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Naruto's Masashi Kishimoto Wanted To Make A Different Kind Of Ninja (Despite Criticism From Ninja Fans)

Ninjas are one of the most popular types of warriors still explored within so many facets of media. From numerous ninja films with true wild stories to the animated adventures of the half-shelled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, there are plenty of TV series, movies, games, and anime starring the shadowy combatants. But among the ever-growing mountain of ninja media, one unique blond-haired boy sits near the top. Masashi Kishimoto's "Naruto" exploded into a worldwide phenomenon that arguably hadn't entirely rocked the world of manga and anime since "Dragon Ball." The series produced a long life with over 700 plus episodes and manga chapters. And even after the initial series ended, the story continued into the next generation of shinobi with Naruto's son Boruto.

Unlike the usual depictions of ninjas trying to avoid any attention, "Naruto" is truly an eye-catching series. There are fights with choreography that would put some modern live-action films to shame. And the series' deep tale of bonds is too compelling to ignore passively. But honestly, one look at the titular hero is enough to scream, "This isn't a typical ninja tale!" Clad in an orange jumpsuit with blond hair as loud as his voice, Naruto stands out from any usual idea of how a ninja is supposed to appear. And despite any criticisms from many hardcore ninja fans, Kishimoto couldn't help but want to make his character a different kind of ninja.

Naruto's design is meant to go against the ninja norm

Just because Naruto wears bright colors and yells a lot doesn't mean Masashi Kishimoto isn't familiar with how ninjas are usually portrayed. As he revealed in a 2015 interview with Anime News Network, the series creator knows just how incredible the silent and stealthy killers can be. But he further added in the interview that making his character within the tried and true ninja blueprint would have made "Naruto" less like a "Shonen Jump" manga. And there's truth to that. Picturing Naruto as a cold-blooded killer hiding in the dark feels more akin to something from the mature Seinen genre.

Despite criticisms from traditional ninja fans, Kishimoto purposely decided on a design and personality that would go against the usual but also be perfect for "Shonen Jump." While speaking about Naruto's out there design, Kishimoto told Anime News Network, "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?'"

Kishimoto's designs proved to be a good idea as they won over countless fans and made Naruto instantly recognizable. And the hero's clothes set the bar for some of the series' other wild-looking but well-received characters. According to a translated Kana interview, his original designs also earned him praise from the anime's production team (via Reset Era). Besides, the idea of historical ninjas always clad in black is debatable. Per Kotaku, real ninjas were likely to wear anything that would help them blend in with the rest of society. So a little less "Ninja Gaiden" and a lot more local farmer. However, it's still anyone's guess about orange jumpsuits.