Everyone who watches anime knows Naruto. After the manga became a huge success it got an anime adaptation. In total, the anime spans 72 volumes and 220 episodes. But there are also many interesting facts that not everyone knows. Here are 10 interesting facts about the anime and the manga that surprised even me as a huge Naruto fan.
1. Kurama the nine-tailed-demon fox
We all know that Kurama is the nine-tailed-demon fox that was sealed inside of Naruto. Together they form an very impressive team, but did you know that a demon was taken as inspiration for Kurama? In Japanese folklore there is a fox demon called the Kitsune, this demon is often described as a fox spirit. He possess humans and can only be perceived by the possessed humans. The Kitsune has like Kurama nine tails, and both are pretty similar and have a lot in common. So basically, Kurama the nine-tailed-demon fox is based on a Japanese demon.
2.References to Dragon Ball
There are many references to Dragon Ball in the anime and the manga. Masashi Kishimoto the creator of Naruto, is a huge fan of Akira Toriyama the creator of Dragon Ball. He always points out the influence Dragon Ball had on his own work. In one scene in the manga we can clearly see a Chiaotzu mask hanging in a mask shop. There is also an old man named “Roshi” and a big four-tailed monkey named “Son Goku”. The interesting thing about the monkey is the fact that he has four tails. Because the dragonball that Son Goku owns as a child is the one with the four stars. I personally am a big fan of such references in animes or mangas because it shows the whole respect that a creator has towards the work of his idol.
(Son Goku and Roshi)
Everyone who has seen the Naruto anime, knows that it’s full of countless filler episodes. But how did it happen that over a third of all episodes are filler episodes? One of the problem is that a single issue of the manga, are only 18-20 pages in length. However, that doesn’t contain enough material to fill a 22 minute long episode of the anime. In order to have enough material for a season, the creator of the anime are forced to write their own story, these episodes are called “Filler”. Filler episodes are hated by the most fans, because they have nothing to do with the main storyline. They are usually boring and nobody likes them. Naruto is one of the worst series for having an abundance of filler episodes. Incredible 43% of the anime is made up of filler episodes.
4.Shikamaru is a genius
Shikamaru Nara is with an IQ of 200 probably the most intelligent character in Naruto. His IQ is even higher than that of Albert Einstein, who only had an IQ of around 160. He’s also pretty lazy, just like me. 🙂
5.The iconic headbands
The headbands in Naruto are probably the most popular identifying features of the main characters. These headbands are very popular by the fans and let’s be honest, we all had such a headband when we were kids. But there is a reason for these headbands and it’s not because of the merchandise. In the beginning of the series, Naruto and some other characters wear goggles instead of headbands. However, since it was too time consuming to draw the goggles, it was decided to draw headbands instead of goggles. It saved a lot of time and was easier to draw.
6.The Naruto musical
Theater and especially musical performances are very popular in Japan. They are so popular that plans for a Naruto live-action-musical came up. The musical had its premiere in 2015. It only ran in a few cities in Japan, but it was so successful that it got a second run in 2016. The show followed an abridged version of the Ware Country and Chunin Exam arcs. And for everyone who missed it, a DVD of the musical was released in Japan.
7.Naruto’s favorite ramen shop
Just like us, Naruto has his favorite restaurant. But did you know that this place really exists? His favorite ramen shop is in a place you can actually visit. The shop in the manga was modeled after a restaurant located in Fukuoka, Japan that is also called Ichiraku. The shop was allegedly one of Masashi Kishimoto’s (Naruto’s creator) favorite spots to frequent in college.
8.The Naruto manga is one of the best-selling mangas of all time
When it comes to sales, Naruto is the fourth highest-selling manga series of all time. Only Dragon Ball, One Piece and Golgo 13 sold more mangas worldwide. Am I the only one wondering what Golgo 13 is?
As we all know, animes that run in the U.S or Europe get a lot of censorship. Many scenes that contains to much violence or morally questionable scenes are usually censored. Just like many other animes, many scenes have been censored in the Naruto anime. For example, whenever Asuma shows up in the American version, his cigarettes are never lit, and Tazuna’s liquor is taken away so that he’s not drunk when he appears on the screen.
I’m not a big fan of censorship, I can understand that they want to protect younger viewers, but sometimes it’s just too much. My tip, watch the Japanese version.
10.Naruto in One Piece?
Naruto’s top anime competitor One Piece, introduced the character of Sanji around the same time that Naruto was getting its start. Originally, the chef of the pirate gang was supposed to be named Naruto, but the creator of One Piece ultimately decided to take a different route, as the plucky ninja was already going notable popularity.
(Sanji, One Piece)