Naruto Creator Shares New Novel's Stunning Sakura, Sasuke Cover Art

Masashi Kishimoto's Naruto was one of the most popular action manga to come out of Shueisha's [...]

Masashi Kishimoto's Naruto was one of the most popular action manga to come out of Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump, and although Kishimoto has moved onto a new series, Samurai 8, he hasn't quite left his first big series behind. Though the series has officially evolved thanks to the help of its sequel, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, Naruto has sparked several light novel spin-offs following the series' original favorites.

One of the newest spin-off novels, Sasuke Retsuden, will focus on Sasuke and Sakura, and it is part of a new series of spin-offs will feature some slick cover art illustrations from Kishimoto himself. Check out the cover below!

Sasuke Retsuden Novel Cover [Art by Masashi Kishimoto] from r/Naruto

The cover art seems to imply that Sasuke and Sakura will be embarking on a dangerous mission together, and this will be helpful in filling in some of the gaps of their relationship. Their pairing is often debated by fans as Sasuke has never quite seemed like he actually like Sakura until the end of the series, but stories like this will hopefully help flesh out just what Sakura still sees in him.

Officially titled Sasuke Retsuden: The Uchiha Descendants and the Heavenly Stardust, this new novel is written by Jun Esaka with a cover illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto. Featuring a completely original story, this novel explores the married couple's views on life and death. This is the second of a new line of novels being published under Shueisha's Jump J-Books brand this August.

This Naruto Retsuden series will feature three novels all written by Esaka and will each feature a new illustration by Kishimoto. The first novel, Naruto: Kakashi Retsuden: The Sixth Hokage and the Failure Boy, released earlier this year and followed Kakashi as he stumbles on village with a "failure" of a ruler. He then decides to take the young ruler under his wing and show him the ropes. The final novel, Naruto Retsuden, is scheduled to release in Japan this October and will focus on themes teamwork and technology.

Originally created by Masashi Kishimoto for Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump in 1999, Naruto follows a young ninja, with a sealed demon within him, that wishes to become the leader of his home village. The series ran for 700 chapters overall, and was adapted into an anime series by Studio Pierrot and Aniplex that ran from 2002 to 2017. The series was popular enough to warrant a sequel, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations which is set several years after the events of the original Naruto story and features the children of many of its key characters such as Naruto and Hinata.