Ninja Scroll

Ninja Scroll pictures and wallpapers

Ninja Scroll movie poster

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Ninja Scroll the movie screen shot

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Ninja Scroll screen picture

Ninja Scroll screen picture

Ninja Scroll Trailer

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Ninja Scroll

Ninja Scroll (獣兵衛忍風帖, Jūbei Ninpūchō?) is a Japanese action thriller anime, set in feudal Japan, by critically acclaimed director/writer Yoshiaki Kawajiri who was best known for his previous thriller Wicked City (Yōjū Toshi). The character designs were done by Yutaka Minowa. The movie is an homage to Ninpōchō series, ninja novels by Futaro Yamada.

The movie was released on June 5, 1993 and received a Western release on December 6, 1996. The movie was also released in some regions as Jubei Ninpucho: The Wind Ninja Chronicles. It is licensed by Manga Entertainment in North America. The Japanese title could be translated as "Jubei the Wind Ninja", although this is subject to debate as it does not account for the last part of the title. Ninja Scroll won the Citizen's Award at the 1993 Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival. Ninja Scroll is among the most popular anime movies outside of Japan, along with such movies as Akira and Ghost in the Shell. It is well-received in its depiction of the ninja and Japanese legendary creatures such as the Stone Golem, and the Blind Assassin.

The main character, Jubei Kibagami is a homage to the famed Japanese samurai folk hero, Yagyu Jubei.

Rated: Australia:MA15+, R18+ (cut and uncut), Canada: 18, UK: 18, USA: Unrated.

In 1995, the BBFC cut the UK version by approx. 52 seconds. This included a rape scene and images of imitable weaponry. The UK and Australian DVDs were affected by these cuts -- it was not censored in Australia but the Australian DVD was an exact copy of the UK disc. In 2004 the footage was reinstated and the movie in both countries was released uncut.

The film was initially given an MA15+ rating by the OFLC in Australia. In 1996, following an uncut screening of the film on free-to-air television, the Federal Attorney General lodged an application to review the classification of the film. As a result of this, the film's classification was upgraded to an R18+ rating, meaning television airings must be censored as R18+ material cannot be screened. Confusion often occurs due to the re-rating as well as the BBFC cut -- someone could purchase the BBFC-cut R18+ DVD thinking it contained more graphic material than an MA15+ VHS copy, only to discover it contained less.


A team of Koga Ninja is sent to investigate a plague in Shimoda village, but on their way they are slaughtered; the only survivor is Kagero, a beautiful Kunoichi who is their lord's poison-taster. Their assailant is a giant man with stone skin and a colossal double-bladed sword, which can be thrown like a boomerang.

The giant takes Kagero to his hut and proceeds to rape her, but he is interrupted by an interloper who is not intimidated by his ability to turn his skin into stone. Rather, the interloper, a ninja vagabond named Jubei Kibagami, blinds one of his eyes with a dart and escapes with Kagero.

The giant then ambushes Jubei and proceeds to beat him. Although he has the clear advantage as Jubei cannot even scratch his stony hide, he begins to fall apart. The giant throws his sword, but he cannot catch it when Jubei manages to cut his fingers off; the blade drives into the giant's skull. An old monk that had witnessed the battle congratulates Jubei, but he remarks that though Jubei's triumphed over the demonic warrior was impressive, he had outside help. He calls the monster one of "the Eight Devils of Kimon."

Several other strange characters are concerned with the stone man's death: the well-dressed man Yurimaru, who calls the giant Tessai, and the scarred, explosive-wielding female Zakuro, who lusts for Yurimaru, even though Yurimaru is gay (or Shudo) and sleeping with their master, Gemma. After Yurimaru forcefully stops Zakuro's constant harassment, she informs him the Gemma is in fact bisexual and that he regularly sleeps with Benisato, another one of the Devils of Kimon.

Jubei rests his battered body in a hot spring, but is entranced by a female bather and her snake tattoos. She identifies him as the man who killed Tessai (the giant had copied Jubei's face in his palm), and her tattoos begin to move. This hypnotizes Jubei, and the snakes leave her body and approach him. A shuriken strikes Jubei, which wakes him up in time to cut the snakes down. He grabs the woman, but she sheds her skin like a snake and escapes. The old monk appears again. Jubei learns his name is Dakuan, and that the star was poisoned. Jubei must work for Dakuan, a Tokugawa Shogunate operative, in order to receive the antidote, or he will surely die within two days.

