If you’re looking for a way to start an anime fan-war, you just have to do one thing. There’s nothing more controversial to fans than a shipping debate, and Naruto fans are still reeling from the fallout of the story’s canonized couples. To this day, there are still fans who remain firm that Naruto and Sakura were destined to fall in love.
However, did Masashi Kishimoto feel that conflicted about his hero's love life?
When Naruto was brought to an end, the creator left some fans distraught when Naruto wound up marrying Hinata rather than his childhood crush. The shonen’s romances acted as lightning rods for controversy, and Kishimoto addressed NaruSaku shippers when he made a rare appearance at New York Comic Con awhile back.
Anime New Network had the chance to speak with Kishimoto at the event, and the site asked how he felt about Naruto’s buzzed-about romance.
“I actually didn't realize I caused such controversy,” the artist said. In fact, Kishimoto said his decision to have Naruto marry Hinata prompted his wife to give him the cold shoulder.
“I almost caused a rift in my own household too, because my wife was very upset also that Naruto didn't get together with Sakura. In fact, she complained quite vehemently to me,” he explained. “I tried to defuse the situation by assuring my wife that SHE was actually the model for Hinata.”
Kishimoto’s longtime editor also chimed in on the backlash. Jo Otsuki told ANN that “quite [a] few of the female staff at Studio Pierrot that produces the anime apparently were also upset.”
While NaruSaku shippers do wish Naruto had ended up with his teammate, there are plenty who were happy to see him marry Hinata. The heiress did harbor a huge crush on the Leaf Village’s most unpredictable ninja, so Hinata’s marriage to Naruto was nothing short of a dream come true. Sakura had her eyes set on Sasuke since the day she met the Uchiha, so the story's final couples didn't come out of the blue. For now, NaruSaku shippers will have to be content living out their fantasies in fan-fiction, and the same goes countless of other lovesick fans.
Naruto fans, was your Naruto OTP fulfilled by the manga's end? Hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to let me know and talk all things anime!