Who is Naruto Uzumaki: discover the incredible journey of Konohagakure's spirited ninja and Seventh Hokage, his rise from a mischievous outcast to a heroic leader, and how he inspired fans worldwide through the popular manga and anime series.
Naruto Uzumaki: The Spirited Ninja's Journey to Hokage
In the renowned manga and anime series "Naruto," created by Masashi Kishimoto, the spirited Naruto Uzumaki emerges as the central protagonist. Hailing from the fictional village of Konohagakure (Hidden Leaf Village), this young ninja's life is marked by adversity. Ridiculed and shunned by the villagers, Naruto carries within him the malevolent Nine-Tailed Demon Fox—a fearsome creature that had attacked Konohagakure—sealed in his body. Defying all odds, the tenacious Naruto dreams of becoming the Hokage, the village leader, to earn the villagers' acceptance.
Naruto's carefree, buoyant, and optimistic demeanor allows him to connect with fellow ninja from Konohagakure and other villages alike. He features in various media tied to the franchise, such as films, video games, original video animations (OVAs), and even the sequel "Boruto: Naruto Next Generations," where he finally achieves his dream of becoming the Hokage and his son, Boruto Uzumaki, takes center stage.
Kishimoto initially crafted Naruto as a "simple and stupid" character while imbuing him with the virtues of an exemplary hero. The creator added depth by incorporating a tragic backstory, which eventually gave way to multiple revisions in Naruto's design, including wardrobe changes that resonated with Western audiences and simplified the illustration process. When the story transitions to Part II, Naruto's appearance evolves, reflecting the passage of two-and-a-half years. Junko Takeuchi and Maile Flanagan lend their voices to the character in the original animated series and English adaptations, respectively.
A plethora of merchandise, from figurines to keychains, bear Naruto's likeness. Both anime and manga critics have lauded his character development, which has even piqued scholarly interest. Although some initially dismissed him as just another shōnen manga protagonist, Naruto has since been praised for his unique personality and growth, which defies the stereotypes commonly found in similar media.
In summary, Naruto Uzumaki, the intrepid young shinobi from Konohagakure's Uzumaki Clan and the protagonist of Masashi Kishimoto's magnum opus, has won hearts with his unyielding determination to become the Hokage. His journey, replete with friendships, challenges, and personal growth, has become a cornerstone of manga and anime history, inspiring fans and garnering immense popularity worldwide.
The Genesis of Naruto Uzumaki: Masashi Kishimoto's Creative Process and Inspirations
From Initial Concepts to Lasting Influences
During the 1990s, up-and-coming manga author Masashi Kishimoto envisioned a one-shot chapter featuring Naruto as a chef. While this version never reached publication, Kishimoto initially wanted to create a child character who could transform into a fox. This idea led to the development of a one-shot for the summer 1997 issue of Akamaru Jump magazine. After comparing this one-shot with his other work, Karakuri, Kishimoto realized that Naruto's character, with his "honest" smile, was more captivating than Karakuri's protagonist.
Following the success of another one-shot, Mario, Kishimoto began working on the Naruto series, reusing the title character from his earlier work. The first two chapters highlighted Naruto's appeal before shifting focus to other protagonists. As the series progressed, Kishimoto introduced additional characters with complex relationships, such as Sasuke Uchiha and Naruto's unrequited crush, Sakura Haruno. The overarching narrative aimed to showcase Naruto's coming-of-age through numerous battles and character development.
In crafting Naruto for serialization, Kishimoto integrated qualities he believed embodied the ideal hero: a candid thought process, a mischievous nature, and traits reminiscent of Goku from the Dragon Ball series. Despite Goku's significant influence on Naruto, Kishimoto found himself drawn to Krillin from Dragon Ball, whose flaws made him more relatable to readers. Naruto was designed without a specific model in mind; rather, he was portrayed as an innocent character with a dark side stemming from his difficult past. His unwavering optimism sets him apart from other characters.
Naruto's childlike personality is exemplified in Kishimoto's illustrations, such as the cover of Volume 10, where Naruto imitates a turtle. The author concentrated on maintaining Naruto's consistent facial expressions in challenging situations. Kishimoto believes that Naruto's relatability arises from his setbacks and the audience's desire to see him overcome adversity. Naruto's passion for becoming a ninja mirrors Kishimoto's drive to succeed as a manga artist. Throughout the series, Kishimoto portrayed the older Naruto as a naive idealist who continuously learns from his past mistakes while simultaneously serving as a symbol of hope.
