detectives. With only a short time remaining, the mysterious tenth question is revealed…
The Jounins discuss the head examiner, a sadistic torture specialist named Ibiki who works for Konoha’s secret assassination squad, ANBU. Placing a heavy decision on each of the candidates’ heads, he reveals the price of failing the final question will be a ban on ever taking the exam again, and permanent Genin position. Naruto’s unshakable confidence not to quit inspires everyone else, where Ibiki shocks them all by congratulating them for passing.Ibiki explains the written test was to examine their information gathering, and decision making skill. Before anyone can celebrate, the next examiner appears in the shape of Anko, an energetic young woman who leads the physical part of the exam. She gleefully announces her intent to halve the number of successes in the next round, taking place in the “Forest of Death”.
Chuunin Exam Test Two: Forest Of DeathEditAnko’s darker nature plays up as she even spooks Naruto with a bloody lick on the cheek, even surprising someone who sneaked up on her. Everyone is now aware that blood will be spilled, and lives will be lost. The goal is to obtain two different scrolls by taking one from another team, and successfully reaching a meeting tower. Briefed, everyone enters the forest with their lives in their hands. Deception, and trickery come into play as people transform into other teammates to try, and steal scrolls. Sasuke, and Sakura fend off a poor copy of Naruto, then set a password which Naruto forgets. As another separation occurs, the false Naruto gives himself away, revealing himself as a Grass ninja that challenges all three of them alone.
Naruto barely escapes a huge snake’s belly. Sasuke, and Sakura contend with the Grass ninja, who seems to be two steps ahead of each of them, and controls another huge snake, even possessing a snake-like body. At the last moment, Naruto shows up with a grand entrance to distract the snake-man. Sasuke tries to negotiate with the snake-man, but Naruto refuses to back down, enraged to the point of going berserk with the monstrous fox’s chakra emerging again. After once again dodging being eaten, Naruto manages to take down the biggest snake summoned yet right in front of Sasuke.
Anko is alerted that prior to the exam, foul play took the lives, and even faces of three Grass ninjas. The one currently battling the team is someone from Anko’s past. Naruto's Kyuubi chakra is disabled by the snake-impostor’s sealing, while Sasuke makes a stand. His skills impress the Grass ninja, who leaves him with a different seal, and a name to follow. With Sasuke, and Naruto completely incapacitated, Sakura cries in desperation. Anko arrives with the intent to kill Orochimaru, her former sensei, and mentor who used, and discarded her, but fails. He reveals his plans; to eventually start a war with, and steal strong ninjas from Hidden Leaf. Leaving Anko to retreat with a heavy threat, three of his new pupils close in on the team...
Sakura grows weak protecting her friends, and surviving. As the Sound Trio approach, she is threatened, but before they grow close to their target, Sasuke, they are knocked back by Sakura’s self-appointed protector, Rock Lee. Lee digs deep into his bag of tricks, and uses a forbidden move, the Omote Renge (Front Lotus), to protect Sakura. However, his numbers disadvantage against the Sound Trio soon causes problems as they gang up on him. The Sound Trio reveal their use of air vibrations as their weapons. Sakura is held by her hair as Lee is also taken out. After a hard choice, Sakura cuts her hair to free herself, spoiling her best physical feature to ensure the safety of Sasuke, Naruto and Lee.
Sakura tries her most desperate moves against Zaku, but still fails to defeat him. Ino comes to save her childhood friend, and rival along with her team after being unable to stomach seeing her take such a harsh beating. Ino, and her team (Shikimaru & Chouji) occupy the Sound Trio, losing the advantage only at the last second. Reinforcements arrive in the form of Lee’s team. However, Sasuke awakens with a terrifying appearance, and staring directly at the Sound Trio…
Back from the brink of death, Sasuke totally outclasses the Sound Trio, and even goes as far as wrenching Zaku’s arms from their sockets with his bare hands. Sakura stops Sasuke before he kills someone, allowing their retreat. However, all agree that Sasuke is not the same person he was prior to Orochimaru’s “Cursed seal”. The Leaf genins pick up the pieces after the attack of the Sound Trio, and recover. Elsewhere, Anko returns to alert the Third Hokage of Orochimaru’s presence. While behind the scenes, she is shocked to see a genin team from Hidden Sand had completed the second test in a record time of 97 minutes without even a scratch.
Picking up a strange lead, Akamaru leads his team to see the events that spooked the examiners. Three Hidden Rain ninjas meet up with the Hidden Sand genins. After a failed attempt at killing Gaara with a rain of needles, Gaara promises to make the sky rain blood...With his “Desert Funeral” move, Gaara instantly crushes the Rain ninjas to death. Even though he hasn’t killed enough people to satisfy himself, Gaara reluctantly agrees to simply proceed with the test. The team hidden, and watching them, particularly Akamaru, are chilled to the bone by him...
