After more than a decade, it looks like Naruto Shippuden is entering its final days. Masashi Kishimoto’s beloved anime finally caught up with its manga last year as Naruto Uzumaki went head-to-head against his rival Sasuke Uchiha following the Fourth Great Ninja War. The heart-pounding confrontation ended with the two ninjas reconciling, leaving Team 7 to reunite after years apart. Following the story’s end, Naruto Shippuden continued on and adapted a series of post-manga novels released which focused on heroes like Shikamaru and more.
However, the anime’s on-going arc looks like its on its way out. In the most recent episode of Weekly Shonen Jump, the magazine teased the finale of Naruto Shippuden. The 14th issue hinted the “Konoha Hiden” arc will air its finale on March 23rd. The episode will mark the anime’s 500th episode and the franchise’s 720th installment. The magazine did not mention whether Naruto Shippuden would end for good on the date or if episodes would continue after March 23rd. The final “Konoha Hiden” episode is set to focus specifically on Iruka’s message to Naruto as the titular hero marries Hinata Hyuga.
In December, Naruto Shippuden first began its exploration of “Konoha Hiden” when it adapted the first of three epilogue novels. Naruto: Sasuke’s Story - Sunrise was the first to be aniamted before Naruto: Shikamaru’s Story was brought to life. In the past weeks, Naruto: Konoha Hiden was brought to the on-going series.
Of course, there are millions of fans who are feeling sentimental about the anime’s end. There is still a chance the anime will continue on to adapt piece of the Naruto epilogue that was written into Kishimoto’s final manga chapter. However, fans wonder if the extra story would not be better suited for the upcoming Boruto spin-off anime.
Boruto: Next Generations is set to make its debut on April 5th. TV Tokyo will also house the anime, and it seems unlikely the network will carry both Naruto Shippuden as well as its sequel. With the latter set to premiere in about a month, the clock is now ticking down for Naruto fans. And, of course, the end of Naruto Shippuden will mark the end of an enduring era for anime.
But, hey! It’s not over yet! There will always be Boruto!
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