It’s never easy to say goodbye to a longtime companion. For fans of Naruto, the ending of the manga on Nov 10 is like a farewell to an old friend from a misplaced youth.
After 15 years, the plucky teen with blonde hair and an orange jumpsuit grew to be a mainstay in the lives of many readers.
“He’s far from perfect. He’s a very picky eater. He’s afraid of ghosts. He’s got the habit of giving nicknames to people. Naruto reminds me a lot of my self. But I admire him for his courage and determination, for the way he faces struggles and difficulties. He would never give up no matter what,” said Wu Xian, 25, a faithful fan who works for Enlight Media in Nanjing.
The anime follows the adventures of leading character Naruto Uzumaki, who wants to be the world’s best ninja. Just like the lead characters in several other young adult comics and cartoons, Naruto wasn’t born to be a hero. Because of a nine-tailed beast sealed within him, Naruto was neglected and ostracized by most people throughout his childhood. But years of scorn and isolation didn’t make him pessimistic or world-weary. On the contrary, he works hard to be a capable ninja and to win the respect and trust of his friends and fellow villagers.
In this global best-selling manga series, Masashi Kishimoto draws out a mysterious world of ninjas
with unprecedented abilities and unique personalities.
Uchiha Sasuke, who later became Naruto’s best friend, was dismissive of him when they first met at the ninja academy, as he was certain he was superior. Naruto never gave up trying to both surpass and befriend Sasuke.
“I felt really touched when Sasuke said to Naruto that for the first time he considered him a comrade. Actually as he grew stronger, Naruto won recognition among his people, but Sasuke was always special to him,” said Shao Shuai, 23, a postgraduate student at Hong Kong Baptist University.
Finally, Naruto has achieved his goal of becoming the seventh Hokage. There are a few lingering questions: can Naruto’s master Jiraiya see his success, what’s under Kakashi’s mask… But regardless of these loose ends, the young ninja will remain a fond memory in our minds.