Description of Series Series Rundown
Naruto (ナルト?) is a manga series written and illustrated by mangaka Masashi Kishimoto with an anime adaptation. The main character, Naruto Uzumaki, is a loud, hyperactive, unpredictable adolescent ninja who constantly searches for approval and recognition, as well as to become Hokage, acknowledged as the leader and strongest of all ninja in the village.
The manga was first published by Shueisha in 1999 in the 43rd issue of Japan's Shonen Jump magazine. As of volume 36, the manga has sold over 71 million copies in Japan. VIZ Media publishes a translated version in the American Shonen Jump magazine. Naruto has become VIZ's best-selling manga series. To date, the first 15 volumes are available. In order to catch up to the translated anime, VIZ plans to release volumes 16 to 27 three at a time over the months of September to December 2007.
The first of two anime series, produced by Studio Pierrot and Aniplex, premiered across Japan on the terrestrial TV Tokyo network and the anime satellite television network Animax on October 3, 2002, and is still being aired. Viz also licensed the anime for North American production. Naruto debuted in the United States on Cartoon Network's Toonami programming block on September 10, 2005, and in Canada on YTV's Bionix on September 16, 2005. Naruto began showing in the UK on Jetix on July 22, 2006. It began showing on Toasted TV on January 12, 2007 in Australia, although it could be watched on Cartoon Network in 2006. The first series lasted nine seasons, while Naruto: Shippūden began its first on February 15, 2007. Story Description
Twelve years before the events at the focus of the series, the nine-tailed demon fox attacked Konohagakure. Powerful enough to raise tsunamis and flatten mountains with a swish of one of its tails, it raised chaos and slaughtered many people, until the leader of the Leaf Village – the Fourth Hokage – sacrificed his own life to seal the demon inside a newly-born child, Naruto Uzumaki. The Fourth Hokage, who was celebrated as a hero for sealing the demon fox away, wanted Naruto to be respected in a similar light by being the containment vessel for the demon fox.
The Leaf Village, however, shunned him, regarding Naruto as if he were the demon fox itself and mistreated him throughout most of his childhood. A decree made by the Third Hokage forbid anyone to discuss or mention the attack of the demon fox to anyone, even their own children. However, this did not stop them from treating him like an outcast and as a result he grew up an orphan without friends, family, or acknowledgment. He could not force people to befriend him, so he sought acknowledgment and attention the only way he knew – through pranks and mischief.
However, that soon changed after Naruto graduated from the Ninja Academy by using his Multiple Shadow Clone Technique to save his teacher, Iruka Umino, from the renegade ninja Mizuki. That encounter gave Naruto two insights: that he was the container of the demon fox, and that there was someone besides the Third Hokage who actually cared for and acknowledged him. His graduation from the academy opened a gateway to the events and people that would change and define his world, including his way of the ninja for the rest of his life.
The main story follows Naruto and his friends' personal growth and development as ninja, and emphasizes their interactions with each other and the influence of their backgrounds on their personalities. Naruto finds two friends and comrades in Sasuke Uchiha and Sakura Haruno, two fellow young ninja who are assigned with him to form a three-person team under an experienced sensei named Kakashi Hatake. Naruto also confides in other characters that he meets throughout the series as well. They learn new abilities, get to know each other and other villagers better, and experience a coming-of-age journey as Naruto dreams of becoming the Hokage of the Leaf Village.
Throughout all of the Naruto plot, strong emphasis on character development changes the plot, with very few things happening because of chance. At first, emphasis is placed on Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura, who are the members of Team 7. However, other characters are developed, such as Kakashi, Tsunade, and Jiraiya, as well as Naruto's peers in the other teams and villages. Several major villains come into play as well, the first being Zabuza Momochi, a missing-nin from Kirigakure, and his partner, Haku. Later, in the Chunin Exams arc, Orochimaru is introduced as an S-Class missing-nin at the top of Konoha's most wanted list. Later still, a mysterious organization called Akatsuki begins to pursue Naruto for the nine-tailed demon fox inside him. Characters
Naruto has a large and colorful cast of characters, running a gamut of detailed histories and complex personalities, and allowing many of them their fair share in the spotlight; they are also seen to grow and mature with the series, as it spans several years. As fitting for a coming-of-age saga, Naruto's world constantly expands and thickens, and his social relations are no exception – during his introduction he has only his teacher and the village's leader for sympathetic figures, but as the story progresses, more and more people become a part of his story.
The students at the Ninja Academy, where the story begins, are split up into squads of three after their graduation and become Genin, junior ninja. Each squad is assigned an experienced sensei. These core squads form a basis for the characters' interactions later in the series, where characters are chosen for missions for their team's strength and complementary skills; Naruto's squad 7 becomes the social frame where Naruto is acquainted with Sasuke Uchiha and Sakura Haruno, and their sensei Kakashi Hatake, forming the core of his world-in-the-making. The other three-man teams of his former classmates form another such layer, as Naruto connects with them to various degrees, learning of their motives, vulnerabilities, and aspirations, often relating them to his own. The groups of three are not limited to the comrades Naruto's age – groups in the story in general come in threes and multiples of three with very few exceptions.
