Naruto: everything about the Japanese franchise that is a worldwide hit!

Naruto: everything about the Japanese franchise that is a worldwide hit!

The story of Naruto began with Masashi Kishimoto’s manga. With over 920 episodes and movies produced, it is still far from over. Of course, the manga made its debut in Japan and started to have an influence in the western world soon after. For those who are not yet fans or those who are just starting to watch, it is difficult to understand the length and breadth of its adventures. In this article, we will try to deliver as much information as possible about Naruto and its huge universe.

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Generalities about Naruto

Naruto Uzumaki

It all started when a Japanese author, Masashi Kishimoto, wrote a shōnen manga called Naruto. The issue first appeared in 1999 by Shūeisha in a local magazine called Shōnen Jump. Thanks to VIZ Media, its publication expanded into the American Shōnen Jump with a translated version of the original.

The series only arrived in 2002, with production by Studio Pierrot and Aniplex. The Tokyo terrestrial TV network and the Animax anime satellite handled the broadcast of Naruto throughout Japan. Viz also allowed the production of episodes for North American channels. It was then, in 2005, that the United States began to benefit from the programs thanks to Cartoon Network and Toonami. For France, broadcasting began on Game One in 2006, then on NT1 and Cartoon Network in 2007.

Currently, there are over 250 million copies of the Naruto manga in existence. Most of the sales have been in Japan, where 130 million copies were sold in 2014. The numbers are also very significant in foreign countries, making the anime the third best-selling manga series in history.

Synopsis of the story

Naruto Synopsis

This is the story of a little boy named Naruto Uzumaki. He was about 12 years old at the very beginning of the series. In addition to being an orphan, a dunce, and hyperactive, a horrific creature lived inside him: the nine-tailed fox demon. Highly disliked by his peers, he was constantly maligned in his village.

In fact, twelve years earlier, the monster he harbors made an attack on Konoha, causing much loss, both human and material. Convinced that the boy was none other than Kyûbi, the monster, himself, the residents were suspicious of him.

But this very situation encouraged young Naruto to pursue his dream of becoming the best Hokage the village had ever known. The latter refers to a title that is recognized and respected in the hierarchy of Konoha. The young boy then forged and trained intensively to become a genin, the first level of ninja. After failing this test three times, he managed to get his Konoha headband.

Since then, he and Sasuke Uchiha and Sakura Haruno have formed team 7, coached by their jōnin Kakashi Hatake, a higher class ninja. As time went on, Naruto grew stronger and gained recognition from the villagers through his victories in battles against the powerful enemies of Konoha’s lands.

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Prominent characters

In Naruto, the first part of the story revolved around Naruto Uzumaki, Sasuke Uchiha, Sakura Haruno, and their sensei, Kakashi Hatake. Other key characters are added, such as the third Hokage, Hiruzen Sarutobi, Jiraya, the perverted hermit, and the fifth Hokage, Tsunade Senju. Neji Hyuga and Gaara will appear as rivals to Naruto. Orochimaru and Zabuza Momoshi will be among the villains.

In Naruto Shippuden, which is the sequel to the series, Team 7 will undergo some changes. After Sasuke’s desertion, it will have a new master and a new member: Captain Yamato and Sai. Sasuke, on his side, will form a group with Suigetsu, Juugo, and Karin. An organization named Akatsuki,composed of several members such as Pain, Itachi, Kisame, Deidara, Sasori, and Tobi, represents a main threat to the ninja world.

Later, during the fourth Great Ninja War, orchestrated by Obito Uchiha and Kabuto, other characters will be added. The 5 kage will face Madara Uchiha. Then the first four Hokage Hashirama Senju, Tobirama Senju, Hiruzen Sarutobi, Minato Namikaze (Naruto’s father) will make their return. Killer Bee, the brother of the fourth Raikage and host of the demon Hachibi, will fight alongside Naruto. Finally, Team 7 will reunite after being separated for 2 years to face Kaguya Otsutsuki, the ultimate opponent.

Existing Media

Everything you need to know about Naruto

As Naruto is a worldwide success, it has gone through several formats. Its true origin goes back to the manga, but it evolved into an anime series and then movies and video games.


Published between 1999 and 2013 by Shūeisha, it is titled “Naruto” and has 72 volumes. The series was published in the Japanese Weekly Shōnen Jump at a rate of one chapter per week. 2014 marked the end of the series in the weekly magazine. For France, it was Kana that produced the translated versions between 2002 and November 2016.

In these compilations, the adventures of young Naruto are told alongside his classmates Sakura and Sasuke, as well as his teacher, Kakashi. The author exposes important events in the life of the hero, such as his dedication as a shinobi or ninja apprentice, the Chunin exams, or Sasuke’s rescue mission against the invincible monster. He also talks about his acquisition of Rasengan, one of the powers considered more powerful. At the end, the hero is seen leaving with Jiraya.

With the popularity of manga, it obviously does not escape the scantrad phenomenon, with scans being illegally present on many sites.


