Naruto anime is a popular series that first aired in 2002 and quickly became a global sensation. The story is set in a world of ninja, where individuals known as shinobi possess incredible abilities, called jutsus, that allow them to perform amazing feats of strength, speed, and agility. The series follows the adventures of a young ninja named Naruto Uzumaki, as he strives to become the strongest ninja in his village, and ultimately, the Hokage, the leader of the village.
Naruto is a long-running anime series that has multiple seasons and a total of 720 episodes. The series is divided into two parts: Naruto and Naruto Shippuden. The anime series was produced by Studio Pierrot, a Japanese animation studio based in Tokyo. Pierrot has produced many popular anime series over the years, including Bleach, Yu Yu Hakusho, and Tokyo Ghoul. The studio is known for its high-quality animation and attention to detail, which has helped to make Naruto one of the most visually impressive anime series of all time.
Naruto: The first part of the series, Naruto, covers the story of a young ninja named Naruto Uzumaki who dreams of becoming the Hokage, the leader of his village. The first episode of Naruto aired on October 3, 2002, and the series ran for a total of 220 episodes, concluding on February 8, 2007. The episodes are divided into nine seasons.
Naruto Shippuden: The second part of the series, Naruto Shippuden, picks up the story two and a half years after the end of the first part. It covers the story of Naruto Uzumaki and his friends as they face new enemies and challenges in their quest to become stronger and protect their village. The first episode of Naruto Shippuden aired on February 15, 2007, and the series ran for a total of 500 episodes, concluding on March 23, 2017. The episodes are divided into twenty-one seasons.
In this extensive beginner’s guide to Naruto, we will introduce you to the key concepts, themes, characters, music, animation, storytelling, issues, manga, fandom, how to start watching, and offer advice on how to distinguish between filler and cannon episodes.
In the world of Naruto, ninjas reign supreme. Naruto Uzumaki, a young orphan with dreams of becoming the strongest ninja in his village, trains hard under the tutelage of his sensei, Kakashi Hatake. Along with his teammates, Sasuke Uchiha and Sakura Haruno, Naruto embarks on a journey filled with danger, excitement, and self-discovery.
As they progress through their training, Naruto and his friends discover dark secrets and hidden agendas lurking within their village, including the powerful Uchiha clan’s tragic history and a brewing war between the five great ninja villages. Through it all, they must hone their skills, forge alliances, and confront their own weaknesses in order to protect their loved ones and achieve their goals.
As the story unfolds, Naruto and his comrades face increasingly difficult challenges, including battles with powerful enemies, the discovery of their own unique abilities, and the realization that the line between good and evil is not always clear. Along the way, they learn valuable lessons about perseverance, teamwork, and the true meaning of strength.
Filled with action, drama, and heart, Naruto is a timeless classic that continues to captivate audiences around the world. With its rich universe, diverse cast of characters, and unforgettable storytelling, it is a must-watch for any anime fan.
What is Chakra?
In the Naruto universe, chakra is a vital force that flows within every individual, and it is the basis of all jutsu or techniques used by ninja. Chakra is essentially a combination of spiritual and physical energies that are harnessed by shinobi to perform a wide variety of actions, ranging from simple techniques such as walking on water to complex jutsu such as summoning giant beasts.
There are two main types of chakra in the Naruto universe: physical chakra and spiritual chakra. Physical chakra is related to the body, and it is used to perform jutsu that involve physical actions such as lifting objects, running, or attacking opponents. Spiritual chakra is related to the mind and emotions, and it is used to perform jutsu that involve mental or emotional manipulation such as genjutsu or hypnosis.
Ninja use various hand seals or gestures to mold their chakra and perform jutsu. Each hand seal corresponds to a specific element or technique, and mastering the correct sequence of hand seals is crucial to performing jutsu effectively.
There are five basic chakra elements in the Naruto universe: fire, water, earth, wind, and lightning. Each element has its unique strengths and weaknesses, and ninja can combine different elements to create new techniques or enhance the power of their jutsu.