As they boat down a river, Dakuan asks Jubei if he killed the chief retainers to the Yamashiro clan five years before, and leader of the Yamashiro ninja, Himuro Gemma, who were getting rich off a hidden and undisclosed gold mine. Dakuan claims that Gemma is still alive, despite Jubei's insistence (and flashback) to the contrary; Jubei claims to have decapitated Gemma.

Once they land they're separated. A shadow attacks Dakuan with a mechanical claw, apparently impaling him against a tree, but the old monk escaped into the branches, camouflaging himself. A man rises out of the shadow, muses that nobody could escape "Shijima's claw," and sinks back down.

Jubei enters an abandoned shrine, where an old woman is chanting the sutra for the dead of Shimoda. She turns out to be a trap and is cut in half by Jubei (revealing that she was full of snakes), and the woman from the spring, Benisato, returns. Kagero grabs Benisato from behind and puts her knife to her throat. A snake slithers out of Benisato's vagina and bites Kagero, but she does not relent. Benisato suddenly dies of electrocution. A thin metal wire, glowing white hot, stretches for miles, and at the other end Yurimaru admonishes Benisato for her failure and disintegrates the wire while Jubei and Kagero follow it.

When Jubei tries to suck the poison from Kagero's wound, she kicks him away, telling him that she is immune. Dakuan pops back up and requests that Kagero join them in their fight against the common enemy, and claims he has valuable information. Dakuan tells Jubei that Kagero poisons any man she sleeps with, and that's how Jubei was able to defeat Tessai.

Yurimaru, Zakuro, and two other Devils gather to figure out how to defeat the man who killed Tessai.

The two of them go with Dakuan to Shimoda, where they see for themselves that the well had been poisoned. A swarm of wasps descends on the village, going after the three of them. Kagero holds them off, and Jubei finds the master of the swarm, a hunchback named Mushizo, another of the Eight Devils, who lets slip that Gemma is still alive. The hunchback's hump is actually a wasp nest growing from his back, and the wasps attack Jubei. They fight in a water-powered mill, and then Jubei escapes into the river. Mushizo follows him, but remains on land. Jubei knocks him into the water, where the wasps sting Mushizo repeatedly trying to escape and then Jubei kills him with his sword.

Dakuan knows about the reincarnation technique, how one must have total control over every little piece of tissue, so that even if one loses a limb, or a head, it might be reattached, but claims human beings cannot achieve such control. Jubei does not seem interested in Kagero owing him a debt.

They climb a cliff to get a better view of the land, but Kagero sees her former commander, Hanza (whose arms Tessai had torn from their sockets), walking aimlessly toward the brink. His eyes and mouth have been sewn shut. Kagero stops him, but Zakuro is there, and she releases streams of gunpowder into the air. Hanza reacts with it, and explodes. Jubei grabs Kagero and throws himself off the cliff to save her.

Jubei is hanging by the cord attached to his sword sheath, and he has Kagero climb up the cliff. When Jubei gets there, a swordsman in white is holding his sword. He introduces himself as Utsutsu Mujuro, and challenges Jubei. Jubei lures the swordsman into a nearby bamboo forest, hoping to take advantage of his blindness, but Mujuro's ears are sharp. Mujuro proves himself more than a match for Jubei. As Mujuro attacks, Jubei is barely able to deflect Mujuro's blows. Kagero tries to attack Mujuro from behind but is unsuccesful and Kagero's blade gets stuck in a bamboo tree. Mujuro then blinds Jubei with the reflection off his katana blade. It is only by sheer luck alone that when Mujuro and Jubei jump, Mujuro hits Jubei's sword and Jubei falls down tumbling; Mujuro doesn't realize Kagero's blade is between him and Jubei. Mujuro is the first to the strike and delivers the killing blow but Mujuros' blow is blocked by Kagero's blade, Jubei then impales Mujuro.

Jubei accuses Kagero of not valuing her life, and she responds by saying that she cannot touch a man, lest she kill him. Kagero passes out through fatigue, and awakens with Jubei. He notices a beached cargo ship, and concludes that the Devils poisoned Shimoda to keep it secret, so they could take the cargo. Kagero wants to stop the cargo from reaching Kishima Harbour, where it will be taken away by boat, so she agrees to work with Jubei until then.

