Naruto, a popular Japanese manga series created by Masashi Kishimoto and adapted to anime by Hayato Date, follows the story of a teenage ninja named Naruto Uzumaki, who dreams of becoming Hokage—the highest ninja rank in his village—in order to be recognized as someone important.
The series is based on a one-shot (a term used in manga to designate a one-chapter comic book) that Kishimoto made in 1997 for Akamaru Jump magazine.
Since 1999, Naruto has been published by Shueisha in the Japanese magazine Shonen Jump.
The success of the manga led to its plot being adapted into an anime produced by Pierrot Studios and distributed by Aniplex, which was broadcast on TV Tokyo on October 3, 2002.
The first season, called Naruto, lasted 220 episodes, while the second, Naruto Shippuden, began broadcasting on February 15, 2007 and is currently running for more than 270 episodes. Pierrot Studios has produced six movies along with several original video animations (OVA).
Both the manga and the anime have reached a remarkable distribution abroad being published in more than 23 countries and broadcast in more than 60.
Awesome Facts About Naruto
Today we will tell you the best curiosities of Naruto to make you like it even more.
- The Naruto toads are named after famous actors from the 1980s. Gamabunta for example is after actor Bunta Sugawara and Shima is after actress Shima Iwashita.
- The creator was unable to go on a honeymoon to complete the series due to his busy schedule and the fame the show was gaining. He was finally able to do so 10 years after getting married.
- In the German version of Naruto, swords do not appear. The laws of this country are very restrictive and that is why they censor everything that can incite violence. Hence, many situations do not make sense in this version.
- The techniques used by Kakuzu come from another popular anime series, specifically from Mobile Suit Gundam, a pioneer in the mecha genre.
- Naruto was to take place in the modern era. In the original pilot issue, Naruto solved problems of the present, however its creator changed his mind in the second pilot episode.
- Kakashi was going to have a tagline that would serve to recognize this character more easily. The phrase in question will be “gozaru” which could be translated by the word “to be”.
- The names of the Sannin trio were purposely chosen in honor of a popular Japanese novel. The work in question was The Ballad of the Hero Jiraiya by Ogata Shuma Hiroyuki.
- The headbands were created to save artists’ time and thus save resources. The most representative change is that of Naruto who went from wearing glasses to a headband.
- Some parts of both the manga and the anime were created on the fly. The success of the series came suddenly and Masashi Kishimoto had to invent some things as the story grew.
- The Ichiraku, the most popular noodle restaurant in the series, exists in real life. It was a restaurant in Fukuoka, Japan that inspired Kishimoto to create the Ichiraku in Naruto.
- Sanji, one of the main characters in One Piece, was also going to be called Naruto, but Eiichiro Oda changed his name because the Naruto series was gaining so much popularity.
- Some aspects of Naruto had to be changed in the United States to be better received by Western audiences. A clear example is Asuma’s cigarettes, which are never lit in this western version.
- The symbol on Neji’s forehead is not the same in the original version as in the western version. In the Japanese version the symbol is a manji, what is known in the West as a swastika, so it was changed by a simple X.
- The costumes worn by Naruto characters are inspired by the movie Matrix. This movie was a favorite for Masashi Kishimoto so it served as inspiration for him.
- The voice actors of Sasuke and Sakura knew that they were going to end up together even before they started working on the series. It was Masashi Kishimoto himself who told them.
- Sasuke, one of the main characters in the series, is inspired by the manga by Sanpei Shirato named Sasuke. This was the son of a famous ninja who had to fight against different enemy clans to save his village.
- On one occasion Masashi Kishimoto drew the symbol of the Straw Hat Pirate Gang on the face of one of the stone Hokage. After this, Eiichiro Oda drew an image where Luffy would supposedly be having dinner with Naruto.
- In the manga and the name of some of the Naruto characters are references to Dragon Ball Z. An example of this is the name of Roshi and his monkey named Son Goku.
- In the western version, they didn’t want any alcohol and so they had to make a couple of changes. The drink that Rock Lee drinks became a potion, although many intuited what it really was.
- Naruto has its own musical play in Japan. This toured the entire country during 2015 and highlighted the fact that it was 2 twin sisters who played Sakura.
- Susanoo is considered the god of the sea and storms, according to the Shinto religion, and the brother of Amaterasu (the goddess of the sun) and Tsukuyomi (the god of the moon). Like Susanoo, all the others are also names of powerful techniques used by some members of the Uchiha clan.
- Naruto’s worldwide success was thunderous, on par with other major Japanese anime/manga, such as Dragon Ball and Knights of the Zodiac, for example.
- As a sign of this success, Naruto was the first manga to win the “Best Novel” award at the 2006 Quill Awards. This institution rewards the best fiction publications in world literature, which is something to keep in mind.
- Gamabunta, Gamaken and Shima are the three toads that Naruto invokes to help him during fights. Starting from the fact that “Gama” is the Japanese word for “toad”, the rest of the names are homages to famous Japanese personalities.
- Shima is Shima Iwashita, known for acting in Gokudou no Onnatachi and Harakiri, among other films.
- Ken (Gamaken) is Ken Takakura, known for appearing in Operation Yakuza and Black Rain (directed by Riddley Scott).
- Bunta (Gamabunta) is Bunta Sugawara, an actor who appeared in Jingi Naki Tatakai (Battle Without Honor and Humanity, 1973), Spirited Away, and other major productions.
I’m sure these curiosities will make you enjoy Naruto even more. And of course if you know something we don’t, leave it in the comments.