Sensei-student relationships play a significant role in the series; Naruto has a number of mentors with whom he trains and learns, most notably Iruka Umino, the first ninja to recognize Naruto's existence, Kakashi Hatake, his team leader, and Jiraiya, and there are often running threads of tradition and tutelage binding together several generations. These role models provide guidance for their students not only in the ninja arts but also in a number of Japanese aesthetics and philosophical ideals. Techniques, ideals, and mentalities noticeably run in families, Naruto often being exposed to the abilities and traditions of generation-old clans in his village when friends from his own age group demonstrate them, or even achieve improvements of their own; it is poignantly noted that Naruto's generation is particularly talented.
Many of the greater lingering mysteries of the series are questions of character motives and identity. The legacy of Naruto's parents, the goals that guide Kabuto Yakushi, the identity of the mysterious person who orders the Akatsuki leader – these are only a few of the fundamental unanswered questions of “who” and, by proxy, “why” currently at the core of the series. The story is remarkably character-driven; the theme of causality runs inherently throughout the series as characters reciprocate for their past actions and relationships. In this respect, characters' respective destinies are very much intertwined, and large emphasis is placed on comradeship and 'bonds' between the community or individual.
Character names often borrow from Japanese mythology, folklore and literature (such as the names borrowed from the folk-tale Jiraiya Goketsu Monogatari), or are otherwise elaborate puns; often there is a noticeable influence of the story behind the name shouldered by the character. Anime Description
Even though it debuted some time after the manga, the anime quickly caught up, since one anime episode usually covers one or two manga chapters. To prevent overlapping, the anime's producers tend to organize content from the manga chapters into long, uneventful sections followed by short bursts of action, sometimes adding filler content in between. By the time the last canonical arc of the anime concluded, it was quickly gaining on the manga and consequently switched to anime-only filler episodes to allow the manga to broaden the gap once more. Most of the filler episodes are stand-alone stories, with a few being part of arcs that are several episodes long. The filler episodes lasted for 85 episodes, the duration of the first series. After the series moved back into manga-adapted episodes, it was renamed Naruto: Shippūden (疾風伝? lit. Hurricane Chronicles). The new series premiered on February 15, 2007.
The anime generally remains true to the manga, usually changing only minor details (causes of death, loss of limbs, and other injuries have been lessened in the anime) or expanding on parts skipped by the manga. The filler arcs, though unreferenced in the manga (save for a few scant scenes), deal with the breaks between story arcs, most prominently the period between the mission to retrieve Sasuke and Naruto's departure from Leaf Village at the end of the original series. The filler arcs also often shine the spotlight on minor characters that have received little narrative attention otherwise.
New episodes, animated by Studio Pierrot, air weekly on TV Tokyo in Japan during the Golden Time slot (Japan's equivalent of prime time in the US). As of October 5, 2006, it shows on Thursday nights. The series has also spawned four movies, Naruto the Movie, Naruto the Movie 2, Naruto the Movie 3, and Naruto: Shippūden the Movie scheduled to premiere on August 4, 2007. The first three are available on DVD. English Language Version
On September 10, 2005, Naruto had its hour-long premiere in the U.S. on Cartoon Network's Toonami. The first episode of Naruto premiered in Canada on YTV on September 16, 2005. In the United Kingdom, Naruto premiered on Jetix on July 22, 2006. In Australia and New Zealand it premiered on Cartoon Network on September 27, 2006. It also began showing on Toasted TV on January 12, 2007, in Australia.
In its English anime release, Naruto was aired with a TV-PG rating in the US and a PG rating in Canada. More explicit episodes, such as Jiraiya's debut and the battle with Zabuza, have been given a TV-PG-DS or a TV-PG-V rating. References to alcohol, Japanese cultural differences, mild language, mild sexual situations, and even blood and death remain in the English version, though reduced in some instances. Other networks make additional content edits apart from the edits done by Cartoon Network, such as Jetix's more strict censoring of blood, language, smoking and the like. So far, only one episode, the “lost OVA”, has received a TV-Y7-FV rating, but this was likely due to Cartoon Network neglecting to update the rating for usually in the timeslot that this special ran in TV-Y7-FV programs ran. Repeated viewings (such as the on August 8, 2007) have listed the special as TV-PG-V. Audience Reception
The series' length and popularity is comparable to that of Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball, another popular action-oriented shōnen manga. Since its creation, Naruto has spawned a large number of fansites that contain detailed information, guides, and active forums. Some of the first and most popular sites targeted at English speaking audiences were established shortly after the first English manga volume was released in August 2003. Like many other manga and anime titles, Naruto has also spawned its own collectible card game.