As explained earlier, the Naruto anime was first broadcast on TV Tokyo in 2002 under the Aniplex license. The French version came later, on Game One in 2006, licensed by Kana Home Video. It has about 220 episodes, each of which lasts about 25 minutes. This animated series is inspired by the manga. But the synchronization of these two formats posed problems for the designers, resulting in some inconsistencies between the two.

Naruto Shippuden is the title of the second anime series, taking over from Naruto. It contains about 500 episodes, and its broadcast directly followed that of the first anime since 2007 in Japan and since 2008 in France. The plot begins three years after the manga, with the return of the hero and the attack of Akatsuki on the Hidden Sand Village. Battles and tumults follow one another in the scenarios, but the story ends with the fourth Great Shinobi War, during which Naruto and Sasuke clash. A few years later, the characters were given happy endings.

Naruto movies

Naruto movies are often characteristic of an era or milestone in anime. One example is Naruto and the Snow Princess, a 2004 production telling the events between Episode 101 and 102 of the manga. The Legend of the Gelel Stones is also another, based on episode 147 of the manga. A Special Mission to the Land of the Moon is the latest film based on the series. It was produced in 2006, and its timeline is between episodes 196 and 197, when Rock Lee took the place of Sasuke.

For Naruto Shippuden, we could list 8 movies, including: A Bad Omen (2007), The Ties (2008), The Flame of Will (2009), The Lost Tower (2010), Blood Prison (2011), Road to Ninja (2011), Naruto The Last (2014), and Boruto: Naruto, the Movie (2015).

Video Games

How to watch Naruto in the right order

Currently, there are about 100 Naruto video games. The first ones were released in 2003 and immediately became an unheard-of success. For example, there is Naruto: Ultimate Ninja, developed by CyberConnect 2 and published by Namco Games later. It is a fighting game featuring the iconic characters of the franchise. It was released on PS2 at the time.

The most recent one is from 2017 and is titled Naruto Shippuden : Ultimate Ninja Storm, now available on the platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, and PlayStation 5. In terms of gameplay and tactics, 2010’s Naruto Shippuden : Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 remains a fan favorite among game enthusiasts.

How To Watch Naruto In The Right Order

Episodes 1-101

Better start with these episodes. These open with Naruto Uzumaki and depict the elders of Konoha village. The movie Naruto and the Snow Princess shows the beautiful ponchos of Konoha village, Kakashi’s best jutsu, and Naruto’s colorful Rasengan. 

Episodes 102-160

These contain one of the most fascinating arcs in the series. In this storyline, Naruto and his fellow genin go in search of Sasuke. The movie “The Legend of the Gelel Stone” has many unique features. For one, it brings Naruto, Sakura, Shikamaru, and Kankuro together as a group.

Episodes 161-196

If the purpose of watching Naruto is to be entertained, episodes 161–196 meet that criteria. The movie about the Guardians of the Crescent Moon Kingdom is placed after episode 196. It was released around the same time as “Special Mission to the Land of the Moon.”

Episodes 197-220

Generally, these episodes represent a mission with different teams coming together to improve their skills. In Shippuden, Naruto upgraded his blue and orange outfit to a stylish black and orange look. His movie was aired during the “Kazekage Rescue” arc, which ended in Episode 32. Sai and Yamato do not appear, but Sai officially joins the team in episode 33.

Related >> Must Watch Shippuden Filler Arcs

Shippuden: episodes 33-70 

In episodes 33-70 of Shippuden, Team Seven reforms with Sai, an untrustworthy but powerful ninja. In the series, Orochimaru falls ill and Sasuke stands by him, which leads him to meet Naruto. 

Episodes 70-120

Shippuden episodes 70-120 tell of the death of an important sensei and the rise of the new Ino-Shika-Cho team. Of all the films, Blood Prison is the most difficult to classify. This is partly due to the inconsistencies. The Raikage still has both arms, but Naruto knows Killer Bee, which never happens at the same time in the series.

Episodes 197-251

In episodes 197–251 of Shippuden, the five Kage come together to fight a known threat and suffer the death of a major Konoha player. In the Road to Ninja series, Naruto and Sakura are transferred to Tobi’s world, the infinite Tsukuyomi, where Naruto’s parents live. It is in the massive series of episodes 252-493 that the fourth great shinobi war as well as the final battle between Naruto and Sasuke take place.

Episode 494-500

Episodes 494-500 close the Shippuden series. In Boruto: Naruto, Boruto graduates from the academy and joins Team Konohamaru with Sarada and Mitsuki. Boruto: Naruto Next Generations tells the story of Boruto’s journey to become a great shinobi, which is certainly different from his father’s.

image7 min

If you’re interested in cool Naruto stuff, you should definitely check out the Naruto Store!

This is a spin-off manga sequel to the Naruto manga, hence its classification as Naruto Next Generations. It was first seen in 2016 in Weekly Shōnen Jump magazines in Japan. The French version was allowed in 2017 thanks to Kana.

The Boruto anime then appeared on TV Tokyo in 2017 and on Game One in 2018. The spotlight now turns to Naruto Uzumaki and Hinata Hyûga’s offspring, Boruto Uzumaki. The latter still seeks the attention of his father, who is the Seventh Hokage, at the top of the village hierarchy. But the son wants to surpass his father at all costs. The latter then submits himself to rigorous training to understand and master the techniques of the ninjas.

