Directory for Translations of Interviews


a distant memory
In an attempt to keep translations of interviews with Kishimoto accessible, they will be collected in this thread. This directory is supposed to complement the existing .

Translations that were provided outside of NF will be linked to and quoted directly only if given explicit permission.

If you wish to give feedback/concrit/point out mistakes/necessary updates or provide a link to translations of Kishimoto interviews, please drop me a PM, I will respond and update as soon as I can.



early 2006 – Shonen Jump (USA)
translation PART I | PART II | NF discussion


Jump Festa 2008
(Report by Bochi from NF)
| NF discussion


September 2008 – Kishimoto Question and Answer Session
(From the third databook)

December 2008 –
(Interview: The man behind 'Naruto')
| NF discussion

Jump Festa 2009
(Tsunade's role in the Pain Arc)
| NF discussion


2012 – Interview

July 2012 – Road to Ninja Motion Comic DVD Interview

July 2012 – Kishimoto: Tobi’s Identity Revealed Within Next Few Weeks
(Weekly Shounen Jump '12 Issue 35)
translation and scans from SaiyanIsland | NF discussion


December 2013 – Kishimoto Interview at Jump Festa 2014

2013 – Naruto Kizuna: The Words That Bind


November 2014 – Entermix
(End of Naruto)
summary by Saiyan Island "Masashi Kishimoto Talks Sasuke, Friendship, The Last: Naruto the Movie"

November 2014 – Masashi Kishimoto X Yahagi Kosuke
(Jin no Sho, Databook 4)
interview |

November 2014 – The Asahi Shimbun
(End of Naruto)
| | &

November 2014 – JUMP SQ (Dec Edition) – with Yahagi
(End of Naruto; 'The Beginning')
| VIZ translation as imgur album |

November 2014 – NikkanSports
(Short comment by Kishimoto on The Last)
| | NF discussion

December 2014 –
(The Last: Naruto the Movie)
translation | NF discussion

December 2014 – The Last booklet
(The Last: Naruto the Movie)
translation | NF discussion

December 2014 – FujiTV – with Kobayashi
(The Last: Naruto the Movie)
summary by OrganicDinosaur | | NF discussion

December 2014 –
("Farewell, Naruto: The Curtain Closes on the World’s Best-Loved Ninja")
| NF discussion

December 2014 – AERA 2014.12.8 Edition
(End of Naruto)

December 2014 –
(New Era Project)
| | [PART II

December 2014 – Complete Guide: Using Jutsu Compiliation
(End of Naruto)

December 2014 – Jump Festa 2015, panel with Kishimoto


January 2015 – Masashi Kishimoto (Naruto) & Hiroaki Samura (Blade of the Immortal)
full translation | source | |

April 2015 – 'Rai/Fū no Sho' booklets – with Oda
(Naruto Exhibit)
translation | NF discussion

May 2015 – ICHIOSHI! Bookmark – Kishimoto Interview on TV
(Boruto the Movie promotion)

August 2015 –
(Boruto the Movie promotion)

August 2015 –
(Boruto the Movie promotion)
translation |

August 2015 – What's Next for Naruto's Creator? A Sci-Fi Manga, Perhaps! –
| NF discussion

October 2015 – The Anime News Network Interview – New York Comic-con

October 2015 – Shōnen Jump Podcast: NYCC Interview With Kishimoto
| iTunes | |


April 2016 – Jump Festa 2016 Interview with Kishimoto in WSJ
interview |

July 2016 – Boruto DVD/Bluray Release Interview with Hiroyuki Yamashita

July 2016 – WSJ Conversation with Ikemoto and Kishimoto
raws | official translation |

July 2016 – Another (but shorter) interview with Yamashita

August 2016 – Jump GIGA Togashi × Kishimoto Interview
highlights | part 1 & part 2 & part 3 & part 4 |


January 2017 – Jump Festa 2017 Interview (VIZ Weekly Shonen Jump)
interview |


November 2014 – Special Investigation JUMP Police – Yahagi (Kishi's first editor)
(End of Naruto)

November 2014 – Blog.Pierrot.JP – Hayato Date (Anime Director)
(End of Naruto)
| NF discussion

April 2015 – Davinci Magazine
(interview with Naruto Voice Actors)

(Wave Motion Cannon interview/translation)
part 1 |

May 2017 - Hiroyuki Yamashita (Boruto Movie & Anime Director)
(Animation Chronicle: Heaven)

August 2017 - Short Interview with 本田佑行 (WSJ Editor)

Last edited by a moderator:
August 2015,

This is my translation of I posted it on my tumblr account a few days ago, (that post can be found ) but I was asked to post it here as well, so here it is:

Movies Even Gave Influence to the Manga Production

Q: At the time that The Last –Naruto the Movie– opened last December, it seems that production had commenced for the screenplay of Boruto –Naruto the Movie–. In April, the side story (Naruto Gaiden ~The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring~) also started its short-term serialization, but what kind of schedule was it?

Kishimoto: I finished writing the movie’s script around the end of January. Corrections and such were added afterwards, so it might have been around the end of February that work on the script was completely finished. For me however, since the beginning of February was a pausing point for work on the movie, I think I started drawing pictures for the short-term serialization on the side in February. The short-term serialization started at the point of deciding the characters. That’s because you can’t refine a story without making characters. After I decided the entire plot, I thought about how each week would go.

Q: Before now, you have had experience with supervision and story in movie production.

Kishimoto: With Road To Ninja –Naruto the Movie– I dealt with the composition, and in The Last –Naruto the Movie– I did the character designs and was chief story supervisor. However, this is the first time that I’ve completely written everything from the start, including the lines.

Q: Were there differences between [writing] manga and a movie?

Kishimoto: To me, it hadn’t changed fundamentally, because when I was a newcomer, I had studied books on writing movie scripts.

Q: Movies were made into reference material for manga.

Kishimoto: There were a lot of movies I referenced. The one from which I drew the most influence in composition was The Rock. My favorite movies are Back to the Future and The NeverEnding Story. Also, I like hero stories, and I also referenced Spiderman. But there are too many works that I referenced, so they don’t all immediately come to mind (laughs).

Q: What kind of influence did you draw from movies?

Kishimoto: Since long ago, there has been a way of writing called kishoutenketsu* for manga, but I was aware of three-stage composition. (*Translator’s note: Kishoutenketsu is a four-stage writing method consisting of introduction, development, a twist, and the conclusion.) For a long time, I have enjoyed movie columns in magazines. There are few reference books on manga, so I studied with movies. First allowing [the readers/viewers] to understand the characters, then fully wrapping it up in three stages is the part of The Rock from which I drew influence.

Naruto Went from Genin to Hokage!
The Character Backstory Including Romance

Q: Both Naruto and Boruto are works with fascinating characters aside from the main characters.

Kishimoto: In Gaiden’s short serialization, ChouChou was popular with my superiors, my assistants, and those around me. For the parts where Sarada is carrying a heavy burden, I thought I would brighten it up, so I had her (ChouChou) appear, but everyone spoke so well of her. I didn’t think she would be that popular, so I was surprised. In Naruto it was Rock Lee. Along with Jiraiya, I wasn’t consciously trying for it, but they became popular. Creating characters is quite difficult, so I don’t quite understand when characters that the author creates aiming for them to be popular don’t gain popularity, but characters I make without being conscious of it do become popular.

Q: To you, Sensei, what characters are easy to work with?

Kishimoto: Thinking “I want to have a character behave like this” changes depending on the circumstances, so it’s the same for every character. There weren’t any especially difficult characters. Although Sasuke may have been difficult in that he had many scenes where if I didn’t give him various circumstances, it meant that it wouldn’t have worked. Because I had decided from the beginning how the characters would be established, I couldn’t have them do things that the characters wouldn’t do.

Q: What specifically do you mean by that?

Kishimoto: Say for instance that Sasuke is a character that likes tea, so if tea shows up in a scene, he’ll drink it, but if it was juice, I don’t think he would drink it because he doesn’t like it. But if I turn it into a setting where the story won’t advance if he doesn’t drink juice, I have to employ a different pattern from when tea shows up or it doesn’t work. But if it is decided that he will drink juice, his character image is messed up. That’s why I ended up giving so many different circumstances to Sasuke, who appears in so many scenes.

Q: I see.

Kishimoto: In the same way, I also couldn’t have Naruto speak complicated words. To a certain degree, it was ok if it was something he had experienced, but if he suddenly said something grown up about something where he had no experience, it would be a lie. I had decided the characters first, so that wouldn’t have worked honestly.

Q: During serialization, were you writing with the characters’ romances also decided in advance?

Kishimoto: I wasn’t very conscious of it. I thought I would leave the course of it up to them. I wrote it while wondering if Sasuke and Sakura would get together and how it would be. I didn’t write Sakura in the position of heroine. Naruto was special because he was the main character, but all other characters were equal, regardless of who were main or side characters. The characters would decide based how it would work in the story. But along the way, I thought that Naruto and Sakura were different. I somehow decided [their romances] at a pretty early phase.

Q: So you left it up to the characters.

Kishimoto: In the same way that the beginning of romance is not very conscious, you might say it was not very conscious for me. I’m embarrassed to write it, so in truth, there were parts that I didn’t want to write (laughs). In “The Last -Naruto the Movie-” Naruto’s romance was written, so I was happy that the parts that I myself could not write could be seen in the movie.

Q: Speaking of Naruto, his dream of being Hokage came true, but when did he take the exam to become a jounin?

Kishimoto: Naruto didn’t become a jounin. He became Hokage as a genin. Sasuke is not a jounin or chuunin either, but rather, since he left the village, he is a nukenin. That’s enough for them (laughs). But I thought that having him suddenly go from genin to Hokage would be amusing and Naruto-like.

Approval for a Live Action Adaptation of Naruto!?

Q: Aside from the movie, there are many new developments in the new generation opening project, including a stage play.

Kishimoto: Regarding stage plays, there are things I’m not familiar with, so I can only say my impression, rather than whether it’s good or bad, but although this stage play was based on my own creation, I found it interesting to watch, and I laughed. I cried over my own creation. When the actors were performing, their emotions and the lines were linked, so it felt real. It’s different from how it is expressed in pictures. The way they showed ninjutsu using devices was interesting, and the atmosphere that circulated in that place was fun.

Q: If a live action drama or live action movie of Naruto emerged, how would you feel about it, Sensei?

Kishimoto: I would greatly approve of that. I think it would become something different yet from anime. I think the fans would treat what is played by actors as a different work. In contrast to the stage play, live action on film would become a world that even I have yet to see, so I think I would be happy if that story ever came.

Masashi Kishimoto Hereafter

Q: Boruto has opened, and you are at a stopping point with the story of Naruto, so how are you currently feeling?

Kishimoto: I feel like I may have been set free a little bit. The short-term serialization is finished, and I’m done drawing the manga for the booklet, so you might say I’m feeling quite at ease. Under the pressure of getting to that point, I didn’t just have constipation or a sore lower back, but my whole back was strained, but even that has healed and I am experiencing the joy of my body being set free. My mind and body together became healthy (laughs).

Q: The pressure of the serialization quite considerable.

Kishimoto: I did get used to it. It was the position I had always pursued. But I couldn’t truly relax at heart.

Q: What will you do now, Sensei?

Kishimoto: First, I’m going to play with my kid(s), and I think I’ll play tennis. Also, I want to see lots of new movies at the theater.
2008, Jump Festa

Bochi said:

I went to Jump Festa 2008 today and saw Kishi was asked some questions about the manga by Junko (VA Naruto), Noriaki (VA Sasuke), Chie (VA Sakura) and Kazuhiko (VA Kakashi) on the stage.

Is Jiraiya dead?

He your heart.
Naruto has to be grown up. Shikamaru also needed to be grown up. And Sakura will have to be grown up, too. Lee? Lee doesn't need to be grown up anymore.

What's gonna happen next year?

Started with Sasuke vs Itachi battle.
I'm gonna write about mainly Sasuke next year. And Kakashi and Sakura, after that. Especially Kakashi. I can't tell yet but a huge event will happen to him.

What kind of way of ending do you do with Sasuke vs Itachi battle?

: I can't tell. But I have kept this waiting to manga readers for a long time. So I'll have to make everyone gets content with it.

Describe the color of Sasuke vs Itachi battle.


Describe the color of Kakashi story which you just mentioned about.

Dark Blue

You said you're gonna write about Sasuke, Kakashi and Sakura. What about Naruto?

Naruto has to wait.

Are you gonna write the battle of each member of Hebi?

Kishi: Actually I didn't want to. But Shueisha ordered me to do with something about them.
2013, Naruto Kizuna: The Words That Bind


Please, tell us about how Naruto started.

Kishimoto : Naruto wasn't supposed to be about ninjas.

Really ?

Kishimoto : It was supposed to be about a teenager named Naruto cooking ramen. But my editor of that time told me "It will never gonna work."
I had to find something else and this became a story about ninjas.
After my cooking manga got refused, I created a monster/ghost story in which Naruto was a fox-man who could change others people's form.
To add more variety to this magic, I decided after that to add ninjutsu.
Of my first idea, only the name is still there.

So the name Naruto come from this type of surimi there is in ramen ?

Kishimoto : Yes. Back then I loved ramen. In front of my college, there was this place called "Ichiraku" where I used to eat ramen.

I never knew Naruto favorite place actually existed. So after some trying, you set your eyes on a ninja story.
Do you like ninja folklore ?

Kishimoto : Nothing like that, really. But I like Japanese type stories and folklore.
I tried going for a Samurai Story, I had no price and no favorable answer.
From my own point of view it was more about the paper and less about the story.

What ? You're gonna give more details about that.

Kishimoto : The Paper Store I used to go didn't have B4 manga sheets and paper anymore.
So the store lady cut the paper herself, but it wasn't the right size.

Too small ?

Kishimoto : No, too big. When I started to put the paper into the enveloppe, I realized thoses were far too big.
So I created a custom enveloppe myself. If you ask me, I obviously failed because the paper wasn't the right size.

What a touching story.

Kishimoto : I never really had a confirmation on that. Still, I didn't gave up on doing a Japanese style story.
But the samurai story didn't work out, so I figured I was gonna try ninjas. But in Jump, we had "Ninku" already.
That wasn't really the best moment to create a ninja story. "Ninku" already created something quite original by fusing Ninja Arts and Karate.
I had to find something else, something new to add on. That was quite the challenge. But that challenge is exactly was motivated me.
I felt that, of the multiple japanese themes, ninjas was the right one to choose. I tried my luck with that.

And this year, it's been 13 years of serialization.

Kishimoto : Whatever I'm doing, before actually doing it, I use to do a full research on that topic, by searching at the library, by reading mangas on that topic etc ...
I had a large stock of ideas before starting. My preparation time was actually quite long.

You mean between when Jump gave you the all green and the release of the 1st chapter ?

Kishimoto : In jump, there is 4 annual meeting where we decide the new mangas. Usually, when it's decided, the 1st episode gets published the next month.
But for a reason I didn't know, Naruto started with the mangas of the next meeting, THREE months later !

You mean you had a empty 3 or 4 months between the decision jump took to publish Naruto and the actual publication of chapter 1 ?

Kishimoto : During this time, I change the "rough" multiple times. When Naruto's 1st chapter got published, I was aready done with the 8th chapter. I took a lot of advance so I could work without stress to put the series on good track.
I really think if I didn't have as much time to prepare the series, we wouldn't be there talking right now.

So you did have time to thing about the characters and what is a ninja ?

Kishimoto : Yes, I did that too. My editor gave me "Kouga Ninpou Chou" and "Iga Ninpou Chou" two classic ninja stories.
I read Kouga, but didn't have time to finish Iga.

When you start creating a character, do you go for the name or for the looks first ?

Kishimoto : 50/50 I guess. Sometime I draw and then I give the character his personality and name.
Sometimes it's the total opposite. I give him his name and the start to draw him.

Can you give us an exemple where the character's looks came first ?

Kishimoto : Zabuza ! I wanted a name to go with that look and that terrifying gigantic sword.

Then now give us the opposite, a character you got the name first.

Kishimoto : Jiraiya ! His name only sounds really Kabuki like. I imagined a wizard like hermit with a scroll in his mouth on a frog.
For Kimimaro too I got the name first. I put on him two marks on his head like aristocrats had during the Heian Period.
Thoses characters were created after the names.

When you start with the name, do you have any particular care for the name itself and the vibe it gives ?

Kishimoto : Of course. For Kimimaro, I heard the name on TV, in a historical series. It gave me a very "old japan" vibe.

So the characters' name do have an influence on their nature and personality ?

Kishimoto : Yes. Neji use Kaitens, Rotations. A Screw ( Which is what Neji means in japanese. ) rotates too like a spiral when it's used, so it's very close from Uzumaki/Whirlpool.
I had to actually try not to give names too close to some characters.
Haku means white, he have a very white skin and a very pure and genuine personality, so at the end, I included a scene where it snows which is reference on his name.
For Kiba I went to the looks first, a beast man. Since he's always with a dog I gave him the surname Inuzuka ( Inu means dog. )

The first characters in Naruto have both names and surnames, like Uzumaki Naruto or Hatake Kakashi.
Then, later, characters starts having only one name. Like Gaara, why does he have only one name ?

Kishimoto : For me, Gaara's name was supposed to be Kotarou Fuuma. But my editor strongly disagreed. I objected and said it was a name fitting for a sand ninja and that went on for weeks.

Maybe he did refused because of Fuuma no Kojirou ?

Kishimoto : Even today, I still don't know the reason for that. When I said "Then how a I supposed to call him ?"
My editor said "Gaara" like "An Ashura that only likes himself" ( That was the kanjis means ). I actually liked that so I kept it.
Then later he told me that was the name of a Ski Resort ( Gaara Yuzawa in japan. ) and That he just returned from the place.
I said "That's just bullshit !" but since I already took the name in the story and I liked it, I kept it.
Later on I stopped focusing on surnames and just went for how the name sounds and what the name means.

Which names gave you more work ?