While camping, Naruto feels the temptation to cheat the test, and make a replica of the scrolls. Another team nearby is shown paying the price for doing so, now in a coma. Before Naruto ends up suffering the same fate, Kabuto steps in, and prevents him opening it, but the four are being watched by an earlier adversary. Kabuto convinces Sasuke he has no malicious intent, and as a Chuunin exam veteran, gives them pointers on how to survive, and what may give them away. After the team encounter deja-vu, Kabuto realises they are in a trap, as enemies appear from all sides.
Despite Oboro’s Mist Clones, Naruto manages to defeat the opposing team, and claim their scroll, allowing them to pass. Kabuto rejoins his team, and passes on information to none other than Orochimaru, being his secret spy unknown to anyone other than themselves. Meanwhile, Naruto's team uncover a riddle that risks opening the scrolls to solve... Now in the right place at the right time, the team opens the scrolls, and Iruka is summoned, explaining the riddle is related to their strengths, and weaknesses. Anko meets with the Hokage, alerting him to the presence of Orochimaru as he fixes her up from the battle. It is then announced that due to too many passes, a preliminary exam must take place.
Chuunin Exam Test Three: PreliminariesEditWith all the winners assembled, the Hokage explains the true purpose of the Chuunin Exam. Although a substitute for war, battles will allow lethal force to show off a shinobi’s power. Hayate then explains that a quick one-on-one tournament will be held to cut the number of winners in half. Kabuto quits at the final hurdle. Kabuto leaves to save his own life, but is still hiding his true mission of being Orochimaru’s spy. Sasuke’s Cursed Seal begins to trouble him. Sakura begs him to quit in case he ends up hurt, but Sasuke bluntly refuses. The examiners know of the seal, with Anko especially worried, but Kakashi reassures her. The first fight is then decided; Sasuke VS Yoroi.
Kakashi warns Sasuke to avoid using Sharingan. Sasuke gains the upper hand with taijutsu alone, until Yoroi reveals his ability to directly absorb Chakra! Orochimaru, disguised as a Sound Jounin, watches hoping Sasuke will use the seal. Sasuke pulls out his trump card, mimicking Lee’s Konoha Kage Buyou starting kick. However, Sasuke then promises something completely different.
Even with his nagging injuries and the seal’s threat looming, Sasuke defeats Yoroi with his own adaptation of Lee’s Initial Lotus, the Shishi Rendan (Lion Combo). Everyone is amazed, especially Orochimaru. Sasuke advances, but Kakashi decides to suppress the Cursed Seal first. The next fight is announced then; Shino and Zaku.
While Shino and Zaku fight, Kakashi applies a suppressor to the seal, based on Sasuke’s willpower. Unaware to him until he makes his presence known, Orochimaru has been watching him and reveals his purpose of being there is for Sasuke, with the Sound Trio meaning nothing to him. Zaku ends up ruined as Shino’s tactics cause him to permanently lose his forearms.
Kakashi threatens Orochimaru with the Raikiri, but Orochimaru leaves calmly and laughing. Kakashi realises he is nowhere near Orochimaru’s level. Another of Orochimaru’s spies, Tsurugi, battles Kankurou in the meantime. Although Tsurugi’s constriction seems to kill Kankurou, he doesn’t realise he was tricked until he lays on the floor breathless from Kankurou’s secret weapon, the war puppet Karasu. A shocker then comes with the next match-up. Sakura and Ino are placed against each other, igniting their rivalry again. Despite their close friendship in the past and current personal issues with each other, both girls decide to first and foremost fight seriously as ninjas instead of squabbling rivals.
The kunoichi are evenly matched, with Ino even slicing her own gorgeous long hair off to show her seriousness. However, Ino then reveals the real reason, using the strands and her Chakra to create a special technique to tie Sakura up and set her up for the Mind-Body switch. In the end, Sakura falls victim to it as Ino takes over her body. Ino is forced from Sakura’s body by her inner spirit. It comes down to one final blow, which results in a double KO as neither girl will let the other win. The two converse as Temari and Tenten line up for their next match. Temari defeats the mistress of weapons, Tenten, with ease. Hokage remarks on their abilities, reminded that all 3 passed in 97 minutes without any problems.
The Sand team’s arrogance upsets Guy’s team and Lee, who takes Gaara’s interest. Next, Shikamaru and Kin face each other. Despite Kin’s sound-based disruption of his senses, Shikamaru demonstrates his amazing brain and outsmarts her completely with his Shadow Imitation.
