When you are the creator of a multi-million dollar franchise, it can be daunting to take on a new project. Seriously, just ask Masashi Kishimoto. The artist is the brain behind the ever-popular Naruto series, and he is about to embark on another ambitious project. In April, a brand-new anime spin-off will make its debut after Naruto: Shippuden ends. And, now, Kishimoto is opening up about how difficult it has been for him to create the Boruto anime.
Recently, Kishimoto did an interview with Weekly Shonen Jump where he talked about the spin-off series. For the Boruto manga, the creator discussed whether he was worried the series’ new characters would too closely mimic original ninjas, Kishimoto had this to say:
“If the characters aren’t similar, if they aren’t a little clone-like, it can be hard to express who they are,” he said. “And I have some who are pretty much clones. Shikadai is a lot like his dad. And some of the new characters are a combination of their parents, like Cho-Cho. With manga, sometimes you’re going to get archetypal characters like that.”
Continuing, Kishimoto revealed that his worries were primarily concerned with how the new anime would scale itself. “For Boruto, because of everything that’s already been done with Naruto, you can’t help but have some things that will be repeated. So I worry about the story being too similar. And with Naruto and Sasuke becoming so strong and battles getting bigger and bigger, now you have kids fighting so the scale is gonna feel smaller,” he said.
“I don’t want it to feel lacking, so the focus needs to be on expressing things differently or coming up with new ideas. Those issues concern me.”
And, when it comes to completely new series in the works, Kishimoto says his work with Naruto will not prevent him from pursuing new stories.
“As for a brand-new series, I don’t worry about having to surpass Naruto. I never expected Naruto to become this popular, so I figure there’s no point in worrying about that. But for my next series, I’ll have all the know-how and experience I gained from doing Naruto. And I don’t really think of myself as some great person for having created Naruto or anything like that, so there’s no pressure for the next one. I can’t forget about Naruto, but worrying about it accomplishes nothing. I just need to focus on whatever I’m working on next.”