Shocking facts about the Japanese manga series Naruto that you need to know
Naruto is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto. It tells the story of Naruto Uzumaki, a young ninja who seeks recognition from his peers and dreams of becoming the Hokage, the leader of his village. The story is told in two parts – the first set in Naruto’s pre-teen years, and the second in his teens. The series is based on two one-shot manga by Kishimoto: Karakuri (1995), which earned Kishimoto an honorable mention in Shueisha‘s monthly Hop Step Award the following year, and Naruto (1997).
When creating Naruto for the initial part of the series, Kishimoto kept the character “simple and stupid”, while giving him many attributes of an ideal hero. Kishimoto gave Naruto a dark side by adding tragedy to the character’s past. He has revised Naruto’s image many times, providing the character with different clothes intended to appeal to Western audiences and to make him easier to illustrate. Kishimoto changed his design for Part II of the storyline, which starts two-and-a-half years after Part I. Naruto is voiced by Junko Takeuchi in the original animated series and Maile Flanagan in the English adaptations.
Merchandise based on Naruto includes figurines and keychains. Naruto’s character development has been praised by anime and manga publications and has drawn scholarly attention. Although some initially saw him as a typical manga and anime protagonist comparable to those in other shōnen manga, others have praised his personality and character development as he avoids stereotypes typically seen in similar media. The character has also been the subject of researches in literature, making him stand out in fiction based on his traits and growth.