In the original Japanese version of Naruto, the character often concludes his sentences with the suffix "-ttebayo," akin to the English phrase "you know?" Kishimoto sought a childlike catchphrase that would convey Naruto's brattish personality, and "dattebayo" fit the bill. In the early episodes of the English dub, "dattebayo" and "-ttebayo" were replaced with "Believe it!" to replicate the effect and align with the character's lip movements. However, later in the English dub, Naruto stopped using "Believe it!" in favor of "You know?"
The Evolution of Naruto's Character and Relationships
Throughout the development of the Naruto series, various factors and influences have shaped the protagonist's character and relationships. Despite unintentional similarities between the trio of Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura and the main characters from Harry Potter, Kishimoto focused on creating a unique narrative that reflected his own personal experiences, such as becoming a father and valuing family connections.
As the series progressed, Kishimoto explored Naruto's relationship with his parents and their sacrifices, which led to a deeper appreciation of his life and an understanding of his parents' love. Kishimoto did not initially intend for Naruto to be Minato Namikaze's son, but as the story evolved, he made subtle changes to their appearances to emphasize their connection.
One of Kishimoto's favorite student-teacher relationships in the series is between Naruto and Jiraiya. The emotional arc surrounding Jiraiya's death and Naruto's subsequent forgiveness of his enemy, Pain, challenged Kishimoto as a writer and impacted the series' overall narrative. This theme of forgiveness was later mirrored in Naruto's final confrontation with Sasuke.
As the series approached its climax in 2013, Kishimoto envisioned Naruto as a father, leading to the creation of Boruto Uzumaki, Naruto and Hinata's first child. Drawing inspiration from his own relationship with his sons, Kishimoto focused on developing the father-son dynamic between Naruto and Boruto, while still maintaining differences between their personalities.
In Boruto: Naruto the Movie, Kishimoto aimed to portray the adult Naruto not as a cool, untouchable war hero, but as a relatable and warm father figure. The film emphasizes the bond between Naruto and Boruto and the importance of family, reflecting Kishimoto's personal experiences and the growth of Naruto's character throughout the series.
The Yin and Yang of Naruto and Sasuke
In the early stages of the series, Kishimoto doubted the manga's potential for popularity, believing it lacked a crucial element. Upon his editor's suggestion to give the protagonist a rival, Kishimoto created Sasuke, drawing inspiration from the rivalries in Takehiko Inoue's Slam Dunk manga. Initially, Sasuke was a rival who paid no attention to Naruto. As the series progressed, Naruto's growing strength earned Sasuke's recognition. Kishimoto aimed to create a brother-like bond between the two characters, as both suffered from loneliness, making them relatable to the audience. By the end of Part I, their bond weakened after their battle, but Sasuke still acknowledged Naruto as an equal.
Kishimoto compared Naruto and Sasuke to the concept of yin and yang due to their contrasting personalities. He ensured that both characters developed simultaneously. The climactic battle between Naruto and Sasuke at the end of Part I was heavily influenced by the journey to Lake Mashu in Hokkaido for inspiration. The animation team aimed to create unique and engaging action sequences, with Naruto taking on a more beast-like demeanor due to the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox's influence.
Before serialization, Kishimoto had decided that the series would conclude with a battle between Naruto and Sasuke. He wanted the conflict to end with Naruto forgiving Sasuke, just as he had forgiven Nagato, and aimed for their final battle to focus on hand-to-hand combat rather than ninja techniques. The animated adaptation required meticulous attention to detail, with particular emphasis on changes in the characters' clothing and hair throughout the fight.
The final battle between Naruto and Sasuke proved to be one of the most challenging scenes for the Pierrot staff, taking an entire month to adapt from the manga. Director Hiroyuki Yamashita took charge of the scene, with CyberConnect2 providing assistance in creating realistic movements and expressions. The final clash between Sasuke's Chidori and Naruto's Rasengan incorporated references from previous scenes to heighten the emotional impact. Following the battle, the symbolism of Naruto returning Sasuke's original bandana signified the restoration of their bond and the end of their rivalry.
