Naruto (ナルト) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto. It tells the story of Naruto Uzumaki, a young ninja who seeks to gain recognition from his peers and also dreams of becoming the Hokage, the leader of his village. The story is in two parts, the first set in Naruto’s pre-teen years, and the second in his teens. The series is based on two one-shot manga by Kishimoto: Karakuri (1995), which earned Kishimoto an honorable mention in Shueisha’s monthly Hop Step Award the following year, and Naruto (1997).
Naruto was serialized in Shueisha’s magazine, Weekly Shōnen Jump from 1999 to 2014, and released in tankōbon (book) form in 72 volumes. The manga was adapted into an anime television series produced by Pierrot and Aniplex, which broadcast 220 episodes in Japan from 2002 to 2007; the English adaptation of the series aired on Cartoon Network from 2005 to 2009. Naruto: Shippuden, a sequel to the original series, premiered in Japan in 2007, and ended in 2017, after 500 episodes. The English adaptation was broadcast on Disney XD from 2009 to 2011, airing the first 98 episodes, and then switched over to Adult Swim’s Toonami programming block in January 2014, starting over from the first episode. The English adaptation is still airing weekly on Adult Swim to this day. Besides the anime series, Pierrot has developed eleven movies and eleven original video animations (OVAs). Other Naruto-related merchandise includes light novels, video games, and trading cards developed by several companies.
Naruto was published in Shueisha’s magazine, Weekly Shōnen Jump from September 21, 1999 (No. 43), to November 10, 2014 (No. 50). The manga was also published in tankōbon (book) form in Japan and other countries, releasing 72 volumes—27 for Part I, and the rest for Part II. The first 238 chapters are Part I and constitute the first section of the Naruto storyline. Chapters 239 to 244 include a gaiden (side-story) focusing on Kakashi Hatake’s background. The remaining chapters (245 to 700) belong to Part II, which continues the story after a two-and-a-half year gap in the internal timeline. The first tankōbon was released on March 3, 2000. Shueisha have also released several ani-manga tankōbon, each based on one of the Naruto movies, and has released the series in Japanese for cell-phone download on their website Shueisha Manga Capsule. A miniseries titled Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring (Naruto−ナルト−外伝・七代目火影と緋色の花つ月 Naruto Gaiden: Nanadaime Hokage to Akairo no Hanatsuzuki), centered on the main characters’ children, began serialization in the Japanese and English editions of Weekly Shōnen Jump on April 27, 2015, and ended after ten chapters on July 6, 2015.
Naruto was scanlated (translated by fans) and available online before a licensed version was released in North America; the rights were acquired by Viz Media, who began serializing Naruto in their anthology comic magazine Shonen Jump, starting with the January 2003 issue. The schedule was accelerated at the end of 2007 to catch up with the Japanese version, and again in early 2009, with 11 volumes (from 34 to 44) appearing in three months, after which it returned to a quarterly schedule. All 27 volumes of Part I were released in a boxed set on November 13, 2007. On May 3, 2011, Viz started selling the manga in an omnibus format with each book containing three volumes.