In addition to the five basic elements, there are also kekkei genkai, which are advanced chakra natures that are specific to certain clans or bloodlines. Kekkei genkai can be a combination of two or more basic elements or a completely unique chakra nature. Examples of kekkei genkai include the Sharingan of the Uchiha clan, which grants its users the ability to copy and predict their opponents’ movements, and the Byakugan of the Hyuga clan, which grants its users the ability to see through objects and see chakra points in an opponent’s body.
Overall, chakra and jutsu are fundamental aspects of the Naruto universe, and they play a significant role in the world-building, character development, and storytelling of the anime and manga.
What is Jutsu?
In the Naruto universe, jutsu is a term used to describe the techniques and abilities that ninja use in combat and daily life. Jutsu is based on the manipulation of chakra, a form of energy that every living being possesses, to perform various feats such as creating illusions, manipulating elements, or healing. Ninja can learn a wide variety of jutsu, from basic techniques such as the Shadow Clone Jutsu, to more complex and powerful techniques like the Rasengan or the Chidori. Each ninja has their own unique chakra signature, which determines the strength and effectiveness of their jutsu.
There are three main categories of techniques that shinobi (ninja) use in combat: ninjutsu, genjutsu, and taijutsu.
Ninjutsu, also known as ninja techniques, involves the use of chakra to perform a variety of techniques such as creating illusions, transforming into other objects or people, and manipulating elements like fire, water, and wind. Ninjutsu can be offensive, defensive, or used for various other purposes such as gathering information or creating distractions.
Genjutsu, or illusion techniques, are used to deceive the opponent’s senses and make them see, hear, feel, or even taste things that are not there. It can be used to immobilize or confuse an enemy, or to gather information. Genjutsu is often used in conjunction with taijutsu or ninjutsu to create more effective attacks.
Taijutsu, or hand-to-hand combat techniques, involve fighting without the use of any weapons or chakra techniques. Taijutsu focuses on developing physical strength, agility, and precision in movements to deliver powerful strikes, kicks, or throws. It is often used to subdue an enemy or to create an opening for other attacks.
While ninjutsu, genjutsu, and taijutsu are distinct categories of techniques, most shinobi can specialize in one or more of these categories, and master different jutsu based on their individual strengths and abilities. The use of jutsu is an integral part of the Naruto universe, and plays a crucial role in the storylines and battles throughout the series.
The Naruto Universe
The world is divided into five great ninja villages, each with its unique culture, traditions, and fighting styles:
- The Village Hidden in the Leaves (Konoha): The main setting of the series and the home of Naruto and his friends.
- The Village Hidden in the Sand (Sunagakure): Located in the desert region, this village specializes in defense and espionage.
- The Village Hidden in the Mist (Kirigakure): Located near the ocean, this village is known for its strong military and assassin squads.
- The Village Hidden in the Clouds (Kumogakure): Located in the mountains, this village is known for its skilled ninja and advanced technology.
- The Village Hidden in the Stone (Iwagakure): Located in the rocky terrain, this village is known for its strong military and expert craftsmen.
The Naruto universe is also home to various clans, each with its unique abilities and histories. Some of the most prominent clans in the series include:
- Uchiha Clan: The Uchiha clan is known for their powerful Sharingan eye, which allows them to copy and mimic their opponent’s techniques. The clan was once one of the most powerful in Konoha, but after a tragic incident that resulted in the deaths of many clan members, only two Uchihas remained – Sasuke Uchiha and his older brother, Itachi. Sasuke is one of the main characters in the series and plays a crucial role in the plot.
- Hyuga Clan: The Hyuga clan is known for their Byakugan eye, which gives them an almost 360-degree field of vision and allows them to see chakra points. The clan is one of the oldest and most prestigious in Konoha, and their members are often sought after as powerful allies.
- Senju Clan: The Senju clan is known for their strong life force and chakra reserves, which make them powerful and resilient warriors. The first Hokage, Hashirama Senju, was a member of this clan and played a crucial role in the founding of Konoha. The Senju clan was once in fierce competition with the Uchiha clan, but eventually the two clans united to form the village of Konoha.
- Uzumaki Clan: The Uzumaki clan is known for their powerful life force and chakra reserves, as well as their distinctive red hair. The clan was once based in the now-destroyed village of Uzushiogakure, and their members were skilled in sealing techniques. Naruto Uzumaki, the titular character of the series, is a member of this clan and inherits many of their unique abilities.
