Naruto (NARUTO - ナルト) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto with an anime adaptation. The main character, Naruto Uzumaki, is a loud, hyperactive, unpredictable adolescent ninja who constantly searches for recognition and aspires to become a Hokage, the ninja in the village acknowledged as the leader and the strongest of all.
Kishimoto first authored a one-shot of Naruto in the August 1997 issue of Akamaru Jump. The plot differed substantially in that Naruto was the son of the demon fox instead of being the container, and the story was placed in a more modern setting. This early version of Naruto already had the ability to transform into a sexy young woman - but when he did so, a fox tail sprouted. Kishimoto then rewrote the story to its current form, which was first published by Shueisha in 1999 in the 43rd issue of Japan's Shonen Jump magazine. As of volume 36, the manga has sold over 71 million copies in Japan. Viz Media publishes a translated version in the American Shonen Jump magazine. Naruto has become Viz's best-selling manga series. To date, the first 27 volumes are available. In order to catch up to the translated anime, Viz plans to release volumes 16 to 27 three at a time over the months of September to December 2007.
The first of two anime series, produced by Studio Pierrot and Aniplex, premiered across Japan on the terrestrial TV Tokyo network and the anime satellite television network Animax on October 3, 2002, and is still being aired. Viz also licensed the anime for North American production. Naruto debuted in the United States on Cartoon Network's Toonami programming block on September 10, 2005, and in Canada on YTV's Bionix on September 16, 2005. Naruto began showing in the UK on Jetix on July 22, 2006. It began showing on Toasted TV on January 12, 2007 in Australia, which features the German dub opening, although it could be watched on Cartoon Network in 2006. The first series lasted nine seasons, while Naruto: Shippuuden began its first on February 15, 2007.
Twelve years before the events at the focus of the series, the nine-tailed demon fox attacked Konohagakure. Powerful enough to raise tsunamis and flatten mountains with a swish of one of its tails, it raised chaos and slaughtered many people, until the leader of the Leaf Village – the Fourth Hokage – sacrificed his own life to seal the demon inside the newborn, Naruto Uzumaki.The Fourth Hokage, who was celebrated as a hero for sealing the demon fox away, wanted Naruto to be respected in a similar light by being the containment vessel for the demon fox.
The Leaf Village, however, shunned him, regarding Naruto as if he were the demon fox itself and mistreated him throughout most of his childhood. A decree made by the Third Hokage forbade anyone to discuss or mention the attack of the demon fox to anyone, even their own children. However, this did not stop them from treating him like an outcast and as a result he grew up an orphan without friends, family, or acknowledgment. He could not force people to befriend him, so he sought acknowledgment and attention the only way he knew – through pranks and mischief.
However, that soon changed after Naruto graduated from the Ninja Academy by using his Shadow Clone Technique, a technique from a forbidden scroll that he was tricked into stealing, to save his teacher, Iruka Umino, from the renegade ninja Mizuki. That encounter gave Naruto two insights: that he was the container of the demon fox, and that there was someone besides the Third Hokage who actually cared for and acknowledged him. His graduation from the academy opened a gateway to the events and people that would change and define his world, including his way of the ninja for the rest of his life.
The main story follows Naruto and his friends' personal growth and development as ninja, and emphasizes their interactions with each other and the influence of their backgrounds on their personalities. Naruto finds two friends and comrades in Sasuke Uchiha and Sakura Haruno, two fellow young ninja who are assigned with him to form a three-person team under an experienced sensei named Kakashi Hatake. Naruto also confides in other characters that he meets throughout the series as well. They learn new abilities, get to know each other and other villagers better, and experience a coming-of-age journey as Naruto dreams of becoming the Hokage of the Leaf Village.
Throughout all of the Naruto plot, strong emphasis on character development changes the plot, with very few things happening because of chance. At first, emphasis is placed on Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura, who are the members of Team 7. However, other characters are developed, such as Kakashi , Tsunade , and Jiraiya , as well as Naruto's peers in the other teams and villages. Several major villains come into play as well, the first being Zabuza Momochi, a missing-nin from Kirigakure, and his partner, Haku. Later, in the Chunin Exams arc, Orochimaru is introduced as an S-Class missing-nin at the top of Konoha's most wanted list. Also During this arc three ninjas known as The Sand Siblings are introduced. These siblings are from Sungakure and include Temari, Kankuro, and Gaara. Later still, a mysterious organization called Akatsuki begins to pursue Naruto for the nine-tailed demon fox inside him.
All About Naruto - Did You Know?
Did you know that the name of Uzumaki Naruto comes from a city in the Tokushima Prefecture of Japan named Naruto? The city of Naruto was founded on March 15th, 1947 and has a population of 64,257 and a density of 474.40 per km². Naruto is most famous for the Naruto Whirlpools (Uzumaki, hence Uzumaki Naruto), a famous tourist attraction. Naruto also is home to the Ryozenji and Gokurakuji temples, the first two temples of the 88 temples on the Shikoku Pilgrimage that are believed to have been visited by the famous Buddhist monk Kukai, who was born in Zentsuji of the Shikoku Prefecture in 774. The pilgrimage is 745 miles long (1200 kilometers) and traditionally walked, which can take up to 60 days to do completely. Those who do complete the entire pilgrimage are known as o-henro-san and are often recognizable by their white clothing, sedge hats, and walking sticks. Also in Naruto is the Ohnaruto Bridge, a suspension bridge on the route that connects Kobe with Naruto. Completed in 1985 the bridge crosses the Naruto Strait (location of the Naruto Whirlpools) and has a span of 876 meters (2,874 feet), good for being named the 25th largest bridge in the world.