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NARUTO Volume 49, the latest manga installment, hits retailers on October 5th (rated ‘T’ for Teens, MSRP $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN). In this volume, The Gokage Summit commences, and the five leaders of the strongest villages in the ninja world meet to discuss the fate of their universe and how to deal with the ever-looming threat of the rogue organization, the Akatsuki. Plans are made that will affect Naruto deeply. The new Hokage, the leader of Naruto's village, is not afraid to make the final end move against Naruto's old pal, Sasuke!
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.