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Naruto
NarutoCoverTankobon1

Cover of the first Japanese Naruto manga volume

ナルト
Genre Action, Adventure, 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
Magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump
English magazine
Weekly Shonen Jump
Shonen Jump (formerly)
Original run September 21, 1999 – ongoing
Volumes 69 (List of volumes)
Anime television series
Directed by Hayato Date
Written by Katsuyuki Sumisawa
Junki Takegami
Music by Musashi Project
Toshio Masuda
Studio Studio Pierrot
Licensed by
Madman Entertainment
Viz Media
Network TXN (TV Tokyo)
English network
Network Ten (Season 1 only)
Original run October 3, 2002 February 8, 2007
Episodes 220 (List of episodes)
Novel
Naruto: Innocent Heart, Demonic Blood
Written by Masatoshi Kusakabe
Published by Shueisha
English publisher
Viz Media
Published 2002
Original video animation
Naruto: Find the Four-Leaf Red Clover!
Studio Studio Pierrot
Licensed by
Madman Entertainment
Released 2003
Runtime 17 minutes
Original video animation
Naruto: Mission: Protect the Waterfall Village!
Studio Studio Pierrot
Licensed by
Viz Media
Released 2004
Runtime 40 minutes
Original video animation
Naruto: Hidden Leaf Village Grand Sports Festival
Directed by Hayato Date
Studio Studio Pierrot
Licensed by
Released August 21, 2004
Runtime 11 minutes
Original video animation
Studio Studio Pierrot
Released December 22, 2005
Runtime 26 minutes
Original video animation
Naruto: The Cross Roads
Studio Studio Pierrot
Released 2009
Runtime 28 minutes
Anime television series
Naruto Shippuden
Directed by Hayato Date
Written by Junki Takegami
Music by Yasuharu Takanashi
Studio Studio Pierrot
Licensed by
Viz Media
Network TXN (TV Tokyo)
English network
Original run February 15, 2007 – ongoing
Episodes 382 (List of episodes)
Related works

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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 constantly searches for recognition and dreams to become the Hokage, the ninja in his village who is acknowledged as the leader and the strongest of all. The series is based on a one-shot manga by Kishimoto that was published in the August 1997 issue of Akamaru Jump.

Naruto was first published by Shueisha in 1999 in the 43rd issue of Japan's Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine. Currently, the manga is still being serialized with the chapters collected into sixty-eight tankōbon volumes so far. The manga was later adapted into a television anime, which was produced by Studio Pierrot and Aniplex. It premiered across Japan on the terrestrial TV Tokyo and other TX Network stations on October 3, 2002. The first series lasted 220 episodes, while Naruto: Shippuden, a sequel to the original series, has been airing since February 15, 2007. In addition to the anime series, Studio Pierrot has developed eight 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 is serializing Naruto in their digital Weekly Shonen Jump magazine, as well as publishing the individual volumes. The anime series began airing in the United States and Canada in 2005, and later in the United Kingdom and Australia in 2006 and 2007, respectively. The films, as well as most OVAs from the series, have also been released by Viz, with the first film premiering in cinemas. The first DVD volume of Naruto: Shippuden was released by Viz in North America on Sept. 29, 2009, started broadcast on Disney XD in October of the same year and on Adult Swim's Toonami block in January 2014. Viz Media began streaming both series on their streaming service Neon Alley in December 2012.

Naruto is one of the best-selling manga series in history, having sold more than 130 million copies in Japan alone. It has also become one of North American publisher Viz Media's best-selling manga series. Their English adaptation of the series has appeared in the USA Today Booklist several times and volume 7 won the Quill Award in 2006. Reviewers of the series have praised the balance between fighting and comedy scenes, as well as the characters' personalities, but have criticized it for using standard shōnen manga plot elements.

