Deep within the Forest of Death, the site of the second stage of the Journeyman Ninja Selection Exams, Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura are still reeling from Orochimaru's attack...and w they must battle this unrelenting monster's minions, the mysterious Sound Ninja. As the fight rages on, Sasuke struggles with the strange force growing inside of him, spreading like an infection from the curse-mark Orochimaru burned into his neck, that could leave him dead...or send him on a bloodthirsty quest for power. And time is running out for the student ninja to collect the scrolls they need to pass the test!
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.