Naruto Takes on Akatsuki in New 20th Anniversary Art

Naruto Uzumaki is one of the most famous characters in anime, and his legacy spans decades at this point. From his first days as a ninja to his tenure as Hokage, the hero has done it all. Of course, that means fans are all geeking out about the franchise's 20th anniversary, and a new poster has been released for the big event.

And yes, it brings back the anime's best villains. The Akatsuki may have been taken out years ago, but its members are back in full force thanks to this key visual!

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(Photo: Studio Pierrot)

As you can see below, the gallery artwork brings out the Hidden Leaf's best heroes to the left while its villains hang out on the other side. Naruto is at the front while Pain stands opposite him. Of course, Sasuke Uchiha and Sakura Haruno are flanking their friend as they square off against Itachi (as expected) and Sasori.

In fact, it seems all of the heroes in this new poster are squaring against their sworn enemies in this poster. Gaara and Deidara are paired while Shikamaru seeks revenge against Hidan. Orochimari and Jiraiya, Minato and Obito, Hashirama and Mada... the list goes on and on. And yes, Kakashi did toss out a throwback in this shot as he's seen facing Zabuza of the Mist.

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These feuds helped bring about some of Naruto's best battles, so it is only right to honor them in light of this anniversary. Naruto is one of the biggest anime series in the world, after all, so the show deserves to live up this milestone in a big way. Back in 2002, nobody knew just how big the series would blow up, but creator Masashi Kishimoto charmed millions with his ninja tale. And even after 20 years, the series is still carrying on with a new generation of Hidden Leaf heroes.

What do you make of this special anniversary? Can you believe Naruto has been around for this long already? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB.