(弟子入り志願!?, Deshiiri Shigan!?)
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|Next||The Great Flight!!|
|Japanese||March 4, 2002 ISBN (4-08-873236-7)|
|English||September 5, 2006 ISBN (978-1-4215-0241-0)|
Desiring Apprenticeship?! (弟子入り志願!?, Deshiiri Shigan!?) is volume 11 of the Naruto manga.
- Desiring Apprenticeship?! (弟子入り志願!?, Deshiiri Shigan!?)
Having had his instructor knocked out, Naruto attempts to make the toad sage take responsibility and help him with his training. Initially denied by the sage, Naruto uses his Sexy Technique to convince him to train him. Naruto begins training again to walk on water, and the sage noticing the seal removes it allowing Naruto to once again control his chakra. Later, Dosu attempts to kill Gaara in order to increase his chances of fighting Sasuke.
- Konoha and Oto and Suna and…!! (木ノ葉と音と砂と…!!, Konoha to Oto to Suna to…!!)
Hayate Gekkō having seen the aftermath of Gaara's transformation is killed by Baki after the latter finishes his conversation with Kabuto. Elsewhere, Jiraiya explains to Naruto about the two types of chakra within him, and begins teaching him the Summoning Technique.
- Passionate Feelings… Everyone!! (熱情…それぞれ!!, Netsujō… Sorezore!!)
Naruto continues to struggle with summoning toads, to Jiraiya's irritation. Meanwhile, with Konoha suspecting some sort of attack by Orochimaru, the village's jōnin prepare for the worst. Kakashi in particular trains to reach his best while also helping Sasuke with his approaching match in the Chūnin Exams. Sakura, unaware that Sasuke has left with Kakashi, goes to the Konoha hospital to visit him. There she finds Lee resuming his own training despite the injuries he received during the preliminaries. When his training only makes his injuries worse, she leaves him the flower she had brought for Sasuke.
- The Key…!! (鍵…!!, Kagi…!!)
Worried about what Orochimaru may be planning, the Third Hokage visits the Hokage Monument to think. There he finds his grandson, Konohamaru's, Academy class learning about the four Hokage. When they doubt his qualifications as Hokage given his age, the Third assures them that he would give his life to protect each and every one of them, just as they would their own friends and family. Meanwhile, with Naruto's progress with the Summoning Technique going too slowly, Jiraiya takes drastic measures. He throws Naruto into a deep chasm, depending on Naruto reflexively using the Nine-Tails' chakra to save himself.
- A Chance Encounter…!! (邂逅…!!, Kaikō…!!)
In Sunagakure, the Fourth Kazekage gives Team Baki their orders in regarding to the planned invasion of Konoha. Despite the team's misgivings, because they are the only Suna representatives permitted in Konoha because of the Chūnin Exams, their participation is crucial, particularly Gaara's. Meanwhile, Naruto, unable to stop his fall and fearing his death, learns to communicate with the Nine-Tails sealed within him. He convinces the Nine-Tails to donate some of its chakra to save both of their lives, and the fox complies. With its help, he is able to summon Gamabunta.
- The Unexpected Visitor!! (突然の来訪者!!, Totsuzen no Raihōsha!!)
Gamabunta stops Naruto's fall, but is irritated both to have been summoned in a chasm and to have a kid like Naruto on his head. Naruto reprimands Gamabunta for doubting his "master", but is quelled by Gamabunta's anger. Naruto agrees to become Gamabunta's disciple if he will help them get out of the pit. Gamabunta leaps out but Naruto passes out from the strain. When he sees the toad summoning contract that Jiraiya left behind, Gamabunta discovers that Naruto really did summon him and takes him to the hospital to recuperate. When Naruto wakes up he is greeted by Shikamaru, who decided to come visit him. While talking they sense Gaara trying to kill Rock Lee, so stop him.
- A Reason for Continuing to Exist…!! (在り続ける理由!!, Aritsuzukeru Wake!!)
Naruto and Shikamaru ask why Gaara would want to kill Lee, but Gaara has no particular reason. They point out that, being two-against-one, they have the advantage, but Gaara is unconcerned and promises to kill them too. Gaara explains that he contains a monster, his mother's life having been sacrificed at his birth to seal a demon within him and give him control over sand. In the years that followed Gaara's father tried to have him assassinated to repent for making him what he is, but Gaara killed all of his attackers. His life having been surrounded by death, he finds love by killing others. While similar, both having something sealed within them, Naruto realises that Gaara's tragic background has made him too dangerous for them to defeat. As Gaara prepares to attack, Guy arrives and forces Gaara to leave.
- A Proud Failure!! (誇り高き失敗者!!, Hokoritakaki Shippaisha!!)
The day of the Chūnin Exams finals has arrived. Naruto is worried about his upcoming match with Neji and takes a detour on his way to the stadium where the finals will be held. He finds Hinata training along the way and speaks with her. Naruto tells her his concerns and how he, a "failure", may not be able to defeat Neji, a "genius". Hinata assures him that it is because he is not perfect, not a "genius", that he will win, as he constantly strives to improve himself, which she finds inspiring. Naruto thanks her and asks her to come watch him defeat Neji. He arrives at the stadium and stands with the other seven finalists before the audience.
- The Final Selection Begins…!! (本線、開始っ…!!, Honzen, Kaishi…!!)
The Third Hokage greets the Fourth Kazekage, the two intending to watch the finals together. The finalists are informed of modifications to the match line-up, Dosu's death meaning that Shikamaru will fight Temari in his first match. Sasuke, similarly, has not arrived yet, and his absence will be dealt with when the time comes. Until then, Naruto and Neji prepare for their fight and the other finalists leave the arena. Hinata sits with Kiba to watch the match. Kiba notices that there are Anbu in the audience, and wonders what is happening. Naruto repeats his vow to defeat Neji, who scoffs at the very suggestion.