The End of Naruto
The Final Adventure of Naruto
Long time running manga Naruto was recently given an end date to the series. Creator Masashi Kishimoto recently announced that the final entry in the series will be released in the Weekly Shonen Jump magazine that will be available in Japan on November 10 of this year. Kishimoto said in 2012 that the series was riding towards its climax and that he already had its end in mind. This will no doubt be an incredible conclusion and for fans everywhere this is a bittersweet farewell.
The Naruto franchise has spread its influence over the past 15 years and has branched out beyond the manga. Naruto was introduced to the world in 1999 in the Weekly Shonen Jump magazine. A few short years later the series was given an anime adaptation that premiered in Japan in 2002 and in the United States in 2005. This first self-titled series consists of 220 episodes and has since been dubbed in English. In 2007 a sequel to the original series titled Naruto: Shippuden was released and is still currently airing with 380 episodes so far. Along with the anime, there have also been multiple films, OVAs, video games, and merchandise that have led Naruto into becoming the best-selling U.S. manga of all time and one of Japan’s most iconic manga. Naruto is one of the few Japanese manga based franchises that has made its way into mainstream America and become a phenomenon.
Years before the start of the series, the Nine Tailed Demon Fox attacked the village of Konoha destroying most of it and taking many lives. The Fourth leader of the village, known as the Hokage, sacrifices his life in order to trap the Demon Fox inside a newborn and save the village. This child’s name is Naruto Uzumaki. Orphaned after this attack, Naruto ends up being shunned by the villagers who despise him and see him as the Demon Fox itself. Talking about the Demon Fox disaster is outlawed in the village. However, the animosity the adults feel towards Naruto is carried over into the children. In order to prove to the villagers that he is not a monster and that he is someone to be acknowledged, Naruto vows to one day become the greatest Hokage the village has ever had. This sets the premise for all the epic and outlandish adventures that Naruto Uzumaki goes on. The series follows him as he strives to become a stronger ninja. You see him grow from a bad mannered, talentless, dreamer, into a powerful and respected ninja. Naruto Uzumaki is just one of those characters you have to love.
Naruto holds a special place in my heart as the first anime I ever watched and as my favorite show of all time. The conclusion of the series means we finally get closure on the story, but it also means our journey with knuckle headed ninja Naruto Uzumaki is coming to an end. The manga may be ending, but there will always be good memories of the 15 years of adventures many people shared with Naruto. Mr. Kishimoto, thank you for the years of hard work and dedication you have put into this series. Naruto has been one great ride and it will surely be missed.
*Japanese Trailer for the Last Naruto Movie. Video from Manga Reader 2.0.