Prior to the anime's North American debut in 2005, several scanlation and fansub groups translated the series and made it available for free download on the internet. Despite North American companies' perceived tendency to prosecute fansubbing groups more frequently than Japanese companies, there are some that have continued to translate new Naruto episodes due to the extremely large gap between the English and Japanese versions.
Although the early part of the series has been called “childish” and “goofy”, with a focus on toilet humor, “formulaic battles” and a simplistic plot, the series later develops.
Volume 7 of the manga has recently won a Quill Award for best graphic novel in North America. In TV Asahi's latest top 100 Anime Ranking, Naruto ranked 17th on the list. Descrition of Naruto Uzumaki Basic Description
Naruto Uzumaki (うずまきナルト Uzumaki Naruto?) is the protagonist in the anime and manga series Naruto created by Masashi Kishimoto. He is a member of the Konoha 11, who serve as the series main protagonists.
Naruto consistently ranked in the top two (taking first place twice) in the first five official Shonen Jump character popularity polls. However, in the sixth character poll, he ranked fourth. Design
Masahi Kishimoto has stated that he developed Naruto's character from a character that he created in a failed manga about magic and fox spirits, without any of the ninja theming of the current series. Liking the character, Kishimoto decided to keep using him in the future. The character Kishimoto drew then had very little difference from the Naruto Uzumaki he draws now, all of them minor details. In Naruto's original design, instead of zori, traditional Japanese sandals, Naruto wore boots, and also wore the goggles he had at the beginning of the current series. It is also because “drawing the goggles was a pain”, Kishimoto says, that he came up with the idea of the hitai-ate, the headbands the ninja in Naruto wear. Naruto had also worn a frowning smiley over part of the jacket in the original design.
For the character's name, he chose “Naruto”, in reference to a topping for Ramen called Kamaboko, which is a sliced stick with a pink whirlpool-like design in the middle. The reason why he chose this name was because Ramen was the character's favorite food in the series. The character's surname “Uzumaki” is a pun on “spiral” (渦巻), while “Uzumaki” refers to a three-dimensional spiral, like a whirlpool or vortex. A more accurate translation for spiral would be “Rasen”. The series is seen to make frequent references to spirals, The Konoha village symbol for “leaf” is drawn with an arrow attached to a spiral. Also, Naruto's clothes adorn spirals; but mostly, the demonic seal around his navel is a spiral. One of Naruto's attacks later in the series is called the “Rasengan”, which literally means “Spiraling Sphere”. “Uzumaki” can also mean “whirlpool”, in reference to the Naruto whirlpool (鳴門の渦潮), named after the city of Naruto, Tokushima.
October 10, Naruto's birthday, was Health and Sports Day (“Taiiku no hi”) in Japan when his character was conceived – a holiday full of physical activity fit for a hyperactive kid. The holiday, however, was moved to the second Monday of October in 1999.
Kishimoto stated in an interview in the U.S. Monthly Shonen Jump that he got inspiration for the character from his own childhood while he was enrolled in school. Background
Naruto was born on October 10 to an unknown couple in the fictional village of Konoha. When Naruto was a newborn infant, the powerful nine-tailed demon fox attacked his village. In order to save the village from destruction, the demon fox was sealed in Naruto's newborn body by the Fourth Hokage, leader of the village at the time of the attack, who sacrificed his life to do so.
Despite the Fourth Hokage's dying wish that Naruto be viewed as a hero for serving as the container for the demon, the adult villagers of Konoha harbored a fierce hatred for him, with many believing that Naruto and the demon were one and the same, leading to the unknowing children picking up the adult's hatred. However, nobody told Naruto about what his body harbored until he was twelve years old, leaving him confused for most of his childhood about why the villagers of Konoha treated him with hostility.
Naruto is seen to be a prankster and a loner, living by himself in a small apartment, and has supposedly done so for years. Even though Naruto was treated as an outsider, he was befriended by his compassionate ninja instructor named Iruka Umino. Although Iruka's own parents perished during the battle with the demon fox, he refused to view Naruto as the cause of their deaths. Instead, Iruka attached himself to Naruto, because he was similarly isolated after the death of his parents, causing him to seek recognition. Naruto was deeply moved by Iruka's kindness and confidence in him. As a result, Naruto values Iruka more as a father figure, as well as an instructor. Personality
Before graduating from the Ninja Academy, Naruto had a fierce desire for attention. As a result, Naruto would prank the villagers and vandalize the monument that depicted the Hokages, Naruto's skill in ninjutsu was very limited at the beginning of the series, his most dangerous jutsu being his “Sexy Technique”; transforming himself into a naked female version of himself simply to stun his male instructors, even stunning the Third Hokage on several occasions. Naruto is determined to achieve the rank of Hokage for recognition. When he graduates and learns under an official ninja master, he becomes the “Number One Loudest, Unpredictable, Hyperactive Knuckleheaded Ninja” of Konoha, as described by his teacher Kakashi Hatake.