The participants eagerly await the next match, which turns out to be Naruto VS Kiba. Naruto feels uncomfortable fighting Kiba and Akamaru, especially with Kiba’s taunting. With confidence, Kiba makes the first move with his animalistic fighting style. Naruto takes his trash-talking personally and returns the words. Kiba’s smoke bomb combined with Akamaru’s quick attacks gain him the advantage until Naruto turns it around. While everyone sees Naruto’s improvement, he and Kiba decide to raise the bar. Kiba and Akamaru boost their strength together, then amalgamate each other into feral humans. Naruto falls victim to their specialty, Gatsuuda (Dual Piercing Fang) as they spin and shred everything in their way. Naruto shows resiliency and even though he can’t stop the Dual Piercing Fang, a quick-thinking tactic grants him an opening.
Naruto’s prankster mind takes Akamaru out of the fight. Put into a desperate situation as Kiba attempts payback, Naruto lets himself go literally and quickly dishes out an adaptation of Sasuke’s adaptation, the Uzumaki Naruto Combo. Hinata rejoices, to Neji’s chagrin. The random decisions place the Hyuga family members against each other. The noble Hyuga family is split into two, with each one from a different side. Political separation makes the fight even more bitter as Neji discourages Hinata. Neji’s words also hit Naruto hard, making him scream encouragement to Hinata in rage.
Guy explains the elegant fighting style of the Hyuga, the Juuken (Gentle Fist), being based on palm strikes infused with Chakra doing damage to internal organs. The Hyuga’s Byakugan, or White Eye, makes X-Ray vision possible and the organs clear as day to them. Furthermore, it makes Chakra pressure points visible. Hinata is severely wounded by Neji, but she refuses to quit.
Naruto’s cheerleading gives Hinata strength. Even after another devastating assault on Hinata’s internal system, she still stands, coughing up blood. Neji’s rage causes him to throw a fatal blow, but before it makes contact, all three Leaf Jounin team leaders and Hayate stop him. This only fuels his hate for the main house even more as the no-killing rule is ignored. Naruto is disgusted at Neji.
Naruto vows to take Neji down, more for his comments on “losers” than out of revenge for Hinata. With only two matches remaining and only four combatants; Lee, Dosu, Chouji and Gaara, tension grows. Gaara makes his way into the match early before it is even decided that Lee will be his opponent. Lee jumps in just as eager, ready to crush the Sand’s arrogance.
Lee has difficulty trying to penetrate Gaara’s shield of sand. Guy admits to Sakura that Lee isn’t using Taijutsu only through choice, because he is unable to use Ninjutsu or Genjutsu. Guy advises Lee to take his leg weights off, which enables Lee to move at superhuman speed. Gaara is shocked, as Lee becomes the first human able to physically put a scratch on him.
A small portion of Gaara’s last line of defence, the sand armour, is cracked to reveal his true face. Lee pulls out his strongest move so far again, the Omote Rene (Front Lotus). Gaara lays motionless and the crowd cheers… only for Gaara’s decoy to dissolve into sand while the real Gaara rises from behind Lee!.
Gaara becomes more vicious, taking advantage of Lee’s wasted effort. Guy recalls Lee’s unending determination as he once again stands up. Sakura grows concerned despite Lee being in a terrible condition, but Guy assures her that “The lotus of the Konoha blooms twice!” Kakashi recognises Guy’s handiwork, realising Lee is about to use a virtual suicide attack that will ruin his body, losing his respect for Guy. Lee removes the limits on his body and brain, allowing him to recover and access insane dormant power. Lee shreds Gaara’s defences like paper and then prepares to use his final attack the Ura Renge (Reverse Lotus)!
Pouring all his power into a single blow, Lee sends Gaara hurtling from the ceiling to the floor. Gaara barely survives with a last-second trick, but panics and tries to kill Lee. He manages to completely crush his arm and leg before Guy intervenes and stops the fight. Lee rises once more even though he is unconscious, and Guy forces him back before he kills himself. Seeing Lee protected, Gaara’s mind begins to unravel.The doctors agree that Lee’s body is too badly injured to allow him to continue as a ninja. Kakashi realizes that he would have done the same in Guy’s shoes and apologises. Dosu beats Chouji with ease, but plots revenge on Orochimaru. With the final match over, the third exam will now begin.
Chuunin Exam TrainingEdit
Chuunin Exam Test Three: Face OffEdit
Search For The Legendary Sannin TsunadeEdit
The Sound FiveEdit
Valley Of The End: Closing That GapEdit
Retrieving Garra From The AkatsukiEdit
Finding The Sanbi (The Three Tailes)Edit
Orochimaru Is Dead: Finding Team SnakeEdit
The Search For ItachiEdit
Jiraya's Prophecy: Facing Off With PainEdit
Sasuke vs. Itachi: Truth Of ItachiEdit
Sennin Training & Konoha's DestructionEdit
The Five Kages MeetingEdit
The Fourth Great Ninja WarEdit
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