The Ninja Rock Lee (忍者ロック・リー, Ninja Rokku Rī) is volume 1 of the Rock Lee's Springtime of Youth manga.
|"The Ninja Rock Lee" (忍者ロックリー, Ninja Rokku Rī)|
A ninja from another village threatens to tear Konohagakure apart. Suddenly, Rock Lee arrives, using his Leaf Crap Shoot technique to overwhelm the enemy. When another person questions the legitimacy of the ninjutsu, Lee declares that he cannot utilize ninjutsu at all, but makes up for it by using training his taijutsu. He reveals his goal to become a great ninja even without ninjutsu and his respect for the team leader, Might Guy.
During his defense training with his teammates, Neji Hyuga and Tenten, Lee attempts to mimic Neji and perform the ninjutsu, Divination Whirl, but fails. Later, he tries to execute the ninjutsu, Summon Technique, by using Neji as a turtle. Additionally Lee runs very fast, effectively creating a mirage, so it would seem like he had successfully performed the Shadow Clone Jutsu. Finally, he finishes with the Harem Jutsu, where he merely puts on a bikini.
Guy inquires why Lee is going through such great lengths to perform ninjutsu, and it is revealed to him that Lee did so so that Guy can acknowledge him as a true ninja. Hearing that, Guy reprimands Lee for doing so as he is satisfied with the current Lee who can only use taijutsu, asserting that he can become a prodigious ninja nonetheless.
Lee and Guy then work together, using the Konoha Super Great Huge Whirlwind technique, to defeat their opponents. In the end, Guy reveals that the only Jutsu he approves of was the Harem Jutsu, and he and Lee dress with bikinis, much to Tenten's dismay. Neji is shown mortified by his turtle outfit when others look at him.
|"The Huge Pitter-Patter Attack Plan of Love!" (愛の巨大なパタパタ攻撃作戦!, Ai no Kyodai na Patapata Kougeki Sakusen!)|
Rock Lee asks Sakura Haruno to be his girlfriend, and once again, she turns him down. Devastated, Lee walks around and finds an Icha Icha book, belonging to Kakashi Hatake, on the ground. Reading the x-rated book, Lee reveals to his teammates, Neji Hyuga and Tenten that he has discovered the secret to impressing women. With this, he leaves to make Sakura his girlfriend.
Later, Lee offers to clean the bench that Sakura and Hinata Hyuga are about to sit on, according to the first tactic of the Icha Icha book, which tells him to "appeal to girls with casual tenderness". As he is cleaning, he is resolved on the thought that if he cleans harder, he will be able to train his arms as well, and ends up being perceived as a clean freak to Sakura.
Following the second tactic that states that girls are weak to flowers, Lee presents flowers to Sakura as a gift, but they are infested by bees. He attempts to hit every bee, but ends up punching Sakura instead. Quickly obeying the third tactic that tells him to honestly express his feelings, he attempts to, but gets sting by a bee. This causes him to cry out in pain, and Sakura mistakes that for him calling her a "pig" and becomes enraged.
Convinced that things were not turning out well for him, Lee resorts to the fourth tactic which is to forcefully kiss her and attract her attention. However, his face is utterly devastated by bee stings and bruises, to the point where it frightens Sakura, and she runs away.
Depressed, Lee isolates himself, and Tenten attempts to console him. Kakashi then arrives and warns them of a lone ninja group from another country lurking around the village. Lee asks for advice from him on how to be cool, and Kakashi replies that "cool guys are guys that protect their precious friends".
Having seen the Kiri ninja, Sakura is about to be killed by them. However, Lee arrives and defeats them with a bee inspired attack, earning an apology from Sakura. As he extends his hand to walk her home, he accidentally grabs her breasts which results to a typical Sakura beat down.
Defeated once again, Lee returns to Tenten as he cry away his pain. However, Tenten reminds them that he has still defended his precious friend, thus completing his mission. Happy, he tries to hug her but notices another Icha Icha on the ground, and Tenten realizes he has not learned a thing from his exploits.
|"Rock Lee vs. Neji Hyuga" (ロックリー対ガイ班はネジ日向, Rokku Rī tsui Neji Hyūga)|
Several shinobi from Kusagakure appear in Konohagakure. When Rock Lee comes with the intention to stop them, they claim that ninjutsu will not effect them. Notwithstanding, Lee knocks out the three ninja with taijutsu. While defeated, they question why he had not used ninjutsu, and Lee simply replies that he cannot, thus he works hard to improve his taijutsu.
