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Created by Masashi Kishimoto, Naruto is one of the most popular manga since 1997.
Naruto staring Naruto Uzumaki, the outgoing young boy who has the spirit of the Nine-Tail Demon Fox inside him, Sauske Uchiha, a highly skilled ninja who became a rival to Naruto but also his partner, and Sakura Haruno, the smart one of the group. These three all lead by their sensei Kakashi Hatake.
The manga was written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto. It was first published in Weekly Shonen Jump by Shueisha in 1999.
In Japan, Naruto first started life as a one-shot that Kishimoto submitted to Akamaru Jump in 1997. It was later picked up for serialization in Weekly Shonen Jump in 1999. The first tankobon volume was released on March 3, 2000. The manga is also available for cellphone from Shueisha's Shueisha Manga Capsule service. Currently, 55 tankobon volumes have been released so far, with the latest coming out on April 21, 2011. The series is at a total of 532 chapters, with new chapters being released weekly in Weekly Shonen Jump.
There is also a spinoff to the series focusing on the character of Rock Lee, which began publication in Super Strong Jump in December 2010.
In North America, Naruto is published by VIZ Media in conjunction with Madman Entertainment. They released the first volume in English on August 6, 2003, and the series has been one of it's more heavily edited and censored publications. To compensate for the gap between the Japanese and English manga, VIZ Media announced its "Naruto Nation" campaign, wherein they released three volumes for each of the last four months in 2007, so that the English adaptation could catch up with the Japanese. They held a similar campaign called "Generation Ninja" from February to April 2009, so as to once again close the gap between publications.
Viz has also published each chapter individually in the English-language version of the Shonen Jump magazine.
Currently, Viz Media has released 50 volumes of the series, with the 51st to be released on June 7, 2011. VIZ also released a box set of all 27 volumes that constituted the first half of Naruto on August 26, 2008, as well as a "Collector's Edition" hardcover release of the first volume on September 16, 2008.
Japanese sound effects were changed to English variants. Throughout the entire publication of the Naruto manga, VIZ Media has altered art work and dialog to censor the contents for a younger audience, and they have refused offer an uncensored version of the series, despite them releasing the anime in an uncut format.
When Naruto first meets Jiraiya as he's peeking through a peephole of a hot spring bath, a scene of what Jiraiya sees inside is shown. Though conveniently placed steam is covering the nudity, faint outlines of the aureoles were seen in the original Japanese. The VIZ version completely removed those faint lines.
In Rock Lee's fight with Kimimaro, the original version had Lee accidentally getting drunk on a vial of sake in place of his medicine. It was revealed in this potion of the story that Rock Lee is a master of the Drunken Fist technique, a rel world martial arts form. The VIZ version had Rock Lee become "loopy" after drinking a vial of "Private Potion" and he was a genius of the "Potion Punch". In one panel Kimimaro even comments of Lee using "private potion". How he would of known something was private potion of someone he has never met is never explained?
In Naruto Vol. 36 Ch. 328 and the death of Asuma Sarutobi, the original version had Shikamaru taking one of the cigarettes of his master and lighting it, crying has he complains the smoke gets in his eyes. This was a touching scene of him saying goodbye to his chain smoking teacher. Though VIZ didn't edit any of the violence of the murder, the cigarette and lighter were painted out of Shikamaru's hands. On the pages he's making the gesture of lighting the cigarette, but there is nothing in his hands or mouth. The dialog of him coughing and saying how he still hates cigarettes remains, but why he's coughing is never explained.
The ninja centerfold figures are reduced to silhouettes, or covered up.
Naruto Uzumaki is the main protagonist in the Manga series. He was the first to be designed from the series, and was made to be a lot like other shonen protagonists. Naruto's one main goal that pushes him through the series is to be Hokage, but many doubt him. He has the spirit of the Nine-Tail Demon Fox inside of him, and has been feared by people as long as he can remember. In his earlier years, they even threatened to kill him. He is a very skilled ninja, but his major fault is his emotions, which get in the way a lot. The "Shadow Clone" Jutsu is his favorite and most common jutsu he uses.
The rival enemy as well as partner, Sasuke Uchiha is often seen arguing with Naruto as well as helping him out. He is a very skilled ninja and showed the most promise out of all Team 7. He excels in physical stamina and skills for most of the series, his only real competition in that area being Naruto himself. Sasuke always tried to keep to himself and seemed almost bad, but he is actually just a very quiet person, and enjoys keeping to himself.
Sakura Haruno is the main female lead in the manga, as well as the anime. She too is a part of the three-team group called Team 7. Originally, she had a crush on Sauske, but also was very focused on the tasks given to her. Out of all of Team 7, she thought through everything the most, calculating rather than going in for a straight attack. As the magna runs through, Sakura becomes more mature and forms a closer bond with Naruto, for in the beginning she thought he was a complete "idiot." She is highly skilled in the medical field, and has been told several times throughout her journey that she has great willpower.
Introduction Arc (Volume 1-2)
Land of Waves Arc (Volume 2-4)
Chunin Exams Arc (Volume 4-13)
Invasion of Konoha Arc (Volume 13-16)
Search for Tsunade Arc (Volume 16-19)
Sasuke Retrieval Arc (Volume 20-27)
Kakashi Gaiden (Volume 27)
Kazekage Rescue Arc (Volume 28-32)
Sasuke and Sai Arc (Volume 32-35)
Hidan and Kakuzu Arc (Volume 35-38)
Itachi Pursuit Arc (Volume 38-43)
Invasion of Pain Arc (Volume 44-48)
Five Kage Summit Arc (Volume 48-52)
Confining the Jinchuuriki Arc (Volume 52-54)
Shinobi World War Arc (Volume 55- )
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