Like promised, here I come with this post about what is happening with Naruto manga, its finale and how do I believe, based on all the info we have until now and manga content, that things will go down. Grab your popcorn, a soda and take a seat cause we’ve got a looong-looong ride coming out here!
I was planning on writing this for a long time now, however, given the events that unfolded in my real life, this had to wait a bit. Some of you probably have your own ideas about what is going to happen, so mine will probably be useless, haha, but I still wanted to share. So let’s take it by turns, shall we?
First, I want to talk a bit about the Naruto series’ ending. Yes, Naruto is ending it 5 weeks! Naruto 699 will be our last chapter that completes the series and from here and now on… well, all we’re left with is Naruto: Shinjidai Kaimaku Purojekuto or better known to us, English speakers Naruto’s New Era Opening Project.
But what about this project? What about the manga which ends in 5 weeks? How can it all be concluded in 5 weeks? I bet these are just few of the questions that have been going through everybody’s mind, right? Well, with that being said, from here and no on let me just introduce my mojo and tell you what I believe it’s going to happen knowing Masashi Kishimoto.
So in today’s chapter, we were promised 5 more weeks until a shocking end! But how could everything be resolved in 5 more weeks if there are still so many things to tie-up, all the loosened ends, you wonder, right? Well, as I was saying, allow me to explain myself based on what we know about Masashi Kishimoto himself. So… What do we know until now about him and overall, Naruto as a series? Who and what inspired Kishi? Yup, you’ve already got that right in your mind by the time you read the answer, right?
As we all know it, Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball series was a big inspiration for Kishimoto’s Naruto and as well, Toriyama himself was to Kishi, a person whom he looked at with deep respect and not only. As Kishi said himself around interviews, he viewed Toriyama as a role-model.
Now, I’ve always said it in the debates that I’ve been having around forum boards that yes, Kishimoto’s inspiration was indeed Dragon Ball series and he uses many story elements similar to that of Toriyama’s, however, there are differences in the series’ plot itself. However, this time, what Kishi is doing is exactly what Toriyama did with Dragon Ball series as well. While Toriyama stated many times of wanting to end the series, we know that the request was so big that the studio he worked with at that time pushed him into writing more so from there on he just wrote to have something to give them and thus, all the others came, movies and such. Now, the situation is a bit similar and a bit different at the same time with Kishimoto’s work. The thing with Toriyama is that he voiced his opinion on not wanting to write the series after it ended but given the high request, oh well, we all know that part. Toriyama had it all sorted out by the manga’s end, however, as we can see from Naruto, Kishimoto still has tons of other things to cover and many loosened ends to tie.
So basically what Kishi is doing is using Toriyama’s experience in his own way. Because unlike Toriyama, Kishimoto will not have it all sorted out by the end of the manga, what he did here basically is took “advantage” of the situation and will make everyone happy: the series will go on in a way, Naruto will still be alive for some years now and Studio Pierrot still has on-going work and, why not… profit.
My guess is that thing will go basically like this: given we have only 5 weeks until the manga’s end, its end will be basically something like this:
Yes, you’ve guessed it my dears, the all well-known OVA from 2011. When at first this OVA appeared I was very intrigued because the scenario felt very canon-esque, but afterwards I found out that Kishi had something to say there as well. I mean, yes, he designed the T-Shirts that came as a gift with this, this is all the official info we’ve got, but it felt too canon-esque as I said, for Kishi to have no involvement. Years later, the latest chapters appear and that’s when I got what Kishi is doing here.
Basically, in this OVA Kishimoto spoiled Naruto’s end. Take a look at the latest chapters, see the set of them, see the set of this OVA and you’ll get your answer. Naruto and Sasuke fight in the OVA in a place that looks like it has been under a war. Well, where exactly are we placed right now in terms of special events happening in the manga? Yup, just after the end of the 4th Shinobi World War. Ironic, isn’t it? What else we saw in that OVA? Sakura arrives first noticing an apparent dead Naruto, shortly after followed by a regretful Kakashi, like he’s thinking in his mind he was late, once again… Who do we have left back in the manga currently? Ironically or not, Sakura and Kakashi.
In my opinion, the manga will end exactly like the OVA ended, the rest of the questions being answered in canonical movies from Kishimoto in partnership with Studio Pierrot. Basically, Naruto will follow Dragon Ball’s footsteps but not from the same reasons. In Naruto it happens so just because Kishimoto doesn’t have the space and time to finish the manga conclusively like he stated he will be doing, so he takes the second best plan that could follow, this way, like I earlier said, he’ll make everyone happy: himself, fans and Studio Pierrot, of course.
Why do I say that the movies will be canonical and why do I say movies in the first place? Well, as advertised, Naruto’s New Era Opening Project is a project that deals with the continuation of the original series that follows towards the future. Not only this guarantees the fact that the movies will be canon, given that it specifically mentions that is a continuation of the original series, but also the fact that they have advertised The Last: Naruto the movie, as being the first movie from this project. Which means only one thing: Kishi is going to be making a series of unknown number of movies in which he will, like he himself stated, conclusively end the manga’s story.
What will the movies contain? Hmm, well, I have a few guesses myself based on how the manga is going, all the story elements Kishi used and as well, the works Kishi inspired his series from.
Like I said in Japanese depiction of love in the media and the famous Narusaku forehead kiss scene, my guess is that this scene will be brought-up back again. If not by the manga’s end in a scenario similar to how Sakura leans over Naruto and he touches her face – here having Naruto maybe touch her forehead and commenting how beautiful it is, makes him want to kiss it-, then for sure in the movie. This is a very important scene, no matter how much shippers in the fandom don’t like it. It’s basically what started the whole romantic-subplot and the love triangle itself. You can’t just skip that, as an author.