Naruto's exuberant personality and fiery desire for self-improvement strongly impacts the lives of those around him. At the beginning of the series, Naruto befriends Konohamaru, the grandson of the Third Hokage, and it is through his brief tutelage that Konohamaru learns that the path to success is through hard work. Despite his brash, headstrong, and even slightly dumb nature, Naruto is a clever prankster who overcomes his opponents through a combination of willpower, clever diversions, and often, dumb luck (though as Kakashi states, luck is very important).
Naruto has a great sense of humor, albeit somewhat perverted in some cases, and smiles and laughs at most times. Despite this at times, he smiles to hide whatever is bothering him so no one worries about him; those who are closest to him see right through it. Outside his world, he's just an ordinary, loud, hotheaded kid with a fierce will and a knack for getting into trouble. Naruto also has a less keen sense of etiquette than many of his peers do, typically saying what he means regardless of how he believes the listener will react to it, and rarely using honorifics for people. While most people call Tsunade “Tsunade-sama”, (“Lady Tsunade” in the English dub) he refers to her as “Tsunade-baachan”, (“Granny Tsunade”, or “Grandma Tsunade” in the English dub), taking a jab at her age.
One of Naruto's hobbies is gardening, even though Naruto was beaten in episode 20 for not knowing the difference between weeds and herbs, though this may have been due to carelessness in his effort to outdo Sasuke Uchiha. He is the one who gives Kakashi Mr. Ukki, the plant seen on Kakashi's windowsill. Kishimoto once described how he had the same plant for a while until he fed it undiluted plant food.
In the Japanese versions, Naruto often ends his sentences with “dattebayo,” and as such has a unique style of speech. In manga and anime, characters are frequently given speech quirks (rather than pure dialect/speech variations) in order to make them sound childish, girlish, tough, cute, and the like. The ”-ttebayo” suffix is used to emphasize something the speaker already said, primarily as an attention-getting device among children. Throughout the beginning of the series, Viz replaced the ending with the phrase “Believe it!” to mirror the effect, as well as to match the character's lip movements, though they seem to have abandoned its use as of late.
Despite rapidly maturing throughout the series, Naruto retains a naive streak and a knack for childish accessories. For example, his pajamas always include a comical black nightcap with eyes and teeth. Naruto also keeps his money in a chubby, green-frog wallet he affectionately calls “Gama-chan”.
Naruto is an avid eater with an appetite comparable to Choji Akimichi's. His favorite food, ramen, serves as a bond between Naruto and anyone who would treat him to it. In several episodes, he can be seen devouring enormous servings of ramen in a variety of flavors. However, an opportunity to eat any sort of food usually leaves Naruto lying down and exclaiming, “Whew, I ate too much!” with an exaggerated pot belly.
Though Naruto is usually quite dense in most cases, which usually often results in Sakura Haruno hitting him, missing details that are obvious to the viewer and many other characters, he can actually be quite observant when he wants to be, or the subject interests. During their first meeting with Rock Lee, it is Naruto who points out to the rest of Team 7 that Lee's handwraps hide his battered and bruised knuckles, indicating Lee is the type of person who trains non-stop.
Naruto's perpetual determination and refusal to back down has been known to rub onto other characters from time to time. Naruto's cheering has rekindled spirits of fighters in hopeless situations, most notably Hinata Hyuga, whose admiration for Naruto's persistence causes her to develop a crush on him. Naruto's willingness to risk death to save his friends has even carried onto Gaara, a previously impulsively murderous child who also is host to a demon. Under Naruto's positive influence, Gaara has become more aware of lives other than his own, to the point that he would sacrifice himself for his village. Naruto's numerous monologues about the values he holds dear have inspired changes of heart in many more of his opponents, notably Zabuza Momochi and Neji Hyuga.
Although Naruto grew up in isolation, Kakashi notes that he has an ability to make friends with everyone he meets, and often quickly changes how they view him. While Kurenai Yuhi thinks that Naruto has no chance to defeat her student Kiba Inuzuka in the Chunin exam preliminaries, her opinion of him gradually changes as Naruto withstands Kiba's attacks and outwits him, and Kurenai finally admits to herself that Kiba should not be ashamed of losing to Naruto. This ability to find friends sets Naruto apart from others who had lived in isolation, and Naruto suspects that without this ability, he would have become like some of the evil people he faced.
In Naruto: Shippūden, after a two-and-a-half year time skip, Naruto shows physical growth and sports a new outfit. Naruto is now noticeably taller than Sakura, (In Part I, he is made fun of for being shorter than her) and some of his other friends, (Kiba even states Naruto has become a “giant”). However, Naruto is still a Genin, since he hasn't had a chance to take the Chunin Exams again, while the rest of the Konoha 11 have become Chunin, and Neji subequently becomes a Jonin. He is initially jealous that Gaara has become the Fifth Kazekage- thereby achieving the equivalent of Naruto's lifelong dream- but is happy for him. According to Tsunade, Naruto is also slowly adopting some of Jiraiya's perverted traits. During his apprenticeship under Jiraiya, Naruto was able to read ten pages of the latest of the “Icha Icha” series written by Jiraiya, although when he presents a copy to Kakashi, he says he thought it was boring.
