This is the article on volume 20 of the manga. For chapter 175, head to Naruto vs. Sasuke!!.
Naruto vs. Sasuke!!
(ナルトvsサスケ!!, Naruto Bāsasu Sasuke!!)
Volume Info
Previous The Successor
Volume 20
Next Unforgivable!!
Pages 192
Release Date
Japanese December 19, 2003 (ISBN 4-08-873552-8)
English October 2, 2007 (ISBN 978-1-4215-1655-4)

Naruto vs. Sasuke!! (ナルトvsサスケ!!, Naruto Bāsasu Sasuke!!) is volume 20 of the Naruto manga.

Chapter 172

"Homecoming" (帰郷, Kikyō)

Tsunade returns to Konoha as the new Hokage. The villagers are eager to have her begin her official duties, but Naruto insists that she help Sasuke and Kakashi first. They run into Shikamaru along the way, who, given his history with women, is unhappy that the Hokage is a woman too. He later reluctantly has lunch with Team 10 to celebrate his appointment as a chūnin, the only advance in rank from the Chūnin Exams. Neji elsewhere tries to locate birds with his Byakugan, but can only see seven of eight. Tsunade heals Kakashi and Sasuke. Sakura is particularly happy with Sasuke's recovery, having stayed by his bedside since his encounter with Itachi. Guy pleads for Tsunade to look at Lee too.

Chapter 173

"Those Suffering" (苦悩する者たち, Kunōsuru Mono-Tachi)

Tsunade examines the damage to Lee's back and finds there are bone fragments lodged in his spine. Although she, and only she, could try removing them, Lee will die if she fails. Since her odds of success are only 50%, she advises he give up his dreams of being a ninja. To Guy's disappointment, Lee accepts his prognosis and leaves. While Team 10 is having lunch, Chōji insists that he get to have the last morsel of food, claiming it is the best. Asuma points out that he should train more and become a chūnin like Shikamaru, upsetting him. Sasuke, still recovering from his encounter with Itachi, thinks about how useless he was and how much Naruto has surpassed him. Orochimaru elsewhere sends his Sound Four to Konoha.

Chapter 174

"Feelings, Each One…!" (想い、それぞれ…!, Omoi, Sorezore…!)

Naruto thinks about his lunch with Iruka. Iruka is happy with Naruto's development, but informs him that he will now need to start doing actual work. After the failed Konoha Crush, the village is operating with a diminished manpower and ninja are being sent on more difficult missions and more often. Naruto is eager to start doing his part. After Team 10 has lunch, Ino tells Shikamaru that Chōji should go on a diet. Shikamaru defends him. Chōji tells Shikamaru that, now that he is a chūnin, his superiority to Sasuke and Neji is only more apparent. Shikamaru is unconcerned since he only wants to be himself, which he tells Chōji to strive for too. Naruto visits Sasuke in the hospital. Because so many others have shown a special interest in Naruto, Sasuke demands that they fight each other. Naruto accepts.

Chapter 175

"Naruto vs. Sasuke!!" (ナルトvsサスケ!!, Naruto Bāsasu Sasuke!!)

Over Sakura's objections, Naruto and Sasuke head to the hospital roof to fight. Regarding the battle casually, Naruto asks Sasuke to put on his Konoha forehead protector. Sasuke refuses since that would mean that they are equals, upsetting Naruto for not acknowledging himself as Konoha ninja. Naruto surrounds Sasuke with shadow clones, which Sasuke destroys with his Fire Release: Great Fireball Technique. As the smoke clears Sasuke sees that one clone has survived and is helping Naruto form the Rasengan. He uses his own Chidori and they charge at each other. Sakura screams for them to stop.

Chapter 176

"They Who are Called Rivals" (ライバルというもの, Raibaru to Iu Mono)

Sakura puts herself between Naruto and Sasuke to get them to stop, but they are not able to. Kakashi catches them and sends them into two opposing water towers. He points out that they went overboard for a casual fight, and Kakashi lectures Sasuke for using the Chidori against a friend. Sasuke is unconcerned, instead happy to see that his Chidori did more damage to the water tower than Naruto's Rasengan. On closer examination, however, he finds that the Rasengan did more damage. He jealously leaves. Kakashi also lectures Jiraiya for teaching Naruto the Rasengan, saying he should know better since Sasuke and Naruto are like Orochimaru and Jiraiya once were; Naruto longs to be acknowledged by Sasuke as an equal. Kakashi assures Sakura that he will speak with Sasuke. Elsewhere, the Sound Four observe Sasuke.

Chapter 177

"The Oto Four" (音の四人衆, Oto no Yoninshū)

Kakashi ties Sasuke to a tree so that he can speak to him without running off. Kakashi advises Sasuke against his pursuit for revenge against Itachi. Sasuke retorts that Kakashi doesn't know what he's been through and offers to kill everyone Kakashi loves. Kakashi points out that everyone he loves is already dead. However, both he and Sasuke have found friends in Team 7, and they would do well to value what they still have more than what have lost. Kakashi leaves him to consider it and he struggles to forget about Itachi. Before he can reach a conclusion he is attacked by the Sound Four. He quickly repels them and challenges them to try again.

Chapter 178

"Oto's Invitation…!!" (音の誘い…!!, Oto no Izanai…!!)

The Sound Four attack Sasuke again, this time having more success. Sasuke still retains the advantage. Meanwhile, Sakura thinks about Sasuke and wonders if it was a good idea to tell Naruto about the cursed seal Sasuke received from Orochimaru, which he had previously instructed her not to. Naruto assured her that Sasuke would never give in to Orochimaru's temptations, putting a smile on her face. Sasuke, however, has been defeated by the Sound Four. They tell him he will never be able to defeat them if he remains in Konoha, as only Orochimaru can give one true power.

Chapter 179

"Don't Forget…!!" (忘れるな…!!, Wasureruna…!!)

The Sound Four remark that Orochimaru is wasting his time with Sasuke. Sasuke activates his cursed seal in an effort to prove them wrong, but they are unimpressed since they have greater control over their own cursed seals. They remind him of his desire to kill Itachi and promise that Orochimaru could give him the strength he needs, improving his cursed seal being only one of many possibilities. They leave Sasuke to pick between Orochimaru and Konoha, and Sasuke reaches a decision. Elsewhere, Lee reflects on his dreams of becoming a splendid ninja that excels in taijutsu. As he remembers the confidence Guy has always had in him, Guy comes to see him.

Chapter 180

"It's a Promise!!" (約束だ!!, Yakusoku da!!)

Lee is indebted to Guy for giving him hopes of achieving his dreams of becoming a ninja and guidance in fulfilling those dreams. However, Guy's advice of hard work will do him no good with the operation that will restore him to fighting capability, as his survival is a matter of luck rather than skill or persistence. Because his death would leave him unable to be a ninja in any capacity, he is torn over what to do. Guy tells him to go through with the operation since Lee would only be even sadder if he gave up on his dream. If he at least tries to resume his life as a ninja, that will make all the difference and he will definitely survive. Lee is still reluctant, so Guy tells him that if Lee died in pursuit of his dreams, Guy would die too for being unable to fulfil his own dreams of helping Lee achieve his dreams. Lee decides to go through with the operation.

Author's Note

I've recently been feeling the limits of expression in manga. With manga's particular style of reading from top right to bottom left, the order of dialogue severely limits the angle of the camera... Isn't there another way...?

Masashi Kishimoto, 2003

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