Naruto's Creator Imagined the Hero as a Jounin Way Before 'Shippuden'

Naruto has come a long way since the first episode of the now legendary anime franchise that was created by Masashi Kishimoto, seeing the wielder of the nine tailed fox going from a lonely orphan to the next Hokage of the Hidden Leaf Village of Konoha, but one fan managed to find an image created by Kishimoto that sees Naruto hitting a ninja level long before the sequel series of Naruto: Shippuden! Though we never got to see much time with Naruto as a Jounin, with him starting off as a genin and then becoming a chunin, he definitely wears the outfit well!

Naruto: Shippuden marked the halfway point for the franchise as a whole, bringing to a close the story of Konoha with Naruto as the protagonist, eventually giving way for his son Boruto to take the reins. The conclusion of this anime saw Naruto growing up to become the man he was always destined to be, making giant strides toward eventually becoming the seventh Hokage of the Hidden Leaf Village. Marrying his long time sweetheart in Hinata, and having a daughter and a son, Naruto might not have shown us his time as a jounin, but he definitely earned his place as one of the top ninja of Konoha.

Reddit User UnforgivingPrince managed to find this cover for the original Naruto Manga in Chapter 96 that shows off a drawing from series creator Masashi Kishimoto, imagining waht the young ninja might look like as a Jounin within the walls of the Hidden Leaf Village of Konoha:

Naruto in his Jonin outfit from Chapter 96, "The Unexpected Visitor!" By Kishimoto from r/Naruto

Currently, Naruto is facing one of the most difficult times of his ninja career, facing off against the machinations of the nefarious Kara Organization, acting as the arm of the celestial Otsutsuki Clan. With the organization wrecking havoc in the manga, the anime is getting ready to introduce the nefarious group of rogue ninja into the world and with them, comes some of the biggest battles of the Boruto series to date!

What do you think of this look into what Naruto might look like as a Jounin? Would you like to see some stories that take place between Shippuden and Boruto? 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!