Naruto, part 1
Naruto is a manga by Masashi Kishimoto with an anime TV series adaptation. Its main character, Naruto Uzumaki, is a loud, hyperactive, adolescent ninja who constantly searches for approval and recognition, as well as to become Hokage, acknowledged as the leader and strongest of all ninja in the village.
The manga was first published by Shueisha in 1999 in the 43rd issue of Japan's Shonen Jump magazine. As of volume 36, the manga has sold over 71 million copies in Japan. VIZ Media publishes a translated version in the American Shonen Jump magazine. Naruto has become VIZ's best-selling manga series. To date, the first fourteen volumes are available. In order to catch up to the translated anime, VIZ plans to release volumes 16 to 27 three at a time over the months of September to December 2007.
The anime series, produced by Studio Pierrot and Aniplex, premiered across Japan on the terrestrial TV Tokyo network and the anime satellite television network Animax on October 3, 2002, and is still being aired. Viz also licensed the anime for North American production. Naruto debuted in the United States on Cartoon Network's Toonami programming block on September 10, 2005, and in Canada on YTV's Bionix on September 16, 2005. Naruto began showing in the UK on Jetix on July 22, 2006. It began showing on Toasted TV on January 12, 2007 in Australia, although it could be watched on Cartoon Network in 2006. The first series lasted nine seasons, while the second began its first on February 15, 2007.
The series' length and popularity is comparable to that of Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball, another popular action-oriented shōnen manga. Since its creation, Naruto has spawned a large number of fansites that contain detailed information, guides, and active forums. Some of the first and most popular sites targeted at English speaking audiences were established shortly after the first English manga volume was released in August 2003. Like many other manga and anime titles, Naruto has also spawned its own collectible card game.
Prior to the anime's North American debut in 2005, several scanlation and fansub groups translated the series and made it available for free download on the internet. Despite North American companies' perceived tendency to prosecute fansubbing groups more frequently than Japanese companies, there are some that have continued to translate new Naruto episodes due to the extremely large gap between the English and Japanese versions.
Volume 7 of the manga has recently won a Quill Award for best graphic novel in North America. In TV Asahi's latest top 100 Anime Ranking, Naruto ranked 17th on the list
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