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Naruto Star Maile Flanagan Says Reading The Manga Is 'A Job In And Of Itself'

It is an indisputable fact that, throughout the many years of its existence, "Naruto" has not only taken permanent refuge in the hearts of thousands of fans but also paved the way for the future of subsequent generations of Shonen. With "Naruto" as his creative contribution, Masashi Kishimoto certainly taught countless young fans to enjoy manga, just like he learnt how to love and find the fun in the genre from Akira Toriyama's "Dragon Ball" (via Anime News Network).

Naruto Uzumaki's incredible roller-coaster ride of a journey spanned well over a decade, even more, if one takes into consideration the sequel "Boruto: Naruto Next Generations" which began being serialized in 2016. Over the years Naruto became more than a character, the blonde knuckle-headed ninja became a sort of icon within the anime genre. The voices we have come to associate with the characters we've followed for so many years have also become emblematic, especially if we're talking about the protagonist.

Regarding the English dub, Maile Flanagan has had the honor of lending her voice to the boy who dreamt about becoming Hokage and the man who later made it come true. The same ninja who taught the actress as well as the audience "to never give up" (per Crunchyroll).

Keeping up with the manga required diligence

When the manga concluded in early 2015, the entirety of "Naruto" was collected in 72 volumes and a whopping 700 chapters. While it is not the case for everybody, many fans spent month after month, during the span of many years, keeping up with each manga chapter release. It is mostly agreed upon by fans that the quality of the TV series declined through the years due to the overuse of filler episodes and flashback sequences, while the manga managed to maintain its quality — although many fans believe the final arc had its issues.

It shouldn't be too surprising that a voice actor working on the TV adaptation would strive to keep up with the manga updates. However, due to the sheer amount of volumes and chapters, one cannot really blame the voice-acting professionals for not having the time to pay the manga as much attention.

During an interview at Sydney Supanova, Flanagan, who sat with "Naruto" co-stars Yuri Lowenthal and Tara Platt, was asked about whether she read the manga. In her answer, the actress said: "I don't. I mean, I've read a few [chapters] but I don't keep up with the manga. That's a job in and of itself." But she did explain that it was the director's task to situate the actors in the story when it was time to record, so it was never like any of the professionals behind our favorite ninjas were ever lost in the plot.