PlotEdit

A giant, powerful fox known as the Nine-Tails attacks the ninja village Konoha, killing many people. In response, the leader of Konoha – the Fourth Hokage – seals the fox inside the newborn Naruto Uzumaki at the cost of his life. The Kohona community regards Naruto as if he were the Nine-Tails itself and often ridicules him throughout most of his childhood. A decree made by the current Kage, the Third Hokage, forbids anyone mentioning the attack of the Nine-Tails to anyone else. This includes Naruto, who is unaware of the fox inside of him. Twelve years later, Naruto is tricked by the renegade ninja Mizuki into stealing a forbidden scroll that would teach him a secret ninja technique, but he is stopped by his teacher, Iruka Umino. When Iruka almost dies while protecting Naruto from Mizuki, who also reveals that he is the container of the Nine-Tailed Fox, Naruto uses the Jutsu he learned from the scroll that creates multiple clones of himself, Shadow Clone Technique, to defeat Mizuki.

Naruto is assigned alongside Sasuke Uchiha, whom he often competes against, and Sakura Haruno, whom he has a crush on, to form a three-person team named Team 7 under an experienced and severe sensei, the elite ninja Kakashi Hatake. Like all the ninja teams from every village, Team 7 is charged with completing missions requested by villagers, such as doing chores or being bodyguards. After several missions, most notably their mission to Wave Country as Tazuna the bridge builder's guards, Kakashi allows Team 7 to participate in a ninja exam in which they can advance to a higher rank, and thus, take part in more difficult missions. During the exams, Orochimaru, a criminal at the top of Konoha's most wanted list, attacks Konoha and kills the Third Hokage in an act of revenge. This forces one of the three legendary ninja, Jiraiya, to search for his former teammate Tsunade, who has been nominated to become the Fifth Hokage. During the search, it is revealed that Orochimaru desires to acquire Sasuke due to his powerful genetic heritage, the Sharingan. Believing Orochimaru will be able to give him the strength needed to kill his brother Itachi, who destroyed his clan, Sasuke eventually joins him after a humiliating defeat at his brother's hands. Tsunade sends a group of ninja including Naruto to make Sasuke return to Konoha, but Naruto is unable to defeat him and bring him back to the village. Naruto does not give up on Sasuke, however, and he leaves Konoha to train for 2½ years under Jiraiya's tutelage in order to prepare himself for the next time he encounters Sasuke.

As Naruto returns from his training with Jiraiya, the criminal organization called Akatsuki, from which Itachi is a member, attempts to capture the nine powerful "tailed beasts" that are sealed within people, including the Nine-Tails sealed inside of Naruto. Several ninjas from Konoha, including Team 7, fight against the Akatsuki members and search for their teammate Sasuke. Akatsuki is successful in capturing seven of those creatures whose hosts are killed in the process, except for Gaara, the host of the One-Tailed beast whose life is saved in time by Naruto and his companions. In the meantime, Sasuke betrays Orochimaru and faces Itachi to take revenge. After Itachi dies in battle, Sasuke is told by the Akatsuki founder and leader Tobi that Itachi was ordered by Konoha's leadership to destroy his clan to prevent a coup d'état to which he agrees with the condition of allowing Sasuke to be spared. Saddened with this revelation, Sasuke joins forces with Akatsuki to kill Konoha's superiors who orchestrated the Uchihas' elimination and destroy Konoha in revenge.

Meanwhile, as several Akatsuki members are defeated by the Konoha ninjas, their figurehead leader, Nagato, invades the village to capture Naruto. However, Naruto defeats him and convinces him to abandon the Akatsuki. With Nagato's eventual death, Tobi, while disguised as one of Konoha's founding fathers Madara Uchiha, announces that he wants to obtain all nine of the "tailed beasts" in order to perform an illusion powerful enough to control all of humanity. The leaders of the five ninja villages refuse to aid him and instead join forces to confront Tobi and his allies. This results in a fourth ninja world war between the unified armies of the Five Great Countries (collectively known as the "Ninja Alliance Army") and Akatsuki's forces. Apparently, Naruto, and Killer Bee, the host of the Eight-Tails, head for the battlefield refusing to sit back. During the conflict, it is revealed that Tobi is actually Obito Uchiha, Kakashi's former teammate who was supposed to be dead, but he was saved by the real Madara Uchiha and has been working with him ever since. As Sasuke learns the history of Konoha, including the circumstances that led to his clan's downfall, he decides to protect the village instead of destroy it and rejoins Naruto and his comrades to stop Madara and Obito's plans, which unleash the Ten-Tails.