Kishimoto : This is never easy. The 1st characters were actually the hardest for me. Especially when there are a lot to find at the same time.
When the Chunnin Exam started, I had to come up with names for ALL THE ROOKIES in just one week. I didn't know what to do.
I remember one time, when looking at a screw, I had an idea and gave his name to Neji. That does tell you how much my inspiration was lacking.
More than one name, it's finding at lot at the same times that troubles me.
Then I wanted to give adjectives to the Kumo Ninjas. Like Samui ( Cool ) or Darui ( Dull ). But I could never come up with names as cool as I wanted.
I later became a really hard job to find new names.

Let's get on another topic. How do you come up with jutsu names ?

Kishimoto : During meetings I say the names I came up to my editor and we think about it together.
I explained to him what the jutsu does and hows does it looks with a rough drawing, since if you don't draw something it's hard to imagine what it's like.
After the meeting, after we decided what the jutsu would be like, I start looking for a name.
It's quite a delicate matter. I go for simple and "straight to the point" names, like Kage Bunshin/Shadow Clones.
My editor was rarely conviced by that and often asked me "Can't you come up with cooler names ?" Then I start looking for something better.
Like "Chidori/Thousand Birds" It wasn't supposed to be named like that.

What was the name like ?

Kishimoto : I actually forgot about that. That tells you how different it was. When I think about something linked to the jutsu itself it's far easier.
"A Sword named Chidori/Thousand Birds got cut by lightning and was renamed Raikiri". I imagined a lightning jutsu right after that.
sometimes, after talking with my editor, I change how the jutsu look. I visualized Chidori as Thousand Birds as many birds chirping.
For Edo Tensei, I explained my editor that the jutsu was supposed to resurrect the deads, then he gave me the very bouddhist like "Edo Tensei"/'Reincarnation to the Impure World".

You took a lot of your time to creates jutsu, right ?

Kishimoto : I always prepare some time to come up with jutsu names and then I think "What's the point ? I can do that the simple way."
now, with a global view, I think that's what really created the Naruto universe as we know it.
Wheh I saw the characters yelling the jutsu names in the anime, I realized the names I took the time to think through had way more impact once they were said by actors on TV.
But I think coming up with a "straight to the point" name is very important too. I must take a little from both.

Now let's talk about words. How did you came up with Naruto's "Dattebayo" ?

Kishimoto : I was looking for a brat like speech and I started from "Datteba" ( Roughly meaning "But I'm telling you that ..." )

So from the start, Naruto was supposed to have a verbal tic ?

Kishimoto : Of course. It's maybe a little simplistic when creating a character. But I like when a character has a definitive speech pattern and catch phrases.
That way the reader remember the character very fast from the way he's speaking.
Since I wanted the reader to be puzzled, maybe a little irritated, I gave Naruto a weird verbal tic.

End of Part 1

In the 1st part you told us how Naruto was created. Now I want to talk about their speech pattern and how they talk. Let's start by Kakashi. He started very rude but he softened quite a bit after that.

Kishimoto : During the character creation phase, before the actual 1st chapter was released, I used to draw him like a Samurai. At that time, I didn't really know what his character would be like. I had this very stern and rude master image in my head so I gave him a very strict speech pattern. But after that I wasn't happy with how it turned out. I started thinking "A laid back master would be better, I guess."

So you started to think about his personality as the readers know it ?

Kishimoto : A laid back master seemed very funny to me.
But when Kakashi starts getting serious, he's getting very hot blooded ! That's why I like him like that. Little by little I changed his speech pattern and gave it a laid back touch, with a bit of kindness and even a bit woman-like.

Except Naruto and Kakashi, a lot of characters have a very definitive speech pattern. Did some characters gave you trouble with that ? or some speechs you remember more than others ?

Kishimoto : I'd say Orochimaru. I wanted him to give a very creepy androgynous vibe.
But since I wanted him to be a terrifying opponent, I wondered if that was really the way to go to make him sound strong.
Then I started thinking it was good like that, he's strong and creepy, and the creepyness kept growing and growing.
For Jiraiya I have him an incisive and energic speech pattern like in old kabuki plays.
And since, except him, there has been few characters who really like to talk, he makes everything more colorful.

When you create actual speeches and lines, what do you take care of ?

Kishimoto : I try to "bend" the sentence/line, to make it hermetic. I always do that.

Please tell us more about that, in details.

Kishimoto : Before the chapter rough, I write the dialogue properly and then change it. At first I write in a very simple way, that where everything lies.
Then I try to put up some originality in it but it's not easy.

What kind of changes are you talking about ?

Kishimoto : I rewrite the dialogues to make them more strange, more different. But I sometimes go way overboard and my assistants can't understand whatever the hell I'm writing.
In that case, I go back to the original simple dialogue.

So you want the reader to be puzzled ?

Kishimoto : Yes ! I want to write speeches to be remembered even If they don't like them. For exemple, Naruto is a ninja, but his outfit doesn't have anything to do with traditional ninjas.

How did you came up with this unique universe ?

Kishimoto : From the start, I was suppose to get far from the traditional ninjas, dressed in black and living in shadows.
This kind of thing has been seen countless time in mangas. I wanted them to be seen. Well, they're supposed to be hidden. But Naruto doesn't do that, he shows up in front of everyone, he gives his name to people ...
Unlike usual ninjas, he likes to be seen and noticed. Then his blond hairs and blue eyes make him seems like a foreigner, not what you would expect from a ninja.

This is kind of surprising, to say the least.

Kishimoto : It's the same for the context. I didn't wanted people to know where the story takes place. The ninjas wears vests with zippers.
In other worlds, I purposely went far, far away from any ninja stereotype. I just gave them sandals to look like the straw shoes of the old times.

I noticed this "international" kind of thing in Naruto. But I never noticed Naruto looked like a foreigner.

Kishimoto : Even with that, the manga bathes in a japanese atmosphere, with past and present. There are electric poles but there are wooden houses like in old times.
At the start, I was drawing a lot of strange things. Like Drinks Vending Machines. But when I put cars in the pilote, my editor told me "They can't have that, it's too convenient."
The firearms that rendered all Shurikens uninteresting were removed too. Little by little, objects that had no place in the story were removed.

When I listen to you, I feel like I'm listening to how foreigners see japan.

Kishimoto : Yes, I had that in mind from the start. In "Far East Of Eden", one of my favorite video game ever, the context seems like what the foreigners see in japan.
I always found that very interesting. I also added a lot of elements from Kabuki. In our everyday life, we don't see that kind of makeup or outfits, but this is a large part of traditional japan.
I wanted to add this spectacular side that gives impact to the picture.

Today Naruto is very very famous in a lot of other countries. Do you think this haves something to do with what you just said ?

Kishimoto : It obviously is one of the reason.

Your character have very simple souding names. Do you think about foreigners too about that ?

Kishimoto : I choose mostly names that are easy to remember, even if it's not an easy thing to parody a traditional ninja's name.
I look for names that sounds like japanese and sounds cool, like "Wasabi" or "Kakashi".

Did you started thinking about non japanese readers at some point ?

Kishimoto : Yes, when my editor told Naruto was strong outside japan. I made the reading easier by making the order of the koma easier to read.
That way of thinking had a very large impact on the series as a whole.

What do you think foreigners like the most in Naruto ?

Kishimoto : The hero is far from being the most clever fella on earth. He's not a genius. He starts from 0 and starts climbing his way.
Everyone can relate to this kind of story, japanese or not.
Other Important fact : Everyone in the world like ninjas.

I would like you to tell me about the bonds in the story. There are a lot of time where you talk about that.
Is there some moment you remember ?

Kishimoto : I'd say Jiraiya's death. With a strange force, let's call that "willpower", he comes back to life to give Naruto the secret of Pain.
I think I really managed to put his determination on paper this time around and the bonds that link his to his student.
But since I draw on the spot, very spontaneously, I rarely pause myself to think "wow, I just rocked."

Since the series started, did you even think "This ! This moment is just awesome ! That's what I wanted to draw."

Kishimoto : I wanted to talk about aknowledgement, the one you give and the one you get. That's what I wanted to say and wanted to do.

In the story, you say it's being aknowledged by others that drives people to act. By the battles, training and such.

Kishimoto : Everyone want to be aknowledged, and me the first. That's what I strived for when I started, and still is. I fight to be aknowldged by my peers.
Because in the past, I wasn't the one of the admired ones. This feeling I know so much, I think I managed to put in on paper.

I don't want to sounds like that, but what kind of aknowledgement did you seeked ?

Kishimoto : In school, nothing went the way I wanted. I sucked in school, I sucked in sports and I had almost no friends.
I had the feeling nobody aknowledged me for who I was.

But if you went to draw manga, you surely had self confidence about that, right ?

Kishimoto : Yes, thanks to mangas, and drawing, I knew I could get aknowledged by people and so could live thanks to mangas.
Even if my editor back then didn't really had faith in me.

So, all thoses years you just wanted to do a manga to be aknowledged ?

Kishimoto : It's very hard to please all the readers, but I had a huge need for aknowledgement.
When I started, nothing I did ever gave me that, so I continued to draw anyway just for the hell of it.

But aknowledgement is a step by step process, right ? You publish a one shot manga, then a series and only then aknowledgement comes.

Kishimoto : When I started, my meetings were in the first floor of the building and then went to the last floor, the floor of the director.
I could felt I was being aknowledged, but when my One Shot went published. I knew it was happening.
But people didn't really liked this one shot, meetings went back to the 1st floor and I strived even more for aknowledgement.
Thoses events made a very vivid impact on me and as such, have a strong impact on Naruto.

Naruto has many masters. Jiraiya, Iruka, Kakashi. Who is the ideal master for you ?

Kishimoto : A protecting master who, instead of yelling at you, explains you want went wrong and how to fix it.
Someone like Kakashi. I wish I had a master like that.

So you didn't get inspiration from someone you know ?

Kishimoto : No, he's just the teacher I never had. Someone who push his student forward instead of yelling him back to square 0.

It's with thoses bonds that you try to explain mutual gratefulness. Can you explain more about that ?

Kishimoto : There's no real bond without gratefulness. Today I'm trying to put friendship, Parents/Children Love and all that.
Since I'm now a father myself, I learned a lot about that.

Between friends and rivals, aknowledgement is done by fighting. But with Parents and Children, Brothers and Sisters, bonds already exists. How you explains bonds varies between types of bonds ?

Kishimoto : Since readers already know what is a family and what are those bonds, I don't have to really write about that.
Friendship can be hard to explain. Like brothers without blood relation, "Brothers of hearts" I call them. In Naruto there is multiple type of bonds.
So what if they are not of the same blood, if the father sees the kid as his son and the kid sees the man as his father, then it's ok.
I did that with Iruka and Naruto, I wanted to intruduce them like father and son. In part 2, this is less obvious.

That's right, Iruka started in the manga as the father Naruto never had.

Kishimoto : Since Naruto hadn't any parents at the start, I wanted him to see Iruka as his father.

During a chapter, Naruto tells Itachi that Sasuke is like a brother to him. Is that what you were going from the start ?

Kishimoto : I wanted them to be more brothers than blood brothers. I can tell you that is for me the hardest thing to put into words in this story. And still is.
People who actually lived through harsh separations and death of loved ones often write me and tells me they can actually relate to them.
When I am close to someone, I’m scared shitless of one day that bond will be severed. Loneliness does scares me to death.
This may be hard to put into words, but I’ll still try to make my point stand to the readers.

So you think you still didn’t really managed to put into words what is the relation between Naruto and Sasuke ?

Kishimoto : I don’t know. Maybe I didn’t as well as I wanted to, and because of that almost everyone thinks both of them are crazy lunatics.
From on now, everything will depend on how well I can put their relationship into words.

You're talking about both of them, right ?

Kishimoto : Yes. If you want me to talk about their bonds, I created Sasuke as a rival to Naruto who does not see Naruto as a rival at all.
I found it interesting to have Naruto next to someone who couldn't care less about him. As the story advances, Sasuke starts to see, little by little, Naruto as a rival.
But he leaves the village without really aknowledging Naruto.

When he watched Naruto growing up, Sasuke started to grow a very vivid rivalry with someone he barely noticed before.

Kishimoto : After the Valley of the end, the gap gets larger. But when someone who just started to aknowledge you, brutally reject you, you strive for even more aknowledgement.
But Sasuke still doesn't see Naruto as his equal. I think and I hope Naruto will fight to the bitter end until Sasuke sees him as his closest ally.

In the manga, their final battle with start soon. As a reader, I can't wait to see what will happen before the end.

Kishimoto : The story gets to its climax and but I'm still thinking about a lot of plot twists.

This is very exciting. Can you give a message to the readers ?

Kishimoto : Those two books have a lot of famous scenes and lines. If one of them can make you feel better about yourself, I will be happy.

December, 2008 — Interview: The man behind 'Naruto', LA Times

At 34, Masashi Kishimoto is one of the most successful manga-ka, or manga artists, in the world. His long-running series about ninja-in-training Naruto Uzumaki has sold tens of millions of books around the world. Kishimoto, born in the rural prefecture of Okayama, lives in Tokyo, where he works with several assistants. Although Naruto can be insufferably cocky at times, Kishimoto seems a bit overwhelmed by the runaway success of his first major creation.

"It's rather awkward to talk about what makes Naruto appealing to audiences, but I think his being a knucklehead gives him an appeal," Kishimoto said in an interview conducted via e-mail with help from translator Hiromi Psaila. "Perfect heroes are cool, but no one can really empathize or identify with them. Naruto often makes blunders, and he has weaknesses. Naruto feels inferior to his peers, but he hates to be a loser. Although he doesn't think about it too much, he knows he hates to lose, and we all know what that feels like. I think readers see themselves in Naruto, and that's what appeals to them: They can empathize with him and his weaknesses."

As a boy, Kishimoto was obsessed with manga and baseball. In elementary school, he became "completely addicted" to the popular boys' series "Dragon Ball." His interest gradually expanded to include other manga series, notably Katsuhiro Otomo's landmark "Akira." Kishimoto explained that he was so focused on his drawings that he did poorly in high school, ranking 30th in a class of 31.

While in art school, Kishimoto won a contest for aspiring manga artists with his story "Karakuri" (Mechanism). His next work, a manga short story about a fox spirit disguised as a human (foxes are traditional shape-shifters in Japanese folklore) named Naruto, appeared in 1997. Two years later, a new version of "Naruto" premiered as a serial in the magazine Weekly Shonen Jump and scored an immediate hit.

Although the name was the same, the new version of "Naruto" was very different from the previous story. The Hidden Leaf Village of ninjas was nearly destroyed by a nine-tailed fox demon, a creature so terrible it was seen as divine punishment. The village chieftain died, sealing that demon within the body of a newborn baby: Naruto. Because he was associated with the demon, Naruto was a lonely child, shunned by the people of the village. At the Ninja Academy, he blew off his lessons, played pranks and got into mischief.

"When Naruto was born, it was more like he somehow came out, rather than my creating him from some inspiration," he continued. "The only image I had in mind was a character who was a naughty boy. I was a poor student, but unlike Naruto, I was the type of poor student who gave up easily and pondered things that weren't worth pondering. I wanted Naruto to be different. He was created based on my self-image of my own childhood, but different from how I really was."

His impish nature and spotty record make Naruto a come-from-behind kid. After graduating from the academy -- after three tries -- he begins his advanced training as a ninja. Although he remains a goof-off at heart, Naruto will lay his life on the line to protect his friends. And in extreme circumstances, he can draw on the energy of the demon imprisoned within his body. Under the supervision of his teacher, Kakashi, he goes on missions in a team with his rival Sasuke and Sakura, on whom he nurtures a crush.

Kishimoto's strong clean lines and massed areas of black give the many action sequences a visual punch. The human figures are well-drawn and accurately proportioned, and their poses suggest believable movements. "I chose to draw the human figures as accurately as possible because I thought it would give a more realistic feel to the action scenes," Kishimoto explains. "Exaggeration can lend action scenes more force, but I like to stick to more realistic figures: They help keep the cool in the action scenes, although they may be not as forceful as the exaggerated ones."

Kishimoto lays out each page like a director/cinematographer, often juxtaposing a series of close-ups of a character's changing expression with large drawings of a combat sequence. The viewer sees Naruto's resolve stiffen before he kicks the wasabi out of his opponent.

"I watch a lot of movies, and I tend to be influenced by scenes that intrigue me, that make me want to use the same effects or technique," Kishimoto explains. "I once adopted [actor-director] Takeshi Kitano's technique of shooting objects from a great distance to stifle the emotion in the scene. I like the way Quentin Tarantino creates a scene using a series of close-ups or showing very cool images of a person or people walking on some ordinary street in slow motion. I wish I could achieve that kind of slow-motion effect in manga, but it's rather difficult to draw; the only things we can play with are tones of black and white. I also like Michael Bay's technique of shooting a scene against the background light. I'd like to try this in manga, but again it would be rather difficult."

While still a student, Kishimoto studied the work of some of the most famous manga artists and Japanese animators. In addition to "Dragon Ball" and "Akira," he read, re-read and copied the drawings in Hiroyuki Okiura's sci-fi fantasy "Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade," Koji Kiriyama's ninja tale "Ninku" and Masamune Shirow's groundbreaking cyberpunk tale "Ghost in the Shell," which was adapted to the screen by Mamoru Oshii. Kishimoto feels their successes paved by the way for the international popularity of "Naruto," which was influenced by them.

"I didn't think much about foreign readers when I began 'Naruto,' but I knew that many of the artists who influenced me had already been accepted overseas," he concluded. "All the people I was influenced by have been very successful in other countries, which may be why it was easier for my work to be accepted there. 'Naruto' owes a lot to those artists who won acceptance and popularity overseas."

Solomon is the author, most recently, of "Disney Lost and Found."
November 2014 — Special Investigation JUMP Police ? Yahagi (Kishi's first editor)
Miss Ikoma tells that Naruto was originally a child of the 9 tailed fox (in the pilot one-shot).