- Aburame Clan: The Aburame clan is known for their insect-based techniques. Members of the clan have a symbiotic relationship with a breed of insects that live within their bodies. These insects can be commanded to perform a variety of tasks, such as gathering information or attacking enemies.
- Akimichi Clan: The Akimichi clan is known for their unique body-manipulation techniques. Members of the clan have the ability to increase the size of their bodies, which also increases their strength and durability. This technique is often used in combat, allowing Akimichi ninja to overpower their opponents.
- Hoshigaki Clan: The Hoshigaki clan is known for their incredible strength and endurance. Members of the clan possess a unique kekkei genkai that allows them to transform their bodies into a more fish-like form, granting them increased strength and agility both in and out of water.
- Nara Clan: The Nara clan is known for their strategic prowess and their unique shadow techniques. Members of the clan can manipulate their shadows to immobilize opponents or to teleport themselves short distances.
- Yamanaka Clan: The Yamanaka clan is known for their mind techniques. Members of the clan possess a kekkei genkai that allows them to enter the minds of others, enabling them to read their thoughts, control their actions, or even possess their bodies.
The Main Characters
The main protagonist of the Naruto anime is Naruto Uzumaki, a young ninja from the Hidden Leaf Village. Naruto is a mischievous, energetic and determined young boy, who dreams of becoming the Hokage, the leader of the Hidden Leaf Village. Naruto’s background is tragic – he was orphaned at a young age and has had a difficult life growing up. However, he perseveres through all the challenges he faces, always keeping his goal of becoming Hokage in sight.
Sasuke Uchiha is another central character in the anime. He is a member of the Uchiha clan, one of the most powerful and revered ninja clans in the Hidden Leaf Village. Sasuke is stoic, cold, and aloof, and is driven by a desire for revenge against his brother, who he believes is responsible for killing the rest of their clan. Sasuke’s journey is a complex one, as he struggles with his desire for power and his need for revenge.
Sakura Haruno is another member of Naruto’s team, and one of the only female ninja in the series. Sakura is smart, resourceful, and determined. She is also a skilled medical ninja, which comes in handy during battles. Sakura starts off as a bit of a damsel in distress, but as the series progresses, she becomes a stronger and more formidable fighter.
Kakashi Hatake is the leader of Naruto’s team and a skilled ninja in his own right. He is calm, collected, and analytical, and his skills as a ninja are legendary. Kakashi is known for his signature move, the “Chidori,” a technique that allows him to create lightning in his hand and use it as a weapon.
Naruto is a story that is rich with a multitude of themes and storylines. It is a tale of perseverance, friendship, and the pursuit of power, with a healthy dose of action and adventure thrown in for good measure. Here are some of the key themes and storylines that have made Naruto such a beloved anime series:
- Perseverance: One of the most prominent themes in Naruto is perseverance. Naruto Uzumaki, the titular character, is an underdog who faces numerous challenges throughout the series. He is constantly underestimated by those around him, but he never gives up. He persists in his training and never stops trying to become stronger, no matter how many setbacks he encounters. This theme of perseverance is a powerful one that resonates with many viewers.
- Friendship: Another major theme in Naruto is friendship. The bonds that Naruto forms with his friends are a crucial part of the story. He learns to trust and rely on those around him, and together they are able to overcome even the most daunting obstacles. Naruto teaches us the importance of surrounding ourselves with people who support us and encourage us to be our best selves.
- The Pursuit of Power: Throughout Naruto, many characters are obsessed with power. They seek it out in various ways, whether it be through physical strength or the mastery of jutsus. This pursuit of power can have both positive and negative consequences. Some characters use their power for good, while others are consumed by it and become villains.
- Betrayal and Redemption: Betrayal and redemption are recurring themes in Naruto. Characters who were once friends or allies can turn on each other, and the resulting fallout can be devastating. However, the series also shows that it is possible for characters to redeem themselves and make amends for their past mistakes.
- Love and Romance: Although not as prominent as other themes, love and romance play a role in Naruto. There are several romantic relationships that develop over the course of the series, such as Naruto’s crush on Sakura Haruno and the relationship between Sasuke Uchiha and his wife, Sakura.
