Naruto Voice Actor Reflects on Franchise's 20th Anniversary

With three anime series under its belt, the world of the Hidden Leaf Village doesn't look like it's stopping any time soon. The franchise of Naruto has been in existence for over twenty years, taking Naruto himself from childhood where he was longing to achieve his goal of becoming Hokage to adulthood, leading the village of Konoha as the seventh Hokage with a family to look after. Now that Naruto's son, Boruto, has taken the reins as protagonist, the wielder of the Kyubi still doesn't have time to relax. Recently, at the popular convention, Anime NYC, the voice actress for Naruto's English voice spoke out regarding her feelings of the series' longevity.

Viz Media's Official Twitter Account shared the voice actress', Maile Flanagan, thoughts on bringing the young Konoha ninja to life for so long, as well as how the franchise has changed over the decades among the fans that have been following the popular anime series since its inception:

As the Naruto franchise has moved forward, the village of Konoha has changed substantially. The young orange clad ninja started off as a pariah, scorned by his fellow villages when all he wanted to do was make Konoha a better place. With the nine tailed fox hiding within himself, it was no wonder that so many were stand off-ish when it came to accepting him. As time went on however, Naruto saved the village time and time again, showing his true character to those around him.

With Naruto firmly set as the seventh Hokage, he recently has a brand new set of problems that he has to grapple with. In the manga, he is currently dealing with being sealed away thanks to the nefarious organization that is Kara. Meanwhile, in the anime, his son and his best friend are travelling through time thanks to a magical frog. It's certainly quite the life that Naruto finds himself in, that's for sure.

How have you felt about Naruto as a franchise for these past years? Feel free to let us know in the comments or hit me up directly on Twitter @EVComedy to talk all things comics, anime, and the Hidden Leaf Village!

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Originally created by Masashi Kishimoto for Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump in 1999, Naruto follows a young ninja, with a sealed demon within him, that wishes to become the leader of his home village. The series ran for 700 chapters overall, and was adapted into an anime series by Studio Pierrot and Aniplex that ran from 2002 to 2017. The series was popular enough to warrant a sequel, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations which is set several years after the events of the original Naruto story and features the children of many of its key characters such as Naruto and Hinata.