The plot tells the story of Naruto Uzumaki, an adolescent ninja who constantly searches for recognition and aspires to become a Hokage, the ninja in his village who is acknowledged as the leader and the strongest of all.
The manga was first published by Shueisha in 1999 in the 43rd issue of Japan’s Weekly Sh?nen Jump magazine. Currently, the manga is still being serialized; fifty-one tank?bon volumes have been released so far. Naruto has become VIZ Media’s best-selling manga series. The first series lasted 220 episodes, while Naruto: Shippuden, a sequel to the original series, has been airing since February 15, 2007. The series is at a total of 532 chapters, with new chapters being released weekly in Weekly Shonen Jump.
Naruto maintains a balance between drama and comedy, with plenty of action interspersed. Twelve years before the start of the series, the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox attacked the hidden village Konohagakure, destroying it and slaughtering many people. In response, the leader of Konohagakure and its ninja military – the Fourth Hokage – sacrificed his life to seal the demon inside Naruto. A decree made by the former Kage, the Third Hokage, who replaced the Fourth Hokage after his death, forbade anyone mention the attack of the demon fox to anyone else. This included Naruto, who was not aware of the demon inside of him.
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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. 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. He excels in physical stamina and skills for most of the series, his only real competition in that area being Naruto himself. 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.
Character names often borrow from Japanese mythology, folklore and literature, or are otherwise elaborate puns; often there is a noticeable influence of the story behind the name shouldered by the character.