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Naruto Creator Masashi Kishimoto Thinks Jiraiya's Story Is Worth Telling

Due to the carefully crafted worldbuilding in the popular "Naruto" franchise, the shinobi world feels fully fleshed out, established, and lived in. And part of the reason is that the series has its own recorded history and an explorable timeline where fans can, for the most part, pinpoint specific events and how it directly leads to other events. And even more importantly, there are a vast number of established characters who have lived through those events and have unique perspectives. 

There is one particular group of ninjas whose history is intertwined with the most significant events of the series. The Legendary Sannin is a squad of three ninjas that accomplished so much that most of the shinobi world speaks of them with so much awe that they've become legends. Consisting of Jiraiya (Hōchū Ōtsuka), Orochimaru (Kujira), and Tsunade (Masako Katsuki), they are known throughout history for their prowess seen in the Second Great Ninja War. With their history dating so far back, fans can see how some of their accomplishments or deeds greatly affect certain aspects of the story.

Though Jiraiya shares an interesting background with his comrades, he also retains his own backstory separate from the other Sannin. Of the three, it's Jiraiya's exploits that arguably have the biggest impact on the plot. After all, the Toad Sage mentored three incredibly significant characters in Minato Namikaze (Toshiyuki Morikawa), Nagato (Junpei Morita), and Naruto (Junko Takeuchi), all of whom have directly influenced or caused major events. Considering Jiraiya's long history in the ninja world and his significance in the story, his perspective on the events of the "Naruto" series would likely be fascinating. And it seems that series creator Masashi Kishimoto thinks so.

Kishimoto believes that Jiraiya's story would be an interesting point of view

In 2015, "Naruto" author Masashi Kishimoto made his way to the United States to take part in the New York Comic-Con. The manga artist sat down with Anime News Network for an interview, in which he was asked which character's perspective he would choose to retell the story of "Naruto."

Kishimoto was interested in Jiraiya's perspective, mostly because he wanted to delve into Jiraiya's unexplored backstory explaining, "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 Jiraiya 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."

Additionally, the author was intrigued with the time in which Jiraiya grew up, which was, apparently, an era of primitive jutsu, wanting to juxtapose it with the modern era. "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," he mused. "So I think it would be fun to show that gap."

And it seems that Kishimoto isn't the only one who feels that Jiraiya's story is an interesting tale to tell. In 2022, Redditor u/david062404 took to r/Naruto to ask their fellow fans about any character spin-off they would like to see. Several fans expressed their interest in consuming a spin-off centered on Jiraiya's childhood, with u/No-Ad7492 summing it up with "I would love to see Jiraiya's entire life play out." Unfortunately, it doesn't sound like Kishimoto has any plans to make it a reality any time soon.