-On the times before the series
Yahagi says the one-shot Naruto received a great response and they(=jump editors) were like "this Naruto chara is great! Let’s serialize it" but they were worried that kids might not be able to relate to a fox child. So he told Kish to write other one shots, which didn't go well.
Then they went back to Naruto like 'Naruto was great wasn't it?'
They decided that there shouldn't be any problems if the fox was sealed in Naruto, a human boy. and then the settings like ninja and villages which weren't in the one-shot came in and the series started..
-On the toughest time
Yahagi says right before the chunin exam
He asked Kish what to do next and Kish said he didn't have anything in particular.. Yahagi was like "eh weren't u so eager to make the series?"
Then he and Kish discussed and Kish decided to write the chunin exam and trainings to make the charas to step-up as ninjas
-On his fav chara
He likes Naruto the best. Dark mangas are rather easy to write while cheerful charas like Naruto are hard to create. bat for Naruto nothing started. The Naruto in the one-shot and the Naruto of now are just the same. Naruto hasn't changed inside from day one although he's grown big.

-his thoughts on naruto concluding its 15 yrs history
Yahagi at first thought it would be great if the series could last for about 10 vols.
he wanted kish to write up naroto life. and seeing as how kish actually made it, mr yahagi has to say kish sensei is great. and he really thanks to the great readers who have followed the story for 15 yrs.

at the end of the show sukimaswich said that the song is about love for humanity.
about the things handed down, the connections between individuals.
November 2014 The Asahi Shimbun

Spoiler: Masashi Kishimoto: Fan letters from overseas made me realize the popularity of ‘Naruto’(official)

Ninja manga series “Naruto” on Nov. 10 marked the grand finale of its phenomenal 15-year run that gained international fame and surprised even its creator.

The manga work, written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto, appeared in Shueisha Inc.’s Weekly Shonen Jump comic anthology.

The story centers around the eponymous character who cooperates with friends, rises above his rivals and mentally and physically grows to become the greatest ninja.

The ninja saga, along with Eiichiro Oda’s “One Piece” pirate manga series, has been the driving force behind the popularity of Jump magazine.

Spanning 71 volumes, “Naruto” was also a big hit overseas, with global sales topping 200 million copies as of September.

Fifteen years after the adventurous story of Naruto first appeared in the magazine in 1999, the young ninja, who used to be seen as a dropout, finally saves the world from destruction and completes his long, difficult path in the manga’s 700th episode.

The Asahi Shimbun conducted an exclusive interview with reclusive manga artist Kishimoto just hours after he completed Naruto’s journey. Excerpts from the interview follow:

* * *

Question: What are you feeling now?

Kishimoto: Because I just completed the last episode less than 12 hours ago, I do not have any real feeling (that “Naruto” has ended). I have had to meet a deadline every week for 15 years, so I feel that there’s a deadline for next week. I thought of many things to do after (“Naruto”) ends, but I do not know where to begin. I want to do something other than manga. Don’t worry, I will continue creating manga.

Q: When did you decide how to end “Naruto”?

A: Since the work was first serialized, I have been determined to end the manga series with the battle between protagonist Naruto and Sasuke, who has been his rival since the start of the story. I later decided on the details, little by little, such as whether they would fight each other as friends or enemies, their feelings and dialogues, while I was drawing the series. Around two years ago, I began to feel the story was approaching the finale.

When the series started, the editor responsible for my work told me, “Continue the series for at least five years.” The tough work of continuing to draw “Naruto” for the weekly magazine occasionally made me think that I would like to finish the series. I did not think “Naruto” would last for 15 years.

The story lasted for such a long period because the characters “stuck it out.” When I attempted to quickly offer an answer (to issues raised in the story), the characters did not allow me to do so. If I had made them act as I wished, the reality would have been lost.

Because manga artists are always working inside rooms, it is difficult for us to see firsthand if our works are really popular. It was not until I received many fan letters from overseas that I realized (“Naruto” is) popular outside Japan. Some of those letters are written in languages I do not know, so I understand that my work is read by people in various countries.

One fan mail contained a photograph of a small child dressed as Naruto striking a pose. Such attachments make me happy.

Q: Were you conscious of “One Piece”?

A: It is impossible to be unconscious. (Both “Naruto” and “One Piece”) are serialized in the same magazine, and “One Piece” has always been running ahead of the pack. I have been able to work so hard writing “Naruto” thanks to “One Piece.”

Q: You will turn 40 years old on Nov. 8. How do you feel about that?

A: I remain a child in terms of mentality. Nothing has changed from age 25, when the series started. I just worked at the desk to create high-quality, interesting manga, and 15 years passed before I knew it.

Q: What would you want to tell your old self?

A: I hope to tell my 23- or 24-year-old self, who painted Naruto and other characters on copy paper just as I wanted on the veranda of my family’s home: “Cherish him. You will write a serial manga for 15 years using the character.”

(This article is based on an interview by Atsushi Ohara.)

* * *

Editor’s note: This is the first article in a special AJW series featuring the “Naruto” ninja saga and its creator, Masashi Kishimoto. Special feature pages on “Naruto” will be available soon on our Japanese website ().
Spoiler: Kishimoto: ‘Naruto’ reflects my childhood of 'inferiority,' breaks taboo of boys’ comics (official)
By ATSUSHI OHARA/ Staff Writer

People laughed at Masashi Kishimoto during his childhood when he said his dream was to become a manga artist. Now, the native of western Okayama Prefecture has created one of the most popular and successful ninja manga series ever and can boast of legions of fans around the world.

Still, Kishimoto remains humble. He says he’s surprised that he could even enter the manga business.

Kishimoto’s rise to stardom resembles the journey of Naruto, the main character in the “Naruto” manga series that ended its spectacular 15-year run in the Weekly Shonen Jump comic anthology on Nov. 10.

Naruto must overcome initial disappointments to finally fulfill his dream of becoming “Hokage,” the grand leader of his ninja village.

“(Naruto) is similar to me in some respects,” Kishimoto said in an exclusive interview with The Asahi Shimbun. “I also love ramen.”

The artist said the Naruto character, who fell behind his peers, reflected Kishimoto’s own childhood.

“I was unable to do well in school and felt a strong sense of inferiority,” he said. “When Naruto said, ‘I will be Hokage,’ people surrounding him laughed at his dream. Since childhood, I also told others that I would be a manga artist but had no foundation.

“Unlike Naruto, I did not have the courage to declare that I will become a manga creator at any cost. So I would just say in my mind, ‘It may be possible.’”

Kishimoto said his career in the comic world was unexpected.

“It is unbelievable that I am working as one of the manga creators who have to write stories and depict many characters, because I was poor at the Japanese subject in school,” he said. “I could not answer questions requiring students to guess the feelings of characters in stories in school exams.”

Naruto is well known for his unique dialect “dattebayo,” which is sometimes translated into “believe it.” At first, he was seen as a dropout in his ninja academy.

But the young ninja grows both mentally and physically through interactions with friends and battles with enemies.

The series features hand-to-hand combat, illusion arts and battles of wits. Huge toads, a common symbol in traditional Kabuki plays, also appear in the action scenes that have gained widespread popularity both at home and abroad.

The series has sold more than 200 million copies around the world.

Naruto does not just defeat his enemies with force; he also uses words to achieve victory. Kishimoto cited Naruto’s verbal persuasion to get Pain, one of his main enemies, to stop fighting.

“Boys’ comics inevitably feature violent scenes. But I wanted to tell (readers) that enemies who resort to violence probably do so because of unavoidable reasons,” Kishimoto said. “And if (the protagonists) defeat them without understanding their motivation, it could end up leading to a repeat of the same thing.”

Ending a battle through dialogue may have been almost taboo in comics for boys, he said.

Kishimoto said “Naruto” is also distinctive in the way the hero pursues the path to his dream.

“In most boys’ manga, the protagonists typically achieve dynamic growth in the first episodes and continue to behave the way they believe to be good and affect other characters,” the manga artist said. “But Naruto faces the challenge of how he can create a world where there are no conflicts, as he battles Pain. I could have made him go his way without agony, but I thought it would be wrong in some aspects.”

Kishimoto also had to overcome many difficulties before his great success with “Naruto.”

Although he had earlier won a manga prize, Kishimoto spent two years reading books on how to write scenarios and studied dialogue in films to learn about story structure and directorial techniques. He also studied oil painting at an art collage.

Only after all that work did Kishimoto start the “Naruto” series in the magazine.

“Life is colorful,” Kishimoto said. “It is the reality of a manga protagonist to face obstacles.”

In the comment column of the Nov. 10 Jump magazine, the manga creator said farewell: “Otsukare-sama dattebayo!” (Good job and goodbye dattebayo!)

Visit the special feature pages on “Naruto” on our Japanese website (

Spoiler: Summary by Yagami1211
People laughed at Masashi Kishimoto during his childhood when he said his dream was to become a manga artist. Now, the native of western Okayama Prefecture has created one of the most popular and successful ninja manga series ever and can boast of legions of fans around the world.

Still, Kishimoto remains humble. He says he’s surprised that he could even enter the manga business.

Kishimoto’s rise to stardom resembles the journey of Naruto, the main character in the “Naruto” manga series that ended its spectacular 15-year run in the Weekly Shonen Jump comic anthology on Nov. 10.

Naruto must overcome initial disappointments to finally fulfill his dream of becoming “Hokage,” the grand leader of his ninja village.

“(Naruto) is similar to me in some respects,” Kishimoto said in an exclusive interview with The Asahi Shimbun. “I also love ramen.”

The artist said the Naruto character, who fell behind his peers, reflected Kishimoto’s own childhood.

“I was unable to do well in school and felt a strong sense of inferiority,” he said. “When Naruto said, ‘I will be Hokage,’ people surrounding him laughed at his dream. Since childhood, I also told others that I would be a manga artist but had no foundation.

“Unlike Naruto, I did not have the courage to declare that I will become a manga creator at any cost. So I would just say in my mind, ‘It may be possible.’”

Kishimoto said his career in the comic world was unexpected.

“It is unbelievable that I am working as one of the manga creators who have to write stories and depict many characters, because I was poor at the Japanese subject in school,” he said. “I could not answer questions requiring students to guess the feelings of characters in stories in school exams.”

Naruto is well known for his unique dialect “dattebayo,” which is sometimes translated into “believe it.” At first, he was seen as a dropout in his ninja academy.

But the young ninja grows both mentally and physically through interactions with friends and battles with enemies.

The series features hand-to-hand combat, illusion arts and battles of wits. Huge toads, a common symbol in traditional Kabuki plays, also appear in the action scenes that have gained widespread popularity both at home and abroad.

The series has sold more than 200 million copies around the world.

Naruto does not just defeat his enemies with force; he also uses words to achieve victory. Kishimoto cited Naruto’s verbal persuasion to get Pain, one of his main enemies, to stop fighting.

“Boys’ comics inevitably feature violent scenes. But I wanted to tell (readers) that enemies who resort to violence probably do so because of unavoidable reasons,” Kishimoto said. “And if (the protagonists) defeat them without understanding their motivation, it could end up leading to a repeat of the same thing.”

Ending a battle through dialogue may have been almost taboo in comics for boys, he said.

Kishimoto said “Naruto” is also distinctive in the way the hero pursues the path to his dream.

“In most boys’ manga, the protagonists typically achieve dynamic growth in the first episodes and continue to behave the way they believe to be good and affect other characters,” the manga artist said. “But Naruto faces the challenge of how he can create a world where there are no conflicts, as he battles Pain. I could have made him go his way without agony, but I thought it would be wrong in some aspects.”

Kishimoto also had to overcome many difficulties before his great success with “Naruto.”

Although he had earlier won a manga prize, Kishimoto spent two years reading books on how to write scenarios and studied dialogue in films to learn about story structure and directorial techniques. He also studied oil painting at an art collage.

Only after all that work did Kishimoto start the “Naruto” series in the magazine.

“Life is colorful,” Kishimoto said. “It is the reality of a manga protagonist to face obstacles.”

In the comment column of the Nov. 10 Jump magazine, the manga creator said farewell: “Otsukare-sama dattebayo!” (Good job and goodbye dattebayo!)

Source : The Asahi Shimbun
November 2014 — NikkanSports

Spoiler: translation by Yagami1211

The anime movie The Last NARUTO The Movie ( Director : Kobayashi Tsuneo. Public presentation December 6th ) The complete preview announcement meeting happened at the metropolitarian In Hole.
This 10th November's Shounen Jump, the last chapter of the Naruto manga was released. The author of Naruto, Masashi Kishimoto ( 40 years old ) came running. It's the 1st time he appeared in public since a long time ago.

Kishimoto : "I wanted to thanks all of you, you who watched over Naruto as he grew up and matured. This is something that brings so much happiness to me. But I really wanted to thank you."
He said to all his fans. Kishimoto continues, "This movie is a movie about romantic love, but Naruto himself has zero experience in the field, or should I say he doesn't understand the concept of romantic love.
I thought this movie could really work, that's why I'm here."

In the original manga, the main character Uzumaki Naruto ( Voiced by Junko Takeuchi ) and the Kunoichi Hyuuga Hinata ( Voiced by Nana Mizuki ) are married.
Kishimoto : "In the movie there is a scene where the two of them kisses. For me it's kind of like when they were kids.
I wanted to watch the scene, but I'm too shy and embarassed by it, so I didn't watched it ... Or so I thought, but, surprisingly, I did managed to watch the kiss scene.
The last I thing I imagined seeing in Naruto was a kiss scene and it was really like watching your children growing up and moving from home. It was kinda painful to me. But I was happy for them. As I was drawing Naruto & Hinata I thought, there wasn't others like them. It's the end of the 1st step for them.
They'll become father, uncle, mother and I was relieved. I have no deadline today anbd I feel calm. Today really felt like I a liberation."
Spoiler: translation by Eriko

Regarding “The Last” and what many of us have been hoping to see for the longest time:


Translation: In the original work, the main character Naruto (Junko Takeuchi), and the female ninja Hinata (Nana Mizuki) get married. In the movie, there is a kiss scene between the two, but Mr. Kishimoto expresses the sad sentiment, “In the final scene where they kiss, since the two of them are like my own children, I thought, ‘I wonder if I can watch it… or if I’ll be too embarrassed to watch it…’ when I was surprisingly able to watch it. What I felt when I finished watching was a sad feeling as if my children had kissed, grown up, and gone away.”

December 2014 —

→ view interview at source for pics and additional bits that weren't quoted:

On November 10, 2014, the manga series Naruto ended its 15-year run in the weekly Shōnen Jump. We spoke with Kishimoto Masashi, author of this work beloved in Japan and around the world, about his thoughts on the series and what lies ahead for him as an artist.​

A Final Battle Set from the Start

Naruto is an exceptionally long-lived manga series. Its serialization began in 1999, when creator Kishimoto Masashi was just 25 years old. In the 15 years that have elapsed since then, Kishimoto has created an entire life for his protagonist—Uzumaki Naruto, a student at a ninja academy whose mediocrity in his studies belies his deep inner capabilities.

“When I first created Naruto,” says the veteran artist, “I was just setting out myself to become a mangaka, and I projected my own fierce desire to be recognized by those around me on my character.”

At the time, of course, there was no way of knowing that this character would gain incredible recognition around the world over his decade-and-a-half-long run.
“With a magazine like Shōnen Jump,” explains Kishimoto, “you produce three issues’ worth of your material that’s up for consideration, and the editors decide whether to publish you based on that. If you make it past that stage, you’ve got about two months until your series kicks off in the magazine.” While this is the answer every manga creator hopes to hear, in general, it means only that an order has been placed for a short story arc. “The writer doesn’t have much time to prepare for those weekly deliveries and really polish the work. Usually, you don’t need much more than one or two full-length bound volumes worth of material.”

“When I first met the editors,” he continues, “I only knew one thing about my manga: that I wanted Naruto and Sasuke [his rival since childhood] to end the work with a climactic confrontation.”

Battles and Beasts on a Grand Scale

Naruto wrapped up with its 699th and 700th written installments, carried back-to-back in the issue of Shōnen Jump that went on sale on November 10. The story Kishimoto has told over the past 15 years has been an epic one.

Naruto is set in the world of the “Five Great Shinobi Nations.” Uzumaki Naruto hails from Hi no Kuni, the “Land of Fire”—one of the five nations named for classical elements. Each of these nations has “hidden villages,” settlements home to schools for ninja, where they master the mystical powers that they wield in battle. Naruto is a student at the academy in the settlement of Konohagakure, where he dreams of one day becoming the hokage, the master ninja who leads and defends the village. He is not a particularly dedicated student, though, failing his graduation exam numerous times before finally making it to the lowest genin ninja rank. Placed in a ninja team headed by the elite warrior Hatake Kakashi, alongside his rival and eventual enemy Uchiha Sasuke and his love interest Haruno Sakura, Naruto sets out on the long and hard path to maturity.

When summed up like this, it comes across as a fairly standard bildungsroman. But the sheer number of characters that appear over the story arc, their strongly individual characters, and the vibrant range of ninjutsu techniques they display in their battles make this a tale that gains complexity and depth as the episodes pile up.

Naruto himself has a dark secret: the presence within him of a powerful, monstrous nine-tailed fox, whose essence was sealed within him by his father—who lost his life in the process—when Naruto was just an infant. The five nations of this world once sought to control these giant beasts as a way to gain military supremacy, but they have now come to rest in human vessels scattered throughout the lands, producing an uneasy balance of power.

“The entire story of these tailed beasts started out as a simple way for me to get the fox into my manga,” says Kishimoto. “I loved Godzilla. I just wanted to draw a monster—something big that I could place in a battle. That’s why I decided to introduce the kuchiyose no jutsu, the summoning skills that let ninja call forth the weapons they need, or call a creature to their side to aid them in a fight. My intent from the start was to bring forth gigantic beings with these skills.”

A World Richly Populated with Characters

Over the 15-year run that Naruto enjoyed, its creator constantly worked to bring new depth to its pages. What did Kishimoto have in mind as he breathed life into the countless characters in the series?

“Once I feel I’ve written everything there is to write about a character, my approach is to make that one vanish from the story, never to come back. But that’s just an ideal. As I wrote Naruto, I found myself really caring for the characters I created, and I wanted to bring even more detail to their lives on the page. I’m afraid I tended to write even parts that the story didn’t require with great care—which was one factor making the series last as long as it did.”