Destined Hearts: Naruto and Hinata's Love Story
Naruto's romantic partner was determined early in the manga's development. Hinata Hyuga's unwavering respect for Naruto, even before the series began and before his academy mentor Iruka Umino, led Kishimoto to believe they were destined for each other. This decision disappointed his wife, who had hoped Naruto would marry Sakura Haruno. When Sakura was introduced, Kishimoto did not envision her as Naruto's future wife, considering them just friends and teammates. However, with Hinata's introduction, he contemplated creating a love triangle between the three characters. Kishimoto later regretted this idea, as he saw Naruto as a fighting series with minimal focus on romance, and maintained that Naruto and Hinata's union was planned from the start.
When Kishimoto saw the staff's effort to center The Last: Naruto the Movie on Naruto and Hinata's relationship, he decided to supervise the project. He enjoyed watching the romantic scenes between Naruto and Hinata that he hadn't written. Kishimoto felt that having Naruto jump from the lowest rank, Genin, to Hokage due to his extensive time spent fighting and training in Part II was an appealing idea.
During the making of The Last: Naruto the Movie, Hinata creates a red scarf for Naruto, inspired by an incident involving Kishimoto's wife, which amused the film's staff. Screenwriter Maruo Kyozuka aimed to portray a love triangle between Naruto, Hinata, and Toneri Otsutsuki in the movie. Although initially unaware of Hinata's feelings, Naruto gradually acknowledges and reciprocates them throughout the film. Kyozuka also developed Hinata's character, requiring her to put her feelings for Naruto aside to accept Toneri's proposal to save her sister Hanabi.
Animator Chengxi Huang, who worked on multiple Naruto series, was a fan of Naruto and Hinata's relationship since joining Naruto Shippuden. He enjoyed illustrating scenes between the couple, particularly a moment from the final arc when Hinata slaps Naruto to calm him down after Neji Hyuga's death. Huang expressed gratitude to Kishimoto for approving The Last, which further explored their relationship. Though he found their adult selves as a married couple appealing, he had to remove a video he made that received criticism for being inappropriate for the target audience.
Unconventional Ninja: The Evolution of Naruto Uzumaki's Design
Despite real ninjas traditionally wearing blue to remain inconspicuous, Kishimoto dressed Naruto in an orange jumpsuit to align with the shōnen genre. His attire is inspired by clothes Kishimoto wore in his youth, as he believed a pre-existing design would not make Naruto unique enough, while something too original would make him too distinctive. With Naruto's association with spirals, swirl patterns were incorporated into his outfit.
Naruto originally wore boots, but Kishimoto switched to sandals because he enjoyed drawing toes. The goggles Naruto used were replaced with a hitai-ite or shinobi headband, as they took too long to draw. The orange and blue colors in Naruto's outfit were chosen to make him stand out while complementing each other. Kishimoto apologized to the anime staff for Naruto's design, as he felt it was too difficult to animate.
Naruto's blond hair and blue eyes deviated from typical Japanese anime and manga characters, which made him appealing to international audiences. Kishimoto identified with Naruto the most among his series' characters. Naruto's favorite food, ramen, was chosen because Kishimoto also enjoys it.
In Part II, Naruto's outfit was updated to an orange and black top, orange pants, and black sandals. He also received a red cape with black flames when fighting Pain. Kishimoto widened Naruto's forehead-protector for easier eyebrow drawing and rolled up his pants for a more mature look.
In The Last: Naruto the Movie and the final episodes of Naruto: Shippuden, Naruto appeared as a young adult with shorter hair and increased height. He wore two outfits: a casual orange shirt and an outfit with a black shirt and orange pants for missions. His headband was changed and his ninja appearance designed to carry weapons more easily while maintaining the Uzumaki clan's spiraling logo.
Behind the Voice: The Journey of Naruto's Voice Actors
Although the Japanese adaptation of Naruto initially sought a male voice actor, Junko Takeuchi was ultimately chosen over numerous male applicants. Takeuchi's performance was defined by the exclamation marks in the script, which helped shape Naruto's voice. Transitioning from the young Naruto to the older version in Part II was challenging, as Takeuchi had to voice a more mature character just one week after voicing his younger, immature self.
Takeuchi admired Naruto's growth and ability to calmly make important decisions, believing these qualities would inspire viewers. She was pleased with Naruto's relationship development with Hinata and felt that his declaration of love marked a significant point in his character growth, even though his true nature remained unchanged. In Boruto: Naruto the Movie, Takeuchi was impressed with how much Naruto had matured since she first voiced him, both in age and as a father, which led her to befriend Yūko Sanpei, Boruto's voice actress.
