There isn't an otaku out there who doesn't recognize Naruto the instant they get a glimpse of the titular character's spiky blond hair. The manga sky-rocketed to success after it was first serialized in Shonen Jump in 1999. When the anime adaptation was released in 2002, fans were given even more Naruto goodness to look forward to. In total, the series spans 72 volumes and 220 episodes, respectively.
For die-hard Naruto fans, it often feels like there's little left to discover about the series. However, unless you're the type of person who wears a leaf headband on a daily basis, there are probably still a few things you didn't know about Naruto. Be careful though, only a true Hokage will be able to internalize all these Naruto fun facts.
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The Toads Are Named After Famous Actors
The toads in the series are all named after famous actors from the 1980s. Shima is named after Shima Iwashita, Gamabunta is named after Bunta Sugawara, and Gamaken is named after Ken Takakura.
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The Creator Had To Wait Until The Series Was Complete Before He Could Go On His Honeymoon
Mangakas (manga writers/artists) dedicate every day of their lives to their series while it is still in publication. This was especially true for Masashi Kishimoto — the creator of Naruto — who penned all 72 volumes of the manga. Due to Kishimoto's busy schedule, he had to postpone his honeymoon until after he'd finished writing Naruto.
In the end, the couple embarked on their honeymoon a decade after they were married.
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The Techniques Kakuzu Uses Come From 'Mobile Suit Gundam'
The names of the techniques used by Kakuzu — such as "Jiongu" — come from another popular anime series, Mobile Suit Gundam. While the character is not explicitly related to a giant robot, he can transform into hundreds of writhing, gray tendrils, so he's at the very least comparatively destructive.
In actuality, the names are a fun way for the series's creator to pay tribute to one of his favorite anime; in an interview, Masashi Kishimoto recalled drawing Gundam fan art when he was young, so he's definitely a fan.
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The German Dub Of Naruto Axed Out Blades
In Germany, there are a ton of restrictions on violent video games, anime, and other media. Because of these laws, Naruto had to remove any and all blades that appeared on-screen, which made for some awkward and confusing moments. In the German verison of the show, when Zabuza stands on his sword, it looks like he's just floating in the air.
If you look closely, the hilt of his sword is still visible, but the blade is completely removed.
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Sasuke's Character Was Inspired By Sanpei Shirato's 1961 Manga, 'Sasuke'Photo: Sanpei Shirato
Unless you're a fan of old-school manga, you probably never knew there was a manga called Sasuke. This 1961 manga by Sanpei Shirato follows Sasuke, the son of a renowned ninja, and his struggles to fend for himself after his village is wiped out by enemy clans. Sound familiar? Not only did Kishimoto use the same name, he also based Sasuke's backstory and character design off the manga. Thanks to Sanpei Shirato, the world was introduced to one of the most iconic anime characters of all time.
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Originally, 'Naruto' Was Set In Modern Times
Naruto didn't always take place in a fantastical version of the past. In the series's original pilot issue, Naruto solves crimes in a modern day setting. The tone of the issue is starkly different than what fans of the series are now accustomed to, so it's perhaps for the best that Kishimoto decided to pursue the plot of the series's second pilot issue instead.