Kishimoto Masashi: Born in Okayama Prefecture in 1974. Won the Hop Step Award for his debut work, Karakuri, in 1995. The first single-issue Naruto work appeared in Akamaru Jump in 1997. Two years later, in 1999, the series Naruto began. It would run for 700 installments, finishing up in the late fall of 2014, just after his fortieth birthday.

Kishimoto notes that this approach impacted his weekly work schedule, as he constantly spent more time than expected to infuse the characters with realism and natural emotion.

And this was a process he repeated too many times to count. When asked how many characters he wrote for the Naruto universe, he pauses and then laughs: “You know, I have no idea at all.” Some of the characters that have resonated most with him, in addition to the obvious picks of Naruto and Sasuke, are Haku (a fair-faced young ninja who has gone rogue and left his homeland behind) and Jiraiya, an acclaimed warrior who takes on Naruto as his final student.

“You might describe Haku as a guide to Naruto, who inspired him when it came time to select his nindō, or the personal belief that forms the basis for his life as a ninja. Jiraiya, meanwhile, despite being a master to Naruto, was a terrible ninja, ignoring the ‘three prohibitions’ against drinking, womanizing, and pursuing money. He’s one character who remains very vivid in my mind.”

The Blond-Haired, Blue-Eyed Ninja

So why ninja in the first place? Kishimoto notes the inspiration of Sasuke, an anime series based on the manga created by Shirato Sanpei. But what really inspired him as a manga artist, he says, was Toriyama Akira’s Dragon Ball. In any case, he says, he had little desire at the beginning to create a story that fit some standard “ninja manga” mold.

“I had a sort of defiant attitude from the outset—this idea that there was no need for a Japanese writer to do a story on something so Japanese as the ninja. I mean, look at my protagonist: he’s got blond hair and blue eyes. Sure, shinobi means the art of stealth, but I never thought this was a reason to cloak my main character in shadow. He wears an orange outfit, behaves flamboyantly, steps forward and proclaims his name. I wanted to create a ‘pop’ manga that turned standard concepts of ninja on their heads.”

Naruto, the “blond-haired, blue eyed ninja,” has won popularity and fame in the domestic market and around the globe. Kishimoto wrote a total of 700 episodes, filling 71 full-length print volumes that have sold more than 130 million copies in all in Japan as of November 2014. Including foreign sales, including 12 million volumes in North America and 17 million in France, Naruto broke the 200 million mark in September 2014. (Image from The Last: Naruto the Movie. ? Kishimoto Masashi, Scott/Shūeisha, TV Tokyo, Pierrot; courtesy 2014 Naruto the Movie Production Committee.)

This approach has paid off in tremendous popularity for Naruto in Western markets. The manga have been translated and sold in more than 30 countries worldwide. In France, Naruto sits perennially atop the comic popularity rankings. All of this has come as a surprise to the creator.

“Early on, I joked that I’d like to see Naruto make it big overseas. But I never expected that foreign readers would get into it like they have. It was only after the work entered serialization that I realized how attractive the ninja concept was to the global audience.”

Part of the appeal of Naruto, though, lies in the way it goes beyond a simple ninja comic to reveal a sweeping fantasy universe like those created by beloved works of Western fantasy literature. Many fans, both in Japan and abroad, have seen parallels between Kishimoto’s creation and the Harry Potter tales by the British author J. K. Rowling.

Kishimoto states that any such parallels were entirely accidental. “I’ve never even read the Harry Potter books. When I started getting fan mail that said my character reminded them of Harry, though, I started to wonder, and I had a look at the first movie in the series. Then it made sense. You’ve got Harry, Ron, and Hermione, learning together at an academy for magic. This was somewhat like Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura in my work.”

Saving Romance for the Big Screen

Looking back on 15 years of nonstop Naruto, what does Kishimoto see as the central themes he hoped to deliver to his readers?

During his manga’s 15-year run Kishimoto became a father. In the comic’s final installment, Naruto, too, has two children of his own.

“Well, every reader is going to approach the work in a different way, so as its creator, I don’t really want to push a certain idea on them. But if I had to say, I guess it would be the way in which Naruto started out with no respect from those around him and grew into the sort of man who earned that respect from his friends. In the end, this character was one who, deep down, had qualities deserving of recognition. Rather than describing the story arc as the way he changed, it might be better to say that his surroundings changed as he grew. Those who started out not wanting to admit his worth respected and honored him by the end.”

Episodes 1 through 699 of Naruto cover the span of the main character’s life “from age 12 to 17 or so,” says Kishimoto. But in episode 700, the last one, we leap ahead in time. Naruto and Sasuke are both fathers with families of their own.

The events of the intervening years are covered in The Last: Naruto the Movie, a full-length animated feature that hit Japanese theaters on December 6, 2014. Kishimoto himself signed on for a supervisory role in this film’s production.

“I didn’t originally intend for there to be a movie about these years in Naruto’s life. But when we got the proposal and I saw a draft script for it, it was great. It was a movie I wanted to see, which meant that my readers would want to see it as well, I thought. I’ve never been the sort of artist to draw romance into my work, but this movie was a chance to include just those things that I never included in Naruto as a manga.”

The tenth film in the series portrays aspects of the Naruto world that never made it into the written series. Haruno Sakura, the object of Naruto’s unrequited affections (bottom left), and Hyūga Hinata (bottom center), who longs for Naruto in turn, play major roles, as does one new character: the foe Ōtsutsuki Toneri (bottom right), a central figure in the final film. (Images from The Last: Naruto the Movie. ? Kishimoto Masashi, Scott/Shūeisha, TV Tokyo, Pierrot; courtesy 2014 Naruto the Movie Production Committee.)

Preparing for the Next Career Stage

Kishimoto Masashi turned 40 on November 8, 2014, just as he put the finishing touches on his 15-year series. At this double milestone in his life, he looks back and says: “Ten years have passed since I got married, but my wife and I have yet to go on a honeymoon. I’d like to go travel somewhere for a while now.” While he intends to treat this as a well-earned vacation, it sounds like it may not last for long. “ I have no interest in jumping right into a new series right away, but I do think that living a life without deadlines is going to make me fidget.”

Next up on Kishimoto’s work calendar is a special, limited Naruto series that will run in the Shōnen Jump weekly in the spring of 2015. The deeply populated universe he has created seems to offer plenty of characters and storylines to mine for this sort of additional material. But the author is more interested in striking out in entirely new directions.

“Even while on vacation, I won’t be entirely idle. I carry notebooks with me and I’m always writing down ideas in them. I want to keep writing. Once I’m ready to go—once I’ve decided to write something new—I’ll get up to full speed right away, I think. I haven’t lost my passion as a mangaka.”

(Based on a November 17, 2014, interview in Japanese. Interview photos ? Yamada Shinji.)
October 2015 — The Anime News Network Interview/New York Comic-con
by Deb Aoki, Oct 14th 2015

For manga fans, Masashi Kishimoto and Naruto needs no introduction. It is simply one of the most popular manga series ever created, not just in Japan, but throughout the world.

Masashi Kishimoto first drew Naruto as a one-shot manga in 1997, then it was added as a weekly series to Weekly Shonen Jump in 1999. Kishimoto's story of a plucky young ninja orphan who has the power of a nine-tailed fox god locked in his body and his path from being a brat to a powerful ninja leader. It is an epic tale that spans over 72 volumes and 700 chapters, has been adapted as an anime TV series and movies, video games, and novels, and is one of the best-selling books (not just comics or manga) ever.

For Masashi Kishimoto's first visit to North America, much less New York City for New York Comic-Con, Viz Media arranged several special opportunities for fans to meet and listen to the creator of Naruto speak about his comics, his creations, and his future plans. ANN's coverage is in 2 parts:

  • Part 1 ? ANN's exclusive 1:1 conversation with Masashi Kishimoto and his editor, Jo Otsuki
  • Part 2 ? The "An Evening With Masashi Kishimoto" event at New York Comic-Con on Thursday afternoon, which attracted a standing-room only crowd of over 2000 fans.
On Wednesday night, before the start of New York Comic-Con, Kishimoto was a special guest at the Apple Store in downtown NYC. This was a ticketed, intimate event that less than 100 people were able to attend and see in person. The audio of the event will be available as a podcast from Apple's iTunes Apple Store podcasts page.

The moderator for this event was Christopher Butcher, the Director of the Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF). He was joined on stage by Jo Otsuki, the editor for Naruto from Weekly Shonen Jump magazine, and Mari Morimoto, the translator for this event, and also the translator for Viz Media's English editions of the Naruto manga.

While no photos were allowed for these events, Kishimoto is a slim man who just recently turned 40. He initially seems a bit quiet, but is friendly and easy-going. He cracked a few jokes with fans, and seems to take his great fame and success in stride.

Butcher began by asked Kishimoto whether he was aware of the impact that Naruto has had upon fans worldwide, and his role as an "ambassador of Japan" to North America. Kishimoto laughed, saying that he thought it was kind of amazing that fans in North America were interested in Japanese manga and culture, and that he thought most people would be more familiar with "Naruto" (spiral fishcake) as an ingredient in ramen rather than Naruto the boy ninja.

Kishimoto's humble perspective perhaps comes from his early efforts to create a manga for Jump. He explained that he had tried several times to create a hit manga, exploring everything from sci-fi to action to sports manga. After many misses, Kishimoto said his editor encouraged him to give it one more try. That last try was the one-shot manga that eventually became the weekly series Naruto that we know and love today.

Butcher also marveled at Kishimoto's cinematic style of drawing. Kishimoto explained that his style was influenced by manga masters, including Akira Toriyama (Dragon Ball), Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira) and Hiroaki Samura (Blade of the Immortal). Kishimoto expressed admiration for Star Wars, and American comics movies like Spider-Man, Iron Man, and Batman.

He also talked about his friendly rivalry with Eiichiro Oda, the creator of One Piece.

"One Piece debuted about a year earlier than Naruto did, even though we're the same age. He beat me to it. I was very envious in the beginning and yet, at the same time, I wanted to not only be like him, but I wanted to surpass him. In some ways I feel like the reason Naruto was able to be published and was able to succeed was because of One Piece." He continued, "Perhaps we both kind of supported and bolstered each other over the years and lead to both of our successes because we had that rivalry. When one of us did something, the other one had to out do the other, and that kept both series going."

Kishimoto then described his creative process, and revealed that the entire process, from sketches and rough storyboards to finished artwork is all done by hand, not digital processes.

"I'm actually quite analog. I don't draw manga digital yet at all. We do get these sticker sheets with different tone and shades. It's not just me doing it; my assistants and I will get together and we have fun putting on the tones manually."

But Kishimoto had this bit of advice for up and coming comics creators:

"I don't recommend the manual method anymore. It's quite costly and it's quite a lot of work and takes a lot of time. I definitely recommend, for those of you who are just getting started or are not yet started, to go digital."

However, he also warned of the limits of digital tools for comics creation.

"There's no software out there, no digital technology is going to help you make a better story," he said.

Bakuman., the manga about making manga by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata was also mentioned in conversation. When asked if Bakuman. was an accurate representation of what it's like to be a Shonen Jump manga creator, Kishimoto replied, 'I definitely had the experience of having an editor yell at me, about deadlines especially. I guess about 99% of it might be true." So what's the 1% that's not true? "I really don't think it's feasible for high school students to really make it professionally and still go to school at the same time! But certainly I had to work even while I was sick."

So what is Kishimoto doing during his well-deserved break from the weekly manga-making grind? For one thing, he's minding his health, by taking up jogging and weight training. He's also been spending time reconnecting with his family. He mentioned that the Boruto movie is inspired in part by his relationship with his sons. Kishimoto confirmed that his next manga project will probably be a sci-fi story, but opted to not share more details because he didn't want anyone else to take his idea and run with it before him.

After a lively Q and A with audience members, the evening came to an end. Kishimoto was whisked away. The following exclusive interview happened the day after the first event at the Apple Store in SoHo, but before his appearance before a packed house of over 2,000 fans at New York Comic-Con.

With the help of translator Mari Morimoto (who also translated the Viz Media edition of Naruto), and Jo Otsuki, Kishimoto's editor from Weekly Shonen Jump, we talked about Kishimoto's reactions to his first encounters with his overseas fans, what does and doesn't exist in Naruto's world, how Boruto was influenced by his relationship with his sons, and he offers a few hints at his next series in the works.

I know this is your first trip to an overseas comics event -- How did it feel to get a taste of your overseas fans' enthusiasm for your work at the Apple Store yesterday, and so far today at New York Comic-Con?

Masashi Kishimoto: It was a very mystical experience, a very interesting experience!

I know you must know that Naruto is very popular all over the world ? but as I listened to you talk at the Apple Store last night, I got the sense that this didn't really feel real to you. What do you think now that you've met some of your fans?

Of course, I have been told that it's popular overseas, but it really hasn't felt real to me until now. Even now, it's still hasn't quite hit me yet. I feel like even the people telling me that there's this many people wanting to see me, I feel like it might've been a setup?

(laughs) What do you mean by that?

Kind of like when there's a studio audience when you're filming a sitcom?

You mean like a fake audience?

A planted audience, yes.

Oh my goodness! (laughs) When I told people that I would be doing this interview, I got so many comments like, "I'm so jealous that you get to even be in the same atmosphere as Kishimoto-sensei!"

I really don't feel like it's sunk in yet, even now.

Wow. Well, you'll definitely get a taste of it today at your afternoon event today at NYCC! So I wanted to follow up with some of the things you said about your artistic influences from your chat at the Apple Store last night. You especially mentioned Dragon Ball by Akira Toriyama, Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo, and Blade of the Immortal by Hiroaki Samura. What do you take from their work? What do you love about their work?

I would say I've probably picked up a little bit from each of them, and perhaps a little bit different thing from each of them. For example, with Dragon Ball, I was reading that when I was in grade school. What Dragon Ball taught me is what was fun about manga, what makes a fun story in manga. In fact, I was reading it as it was coming out in weekly installments in Weekly Shonen Jump, so it really taught me what entertainment is and how to keep an audience captivated?and of course the art influenced me as well.

What did you learn from reading Hiroaki Samura-sensei's work?

I think Samura-sensei really taught me about the craft of manga making, in terms of what's cool. Especially in terms of splash scenes, he really taught me the importance of splash scenes. In his splash page scenes, a lot of times he doesn't focus on the faces of the characters ? he usually focuses on their hands. He taught me how one can focus on the hands and how important expressions using just hands can be.

Oh, that's fascinating. This also brings up an interesting question about the world of Naruto -- Blade of the Immortal is a very traditional Japanese samurai story, while your ninja world is very fantastical. How did you come up with that?

So of course, a realistic ninja is someone who wears all black with only the eyes visible, kind of lurks in the shadows, and they are assassins. That's cool in its own way, but it's not necessarily appropriate or really makes up for a shonen manga series. That kind of story, it would be a different genre. So I was thinking about what would be appropriate for not only a shonen manga series, but a Jump shonen manga series. I figured I wanted to take a polar opposite approach, and portray this character who wears orange.

(laughs) Yeah! I was gonna say that Naruto's bright orange outfit isn't very stealthy for a ninja assassin!

It's an orange jumpsuit, and Naruto goes 'Hey, I'm here!' Which is totally opposite of how a ninja should behave! It's a paradox. But I figured, 'Why not make this another type of real ninja?' Of course, I had some hardcore ninja fans who were like, 'Dude, get lost.' (laughs) They were really upset because this is not how ninjas are supposed to be!

Another thing that's interesting about Naruto's world is that there's technology, like ways to view videos, communicate over long distances ? it's definitely not something that exists in traditional samurai-era Japan, but it's not a typical 'modern' Japan either. What definitely does NOT exist in Naruto's world?

It would actually take too long to really go nitty-gritty into details, but for example: one of the things I focused on was that anything that's NOT possible to recreate, or to do, using ninjustu, ninja skills, I would not develop for Naruto's world. So no cars. Because they have shuriken, the throwing stars, there's no guns either. So there were certain things I had clearly in my head that I didn't want to have available in their worldview.

Mari Morimoto (translator): So I brought up the fact that in the Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring sequel story, there's that one line when Naruto complains about how Sasuke's so analog, and Shikamaru's says, "Oh, but he goes to areas where you can't charge anything."

I asked Kishimoto-sensei about that and he said, 'Well, you know, I wanted to show that time had passed. So some things may have developed in the intervening time between the last chapter of Naruto and fifteen years later when the Seventh Hokage story happens. Also, there's the fact that the story is set during a time of peace, so there's now more money available, because the funds that were being pushed into the war can now be used for things like developing technology.

So another thing that struck me about your conversation with Chris Butcher last night was when you mentioned that you made several tries to create a hit shonen manga series until you created Naruto. What kept you going during what sounds like a discouraging time in your career?

I don't know if I ever really got THAT discouraged or depressed during that time! (laughs) I always had the thought in the back of my head, 'Eh, so they rejected me this time, I know I'm going to be a mangaka someday. That's all right, I'm just going to move on.' Partly because I thought that was the only thing I had to market myself. Maybe that makes me a little na?ve or stupid. (laughs)

Mari Morimoto:
I told him, 'That's very Naruto-like attitude!'

(laughs) That's true! So most of the story in Naruto is told from Naruto's point of view, with him as the central character. However, there's a lot of different and interesting characters in Naruto! It made me wonder, would Naruto be a completely different story if it was told from another character's point of view? If you could tell the story from another perspective, ala Rashomon, which character would you choose to tell a different version of the Naruto story from their point of view?

I suppose one possibility would be to write the story from Sasuke's perspective, or even the mentors, the teachers, especially like Jiraiya, because there's a generational difference there too.

How would the story be different if you told it from these characters' point of view?

This actually just came to me but, for example, if I were to draw the story from Jiraiya's viewpoint, from what we've already seen of Jiraya he's very? not so much arrogant, but overconfident, blusterous, and very, very skilled. But there was a time when he was still young, when he didn't really know much and he was kind of dumb too. So it'd be interesting to show that contrast.

Also, Jiraiya grew up in a time when the jutsu that we know now in the current Naruto worldview had not been refined, or even developed in some cases. So I think it would be fun to show that gap. In fact, there's a very famous TV series in Japan called Oshin.

