When it comes to franchises, Harry Potter ranks high up on the list of most lucrative. J.K. Rowling’s magical series has bewitched millions of fans around the world, and the same can be said for Naruto. Over the years, fans have even gone so far to crossover the two series thanks to their surprising similarities, but Masashi Kishimoto says any overlap is unintentional.
During an previous interview with Nippon Magazine, the Naruto creator opened up about the series and its global success. Kishimoto admitted he was taken back by Naruto’s popularity despite his jokes about it once upon a time.
“Early on, I joked that I’d like to see Naruto make it big overseas. But I never expected that foreign readers would get into it like they have. It was only after the work entered serialization that I realized how attractive the ninja concept was to the global audience,” the artist said.
Nippon went on to ask Kishimoto about the growing number of comparisons between Naruto and Harry Potter. The artist said he had never read the novels, but he does understand why fans see an overlap.
“I’ve never even read the Harry Potter books. When I started getting fan mail that said my character reminded them of Harry, though, I started to wonder, and I had a look at the first movie in the series. Then it made sense,” Kishimoto explained.
“You’ve got Harry, Ron, and Hermione, learning together at an academy for magic. This was somewhat like Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura in my work.”
For fans, the comparisons of Naruto and Harry Potter are often straightforward ones. Naruto Uzumaki is a pre-destined hero to save his world like Harry. The two differ in personality, but their steadfast desire to help others is the same. As for their friends, well - it is harder to make connections. Sakura and Hermione are both wicked smart, but there is little connecting Sasuke and Ron save for their large families... Oh, too soon?
Harry Potter may not have swayed Kishimoto in any way, but the franchises’ overlaps can be applied to lots of others. Bleach fans could compare the boy wizard to Ichigo Kurosaki, and the same could be said to fans of One Piece. When it comes to epic stories, fans seem to like a certain kind of hero, and Naruto fits that mold with ease.