However, after the Ten-Tails is defeated, Madara's body ends up possessed by Kaguya Otsutsuki, an ancient princess who intends to subdue all of mankind, and Obito sacrifices himself to help the reunited Team 7 stop her. Once Kaguya is defeated, Madara dies as well, but Sasuke decides to take advantage of the situation and takes control all the tailed beasts to realize his goal of ending the current village system. Naruto confronts Sasuke to stop him, and after they almost kill each other in a fierce battle, Sasuke admits defeat and reforms. After the war, Kakashi is chosen to become the Sixth Hokage and pardons Sasuke of his crimes. Some years later, Kakashi steps down and Naruto assumes his place, becoming the Seventh Hokage.

ProductionEdit

Masashi Kishimoto first created a one-shot of Naruto for August 1997 issue of Akamaru Jump. Despite its high positive results in the reader poll, Kishimoto thought "[the] art stinks and the story's a mess!" Kishimoto was originally working onKarakuri for the Hop Step Award when, unsatisfied by the rough drafts, he decided to work on something different, which later formed into the manga series Naruto. Kishimoto has expressed concerns that the use of chakras and hand signs makes Naruto too Japanese, but still believes it to be an enjoyable read. When asked about what was Naruto's main theme during Part I, Kishimoto answered that it is how people accept each other citing Naruto's development across the series. Kishimoto said that since he was unable to focus on romance during Part I, he was to emphasize it more in Part II, the part of the manga beginning with volume 28, despite finding it difficult.

When originally creating the Naruto story, Kishimoto looked to other shōnen manga as influences for his work, although he attempted to make his characters as unique as possible. He based it off of Japanese culture. The separation of the characters into different teams was intended to give each group a specific flavor. Kishimoto wished for each member to be "extreme," having a high amount of aptitude in one given attribute yet be talentless in another." The insertion of villains into the story was largely to have them act as a counterpoint to the characters' moral values. Kishimoto has admitted that this focus on illustrating the difference in values is central to his creation of villains to the point that, "I don't really think about them in combat." When drawing the characters, Kishimoto consistently follows a five-step process: concept and rough sketch, drafting, inking, shading, and coloring. These steps are followed when he is drawing the actual manga and making the color illustrations that commonly adorn the cover of tankōbon, the cover of Weekly Shōnen Jump, or other media, but the toolkit he utilizes occasionally changes. For instance, he utilized an airbrush for one illustration for a Weekly Shōnen Jump cover, but decided not to use it for future drawings largely due to the cleanup required. For Part II, Kishimoto said that he attempted to not "overdo the typical manga style" by not including "too much deformation" and keeping the panel layouts to make it easy for the reader to follow the plot. Kishomoto said his drawing style changed from "the classic manga look to something a bit more realistic."

Kishimoto added that, as Naruto takes place in a "Japanese fantasy world," he has set certain rules, in a systematic way so that he could easily "convey the story." Kishimoto wanted to "draw on" the Chinese zodiac tradition, which had a long-standing presence in Japan; the zodiac hand signs originate from this. When Kishimoto was creating the setting of the Naruto manga, he initially concentrated on the designs for village of Konohagakure, the primary setting of the series. Kishimoto asserts that his design for Konohagakure was created "pretty spontaneously without much thought", but admits that the scenery is based on his home in the Okayama prefecture in Japan. Without a specific time period, Kishimoto included modern elements in the series such as convenience stores, but specifically excluded projectile weapons and vehicles from the storyline. For reference materials, Kishimoto performs his own research into Japanese culture and alludes to it in his work. Regarding technology Kishimoto said that Naruto would not have any firearms. He said he may include automobiles, aircraft and "low-processing" computers; Kishimoto specified the computers would "maybe" be eight-bit and that they would "definitely not" be sixteen-bit.

Regarding the series' length, Kishimoto was surprised when the series reached its tenth volume as a result of its popularity. He has also stated that he has a visual idea of the last chapter of the series, including the text and the story. However, he notes that it may take a long time to end the series since "there are still so many things that need to be resolved." Additionally, he commented that he doesn't know when and how will the story end since there are still many things to solve.