(NOTE: Oshin is a live action historical drama that aired in the early 1980's about an orphan girl who grows up as a servant in the Meiji era, and follows her rags-to-riches life from pre-WWI Japan to the 1980's.)

I'd forgotten this aspect of that show until now, but in the very beginning of Oshin, you see the woman as a very old woman, very rich, and all of a sudden it flashes back to when she was a kid and she was poor and destitute. It kind of triggers this thought in you, 'Oh, how did she get there?' That's the kind of story I think would be fun to draw.

That would be interesting to read! With Naruto, you've created a very rich universe with many characters, and you just did a Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring side story, the Boruto movie, which you wrote the screenplay for, and there's also the Kakashi Hiden side-story novel that Viz Media is also publishing. That's a lot to enjoy, but are these sequel stories the last of your Naruto stories, or do you think there's more stories left to tell? Or after 15 years, are you just DONE with Naruto? (laughs)

There are infinite possibilities right now. If I decide that I want to do more Naruto stories, perhaps I will, perhaps I won't. That said, there is nothing firmly in the works at this time. Just that there is always the possibility?

I see! So I guess Naruto fans can keep their hopes alive to see more someday, maybe. As I mentioned, Naruto has many, many wonderful characters. But were there characters in Naruto that surprised you that were very popular with fans?

Rock Lee.

Ah, right! So did you decide to include Rock Lee in the story more because he became so popular?

No necessarily. It's just what I heard. It kind of surprised me how popular he was, but it didn't necessarily lead to more plotlines with him in it, or anything like that. That's not to say that I didn't consider writing him in more or creating more stories about him, but the timing was never right, so I never had the opportunity.

Speaking of new characters, I also noticed as the story evolved, there were more multi-cultural characters introduced to the story, like Killer Bee. Can you talk a little bit about why you decided to do that?

When I started expanding on the world, especially through introducing other ninja villages, the very nature of doing that kind of forced me to widen the perspective. I wouldn't say it was necessarily a deliberate decision, but I was definitely conscious of the fact that if I wanted to have my Naruto world reflect actual society more, then it might be easier for fans to accept, to see, other cultures or races as well. So while it wasn't necessarily an outright deliberate decision, I think I was conscious of the fact that I wanted Naruto's world to reflect, at least a little bit, the world at large.

As these characters appeared in Naruto, I noticed that lot of black and Latino cosplayers were very excited to see these characters, to have characters that they could dress up as that they could relate to.

(big smile) That makes me happy to hear that as well!

Did you expect such a divided reaction (in the U.S. at least) when you revealed whom Naruto marries in the future?

I actually didn't realize I caused such controversy.

Really? You had no idea?

Mari Morimoto:
So the fans wanted Naruto to get together with Sakura?

Well, there's definitely camps of fans who felt that way, and there were also those that were very happy he ended up with Hinata. But there were quite passionate opinions on both sides!

I almost caused a rift in my own household too, because my wife was very upset also that Naruto didn't get together with Sakura. In fact, she complained quite vehemently to me!

Jo Otsuki:
Quite few of the female staff at Studio Pierrot that produces the anime, apparently were also upset.

Whoah. So how did you handle that, especially with your wife?

I tried to defuse the situation by assuring my wife that SHE was actually the model for Hinata. (laughs)

As you were saying that, I thought, I wonder if your family life was more like Hinata and Naruto's family or Sasuke and Sakura's? (everyone laughs)

Masashi Kishiimoto: Well? it might not actually be like either. My wife is quite strong as well, she's a strong character.

Oh, so kind of like Sakura!

So I think my wife might secretly realize that Hinata wasn't really the model for her? (laughs)

Did you decide this early on, that Hinata and Naruto would get together in the end, or when??

From the middle, actually.

From the middle of the story? Hm! What sealed this decision for you?

I think what made me realize it was partly because, if you really look back and think about it, Hinata always supported and acknowledged Naruto, even before Master Iruka. She had the ability to see beyond his reputation and see the true person inside. I think I started realizing that they were meant to be.

Aw, that's nice. So you obviously care a lot about these characters and this story. It took up over 15 years of your life! Was it difficult to decide to end Naruto?

It was kind of decided?not necessarily early on, but I knew that it was going to be concluded soon. So it's not like that decision was unexpected. However, it took a while to smooth out the story to let it conclude the way that I want it to.

It was a slightly bumpy road, mainly because I wanted one of the themes of the end to be Naruto forgiving Sasuke. I wanted to make sure the intervening story lead naturally to that in a realistic way to make it plausible. Because if one minute they're fighting and then 'Oh, I forgive you!' would be weird. So definitely there were little bumps on the way to getting there.

Deb Aoki: Can you share an example of a bump that you ran into along the way toward the ending?

It would be the Pain Arc. It was difficult, because it was the very first time Naruto truly forgives his enemy. I didn't want the conclusion of their confrontation to be in battle, but through talking, so to bring that all about was quite difficult.

So now that Naruto has ended, you've hinted in other interviews that you're considering creating a sci-fi series next. You've mentioned that you like Star Wars, but are there other sci-fi series that you like?

It's hard for me to narrow it down to one or two. I actually like quite a bit of sci-fi movies, for example, Elysium and Chappie, two films directed by South African Neill Blomkamp.

Oh, what do you like about these movies?

Just the sense of this director, Blomkamp's cinematic view. I think what I like about it is there's still elements of real society within the movie and it's kind of merged with the fantastic elements -- it's really meshed. It picks up on current issues we're facing and expands further on it.

You definitely deserve some time off after so many years of drawing a weekly manga series, but when can we expect to see your next manga series debut?

Perhaps after my children finally acknowledge what I'm doing and acknowledge me? acknowledge the work I've done!

What? Really? They don't now?

Naruto took up so much of my time that I didn't really get to spend quality time with my kids. It's only recently that they really accepted my presence. So I think I might have to wait until my children give me permission to work on my next series.

Wow. Well, that's very important too, so I totally understand. I know that fans who'll get to see you at your New York appearances are very fortunate to have this chance to be here for your first overseas trip to a comics event. That said, you have so many fans around the world who are hoping to meet you some day, see you visit their cities or countries. Because these fans would have loved to have met you but didn't have a chance to be here this weekend, do you have any messages for them?

First and foremost, I wanted to thank all my fans out there for reading Naruto and for loving Naruto so much. It really is gratifying for me too. But despite how I answered the last one, I wanted to say it might not be so long until my next series to appear as my answer implied! After I spend enough time with my kids, they might be like typical kids and say stuff like, 'Okay Dad, you can go away now.' (laughs) So you might see my next series in the not-too-distant future!
by Deb Aoki, Oct 14th 2015

Masashi Kishimoto's biggest public appearance at New York Comic-Con was his official panel discussion, which was held on Thursday afternoon on the main stage at the Javits Center. The room has a capacity of over 2,000 people, and this ticketed event was quickly filled to capacity.

Kishimoto was introduced to fans by Ken Sasaki, the CEO of Viz Media, the English language publisher of the Naruto manga, novels, and art books, as well as the Naruto anime TV series and movies, including the Boruto movie, which debuted at NYCC.

To put Naruto's incredible worldwide sales in perspective, Sasaki told fans that 220 million copies of Naruto have sold around the world.

"If you put them all on the floor, that would be 210 square miles ? it would cover more than 12 Manhattans! If you put them next to each other on a bookshelf ? the shelf would need to stretch from New York City to Austin Texas ? that's 1700 miles!" he said.

He also spotlighted Naruto Volume 72, the final volume of the main series, and its special exclusive cover for NYCC, with art drawn by Kishimoto just for this event. Sasaki also reminded fans that a special one-shot manga story, Karakuri (which was Kishimoto's debut work) will be on the October 12, 2015 issue of Weekly Shonen Jump.

This event was probably Kishimoto's first taste of the huge crowd of fans who came to see him at NYCC, in addition to the various book signing events at Kinokuniya and Barnes and Noble, plus the Saturday morning premiere of the Boruto movie at the nearby Hammerstein Ballroom. Naturally, when Kishimoto took the stage with moderator Christopher Butcher, editor Jo Otsuki and translator Mari Morimoto, the room exploded in cheers and applause.

Mari Morimoto:
I think he wants to say a brief greeting to the fans.

Christopher Butcher:
Oh that'd be wonderful, please go ahead.

Masashi Kishimoto:
My name is Masashi Kishimoto, I am really, really, really pleased to meet you today!

(audience cheers)

Christopher Butcher:
Did you ever imagine that Naruto would go on for as long as it did? 72 volumes, that's an incredible accomplishment.

Masashi Kishimoto:
Actually, I like never imagined it. In fact, I actually thought it might get canned after the tenth week. (laughs) That's actually a regular occurrence at Jump, that if the fan reaction is not very good, episode ten, the end.

Christopher Butcher:
Luckily, we all got 72 volumes!

(audience cheers)

Christopher Butcher:
72 volumes of Naruto. Did the editors of Shonen Jump want you to keep going? Some of the Shonen Jump series go for a hundred volumes or two hundred volumes. Did the editors want you to keep going on Naruto?

Masashi Kishimoto:
I would be lying if I said there wasn't some pressure from management, the powers that be as they were, but I had a pretty clear idea of how I wanted the story to come to a close, so I had to put my foot down and say, 'No, I'm sorry, this is it.'

Christopher Butcher:
In your very first English-language interview in 2006 for Shonen Jump Magazine's US edition, you said you had the ending for Naruto perfectly visualized, the layout, the text, the scenes. That was in 2006. Almost ten years later, were you able to execute the ending exactly like you imagined it would be?

Masashi Kishimoto:
Actually, it really was all in my head. I actually had envisioned that Naruto and Sasuke would make the song of reconciliation in the valley of endings by the statues of First Hokage and Madara. I actually had visualized all that.

Christopher Butcher:
Oh, that's so cool that you had that finished at the very beginning and you were able to put it in at the very end too. That's very, very cool. I know you've been working on some of the stuff like The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring (now available in digital format from You've been working on a lot of stuff, the Boruto movie, the new manga, the side stories, the novels.

It seems like now you might be winding down a little bit and talking a bit better care of yourself? Is that true, or is your workflow still like it was when you were drawing the chapters for Weekly Shonen Jump?

Masashi Kishimoto:
I would say that life got a little bit easier when I finished drawing the series. On the other hand, it might not be obvious to the fans who don't know the timeline, but as I was drawing the last chapter of Naruto, I was told that I would be working on the screenplay for the new movie, Boruto. It was the first time I actually managed to work on an entire screenplay by myself. But on the other hand, that came right after the series. So it's only very recently that I was truly able to start relaxing just a teeny bit and spending more time with my children.

(audiences awwws, cheers)

Masashi Kishimoto:
It's only after I finished the screenplay and the production on the movie started that I was actually able to take a break.

Christopher Butcher:
I actually heard you got married while you were doing Naruto, is that correct?

Masashi Kishimoto:
That's the truth.

Christopher Butcher:
I heard you were actually so busy with drawing Naruto you were never actually able to go on honeymoon, is that true?

Masashi Kishimoto:
That is also the truth.

Christopher Butcher:
So this is your first trip to America, and this is like a honeymoon with all your fans in America!

(audience cheers)

Masashi Kishimoto:
You know, I have nothing against you guys, but unfortunately there's something called 'school.' My children have to go to school, so therefore my wife had to stay behind in Japan as well. So as much as I love you all, it's not really a honeymoon. That just means I have to come back to America again some day.

Christopher Butcher:
Now, in every good shonen story, there's the hero and there's also the rival who pushed the hero to achieve greater heights.

It's very clear that your rival is Oda-sensei, creator of One Piece. Your series started within a few years of each other, you battled to be the most popular manga in Shonen Jump magazine. How does Oda-sensei feel now that his rival has stopped making his rival manga series? Has he said anything to you about it?

Masashi Kishimoto:
Yes, indeed, I would say my rival is One Piece's creator, Eiichiro Oda. Honestly, it's interesting because I was just saying that on my own in the beginning, and then finally in the back of Naruto Volume 72, Oda-sensei acknowledged the fact that he considers me his rival as well. That felt so gratifying.

Of course, both One Piece and Naruto ran together for so long and ran, even in Japan, in Shonen Jump together, that sometimes we'd meet up and be like, "I wonder how long our manga series are going to go on." And then, One Piece kept going and going. So when I finally said, 'Well, actually Naruto's going to be concluding soon," it kind of gave him the awareness, like 'Ohhh, I guess One Piece may conclude sometime in the future too. It gave him awareness of an ending.

Christopher Butcher:
Naruto has been an incredible success story in North America, in Japan, and around the world. It's not just been THE best-selling manga, which is has been, it's not just been some of the best-selling comics, it's actually THE best-selling comic series. It's been one of the best-selling BOOKS of all time, outselling every other fiction, non-fiction, everything. Naruto is a genuine phenomenon. How did you feel when you heard first heard this?

Masashi Kishimoto:
I just found that out, about it being a top-selling book, not just a comic or a manga, like just NOW. (laughs) I'm really happy, but I'm still having trouble processing it.

Christopher Butcher:
When did you first realize the impact that Naruto is having on fans around the world?

Masashi Kishimoto:
I guess I might've started realizing it when my first editor, Mr. Yahagi. At the Shueisha office in Tokyo, there's a specific department for Shonen Jump. Fan letters would be sent there. He came by and would give me a bundle of fan letters every time he'd see me. I started noticing that there were letters that I couldn't read. I'm Japanese and I only know Japanese, so any other language would look like, well, Greek to me. So that's when I started realizing, 'Wow, there are fans that don't live just in Japan!'

Christopher Butcher:
That's pretty cool. Do you ever feel like anything has surprised you about the reactions from international fans of Naruto?

Masashi Kishimoto:
I would say I think I really started to become more aware of it?I don't know about surprised, but it started sinking in more recently. I've been able to look at images or watch videos of cosplayers from all over the world. That made me realize how much passion fans have; not just how much you love Naruto, but how much passion you can express with my work.

There was a time I was really thinking about having to make heads or tails of all the foreign fan letters I'd received. I kind of gave up on that but I wanted to think that they were all positive. Especially seeing all the images of all the cosplayers out there made me truly realize what a global impact the work has had. Actually, that's something that just came to me as I looked out upon all of you.

Christopher Butcher:
Cosplay's always been such a big part of the Naruto phenomenon. Everyone's got headbands on today. I love the character designs of Naruto, they're so good. They're always fresh and you keep redesigning the characters as they get older as well.

Did you ever think about the cosplay-ability of the character designs? People love to cosplay Naruto maybe more than any other series! Did you think about that when designing your characters, that people would be wearing the character designs you create?

Masashi Kishimoto:
Actually not at all.

In fact, I actually feel like a lot of my characters might not be so easy to cosplay. In fact, to all of you out there who raised your hands saying you had headbands on, I feel really bad, because are you sure you don't have like a rash on your foreheads from wearing these headbands? I'm sorry!

Christopher Butcher:
You guys are all right with the headbands?

(audience cheers)

I'd actually like to talk a little bit more about the manga. I know you greatly admire the work of mangaka Katsuhiro Otomo, creator of Akira, which is awesome. You also mentioned loving the work of Akira Toriyama, the creator of Dragon Ball, but I wonder if there's any other manga you're fond of? I've heard about maybe Hiroaki Samura-sensei or any mangaka or manga that you really like?

Masashi Kishimoto:
I have to say that I've also over the years enjoyed, and also perhaps influenced by, Osamu Tezuka-sensei's Phoenix, especially the Karma part. Then I would say Takehiko Inoue's Slam Dunk. And finally?there's so many?but if I had to narrow it down the other person I would mention is Naoki Urasawa's Monster as well as 20th Century Boys.

Christopher Butcher:
All very good series. One of my favorite parts of the manga is, especially in the early volumes, the notes you would do to the readers, to the readers about your life, about breaking into the manga industry. A lot of readers found them very inspirational, you really worked and tried and finally made it in.

The thing is though: you tried a lot of different manga and a lot of different age groups, things like that, but ultimately I felt that maybe Jump was the most important to you. Was it really important to make a Jump manga, to be a Jump mangaka?

Masashi Kishimoto:
Yeah, I have to say that no matter what projects, what stories, I came up with, in the end, my dream was always to be part of, or succeed, in Shonen Jump. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that when I grew up I was reading Weekly Shonen Jump during its golden age; this includes series like Dragon Ball, Fist of the North Star, Saint Seiya. I read these in real time, week by week, when I was growing up. I think that's why it was always like this, you know. Sometimes it felt like it was far off, but it was always a goal I wanted to achieve.

Christopher Butcher:
That era of Jump that you're talking about is largely considered to be the golden age of Jump. I read an interview between you and Oda-sensei where you both said you were both lucky to have read jump during that time.

But for fans today, especially in North America, that manga wasn't available in English. Shonen Jump started here in North America a little bit less than fifteen years ago. It included Dragon Ball for the first time serialized and Dragon Ball Z. It also included Naruto, One Piece, and Bleach; lots of long-running series that changed the face of comics, of manga, in North America. I think that maybe that era of Jump, YOUR era of Jump, would be considered a new golden age. What do you think?

Masashi Kishimoto:
You saying that resonates very happily with me, it reverberates very happily within me, even though I'm kind of embarrassed about it! I feel ashamed to say this in front of my mentors, the people that I consider the gods that came before me. Then again, they're not here in this room, so maybe I CAN say it. (laughs) Maybe it would be great to call that the golden age here for Jump.

Christopher Butcher:
Now as a special treat for everybody, Kishimoto-sensei has agreed to maybe draw for us. All right, so what are you going to draw for us today?

Masashi Kishimoto:
I guess I at least have to start with Naruto!

Christopher Butcher:
While Kishimoto-sensei is drawing here, I'm going to put Otsuki-san on the spot, he has to answer some questions. Otsuki-san, what do you think makes a hit manga?