Popularity of Naruto on a global scale

Naruto is undoubtedly one of the most popular comics of all time. Since its official release, it has gathered around 20 million viewers in France alone.

As of October 2014, this manga has had over 220 million copies in print. More than 130 million copies have been sold in Japan, and the remaining 75 million overseas. In addition, this series ranks third among the best-selling manga series in history. The manga is also available in 35 countries outside of Japan. In addition, over 10 million copies of the video game have been sold worldwide.

This franchise is also among the best-selling manga series by North American publisher VIZ Media. Their English adaptation of the series has been cited several times in the USA Today Booklist, and volume 7 won the Quill Award in 2006.

Since its inception, Naruto has spawned a large number of fan sites that contain detailed information, guides, and active forums. This popularity is mainly due to the authenticity of author Masashi Kishimoto.

The storylines and plots are utterly captivating and original, capturing the interest of fans for over two decades. Despite the surrealism of the characters and the universe, many young people and teenagers have been able to identify with Naruto’s adventures. They make it an inspiration among other manga the market has to offer.

The reasons for the endurance of Naruto’s popularity

shonen Popularity

Naruto never gives up

Naruto is determined to fight to protect his family, but that is not all. He wants to protect his family from themselves as well as from any enemy that might kill them. Naruto is mature enough to know that he could have destroyed himself if he had let anger and violence rule his actions. In the manga, Naruto makes a clear distinction between justice and revenge when he talks to Sasuke and states that they will both die if they clash.

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The main characters have grown up

The way this manga has been presented to audiences has evolved. So has the subject matter and the finesse required to analyze Naruto’s decisions. As Naruto continues to develop as a leader, he struggles to reconcile his duties as a ninja with his promise to adhere to his own nindo. The beginning of the anime was very task and goal-oriented. In the beginning, viewers were inspired by Naruto because he was weak and boring, but he did not give up.

Naruto becomes a philosophical statement about the vision of humanity 

In the Shippuden arc, he faces a ton of internal struggles. After the defeat of Pein, Naruto became the famous hero of the Leaf. Fame means influence. And influence often exceeds physical power. Naruto’s essential qualities and his newfound fame make him respected among ninjas around the world. He has become a leader, and many people look to him for inspiration and guidance.

Naruto in Fortnite

Naruto in Fortnite

The collaboration between Fortnite and Naruto Shippuden began on November 16, 2021. This one offers skins for all the iconic Team 7 characters, namely Naruto, Sasuke, Sakura, and Kakashi. It also features additional elements such as Kunai paper bombs and a boss fight. It also includes a series of ninja-themed quests from Kakashi himself.

Paper Bomb Kunai

An appearance is not enough to be a ninja. You also have to know how to handle the right weapons.

The Kunai paper bomb can be obtained from Kakashi. Otherwise, players will also be able to find it in the loot boxes and llamas.

The Hidden Leaf Village

Finally, Fortnite players have the opportunity to visit Konohagakure, the hidden village of the Leaf. It contains all the iconic places, including the Hokage residences, the Ichiraku Ramen store, and much more.

It’s also possible to talk to Naruto and visit the Hidden Leaf Village adventure map, which allows you to complete quests to unlock even more locations.

To enter the Hidden Leaf Village, you must select the “Creative” tile in the Discovery tab. To access the Village Adventure Map, simply select the “Village Adventure” tile in the same space. 

FAQ about Naruto

Why does Naruto always say “Dattebayo”?

“Dattebayo,” or “Believe it,” is Naruto’s catchphrase that he uses in most situations. This helped to make Naruto’s speech more distinctive and unique. Dattebayo  does not come from a culture or tradition, but he inherited it from his mother. Kushina Uzumaki used to say “Dattebane” when she was excited or angry.

Why is Naruto wearing orange clothes?

Naruto is dressed in orange because the color evokes happiness, sunshine, and the tropics. It also represents enthusiasm, attraction, happiness, encouragement, creativity, determination, fascination, success and stimulation. In addition, it wears orange since this color attracts attention.

When does Naruto celebrate his birthday?

Naruto’s birthday is on October 10.

How old is Naruto?

In the anime Naruto, his age ranges from 12 to 13. In Naruto Shippuden, he is between 15 and 17.

How old was Naruto when he graduated from Ninja Academy?

When Naruto graduated from the Ninja Academy, he was 12 years old. As he grew up, he became a moral and sensible man.

How tall is Naruto? 

In the Naruto cartoon, his height varies between 1 m 45 and 1 m 47. He is 1 meter 66 in Naruto Shippuden and 1 meter 80 at the beginning of Boruto.

How much does Naruto weigh?

In the original version of Naruto, he weighs 40 kg, compared to 50 kg in Shippuden.

What blood type is Naruto?

His blood type is B.

Who interprets Naruto in Japanese?

Junko Takeuchi and Ema Kogure portray Naruto in Japanese.

Why is Naruto the best character?

Naruto is among the greatest protagonists because he shows the qualities of an ideal human being. He demonstrates the true value of perseverance, never giving up, hard work, and everything in between.

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