MediaEdit

MangaEdit

Naruto premiered in Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine in 1999 and will end on November 10, 2014. The first 238 chapters are known as Part I, and constitute the first part of the Naruto storyline. Manga chapters 239 to 244 comprise a gaiden series focusing on the background of the character Kakashi Hatake. All subsequent chapters belong to Part II, which continues the storyline after a three year time gap. As of August 2014, 70 tankōbon have been released by Shueisha in Japan, with the first twenty-seven tankōbon containing Part I, and every subsequent one belonging to Part II. The first tankōbon was released on March 3, 2000. In addition, several tankōbon, each containing ani-manga based one of the Naruto movies, have been released by Shueisha. In Japanese, Shueisha has also released the series for cell-phone download on their website Shueisha Manga Capsule. A spin-off 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) and focusing on the character Rock Lee, ran in Shueisha's Saikyō Jump magazine from December 3, 2010 to July 4, 2014.

Naruto is serialized in North America by Viz Media in their manga anthology magazine Shonen Jump, with the first chapter of the English adaptation published in the January 2003 issue. To compensate for the gap between the Japanese and English adaptations of the manga, Viz implemented its "Naruto Nation" campaign, where it released three volumes a month in the last four months of 2007 in order to close said gap. Cammie Allen, Viz's product manager, commented that, their main reason for the schedule was to catch up to the Japanese release schedule to give their readers a similar experience to that of Japanese readers. A similar campaign was planned for 2009, with eleven volumes from Part II of the series being released between February and April in order to catch up to the Japanese serialization. Starting with the release of volume forty-five in July, Viz began releasing Naruto on a quarterly basis. Viz has released the manga in English on 67 volumes as of October 7, 2014. In addition, Viz Media released all twenty-seven volumes of Part I in a boxed set, thus constituting the entirety of the Naruto storyline before Part II on November 13, 2007. On May 3, 2011, Viz started collecting the series in an omnibus format in which each volume contains three from the original format.

AnimeEdit

NarutoEdit

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. The first 135 episodes are adapted from the first twenty-seven volumes of the manga, while the remaining eighty episodes are original episodes that utilize plot elements not seen in the original manga. Beginning on April 29, 2009, the original Naruto anime began a rerun on Wednesdays and Thursdays (until the fourth week September 2009 when it changed to just Wednesdays). It was remastered in HD, with new 2D and 3D effects, under the name Naruto: Shōnen Hen (少年篇? "Youth Version"). It included never before scenes and many non-canon materials was cut to make it more faithful to the original manga. In addition, it contains openings and endings different from the original series.

Episodes from the series have been published in DVD. The first DVD series has been the only one to be collected in VHS format. There are a total of five series, with each of the including four episodes per volume. The series has also been collected in a series of three DVD boxes during 2009. The newest DVD series is Naruto The Best Scene which collects scenes from the first 135 episodes from the anime.

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 finished on January 31, 2009, with 209 episodes aired. The episodes have been shown on 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. While the first 26 volumes contain four episodes, since DVD volumes have five episode. Uncut editions are compiled in DVD Box Sets, each containing 12-15 episodes, with some variation based around story arcs. In the American broadcast, references to alcohol, Japanese culture, sexual innuendo, and the appearance of blood and death were sometimes reduced for the broadcast, but left in, in the DVD editions. Other networks make additional content edits apart from the edits done by Cartoon Network, such as Jetix's stricter censoring of blood, language, smoking and the like. The series has also been licensed to the websites Hulu, Joost and Crunchyroll which air episodes online with the original Japanese audio tracks and English subtitles. The last Naruto episode aired on YTV's Bionix block on December 6, 2009 at 12:30am ET.

Naruto: ShippudenEdit

Naruto: Shippuden (NARUTO -ナルト- 疾風伝 Naruto Shippūden?, lit. "Naruto: Hurricane Chronicles") is the ongoing sequel to the original Naruto anime and covers the Naruto manga from volume twenty-eight on. The TV adaptation of Naruto: Shippuden debuted in Japan on February 15, 2007 on TV Tokyo. It is developed by Studio Pierrot and directed by Hayato Date. ABS-CBN is the first TV network outside Japan to broadcast Naruto: Shippuden; it aired the first 40 episodes of Naruto: Shippuden, running the show through March 19, 2008. On January 8, 2009, TV Tokyo began broadcasting new episodes via internet streaming directly to monthly subscribers. Each streamed episode is made available online within an hour of its Japanese premiere and includes English subtitles. Viz began streaming English subtitled episodes on January 2, 2009, on its official website for the series. The uploaded episodes include both previously released episodes and the new episodes from Japan. Since October 2009, the English dub of Naruto: Shippuden started airing weekly on Disney XD. November 6 it was announced that Naruto: Shippuden will air on Adult Swim's Toonami block starting in January 2014.