Jo Otsuki:
Certainly an important thing is very appealing and attractive characters. But if we really knew the secrets of making hit manga, you wouldn't need us, I might not have a job! (laughs) It might not necessarily be a bad thing that we don't truly know (what makes a great manga). In fact, if any of you do know this secret, please let us know! (laughs)

Christopher Butcher:
This is for both of you: in the last chapter of Naruto, we fast forward to fifteen years later. Naruto's a dad now, he's with his son Boruto. We saw the trailer for the Boruto movie, it's crazy! There's skyscrapers in the world of Naruto now, and computers and stuff like that.

One of the things that I thought about the series is because it ended on such a peaceful note and it ended on "the end of fighting, was that great technological advancement, was perhaps possible because they had peace for so many years. Do you think peace brings about prosperity?

Masashi Kishimoto:
Yes indeed.

Christopher Butcher:
Otsuki-san, I'm actually curious because you came in towards the end of Naruto as the editor on the project. Was it intimidating to take over such a beloved series as editor?

Jo Otsuki:
At Shonen Jump, at Shueisha, we have a list of what series will be edited by which editors. When I first saw the list of series with my name on it I couldn't believe it. I thought maybe it was a typo or an April Fool's joke. (laughs) And then I looked at it again, that's actually MY name, it's actually on the same line as Naruto! Especially since this was a title that I'd seen and I'd watched and read as a kid too.

(Kishimoto completes the drawing of Naruto)

Christopher Butcher: (to Kishimoto)
Actually, other than Naruto, who is your favorite character in the series?

Masashi Kishimoto:
I'm going to go with Jiraiya.

Christopher Butcher:
That's a good answer. Me personally, I'm a fan of Rock Lee.

Masashi Kishimoto:
Maybe I should do Rock Lee instead?

Christopher Butcher:
The fans will turn on me!

(audience shouts "Jiraiya")

Masashi Kishimoto:
Okay, I haven't drawn Jiraiya for a while, so I just need to get a little reference. (checks his phone)

Christopher Butcher:
Another question for Otsuki-san while we're waiting. Naruto is a very, very unique take on shonen manga. In that series, even the worst character, no matter how bad they are, how evil they are, they get redeemed in some way. They're sympathetic, they're understandable. In some genre manga, some characters are just like bad to the bone and then they die, but everyone in Naruto gets redeemed in some way. I'm really curious about where that comes from.

Jo Otsuki:
It's kind of weird for me to answer this, it because it all comes from him. I think it's because these characters aren't just influenced by the story or do whatever they do in the story because of the story, but because when each character first appears, or even before that, sensei has very carefully laid out how he wants the character to be, what his personality traits are, what has he done, what is he about to do. He'll complete his personal history and background on each and every character, whether they be good characters or evil characters or villains. So by understanding the character, to make the character, he or she, a complete, well-rounded character, I think that's why they become relatable; because they're not just flat animations on paper.

Christopher Butcher:
I think everyone's got their own favorite character in Naruto. There's so many different characters. I feel like it's really easy to find somebody in the story who you really relate to. Otsuki-san, who do you relate to?

Jo Otsuki:
I guess Sasuke? And you Chris?

Christopher Butcher:
Oh, Rock Lee; he tries so hard. I know the last volume's only been out for a week or two, can I just get a?I was going to say show of hands, but you guys can scream?who HASN'T read the last volume of Naruto? <audience shouts> There are not that many, I'm definitely going to spoil things.

(audience screams)

So Sasuke keeps winning the character polls for most popular character. I always find it fascinating because Sasuke's got this pessimistic worldview. He thinks everything's going to fall apart unless he specifically holds it together.

Meanwhile, Naruto's like 'Nah, it's all good, it's going to be great!' But yet everyone's still like, 'No, Sasuke's got it, Sasuke knows what it's all about.' I'm curious because I think that's a pessimistic worldview. And I think Naruto's worldview is very optimistic. What do you think?

In the end, Naruto defeats Sasuke's worldview and brings Sasuke around. Do you think ultimately that by liking Sasuke you're more of a pessimistic person or more of an optimistic person? Actually I'm going to change it a little bit. I'm going to say: do you think it's easier for everybody to relate to a pessimistic character? How about that?

Jo Otsuki:
Some of it might just be even simpler than that, in the fact that Sasuke looks cool and is kind of cooler. You know, even in terms of his abilities. But whether it's Sasuke or Naruto, optimistic or pessimistic, there's everything in-between as well, they're all reflections of some personality that exists in the real world. Fiction is not reality. In reality, there's not always a happy ending, but because this is fiction I guess that's why we end up focusing more, or concentrating, highlighting more the optimistic worldview.

Christopher Butcher:
The Jump worldview of "you can do it!" That's a very thoughtful answer, thank you very much. So we've got time for a couple more questions.

(Kishimoto completes his drawing of Jiraiya)

Masashi Kishimoto:
Actually it's the first time in a while that I actually drew Jiraiya or any character from Naruto, so I did have a little bit of nostalgia, but also I have to embarrassingly admit, I don't quite remember how to draw Jiraiya! I tried to look it up but I couldn't connect to the wifi. So in fact I used the Jiraiya cosplayer in the audience as my model. So thank you, Jiraiya cosplayer, you saved me one!

Christopher Butcher:
Now as you all know, coming up this Saturday it's the Boruto movie premiere! When the original trailer was released for the Boruto movie, it had the line from you: 'This is the pinnacle of my career,' is the Boruto movie. I would love to hear from you why you think this movie, that we're all going to go see on Saturday, is the absolute pinnacle of your career.

Masashi Kishimoto:
As I briefly mentioned before, this is the first time I had actually been able to work on a screenplay from beginning to end. It's not the first Naruto screenplay I'd done, but certainly the one that I personally wrote the ENTIRE screenplay.

The story is essentially something that I wanted to draw as a manga, but didn't have the opportunity to. So I was really able to make the story and the characters everything what I wanted to see done, and then had the honor to have the anime come to life.

But it's also something that I envisioned as this is the last chapter of Naruto, the last climax scene, and so on.

Christopher Butcher:
I think we should watch the trailer for Boruto. Is that cool? All right, there we go.

(trailer plays to huge applause)

Masashi Kishimoto:
I am about to cry tears of joy.

Christopher Butcher:
Kishimoto-sensei, is there anything you'd like to say to the audience? One last remark.

Masashi Kishimoto:
I heard that there are many fans that couldn't even make it today. To hear that after seeing how many people are really here! This is just a little title that I started working on so many years ago without ever thinking about any impact that it might have, much less globally. All I can say is: to know how many of you, how many fans love my work and have followed my work, I'm just so grateful, the only thing I can really think of saying is thank you.
October 2015 Shōnen Jump Podcast: New York Comic Con Interview With Kishimoto

Shōnen Jump Podcast: NYCC Interview With Kishimoto


This is your first US convention. What do you think so far?

I'd say... first of all amazing, incredible. I mean, just the large scale of the event just blew me away.
So when I actually went to the bathroom right before the panel yesterday, I thought I recognized the dude who was next to me. It came to me afterwards, last night, that he was actually someone who had talked about Naruto on Youtube – he was a Youtuber.
You know, it never even crossed my mind back when I saw him on Youtube, I'd ever run across this person. I was very impressed.
I had actually watched a lot of this person's videos, so it was really bizarre that someone I'd only seen on-screen, I'd actually run into, face-to-face. I got a little emotional.

How do you think he'd have felt knowing who he was being next to?

Well, actually, it's interesting you'd ask. The person recognized me and he actually asked me for my autograph...

In the bathroom?

Yes, this all happened in the restroom

Another guy:
This was in the bathroom and we actually stopped the guy from getting his autograph, otherwise it would have been a big scene in the bathroom.

Sensei does say he felt a little embarrassed and yet rude because he couldn't fulfill the Youtuber's request.

Well, that guy will still have a great story.

[Sawyer's side of the story]


Another guy:
Maybe he listens to us too, so possibly he'll hear your side of the story.
Sorry, Youtuber.

(everybody laughs)

Have you seen any cosplayers who impressed you?

I have to say that there is at least one Evangelion cosplayer whom I distinctly remember seeing, who was like, 'Wow.' I think it was an Asuka cosplayer. And of course all the Naruto cosplayers... so impressive. You could see how much effort, energy and passion they put into making the costumes down to the tiniest details.
There were even a couple of people who had Naruto related tattoos and/or tattoos of Naruto. That was really impressive.
Sometimes it was a little confusing. For example if the person's physique was a lot different than the character they were trying to cosplay as. (laughs) But for the most part I could figure out who was doing who.

(laughs) Like a really skinny Chōji or something.

Not to offend any fans out there, but actually it was more the reverse.

Yet another guy:
Yesterday, the way Kishimoto-sensei showed so much love and time to the fans was amazing. I'd like to thank him on behalf of the fans.

Please don't thank me. I should be the one thanking the fans and you.
I actually got very emotional myself. To see... everyone had such kind words to say, so full of passion.

It was an emotional panel. I think a lot of people actually cried. It was sweet.

Autograph session too.

We heard you were heavily involved with Boruto: Naruto the Movie. What was it like working on the project and what did you do specifically?

Boruto the Movie came up just as I was completing the series. I was just about to take a breather and then like, 'Oh, they have another project for you.' They asked me to handle the entire script. Originally, I think, they were planning to give me about a month, but they ended up allowing me to have three months. But, you know, that was three months of work that I had not originally anticipated. Thankfully, it gave me enough time to really write what I wanted to write into it.
On the other hand, it was also much easier because I didn't have to draw all the art.

Last question before we get to the twitter questions. What do you think of New York so far?

Good burgers. (laughs)
We had really delicious burgers. In fact, we actually had burgers for today's lunch too. We went Shake Shack, but great burgers...

America's famous for hamburgers.
Ramen is also good.

I haven't actually had the opportunity to eat ramen yet. But I suppose it's not necessarily recommended either.

(laughs) Yeah, it's better in Japan.

SHŌNEN JUMP twitter feed questions

"At what point in the story did you think of Kaguya and the Sage of the Six Paths?"

So I would say it was towards... well, maybe it's better to say: well into the second half of the series.
Actually, I'll correct myself. Kaguya was towards the end, or at least well into the series... In terms of the So6P... At least the concept for the So6P existed from the Jiraiya arc, so more towards the middle.

"Who is your favorite female character, and why?"

Does this mean within my own Naruto?


You know, I'm a little shy having to mention a character that I myself created. Euhm... I guess... Maybe I should say Hinata.
Yeah, I think I'll go with Hinata.

(laughs) "Oh, Naruto-kun."


Kishimoto: Why?
Eh... Hmmm... I guess it's because she's not violent at all?


Yeah, Sakura... she's kind of a hard woman. (laughs)

(laughs) That's Sasuke's problem now.

(laughs) Yeah, you're right.

(laughs) He deals with it by not being home.

(everybody laughs)

"How does if feel, knowing you created a series that inspired and uplifted so many people around the globe?"

In truth, it hadn't really sunk in. I had heard about how popular it was and of course the editorial staff and the situation with Toonami(?); we got fan letters from abroad etc. But it wasn't until yesterday, in fact, the autograph session after the panel, when every single person who came by would say how grateful they were, how much Naruto had impacted their lives. I really started feeling it. I'd say that the most astounding moment of the night was when a young gentleman came up and said: 'Naruto literally saved my life. I was contemplating suicide and it was when I read Naruto that I decided to turn my life around. I'm here because of Naruto.'.


He started crying and I almost started crying too. That's when I really felt that perhaps I did something that managed to help others. It felt really good.

And that was only 100 people out of millions.

At the same time that it made me so happy, I felt even more grateful that something I produced is able to help others.

That's beautiful.

"What advice would you give to any beginning mangaka or writers?"

Maybe do a little bit of what you want to do every day. Practice makes perfect. And never give up.
Also, whether its drawing or writing, to make sure you love your craft and your work. Because the more you love it, it won't seem like a burden or a stress. That's always important.

"Is there something you wish you had included in Naruto, but didn't?"

I did briefly mention earlier that I kinda... If I had to really pick something it would be that I wanted to talk about Sakura, or actually her backstory, more, in terms of her parents. But in the big picture, I think I did manage to put everything in that I wanted.

"I think Madara is the best villain in any media. How did you come up with his character in terms of design?"

(rambling between the interviewer and translator about whether the question's referring to the real Madara or not... they decide to go with the real one)

Madara is part of the Uchiha clan -- in fact, he's one of the earliest of the Uchiha clan. Sasuke of course is also Uchiha. So I was trying to think of 'if I had to teach(?) Sasuke and also create kind of an older – not just age wise but time wise (chronologically)... You know, Sasuke turns pretty dark for a lot of the series and I wanted to do something even darker and more evil. Almost kind of a concretion of evil. That's how I came up with Madara. Because they're related both in terms of their dark side but also because they're related by blood -- many generations apart – I suppose some fans will see that they're pretty similar visually as well.

I have to say that Madara/Tobi/one-eyed mask is amazing.

(banter between the translator, Kishimoto and the editor)

I put in a little sidequestion. We were talking about the mask and I said: 'Well, I thought in the end it [I assume she's referring to Obito's early Part II mask design] was because of the teleportation jutsu.'. Sensei says: 'Actually, it's just because I thought it would be really easy to draw.'


In the end though, it actually ended up being more difficult than I had originally imagined. Because of course maintaining the same, equal distance between the turns of the spiral, every time... I had to take the time to make sure I did it right each time so... it ended up being quite a bother.

And from different angles too.

Yeah, when I was designing, I was doing full-frontal. I didn't even think about different perspectives. So when I realised I'd have to draw it from the side... Oh man.

"When working on Naruto, what was your most challenging situation that you had to overcome?"

I'd actually have to say that it wasn't necessarily any of the plotlines. My most difficult challenges were with the deadlines, with time itself. Also, there was a period when I had injured my lower back, but I still had to keep working, and having to work through the pain. Those would be the two biggest challenges.

I'm glad you're feeling better.

Looking back at the time I had hurt my lower back. I actually had to draw while I was on my side, because I just couldn't sit up for long periods of time. And unfortunately for that chapter, my editor showed up to pick up the pages, but I couldn't ink so they were just rough sketches. That was the one time I really saw my editor PO'd. I was scared actually.

Was it you? [to Kishimoto's latest editor]

(laughs) No.

(everybody laughs)

It was actually my first editor. The one before before before this one.


Numerous fans on the SJ twitter feed wanted to thank you for making a manga that has influenced or even changed their lives. Is there anything you want to say to American fans?

I touched upon this earlier. I'm the one who should say 'thank you' to my fans. I feel like my life is now fulfilled, knowing the impact that my work has had on the people out there, through the words they've given me. It's all their thanks and all their kind and warm words that I've received that has now given me encouragement. Because I'm just like everyone else. I too have had obstacles I've had to overcome and hearing how grateful and happy everyone is really gives me the will to keep going on.

That is beautiful.


Final question. Can I get an autograph please!?
Thank you so much. And thank you for being on the Shounen Jump podcast. You were great.

(everybody laughs)

What character?

Anybody– oh, euhm, Orochimaru.

(laughs) Orochimaru? You picked the hard one.

(Kishimoto draws Orochimaru, the Jiraiya cosplayer situation is brought up and final thanks and a Tsuchikage joke to wrap things up)
December 2013 — Kishimoto Interview at Jump Festa 2014

I searched If there was a translation for that and didn't find it, there it is.
You probably read some parts of it here and there.

Q : What does that make for you to be the writer of one of the most popular manga in the world ?

Kishi : Well, it didn't really occured to me that Naruto was known all over the world. I very rarely travel oversea since I always work on the manga, this is not something I realised.
I almost feel overwhelmed by this celebrity.

Q : What about when you come to events like Jump Festa ?

Kishi : Yes, when I come to events like this I realise a little bit more. Since I receive mails from all over the world, this was a proof of it.
Though, I still have a hard time to realise that my manga is THAT popular.

Q : If you could go back in time, when everything started, what would you say to your past self ?

Kishi : Something like "Dude, you should really plan some more ideas that could be develloped later or else this is gonna bite you in the ass."

Q : How do you manage to have a heathly family life with such a strict schedule ?

Kishi : My family is very important to me. I really want to spend special moments with them like Xmas and birthdays, but my job is such a important part of my life that I often spent nights in my studio. ( Where he writes Naruto. )
Other mangakas can get a lot of various help and supports once they become famous but most of Shonen Jump mangakas wants to do most of the job themselves. This is the case for me too.
My job really keeps getting in the way of my family life, I realise it. I fear my kids will revolts because of this.

Q : What's the main quality anyone needs if he wants to become mangaka ?

Kishi : I'd say "The Guts". Being a mangaka means you gotta work hard everytime.
A lot of people in japan wants to write mangas, but only thoses wuth guts will actually achieve it.
Skill is important of course, but the guts to never give up is something that is even more important to my eyes.

Q : After 10 years, how do you keep the passion, the spirit to continue ?

Kishi : Well, for me. It's my indentity, my reason to live. Writing a manga is the only thing I can do. I'm scared to lose all of that, my guts are linked to that.
That's what keeps me going. It's like my fear to lose to keeping me going and I don't want that to change.

Q : how do you feel when you take a break and don't draw for a while ?

Kishi : To be honest, I don't think "I must draw." I don't have that need. But if I take a long break like 2 or 3 days without drawing I feel uneasy and I'm thinking :"I shouldn't waste my time like this."
It's kinda became sort of a phobia to me.

Q : You did some one shots like "Mario" or "Bensh" who were published in the english version of Shonen Jump.
Did you do this to test the field for possible new manga or just for fun ?

Kishi : Mostly for the hell of it, but it was them who pushed me to do that ... Thoses EDITORS ! (laugh.)
It was quite a change of pace after years of drawing Naruto, I worked on thoses one shots while working on Naruto, it was such a mess in my head. I really wanted to have some sort of big break to deal with all of it but it couldn't be done.

Q : Did you go to New York to do some research for Mario ?

Kishi : I really wanted to. But I couldn't, so I did a lot of researches and read books on everything I could find about New York.
I'm sure a lot of New-Yorkers will say "What the hell is that ?". I'm not even sure they still have swings over there.

Q : Did some members of your family or friends inspired you to create some character ?

Kishi : Let's see. Naruto's mother, Kushina is kinda based on my wife. She's kinda like that, a little scary sometime.

