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For the Love of Naruto and Manga

Naruto, one of the best-selling manga series of all time. Photo by HaticeEROL from Pixabay.

You may be one of the millions of fans who love manga.

Manga is recognised as comics and graphic novels originating from Japan. The literal translation is ‘whimsical pictorial’.

It follows a style that was developed in Japan in the late 19th century, yet this form of art is said to date back to as late as the 12th and 13th century in ancient Japanese scrolls.

Despite it’s longevity, manga didn’t really become popular until the second World War. It was manga artist Tezuka Osamu that helped spur its growth when his work Astro Boy, Black Jack and Buddha, among others, started to gain international recognition.

From the early 2000s, the storylines in manga became more complex and varied to include a widespread audience appeal including science fiction, politics, sports, religion, romance and sex.

It was from these origins came Naruto.

If you haven’t heard of it, Naruto is one of the best selling manga series of all times and was written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto. The original series ran from 1999 to 2014 and tells the story of a young ninja called Naruto Uzumaki through 220 episodes. A second series called Naruto: Shippuden ran from 2007 to 2017 in 500 episodes and is about Naruto’s adolescent years.

Fun fact: It would take ten days straight without any breaks to watch all the Naruto episodes from both series.

In this podcast episode, I’ll be talking with a Naruto fan who will explain why this manga series managed to develop a cult following among such a varied audience. If you love manga, this is an episode for you.

Do you watch Naruto or any other manga series? Comment below your favourites and why you like them!

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