- War and Conflict: As a series set in a world of ninja clans, Naruto naturally explores themes of war and conflict. The series shows the devastating impact that war can have on individuals and communities, as well as the potential for peace and reconciliation.
- Destiny and Free Will: Naruto also delves into the complex relationship between destiny and free will. Some characters believe that their lives are predetermined by fate, while others believe that they have the power to shape their own destiny. The series ultimately suggests that there is a balance between the two, and that individuals have the power to make choices that can change the course of their lives.
These themes are just a few examples of the rich storytelling that Naruto has to offer. The series is beloved by fans around the world for its complex characters, thrilling action sequences, and heartfelt moments.
The animation quality of Naruto has been a standout feature of the series since its inception. The show has consistently pushed the boundaries of what is possible in anime, particularly in terms of its action sequences. The animation team has a knack for creating dynamic and visually stunning fight scenes that keep viewers on the edge of their seats.
One of the standout examples of Naruto’s animation quality is the fight between Sasuke and Naruto in the final episode of the original series. This fight, which spans several episodes, is a masterclass in animation. The choreography is top-notch, with each move and counter-move feeling like a natural progression of the fight. The animation itself is fluid and dynamic, with the characters leaping, dodging, and attacking with lightning-fast speed.
The animation quality of Naruto has also been the subject of many memes and viral videos on the internet. Fans have taken clips from the show and edited them into funny or impressive montages, showcasing the animation in all its glory. Some of the most popular videos include compilations of Naruto’s most epic fights or moments of character development, set to music or sound effects.
In addition to its impressive animation, Naruto also stands out for its use of color and visual effects. The show’s world is filled with vibrant hues and striking landscapes, and the animators have a talent for using light and shadow to create mood and atmosphere. Naruto’s use of special effects, such as the iconic “chakra aura,” which surrounds the characters during battles, adds an extra layer of visual interest to the show.
Overall, Naruto’s animation quality is a testament to the skill and dedication of the show’s animators. Their hard work has paid off, not just in terms of critical acclaim and fan appreciation, but also in the countless viral videos and memes that have spread across the internet, cementing Naruto’s place as one of the most visually impressive anime of all time.
Naruto’s storytelling is both intricate and compelling. The pacing can be slow at times, but it builds up tension and suspense, making the payoff all the more satisfying. The timelines in Naruto are complex, with flashbacks and time jumps frequently used to flesh out character backgrounds and move the story forward.
The storytelling in Naruto is done through a mix of action, dialogue, and flashbacks. The action scenes are often fast-paced and visually stunning, showcasing the various jutsus and ninja techniques used by the characters. The dialogue is well-written and emotional, giving viewers insight into the characters’ thoughts and motivations.
Naruto’s Opening, Ending, and Background Music
One of the things that make Naruto stand out is its exceptional music. The opening and ending themes, as well as the background music, have become iconic and are known to many even outside the anime fandom. The music plays a significant role in setting the tone for the series and enhancing the emotions in the scenes.
The opening themes are usually upbeat and energetic, with catchy melodies and visuals that showcase the characters and their abilities. Some of the most popular openings include “Heroes Come Back” by nobodyknows+, “Haruka Kanata” by Asian Kung-Fu Generation, “GO!!!” by FLOW, and “Blue Bird” by Ikimonogakari.
The ending themes are usually slower and more emotional, with visuals that showcase the characters’ relationships and struggles. Some of the most popular endings include “Wind” by Akeboshi, “Long Kiss Goodbye” by HALCALI, and “Broken Youth” by NICO Touches the Walls.
In addition to the opening and ending themes, the background music also plays a crucial role in enhancing the mood and emotions of the series. The music is composed by Toshio Masuda and is a blend of traditional Japanese instruments and modern soundscapes. The music perfectly captures the spirit of the series, with tracks that range from intense battle themes to soft and emotional piano pieces.
Overall, the music in Naruto is an essential aspect of the series and plays a significant role in creating a memorable viewing experience. Whether it’s the opening and ending themes or the background music, the music in Naruto is sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone who watches the anime.