Dakuan finds them, and tells them that the cargo is the gold from the secret Yamashiro mine, which the Shogun of the Dark will use to topple the Tokugawa and initiate a civil war. Jubei chases after something that has followed him, and Kagero sends a message to the chamberlain. She then demands that Dakuan give her the antidote for Jubei. He tells her the secret of the antidote, and it shocks her.

Jubei returns from the chase that yielded nothing, to find Kagero kidnapped, and a ransom note carved into a tree. Dakuan tries to dissuade him, but he runs off after her. He finds her in an abandoned building, but when she awakens, she attacks him, with a disembodied voice goading her on. Jubei has to allow Kagero to stab his wrist so he can block the incoming spring-loaded claw from the shadow. He throws his sword toward the shadow, and he impales Shijima in the back. Shijima falls down, dead, and Kagero snaps out of her trance.

Two hours later, the Koga army hasn't arrived, and Kagero wonders why Jubei stepped into an obvious trap to save her. He tells her that she's his comrade, since they've worked together since the day before. Kagero then tells him that she has to pay back the debt, and insists that she do so now. She strips, and tells him that the antidote for his poison is another poison, and that she can save him, if he sleeps with her. He refuses, and leaves to intercept the Shogun of the Dark's forces.

ubei meets up with Dakuan, and plans to sink the ship when it's fully loaded and out to sea. The Mochizuki have apparently decided to intervene, but the chamberlain stabs Kagero, and transforms into Gemma. Jubei attacks, but the ninja horde stands in his way. Yurimaru asks for the honour of killing Jubei, and Gemma lets him.

Yurimaru leads Jubei into a warehouse, where he strings him up and electrocutes him. Yurimaru notices a rat scurrying about, and then it collapses. He sees the sutured cut on its belly, and the gunpowder on the ground, and then the rat explodes. Yurimaru's dismembered arm falls into the water, and Zakuro picks it up. She muses that he "accidentally" walked into her trap, and now he's "Queen of the Devils."

Jubei finds the dying Kagero, who is glad that she found someone who treated her as a person, and not an expendable soldier. She expresses her wish that they could have made love just once, and then they kiss just before she dies (her kiss possesses enough venom to kill a man, therefore enough venom to counteract the poison). Setting her adrift on a funeral boat, Jubei takes her headband and tears the arms off his shirt.

Gemma meets the leader of the Toyotomi ninja, and declares that the Devils of Kimon (of which only two remain at this point, himself and Zakuro) will take the gold and build a ninja army to terrorize Japan, and not even the Shogun of the Dark can stop them.

Zakuro finds Dakuan rooting about in the hold, and he throws one of his gourds at her. She cuts it in half, spraying liquid on her and the floor. Dakuan grabs a candle, but she puts it out. Jubei appears with another lit candle, and ignites the flammable oil, immolating Zakuro. Her gunpowder also explodes, breaching the hull and setting alight the ship's interior.

Gemma enters the hold and finds Jubei, and they fight to the death. Jubei cuts Gemma's arm off, but Gemma still manages to throw Jubei a beating before reattaching it. Jubei headbutts Gemma repeatedly with such force as to collapse Gemma's face and skull, but Gemma heals and stands up. Even when the ceiling crashes down on him, Gemma stands up, impaled on a wooden beam. He pounds on Jubei, proclaiming that he can't die. Jubei then stabs him and cuts upward, splitting him in half from the belly up. Gemma again recovers, but a river of liquid gold flows over him. Gemma grabs onto Jubei climbing to safety, but Jubei slices off his left arm in one swift cut at the last second and he then falls into the molten metal, sinking to the bottom of the sea frozen in a shell of gold.


A Japanese animated television series was released in 2003 called, Jubei Ninpucho: Ryuhogyoku-hen and ran for 13 episodes. It was released in the west as Ninja Scroll: The Series. The series is partly written by Yoshiaki Kawajiri, but remains only a spiritual sequel to the film because the story stands alone; however, many references suggest that it is indeed a continuation from the movie. In the series, Jubei gets caught in the middle of a battle between the Kimon Clan and the Hiruko Clan. He meets up with the Light Maiden Shigure, a young lady whose village was destroyed by the Kimon Clan and whom Jubei was charged with delivering a Dragon Stone to. The duo are joined by Tsubute and Dakuan, and together they try to find out why both the Kimon and the Hiruko Clan are after her and why the Dragon Stone she carries is so important to them. The show was directed by Tatsuo Sato (Martian Successor Nadesico), with character design done by Takahiro Yoshimatsu (Trigun).

