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Naruto

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Naruto
Naruto Uzumaki doing a hand sign while there is a scroll in his mouth.
Cover of the first Japanese Naruto manga volume featuring Naruto Uzumaki.
NARUTO -ナルト-
Genre Action, Fantasy
Manga
Naruto (pilot chapter)
Written by Masashi Kishimoto
Published by Shueisha
English publisher
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Akamaru Jump
English magazine
Published 1997
Manga
Written by Masashi Kishimoto
Published by Shueisha
English publisher
Viz Media
Viz Media
Demographic Shōnen
Imprint Jump Comics
Magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump
English magazine
Weekly Shonen Jump
Shonen Jump (formerly)
Original run September 21, 1999November 10, 2014
Volumes 72 (List of volumes)
Anime television series
Directed by Hayato Date
Written by Katsuyuki Sumisawa
(Episodes #1–132)
Junki Takegami
(Episodes #133–220)
Music by Musashi Project
Toshio Masuda
Studio Pierrot
Licensed by
Madman Entertainment
Viz Media
Original network TXN (TV Tokyo)
English network
Original run October 3, 2002February 8, 2007
Episodes 220 (List of episodes)
Anime television series
Naruto: Shippuden
Directed by Hayato Date
Masa'aki Kumagai
(Episodes #261–280)
Yasuaki Kurotsu[a]
(Episodes #290–295)[b]
Written by Junki Takegami
(Episodes #1–289, #296–)
Satoru Nishizono
(Episodes #1–53)
Yasuyuki Suzuki
(Episodes #54–71)
Yasuaki Kurotsu
(Episodes #290–295)[c]
Music by Yasuharu Takanashi
Studio Pierrot
Licensed by
Viz Media
Original network TXN (TV Tokyo)
English network
Original run February 15, 2007March 23, 2017
Episodes 500 (List of episodes)
Manga
Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring
Written by Masashi Kishimoto
Published by Shueisha
English publisher
Viz Media
Demographic Shōnen
Imprint Jump Comics
Magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump
English magazine
Original run April 27, 2015July 6, 2015
Volumes 1
Manga
Films
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and Manga portal

Naruto (ナルト?) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto. It tells the story of Naruto Uzumaki, an adolescent ninja who searches for recognition and dreams of becoming the Hokage, the leader of his village. The story divided into two parts, the first set in Naruto's preteen years, and the second in his teens. The series is based on two one-shot manga by Kishimoto. The first one, titled Karakuri, released in 1995 by Shueisha, earned Kishimoto an honorable mention in Shueisha's monthly Hop Step Award in 1996. The second one, titled Naruto, published in the summer 1997 issue of Akamaru Jump.

Naruto was serialized in Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine from September 21, 1999, to November 10, 2014. Seventy-two tankōbon volumes were released. It currently is the third best-selling manga series in history, selling more than 220 million copies worldwide. The manga later adapted into an anime television produced by Studio Pierrot and Aniplex. It premiered across Japan on the terrestrial TV Tokyo and other TX Network stations on October 3, 2002, and ended on February 8, 2007, with 220 episodes. The English adaptation of the series premiered on Cartoon Network's programming block named Toonami on September 10, 2005, and concluded on January 31, 2009. Naruto: Shippuden, a sequel to the original series, aired from February 15, 2007, to March 23, 2017, with 500 episodes. The English adaptation was broadcast on Disney XD from October 28, 2009, to November 5, 2011, and on Adult Swim's Toonami block in January 2014. Besides the anime series, Studio Pierrot has developed eleven movies and several original video animations (OVAs). Other types of merchandise include light novels, video games, and trading cards developed by several companies.

Viz Media has licensed the manga and anime for North American production. Viz serialized Naruto in their digital Weekly Shonen Jump magazine, publishing the individual volumes. The anime series began airing in the United States and Canada in 2005, and in the United Kingdom and Australia in 2006 and 2007, respectively. The films and most OVAs from the series were also released by Viz, with the first film premiering in movie theaters. Viz Media began streaming the two anime series on their streaming service Neon Alley in December 2012. The story of Naruto continues with Naruto's son, Boruto Uzumaki, in Boruto: Naruto Next Generations. Boruto wishes to create his own ninja way instead of following his father's.

Plot[edit]

Part I[edit]

A powerful fox known as the Nine-Tails attacks Konoha, the hidden village in the Land of Fire, one of the Five Great Shinobi Countries in the Ninja World. In response, the leader of Konoha, the Fourth Hokage, seals the fox inside the body of his newborn son, Naruto Uzumaki, costing the father's life, making Naruto a host of the beast.[d] As a child, shunned by the Konoha community, they regard Naruto as if he were the Nine-Tails. A decree made by the leader the Third Hokage forbids anyone mentioning the Nine-Tails. Twelve years later, renegade ninja Mizuki reveals the truth to Naruto before he was defeated by him with the Shadow Clone Jutsu technique, earning the respect of his teacher Iruka Umino.[e] Shortly after, Naruto became a ninja and teamed with Sasuke Uchiha, whom he often competes against, and Sakura Haruno, whom he has a crush on, to form a three-person team, Team 7, under an experienced sensei, the elite ninja Kakashi Hatake. Like all the ninja teams from every village, Team 7 is in charge of completing missions requested by villagers, ranging from doing chores and being bodyguards to performing assassinations.

After several missions, and their major one from the Land of Waves, Kakashi allows Team 7 to take part in a ninja exam allowing them to advance to a higher rank and to take part in more difficult missions. During the exams, Orochimaru, a wanted criminal, invades Konoha and kills the Third Hokage for revenge. Because of what happened, it forces one of the three legendary ninjas, Jiraiya, to search with Naruto for Tsunade who got nominated to become the Fifth Hokage. During the search, it revealed that Orochimaru wishes to train Sasuke because of his powerful genetic heritage, the Sharingan.[f] Believing Orochimaru will give him the strength needed to kill his older brother Itachi (who destroyed their clan and joined a criminal organization called Akatsuki), Sasuke soon joins him after a humiliating defeat by his brother. Tsunade sends a group of ninja, including Naruto, to retrieve Sasuke, but Naruto couldn't bring him back to the village. However, Naruto and Sakura do not give up on Sasuke. Naruto leaves Konoha to receive training from Jiraiya to prepare himself for the next time he encounters Sasuke, while Sakura becomes Tsunade's apprentice.