The English version's producers struggled to cast Naruto, eventually selecting Maile Flanagan for her ability to capture both Naruto's mischievousness and his growing confidence. Flanagan chose not to listen to Takeuchi's performance to develop her own voice for the character. She was unfamiliar with Naruto prior to her audition but predicted the English dub's success after being chosen. Flanagan is recognized more for voicing Naruto than any other role, despite some fans' initial surprise at a woman voicing the character.
Flanagan and Amanda C. Miller (Boruto) noticed similarities between the two family members, despite their different backgrounds. Flanagan was amazed by Naruto's transformation over the years but still found him to be the same character, experiencing challenges when voicing the younger Naruto again. She was surprised the dubbers did not replace her despite Naruto's age change, but acknowledged that it is common in Japanese series.
Naruto Uzumaki: A Journey from Orphan to Hokage (Synopsis)
Naruto Uzumaki, the main protagonist of the popular manga and anime series, is introduced as a 12-year-old orphan with blond, spiky hair and blue eyes. Upon graduating from Konohagakure's Ninja Academy, he forms a bond with his teacher, Iruka Umino. Having faced ridicule during his childhood, Naruto is determined to gain respect and acceptance by becoming the village's Hokage, surpassing all previous leaders despite the challenges.
As Naruto embarks on his journey as a shinobi, he forms friendships that were previously absent in his life, with some developing into familial bonds. Although he occasionally struggles to achieve his goals, others believe that his positive influence makes him an ideal candidate for Hokage. As an adult and the Seventh Hokage of Konohagakure, Naruto views the village as his family, a lesson he learned from the Third Hokage, Hiruzen Sarutobi. However, this devotion to his role initially results in a strained relationship with his son, Boruto, due to the limited time he spends with his immediate family.
Naruto Uzumaki in Naruto: Overcoming Adversity and Pursuing Friendship
Naruto Uzumaki, an orphan and main protagonist of the manga and anime series, harbors the dangerous entity Kurama the Nine-Tailed Fox within his body, sealed by his father, the Fourth Hokage Minato Namikaze. This act cost both his father's and mother's lives, resulting in Naruto being ostracized by the villagers. Craving attention, Naruto plays pranks and jokes throughout his youth.
Determined to become a Hokage and earn the respect he desires, Naruto is initially horrified to learn of his Jinchuriki nature. However, he finds acceptance from his teacher, Iruka Umino, who becomes a father figure to him. After mastering the Multi-Shadow Clone Jutsu, Naruto becomes a ninja and joins Team 7 under Kakashi Hatake, alongside his classmates and future friends, Sasuke Uchiha and Sakura Haruno.
During the exams to increase his ninja rank, Naruto meets the legendary Jiraiya and learns vital techniques, such as summoning toads and controlling the Nine Tails' chakra. The exams are interrupted by an invasion led by the criminal Orochimaru, but Naruto manages to defeat the One Tail Jinchuriki Gaara and show him a better path. Soon after, Naruto encounters the criminal organization Akatsuki, who seek to extract the Nine-Tails from his body.
Under Jiraiya's tutelage, Naruto learns the powerful Rasengan technique and embarks on a rescue mission to bring back Sasuke, who left the village to join Orochimaru. Despite a fierce battle, Sasuke defeats Naruto but cannot bring himself to kill him. They part ways, but Naruto remains determined to bring Sasuke back, training with Jiraiya for two and a half years in preparation for their next encounter.
The Evolution of Naruto Uzumaki in Naruto Shippuden: From Reckless Jinchuriki to Seventh Hokage
Following two and a half years of training, Naruto returns to Konohagakure (the Leaf Village) and confronts the Akatsuki threat, saving Gaara in the process. To combat the Akatsuki, he trains with Kakashi to create the Wind Release: Rasenshuriken attack, which later helps defeat Akatsuki member Kakuzu. Despite the increasing influence of the Nine-Tails' chakra over him, Naruto remains focused on retrieving Sasuke.
After the tragic loss of Jiraiya to the Akatsuki leader, Pain, Naruto masters toad-style Senjutsu and further refines his Rasenshuriken technique. When Naruto and Pain face off, Hinata Hyuga's near-death experience triggers the Nine-Tails' chakra, allowing Naruto to meet his father Minato Namikaze within his subconscious. With Minato's help, Naruto regains control and defeats Pain, convincing him to abandon the Akatsuki and strive for a better ninja world.
As Sasuke plans to attack the Leaf Village, Naruto prepares for their confrontation by learning to control Kurama's powers with the help of the Eight-Tails' vessel, Killer B, and his late mother, Kushina Uzumaki. When Naruto discovers his friends are fighting Tobi's army to protect him, he joins the battle alongside Killer B and eventually cooperates with Kurama.
During the fight, Naruto encounters Hagoromo Ōtsutsuki, the Sage of the Six Paths, who grants him enhanced Senjutsu known as the Six Paths Senjutsu. Naruto and Sasuke join forces to face Tobi, Madara, and the Ten-Tails, ultimately confronting an even greater threat—Kaguya Ōtsutsuki. After sealing Kaguya with the help of Team 7, Naruto battles Sasuke due to their differing views on the ninja world's future. Despite losing an arm, Naruto and Sasuke reconcile, and Naruto receives a new arm created from the First Hokage's cells.
Years later, Naruto marries Hinata and becomes the father of Boruto and Himawari Uzumaki. Fulfilling his lifelong dream, Naruto assumes the role of the Seventh Hokage, leading Konohagakure and continuing his journey as the Hidden Leaf's number one loudest ninja.
Naruto's Legacy: The Seventh Hokage's Struggles and Triumphs in Boruto
In the spin-off manga, Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring, Naruto and his allies face a new Akatsuki organization, as Sasuke anticipates threats from Kaguya's allies. In the 2015 film, Boruto: Naruto the Movie, Naruto's role as Hokage strains his relationship with his son Boruto due to his constant absence from his family. During the ninja exams, Naruto is kidnapped by Kaguya's descendants, Momoshiki and Kinshiki, only to be rescued by Boruto, Sasuke, and the Kage. Naruto and Boruto reconcile as they team up to defeat Momoshiki.
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations starts with a distant future where Naruto is presumed dead or missing in action, facing an enemy named Kawaki. The anime explores Naruto's life with his new family before Boruto becomes a ninja. In the manga, Naruto adopts a young fugitive named Kawaki who is on the run from the group Kara. Naruto clashes with Kara members to protect his children, as the village fears another Ōtsutsuki clan attack through Kara's members, Boruto, and Kawaki, who share a cursed mark known as Karma.
In a battle against Kara's leader, Isshiki Ōtsutsuki, Naruto and Kurama combine their chakra at the risk of their own lives. Following the fight, Kurama reveals that he was lied to about the lethal consequences of their combination, and he is the only one to die. As Kurama passes on to the afterlife, Naruto continues to fight against the remaining Kara members, upholding his legacy as the Seventh Hokage and the Hidden Leaf's number one loudest ninja.
Naruto's Journey Beyond the Series: Epilogue Light Novels and Personal Struggles
Naruto appears in the epilogue light novels of the series, showcasing his life beyond the main story. In the first novel, despite lacking a prosthetic arm, Naruto embarks on a mission with his friend Sai to apprehend the dangerous ninja Garyō. In the second novel, Naruto allies with Sunagakure ninja Temari's team to locate the missing Shikamaru Nara, who had promised to work alongside Naruto once he became Hokage.
Naruto makes a brief appearance in Sakura Hiden, where he and Hinata assist Sakura against a group of adversaries. In Sasuke Hiden, Naruto sends a message to Sasuke, persuading him to return to Konohagakure. In the final novel, Konoha Hiden, Naruto marries Hinata after asking his former mentor, Iruka Umino, to stand in for his father at the wedding.
A novel by Mirei Miyamoto delves into Naruto's life as a father, while another novel, Naruto Retsuden, explores the consequences of Naruto's reliance on Kurama's chakra throughout his life, leading to a debilitating illness. These novels expand on Naruto's journey as the Seventh Hokage, the Hidden Leaf's number one loudest ninja, and the strongest shinobi in the Naruto world, revealing his personal struggles and triumphs beyond the series.
Naruto Uzumaki's Expansive Presence: Films, Games, and Stage Plays
As the titular character, Naruto Uzumaki appears in every movie of the series, usually leading a mission with his fellow Konohagakure comrades. In Naruto: Shippūden the Movie, he makes his first appearance in his Part II form. Road to Ninja: Naruto the Movie features an alternate version of Naruto, named Menma, as the main antagonist.