One of the strengths of the Naruto anime is its voice acting, which adds depth and emotion to the characters. The Japanese voice actors have become icons in the anime world, and their performances are often praised for capturing the essence of each character. The Naruto anime series features a wide range of characters with unique personalities, voices, and mannerisms. The voice actors have done an incredible job of capturing the essence of each character and portraying their emotions and personalities through their voices.
In the English dubbed version of the series, some of the notable voice actors include Maile Flanagan as Naruto Uzumaki, Yuri Lowenthal as Sasuke Uchiha, Kate Higgins as Sakura Haruno, and Dave Wittenberg as Kakashi Hatake.
In the original Japanese version of the series, some of the notable voice actors include Junko Takeuchi as Naruto Uzumaki, Noriaki Sugiyama as Sasuke Uchiha, Chie Nakamura as Sakura Haruno, and Kazuhiko Inoue as Kakashi Hatake.
Some viewers have criticized the English dub for its inconsistent quality. Some characters are well-cast and well-acted, while others feel stiff and unnatural. Additionally, some fans feel that the English version of the anime takes too many liberties with the original script, changing dialogue and altering the meaning of certain scenes. However, it’s important to note that voice acting is subjective, and some viewers may prefer the English dub over the Japanese version.
Issues with the anime
While Naruto has been a beloved anime for many fans around the world, there have been some criticisms of the series as well. Here are a few common criticisms:
- Pacing issues: Some viewers have criticized the pacing of the anime, especially during the later arcs. The slow pacing of some episodes, combined with a lot of filler content, can make it feel like the story is dragging on at times.
- Filler episodes: As mentioned earlier, filler episodes can be a drawback of the Naruto anime. While some filler episodes can be enjoyable, others can feel like a waste of time or disrupt the flow of the story.
- Repetitive themes: The anime has a tendency to repeat certain themes and plot points, such as the “never give up” attitude of Naruto, which can become predictable and formulaic.
- Some characters are underdeveloped: While some characters like Naruto and Sasuke receive a lot of attention and development, other characters are not as fleshed out or interesting.
- Inconsistent power levels: There are moments in the series where it seems like certain characters are overpowered, and others are severely underpowered. This can lead to inconsistencies in the battles and make it difficult to suspend disbelief.
It’s important to note that while these criticisms exist, they do not necessarily detract from the overall enjoyment of the series for many fans.
How to start watching
If you’re new to anime or Naruto, starting a long-running series like Naruto can be overwhelming. Here are some tips to help you get started and enjoy the series:
- Where to watch: Naruto can be streamed on various platforms such as Crunchyroll, Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime. These platforms offer both subbed and dubbed versions of the anime.
- Which episodes to start with: Naruto has a lot of episodes, and it can be difficult to decide where to start. It’s recommended to start with the very first episode and watch the anime in chronological order.
- How to pace yourself: Naruto has a lot of episodes, so it’s important to pace yourself so you don’t get burnt out. Try to watch a few episodes a day or set aside a specific amount of time each day to watch the anime.
- Filler episodes vs. canon episodes: Fillers are episodes that are not part of the original manga storyline and are added to the anime to extend the series. Canon episodes, on the other hand, follow the original manga storyline. To avoid unnecessary filler episodes, check online for filler episode guides and skip the fillers if you prefer to stick with the original story. Visit here to know more – Naruto Anime Filler List
The Naruto fandom
The Naruto fandom has a massive global following and has made significant contributions to society through various means. One of the most significant contributions of the Naruto fandom is through cosplay. Fans of the series create elaborate and detailed costumes of their favorite characters and attend events like conventions, where they showcase their costumes and participate in cosplay competitions. This has become a widespread phenomenon, with cosplayers from all over the world creating and sharing their creations online, forming communities and inspiring new generations of cosplayers.
Additionally, the Naruto fandom has given rise to a vibrant fanfiction community. Fans of the series write stories that explore the world of Naruto beyond the main story arcs, creating new characters, plotlines, and relationships. Fanfiction writers often share their work online, creating communities where fans can read and discuss each other’s stories. This has provided an outlet for fans to express their creativity and engage with the Naruto universe in a new and exciting way.
