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The Naruto Moment That Had Voice Actor Maile Flanagan Cheering Behind The Scenes

"Naruto" has gone down as a legendary anime, with most fans recognizing it was one of the Big Three – along with "Bleach" and "One Piece." Though Masashi Kishimoto's iconic manga was influenced by big names, after launching in the late 90s, it quickly earned itself acclaim and an anime adaptation by Viz Media in 2002. The series would go on to make its way through the late 2010s with the sequel show "Naruto: Shippuden" before ending in 2017.

Both "Naruto" and "Shippuden" are filled with exciting moments that'll get even lenient anime fans pumped, and often, fans can find the action right at the get-go. "Naruto" quickly starts things off with the bridge fight against Zabuza and Haku, Rock Lee removes his training weights, and ends with Naruto and Sasuke's waterfall fight. "Shippuden" brings fans slightly more mature stories, with Shikamaru getting revenge for Asuma's death, Sasuke and Itachi's final showdown, and the Fourth Great Ninja War.

In 2022, "Naruto" celebrated its 20th anniversary, showcasing an incredible video remaking all of the show's greatest moments. Of course, legendary voice actress Maile Flanagan also had to get in on the festivities. The actress has voiced Naruto for the 20-year run, playing him on his journey from outcast to Hokage of the Hidden Leaf Village. The part has been her role of a lifetime, filled with ups and downs, but one moment, in particular, had Flanagan cheering the hardest.

Naruto's Rasengan training paid off

For the 20th Anniversary of "Naruto," voice actress Maile Flanagan sat down with Crunchyroll to discuss her journey along with everyone's favorite Jinchuriki Hokage. When asked what moment made her cheer the most, Flanagan said there were many, but one particularly stands out: when Naruto finally mastered the Rasengan. "One of them is when he learned the Rasengan," she said. "Because the others take place over arcs that are hard to compartmentalize. But I will say when he actually learned to master the Rasengan was a moment."

Fans may recall that about halfway through "Naruto," the titular hero begins learning the Rasengan after meeting one of the legendary Sannin, Jiraiya. He mastered it a few episodes later, using it in his fight against Kabuto and Orochimaru to protect Tsunade. In a memorable moment, Naruto sacrifices his hand to Kabuto's kunai, holding him in place in the process. He then uses his free hand and a Shadow Clone to form his first Rasengan, using it to defeat Kabuto.

After mastering the technique, the Rasengan became a vital part of Naruto's weapons, using it countless times throughout the show and "Shippuden." Eventually, he improved on his father's original Jutsu, allowing Naruto to add different chakra types into the Rasengan and throw them at his enemies.