Naruto appears to not only have increased in strength, speed, and techniques, but intelligence as well; Kakashi had even said that Naruto has become more cunning. During his training, Kakashi remarks that he believes Naruto will surpass himself as well as the Fourth Hokage and later, even sees a vision of the Fourth Hokage around Naruto. After Naruto shows off the results of his special training, Kakashi admits that Naruto has surpassed himself. Naruto and Kyubi
As the host of the demon fox, a jinchuuriki, both Naruto's body and mind (occasionally) are influenced by it. Physically, Naruto has some of the demon fox's characteristics, such as whisker-like marks on his cheeks and larger canines than normal. His eyes are also somewhat slitted like a fox. He also has increased stamina and healing ability, which allows him to recover from major injuries within a day and minor injuries within a few seconds. Mentally, Naruto remains largely unaffected, save for a few animalistic traits that slip through, such as his occasional tendency to leap between trees on all fours. Since the demon fox was sealed inside Naruto at birth, it is unclear just what parts of his personality it has had an effect on; however, it could explain Naruto's devilish side for pulling pranks to gain attention, as well as his stubbornness to never back down from a challenge. These traits become more pronounced as he draws upon the demon fox's chakra.
The kitsune (狐) is a well-known character in Japanese folklore, and the influence behind not only the demon fox but many other reincarnations in modern Japanese culture. It likes to play tricks and pranks on people, and on occasions transforms itself into a beautiful woman and seduces a man (similar to Naruto's “Sexy no Jutsu”). Also, Kitsune are known to keep their promises, a trait Naruto has, as his “ninja way” is to “never go back on [his] word.” It should also be noted that every time Naruto loses control and is overwhelmed by the demon fox's chakra, he seemingly gains another “tail” of chakra. The chakra that surrounds his body and its “tail” act as a sort of shield most of the time, until it gets to as high as four “tails”. This stems from the belief that the more tails a kitsune has, the more powerful it is, with nine tails usually being the limit.
The demon fox's chakra usually comes to Naruto during life threatening or other stressful situations, given to him by the fox itself to ensure its survival. Naruto eventually learns to contact the fox and demand some of its chakra, which it seems to comply to out of amusement. The reason Naruto is able to access its chakra is because of the unique way in which it was sealed. Though the fox remains trapped within Naruto, its chakra can leak out through the seal and mix with Naruto's. The fox's near-limitless supply of chakra becomes an invaluable weapon for Naruto, often turning the tide of a difficult battle in his favor. Beyond that, the fox's chakra seems to increase in intensity with time. Several external methods can be used to suppress it once this occurs, such as Jiraiya's sealing talisman or Yamato's sealing techniques.
This tremendous power is not without its disadvantages, however. When he first accesses it, Naruto is unable to retain control when using the demon fox's chakra, allowing its innate rage and anger to take over his personality. Over time, Naruto gains more control over the demon fox, allowing him to retain his personality while using its chakra. However, his degree of control is determined by the amount of chakra he draws upon and his emotional state. As he becomes more emotional and draws on more of the demon fox's chakra, his own personality is gradually supplanted by the demon fox's. When Naruto completely loses control and grows four chakra “tails” the demon fox's personality takes control. His body is completely covered in the fox's chakra to a point where he looks like a miniature demon fox as his body acts like a skeleton for it. Because his body is completely covered in the fox's chakra, it is constantly destroying and healing his skin, therefore shortening his lifespan.
The nine-tailed demon fox is a truly powerful beast; a single swipe of one of its nine tails can raise tsunamis and flatten mountains. After the demon fox attacked Konohagakure, the Fourth Hokage sealed it into the newborn Naruto by using the Dead Demon Consuming Seal, sacrificing his own life to do so.
The demon fox is a beast of almost pure malevolence. It is intelligent, and has a scathing and sadistic personality. However, it has a sense of honor, and seems to possess a respect (if merely a loathing one) for Naruto and the Fourth Hokage. Additionally, it has a distinct sense of pride and became rather angry and scornful at Naruto when he rejected its chakra in Part II, though this might have merely been anger over missing an opportunity to partially usurp control over Naruto's body.
As the demon fox's host, Naruto has accelerated healing, almost unrivaled stamina, and access to the demon fox's immense amount of chakra. The near-limitless chakra allows Naruto to perform his signature jutsu, Shadow Clone Technique, seemingly without limit. He is even able to summon Gamabunta the “Toad Boss”, a normally Kage-level feat requiring an amount of chakra proportionate to the size of the summoned creature.
