Naruto (ナルト) is an ongoing Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Mashashi Kishimoto. The plot tells the story of Naruto Uzumaki, an adolescent ninja who constantly searches for recognition and dreams to become the Hokage, the ninja in his village who is acknowledged as the leader and the strongest of all. The series is based on a one-shot comic by Kishimoto that was published in the August 1997 issue of Akamaru Jump.
The manga was first published by Shueisha in 1999 in the 43rd issue of Japan's Weekly Shonen Jump magazine. Currently, the manga is still being serialized; sixty-three Tankobon volumes have been released so far. The manga was later adapted into an anime, which was produced by Studio Pierrot and Aniplex. It premiered across Japan on the terrestrial Tv Tokyo and other TX Network stations on October 3, 2002. The first series lasted 220 episodes, while Naruto Shippuden, a sequel to the original series, has been airing since February 15, 2007. In addition to the anime series, Studio Pierrot has developed eight movies for the series and several (OVAs). Other types of merchandise include light novels, video games and trading cards developed by several companies.
Viz Media has licensed the manga and anime for North American production. Viz has been publishing the series in their Shonen Jump magazine, and as well as the individual volumes. The anime series began airing in the United States and Canada in 2005, and later in the United Kingdom and Australia in 2006 and 2007, respectively. The films, as well as most OVAs from the series, have also been released by Viz, with the first film premiering in cinemas. The first DVD volume ofNaruto: Shippuden was released by Viz in North America on September 29, 2009, and it started broadcast on Disney XD in October of the same year. Viz Media began streaming both series on their streaming service Neon Alley since December 2012. Naruto Shippuden will air on Adult Swim's Toonami block January 2014.
Naruto is one of the best-selling manga series of all time having sold more than 126.5 million copies in Japan alone. Serialized in Viz's Shonen Jump magazine, Naruto has become one of the company's best-selling manga series. The English adaptation of the series has also appeared in the USA Today Booklist several times and volume 7 won the Quill Award in 2006. Reviewers from the series have praised the balance between fighting and comedy scenes, as well as the characters' personalities, but have criticized it for using standard Shonenplot elements.
A giant, powerful fox known as the Nine-Tails attacks the ninja village Konoha, killing many people. In response, the leader of Konoha– the Fourth Hokage– seals the fox inside the newborn Naruto Uzumaki at the cost of his life. The Kohona community regards Naruto as if he were the Nine-Tails itself and often ridicules him throughout most of his childhood. A decree made by the current Kage, the Third Hokage, forbids anyone mentioning the attack of the Nine-Tails to anyone else. This includes Naruto, who is unaware of the fox inside of him. Twelve years later, Naruto is tricked by the renegade ninja Mizuki into stealing a forbidden scroll that would teach him a secret ninja technique, but he is stopped by his teacher, Iruka Umino. When Iruka almost dies while protecting Naruto from Mizuki, who also reveals that he is the container of the Nine-Tailed Fox, Naruto uses the Jutsu he learned from the scroll that creates multiple clones of himself, Shadow Clone Technique, to defeat Mizuki.
Naruto is assigned alongside Sasuke Uchicha, whom he often competes against, and Sakura Haruno, whom he has a crush on, to form a three-person team named Team 7 under an experienced and severe sensei, the elite ninja Kakashi Hatake. Like all the ninja teams from every village, Team 7 is charged with completing missions requested by villagers, such as doing chores or being bodyguards. After several missions, most notably their mission to Wave Country as Tazuna the bridge builder's guards, Kakashi allows Team 7 to participate in a ninja exam in which they can advance to a higher rank, and thus, take part in more difficult missions. During the exams, Orochimaru, a criminal at the top of Konoha's most wanted list, attacks Konoha and kills the Third Hokage in an act of revenge. This forces one of the three legendary ninja, Jiraiya, to search for his former teammate Tsunade, who has been nominated to become the Fifth Hokage. During the search, it is revealed that Orochimaru desires to acquire Sasuke due to his powerful genetic heritage, the Sharingan. Believing Orochimaru will be able to give him the strength needed to kill his brother Itachi, who destroyed his clan, Sasuke eventually joins him after a humiliating defeat at his brother's hands. Tsunade sends a group of ninja including Naruto to make Sasuke return to Konoha, but Naruto is unable to defeat him and bring him back to the village. Naruto does not give up on Sasuke, however, and he leaves Konoha to train for two and a half years under Jiraiya's tutelage in order to prepare himself for the next time he encounters Sasuke.
As Naruto returns from his training with Jiraya, the criminal organization called Akatsuki, from which Itachi is a member, attempts to capture the nine powerful "tailed beasts" that are sealed within people, including the Nine-Tails sealed inside of Naruto. Several ninjas from Konoha, including Team 7, fight against the Akatsuki members and search for their teammate Sasuke. Akatsuki is successful in capturing seven of those creatures whose hosts are killed in the process, except for Gaara, the host of the One-Tailed beast whose life is saved in time by Naruto and his companions. In the meantime, Sasuke betrays Orochimaru and faces Itachi to take revenge. After Itachi dies in battle, Sasuke is told by the Akatsuki founder and leader Tobi that Itachi was ordered by Konoha's leadership to destroy his clan to which he agrees with the condition of allowing Sasuke to be spared. Saddened with this revelation, Sasuke joins forces with Akatsuki to kill Konoha's superiors who orchestrated the Uchihas' elimination and destroy Konoha in revenge.
Meanwhile, as several Akatsuki members are defeated by the Konoha ninjas, their figurehead leader, Pain, invades the village to capture Naruto. However, Naruto defeats him and convinces him to abandon the Akatsuki. With Pain's eventual death, Tobi, while disguised as one of Konoha's founding fathers Madara Uchicha, announces that he wants to obtain all nine of the "tailed beasts" in order to perform an illusion powerful enough to control all of humanity. The leaders of the five ninja villages refuse to aid him and instead join forces to confront Tobi and his allies. This results in a fourth ninja world war between the unified armies of the Five Great Countries (collectively known as the "Ninja Alliance Army") and Akatsuki's forces. During the conflict, it is revealed that Tobi is actually Obito Uchiha, Kakashi's former teammate who was supposed to be dead, but he was saved by the real Madara Uchiha and has been working with him ever since. As Sasuke learns the history of Konoha, including the circumstances that led to his clan's downfall, he decides to protect the village instead of destroy it and rejoins Naruto and his comrades to stop Madara and Obito's plans.