Q : How much time does it take to finish one single manga page ?

Kishi : Drawing takes around 90 mn, then 45 mn to 1h to put ink on the page.

Q : What do you think of Sasuke ? Good or Evil ?

Kishi : In the end, Sasuke is a very genuine person, he doesn't think whether what he does is good or bad. He does what he wants to do without thinking about problems he causes for others.
He's very self-centered, only thinking about himself. Some people might think what he does is good, like avenging his parents or trying to realize his brother's ideals.
But he keeps creating problems for others in his way, this is where lies the bad aspect of this character. So it's kinda hard to put a word on him.
It's all about knowing if it's good or evil to be self-centered about your goals. I'd say he's not really good or evil, just genuine.

Q : Will we see Kakashi without his mask ?

Kishi : I want to show that, but I'm still not really sure about how I'm gonna do it.
He might be revealed in the manga or in a movie, there's nothing really planned about that.

Q : What character surprised you with his progression/growth ?

Kishi : I'd say Naruto. Well, Naruto is ... No, I'd say Naruto really progressed and matured since the beginning. Now he's aknowledged by everyone and this aknowledgement will open the door for an even better development.

Q : Except Naruto, which character would do a great Hokage ?

Kishi : Hmm ... Surprisingly ... I think it's ... Hmm ... Great, I choosed a character which might become a great Hokage and I can't even remember his name !
( Laugh ) It's Konohamaru ! He's the grand son of the third. I think he would be a great Hokage !

Q : What about Kiba ?

Kishi : Kiba ? huh ... Well, he like dogs. He could be really bad for anyone who like cats. ( Laugh )
There was a general like that in the Edo Period who liked dogs. He was sentencing to death anyone who hurt dogs. Kiba might be like this.

Q : What's the first thing you're gonna do after Naruto ends ?

Kishi : The first thing I'm gonna do, even though I got married 10 years ago, is finally going on my honeymoon. We still didn't went on it and it really want this to happen.

Q : Do you have a message for fans to what they should expect in Naruto ?

Kishi : Naruto is heading to its end, and on very intense ending I hope. I would like for everyone to keep reading it until the end. After that, I want to do something new and I hope people will like it as much. I intend to end Naruto definitively. Please, do NOT let him go before.

2012 — Interview

Some new merchandise from


Thank you as always!

I can't hear the sound right now, but here's a rough summary of Kishi's interview from 2ch:

322 :見ろ!名無しがゴミのようだ!:2012/07/20(金) 09 : 33:53.16 ID:J6LwdoS0

最初はラーメンの話を書こうと思った 麺とスープの絡みとか


一番が子供 中学二年の男の子 土下座してでも見てくれ


いっぱい 一人に絞り切れない ジャンプ作家はみんなライバル

"The reason you started to write Naruto?"
"At the beginning, I thought I'd write a story about ramen... something about the relationship between noodles and soup. But that was no good, so I passed that part over to the protagonist's name and started to write about Japanese ninja."

"The theme that you fussed over the most?"
"The idea of being acknowledged, of wanting to be acknowledged. I gave the protagonist my own feelings of wanting to be acknowledged by my manga's editor."

"The class of readers that you keep in mind (when writing)?"
"First of all, children... second year schoolboys in middle school. Even if I have to prostrate myself, please watch me! The feelings held by second year schoolboys in middle school are a real treasure."

"Did something happen when you were in the second year of middle school?"
"I decided I wanted to become a professional mangaka."

"Your rival?"
"There are many. I can't narrow it down to just one. All the Jump authors are rivals with each other. Though the most frightening of all are the newcomers whose talent still hasn't come out."[/I]

And here are some parts of the Kishi interview published in Otonafami, still from 2ch:

378 名無しさんの次レスにご期待下さい sage 2012/07/20(金) 12:36:51.03 ID: SUN9uLRs0






"Let me ask you something about your exciting work, that is so greatly admired. Can we already see the end of the story on the horizon?"

"Not everything is set in stone just yet... like for example, in what way I'm going to show it - but the way I'm going to end it has been decided pretty clearly. So from now on, it will just be a matter of running towards that point."

" that case, you have in mind even the very last volume."

"No, you won't be able to read something like that. (laugh) The story really hasn't progressed as much as I was expecting. About three years ago, at JF, I said that I would give Kakashi more to do in the manga... and yet I still haven't been able to do that. Honestly, I myself don't know how much it will take. Nishio-san, who takes care of the character designs for the anime, also asked me for how long the story would continue... and I answered 'About one year and a half'. But it seems like it will take longer than that."

"Can we be expecting any more surprises?"

"There are still quite a few. Some characters who originally weren't going to appear will come up again. And then... well, things are going to get exciting with Naruto, so please give me your support."

382 名無しさんの次レスにご期待下さい sage 2012/07/20(金) 12:41:01.11 ID: SUN9uLRs0


"Is there any material that you weren't able to insert in this year's movie?"

"I intended to insert all the things that were inside my head. It's just that I also have some novel ideas. There is some material that I probably won't be able to insert in the original work, but if I get the okay of the editorial department, secretly I'd like to insert it somewhere, like in a non-serialized story... some suspensful developments... the details are a secret, but there are many challenges that I'd like to face."
September 2008 — Kishimoto Question and Answer Session, Databook 3

About the Sensei

Q. How do you choose the characters' names?
A. I think about Japanese nouns and decide which ones might be good as names.

Q. What character would you like as your girlfriend?
A. No one. It's characters I create, after all...

Q. If you were a girl, who would you like as your boyfriend?
A. Shikamaru. He's smart and looks like he might be successful in life.

About the Characters

Q. Do members of Akatsuki pairs sleep somewhere at night?
A. They get two single rooms.

Q. Now that Gaara doesn't have the Ichibi anymore he's unable to use the sand, right?
A. Both the sand and the rings around his eyes are there for good, they can't be taken away.

Q. If a Hyuuga and an Uchiha had a child together, what eyes would s/he get?
A. His right eye would be a Sharingan. Meaning that the left one would be a Byakugan! (LOL)

Q. If I drank Suigetsu would I get diarrhea?
A. He would just come out from your bottom.

Q. Why is Naruto able to summon Gamakichi if he signed the contract with Gamabunta?
A. Because signing a contract with Gamabunta means that he's able to summon not only him but any toad.

Q. What is Naruto's "new erotic ninjutsu"...?
A. I'd like to draw it one day. I can do it anytime, I just need the editor's approval.

About the Mysteries

Q. Why did the Kyuubi's seal gradually fade?
Q. Why was Naruto able to grow up to four tails?
Q. What did Karin do to Sasuke in the past?
Q. Is Kushina alive?
Q. How did Kakashi awaken his Mangekyou Sharingan?

A. It's a secret!! Just keep on reading the manga!
August 2015,

After Masahi Kishimoto finished the Naruto manga, he began work on a spin-off with the character?s son, Boruto. But, Kishimoto has already decided what he?s thinking about next. And he hopes it will be bigger than Naruto.

In a recent Japanese magazine interview (via Anime Matome), Kishimoto talked how he?s finished with the iconic manga and, thus, doesn?t see himself doing Naruto on a weekly basis like he did for 15 years. That?s understandable.

But what about another weekly manga?

?That?t definitely not happening,? he replied, adding, ?I do feel like drawing manga.? Kishimoto mentioned that things like deadlines and the difficulty of doing a weekly manga. When asked if he was going to, then, do a monthly manga, Kishimoto replied that he was interested in digital publication Shonen Jump Plus, because it offered more freedom with page counts and publication dates.

So, what kind of manga is he keen to do next?

?I?ve already decided what I?m doing for my next work,? Kishimoto replied. ?While I was still doing Naruto, I thought about various things for material, and for the next one, I?m thinking I?m going to do science-fiction.?

?It hasn?t all been worked out, and I haven?t showed my editor yet, but I?ve already designed the characters.? Kishimoto added that the main character is unlike what you?ve seen before.

?Since Naruto was a bigger hit than I could ever imagine,? Kishimoto said, ?I?d like to aim for the next hit. I don?t know when I can announce the next manga, but because I plan on challenging myself to surpass Naruto, please wait for it.?

To contact the author of this post, write to or find him on Twitter@Brian_Ashcraft.
April 2015, Davinci Magazine (interview with Naruto Voice Actors)

Spoiler: Scans
I just found some scans.

Some of them (pink ones) are not the full scans as I see, yet if anybody would help me to translate them I would thank them!

Spoiler: Links to translations
You can find part of it translated here & with comments, partly from translators on tumblr: . The translation was provided by the & reblogged. I have seen more than one translation for the interview with the voice actors on tumblr. This is just one version, the one that came to mind first.

In the House of Uzumaki subforum, there's also a thread where this is currently discussed:

Translation, pictures & transcription of the interview by Eri
part I |

Spoiler: translation by OrganicDinosaur
I took a small break from translating and wandered off into 2ch.......and there's something brewing.

2ch says there will be a ‘bomb-drop’ tomorrow. It comes from an upcoming issue from ダビンチ (da Vinci) magazine. The voice actors gave an interview, apparently.

It's unconfirmed until the actual release and scans come out though.

franklin et marshall

Translation from me:



――The anime broadcast is continuing, but In the original work, there’s a ‘coupling’ of Naruto and Hinata, as well as Sasuke and Sakura. They have beaten the three-person love triangle to an endpoint (through establishing those couples). Did everyone expect this development (to happen)?


Takeuchi (Naruto’s seiyuu/VA): Yes. ……Well, should I say it? As a matter of fact, it was something that we had heard from Kishimoto-sensei way back (then in the old days).


Nakamura (Sakura’s seiyuu/VA): It was when the anime broadcasting was beginning, right around pretty soon (after it started). It was also about the second time that we had met (with Kishimoto), right?

杉山:その時から 「最後はサスケとサクラが一緒になります」とおっしゃっていて。

Sugiyama (Sasuke’s seiyuu/VA): So since that occasion, (Kishimoto) was saying that “In the end, Sasuke and Sakura will be together”.


Otherwise these are these are the only other pieces leaked:

Some Salad mentions:


and a huge chunk:


May 2015, ICHIOSHI! Bookmark — Kishimoto Interview on TV

But yeah, I just came back from watching the new Kishi interview. Kishi really did say that Sarada is to be the main chara for the mini-series.

Guess no one wants to do it, I can try :/ I can be wrong so don't blame me for it.
Translating from the chinese I saw. (AKA third party trans)

About the mini series:

There is someone called Uchiha Sarada, she is the main character in this story. But if everyone pays attention they will realize it has relation with various aspects, making it a very interesting story, that is what I believe, please look forward to it.


BORUTO movie:

This is already my limit. I have devoted a lot of emotions/effort into Naruto's character , so there isn't another need for his story. And this time I have devoted a lot of emotions/effort into the movie characters. Last time I always say "I think this is interesting". But this time I won't say "I think", it is very interesting, very meaningful, when everyone watches it they will know.


Then there's a talk about Nardo's eyes, Sasuke's eyes and Sakura and hinata's eyes which I 'm not sure so I didn't translate.

Something like that.

Okay so the first half is just talking about Kishi's inspiration for the original manga. They talk about why Kishi drew certain panels one way or another, and other boring shit. Than they get into the mini-series/movie. Sarada is the main character of the mini-series, no word about whose the main movie character from what I can tell. Than when discussing the movie they start playing Orochimaru's theme music, if there was any doubt he was the main villain of the Boruto movie, that should be gone now lol. Than it basically says Kishi thinks the movie will be interesting, and than laughs correcting himself, about how he knows it will be interesting [this is of course during the Orochimaru theme music].

And that's all that's worth note.
November 2014, Jin no Sho (Databook 4) - Masashi Kishimoto X Yahahi Kosuke interview & Kishimoto's handwritten message

Spoiler: Handwritten message translation, by takL
"This book was painstakingly made out by all of the staff!
Hope for it to be an important book to you...
To everyone who read Jin no Sho (the book of formation),
Thank you!!"
March 2017 - Interview with chief director Abe Noriyuki about the Boruto TV anime

title:New stories of the next generation, It's not sequel

だからこそ今回は、そのまま「NARUTO 2」にはしたくない。

Q,What kind of direction is the story of BORUTO?
Abe:Naruto was of long continuance series. Naruto characters have deep relations and many drama.
Therefore I do not want to make the "NARUTO 2".
Of course the conventional character describes it well, however Boruto character is careful to become more cool.
We call Naruto and Sasuke a "legend character".


Q,How can the Boruto TV series. be positioned in the context of relations with the Movie and Manga?
Abe: The story of the Boruto TV begins shortly before the movie.

Q,That's exactly coming of age tale, right?
Abe:Yeah, When a story advances, there is the serious story such as the Naruto series.However, the early stage will be a story of children trying hard in distress to the future.


Q,Please tell me about the remarkable character.
Abe:If it's the adult character, it's Shino. After that, it's Boruto's classmates.


Q,The wide generation seems to be the TV which can be enjoyed, doesn't it?
Abe: Not only growth and the action but also There is "darkness" as another axis of the story.
Please enjoy the point of contact of an adult character and the child character!

→ article by spirallingsphere
July 2012 — Road to Ninja Motion Comic DVD Interview

okish. this is from while watching over Chouji and Shikamaru
the bonus DVD given away to those who went to see Road to Ninja, released on 28/july 2012.

Note: For now I skip the part kish talks about the movie, as how he likes Michael J. Fox and Back to the Future, as how his family is important to him, as how he gave troubles to the anime crew as how my avatar (well no, the original of it) impressed himself and blah blah blah. And I tried to make the trans as true to Kishi's words as possible that sry if its too messy. if ud rather see the lines paraphrased, tell me.

-from the mark 16:38, kish on the future of the manga

Q: How will the manga develop from now?
Kishi: About the future development of the manga, yes?… Hereafter the Great Shinobi War will reach its final phase and yet more astonishing characters will appear, like this character after that character. It'll gain momentum, I think.
...Damn it, I don't care anymore, I'm gonna tell too many things (=spoilers), ok?
Yes, a faceoff between Naruto and Sasuke is waiting as well.
First of all 'beep!' come(/comes) back and because 'beep!',
'beep!' resurge(/s) from 'beep!'. And then the bijus gather together and 'beep' to 'beep(/win)!'.
This way there are many dramas(=dramatic events) planned for (/toward) the end and as 'beep' of 'beep' are going to fall like 'beep', your eyes will be glued (to the manga), I reckon.

Towards the end both the manga and the anime will get exciting, and as I'm writing the manga (the original), I'll make it exciting even if it costs me my life. I guarantee it will be thrilling, so please, get thrilled with it. Please, wait for that, I wont let u down. I'll try my best. Whatever comes I will do my best.
…I don't have any more to say…(laughter from the crew)
Did I say I'll do my best!? (laughter)

-masashi kishimoto?twitter Qs and As
kishs answers to fans tweets

a fan via twitter: what is Naruto for kishimoto-sensei?
K: by Naruto you mean the title or the character? if the character, a hero perhaps…yes hes the hero.

F: whats your drive that keeps you writing Naruto?
K: well, that must be you fans hot supports.

F: what ninjutsu do you want to use?
K: as ive said many a time, the jutsu useful for me is kagebunshin. if you ask me why, by using kagebunshin to make 17 clones of me and giving a page to each clone, Id finish a chap in no time.
so id like to use kagebunshin.

F: which chara is closest to you(/your character)?
K: the closest is…hmm maybe Kiba or Naruto…they do things before thinking…for that I think im close to them.

F: in the naruto charas, who would u like to make best friends with, if u could?
K: hmmm.. Actually I dont particularly want to be a close friend of any of them….but maybe Lee. yes its Lee. Rock Lee would be nice. He seems truthful.

F: if u were to go out with one of your female charas whod you like?
Kish: its kinda creepy to think about going out with a chara i created myself but...if forced, well, id say...Hinata, perhaps.

F: which chara is difficult to draw?
K: Sasuke comes first. sasuke is really (a toughie)…. for I designed him to expose his knees. I did the design beforehand but i found it difficult to keep drawing the knees …
cos I always felt awkward to draw his knees, I decided to hide them later on.
so are the most of those who came in during the chunin exam…like neji, hes quite tough to draw. I dont know why I had to design him like that myself but neji had those stupid 3 belts, bands or whatever u may call them around the chest and I was always wondering what the hell they were supposed to be while drawing him. when I started the part 2 thankfully I managed to change it, and I was quite happy with the design of the part 2 neji untill people started to say he wore long underpants and stuff. these days Im unhappy about it again. I want to change it(nejis clothing) again to be honest.

F: You share same birthday with Sasori, dont you? Is Sasori a special chara for you?
Kish: mmm do i? Sarori? the same birthday as his?is it so? …well…oh yes…in a mook book(=a term for publications cross between magazine and book) maybe? we forcefully decided the birthday when we made the mook book. oh yes yes I remember it now. sasori is…because sasori(the name) means scorpion and im a scorpion we should share the same birthday or something like that… thats about the size of it, really.

F: because i love kishimoto-sensai Im calling you "Kishie" or "Lord kishi-kage" but what would you like to be called as?
Kish: what id like to be called? call me as you like. I accept whatever.

F: If Naruto ever has a son what name will you give him?
Kish: If Naruto has a son what name hell have…hmm…I used to think menma would be fine. people often jokingly asked me "wont you start Menma when you finish Naruto?" "you should write about narutos son, Naruto the 2nd" or "why not write menma?" but now I used the name for the movie, that...ummmm…(the name of narutos son will be) Shinachiku* I guess.
*(shinachiku is another name for menma, seasoned bamboo shoots)

F: did itachi have someone special?
K: if Itachi had a gf? Yes, I believe he did. cos he must have been quite popular among girls, I think he had.

F: you said as the authors comments in the vol 60 that you develop your ideas in the bathroom. how long do you spend in the bath?
K: let me see…when a shower it takes about 30mins or so and when Im soaked in a hot tub, about one hour and half.
I bring some bottled water or tea with me. when my blood circulation is good, ideas are easy to pop into my head that I work on ideas in the bath.

