Very popular shonen manga by Masashi Kishimoto which has spawned two popular anime series (Naruto and Naruto: Hurricane Chronicles), multiple movies, and video games.

 Naruto Uzumaki

Not to be confused with.

Just The Facts

  1. It is considered a shonen manga, which means it is geared towards teenage boys and girls that randomly shriek loudly whenever the characters do something interesting.
  2. It is currently the best selling manga in the world.
  3. Viz Media, which has the rights to other series like Ranma ½, Inuyasha, and Rin-ne, has licensed the manga and anime for North American production.
  4. Premiered 1999 in the 43rd issue of Japan's Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine.
  5. The manga published weekly and has 459+ chapters.
  6. The anime is split up into two series Naruto (208 episodes) and Naruto Shippuden (121+ episodes) about half of which are filler episodes.

Plot in a Nutshell

The main story follows Naruto Uzumaki, a young ninja who has a demon fox sealed inside him as a baby by his father, who ends up dying and leaving him a crappy childhood. Naruto is host, Jinchuuriki, to the Nine-Tailed Fox which is the most powerful of the Bijuu, or tailed beasts. The Fox's power is triggered by intense emotion, and as the number of tails appear the more out of control the power becomes. As an adolescent, he is regarded as a stupid, clumsy outcast in his native village Konahagakure or Hidden-Leaf village. He sets forth to prove to everyone that he is not as bad as they think he is by perusing his lifelong dream of becoming Hokage, head ninja, of his village. Like typical anime style he is confronted with a series of difficulties and power ups. However, he must contend it all without the use of magical wish granting balls (suck it DBZ), cards, or other charms. Occasionally, he loses his shit and the Kyuubi's power slips out creating fun and mishap for all. Early in the series, he is put in a three person ninja squad, Team 7, with fellow classmate crush Sakura Harino and rival Sasuke Uchiha, who is the source of much misery, woe, and fangirl squeals throughout most of the series. Later on in the series, Sauske is replaced by a sunlight deficient kid named Sai. Team 7 is lead by their sensei, Kakashi "badass" Hatake, and temporarily by Yamato. He can do things with wood *wink*. Like all the other ninja teams in the village, (there is a hell of a lot of them) Team 7 is occasionally called to carry missions anywhere from chasing stray cats to going full force against guys, and one girl, in black overcoats. At one point, Naruto is apprenticed to a legendary ninja Jiraiya who teaches him to summon frogs which comes in handy in getting rid of that roach problem in his apartment. In the beginning of the series, Naruto has his ninja adventures and tries to learn about life the universe and everything. Next come the Chunin exams which is a hellish amalgamation of emo sand people, a giant raccoon looking thing, geriatric killings, and Marilyn Manson devotee Orochimaru. After that, Sauske's older brother Itachi shows up as a member of an elite criminal group called the Akatsuki, who will become the bane of Naruto's existence for most of the series to come. After a bad encounter with Itachi, Sasuke's says "fuck you all" and leaves the village to teams up with Orochimaru leaving Naruto feeling very sad and whiny. Sauske later goes on to kill Orochimaru, kill his brother, and wanders around looking for other people to blame for his miserable existence. Meanwhile, Naruto tries to deal with Sauske's betrayal, save himself and the village from guys with big metal piercings, and deal with the general jackasses that spring up from time to time.