Naruto is a young shibi with an incorrigible knack for mischief. He's got a wild sense of humor, but Naruto is completely serious about his mission to be the world's greatest ninja! Orochimaru's nefarious plans for Sasuke are revealed, and Naruto vows to save his friend. But first he and the others must battle the mysterious Kimimaro, who has deadly past ties to the Sound Ninja Four! Kankuro, Temari and Gaara unexpectedly aid Kohagakure against the Sound Ninja. But what is behind this rekindling of the Leaf and Sand alliance?
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.