Essential Manga: What is Naruto?

by JoHarrington

Naruto is the bullied and neglected kid, but there is far more to him than meets the eye. His destiny is about to change his life.

'Naruto' is probably the most successful manga of all time. It's certainly one of the longest running!

First published as a one-shot in 1997, it began life as a serial two years later. Since then, it's won countless awards and has attracted a huge fan-base all over the world.

Following the adventures of the eponymous Naruto, readers have watched him grow up from his humble beginnings as a young boy on the edge of society. But there is a hidden reason why everyone appears to disdain him.

Aspiring to be the Best Ninja in the Entire World

Uzumaki Naruto is a lonely twelve-year-old, who is about to unlock the secrets of his birth.

The attention-seeking Naruto harbors sadness in his soul.

At just 12 years old, he has been raised in a village that rejects and resents him. He doesn't know why and everyone is legally prohibited from telling him. He's had to watch other children receiving care and love, while he stays on the outskirts, an orphan.

This is the deep feeling behind his wild pranks, which are designed solely to force people to notice him. But his school-teacher is in the habit of punishing the whole class for Naruto's misdemeanors; and that leaves him with no friends at all.

He just wants people to like him, that's all. That and become the best ninja in the entire world, of course. Then the villagers would have to love and respect him!

Yet the big secret lingers and there are adults ready to take advantage of Naruto's ignorance and vulnerability. On the day of the school graduation, this ticking time-bomb is set to erupt. The consequences will change Naruto and the entire village forever.

Naruto Manga

Buy these editions to read it in the format that Masashi Kishimoto used to unleash his story onto the world.

Enter a World of Ninjas and the Terrifying Nine-Tail Fox

When the sins of the past collide with the present, even the most powerful people need to take care.

Konohagakure is no ordinary village. It is the home of elite ninjas hidden deep within a vast forest. It is from here that the greatest military forces emerge to defend their country.

This is where Naruto was raised, training from early childhood to join their ranks. Along with his classmates, he is tutored in jutsu, techniques that can manipulate mental or bodily energies into wondrous skills. If only he could calm down long enough to learn them.

The village also carries an horrific history. A terrible beast, known as the nine-tail fox, once crashed through its streets bent upon the destruction of all. Many people died in the defense of Konohagakure, including one of its most iconic heroes, Minato Namikaze the Fourth Hokage.

The massacre is never mentioned now, but it's within living memory. It all happened just twelve years ago; and Minato was killed containing the creature into the body of a newborn baby.

That infant was Naruto; and he is the only one who doesn't know it. This is the reason that the villagers hate him, as they secretly blame him for the deeds of the nine-tail fox. It was also the struggle which killed his parents.

Now it's all about to come out into the open. How will the young Naruto cope? And what will his rage and shock do to the seal keeping the beast inside? 

No more spoilers. You will have to read the manga or watch the anime to find out!

Naruto Uncut Anime Box Sets

Some of the more gritty content was cut to comply with Cartoon Network's censor. Buy these box sets to view the series in its full glory.

Is Naruto the Most Popular Manga of all Time?

Since first appearing in 1999, it has steadily grown in popularity throughout the world.

Industry figures are hard to come by, but Naruto could well be the best-selling manga of all time.

In October 2011, Shonen Jump announced that 113 million copies of the Naruto manga series had sold in Japan alone. Considering that it has been released world-wide, the global sum must be much, much more.

It is unknown precisely how many have been bought in the USA and Europe. However, the distributor appears to be happy.

In 2010, Viz Media's Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Gonzalo Ferreyra, was interviewed by ICv2. He singled Naruto out, stating, 'Quite frankly the continued strength of Naruto, now that it’s up in the forties, is pretty astonishing to me--the fact that the attrition on that series is relatively low and the numbers continue to be phenomenal after the several dozen volumes that are out there.'

It appears that Naruto is going to be popular for a long time yet!

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Poll: Do you Enjoy Naruto?

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Updated: 02/21/2014, JoHarrington
 
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JoHarrington on 10/11/2012

Awww! Poor Sasuke! I'm really cliched here. It's Naruto himself which gained my interest. I just felt so sorry for him.

Naruto was my first exposure to manga too. My nephews loved it. One of them still does, while the other migrated to Bleach.

Kyra on 10/11/2012

Naruto was actually the first anime I watched (besides sparse episodes of Pokemon). My favorite character to this day remains Rock Lee, because he's awesome, but also a testament to how hard work really does pay off. Sure, the storyline is kind of cliche and the SASUKE HAS NO PERSONALITY but the other characters have interesting backstories,which makes me really enjoy the series. (also the epic battle scenes)

JoHarrington on 03/08/2012

It's lovely to see that the Naruto fans are in. Thank you both for your comments.

mr D on 03/08/2012

naruto rocks

me on 03/08/2012

AAAAAH NARUTO FTWZ IT IS EPIC

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