In The Last: Naruto the Movie, set after the series, Naruto confronts Toneri Otsutsuki and ultimately enters a relationship with Hinata, leading to their marriage. Masashi Kishimoto, the film's chief story supervisor, expressed both satisfaction and sadness at the characters' growth.
Naruto appears in all four OVAs produced for the series and as a supporting character in the spin-off manga Rock Lee and his Ninja Pals. He is also a playable character in numerous Naruto video games, including crossover games like Battle Stadium D.O.N, Jump Super Stars, and Jump Ultimate Stars. A Naruto avatar even guest-starred in the MMORPG Second Life during a Jump Festa promotion.
Naruto's influence extends beyond the series, with his costume appearing as an alternate outfit for Goku in Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z and a guest appearance in a One Piece manga chapter. Naruto was added to Fortnite Battle Royale in November 2021.
Lastly, Naruto features in Live Spectacle Naruto (2015) and Live Spectacle Naruto: Song of the Akatsuki (2017), two stage plays based on the manga, with Koudai Matsouka portraying the iconic character. Through films, games, and stage plays, Naruto's presence endures and continues to captivate fans around the world.
Critical Reception and Analysis of Naruto Uzumaki's Character
Naruto Uzumaki, the main protagonist of the popular manga and anime series, has received mostly positive critical response from various publications. Joseph Szadkowski of The Washington Times praised Naruto for becoming a "pop-culture sensation." GameSpot's Joe Dodson highlighted Naruto's resilience despite facing severe isolation, while Carl Kimlinger from Anime News Network commended his optimistic personality.
Naruto's character development has been applauded by Mania Entertainment, despite initial issues. However, Christina Carpenter of T.H.E.M. Anime Reviews found Naruto's character type to be clichéd. Despite this, various scholars and authors have analyzed the complexity of Naruto's personality, drawing parallels to other iconic characters and mythological figures.
Lawrence Rubin, writing for Popular Culture in Counseling, Psychotherapy, and Play-Based Interventions, discussed the significance of the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox (Kurama) within Naruto, symbolizing his negative emotions. Rubin noted that Naruto's search for acceptance and desire to become the Hokage drives his growth as a character. Other academic analyses have compared Naruto to post-modern heroes, folklore, and the concept of Bildungsroman, a coming-of-age story.
Tejal Suhas Bagwe, in a dissertation submitted for the Degree of Masters of Arts in English, described Jiraiya's death as Naruto's "loss of innocence" and praised the character for choosing a different path than his counterparts who sought revenge. Overall, Naruto's character has been widely analyzed and appreciated for its depth, relatability, and unique qualities.
The Evolution of Naruto Uzumaki: Relationships and Combat Prowess
The relationships Naruto Uzumaki shares with other characters have been described as appealing by IGN's Charles White and Jason Van Horn, particularly his rivalry with Sasuke Uchiha, as it showcases Naruto's maturation. However, his determination to bring Sasuke back after Part I was criticized for the resulting suffering it caused. Their rivalry topped a poll by Japanese pollster Charapedia as the most notable in anime.
Naruto's romantic involvement with other characters, such as Sakura Haruno and Hinata Hyuga, sparked debates among fans. His romance with Hinata in the film "The Last" garnered positive reactions from critics, with some suggesting the film should have focused more on their relationship. Additionally, Naruto's bond with his son, Boruto, and his mature personality in "Boruto: Naruto Next Generations" were well-received, particularly his relationship with the young Kawaki.
In terms of combat, Anime News Network's Carl Kimlinger initially found Naruto's fight scenes lacking in conviction compared to others. However, his battle with Gaara was praised for its tactical depth, surpassing typical shōnen stereotypes. The character's final fight against Sasuke at the end of Part I was similarly lauded for its fighting styles and resulting character development. Naruto's transformation due to the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox within him was also a focal point for critics, as his loss of control made him a significant threat to those around him.
In Part II, Naruto's growth was evident, particularly during his fight against Pain. His comments on peace and its attainment were noted for their philosophical themes, rarely seen in a shōnen series. Critics also appreciated Naruto's newfound Senjutsu fighting style and his preparation for the battle against Pain. Naruto's final fight with Sasuke in the series conclusion was praised for its depth and satisfying resolution.