An official sequel, Jubei Ninpucho 2, is classed as in production with no specific release date. The film is scheduled to be written and directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri, and will most likely be released in the west as Ninja Scroll 2.

In North America, the Ninja Resurrection anime films were marketed as sequels to Ninja Scroll, but were actually created by a separate animation studio. The only similarities they have is that both lead characters first name is Jubei. The films are not connected in any way to Ninja Scroll.

In September 2006, Wildstorm launched a five-part comic book series based on (and called) Ninja Scroll written by J. Torres, which follows the further adventures of Jubei. The entire comic is slated to be released in trade paperback form in August 2007.

Original soundtrack

A soundtrack was released titled Jubei Ninpucho (Ninja Scroll) with music composed by Kaoru Wada from the movie. Tracks 8 and 15 are composed and sung by Ryouhei Yamanashi with lyrics by Shou Jitsukawa.

Track Listing:

1. Prologue
2. Jubei
3. Eight Warriors of the Demon Clan
4. Blood Wind
5. Kagerou
6. Visions
7. Devil Shadow
8. To Those Who Face the Wind
9. Pursuit
10. Devil Swordsman
11. Strategy
12. Reincarnation
13. Struggle to the Death
14. Epilogue
15. Somewhere, Faraway, Everyone is Listening to a Ballad

Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell blue Motoko Kusanagi

Ghost in the Shell Motoko Kusanagi

Ghost in the Shell 2

Ghost in the Shell 2 Motoko Kusanagi and Batou Securty Police Section 9

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Ghost In the Shell 2 - Innocence (Japan Trailer)

Favourite Scene 09 (Ghost in the Shell 2 Innocence)

Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell (Japanese: 攻殻機動隊, Kōkaku Kidōtai, i.e. Mobile Armored Riot Police), is a Japanese cyberpunk manga created by Masamune Shirow. A sequel, Ghost in the Shell 2: Man/Machine Interface, was released in 2002.

Over the years, the manga series has been adapted into the following: three anime films—Ghost in the Shell, Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, and Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex Solid State Society; two anime television series—Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd Gig; all produced by Production I.G., along with one PlayStation game, one PlayStation 2 game and one PlayStation Portable game.


Ghost in the Shell is a futuristic police thriller dealing with the exploits of Motoko Kusanagi, a member of the covert operations section of the Japanese National Public Safety Commission, Section 9, which specializes in fighting technology-related crime. She may be named after one of the three Imperial Regalia of Japan and Shirow makes reference to them at the end of the second manga. Although supposedly equal to all other members, Kusanagi fills the leadership role in the team, and is usually referred to as "the Major" due to her past rank in the armed forces. She is capable of superhuman feats, and cybernetically specialized for her job—her body is almost completely mechanized; only her brain and a segment of her spinal cord are organic.

The setting of Ghost in the Shell is cyberpunk or postcyberpunk, similar to that of William Gibson's Sprawl trilogy. More than other cyberpunk authors, however, Shirow focuses more on the ethical and philosophical ramifications of the widespread merging of humanity and technology. The development of artificial intelligence and an omnipresent computer network set the stage for a reevaluation of human identity and uniqueness. More so than the films, the manga tackles these questions head on: Kusanagi and her colleagues face external threats and also suffer internal conflict over their own natures.

Works in the series


Ghost in the Shell has been adapted into numerous anime adaptations, all of which were produced by Production I.G.

The series was first adapted into a theatrical anime film adaptation in 1995, entitled Ghost in the Shell, directed by Mamoru Oshii. The film was followed by another theatrical movie sequel, Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, produced in 2004, which was also directed by Oshii and places the character of Batou in the lead role. A third film, Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. Solid State Society, was created after the TV series and directed by Kenji Kamiyama.

Live action

Kodansha and Production IG are currently in talks about creating a live action Ghost in the Shell film.

Television series

The series has also been adapted into an anime television series, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, which was carried on into a second season, Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIG, and was followed by a film, Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. Solid State Society, which premiered on the SKY Perfect satellite television network on September 1, 2006. The Stand Alone Complex series is directed by Kenji Kamiyama, and follows an alternate and separate storyline from that of Oshii's theatrical film adaptations. The TV series expounds further on the careers of Motoko Kusanagi and Section 9, and also retains more elements from the Masamune Shirow's original manga than Oshii's feature films.


* After the Long Goodbye: Written by Masaki Yamada is a prequel to Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence.
* The Lost Memory, Revenge of the Cold Machines and White Maze: A trilogy of novels written by Junichi Fujisaku set in the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex sub-universe.

