Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto. Angel Calderon FYS Mangamania ‘13. Storyline.
FYS Mangamania ‘13
Konoha’snumber one knuckle-headed and hyperactive ninja is born! Within him,a unique power that his father sealed inside him when he was just born. Unfortunately, Naruto’s parents died in the process and thus began Naruto’s pain. He was feared by the people in his village because of his power so they avoided him and called him names. Naruto, by the age of 14, decided that all the hate and resentment towards him will soon change. So he drove himself to do his best, never give up and change peoples’ minds to show them what he’s truly made of. His goal is to become the Hokage, the most powerful ninja in the village and the leader of the village. He also wants people to admire him and not hate him. With this goal in mind, Naruto uses his “evil” power towards good causes. He becomes a member of squad 7, the sensei who’s the jonin in charge is KakashiHatake, Naruto’s other two teammates include his crush Sakura Haruno and his best friend and rival SasukeUchiha. This manga made famous by Masashi Kishimoto hopes to teach us about never giving up in dark times, always giving it your best and striving for more. Believe it!
Dragon Ball, by Akira Toriyama, has the most influence on Kishimoto’s Naruto. According to Kishimoto, he grew up watching Dragon Ball and it became the reason why Kishimoto strived to become a manga artist. As you can see, both manga covers show similar qualities. For example: the both youngsters looking wild and excited, both on top of extraordinary creatures, the almost identical clouds, the variety of colors, both images almost wanting to get out of the cover 3D’ish. Kishimoto was also influenced by the cyberpunk manga: Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo. Both Dragon Ball and Akira had the same influence on Kishimoto but I feel more connected to Dragon Ball, since it was the first anime I saw and basically grew up with.
In this image, Kishimoto reveals to us Naruto’s power. In the manga, it was the first time Naruto unleashes his power. Naruto and his best friend/rival, Sasuke, are dueling it out with another enemy ninja and Sasuke gets badly injured, to the point of almost dying. Naruto believes his friend is dead so he gets extremely upset and unleashes his power. His power is a demon nine-tailed fox that he has inside of him and when Naruto uses his power he turns into a mini-version of the fox. Naruto, later on in the story, learns to control his power and only use it when necessary or when in extreme danger. The people in his village realize that Naruto uses his power for good purposes and the hate towards Naruto starts to diminish.
The most obvious influences and connections to Kishimoto’s Naruto were Akira and Dragon Ball. After a lot of research, I found out that Kishimoto only looked to these two mangas for inspiration on Naruto. No real connection to art movements from the UK and the USA. However, Naruto’s story can be connected to some literature. For example: one of my favorite short stories What Men Live By, by Leo Tolstoy, with its powerful message that love is what men live by. Also, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and their willingness to not giving up their true love and that passion of having a goal and never giving up on it. Finally, The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and the theme of alienation, exactly how Naruto grew up. These are some works of literature that I can connect with Naruto.
Among many other things, Naruto took part in creating the Fandom and the Cosplay subcultures. These two subcultures are greatly influenced by manga and because Naruto became a very popular manga, it plays a really big part in these two subcultures. The Fandom subculture is all about fans and their particular manga, anime, show, etc. It is like a club for whatever it is you like. The Cosplay subculture is when people dress up as their favorite manga/anime character and basically imitate them. These two subcultures have become huge in the past years and as they keep growing, so does manga.