Naruto typically accesses this prodigious supply of chakra from the demon fox during extreme emotional states or life-threatening situations. When he first accessed it, the demon fox's innate rage took over Naruto's mind, causing him to strike out at whatever was near him at the time. Afterwards, Naruto learned to exercise more control over the chakra, and he can now retain his mental state when drawing upon small amounts of the demon fox's chakra. After Jiraiya's training, Naruto learns to summon a small degree of the demon fox's power at will. To do this, Naruto travels into his own mind (depicted as a sewer) and demands that the demon fox give him its chakra. He calls it “rent”. The demon fox seems to comply simply because it is amused by Naruto's bravery, as well its own vested interest in Naruto's continued survival.
The demon fox's chakra is not without its drawbacks, however. As Naruto draws on more of the demon fox's chakra, his own personality becomes supplanted by the fox's. The degree to which this occurs is proportionate to how much chakra Naruto draws upon. The effect on Naruto's personality becomes significant once he begins accessing his “tailed” transformation states. The tailed transformations appear as fox-shaped auras of red chakra surrounding him. The number of “chakra tails” that extend from the aura indicate its power level, and its effect on his personality. In the one-tailed to three-tailed states, Naruto's personality remains dominant, but he acquires some animalistic behaviors, such as standing on all fours, fighting mercilessly, and a distinct bloodlust. In his four-tailed state (the highest seen so far), the demon fox's personality becomes dominant. Naruto becomes immensely powerful and destructive in this state, enough so to overwhelm even Jiraiya and Orochimaru. Unfortunately, this state also leaves him unable to distinguish between friend and foe which was shown when he attacked Sakura. Such a large amount of chakra requires stability, so it densely molds around him. As Yamato stated, his body is just a “skeleton” for the chakra. The intense aura created from it both shields and harms him, burning off all his exposed skin and causing him to bleed from every pore. This, combined with the accelerated cell regeneration, weakens Naruto and shortens his lifespan.
In the event of the demon fox manifesting, Naruto's sensei, Jiraiya, prescribes a special written seal that is to be placed on Naruto's body. This seal suppresses the demon fox's chakra and restores Naruto to his normal self. In addition, Yamato has demonstrated a technique that will reverse Naruto's demon fox transformation, enhanced greatly by the First Hokage's necklace that Naruto wears.
The Third Hokage and Kakashi Hatake allude that if Naruto loses all control of the demon fox's chakra, the seal will break and the demon fox will be freed. Though the seal is unlikely to break on its own, the chances of it happening increase as Naruto draws upon the fox's chakra. Soon after the start of Part II, Jiraiya mentions that the seal may be becoming weaker over time. This is evident in Naruto's transformations, which occur much quicker and with greater intensity than they did in the first part of the series, often against his own will. As has been seen during Naruto's training sessions, even the slightest amount of frustration on Naruto's part allows the demon fox's chakra to leak out in excess, and Naruto rapidly progresses to a four-tailed state.
In Part II, it is revealed that the demon fox is familiar with the Uchiha clan. The precise relationship between the clan and the fox is unclear as of now, but the fox mentions a Madara Uchiha, who possessed chakra more evil (“cursed”, as described by the fox) than the fox's own, a trait which Sasuke seems to share. Sasuke also demonstrates the ability to forcefully suppress the demon fox's chakra. To parallel the fox's apparent connection with the Uchihas, Itachi Uchiha of Akatsuki is originally assigned to capture it as part of the organization's goal of obtaining all the tailed beasts, but this task is later given to Pein after Deidara is killed in battle.
The nine tails of the demon fox is a reference to the belief that a fox may possess as many as nine tails. Generally, an older and more powerful fox will possess a greater number of tails, and some sources say that a fox will only grow additional tails after they have lived for a thousand years. After that period of time, the number increases based on age and wisdom. Team 7
Naruto's growth in the series is promoted primarily by his relationships with the others in his four-man cell, Team 7. Among the group were Sakura Haruno, Sasuke Uchiha and Kakashi Hatake, their Jonin squad leader. Naruto's motivation is often a combination of his desire to impress Sakura and his aspiration to surpass Sasuke. Sakura Haruno
Naruto's relationship with Sakura begins on rocky ground. Sakura had been Naruto's long-time crush; unfortunately for him, Sakura did not think much of Naruto at first. Her judgment was partially influenced by his rivalry with her own long-time crush, Sasuke Uchiha. In addition to this, Naruto's childish attitude played a role in her initial dislike, and she was likely influenced by the other villagers' shunning of Naruto, as with most other children, even though she was unaware that Naruto was the demon fox's host until Part II. Sakura's view of Naruto improves after a while, however; she observes Naruto's growth throughout the series, occasionally even pointing out her desire to be as strong as he is, although she sometimes seeks to improve herself to avoid being inferior to Naruto, which she believes is particularly humiliating.