Tenten and Might Guy arrive, with the latter dressed in a ridiculous outfit that consists of a tutu. Lee is shown dressed in the same attire, and he and Guy resume their training, much to Tenten's disbelief. Lee muses to himself that he has completed the mission better than his rival, Neji Hyuga, based on the number of ninja he has defeated. However, Lee then realizes that Neji has defeated the Kusa-nin's leader, hence beating Lee's "quantity with quality".
Later, Tenten is searching for her valuable photo that she has lost, and claims that she wished Neji was there, due to the fact that his Byakugan allows him to search the area thoroughly and efficiently. Lee attempts to perform Byakugan by straining his eyes back, and Naruto Uzumaki mistakes him for a suspicious person. Frustrated that he cannot find Tenten's photo, Lee shouts that he wants to prove that genius is something that can be overcome by hard work. Subsequently, Neji arrives, having retrieved Tenten's photo in the matter of seconds, and Lee swears to never to lose to Neji again.
Guy recalls the time when the team first collaborated and that Neji was really arrogant at the time, claiming that Lee can never become a ninja without ninjutsu. Tenten dotes on Neji about his high capacity, and Lee challenges Neji to a fight.
After a week of training, Lee comes back, looking considerably muscular. Guy is so as well, however only his right arm is preeminent. The battle begins between Lee and Neji. Lee picks him up by the head with ease, but Neji evades it with Substitution Jutsu. Neji then uses his Eight Trigrams Sixty Four Palms Jutsu, and air seems to leak out of Lee, resulting to him returning to his original form. Guy explains that it is chakra that is leaking out, due to Neji's jutsu, which is able to manipulate the target's jutsu.
Lee uses his form of Byakugan, which catches Neji off guard. Quickly after seeing an opening, Lee charges at Neji with Six Trigrams Sixty Four Headbutts. In the end, they both are damaged, and the match ends as a draw. Neji then tells Lee that he has become an amazing ninja. Guy prompts that he, Lee and Neji undergo extreme training, and the next day they all appear excessively muscular.
|"Copy Ninja Rock Lee?! (コピー忍者ロックリー?!, Kopī Ninja Rokku Rī?!)"|
Neji Hyūga meets up with Tenten, in search for Rock Lee. It is revealed that Lee is climbing on the side of a wall, while tied to three boulders, in order to train his taijutsu.
Soon after, they speculate Might Guy and Kakashi Hatake who were about to enter into one of their famous "heated" battles. Guy, who is apparently sick, sneezes, and Kakashi uses the opening to attack him with the One Thousand Years of Death technique, which is merely another term for the game Kancho. Guy becomes debilitated by it and takes a break, so Kakashi temporarily assumes Guy's position as team leader.
After believing that Kakashi had now defeated Guy twenty times, Lee ponders whether or not he needs a new mentor and asks Neji to help him practice the One Thousand Years of Death technique to which Neji declines outright, so Lee moves on to practice on a dummy.
The next day as Tenten and Neji wait to set out on a mission with Kakashi, Lee arrives dressed exactly like Kakashi, even with a copy of Icha Icha in hand. After the initial shock, the team sets out with the assumption that Kakashi would catch up with them eventually. Unbeknownst to them, Guy watches on from behind a post.
They soon encounter shinobi from Yugakure, who mistakes Lee as the actual Kakashi Hatake, and hearing that, Lee pretends that he is Kakashi. The ninja ask for proof that he is Kakashi by showing them his Sharingan. Lee lifts up his forehead protector to reveal a Sharingan, which in actuality is a contact lens, much to Tenten's shock. As Tenten turns to Neji, he states that with contacts he could finally perfect that technique: the "Byaku-Sharingan", which only served to disappoint Tenten.