The Naruto fandom has also been known to engage in charitable activities. Fans have organized charity events and fundraisers, raising money for various causes, such as disaster relief, children’s hospitals, and animal shelters. This shows that the Naruto fandom isn’t just a group of people who enjoy watching anime, but a community that cares about making a positive impact on the world.
The Naruto fandom has also had a significant impact on the broader cultural landscape. The series has inspired numerous spin-offs, adaptations, and parodies, ranging from video games to live-action movies. It has also influenced other anime and manga series, with creators drawing inspiration from Naruto’s characters, themes, and storytelling techniques.
In conclusion, the Naruto fandom is a diverse and passionate community that has made significant contributions to society through its creativity, charitable activities, and impact on popular culture. It is a testament to the power of storytelling and the ability of anime and manga to bring people together from all over the world.
The Naruto anime is based on the manga series of the same name, written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto. The manga was first published by Shueisha in Japan in 1999 in the Weekly Shonen Jump magazine and ran for 15 years, concluding in November 2014. It consists of 700 chapters, which were compiled into 72 tankobon volumes.
Kishimoto was born on November 8, 1974, in Okayama, Japan. He began drawing manga in elementary school and was inspired by the works of Akira Toriyama, the creator of Dragon Ball. Kishimoto’s first published work was Karakuri, a one-shot manga that was published in Weekly Shonen Jump in 1996. Naruto was his second serialized manga.
Kishimoto spent several years planning the story and characters for Naruto before he began writing and drawing the series. He drew inspiration from his own experiences and interests, as well as from other works of fiction. Kishimoto has cited the manga series Akira and the works of Hayao Miyazaki as major influences on his art style and storytelling.
Naruto was a massive success in Japan and overseas, and it played a significant role in popularizing manga and anime worldwide. Kishimoto’s work has won numerous awards, including the prestigious Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize, and he has been praised for his skillful storytelling, well-developed characters, and dynamic art style.
Since the conclusion of Naruto, Kishimoto has continued to work on various projects related to the series, including the spin-off manga series Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring and the Boruto: Naruto Next Generations manga series, which follows the adventures of Naruto’s son Boruto. Kishimoto has also worked as a supervisor and scriptwriter for several Naruto anime films.
20 cool facts about Naruto
- Naruto was originally a one-shot manga by Masashi Kishimoto before it became a serialized series.
- The concept of ninjas in Naruto is heavily influenced by the history and culture of Japan’s Iga and Koka regions.
- The character of Naruto is based on Kishimoto’s childhood friend who loved ramen.
- The names of the three main characters, Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura, are all based on ingredients used in traditional Japanese ramen.
- The author has stated that he initially planned for the series to be much darker and more violent, but he toned it down to appeal to a younger audience.
- Naruto has sold over 250 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling manga series of all time.
- The Naruto anime has over 700 episodes and aired from 2002 to 2017.
- The character Kakashi’s face was not revealed until the 700th chapter of the manga, which was the last chapter.
- Naruto was adapted into a successful video game franchise, with titles available on various platforms such as PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo.
- The Naruto series has been referenced in numerous other anime, such as One Piece, Fairy Tail, and Attack on Titan.
- Naruto has been praised for its representation of various cultures and ethnicities, including characters from different regions of Japan and other countries.
- The Naruto universe includes many mythical creatures, such as tailed beasts, giant toads, and dragons.
- The Naruto series has its own unique language, which includes terms like “chakra,” “jutsu,” and “hokage.”
- Many characters in Naruto are based on real-life historical figures or legends, such as Oda Nobunaga and the Japanese folk hero Jiraiya.
- The creator of Naruto, Masashi Kishimoto, also created the spin-off series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, which follows the story of Naruto’s son.
- The character Orochimaru is known for his ability to shed his skin and regenerate his body, which is based on the real-life behavior of snakes.
- Naruto has been adapted into several musicals, with performances in Japan and other countries.
- The character of Gaara was initially planned to be a villain but became a fan favorite due to his tragic backstory and eventual redemption.
- The Naruto anime includes a significant amount of filler episodes, which are not based on the manga and are often criticized by fans.
- The Naruto series has inspired a devoted fan community, with numerous fan theories, fan fiction, and cosplay inspired by the characters and the story.