Video games

Main articles: Ghost in the Shell (video game) and Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (video game)

A self-titled PlayStation game was released in 1997, developed by Exact and published by THQ. A second game bearing the anime TV series title Stand Alone Complex was released in November 2004 on PlayStation 2, developed by SCEJ and Cavia and published by Bandai. A game of the same name Developed by G-Artists and published by Bandai was released in 2005 for PlayStation Portable, but this is a sequel to the PlayStation 2 game, with a completely different storyline, setting and gameplay.

Impact and influence

The Matrix, a very successful 1999 sci-fi action movie, contains imagery strongly influenced by Ghost in the Shell (as well as other anime). For example, the Matrix digital rain (the falling patterns of green text that represent the code of the Matrix) resembles the opening of the first 1995 Ghost in the Shell film. During the opening scene in which Trinity flees the Agents, the shot of the Agent landing on the roof is almost identical to a shot of Kusanagi during the pursuit of the first 'puppet' in the first film. Also, the shot in which the first puppet is fleeing Batou in the market in the first Ghost in the Shell film and a similar scene where Neo is fleeing a trio of the Agents in a real life market are linked by exploding watermelons and terrified civilians amongst crossfire (although Neo is not harmed). The famous lobby shootout features Neo and Trinity taking cover behind stone pillars, just as Kusanagi does during the battle with a tank. There is also a clear relation between the conception of the Matrix and the cybernetically enhanced brains of Ghost in the Shell. There are similarities between the plots of both movies. In the Ghost in the Shell film, Kusanagi is first searching for the Puppet Master to arrest him, while in the end of the movie, it turns out that the Puppet Master was looking for Kusanagi to merge with her. In The Matrix, Neo is first searching for Morpheus. When Neo finally finds Morpheus, Morpheus states that he was searching his entire life for 'The One' (Neo). Both series draw themes and archetypes from William Gibson's book Neuromancer and some of his other short stories.

The Wachowski brothers, makers of the Matrix trilogy, acknowledged the influence of Ghost in the Shell in an interview. Producer Joel Silver also admitted in an interview on the Animatrix DVD that he was shown the Ghost in the Shell movie during a pitch from the Wachowski brothers to indicate the style and look of the film they wanted for The Matrix.

The videogame Oni by Bungie Software was inspired by Ghost in the Shell and shares a number of similarities, especially the main character, Konoko. Deus Ex is not as tightly coupled, but shares the concept of merging human and artificial minds, along with weapons and technologies somewhat similar to those in the Ghost in the Shell universe. Although not part of official Deus Ex canon, a fan-created mod called Deus Ex: Zodiac has a scenario where the player helps a version of Motoko merge with the Puppet Master. It is also notable that the Gunther Hermann character looks very similar to Ghost in the Shell's Batou, likely a reference.

The Five Killers

Former G.D.H. International Vice-President of Creative Affairs Eric Calderon (Afro Samurai, Linkin Park's "Breaking the Habit" music video) posted on his personal website a pilot video for The Five Killers, a 12-episode animated television series under development at the animation studio Gonzo. Calderon's story features five killers being hunted down by an assassin and the tagline, "3 Die. 2 Survive. 1 Lives… Forever."

The project's staffers includes pilot director Tomohiro Hirata (Trinity Blood), writers George Krstic (Megas XLR co-creator, Star Wars Clone Wars writer) and Mark Waid (Kingdom Come, JLA, Voltron comics), and designer Shigeki Maeshima (Robot). Calderon made one of the first public mentions of this project in a tongue-in-cheek question to his former boss, Gonzo CEO Shin Ishikawa, during Anime Expo 2007's keynote panels.

The Five Killers Trailer

Naruto Shippuuden

Naruto Shippuuden pictures - Naruto Shippuuden wallpapers


Naruto Shippuuden desktop wallpaper - anger
Naruto Shippuuden desktop wallpaper - anger

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kakashi hatake desktop wallpaper

Naruto vs
Naruto vs

Akatsuki the conquest of strength
Akatsuki the conquest of strength


Naruto Shippuuden video

Naruto Movie 4 Trailer


Naruto (NARUTO -ナルト-, Naruto?, romanized as NARUTO in Japan) 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.

Plot overview

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 forbide 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.


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 details

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, Naruto: Shippūden? 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 broadcast

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.


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.

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.