Viz Adds 3 Naruto Epilogue Novels & Art Book, Schedules Final Manga Volume
posted on by Egan Loo
North American manga and anime distributor Viz Media announced on Tuesday that it will publish three Naruto epilogue novels, the Uzumaki Naruto: Illustrations art book, and Masashi Kishimoto's final Naruto manga book volume starting this fall. In addition, it will publish the third and final Naruto manga box set with volumes 49 to 72 in January.
Naruto: Kakashi's Story (Naruto - Kakashi Hiden: Hyōten no Ikazuchi) is the first of six planned Naruto epilogue novels. Viz describes the story in Akira Higashiyama's book:
A year has passed since the Fourth Great Ninja War, and Kakashi's appointment to Hokage looms. But first he heads to the Land of Waves for a dangerous mission rescuing hostages from a top-secret airship. There he confronts a ninja whose heart is frozen by tragedy. Having lost both his friend's eye and his greatest abilities, can Kakashi really protect anyone? What is the true meaning of the will of fire gained in the distant heavens? Kakashi finds these answers and more as he opens the door to a new ninja era.
Viz will publish Naruto: Kakashi's Story in November, followed by Naruto: Shikamaru's Story in February 2016 and Naruto: Sakura's Story in May 2016. The same novels have just debuted in Japan on February 4, March 4, and April 3, respectively. Shueisha scheduled the next three novels — Konoha Hiden, Gaara Hiden, and Akatsuki Hiden — on May 1, June 4, and July in Japan.
Viz will also publish the Uzumaki Naruto: Illustrations book in November. The softcover book will contain almost 100 pages of full-color images by Kishimoto, as well as Kishimoto's commentary, a double-sided poster, and a sticker sheet. Shueisha published the book in Japan on February 4.
The 72nd and final English manga volume will debut in print and in digital form in October. Shueisha published the same volume on February 4.
Kishimoto ended the main Naruto manga in Weekly Shonen Jump in November after 15 years of serialization. However, he has since launched the spinoff mini-series Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring (Naruto Gaiden: Nanadaime Hokage to Akairo no Hanatsuzuki) about the next Konoha generation in April. An art exhibition and a stage play also debuted this spring.
Kishimoto had said in an interview in November that he will still have other work left to do in the Naruto franchise until this summer, so he will not begin preparing his next non-Naruto title in earnest until after that. Viz is hosting the creator at New York Comic Con in October.