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The Weird Connection Between Naruto And Godzilla

"Godzilla" is easily one of the most important franchises that Japan has ever created. That may sound like overly-high praise for these monster movies, but in a world filled with Japanese anime, video games, and technology, it's important to remember that "Godzilla" predates a lot of it. The first "Godzilla" film came out in 1954 and became globally popular long before most people even knew about anime. That's why "Godzilla" has clear influences on all sorts of media, including the anime that would follow it.

These influences may not always be obvious in the media we consume today, but that doesn't mean it isn't there. A clear example of this is in the massively popular anime and manga "Naruto." According to the original manga author, Masashi Kishimoto, his love of the "Godzilla" franchise resulted in a number of important decisions when creating "Naruto." As such, there exists a fascinating connection between the two franchises.

Godzilla is the grandad of giant foxes and ninja magic

While "Naruto" is primarily about a young boy who uses the giant nine-tailed demon fox trapped within him to become president of the magic ninjas, the monster-sized footprint of "Godzilla" can still be seen all over the series. In an interview with Nippon.com, author Masashi Kishimoto revealed his total love of the King of Monsters, and how his affection for giant monsters resulted in some of the most important elements in "Naruto."

"The entire story of these tailed beasts started out as a simple way for me to get the fox into my manga," Kishimoto said. "I loved Godzilla. I just wanted to draw a monster—something big that I could place in a battle. That's why I decided to introduce the kuchiyose no jutsu, the summoning skills that let ninja call forth the weapons they need, or call a creature to their side to aid them in a fight. My intent from the start was to bring forth gigantic beings with these skills."

Considering Kishimoto's words, the connections between the two franchises now seem obvious. As a giant monster, the nine-tailed fox has clear similarities to Godzilla. On top of that, the series also includes giant toads, snakes, and slugs (among other things), and it's not uncommon for Kishimoto to have all of these beasts battling each other in his stories. However, the similarities between "Godzilla" and "Naruto" go well beyond just having giant monsters.

Naruto and Godzilla are both about weapons of mass destruction

Aside from both franchises featuring giant monsters, "Naruto" and "Godzilla" also use their monsters in similar ways. That is, both franchises use their monsters to illustrate the dangers of war and weapons of mass destruction. It's no secret that "Godzilla" was created as a response to the atomic bomb. That big nuclear lizard is often used as a symbol of atomic destruction, or in the case of the original (where Godzilla is a simple non-nuclear dinosaur), how the misuse of WMDs allows humans to upset and destroy the natural order of things.

Likewise, in "Naruto" the tailed beasts are used much in the same way that the world uses WMDs today. Those with tailed beasts sealed inside them, like Naruto and his Fox, are used by their governments as potential weapons of war, and almost every nation in "Naruto" seeks to control one of their own. This becomes only a small part of the anti-war message that "Naruto" tells, and is a large part of the reason that the series is much more than the story of a fox-boy becoming president. It's because of those anti-war themes, and the monsters Kishimoto uses to tell them, that it's clear how "Godzilla" influenced "Naruto" in a number of surprising ways.