Part II[edit]

Two and a half years later, Naruto returns from his training with Jiraiya. The Akatsuki starts kidnapping the hosts of the powerful Tailed Beasts. Team 7 and other ninja fight against them and search for their teammate Sasuke. The Akatsuki succeeds in capturing and extracting seven of the creatures out of their hosts. The one victim who survived was Gaara, the host of the One-Tail, whose life was saved by Naruto and his comrades. Meanwhile, Sasuke betrays Orochimaru and faces Itachi to take revenge. After Itachi dies in battle, Sasuke learns from the Akatsuki founder Tobi that Itachi received an order from Konoha's superiors to destroy his clan to prevent a coup d'état. He accepted it if he would leave Sasuke alive. Saddened by this revelation, Sasuke joins the Akatsuki to kill Konoha's superiors who orchestrated the Uchihas' elimination and destroy Konoha for revenge. Meanwhile, as Konoha ninjas defeat several Akatsuki members, their figurehead leader, Nagato, kills Jiraiya and devastates Konoha. However, Naruto defeats and redeems him, earning the village's respect and admiration.

With Nagato's eventual death, Tobi, while disguised as one of Konoha's founding fathers Madara Uchiha, announces that he wants to get all nine of the tailed beasts to perform an illusion powerful enough to control all humanity, to create world peace. The leaders of the five ninja villages refuse to help him and instead join forces to confront Tobi and his allies. That decision results in a fourth great ninja war between the combined armies of the Five Great Countries (known as the Allied Shinobi Forces) and Akatsuki's forces of zombie-like ninjas. Naruto, and Killer Bee, the host of the Eight-Tails, head for the battlefield refusing to sit back as instructed. During the conflict, it revealed that Tobi is Obito Uchiha, Kakashi's former teammate thought to be dead. The real Madara saved him, and they have since collaborated. As Sasuke learns the history of Konoha, including the circumstances that led to his clan's downfall, he decides to protect the village and rejoins Naruto and Sakura to thwart Madara and Obito's plans. However, Madara's body ends up possessed by Kaguya Ōtsutsuki, an ancient princess who intends to subdue all humanity. A reformed Obito sacrifices himself to help Team 7 stop her. Once Kaguya is sealed, Madara dies as well. Sasuke takes advantage of the situation and takes control of all the Tailed Beasts, as he reveals his goal of ending the current village system. Naruto confronts Sasuke to dissuade him from his plan, and after they almost kill each other in a final battle, Sasuke admits defeat and reforms. After the war, Kakashi became the Sixth Hokage and pardoned Sasuke of his crimes. Years later, Kakashi steps down while Naruto marries Hinata Hyuga and becomes the Seventh Hokage, raising the next generation.

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

Masashi Kishimoto was working on Karakuri that he released to Shueisha in 1995. It earned him an honorable mention in the Hop Step Award in 1996. Later, when he became unsatisfied with a rough draft, he decided to work on something different, which evolved into the manga series Naruto.[1]

He created a one-shot of Naruto for the summer 1997 issue of Akamaru Jump.[2] Despite the strong, positive results it earned in a readers' poll, Kishimoto was unhappy with the art and the story. The first eight chapters of Naruto were planned before it appeared in the magazine. These chapters devoted many panels of intricate art to illustrate the Konoha village. By the time Naruto debuted, the background art was sparse, instead emphasizing the characters.[3] Though Kishimoto had concerns that chakra and hand signs made Naruto too Japanese, he still believes it is an enjoyable read.[4] When asked about the central theme in Part I of Naruto, he answered that it is how people accept each other, citing Naruto's development across the series as an example.[5] Kishimoto has said that the tailed beasts mythology was a way to include Godzilla-like animals in the story.[6]

Kishimoto has said that having a new chapter of the manga ready for a weekly magazine was difficult, but its popularity and fan appreciation of his work motivated him to keep going. After the manga had ended, Kishimoto stated that he is proud of the work he put into the plot and is thankful that it helped him become a manga artist.[7]

Characters[edit]

While he was creating the Naruto story, Kishimoto looked to other shōnen manga as influences for his work and tried to make his characters as unique as possible, while basing the story on Japanese culture.[8] When drawing characters, he uses a five-step process: concept and rough sketch, drafting, inking, shading, and coloring.[9] These steps followed when he was drawing the manga and color illustrations that commonly adorn the covers of the manga and the magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump. The toolkit he uses changes occasionally.[9] For instance, he used an airbrush for one illustration for a Weekly Shōnen Jump cover but decided not to use it for future drawings because of the cleanup required after its use.[10] For Part II of the manga, he said that he tried not to "overdo the typical manga style" by including "too much deformation" which kept the panel layouts and the plot easy for the reader to follow. Kishimoto said his drawing style changed from "the classic manga look to something a bit more realistic."[11]

The separation of the characters into different teams was intended to give each group a particular flavor. Kishimoto wanted each member to be "extreme," having a high level of aptitude in one skill and being talentless in another.[12] He could not focus on romance during Part I of the manga. Despite finding it difficult to write about romance, he emphasized it more in Part II of the manga, beginning with volume 28.[5] He introduced villains into the story to a great part to have them act as a counterpoint to his characters' moral values and clearly illustrate their differences.[13]

Setting[edit]

Kishimoto has said that, as Naruto takes place in a fantasy world involving Japanese culture, he set certain rules systematically so he could quickly tell the story. He wanted to use the Chinese zodiac tradition, which had a long-standing presence in Japan; the zodiac hand signs originates from this. When Kishimoto was creating the primary setting of the Naruto manga, he concentrated initially on the designs for the village of Konoha. He says that the idea of the setting came to him "pretty spontaneously without much thought," but admits that the scenery became based on his home in the Japanese prefecture of Okayama prefecture. Since the storyline does not involve a specific timeline, he could include modern elements in the series such as convenience stores. He excluded projectile weapons and vehicles from the plots. He researched Japanese culture and made cultural allusions in his work.[14] When discussing technology, Kishimoto said that he might include automobiles, planes and "low-processing" computers, perhaps eight-bit but not sixteen-bit.[15]

Conclusion[edit]

In 2006, Kishimoto said that he already had a visual idea for the last chapter of the series, the text, and the story. He noted that it could take a long time to end it due to the number of unresolved plotlines.[16] When serialization began, Kishimoto decided the ending would feature a fight between two characters: Naruto and Sasuke.[17] He wanted the fight to end with Naruto forgiving Sasuke as he had forgiven Nagato. Kishimoto chose Naruto's romantic partner from the early stages of the manga. Since Hinata Hyuga had always respected Naruto even before the series' beginning, Kishimoto felt she would be his partner because he realized that they could build a relationship. This decision annoyed his wife because she wanted Naruto to marry Sakura Haruno.[18] Kishimoto never viewed Sakura as Naruto's future wife, but as friends and teammates. When Hinata first appeared, Kishimoto thought of forming a love triangle among the three characters. He later regretted the love triangle as he considered Naruto a fighting series with a little focus on romance, and he repeats that "it was all about Naruto and Hinata getting married from an early stage."[19][20]

Themes[edit]

Mythology[edit]

Amy Plumb, a writer from Macquarie University, notes that Kishimoto used Japanese mythology as a central part of the story's development and there are references to it throughout the series. She says he uses allusions to Japanese culture and mythology instead of explaining what is happening with the plot. Readers use the allusions to decode the storyline and character development. Plumb notes that the mythology of the kitsune tsuki (fox) is used in the story to add a layer of personality to Naruto's character.[21]

Traditional values[edit]

Christopher A. Born, from the University of Missouri–St. Louis, notes that the Naruto storyline contains traditional Confucian values that are identifiable and embraced by preteen and adolescent boys. He comments that when students gather information from the series and discuss the storyline, they can easily understand the examples of foundation values in manga and anime series like Naruto. He compliments the development of Naruto's setting calling it a fun fictional pastiche. Born states the series is a story of hard work, friendship, and winning.[22] Norman Melchor Robles Jr. notes that the early episodes of Naruto are evenly split between violence and showing positive values such as friendship. He regards the showing of these values as a form of "infotainment."[23] Sheuo Hui Gan considers the series to have a set of "traditional ethical values." She also compares the treatment of alienation in Naruto, which Naruto overcomes by joining his society, to the portrayal of alienation in Akira and Neon Genesis Evangelion, where the main characters remain alienated.[24]

Coming of age[edit]

Psychologist Lawrence C. Rubin states the series is appealing on some levels. He sees the series as a coming-of-age story because Naruto not only grows physically, but his character evolves as well. He praises the development of the characters noting they make up a rich evolving cast. Rubin feels the storylines could connect to readers in any age who have similar issues such as losing loved one's, difficult to find friends or other situations showed in the series.[25] Cheng-Wen Huang and Arlene Archer from the University of Cape Town, describe Naruto as a shōnen manga due to moments of intense action in the story's development, and for the intended audience being boys.[26] Omote Tomoyuki says that the series has a dark tone due to the conflicts between countries, saying: "At its center are the deep grudges and shared fates among states, organizations, and people." He comments that the series marked a comeback for dark fantasy that had slowly faded away when Shonen Jump transferred to Ultra Jump in 1987 due to the development of the characters and the environment. He notes that as the series continued, Naruto was not supposed to be a comedy anymore.[27] Rik Spanjers states that the story has a coming-of-age framework, and regularly mentions the importance of friends and family. He comments that Kishimoto uses this theme with Naruto and Sasuke. Because Sasuke is Naruto's first friend and has a loner personality, Naruto does not want to give up on him, even after Sasuke turns rogue to achieve revenge.[28]

Yukari Fujimoto (ja), a professor at Meiji University, considers the manga orthodox since the story's audience is boys than girls. She comments that the characters all have a dark past, and have to deal with major conflicts in their lives. She says they overcome their struggles by improving their fighting skills as the series progresses. Fujimoto feels the story of Naruto describes how important teamwork and friendships between people are. She comments that the story in the series has a bildungsroman theme because of the generation cycles theme, and the adult characters wishing for the new generation to be better than them. Fujimoto criticizes the motive of every new generation needing to be better than the previous one. Fujimoto explains that most characters, including the main ones, do not even respect their elders or highly notable figures who served their country.[29]

Gender roles[edit]

Fujimoto argues that the story has overly traditional gender roles, noting "[...] its representations suggest that men are men and women are women and that they differ naturally regarding aptitude and vocation". She wrote that conservatism contributing to the bildungsroman theme applies to female characters as well, stating that they are purposefully made to be weak in the story. One of Fujimoto's examples is the girls getting higher grades than the boys in the Ninja Academy, but when all graduate and the boys on the teams take their shinobi career seriously, the girls cannot keep up. Fujimoto criticizes the way female character development plays out, stating "[...] female characters lack appeal, expressed, for example, by readers on the Internet". She said when Kishimoto tried to improve the females' prominence in the story; their character development involved more romance and other concerns based on their gender. She feels the series has outdated gender role themes since most women in battles are there for healing purposes instead of fighting purposes. While Fujimoto notes that healing is important to those who received injury, she comments "[...] one cannot avoid noticing the correspondence of this motif with the assumption that the presence of women is not required on the battlefield, and if so, only as nurses". She states while the series shows that men and women show their skills in various ways, she criticizes how female characters were developed in a "politically incorrect" way. Fujimoto uses Tsunade as an example, observing that she does not take her importance as a Hokage seriously because she is easily offended and reacts negatively to remarks that she does not agree with, criticism, and insults.[30]

Media[edit]

Manga[edit]

Naruto published in Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine on September 21, 1999, to November 10, 2014.[31][32] The first 238 chapters are Part I and constitute the first section of the Naruto storyline. Manga chapters 239 to 244 include a gaiden series focusing on the background of the character Kakashi Hatake. The rest of the manga, chapters 245 to 700, belongs to Part II which continues the storyline after a two-and-a-half year time gap. Shueisha released 72 tankōbon in Japan, with the first 27 tankōbon containing Part I, and the later books belonging to Part II. The first tankōbon released on March 3, 2000.[33][34] Several tankōbon, each containing ani-manga based one of the Naruto movies, have released by Shueisha.[35] Shueisha has also released the series in Japanese for cell-phone download on their website Shueisha Manga Capsule.[36] A miniseries titled Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring (Naruto−ナルト−外伝・七代目火影と緋色の花つ月?, Naruto Gaiden: Nanadaime Hokage to Akairo no Hanatsuzuki), that centered on the main characters' children, began serialization in the Japanese and English editions of Weekly Shōnen Jump on April 27, 2015, and ended after ten chapters on July 6, 2015.[37][38] Andrea Lipinski of School Library Journal says that the book gives appreciation to fans of the franchise, especially to those who know specific characters' backgrounds.[39]

Naruto serialized in North America by Viz Media in their anthology comic magazine Shonen Jump. The first chapter of the English adaptation published in the January 2003 issue.[40] To compensate for the gap between the Japanese and English adaptations of the manga, Viz carried out its "Naruto Nation" campaign, releasing three volumes a month in the last four months of 2007 to close the gap.[41] Cammie Allen, Viz's product manager, commented that the main reason for the change was to catch up to the Japanese release schedule and give their readers the same experience as that of the Japanese.[41] A similar campaign planned to release in 2009, with eleven volumes from Part II of the series released between February and April to catch up to the Japanese serialization. Starting with the publication of Volume 45 in July, Viz began releasing Naruto quarterly.[42] Viz has released 72 volumes of the manga in English as of October 6, 2015.[43] Viz Media released all 27 volumes of Part I in a boxed set before Part II released on November 13, 2007.[44] On May 3, 2011, Viz started selling the manga in an omnibus format with each book containing three volumes.[45] Naruto was scanlated (translated) by English-speaking fans before its licensing by Viz.[46]

The series serialized in other languages as well. As of March 31, 2008, the franchise licensed in 90 countries, and the manga serialized in 23 countries.[47] Carlsen Comics has licensed the series, through its regional divisions, and released the series in German and Danish.[48] The series is also licensed for regional language releases in French and Dutch by Kana,[49] in Polish by Japonica Polonica Fantastica,[50] in Russian by Comix-ART,[51] in Finnish by Sangatsu Manga,[52] in Swedish by Bonnier Carlsen,[53] and Italian by Panini Comics.[54]

Spin-offs[edit]

A spin-off comedy manga by Kenji Taira, titled Rock Lee no Seishun Full-Power Ninden (ロック・リーの青春フルパワー忍伝?, Rock Lee & His Ninja Pals) focuses on the character Rock Lee; it ran in Shueisha's Saikyō Jump magazine from December 3, 2010, to July 4, 2014.[55][56] In February 2012, Shueisha announced that the spin-off manga Rock Lee no Seishun Full-Power Ninden would receive an anime adaptation.[57] Produced by Studio Pierrot, the series premiered on TV Tokyo on April 3, 2012.[58] Crunchyroll simulcasted the series' premiere on their website and streamed the following episodes.[59] Taira also wrote Uchiha Sasuke no Sharingan Den (うちはサスケの写輪眼伝?, Sasuke Uchiha's Sharingan Legend), which released on October 3, 2014, which runs in the same magazine and centers on the group Taka.[60]

A monthly sequel series titled Boruto: Naruto Next Generations began in the Japanese and English editions of Weekly Shōnen Jump in Spring 2016. The new series is illustrated by Mikio Ikemoto and written by Ukyō Kodachi with supervision by series' creator Masashi Kishimoto. Ikemoto was Kishimoto's chief assistant during the run of the original Naruto series, and Kodachi was his writing partner for the Boruto: Naruto the Movie film screenplay. The monthly series preceded by a one-shot written and illustrated by Kishimoto himself.[61]

Anime[edit]

Directed by Hayato Date, and produced by Studio Pierrot and TV Tokyo, the Naruto anime adaptation premiered in Japan on TV Tokyo October 3, 2002, and ran for 220 episodes until its conclusion on February 8, 2007.[62][63] The first 135 episodes adapted from the first 27 volumes of the manga, while the remaining 85 episodes are original and use plot elements not seen in the original manga.[64] Beginning on April 29, 2009, the original Naruto anime began a rerun on Wednesdays and Thursdays (until the fourth week of September 2009 when it changed to only Wednesdays). It remastered in HD, with new 2D and 3D effects, under the name Naruto: Shōnen Hen (少年篇?, "Youth Version").[65]

Episodes from the series published on DVD. The first DVD series is the only one to have released on VHS.[66] Five series have released, each including four episodes per volume.[67] The series also collected in three DVD boxes during 2009.[68][69] The latest DVD series is Naruto The Best Scene that shows scenes from the first 135 episodes of the anime.[70]

Viz licensed the anime series for broadcast and distribution in the Region 1 market. The English adaptation of the anime began airing on September 10, 2005 and concluded on January 31, 2009, with 209 episodes aired.[71] The episodes were broadcast on SABC 2 (South Africa),[72] Cartoon Network's Toonami (United States), YTV's Bionix (Canada) and Jetix's (United Kingdom) programming blocks. Beginning on March 28, 2006, Viz released the series on DVD.[73] The first 26 volumes contain four episodes, while later DVD volumes have five episodes.[74] Uncut editions released in DVD box sets, each containing 12–15 episodes, with some variation based on story arcs.[75] In the American broadcast, references to alcohol, Japanese culture, sexual innuendo, and the appearance of blood and death were sometimes edited but remained in the DVD editions.[76] Other networks made more content edits aside from those done by Cartoon Network, such as Jetix's stricter censoring of blood, language, smoking, and other things inappropriate. The series was also licensed to Hulu, Joost, and Crunchyroll websites, which air episodes online with the original Japanese audio tracks and English subtitles.[77][78][79] The last Naruto episode aired on YTV's Bionix block on December 6, 2009, at 12:30am ET.[80]

Kishimoto requested that Tetsuya Nishio oversee the character designs of Naruto when the manga adapted into an anime series.[81]

Naruto: Shippuden[edit]

Naruto: Shippuden (Naruto -ナルト- 疾風伝?, Naruto Shippūden, lit. "Naruto: Hurricane Chronicles"), developed by Studio Pierrot and directed by Hayato Date, is the sequel to the original Naruto anime and covers the Naruto manga from volumes 28 to 72.[82] The TV adaptation debuted in Japan on February 15, 2007, on TV Tokyo, and concluded on March 23, 2017.[83][84] ABS-CBN was the first TV channel outside Japan to broadcast Naruto: Shippuden; it aired the first 40 episodes until March 19, 2008. On January 8, 2009, TV Tokyo began broadcasting new episodes via internet streaming to monthly subscribers. Each streamed episode is available online within an hour of its Japanese release and includes English subtitles.[85] Viz began streaming English subtitled episodes on January 2, 2009, on its series' website. They included already released and new episodes from Japan.[86]

In North America, the English dub of Naruto: Shippuden aired weekly on Disney XD from October 28, 2009, to November 5, 2011.[87] Like the first series, several scenes were edited before the broadcast.[88] Episodes 98 onward premiered uncut on Neon Alley beginning December 29, 2012. On November 6, 2013, Adult Swim announced that they would air the English dub uncut on Toonami starting in January 2014. The first episode of Shippuden premiered on January 5, 2014.[89][90]

The series released on Region 2 DVD in Japan with four or five episodes per disk; there are now four series of DVD releases divided by story arc.[91] There was a special feature included with the seventh Naruto: Shippuden compilation DVD based on the second ending of the series called Hurricane! "Konoha Academy" Chronicles.[92] Kakashi Chronicles: Boys' Life on the Battlefield (カカシ外伝~戦場のボーイズライフ~?, Kakashi Gaiden ~Senjō no Bōizu Raifu~) released on December 16, 2009. Featuring episodes 119–120, the story involves around Kakashi Hatake's childhood.[93]

The first North American DVD of the series released on September 29, 2009.[94] Only the first 53 episodes produced in this format before it ended with the 12th volume that released on August 10, 2010.[95] After this, episodes have released as part of DVD boxes beginning with the first season on January 26, 2010.[96] In the United Kingdom, the series was licensed by Manga Entertainment that released the first DVD collection on June 14, 2010.[97]

Original video animations[edit]

Eleven Naruto original video animations (OVAs) had released. The first two, Find the Crimson Four-Leaf Clover! and Mission: Protect the Waterfall Village!, aired at the Shōnen Jump's Jump Festa in 2003 and 2004; it was later released on DVD in Australia under the title Naruto Jump Festa Collection.[98] The English localization of the second OVA released on DVD by Viz on May 22, 2007, in the USA under the title Naruto – The Lost Story.[99] The third OVA, Konoha Annual Sports Festival, is a short video released with the first Naruto movie. In North America, the OVA was included on the Deluxe Edition DVD of the first film.[100] Finally a clash! Jonin VS Genin!! Indiscriminate grand melee tournament meeting!!, the fourth OVA, released on a bonus disk with the Japanese edition of the Naruto: Ultimate Ninja 3 video game for the PlayStation 2.[101] The fifth OVA, Shippū! "Konoha Gakuen" Den released on February 6, 2008.[102] Naruto: The Cross Roads, the sixth OVA, premiered at the Jump Festa 2010. It focuses on Team 7 after their encounter with Zabuza and Haku.[103] The seventh OVA, Naruto, The Genie, and The Three Wishes!! was released on July 31, 2010.[104] Naruto x UT, the eighth OVA, was included on the DVD Naruto x UT Original DVD released on January 1, 2011, promoted by UNIQLO.[105] The ninth OVA, Chūnin Exam on Fire! Naruto vs. Konohamaru! was released on July 30, 2011.[106] The tenth OVA, Naruto Shippūden: Sunny Side Battle!!!, released on September 11, 2014.[107] The eleventh OVA, The Day Naruto Became Hokage, released on July 6, 2016.[108]

Films[edit]

The series was adapted into eleven films; with the first three during the first anime series, and the following eight from the second. The first film, Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow, released on August 21, 2004, in Japan.[109] It premiered on June 6, 2007, in the United States.[110][111] It is about how Team 7 travels to the Land of Snow to protect the actors during the shooting of the new Princess Fuun movie. A short original video animation titled Konoha Annual Sports Festival was included with the Japanese release of the film. The second film, Legend of the Stone of Gelel, released in theaters in Japan on August 6, 2005.[112] The film involves Naruto, Shikamaru, and Sakura on a ninja mission involving them in a war between the Sunaga village and a large number of armored warriors. Unlike its predecessor, Legend of the Stone of Gelel did not have a theatrical release in the United States but released in direct-to-video format instead. It aired on Cartoon Network on July 26, 2008, and released on DVD on July 29, 2008.[113] The third film, Guardians of the Crescent Moon Kingdom, released on August 5, 2006. It features Naruto, Sakura, Lee and Kakashi who are assigned to protect the future prince of the Land of Moon, Hikaru Tsuki.[114] The English dub of the movie aired on Cartoon Network and released on DVD on November 11, 2008.[115][116] On July 3, 2008, Sony released a Japanese DVD Box containing the first three movies.[117]

The series' fourth film, Naruto Shippuden the Movie, released on August 4, 2007. It is about Naruto's mission to protect the priest Shion, who starts to have visions of his death.[118] Naruto Shippuden the Movie: Bonds, the fifth film, released on August 2, 2008. It is about Naruto and Sasuke joining forces when ninja from the Sky Country attack Konoha.[119] The sixth film, Naruto Shippuden the Movie: The Will of Fire, premiered in Japan on August 1, 2009.[120] It tells the story of Team 7 working together to prevent Kakashi from sacrificing himself to end a world war. The seventh film, Naruto Shippuden the Movie: The Lost Tower, followed it in Japan on July 31, 2010. In the film, Naruto is sent 20 years into the past as he explores a mystical tower for a rogue ninja with the Fourth Hokage. The eighth film, Naruto the Movie: Blood Prison, released on July 30, 2011. In the film, Naruto is framed for attempted murder of the Raikage; as he tries to break out of prison, he discovers its secrets.[121] The ninth film, Road to Ninja: Naruto the Movie, released on July 28, 2012. It is about Naruto and Sakura being sent to an alternate universe by Tobi and discovering the meaning of companionship and parenthood.[122]

The tenth film, The Last: Naruto the Movie, released on December 6, 2014.[123][g] The film tells the story of Naruto and his companions trying to stop the moon from colliding with Earth. It explains some loose ends involving the series' mythology and details of Naruto's love life. As with Road to Ninja, the script and character designs were created by Masashi Kishimoto. The eleventh film, Boruto: Naruto the Movie, released on August 7, 2015, and focuses on the children of the main characters.[124]

In July 2015, Lionsgate announced they are developing a live-action Naruto with Avi Arad through his production company Arad Productions, with Michael Gracey directing, while Erik Feig, Geoff Shaveitz, and Kelly O'Malley will oversee production. The studio is in negotiations with Masashi Kishimoto for the film rights.[125] On December 17, 2016, Kishimoto confirmed that a live-action adaptation of Naruto is in the works and that he has been asked to help develop the movie.[126]

Novels[edit]

Twenty-six Naruto light novels, with the first nine written by Masatoshi Kusakabe, have published in Japan by Shueisha under the JUMP j BOOKS imprint,[127] while the first two released in English by Viz Media in North America. The first adapted novel, Naruto: Innocent Heart, Demonic Blood (白の童子、血風の鬼人?), retells Team 7's mission in which they encounter the assassins Zabuza and Haku. It released on December 16, 2002, in Japan and November 21, 2006, in North America.[128][129] The second adapted novel Naruto: Mission: Protect the Waterfall Village! (滝隠れの死闘 オレが英雄だってばよ!?, Takigakure no Shitō Ore ga Eiyū dattebayo!, lit. The Waterfall Village's Fight to the Death I am the Hero!), based on the second original video animation of the anime, published on December 15, 2003, in Japan and October 16, 2007, in the United States.[130][131] Novelizations of the first, seven, ninth, tenth, and the original novel that was adapted into the eighth Naruto film were published in Japan.[127] The first two books of the series were re-released under the Shueisha Mirai Bunko imprint,[132][133] which publishes for students in elementary and junior high school.[134] Viz has also published chapter books written by Tracey West with illustrations from the manga. Unlike the series, these books aimed at children ages seven to ten.[135] The first two released on October 7, 2008,[136][137] 16 chapter books have published,[138] and volume 17 canceled from release.[139]

Thirteen original novels have published in Japan by Shueisha under the JUMP j BOOKS imprint,[127] with two independent books, and others part of a series. The series' first independent novel, titled Naruto: Tales of a Gutsy Ninja (NARUTO―ナルト―ド根性忍伝?, Naruto: Dokonjō Ninden), written by Akira Higashiyama, published on August 4, 2009, in Japan. It presents as an in-universe novel written by Naruto's master Jiraiya and follows the adventures of a fictional shinobi named Naruto Musasabi, who served as Naruto's namesake.[140] The series' second independent novel, Naruto Jinraiden: The Day the Wolf Howled (NARUTO-ナルト- 迅雷伝 狼の哭く日?, Naruto Jinraiden: Ōkami no Naku Hi), written by Akira Higashiyama, published on November 2, 2012, in Japan. The story is set shortly after Sasuke's fight with Itachi, but before he awakens his Mangekyō Sharingan.[141]

Naruto Hiden (NARUTO -ナルト- 秘伝?) is a light novel series that explores the stories of various characters after the ending of the manga. The first novel, Kakashi Hiden: Lightning in the Icy Sky (カカシ秘伝 氷天の雷?, Kakashi Hiden — Hyōten no Ikazuchi) written by Akira Higashiyama, known as Naruto: Kakashi's Story — Lightning in the Frozen Sky in North America, published on February 4, 2015, in Japan and November 3, 2015, in North America.[142][143] The second novel, Shikamaru Hiden: A Cloud Drifting in Silent Darkness (シカマル秘伝 闇の黙に浮ぶ雲?, Shikamaru Hiden — Yami no Shijima ni Ukabu Kumo), written by Takashi Yano, known as Naruto: Shikamaru's Story — A Cloud Drifting in the Silent Dark in North America, published on March 4, 2015, in Japan and February 2, 2016, in North America.[144][145] Sakura Hiden: Thoughts of Love, Riding Upon a Spring Breeze (サクラ秘伝 思恋、春風にのせて?, Sakura Hiden — Shiren, Harukaze ni Nosete), the third novel, written by Tomohito Ōsaki, known as Naruto: Sakura's Story — Love Riding the Spring Breeze in North America, published on April 3, 2015, in Japan and May 3, 2016, in North America.[146][147] The fourth novel, Konoha Hiden: The Perfect Day for a Wedding (木ノ葉秘伝 祝言日和?, Konoha Hiden: Shūgenbiyori), written by Shō Hinata, published on May 1, 2015, in Japan.[148] Gaara Hiden: A Sandstorm Mirage (我愛羅秘伝 砂塵幻想?, Gaara Hiden: Sajingensō), the fifth novel, written by Ukyō Kodachi, published on June 4, 2015, in Japan.[149] The sixth and final book of the light novel series, Akatsuki Hiden: Evil Flowers in Full Bloom (暁秘伝 咲き乱れる悪の華?, Akatsuki Hiden: Sakimidareru Aku no Hana), written by Shin Towada, published in Japan on July 3, 2015.[150]

Itachi Shinden consists of two novels: The first, Book of Bright Light (光明篇?, Kōmyō-hen) released on September 4, 2015, and the second novel, Book of Dark Night (暗夜篇?, An'ya-hen) released on October 2, 2015.[151][152] These novels adapted into an anime arc in Naruto: Shippuden, titled Naruto Shippūden: Itachi Shinden-hen: Hikari to Yami that premiered on March 3, 2016.[153] Viz Media has licensed and released these volumes as Itachi's Story—Daylight and Itachi's Story—Midnight on November 1, 2016, and December 6, 2016, respectively.[154][155] Sasuke Shinden consists of only one novel, Book of Sunrise (来光篇?, Raikō-hen), which released on November 4, 2015, in Japan and March 7, 2017, in North America.[156][157] This novel adapted into an anime arc in Naruto: Shippuden under the same title of the novel on December 1, 2016.[158]

Music[edit]

Toshio Masuda composed and arranged the Naruto soundtracks. The first, titled Naruto Original Soundtrack, released on April 3, 2003, and contains 22 tracks used during the first season of the anime.[159] The second, called Naruto Original Soundtrack II, released on March 18, 2004, includes 19 tracks.[160] The third, Naruto Original Soundtrack III, released on April 27, 2005, with 23 tracks.[161] Two soundtracks containing all the opening and ending themes of the series, titled Naruto: Best Hit Collection and Naruto: Best Hit Collection II released on November 17, 2004, and August 2, 2006.[162][163] Of all the series' tracks, eight were selected and released on a CD called Naruto in Rock -The Very Best Hit Collection Instrumental Version- released on December 19, 2007.[164] Soundtracks for the three movies based on the first anime series were available for sale near their release dates.[165][166][167] On October 12, 2011, a CD collecting the themes from Naruto Shōnen Hen was released.[168] Various Drama CD series were released with voice actors performing original episodes.[169]

The soundtracks of Naruto: Shippuden was produced by Yasuharu Takanashi. The first, Naruto Shippūden Original Soundtrack released on December 9, 2007.[170] The second CD, Naruto Shippuden Original Soundtrack II, released on December 16, 2009.[171] Naruto Shippuden Original Soundtrack III released on July 6, 2016.[172] Naruto All Stars released on July 23, 2008, and consists of 10 original Naruto songs remixed and sung by characters from the series.[173] Ten themes from the two anime series collected in the DVD box Naruto Super Hits 2006–2008 released on July 23, 2008.[174] Soundtracks from Shippuden films released, with the first available on August 1, 2007.[175][176]

Merchandise[edit]

Video games[edit]

Naruto video games have released on various consoles from Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft. Most of them are fighting games in which the player directly controls one of the few characters based on their counterparts in the Naruto anime and manga. The player puts their character against another character controlled by the game's AI or by another player, depending on the mode the console. The object is to reduce the opponent's health to zero using basic attacks and special techniques unique to each character derived from techniques they use in the Naruto anime or manga.[177] The first Naruto video game was Naruto: Konoha Ninpōchō, which released in Japan on March 27, 2003, for the WonderSwan Color.[178] Most Naruto video games have released only in Japan. The first games released outside of Japan were the Naruto: Gekitou Ninja Taisen series and the Naruto: Saikyou Ninja Daikesshu series, released in North America under the titles of Naruto: Clash of Ninja and Naruto: Ninja Council.[179][180] In January 2012, Namco Bandai announced they had sold 10 million Naruto games worldwide.[181]

Art and guidebooks[edit]

Art and additional books based on the Naruto series have released. The first artbook titled Art Collection: Uzumaki (岸本斉史画集 UZUMAKI?, Kishimoto Masashi Gashū: Uzumaki) contained illustrations from the Part I manga and released in Japan on July 2, 2004, and North America on October 25, 2007.[182][183] George Galuschak of Kliatt recommends that librarians purchase the artbook for their collections if the series is popular in their local library but cautions to avoid recommendation for younger children because of some scary images.[184] The second artbook titled Illustration Collection: Naruto (イラスト集 NARUTO?, Irasuto-shū: Naruto) published on July 3, 2009, under the title Book of Bright Light (光明篇?, Kōmyō-hen) with its English version released on October 26, 2010.[185][186] The third and latest artbook titled Illustration Collection: Naruto Uzumaki (イラスト集 UZUMAKI NARUTO?, Irasuto-shū: Uzumaki Naruto) published on February 4, 2015, in Japan, and on November 3, 2015, in North America.[187][188] It contains artwork originally on Shonen Jump comic covers. It has no text except a brief commentary by Kishimoto about his favorite artworks.[189] An interactive coloring book called Paint Jump: Art of Naruto released on April 4, 2008, by Shueisha.[190] An unreleased artbook titled Naruto Exhibition Official Guest Book by Masashi Kishimoto was given to those who attended the Naruto art exhibition at the Mori Art Museum on April 25, 2015.[191]

A series of guidebooks for Part I called First Official Data Book (秘伝·臨の書キャラクターオフィシャルデータBOOK?, Hiden: Rin no Sho Character Official Data Book)[192] and Second Official Data Book (秘伝·闘の書キャラクターオフィシャルデータBOOK?, Hiden: Tō no Sho Character Official Data Book)[193] released only in Japan. The third databook, Character Official Data Book Hiden Sha no Sho (秘伝・者の書 ― キャラクターオフィシャルデータBOOK?, Hiden: Sha no Sho – Kyarakutā ofisharu dēta book) released on September 4, 2008, and adapted Part II from the manga.[194] These books contain character profiles, Jutsu guides, and drafts by Kishimoto. The third book released on January 10, 2012, by Viz Media.[195] For the anime, a series of guidebooks called Naruto anime profiles was released. These books contain information about the production of the anime episodes and explanations of the characters' designs.[196] A manga fan book titled Secret: Writings from the Warriors Official Fanbook (秘伝・兵の書 ― オフィシャルファンBOOK?, Hiden: Hei no Sho – Ofisharu fan book) released on October 4, 2002.[197] Viz published it in North America on February 19, 2008, under the title Naruto: The Official Fanbook.[198] Another fan book released to commemorate the series' 10th anniversary. It includes illustrations of Naruto Uzumaki by other manga artists, a novel, Kishimoto's one-shot titled Karakuri, and an interview between Kishimoto and Yoshihiro Togashi.[199]

Collectible card game[edit]

Produced by Bandai, the Naruto Collectible Card Game (Narutoカードゲーム?, Naruto Kādo Gēmu, lit. Naruto CardGame) released in Japan in February 2003.[200] Bandai began releasing the game in English in North America in April 2006.[201] The game is played between two players using a customized deck of fifty cards from the set, and a game mat. It includes a "turn marker" for noting whose turn it is and a "Ninja Blade Coin" for making decisions. To win, a player must either earn ten "battle rewards" through their actions in the game or cause the other player to exhaust their deck.[202]

The cards released in named sets called "series," in the form of four 50-card pre-constructed box sets.[200][201] Each set includes a starter deck, the game mat, a turn-counter, and one stainless steel "Ninja Blade Coin." Extra cards are available in 10-card booster packs, and deck sets. Four box sets sold in retailers are available for each series. Cards for each set are available in collectible tins, containing several booster packs and exclusive promotional cards in a metal box.[203] By October 2006, seventeen series had released in Japan with 417 unique cards.[200] As of August 2008, ten of these series have released in North America.[204]

Reception[edit]

Manga[edit]

As of October 2015, the manga has sold more than 220 million copies worldwide, making it the third best-selling manga series in history.[205] It is available in 35 countries outside Japan.[206] It has become one of North American publisher Viz Media's best-selling manga series.[207] Their translation of the series has appeared on USA Today and The New York Times bestseller lists several times, and volume seven of the manga won the Quill Award in 2006.[26][208] Teacher Librarian published a list titled "The best, notable, and recommended from 2008", and listed Naruto in the fiction section.[209] Andrea Lipinski of School Library Journal called Naruto an essential manga for school libraries because of its action, adventure, and humor.[210]

Naruto has well received in Japan and the United States. It ran in Weekly Shonen Jump for over a decade.[211] As of 2007, the manga had sold more than 71 million copies in circulation in Japan,[212] while in 2008 this increased to 89 million.[213] In April 2010, Shueisha announced that Naruto had 100.4 million copies in print, becoming the publisher's fifth manga series to have more than 100 million in circulation.[214] In 2011 its sales increased to more than 113 million copies, and by 2013 it had sold more than 130 million, becoming Shueisha's fourth best-selling manga series.[215][216] During 2008, volume 43 sold 1.1 million copies becoming the ninth best-selling comic from Japan. Volumes 41, 42 and 44 also ranked within the top 20 but had sold fewer copies.[217] In total, the manga sold 4.2 million copies in Japan during 2008, making it the second best-selling series of the year.[218] In the first half of 2009, it ranked as the third best-selling manga in Japan, having sold 3.4 million copies.[219] That year, volume 45 ranked fifth with 1.1 million sold copies, while volume 46 ranked 9th, having sold 864,708 copies with volume 44 in 40th place.[220] Kishimoto was surprised when the series reached its tenth volume from its popularity.[221]

The Naruto manga series has become one of Viz Media's top properties,[222] accounting for nearly 10% of all manga sales in 2006.[223] Gonzalo Ferreyra, vice president of sales and marketing for Viz, noted that sales of each Naruto volume astonished him as the series' attrition rate is low.[224] ICv2 has listed it as the top manga property in North America several times.[225][226] The seventh volume of the manga became the first book from Viz Media to win a Quill Award for Best Graphic Novel in 2006.[223] The manga appeared in the USA Today Booklist with volume 11 holding the title of the highest ranked manga series on the list.[227][228] Volume 28 later surpassed it, which claimed 17th place in its first week of release in March 2008.[229] The volume had one of the biggest debut weeks of any manga in years, becoming the top-selling manga volume of 2008 and the second best-selling book in North America.[230][231] During its release, volume 29 ranked #57, while volume 28 had dropped to #139.[232] In April 2007, volume 14 earned Viz the Manga Trade Paperback of the Year Gem Award from Diamond Comic Distributors.[233] The manga series became the top manga property for 2008 in the United States from selling all 31 volumes at the time.[234] Searches for the word "Naruto" was number seven on the Yahoo! web search engine's list of the top 10 most popular search terms of 2008, and four in 2007.[235] Responding to Naruto's success, Kishimoto said in Naruto Collector Winter 2007/2008 that he was "very glad that the American audience has accepted and understood ninja. It shows that the American audience has good taste [...] because it means they can accept something previously unfamiliar to them."[236]

The manga received nominations from several award shows and won a few awards. In October 2006, volume seven of the manga won the Quill Award.[208] In February 2015, Asahi Shimbun announced that Naruto was one of nine nominees for the nineteenth annual Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize.[237] In March 2015, Kishimoto was the winner of Rookie of the Year for the series in the Japanese government's Agency for Cultural Affairs 2014 Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology Fine Arts Recommendation Awards.[238]