Naruto Uzumaki: Popularity, Influence, and Recognition
Naruto Uzumaki consistently ranks in the top five characters in every official Weekly Shōnen Jump popularity poll. As of early 2012, he secured first place twice. Although he briefly lost his top-two status in the magazine's sixth poll in 2006, Naruto reclaimed the top spot in 2011. IGN listed him as the second-best Naruto character when the series concluded in 2014.
In various polls and specials, Naruto has been ranked as the 13th "strongest hero" from the Heisei Era, the 9th most ideal anime Prime Minister, the 10th most powerful character in Shonen Jump's history, and the second-best character from Boruto: Naruto Next Generations. In the 2022 Crunchyroll Awards, his fight against Isshiki in Boruto: Naruto Next Generations was nominated for "Best Fight."
Merchandise featuring Naruto, such as keychains and action figures, has been popular among fans. Voice actress Junko Takeuchi won Best Voice Actress (Japanese) at the 2009 Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation Awards for her portrayal of Naruto. The character was also ranked sixth in IGN's Top 25 Anime Characters of All Time and 29th in the 2011 Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition for best video game character.
Naruto's influence is evident in the creation of other characters and franchises. Character designer Yoshiyuki Sadamoto used Naruto as a model for Kite, the protagonist of the .hack games, while Jujutsu Kaisen's author, Gege Akutami, was inspired by Naruto's struggle with the demon inside him when creating Yuji Itadori.
CyberConnect2 CEO Hiroshi Matsuyama has a deep connection with the character, even cosplaying as Naruto during the 2012 Paris Marathon to celebrate a new video game release. Matsuyama's favorite technique in the series is the Rasenshuriken, and he was emotional when witnessing Naruto and Sasuke's final fight in Storm 4. Matsuyama also sketched the two fighters for the video game, aiming to deliver an emotional experience for gamers. In an Anime! Anime! poll, Naruto and Sasuke were voted as one of the best rivalries turned into allies.
Naruto's Cultural Impact: From Olympic Athletes to Hip-Hop Artists
Olympic medalist Usain Bolt has openly expressed his love for Naruto and the series on Instagram. In 2019, the Shanghai New World mall announced plans for an 11th-floor indoor theme park called "Naruto World," spanning 7,000 square meters and based on the manga. An officially authorized Ichiraku Ramen shop, inspired by the one in the anime, opened in Shanghai's Global Harbor shopping mall that same year. A life-size statue designed by Testuya Nishio was displayed at the Wonder Festival 2019 Shanghai event, and Naruto's image was used to represent the 2020 Summer Olympics.
Naruto has also influenced hip-hop music, with numerous underground and mainstream rappers incorporating references to the series in their songs. Ski Mask the Slump God's song "Catch Me Outside" and Dave's album "Six Paths" are examples of such influence. Singer Diana Garnet, who recorded an ending theme song for Naruto Shippuden, expressed her admiration for the series and was inspired by Naruto's unwavering determination.
The character has resonated with a diverse audience, including those who have experienced prejudice. In an analysis by British newspaper The Guardian, Naruto's character was seen as relatable due to the prejudicial treatment he received early in the series. His life achievements and eventual rise to the position of Seventh Hokage are seen as inspiring by audiences.
Fans of the series expressed concern for Naruto's fate in the flashforward at the beginning of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, where an older Boruto faces an enemy named Kawaki, implying that Naruto might be dead. This sequence demonstrates the deep connection fans have to the character and the series.
Frequently Asked Questions
When does Naruto fight Pain?
Naruto Uzumaki, the main protagonist of the popular manga and anime series Naruto, fights Pain during the "Pain's Assault" arc in Naruto Shippuden. This epic battle takes place in episodes 163-169 of the anime series, as Naruto defends Konohagakure (the Hidden Leaf Village) against the powerful leader of the Akatsuki organization.
Naruto Uzumaki Quotes
Here are some of Naruto Uzumaki’s most famous quotes.
Hard work is worthless for those that don't believe in themselves.
If you don’t like the hand that fate’s dealt you with, fight for a new one.
Somebody told me I’m a failure, I’ll prove them wrong.
To see more Naruto Uzumaki quotes, we recommend visiting the Naruto Uzumaki Quote section in Quotes Analysis.
We hope we have been helpful to you in this "Who is Naruto Uzumaki" article, and we hope you have a better understanding of who this amazing character of the Anime world is!