The series is being released to Region 2 DVD in Japan with four or five episodes per disc. There are currently four series of DVD releases divided by story arc. There is also a special feature included with the seventh Naruto: Shippuden compilation DVD based on the second ending of the series called Hurricane! "Konoha Academy" Chronicles. Besides the regular DVD series, on December 16, 2009 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~?) was released featuring episodes 119-120 which are set during Kakashi Hatake's childhood.

The first North American DVD of the series was released on September 29, 2009. Only the first fifty-three episodes were collected in this format that ended with the 12th volume released on August 10, 2010. Following episodes have been released as part of DVD boxes that started release on January 26, 2010 with the first season. In the United Kingdom, the series is licensed by Manga Entertainment who released the first DVD collection on June 14, 2010.

Rock Lee and His Ninja PalsEdit

In February 2012, Shueisha announced that the spin-off manga Rock Lee no Seishun Full-Power Ninden would receive an anime adaptation. Produced by Studio Pierrot, the series premiered in TV Tokyo on April 3, 2012. Crunchyroll simulcasted the series' premiere in their website and will also stream its following episodes.

Original video animationsEdit

There are five Naruto original video animations (OVAs). The first two, Find the Crimson Four-Leaf Clover! and Mission: Protect the Waterfall Village!, were aired at the Shōnen Jump Jump Festa 2003 and Jump Festa 2004, respectively, and were later released on DVD in Australia under the title "Naruto Jump Festa Collection". The English localization of the second OVA was released on DVD by Viz on May 22, 2007 in USA under the title "Naruto - The Lost Story". The third OVA, Konoha Annual Sports Festival, is a short video released with the first Naruto movie. In North America, the OVA was included in the "Deluxe Edition" DVD from the first film. The fourth OVA, Finally a clash! Jonin VS Genin!! Indiscriminate grand melee tournament meeting!!, was released on a bonus disc with the Japanese edition of the Naruto: Ultimate Ninja 3 video game for the PlayStation 2. The fifth OVA, Naruto: The Cross Roads (?), was featured at the Jump Festa 2010. It is focused in Team 7 after their encounter with Zabuza and Haku. A short OVA was also included within the DVD "Naruto x UT Original DVD" released on January 1, 2011 as promoted by UNIQLO.

FilmsEdit

The series has also led to nine films; with the first three canonically situated during the first anime series, the remaining non-canonically from Naruto: Shippūden. The first film, Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow, was released on August 21, 2004 in Japan. It tells how Team 7 is dispatched to the Land of Snow to protect the actors during the shooting of the new Princess Fuun movie, to whom Naruto became a fan. As a bonus, the short original video animation Konoha Annual Sports Festival was included with the Japanese release of the film.  It premiered on June 6, 2007 in the United States.

It was followed by Legend of the Stone of Gelel, which was released in theaters in Japan on August 6, 2005. The film involves Naruto, Shikamaru and Sakura during a ninja mission in which they are involved in a war between the Sunagakure village and a large number of armored warriors. Unlike its predecessor, Legend of the Stone of Gelel did not see a theatrical release in the United States, and was direct-to-video instead. It aired on Cartoon Network on July 26, 2008 and then was released to DVD July 29, 2008.

The third film, Guardians of the Crescent Moon Kingdom, was originally released on August 5, 2006. It shows how Naruto, Sakura, Lee and Kakashi are assigned to protect the future prince of the Land of Moon, Hikaru Tsuki. The English dub of the movie aired on Cartoon Network and was released to DVD on November 11, 2008. On July 3, 2008, Sony released a Japanese DVD Box containing the first three movies.