F: how do your children call you?
K: Otoh-san (father). they call me Oto-san. Occasionally they call me 'the person who writes Naruto'

F: what do you want the most right now?
K: smiles from everyone that sees Narutos movie and/or the manga.

F: what kind of manga do you think ull be writing when you are an old man?
K: when im an old man let me retire please….but if I am still being whipped by editors to write manga, I d say ill write about love in an elderly home or something…I do like to write about love.

F: would you like to make another film?
Kish: i love to make films. yes I would. this time making a film, participating in it I found it fun and learnt a lot. so id love to do it again.

-thank you very much
December 2014 — "Things Kishimoto said…" at Jump Festa 2015

Someone condense all the information here into 1 post for me. I'll make you a mod
I don't need Mod powers but I feel good so I tried to compile the relevant ones. :del

OD's compilation:
he topped the missed chances list

The forum compilation. May have repeated info.

So far just things we already know.

Sasuke and Bolt confirmed for next year's movie.

Kishi has been on the strugglebus with drawing/depicting Sasuke.

Yes, they did have the VA's do ch.699 onstage.

A few tweets mentioning the flyer that was posted earlier today regarding the upcoming Naruto exhibition. Those booklets (that you get for ticket purchase, and pre-order incentive) are done by Kishi himself, and that they will contain new info.

Q: What was the turning point of the story?

A: The Valley of the End, when Sasuke leaves pouting. I wanted to draw the conversation of Naruto and Sasuke's friendship.

Q: Character that was hard to draw?

A: Sasuke.

Kishi: "The only one to guide (/lead) Sasuke and Naruto was Kakashi. A person with the ability/strength to lead (others) from that could have become Hokage. So the Sharingan was unnecessary. "

^ Pretty sure my trans is right.

This reads to me like " Deciding on the names (of the children), I chose whatever was appropriate"

But can't 適当 also mean like, "whatever works", or "random"? Like not carefully?

We know Bolt's name was intentional, but I was just wondering what to interpret 適当 as, like he's referring to all the other next gen kiddies.

適当 in that case is 'random'

donno if its true but a 2ch report says
-asked about the biggest difference before and after the start of the series
kish said 'money i guess'.
-sasuke has many lines in the next movie.
kish wanted to put Toneri in the movie again which was rejected by the editor.

So they are actually 2 brand new 19 p chaps and not like the 2 pages of 'after the last' ! hooray!
Na i mean
the official book series has been titled as 秘伝, (the secret・book of Rin 臨/Pyoh 兵/Toh 闘/Sha 者/Kai 皆/Jin 陣/Retsu 列) so far and as each book is named after kujiin, there should be 2 more books ie 'secret・book of Zai 在' and 'secret・book of Zen 前'.

Now those free gift books are the new legent・book of wind and book of thunderbolt. and the article calls the former 'official guest book' (what?) n the latter 'premium fan book'
kish says he found it difficult to draw hyuga faces defferently from each other because of the byakugan. now he regrets making the eyes white.

and you better take 2ch posts/tweets with a pinch of salt. esp posts like the sakura vs hinata one.

another report from 2ch

-There was also an alternative plan to go on to part 3. (the short hair Naruto was a design for the part 3)
-The short series features Bolto as the lead.
-The muffler in the film was based on kishs own experience with his wife.
-It is difficult to draw the individual differences (variation) among hyugas.
-In the wsj booth there were messages of congratulation on the series completion from oda and Shimabu. (Odas was text only and shimabu’s had a drawing of Naruto toriko and Takeshi.

ive already said 19 pages each.

映画「THE LAST-NARUTO THE MOVIE-」の入場者プレゼント『オフィシャルムービーガイドBOOK NARUTO −ナルト− 秘伝・列の書』と合わせると秘密のアプリコンテンツも…!?
Ahh. Seems like there will be another special image to unlock on the back of the book too. Says it will match the Retsu No Sho. You had to use an app and take a picture of the back with "Sharingan Camera" to get access to the "The Rest" page. More secret content!

Also the plot point of Kishi's next light novel for Kakashi was released a few days ago.

It will take place post-war, but prior to actually becoming Hokage. He will be going to the Land of Waves on a mission to investigate some new technology. So the timeframe is like, even within ch.699 before Sasuke sets off, it seems like.

Book is titled 氷天の雷, Ice Heaven/Sky of Thunder.

Here we go: a very reliable blogger has done a write-up of the Super Stage.


Confirms the info we already know, plus a few extra tidbits here and there. (No mention about Hinata v Sakura, or the Kishi money comment, just from me skimming it)

Going to search to see if I can corroborate the new parts of what she has written here that I haven't read before.

She says that the on-stage re-enactment of ch. 698 and 699 was very emotional and filled with tears~

from "そして、NARUTOスーパーステージですが"… to "描き分けも大変だったそうです。"
about Naruto super stage...
Guests(on stage) are Kishimoto-sensei, VA Ms Tekeuchi Mr. Sugiyama, Mr. Inoue Ms. Nakakura and Ms. Nana Mizuki Mr. Jun Fukuyama
Firstly VAs acted #699

Sensei(=kish) answers to VAs Questions

-the toughest chara to both draw and write about was・・・・ Sasuke
Despite he likes Sasuke, he found him esp as he went into a sulk, totally difficult to depict. He was often told to 'redo' sasukes face by his editor.

-on the impressions of the last chap (they must mean #699),
Ms Takeuchi and other VAs were " wow Sasukes talked a lot!"...(laugh)

-About the turning point of the story,
sensei(=kish) said it had to be 'the valley of the end' where Sasuke went into sulk and Naruto stayed as his friend to the very short 'Naruto' is a story about bringing back Sasuke from the sulk.

-to the q 'what would you have done if Sasuke hadn't gone into Sulk?'
sensei answered probably hed have made some other chara sulk (laughs).

-to answer a q 'what has changed after starting the series?'
he said 'Sound nasty but money...' then added 'and the thinning of hair.'

-then about the movie version now showing at the theaters.
on toneris design
'a good looking guy shouldering heavy burdens all alone '
he decided the character on the spot during a meeting.
for the details of the background toneri shoulders, check the novelized version as the film was too short to explain it all.

-he mentioned the difficulty in drawing sasukes facial expressions earlier
and here he told that it was also difficult to draw subtle expressions and individual differences of byakugan peeps with all those white eyes.

(ill translate the rest)

Via this blog: kujiin

Yeah, corroborates what takL is reading from that yahoo blog.

No one asked about whether or not Sasuke has an arm :/


Says according to Kishi, Himawari's name origin was appropriate. Should have been along the theme of the Hyuuga, which reads a bit like "Sunny/Sunshine" via kanji.
Suddenly at the end, Naruto's VA requested, "I want to see Gaara's facial expression when Temari got married"

Kishi answers like, " Well if (you, Naruto's VA) say so, then I'd have no choice but to draw it....".
・about the muffler (wool scarf)
to depict 'romance' in a battle manga, Naruto, he thought itd better be simple. his personal happy experience of getting a hand knit muffler also worked there.

・about the chara designs
-sakura; as shes that way, he designed her in an agreeable image, a beautiful sis(=fine young lady) like.
-Sasuke; changed his old bristling hair. but he ended up wearing a bandana in the film that the change wasnt shown.
-narutos short hair had been planned and the film was a chance to show it
-Kakashi; although he lost sharingan (he doesn’t need it as) he has the charisma to be Hokage to his personality as the mentor of naruto and Sasuke. like Hagoromo commended him.

・on himawari (sunflower)'s name,
it was from hinata/Hyuga(sunny place/facing the sun) no brainer.

・in the next summer film bolto and Sasuke are active.
and later Naruto comes in to steal the show from them...kinda.

・about the Naruto exhibition in the spring; as already said. 2 new chaps (and check the official site)

・at the end of the show
"Please buy wsj as there are occasional Naruto news"

・the super stage was packed!

・about the short series in the spring,
he says he's making a good story worth the wait.
like kish said in a tv show with mr kobayashi, he didnt show those new kids, shikadai, inojin
lees 'da! kid, and more impoetantly chocho♡ for nothing.

there were the alien enemies kaguya had to prepare an army for.

kish keeps mentioning new stuff in his mind while hell be occupied with the nauto project till the next summer.
the impotant parts are done.

Kishi was not at the editorial staff panel. Past editors onstage only. Based on a tweet from someone who was there, the list of those onstage, and I think what's in parenthesis is up until what portion that they were involved in.

From @Boootsu

NARUTO-ナルト-歴代編集者トークショーは?司会が中野さん、服部さん。ゲストに矢作さん(四代目火影)、嶋崎さん(ナルト)、本田さん(暁)、大槻さん(カカシ 舞台)とコスプレで登場\(^o^)/矢作さんに興奮してしまいました。ってか?大西さんは!大西さんは!いなかった(笑)

Moderating the stage as MC's: Mr. Nakano and Hattori.

Mr. Yahagi (Yondaime Hokage), Mr.Shimazaki (Naruto), Mr. Honda (Akatsuki), and Mr.Otsuki (who appeared in Kakashi cosplay, his final editor)


They talked about some kind of Kishi toilet story...and something about how he started to make use of his iPad. As for the other editors, stories about hating a pet cat for Mr. Shimazaki, as well as a story about Mr. Shimazaki going to a cabaret club, supposedly.

They were asked to pick a famous scene (that they liked?)

NARUTO-ナルト-歴代編集者の皆様が選ぶ名シーン話も聞けてよかった。大槻さんはインタビュー......でもお答えになっていたようにマイト・ダイのエピソード。本田さんはナルトvs仮面の男 頭突きエピソード。矢作さんは波の国 再不斬と白エピソード。

Mr. Otsuki chose the Maito Dai scene. Mr. Honda chose Naruto and the Masked Man butting heads. Yahagi chose Wave Country Zabuza part.


Kishi gave them autographed and personally illustrated mugs, and as for Mr. Honda's wedding present, Kishi gave him an amazing coloured portrait.


Mr. Otsuki has his own interview here:

Mr. Otsuki has his own interview here:


His interview is two pages long ;__;';;~~

There are some interesting tidbit here and there, but they are all his opinion about characters scenes, feeling immense pressure in editing, being emotionally moved by certain parts, etc.

Not sure if I will translate it it all out.
K stories about hating a pet cat for Mr. Shimazaki,

botsu says kishs cat shu hated the ed shimazaki.

+ a meeting for the mini-series was held after kish finished the super stage on the previous day until fucking 2 am.


"In the past, in the main storyline, we weren't able to include some portions of the story in it. Also, in the first place, the final chapter is set in the future. In the original story, there remains many components that (readers may) find worrisome/be anxious about. Perhaps we may describe/draw them there. At any rate, we will put forth great efforts into not disappointing the expectations of the readers."

Seems like it's confirmed that Mr. Otsuki will be editing for the upcoming Bolt mini-series.
now I know it wasnt fake.

i saw another blog reporting it.
Q. what will the next theater version(=movie) have?
Kish: im working on the plot right now.
It's a story in which Sasuke and Bolto are hugely active.
esp Sasuke is remarkable.
then Naruto comes in at the best part.
Toneri could participate too but when I said it to the editor, I was told that the film isnt long enough (for that). so I cant put toneri (in the movie).
I couldn't read Kishi's handwriting on the website lol~ But this article from kujiin transcribed it for me. Not sure if takL or Yagami1211 already posted his message to promote the exhibit:

I did it via reddit: kujiin

But also copypasta here:

NARUTO15年の作者最後の「総括の想い」というものを皆様に何か形として届けたい、連載が終ってしまった今 それはもう叶わぬものと思っておりました。

For 15 years of NARUTO, I want to send something called the author’s concluding “Summary of Thoughts/Feelings” to everyone in some form, as the serialization has finished now, this is (something) that I thought was still unfulfilled.Now however, I have this NARUTO Exhibit Project, so it’s the opportunity for those “Summary of Thoughts/Feelings”, (so that they) can be delivered to everyone in an ideal form.Everyone! Finally once more, together with Naruto, would (all of you) walk inside “Those Thoughts/Feelings”!?I think that I will be crying while walking...“Someone who doesn’t know NARUTO well”, it’s fine if (you) haven’t already read the comics! In this NARUTO exhibit, if you even come to it, you will be able to understand things, (such as) the whole aspect(/story) of NARUTO.Everyone! I would be happy if you would please visit (the exhibition)! Personally, I also thought that I would go many times; if there’s a guy (at the exhibit) who’s crying, probably that guy might be me (laugh).
Also, I created a blog elsewhere where I compiled all the info from Jump Festa 2015. I will post it here- can you tell me if I am missing anything or if any of the information is incorrect/can be expanded upon?

*The event started out with the voice actors of the anime acting out chapters 698 and 699.

bloggers have reported that VAs acted to the panels of #699. im not sure about #698 anymore.

*Those in attendance apparently received a booklet that had 19 pages of manga.

i havent seen such a report.
*Two new supplementary books will be released to those who attend the exhibition in 2015. They are titled Rai no Sho (Book of Thunder) and Kaze no Sho (Book of Wind). The first will be "Sasuke's Premium Fan Book" and the second will be "Naruto's Official Guest Book."

they are not "Sasuke's Premium Fan Book" n "Naruto's Official Guest Book."
"new legend(/style)・ Book of thunderbolt" that comes with the advance tickets for the exhibition has sasuke on a tentative cover and is refererd to as "NARUTO EXHIBITION Premium Fan Book",
and "new legend(/style)・ Book of wind" to be handed to the guests at the exhibition is with a tentative naruto cover and called as "NARUTO EXHIBITION Official Guest Book" @ the official site.

*Sasuke and Bolt are both going to play major roles in the new August 2015 movie. Kishimoto personally wants Sasuke to be a key part of the next film. Upon further research, many people seem to be talking about Sasuke as a main character, so its possible he is getting his own film (not words from me, but those who have done the research). Its not yet clear if they are talking about the same movie.

its clear. so far only the movie featuring bolto as the lead chara is mentioned.
sasuke is very active in this 'boruto' film (and naruto comes in later to steal the show), which was confirmed by kish.

*Sasuke's Japanese voice actor found it funny about how much dialogue Sasuke had in the last few chapters.

Junko Takeuchi, Narutos VA, not sasukes, said it and other vas agreed.

*The turning point of the story was when Sasuke abandoned the village at the end of Part I.

Kish said the turning point was 'the valley of the end'.

*Kishimoto stated that he prefers Sakura over Hinata.

that has to be bs. No reports say that. (Edit: now i saw a twitter report that started this which got denied by 2 other twitter reporters)
plus in a recent tv show kish said (although he likes all the charas in Naruto) Hinata is the female charas he likes best.

i even saw a twitter claiming kish went on telling 'i'm fond of sakura too but she is this and hinata is blah blah" trying to make up for the 'hinata is my fav' comment in front of chie, sakura's VA. not that i believe this. tho.

*Regarding the new designs- He thought of drawing Naruto's hair shorter in the past, but the movie presented the best opportunity to do so;

Naruto's short hair was originally for the part 3. but as he ended the series with the part 2, the part 3 was kinda replaced by the film (or by the films, 'the last' and the next summer one?).

*Naruto's voice actress wants to see Gaara's face when Temari gets married, and so Kishi promised to draw it.

Junko said 'if you say this I think sensei will write it for you" according to a blog report which says nothing about kishs promise.

+kish really wanted to show kiba and choji active in the last but he couldnt, again due to the film length. the novel version covered them instead.

+the muffler thingy in the last was based on kishs own experience with a muffler his wife knitted for him. kishs wife told him to bring the muffler in question to the super stage but he forgot.

+on why sasuke is tough to draw,
a blog says
kish "although im drawing sasuke as a handsome(/cool looking) boy, people dont say he is."
the other blog says
Kish "sasuke is a handsome kinda chara, isnt he? but he doesnt look so that's why i dont like drawing him (laugh)"
August 2017 — Short Interview with WSJ Editor Sukeyuki Honda (本田佑行)

2014年に約15年にもおよぶ長期連載に幕を閉じた岸本斉史さんの人気マンガ「NARUTO-ナルト-」。主人公・うずまきナルトの息子・ボルトの活躍を描くマンガ「BORUTO-ボルト- -NARUTO NEXT GENERATIONS-」が「週刊少年ジャンプ」(集英社)で連載、同作のアニメもテレビ東京系で放送されており、「BORUTO」をきっかけに「NARUTO」のファンになる子供も多いという。「NARUTO」の連載終了から約3年がたったが、なぜ人気は衰えないのか? また、気になる岸本さんの新作は? 「BORUTO」の編集を担当し、アニメにも携わる「週刊少年ジャンプ」編集部の本田佑行さんに聞いた。

 ◇人気の理由はキャラの強さ 心情にうそがない

 「NARUTO」は、「週刊少年ジャンプ」で1999~2014年に連載されたマンガで、木ノ葉隠れの里の問題児・ナルトが、里一番の忍者・火影になるため奮闘し、成長する姿が描かれた。「BORUTO」はナルトの息子・ボルトが主人公で、劇場版アニメ「BORUTO -NARUTO THE MOVIE-」が15年8月に公開され、マンガが16年5月から「週刊少年ジャンプ」で連載。テレビアニメが17年4月から放送されている。マンガ「BORUTO」は、岸本さんが原作、監修を手がけ、岸本さんのアシスタントだった池本幹雄さんが作画を担当している。







 アニメ版「BORUTO」は、9日の放送から新章「うちはサラダ編」に突入する。新章は15年に「週刊少年ジャンプ」で短期集中連載された「NARUTO-ナルト-外伝 ~七代目火影と緋色の花つ月~」が原作で、うちはサスケの娘・サラダを中心としたストーリーが展開される。本田さんは「これまでの流れで、ボルトを好きになってもらったところで、次はサラダのことも好きになってほしいですね」と語る。

Take my shit with a grain of salt either.

I translate as you all know, from chinese only :meh

  • Kishi takes part in both Boruto anime and manga
  • Kishi supervises the Boruto manga with great detail, even including small scenes.
  • Regarding the smaller scenes in anime its up to the anime to freely decide, Kishimoto doesn't take part in the discussions, the finalized script will be brought to Kishimoto to confirm
  • Kishimoto's new work is still in preparation phase, he'll see everyone soon.
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