Art is a unique form of a person telling a story or their thoughts. When we love some art, it means we love their thoughts or what they want to tell the world. I strongly believe that when we love some art, it is important to know the hands and brains behind it. Which is why we’re here today. We Otaku In Town want to introduce you all to the artist behind your favourite anime. Today we’re here to talk about the famous Masashi Kishimoto. We all know him for creating Naruto franchise
Early Life: Born on November 8th 1974, Kishimoto draws inspiration from Akira Toriyama, creator of Dragon Ball. A talented person usually blooms early and Kishimoto is no different. Right from his childhood he was interested in drawing and used to draw characters from his favourite animated shows. Coming from a lower-middle-class family, he couldn’t buy dragon ball manga from the shonen jump, but thanks to his school friend he followed it regularly. By high school, he almost lost interest in manga and concentrated on sports like baseball and basketball. However, in college, he saw a poster of the film Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo. By the end of his college, Kishimoto had started drawing Manga and decided to join art college in hopes of becoming a Mangaka, a person who creates Manga. He loves sword fighting so initially, he wanted to create a Chanbara manga. However, he read various manga at this point and found out that he was creating more adult content which contradicts his aim of drawing manga for Shonen jump which is read more by children. However, once he met Tetsuya Nishio, a designer from the anime Ninko, he was able to improve his drawings and was finally able to create a manga that was closer to shonen jump style. He then started working as an artist to existing manga, However, he soon created his manga, and submitted it to Shueisha, under the title Karakuri. However, he still wasn’t able to find success as he was given deadlines that he couldn’t meet or the articles being rejected by people. He almost decided to quit again. However, in 1998 he wanted to give one last shot at it and submitted initial drafts of Naruto which contained 3 chapters. They were loved by shonen jump, Kishimoto was given 6 months to start the manga which he used to redraw the drafts and completed a few chapters.
Naruto: In September 1999, Kishimoto released Naruto in shonen jump magazine No 43. This became an instant hit. The success of Naruto changed his career as a mangaka drastically on a good side. The series ran till 2014 with 700 chapters with a collection of 72 volumes. The number of sales is very high with around 115 million copies in Japan and 95 million copies sold in the US and 93 million copies around the rest of the world. The success was already estimated at the initial stages and an anime was in the works and eventually planned movies at right intervals. They divided the chapters into two series of anime, before and after a two-year time skip. The Naruto manga series became one of Viz Media’s top properties, accounting for nearly 10% of all manga sales in the US in 2006. Responding to Naruto’s success, Kishimoto said that he was “very glad that the American audience has accepted and understood ninja. It shows that the American audience has good taste… because it means they can accept something previously unfamiliar to them”. The Naruto series finally concluded on November 10, 2014, with The Last: Naruto the Movie premiering a month later on December 6, 2014.
After Naruto: On the last page of the final chapter, Weekly Shōnen Jump announced that a spin-off miniseries, also authored by Kishimoto, would be released in 2015. The miniseries, Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring, ran from April to July 2015, leading up to the premiere of Boruto: Naruto the Movie on August 7, 2015, which he supervised and co-wrote with Ukyo Kodachi. He also illustrated several light novels set during the same period as The Last. When asked by Boruto Uzumaki's voice actress Yūko Sanpei to continue making Naruto movies, Kishimoto stated that he was taking a break and could not physically do so. In the June 10, 2019 issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump it was announced that Boruto: Naruto Next Generations would transition to the magazine’s sister publication, V Jump, beginning with its June 20, 2019 issue. In 2017 Kishimoto said that he is working on a sci-fi manga series that is better in quality than Naruto and will be releasing it soon. It was named “Samurai 8: the tale of Hachimaru”. The series debuted in Weekly Shōnen Jump on May 13, 2019, as the magazine’s first new series of Japan’s Reiwa period, following a 4-page preview chapter on April 27, 2019, marking the end of the Heisei period. The series finished in the 17th issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump on March 23, 2020.
Personal Life: Kishimoto has a twin brother named Seishi. Masashi and his twin brother Seishi have been drawing manga together since early childhood, thus their styles are similar. As a result, each has frequently been accused of copying the other, not just artwork, but story elements as well. Seishi notes that the similarities are not intentional but are likely because they were influenced by many of the same things. Masashi was married in 2003 but couldn’t spend much time with his wife due to Naruto and other works. Once the mangaka is done with Naruto, he took a honeymoon trip. Kishimoto based the idea of Hinata Hyuga wanting to make a scarf for Naruto Uzumaki on how his wife had once done for him, which brought laughs to the staff while developing the film.
Kishimoto is one of the most successful Mangaka. He was dedicated to Naruto, just like how Naruto was dedicated to being Hokage. Kishimoto created an anime that not only inspires other aspiring mangaka but also common people. I get inspired by Naruto and Itachi. I believe that one should never give up and also has to go through pain for a greater good. I thank Kishimoto for creating Naruto. Please let us know about your favourite anime or manga, we will introduce the artist behind the series. For more updates on Anime, character dissections, top 10s and theories, stay tuned on otakuintown.com. Also, make sure to follow us everywhere. Bubye!