The series' fourth film, Naruto Shippuden: the Movie, was released on August 4, 2007, and chronicles Naruto's assignment to protect the priest Shion who starts having visions of his death. The fifth film, Naruto Shippuden The Movie: Bonds, was released on August 2, 2008. It tells how ninja from the Sky Country attack Konoha and to stop them, Naruto and Sasuke join forces although the latter has already left two years ago. The next film is Naruto Shippūden The Movie: Inheritors of the Will of Fire, which premiered in Japan on August 1, 2009, and tells the story of Team Kakashi working together to stop Kakashi from sacrificing himself to stop a world war. Naruto Shippuden The Movie: The Lost Tower followed it in Japan on July 31, 2010, and tells the story of Naruto getting sent 20 years into the past and exploring a mystical tower for a rogue ninja with the Fourth Hokage. Naruto the Movie: Blood Prison was released on July 30, 2011, and tells the story of Naruto getting framed for the attempted murder of the Raikage and his subsequent attempts to break out of the prison while discovering its secrets. A new movie, Naruto the Movie: Road to Ninja, which details Naruto and Sakura getting sent to an alternate universe by Tobi and discovering the meaning of companionship and parenthood, was released on July 28, 2012.

On December 6, 2014, a new movie, The Last: Naruto the Movie, will be released. Canonical to the franchise, the film tells the story of Naruto and his companions in their early twenties trying to stop the moon from colliding with Earth. As with Road to Ninja, the script and character designs were created by Masashi Kishimoto.

MusicEdit

The Naruto soundtracks were composed and arranged by Toshio Masuda. The first, titled Naruto Original Soundtrack, was released on April 3, 2003 and contained twenty-two tracks that appeared during the first season of the anime. The second, called Naruto Original Soundtrack II was released on March 18, 2004 and contained nineteen tracks. The third, called Naruto Original Soundtrack III was released on April 27, 2005 and contained twenty-three tracks.

A series of two soundtracks containing all the opening and ending themes of the series, titled Naruto: Best Hit Collection and Naruto: Best Hit Collection II were released on November 17, 2004 and August 2, 2006, respectively. Of all tracks of the series, eight were selected and released as a CD called Naruto in Rock -The Very Best Hit Collection Instrumental Version- that was released on December 19, 2007. Each of the three movies of the first anime series has a soundtrack that was released near its release date. On October 12, 2011, a CD collecting the themes from Naruto Shōnen Hen was also released. Various Drama CD series have also been released in which the voice actors play original episodes.

The soundtracks of Naruto: Shippuden have been produced by Yasuharu Takanashi. Although in a few Shippuden episodes did feature tracks from the first series. The first, Naruto Shippūden Original Soundtrack was released on December 9, 2007. The second CD, Naruto Shippuden Original Soundtrack II, was published on December 16, 2009. Naruto All Stars was released on July 23, 2008 and consists of ten original Naruto songs remixed and sung by characters from the series. Ten themes from the two series were also collected in the DVD box Naruto Super Hits 2006-2008 released on July 23, 2008. Each of the films from the sequel also had their soundtracks, with the first released on August 1, 2007.

Video gamesEdit

Naruto video games have appeared on various consoles from Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft. Most of them are fighting games in which the player controls one of a select few characters directly based upon their counterparts in the Naruto anime and manga. The player pits their character against another character controlled by the game's AI or by another player, depending on the mode that the player is in. The objective is to reduce the opponent's health to zero using basic attacks and special techniques unique to each character that are derived from techniques they use in the Naruto anime or manga. The very first Naruto video game was Naruto: Konoha Ninpōchō, which was released in Japan on March 27, 2003, for the WonderSwan Color. Most Naruto video games have been released only in Japan. The first games released outside 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. In January 2012, Namco Bandai announced that they have sold 10 million Naruto games worldwide.

NovelsEdit

Thirteen Naruto light novels, with first nine of them written by Masatoshi Kusakabe, have been published in Japan by Shueisha under the JUMP j BOOKS imprint, while the first two were released in English in North America by Viz. The first, 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 was released on December 16, 2002 in Japan and November 21, 2006 in North America. The second 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 2nd original video animation of the anime, was published on December 15, 2003 in Japan and October 16, 2007 in the United States. The series' tenth novel, titled Naruto: Tales of a Gutsy Ninja (NARUTO―ナルト―ド根性忍伝 Naruto: Dokonjō Ninden?) and written by Akira Higashiyama, was published on August 4, 2009. It is presented as the 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. Novelizations of first seven and the ninth Naruto films, as well as the original novel which adapted into the eighth Naruto film, have also been published in Japan.[1] First two book of the series had also been re-released under Shueisha Mirai Bunko imprint, which is an imprint designed for students from elementary school and junior high.

