Masashi Kishimoto is a legend in the manga and anime world, known for creating one of the biggest franchises of all time, Naruto. The series spans 72 volumes and 700 chapters, has been adapted in many different formats, with an anime TV series and multiple films, video games, and novels, and is one of the best-selling books ever. But Kishimoto didn't think that the boy ninja would have worldwide recognition. The author talked about the humble beginnings of Naruto, and where the story was inspired from.
When the author was asked about how he came up with the Naruto series, he briefly explained that he had tried and failed to create a hit manga many times. He tried many different genres, such as sci-fi and sports manga. After multiple failures Kishimoto was discouraged, but his editor encouraged him to try once more. Thankfully he decided to give manga one more try, and created a one-shot manga, that blew up and became the Naruto that fans know and love worldwide today. Thankfully, the mangaka worked hard through the difficult early stages of manga creation, and his dedication coupled with hard work grew the series to what it is today.
You can check out Viz Media's synopsis of Naruto below:
"Naruto is a young shinobi with an incorrigible knack for mischief. He's got a wild sense of humor, but Naruto is completely serious about his mission to be the world's greatest ninja!"
Author/artist Masashi Kishimoto was born in 1974 in rural Okayama Prefecture, Japan. Like many kids, he was first inspired to become a manga artist in elementary school when he read Dragon Ball. After spending time in art college, he won the Hop Step Award for new manga artists with his story Karakuri. After considering various genres for his next project, Kishimoto decided on a story steeped in traditional Japanese culture.
His first version of Naruto, drawn in 1997, was a one-shot story about fox spirits; his final version, which debuted in Weekly Shonen Jump in 1999, quickly became the most popular ninja manga in the world. The series would also spawn multiple anime series, movies, novels, video games and more.