As the enemy shinobi realize that there is no scar over Lee's left eye, they call him out as a fake. However, Lee uses his speed to get behind the ninja and initiates the One Thousand Years of Death technique, but is unsuccessful because of metal plating that the ninja had put there to protect that area. The said ninja then claims that Sakumo Hatake had used the technique on him in the past, in which Tenten states that that is a lie.
Soon after, the ninja surround Lee, and Tenten calls to Neji for them to aid Lee, but Neji is unable to see due to contracting dry eye from the contacts. Just as the situation looks dire, Guy appears, declaring that he would not let anyone harm his subordinates, despite being in bad shape himself. Kakashi comes next and informs Lee that Guy came all the way out there in his sick state to show Lee the path he should walk as a shinobi. Lee tears up and is persuaded that Guy is the most amazing after all.
Lee, Guy and Kakashi then use the "Three Thousand Years of Death" technique and send the shinobi flying. It is later cleared up what Kakashi meant by "twenty consecutive wins", since he was only referring to the hero in the book he is reading. Lee and Guy tearfully reunite and are later seen training to use the One Thousand Years of Death technique on dummies.
|"Sakura's Swimsuit!!" さくらの水着!!, Sakura no Mizugi!!)|
Tenten invites Rock Lee to go to the ocean during their vacation, but he refuses and continues to train. However, he overhears about Sakura Haruno's "awesome" swimsuit, and he immediately changes his mind, saying that he would train at the beach.
Team Guy are depicted at the beach. Tenten attempts to show Lee her bathing suit, but he completely ignores her, his mind set on locating Sakura, which subsequently results to him being attacked by Tenten's weapons. Neji Hyuga exasperatedly looks on as Might Guy and Lee prepare to do five hundred laps around the beach.
After seeing Tenten and Sakura in the water, Lee decides to take his training to the ocean in order to sneak a peak at Sakura's swimsuit. Guy, however, thinks that Lee was applying the resistance of the the water to enhance his training and joins him. Lee incorporates this into his plan to spin all the way over to Sakura, but Guy, who overdoes it, causes Lee to get caught in the current he was generating from spinning.
Determined to execute his own plans, Lee starts to spin in the opposite direction to counter Guy, creating a huge column of swirling water. In the aftermath, Lee sees a pair of underwear floating in the water and think that it belongs to Sakura. Lee delivers the it to Sakura, but it is revealed that the underwear belongs to Guy, in which has slipped off while Guy was spinning.
Sakura attacks him, and his face swells up as a result. As Lee laments that in the end he was still unable to see the awesome bathing suit, it is revealed that Sakura never bothered to wear it because she thought she wasn't ready for it. In spite of that, Lee manages to find the mundane swimsuit just as pleasing.
|"Tenten's Ambition!!" (テンテンの野望!!, Tenten no Yabou!!)|
Team Guy are training with ninja items, in which Rock Lee excels in as it requires physical ability. Tenten states that she wants to become as great a ninja as Tsunade, and punishes Lee when he makes Tsunade's rock monument bald with his ninja item. Tenten and Lee then notices a loose ninja who is planning to take down Tsunade, and they relay this to her and her assistant, Shizune.
Team Guy then offers their help, and Tenten gives Tsunade a charm. Lee realizes that Tenten is especially determined in this mission to protect Tsunade, and she agrees herself. However, she also expresses her sadness that since she is not a medical student, she could not become her student like Sakura Haruno. Therefore, Tenten is resolved to make Tsunade acknowledge her. Lee relates her feelings, having remembered Might Guy, and decides to help her as well to the fullest of his ability.
Guy and Lee deflect kunai attacks from the enemy, but coincidentally, the deflections happen to land on the head of Tsunade. With his Byakugan, Neji Hyuga detects the enemy within proximity and warns his team to be on guard. Guy and Lee use their Konoha Wind technique to send their enemies flying, but they happen to all land on Tsunade.
Neji uses his Eight Trigrams Palms Revolving Heaven technique to knock the remainder of the enemies to the opposite direction of Tsunade, but his rotation causes Tsunade to become bald when it brushes against her scalp. The enemy initiates a smoke bomb and steals the unconscious Tsunade. However, the charm that Tsunade possessed, given by Tenten, unleashes weapons. Then, Tenten uses her Manipulated Tools: Super Heavenly Blades Wild Myriad technique, which overwhelms her opponents, including members of her own team.