Viz has also published new novels called Chapter Books written by Tracey West, and with illustrations from the manga. Unlike the series, the novels are aimed to children aged 7 to 10 years old. The first two novels were released on October 7, 2008 and currently it have 16 novels being published but the 17th book had been cancelled.

Trading card gameEdit

Naruto Collectible Card Game (NARUTOカードゲーム Naruto Kādo Gēmu?, lit. Naruto CardGame) is a collectible card game based around the Naruto series. Produced by Bandai, the game was first introduced in Japan in February 2003. Bandai began releasing the game in English in North America in April 2006. The game is played between two players requiring players use a customized deck of fifty cards from the set, a game mat, an item to act as a "turn marker" for noting whose turn it is, and a "Ninja Blade Coin" which is primarily used to flip for making decisions. In order to win, a player must either earn ten "battle rewards" through their actions in the game, or they must cause the other player to exhaust their deck.

The cards are released in named sets, called "series" in the form of four different 50-card preconstructed box sets.[2][3] Each set includes a starter deck, the game mat, a turn-counter, and one stainless steel "Ninja Blade Coin". Additional cards are made available in 10-card booster packs, and deck sets, primarily for retailers, contain all four box sets available for each series. Cards for each set are also made available in collectible tins, containing several booster packs and exclusive promotional cards in a metal box. As of August 2008, ten of these series have been released in North America.

Art and guidebooksEdit

Several supplementary books of the Naruto series have been released. An artbook named The Art of Naruto: Uzumaki contains illustration from the Part I manga and was released in both Japan and the United States. For the Part II manga, an interactive book called PAINT JUMP: Art of Naruto was released by Shueisha on April 4, 2008. The latest artbook was published on July 3, 2009 under the name of Naruto with its English version released on October 26, 2010.

A series of guidebooks for the 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?) 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?) were released only in Japan focusing on Part I. 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 ?) was released on September 4, 2008, and adapted Part II from the manga. These books contain character profiles, Jutsu guides and drafts made by Kishimoto. The third book will be released by Viz on January 10, 2012. For the anime, a series of guidebook called Naruto anime profiles were also released. These books contain information about the production of the anime episodes and explanation of the characters designs. On October 4, 2002, it was released a manga fanbook named 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?). Viz published it in North America on February 19, 2008 under the name of Naruto: The Official Fanbook. Another fanbook was released to conmemmorate the series' 10th anniversary. It includes illustrations of Naruto Uzumaki by other manga artists, a novel, Kishimoto's one-shot named Karakuri and an interview between Kishimoto and Yoshihiro Togashi.

ReceptionEdit

MangaEdit

Naruto has been well received in both Japan and the United States. As of 2007, the manga had over 71 million copies in circulation in Japan, while in 2008 this increased to 89 million. In April 2010, Shueisha announced that Naruto had 100.4 million copies in print, becoming the publisher's fifth manga series to have over a 100 million in circulation. In 2011 its sales increased to over 113 million copies, and by 2013 it had sold over 130 million, becoming Shueisha's fourth best-selling manga series. During 2008, volume 43 sold 1.1 million copies becoming the 9th best-selling comic from Japan. Volumes 41, 42 and 44 also ranked within the top 20, but had smaller sold copies. In total, the manga sold 4.2 million copies in Japan during 2008, making it the second best-selling series of the year. In the first half of 2009, it ranked as the third best-selling manga in Japan, having sold 3.4 million copies. That year, volume 45 ranked 5th with 1.1 million sold copies, while volume 46 ranked 9th, having sold 864,708 copies and volume 44 at 40th place.

The Naruto manga series has become one of Viz Media's top properties, accounting for nearly 10% of all manga sales in 2006. Gonzalo Ferreyra, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Viz, noted that the volumes's sales of Naruto astonished him as the attrition on the series is relatively low.


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