Naruto is a manga, invented and drawn by Japanese manga artist Masashi Kishimoto, as well as the anime version of the same name. Its main character is Naruto Uzumaki, noisy and restless adolescent ninja who wants to achieve universal acceptance and become a Hokage, the head of his village and the strongest ninja. To gain the respect of others, he has to go through a thousand obstacles: ninja exams, various missions, and battles.
The first chapter of the manga was published in 1999 by the Japanese publisher Shueisha in the 43rd issue of Weekly Shonen Jump. Currently, the manga already has 66 volumes and its publication is continued. There is an anime television series created by Aniplex and Pierrot Studio.
It was released on air in Japan on the TV Tokyo channel and Animax satellite channel since October 3, 2002. The first part of the anime version ended with the 220th episode, while the broadcast of the second, «Naruto: Shippuuden», has been continued from February 15, 2007, with a new episode released almost every week. In addition to the series, Studio Pierrot has released nine animations and eight OVAs (to June 2012). 10th animation is to be released in the spring of 2014. There are also video games, novels (“light- novels”) and a collectible card game based on the manga and anime.
Manga and anime have been very popular both in Japan and abroad. In particular, in Japan, where over 140 million copies were sold at the beginning of 2013. In the U.S., Naruto, presented by Viz Media, regularly enters the bestseller lists, and in 2006, its sales reached almost 10% of all manga sales in the country. In Russia, the right to publish and distribute manga is owned by Eksmo and Comic Art companies.
The plot of the Naruto series is set in a fictional world with the socio-political structure reminiscent of feudal Japan. In this world, there are several small size states that live and develop as standalone units, controlled by daimyo. The states have at their disposal hidden villages, which are ninja settlements, headed by an independent ruler, Kage. Ninjas are used as a military force. As well, they can participate in the economic life of the state, fulfilling mercenary missions from gardening to incursions into enemy territory. The level of technology in the Naruto’s world is contradictory: on the one hand, the characters are at the disposal of modern surveillance cameras and transmitters, on the other hand, the progress almost does not affect the military sphere, where there is no firearms and combat vehicles, deliberately excluded by the author of the narrative.
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