Naruto (NARUTO - ナルト -, Naruto?) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto with an anime adaptation. The main character, Naruto Uzumaki, is a loud, hyperactive, unpredictable adolescent ninja who constantly searches for recognition and aspires to become a Hokage, the ninja in the village acknowledged as the leader and the strongest of all.
Kishimoto first authored a one-shot of Naruto in the August 1997 issue of Akamaru Jump. The plot differed substantially in that Naruto was the son of the demon fox instead of being the container, and the story was placed in a more modern setting. This early version of Naruto already had the ability to transform into a sexy young woman - but when he did so, a fox tail sprouted. Kishimoto then rewrote the story to its current form, which 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 27 volumes are available in English.
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. The first series lasted nine seasons, while Naruto: Shippūden began its first on February 15, 2007.
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, which features the German dub opening, although it could be watched on Cartoon Network in 2006.
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