This is the article on volume 6 of the manga. For chapter 53, head to Sakura's Decision!!. For other uses, see Sakura's Decision!!.
Sakura's Decision!!
(サクラの決意!!, Sakura no Ketsui!!)
Volume Info
Previous The Challengers!!
Volume 6
Next The Path That Should Be Followed…!!
Pages 184
Release Date
Japanese March 2, 2001 (ISBN 4-08-873089-9)
English April 5, 2005 (ISBN 978-1-59116-739-6)

Sakura's Decision!! (サクラの決意!!, Sakura no Ketsui!!) is volume 6 of the Naruto manga.

Chapter 46

"The Password is…?!" (合言葉は…!!, Aikotoba wa…!!)

Soon after entering the Forest of Death, Naruto breaks away from the rest of Team 7 to go to the bathroom. When he returns he is immediately attacked by Sasuke. Sakura is shocked, but Sasuke explains that this Naruto is missing the scratch on the cheek he received from Anko and must be an impostor. The ninja removes his disguise and tries to take their scroll by force, but he is injured by Sasuke and forced to retreat. Once finding the real Naruto, Sasuke decides that they should have a password only they will know in case they are separated again. Sasuke's suggested password is very long, leaving Naruto to request something simpler. Before they can modify the code, the three are attacked by another ninja and separated. Sasuke finds Sakura, who confirms her identity by reciting the password. Naruto locates them soon afterwards and also repeats the password without error. Sasuke once again attacks him, pointing out that the real Naruto would never have remembered such a complex password.

Chapter 47

"Predator!!" (捕食者!!, Hoshokusha!!)

Still separated from Team 7, Naruto is attacked and swallowed by a giant snake. To escape, he creates a number of shadow clones, bursting the snake from the inside. Meanwhile his teammates are taunted by the enemy ninja who has the scroll that Team 7 needs to pass the second phase of the Chūnin Exams. He consumes the scroll, forcing Sasuke and Sakura fight him if they want it. Sensing how dangerous the ninja is, the two try to flee but are easily followed. As the ninja and his snake allies begin to attack, Naruto appears and draws the ninja's attention.

Chapter 48

"That Goal is…!!" (その目的は…!!, Sono Mokuteki wa…!!)

Fearful that the ninja will kill them all, Sasuke offers to give the ninja their scroll in exchange for their lives. Naruto attacks Sasuke and takes the scroll from him, believing he is an impostor since the real Sasuke would never give up so easily. Even if he is the real Sasuke, Naruto points out that there's no guarantee the ninja would spare them. The ninja agrees, summoning a snake to attack Naruto. As Naruto is batted around Sasuke pleas for Naruto to give up. Naruto, using the strength of the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox, quickly defeats the snake as it turns its attention towards Sasuke. Naruto mockingly asks if Sasuke has been hurt.

Chapter 49

"Coward…!!" (臆病者…!!, Okubyōmono…!!)

Exam proctors find the dead bodies of three Kusagakure ninja. Anko recognises the work as that of Orochimaru and races into the Forest of Death to try and capture him. Meanwhile, Orochimaru, disguised as a Kusa ninja, recognises that Naruto is the jinchūriki of the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox. He seals off Naruto's access to the fox, takes his scroll, and throws him aside. Sakura catches him while Sasuke, inspired by Naruto's previous success, stages a counterattack. Using his Sharingan, Sasuke is able to defeat Orochimaru. As a reward for his skills, Orochimaru destroys their scroll and brands Sasuke with a cursed seal before leaving.

Chapter 50

"I Will…!!" (私が…!!, Watashi ga…!!)

The pain from the application of the cursed seal causes Sasuke to lose consciousness. With Naruto similarly incapacitated, Sakura wonders what she is supposed to do. Elsewhere, Anko travels through the Forest of Death and locates Orochimaru. She attacks him and tries to kill him by sacrificing her own life, but stops at the last moment when she realises she was not attacking the real Orochimaru. He advises against so innocently using the techniques he taught her and tells her of his interest in Sasuke. He warns her against ending the exams prematurely before leaving, saying that to do so would not be in Konoha's best interests.

Chapter 51

"The Beautiful Wild Beast…!!" (美しき野獣…!!, Utsukushiki Yajū…!!)

Sakura tends to the still unconscious Sasuke and Naruto. When she hears something approaching she turns around suspecting an enemy, but it is only a squirrel. She nevertheless makes it a point to scare the squirrel away, so that it can avoid the traps set for the enemy. Soon afterwards, Rock Lee finds the squirrel and save it from an explosive tag that has been applied to its back. At the same time, Sakura is confronted by three Sound ninja that express an interest in fighting Sasuke. Sakura asks why Orochimaru gave Sasuke a cursed seal, but they do not answer, in fact being surprised to learn of their master's earlier actions. They attack her, avoiding the traps that Sakura indirectly revealed by scaring away their squirrel-bomb, but she is saved by Lee.

Chapter 52

"The Conditions for Using!!" (使用の条件!!, Shiyō no Jōken!!)

Wishing for Sakura to be his girlfriend, Lee vows to defeat her attackers or die trying. Knowing that he can end the battle by using the forbidden Front Lotus, Lee thinks upon his master's stipulations for using the technique: to never use it unless protecting someone precious. Confident that Sakura qualifies, Lee attacks Dosu with the Front Lotus, but Dosu, with Zaku's assistance, survives the attack and strikes Lee.

Chapter 53

"Sakura's Decision!! " (サクラの決意!!, Sakura no Ketsui!!)

Dosu's attacks disorient Lee, but he persists in trying to protect Sakura. When he is no longer able to stand he collapses, and Sakura tries to defend him along with Sasuke, and Naruto. Meanwhile, Team 10 watches the battle and contemplates intervening. They watch as Sakura is captured by Kin Tsuchi, who restrains her by grabbing her hair and taunts her for being more concerned with her appearance than her ninja skills. Knowing Kin is right and tired of always needing others' help, Sakura pulls out a kunai and then cuts her hair off to free herself, surprising the observing Ino and Kin.

Chapter 54

"Sakura and Ino" (サクラといの, Sakura to Ino)

Sakura, no longer concerned for her own safety, launches an attack against Team Dosu. Although she makes dexterous usage of several basic ninjutsu, she is ultimately forced to resort to biting and other physical attacks. Seeing Sakura's determination, the nearby Ino thinks back to her childhood with Sakura; how the two used to be good friends. After Ino helped, Sakura gained some much-needed self-confidence, they parted ways so that their friendship would not interfere with their competition as rival ninja and love-interests for Sasuke. Seeing that Sakura is beating her in both aspects, Ino forces her Team 10 to come to Sakura's rescue.

Author's Note

Lately, all over the world, there has been an upswing in terrorist acts – attacks by armed groups and the taking of hostages – by the worst kind of criminals. In an effort to resolve the situation with as little bloodshed and fanfare as possible, nations all over the globe are increasingly turning towards special operation forces, armed with the latest technologies and finely honed skills, giving them superlative intelligence-gathering capabilities. Such operatives are truly the modern and analogue to the type of warriors who, in the past, were known as ninja!

Masashi Kishimoto, 2000

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