Naruto's relationship with Sakura seems to have matured after the time skip: He does not seem to have a child-like crush anymore, and genuinely admires Sakura's healing abilities. Naruto and Sakura have a very easy time communicating with each other, despite the nearly three-year separation. They are capable of having a casual conversation together, and they seem to like spending time together. Regardless of their closer bond, Naruto and Sakura still have the same sort of childish disputes from before the time skip on occasion. Sasuke Uchiha
Perhaps Naruto's most defining relationship, the bond between Naruto and Sasuke remains at the core of the series. The two are both rivals and friends, though more of the former than the latter. Their rivalry pushes them to outperform one another, which makes it a mutually beneficial relationship. The opinions of this greatly differ, however. While Naruto sees himself as an equal to Sasuke, or at least works his way up to that point, Sasuke sees himself as stronger than Naruto. As such, whenever Sasuke finds that Naruto is either catching up to him or surpassing him, Sasuke feels as though he is inferior or weak. This opinion is not helped by the fact that Naruto is usually the most responsible for their team's victories, notably in the Invasion of Konoha Arc, when Naruto defeats Gaara after Sasuke fails to do so.
Sasuke's defection from the village leads to a grand battle between the two friends, during which their true sentiments are expressed. Naruto refuses to let Sasuke go, for fear that his greatest friendship will end. During this battle, Sasuke finally recognizes Naruto as an equal, and although Sasuke barely wins, he spares Naruto on a whim, realizing that he is doing what his brother Itachi wants him to do. Naruto's drive to save and locate Sasuke remains at the core of early filler arcs and stays evident throughout several other episodes.
Sasuke's defection still affects Naruto and Sakura after the time skip; Sasuke is still a touchy subject for both of them. When Naruto, Sakura, and Sasuke finally meet again, Sasuke greets them as he did when they became a team- with cold indifference- and even attempts to kill the two. Naruto and Sakura are clearly upset that he is no longer the Sasuke they knew. After his reunion with Sasuke, Naruto sinks into a deep depression. This is short lived, however. Even as an enemy, Sasuke still motivates Naruto; no longer is it through rivalry, but through the hope that they may one day be friends again. With his last encounter with Sasuke driving him, Naruto becomes more serious and focused than he's ever been. Abilities
At the start of the series, the only jutsu Naruto could do without fail was the Sexy Technique, a creative but almost completely useless diversionary technique used simply to shock his instructors. Though Naruto had trouble with the Clone Technique at the start of the series, he quickly learns how to use the Multiple Shadow Clone Technique and the smaller-scale Shadow Clone Technique, Jonin-level techniques, in both the first episode and chapter of the series. This particular ninjutsu grows to be his most-used techniques, as it often serves as the basis for other moves. The Shadow Clone technique allows Naruto to create replicas of himself. Unlike the Clone technique, the replicas are physical beings rather than illusions, making them capable of attacking and intercepting blows, and even adding intensity to one's training. He even uses his Shadow Clones to “add” to his first jutsu to create the Harem Technique, though it is still a fairly useless technique.
At the start of the series, Naruto primarily creates Shadow Clones for the purpose of taijutsu in terms of combat. Naruto also often creates Shadow Clones to act as decoys or for other deceptive tactics, such as diverting attention away from himself so that he may use the Transformation Technique unnoticed. Naruto makes more intelligent use of his clones as the series progresses. In his fight with Neji, for instance, Naruto dispersed several of his clones once one was hit, creating the illusion that Neji had hit the real Naruto. Later in the series, Naruto would even hide away while several clones attack, confusing the enemy when no Narutos remain. During his fight with Gaara, Naruto even uses his clones as shields and platforms to bound off of in the air. By Naruto: Shippūden, Naruto's usage and timing of the technique has become more advanced. Various tactics he has shown include creating clones to push himself out of the way of an attack, transform into weapons, and fall for traps in his stead.
Naruto has also developed several advanced combat techniques using his clones. The first of these is his Naruto Uzumaki Combo, a move based on a similar move used by Sasuke. In performing this, Naruto kicks the opponent high into the air multiple times using his clones and sends them crashing to the ground with a flying kick, chanting the syllables of his name with each blow. He performs a larger-scale version of this technique using 1999 clones, known as the Naruto Uzumaki 2k Combo. Other clone-enabled techniques include the Clone Body Blow, in which Naruto throws a clone as a projectile weapon, the Clone Spinning Heel Drop, where multiple clones axe kick the opponent simultaneously and Shuriken from All Directions, where all active clones throw a barrage of cloned shuriken simultaneously. Some moves are unnamed, such as forming a human ladder out of clones to catch someone.
Naruto can also use his clones to aid him in his strongest offensive technique: the Rasengan, taught to him by Jiraiya. This ninjutsu, which was invented by the Fourth Hokage, is performed without hand seals. Naruto must focus his chakra into his palm and use it to create a ball of swirling chakra to strike the opponent with. Even though Jiraiya and Kakashi can perform this with one hand, Naruto cannot achieve this when he first learned it due to his poor chakra control. Instead, he uses a Shadow Clone to shape the chakra into a sphere. In Naruto: Shippūden, Naruto has demonstrated the ability to perform this technique with a single hand, but still prefers using Shadow Clones. He can also perform a larger and more devastating version of this techniqe, the Great Ball Rasengan; this version of the jutsu is unstable, though, and requires the Shadow Clone to hold on to the sphere with the real Naruto.
