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What is Naruto?

By Britt Archer
Updated May 23, 2024
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Naruto Uzumaki is the name of a young ninja character created by Japanese writer and illustrator Masashi Kishimoto. The character was first introduced in a manga series that went on to become one of the best-selling in its genre. The first in the series was published in 1999. The Naruto series was later adapted for anime and was broadcast for the first time in the United States in 2005 on the Cartoon Network.

The blond-haired and blue-eyed Naruto was born when a powerful ninja, Yondaime, battled a demon fox. Yondaime triumphed and trapped the demon fox in the body of a human, who grew up to be Naruto.

When the series begins, Naruto is 12 years old and lives in a village called Konohagakure. Because of the villagers’ fear and loathing of the demon who resides in him, Naruto is determined to become the best and the mightiest ninja in his village. More than that, he is determined to attain leadership status and win the villagers’ respect and love.

Despite being ostracized by the villagers he longs to live among and lead, Naruto remains outgoing and cheerful. He succeeds in winning the friendship of other ninjas in and outside his village and forges a strong bond with one fellow ninja in particular, a ninja named Sasuke Uchiha.

While Naruto sets out to prove his true worth, the task is far from easy. Naruto is tested many times and no matter how hard the difficulties he faces are, he does not quit.

Umino Iruka becomes Naruto’s teacher. The first time Naruto was treated with respect was in his relationship with Iruka. The teacher became a strong father figure for the young ninja.

Naruto is known for his impetuousness. He rushes into difficult situations before pausing to think things through, but what saves him is his cleverness. The demon fox that lives inside Naruto is also capable of helping him in times of trouble. For example, the demon possesses a powerful ability to heal.

Naruto’s creator, Masashi Kishimoto, was born in 1974 in Okayama, Japan. He began drawing in his youth, but doubted he had enough talent to succeed. His first manga submission was titled Karakuri.

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