Later, Shizune replaces Tsunade's hair. Tenten apologizes that she was unable to protect her, but Tsunade thanks her since because of her they are able to catch the prowling ninja. Tenten is elated that she is acknowledged. Tsunade also thanks Guy and Lee by ripping off their hair down the middle of the scalp.
|"Gaara of the Sand" (砂の我愛羅, Suna no Gaara)|
Team Guy are heading to Sunagakure for their mission. Tenten asks if Rock Lee is okay with the fact that they are meeting Gaara, his rival that had defeated Lee in the past.
A mass amount of sand appears, and Gaara comes out to greet them, having formerly thought that they were enemy ninjas. Lee asserts that he will surpass Gaara, but the latter merely ignores him and leads the way. Tenten tells Lee that now Gaara is the Kazekage, he is not going to respond to Lee.
Gaara later informs them that there are rogue ninjas who are targetting Sunagakure, so he is asking for their assistance. When Lee antagonistically faces against Gaara, Kankuro and Temari, Gaara's siblings, come to stop him.
Subsequently, Tenten asks Neji Hyuga if Lee may possibly retain a grudge against Gaara. She recalls that Lee had risked his life using a forbidden jutsu against him, and Gaara had endured the attacks with his Sand Guard. In the end, Lee took a huge amount of damage, and additionally, Gaara ignored him, so there is no way that Lee is not holding a grudge.
Later, enemy ninja infiltrated the village, but Gaara and his siblings and Team Guy confront them. Determined to defeat more opponents than Gaara, Lee taunts him with his speed. However, Gaara uses his sand to strap Lee against the ground. He then uses his Desert Coffin technique to immobilize the enemy with sand. Lee mimics it by wrapping himself around the enemy, much to Tenten's shock. Soon after, Gaara uses Sand Drizzle to attack the enemy from a long distance. Lee uses Sweat Drizzle to defeat the enemy with the "invigorating sweat", much to Tenten's evident disgust.
Gaara attempt using his gourd's sand, since he cannot use large attacks inside the village, but Guy interrupts his concentration which causes him to hit Lee with his sand instead. At first, Tenten is impressed that Gaara remained calm despite the mistake, but it is revealed that Gaara is excessively sweating to the point that his face sand is breaking.
Gaara tells Lee to stay back because he is not in the condition to fight. However, Lee refuses to stay back, much to Gaara's and Tenten's astonishment. Lee reveals that he does not hate Gaara, but the reason why he is competing against him is because he is following his ninja way, which is hard work can surpass genius.
Lee then hijacks Gaara's sand to perform the Konoha Sandstorm and defeats the enemy. Gaara later thanks Team Guy, and Lee executes his thumbs-up pose once again to declare that one day he can surpass Gaara, so they should duel some day. Gaara accepts this and gives Lee a thumbs-up. Feeling moved, Lee hugs him, crying, which results to Gaara unleashing a mass amount of sand to send Team Guy running.
|"Naruto vs. Konohamaru vs. Rock Lee!!" (ナルト対木の葉対ロック·リー!!, Naruto tsui Konohamaru tsui Rokku · Ri^!!)|
Lee informs Naruto and Konohamaru about the chūnin exams, and that he is already a chūnin for passing the chūnin exams. Horrified, Naruto starts his training, performing Sexy Sakura Technique, and Konohamaru notes that it's Lee's weakness, but Sakura arrives to reprimand the boys. Konohamaru teases her that when he performed the Sexy: Boy on Boy Technique, she was excited, and even performs the new version. Lee again offers to practice combat sparring with Naruto and Konohamaru, but Naruto claims to hate that type of training, so Lee shows the application forms for the chūnin exams, and tells the boys to get it from him before nightfall or else they can't enter the exams. As Lee is distracted by Sakura, Naruto hits Lee with his Rasengan, which Lee tries to copy but ended with results similar to Chōji's Human Bullet Tank. Lee faces Konohamaru with theRasenshuriken version, using his eyebrows to hit him. After Lee raised Konohamaru's spirits, Konohamaru performs a harem version of Guy, effectively getting the form from Lee.