Much later, Kakashi teaches Naruto to manipulate elemental chakra. Naruto's elemental chakra type is revealed to be wind, which is well suited to combat for its slicing ability. The elemental training is a prerequisite to creating his own unique jutsu. This jutsu is revealed to be a combination of his elemental chakra and the Rasengan, which the Fourth Hokage had created expressly for that purpose. He, however, could not manage to combine the two before his death. After much training and a few shortcuts inspired by Kakashi, Naruto creates the Wind Release: Rasengan, a much more powerful version of the original. The jutsu is capable of producing a massive crater beneath Naruto. Despite the great power of the technique, Yamato confirms that it is still only about halfway finished. Even only half-finished, Naruto's control over the technique is finely-tuned, allowing him to manipulate the wind chakra into various shapes, such as a shuriken in Wind Release: Spiraling Shuriken. The jutsu is capable of damaging every cell in the opponent's body. Such is its power that Tsunade likens the effect to poison, stating plainly how concentrated the effect is. Unfortunately, Naruto's arm suffers nearly the same damage, and the technique is only to be used as a last resort.
In battles against larger opponents such as Shukaku or Manda, Naruto attempts to use the Summoning Technique, a jutsu that requires a small offering of blood in exchange for calling forth an animal. Naruto has the ability to summon toads. Because of Naruto's poor chakra control, Naruto has not displayed the ability to call forth a specific toad, but he always summons either Gamakichi, Gamatatsu, or the gigantic Gamabunta. As the animals have minds of their own, Naruto has difficulty controlling them, meaning that they typically have to become motivated to fight on their own. The Demon Fox
Naruto's most dangerous trait is his ability to draw chakra from the demon fox. Even without directly drawing upon it, a small amount of the demon fox's chakra is always mixed with his own. His body instinctively rejects the bulk of it due to the damage it would cause. Ebisu implies that Naruto's poor chakra control stems from this, as a portion of his chakra is used to reject the overwhelming fox chakra. According to Kakashi, Naruto's regular chakra level is about twice that of Kakashi's own. As such, he is naturally suited to jutsu that use a large amount of chakra, such as his specialty Shadow Clone Technique. While most ninja are only capable of creating a few clones safely, due to the jutsu's hazard of equally dividing the user's chakra among the clones, Naruto is able to create upwards of two thousand while maintaining a decent supply of chakra in each one.
The fox chakra increases every aspect of Naruto's physiology, making him a nearly unstoppable force. His speed and strength increase far beyond that of any normal human, and even beyond that of most ninja. It also increases his healing rate, allowing him to regenerate even major wounds in a few seconds. His stamina is also increased beyond its normal level, allowing him to fight without tiring. Naruto also gains the ability to mold the chakra to a much finer degree, allowing one-handed Rasengans.
If Naruto musters enough of the fox's chakra, a chakra shield is summoned. This shield is capable of acting on its own as a separate entity, making it difficult to predict Naruto's movements. The shield created by the demon fox's chakra is perhaps the most versatile defense seen in the series, since it is impervious to almost any attack. The shield can also stretch and skew to many sizes and lengths, allowing Naruto to attack opponents from a distance. Additionally, Naruto can use it to create waves of concentrated chakra to repel opponents. In Naruto's four-tailed state, the chakra shield is intense enough to burn others and act as a potent poison.
Naruto's state of mind coincides with his tailed transformation states, which are characterized by a fox-shaped shield of chakra surrounding Naruto with a number of tails to indicate the amount of chakra. Naruto becomes more powerful with each “tail” the chakra shield grows, but also loses more of himself to the demon fox. Up to his three-tailed state, he remains in control, though somewhat more feral than normal. He also starts feeling pain from the intense chakra. In his three-tailed state, Naruto has to fight the demon fox for dominance, and the chakra is intense enough to not only cause him pain, but anyone in the vicinity as well. Once he reaches his four-tailed state, the demon fox becomes dominant. In this state, which is the highest state Naruto has reached, Naruto's mind becomes mixed with the demon fox's, causing the regular Naruto to fade out. As Jiraiya describes it, Naruto becomes a miniature version of the demon fox.
Even with all of its benefits, Naruto's human body can only handle so much of the demon fox's chakra, as demon chakra is far more intense than human chakra. As he draws upon greater amounts of the demon fox's chakra, his own body is weakened. In his four-tailed state, the demon fox's chakra is so intense that it constantly burns Naruto's skin, causing him to bleed from every pore. This causes his blood to mix with the demon fox's chakra, creating a red chakra shield. In addition to the constant damage, the demon fox's chakra also constantly regenerates Naruto's damaged tissue. This repeated cycle of damage and repair severely weakens Naruto's cellular structure, shortening his overall lifespan in a manner similar to Tsunade's Creation Rebirth jutsu. References