The manga has received praise and criticism due to its development. A. E. Sparrow of IGN praised the way that Kishimoto manages to produce an "epic storyline" with a combination of fighting scenes, comedy, and good artwork.[239] The anime and manga magazine Neo described Naruto's character as "irksome," but attributed the series' "almost sickening addictiveness" to its level of characterization.[240] Carl Kimlinger of Anime News Network (ANN) praised the character's designs since they have a unique appearance and way of acting. He also noted how even the "goofiest looking character" can act "damn cool" when he fights. However, Kimlinger felt in some volumes there are several fights, so the plot cannot be developed; he did comment on how the battles were emotional.[241] Javier Lugo praised the series for remaining enjoyable after several volumes, who also liked the antagonists and the mangas' fight scenes. He also praised Kishimoto's artwork for making the story "dramatic, exciting, and just right for the story he's telling."[242] Rik Spanjers praises Kishimoto's grasp of panel layout that allows readers of shōnen manga to read Naruto rapidly. He feels Kishimoto's development of the fighting scenes is exciting, due to "[...] his ability to render powerful movements in the stable images that compose the manga." Spanjers thinks the reason Naruto has not drawn much scholarly attention is due to its phenomenal popularity and "lack of innovation."[28] Casey Brienza praised the start of Part II; she approved the characters' new abilities and appearance. She also liked the balance between the plot and action. However, she said not all the volumes have the same quality.[243] Briana Lawrence of Mania Entertainment says in Part II, the manga feels "adult" due to the growth of various characters. Viz's translations received criticism for being "inconsistent" because some Japanese terms translated into English, while others romanized.[244]

The Kyoto Seika University International Manga Research Center held a conference called "Intercultural Crossovers, Transcultural Flows: Manga/Comics" and published the proceedings. Gō Itō, a professor in the manga department of Tokyo Polytechnic University, compared the series' development to the manga of Dragon Ball. Itō Gō says that both manga present good illustrations of three-dimensional body movements that capture the characters' martial arts very well. He feels the series' battles are fascinating; with characters giving everything they've got, and because of the surprises of characters not being able to trust their eyes through their opponent using jutsu to trick each other. Gō feels readers can empathize with the characters of Naruto from their inner monolog during battles.[245]

Cheng-Wen Huang and Arlene Archer, from the University of Cape Town, compared how sound effects translated in fan translations of Naruto and the official English editions. They note the importance of a panel layout system for the juxtaposition of time and space, characters, and graphic imagery for translation.[26] 

Anime[edit]

Naruto ranked 17th on the list in TV Asahi's latest top 100 Anime Ranking from October 2006.[246] Mike Hale of The New York Times described the series as much better than American animation aimed at children.[247] Naruto Shippuden has ranked several times as one of the most watched series in Japan.[248][249] The Naruto anime adaptation won the Best Full-Length Animation Program Award in the Third UStv Awards.[250] The first DVD compilation released by Viz contained thirteen episodes; received a nomination from the American Anime Awards for best package design.[251] It ranked as the third best-selling anime property in 2008.[252] Naruto was named Best Full Animated Program at the USTv Student's Choice Awards 2009.[253] In ICv2's Top 10 Anime Properties of the first half of 2009, Naruto ranked as the second best anime franchise.[254] The episodes from Naruto: Shippuden has appeared various times in Japanese Anime TV Rankings.[255][256] DVD sales of Naruto: Shippuden has been good, appearing several times in the Japanese Animation DVD Ranking list.[257][258] Free streamed episodes from Naruto: Shippuden have an average of 160,000 viewers a week.[259] Naruto has also been 20th among shows and channels on Hulu in February 2009. In Joost, it was first during the same month. In February, Naruto: Shippuden was first among the animated shows on Joost while Naruto remained in second place.[260]

The Naruto anime was listed as the 38th best animated show in IGN's Top 100 Animated Series.[261] Justin Rich noted that the main idea of the series was in the fighting since the producers consider the fight scenes more important than "flushed out" backgrounds. He also states that the music is a good match with the fighting scenes though it sometimes interferes with the dialogue.[262] Martin Theron of ANN criticized the series for long fights, but he also noted that most of them break the "stereotypical shōnen concepts." The soundtracks have received praise for enhancing the excitement and mood of the storytelling.[263] Although Christina Carpenter of T.H.E.M. Anime Reviews considered the series' characters likable, she commented that most of them did not surpass the stereotypes that appear in other shōnen manga. She also felt Kishimoto's artistic style translated poorly into animation.[264] Despite this, the second reviewer from T.H.E.M. Anime Reviews, Derrick L. Tucker, admitted that when the animators were at their best, they produced "artistic renderings that leave little to be desired on the part of fans of the manga," but concluded the animation was "a mixed bag." He concluded that while fights were entertaining, there was too many, which made it difficult to continue the plot.[265]

Naruto: Shippuden received a good response from Activeanime's David C. Jones who commented on the new character designs and the improved animation. Jones also felt the series to be more serious and dramatic.[266] ANN noted that the series has a more serious tone and a good balance between comedy and drama in the first anime series. Unlike the fillers from Naruto, Naruto: Shippuden's received praise thanks to their likable storylines and connection with the main plot.[267][268] While the pacing for the first episodes received criticism for being slow, the delivery and development of the interactions between the characters have received positive comments.[269][270] Writing for the Los Angeles Times, Charles Solomon ranked Shippuden the third best anime on his "Top 10".[271]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Pseudonym for Toshiyuki Tsuru
  2. ^ Credited as シリーズディレクター (Series Director)
  3. ^ Credited as コンセプトワーク (Conception Work)
  4. ^ The host is known as a jinchuriki in the story. It is a human being in the Ninja World who has a Tailed Beast inside of them. A Tailed Beast is a giant creature that contains a large amount of chakra (energy) inside of their bodies.
  5. ^ In Naruto, a jutsu is a skill or a technique involving supernatural abilities.
  6. ^ The Sharingan is a special ability of the eye that the Uchiha clan holds. The Sharingan can copy any type of jutsu, is able to see rapid movements, and can cast an illusion on its victim.
  7. ^ The film is set two years after the conclusion of the manga.

References[edit]

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  2. ^ "SJ Runs Yu-Gi-Oh's End, Slam Dunk's Debut, Naruto's Origin". Anime News Network. May 11, 2007. Archived from the original on December 25, 2016. Retrieved November 18, 2007. 
  3. ^ Gan, Sheuo Hui (2013). "Auteur and Anime as Seen in the Naruto TV Series". In Berndt, Jacqueline; Kümmerling-Meibauer, Bettina. Manga's Cultural Crossroads. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis. p. 226. ISBN 978-1-134-10283-9. 
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  12. ^ Kishimoto, Masashi (2007). Uzumaki: the Art of Naruto. Viz Media. p. 141. ISBN 1-4215-1407-9. 
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  20. ^ "Jump Festa 2017 Interview – Masashi Kishimoto And The Future Of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations!". Otakukart. January 31, 2017. Retrieved May 7, 2017. 
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External links[edit]