Besides that, my guess is that in the movies, we’ll finally have NaruSaku being canon. But not just like that. IMO, Kishi will go through all the details that he skipped in every (potential) relationship that has been paralleled to NaruSaku in the series: such as how Naruto and Sakura start their relationship at some point, how their relationship evolves from a simple relationship into a full-burst married couple and why not, their life with a child and a free-war zone. Think about what failed in every relationship that has been paralleled with NaruSaku… Let’s take it on turns. Starting from the past (old shinobi era) till present (Naruto’s current generation).
1. Mito Uzumaki and Hashirama Senju. They were happily married couple, we even have Mito herself giving Kushina the secret to bear the burden of being a jinchuuriki as in, fill herself with love, which Kushina later does by being loved by Minato. Besides the happily married couple, they even had children and grandchildren – Tsunade-hime herself. So one would think…where did they fail? Well, not a failure per se, but we have to remember the times Hashirama and Mito lived in: a time filled with great hatred and wars all around. Mito is left alone after her husband is killed on the battlefield. Sad, isn’t it?
2. Tsunade and Dan/Tsunade and Jiraiya. Do I even need to mention this one? As we all know, Dan died, Tsunade being unable to save him due to less-medical knowledge at the time which makes Tsunade put the basis of the Medical Ninja System nowadays, while Jiraiya dies on the battlefield, right after Tsunade allowed her heart to open-up once more after mourning the death of her former lover. Tsunade is once again left alone, ironically, like her grandmother.
3. Obito and Rin. Oh, but don’t we all know that one as well? Obito sadly dies before he can confess his love to Rin, Rin being left alone as well, from a certain standpoint.
4. Minato and Kushina. We all that one very well. They did get to live their love story but sadly, they both get killed and unable to live their happy family dream.
5. Yahiko and Konan. Yahiko gets killed in the middle of war, ironically, Konan as well is left alone.
What did all these couples had in common? They lived in an era filled with hatred and wars and one way or another, they couldn’t live their normal, happy life next to their soul mate. But Naruto and Sakura will surpass all of them.
Unlike Obito, Naruto will confess to Sakura. Unlike Rin, Sakura already has saved Naruto and she won’t be left alone. Unlike Yahiko, he won’t get killed in the war and will live to find peace and fulfill that dream, same thing Yahiko wished, and will be able to protect his friends. Unlike Konan, Sakura as well, won’t be left alone and she was already able to save him. At least up until now.
Unlike Jiraiya/Dan, he won’t die or neither be continuously rejected and he will manage to protect Sakura/have her return his feelings – which already happened up to a certain extent in the manga. Unlike his parents, he will live to have a happy family with Sakura and will be able to grow old together in a peaceful era, not having to worry about losing one another on the battlefield, unlike it happened to Mito and Hashirama.
This new generation will surpass the old one in all its issues, be it we’re talking about the romantic subplot or any other major plot points.
Also what else validates the suppositions of the project being a series of canon movies? Well, remember Obito’s and Hashirama’s words about the next generation? That right there was clear foreshadowing from Kishi’s part. When the advertisements for The Last: Naruto the movie appeared talking about the new generation and then the chapters with Obito telling Kakashi he needs to take care of the next generation and Hashirama stating that he leaves everything on the next generation, I knew it then the fact that Kishi is gonna follow Toriyama’s footsteps but, like he did with the manga itself, on his own ways, even though Dragon Ball and Toriyama himself serves as inspiration.
Why am I sure about NaruSaku, you wonder? When all the rest of the fandom freaked out about Naruto’s comment about finding a girl like his mother and looked confused over Naruto’s line about Kushina Uzumaki being a person with a good heart deep down (or something along the lines), I just smirked a little. Why? Because we all know what Naruto meant when he said that things about the girlfriend part aren’t going that well but he’s giving his best, but besides that which girl we know being tender and deep down having a good heart, just like his mother, despite both seemingly being “violent” persons? Oh, right! None other than Sakura Haruno. Kishi always described Sakura that despite all the wrongdoings she is a girl with a great heart deep down herself. He even mentioned her kindness these latest chapters. So don’t tell me that any of you had no light-bulb around his head somewhere…
Also, besides that, Sakura’s intentions regarding Sasuke were made clear: she still loves him because he is a dear comrade of hers, they were both part of Team 7, but all she wants is to save him and that’s it. She doesn’t want Sasuke for herself or any other romantic implications. She just wants to save him from that path of darkness out of the kindness of her heart. Of course, fans from all camps jumped to conclusions like always, forgetting the context of the manga, but I guess that happens in all the fandoms, right?
NaruSaku is the manga’s pivotal pairing, no matter how people don’t want to admit it. In terms of a hetero pairing, they are it. That’s it, there’s no turnaround. The manga’s content clearly shows us that and if it’s someone who doubts it well, that’s on that person, not myself. Besides NaruSasu, it’s the only pairing that has so many parallels with the old generation and we all know how much Kishimoto loves his parallels. To be frank, I do too. Just not excessively. But hey, each of us have our own little “obsessions”, I guess, haha.
Besides Naruto and Sakura as a couple, there are a lot of Naruto and Sakura as individual character plot points that have yet to be concluded. How did Sakura learn to summon, how did she learned Byakugo, the technique? When did she make the contract with the Slugs? What about Shikkotsurin? But what about her genjutsu skills? IMO, this will soon be resolved by Sakura breaking out of Sasuke’s genjutsu, but that’s just on me. Maybe it won’t be that way yet and it will be something Kishi touches in the movie(s). We also have Naruto’s personal goals, surpassing all the Hokages and becoming one of them himself. We’re yet to see that with the current revelation of Kakashi’s current-to-be Hokage position.
We also need to know what will become of Hinata, who’s supposed to become the heir to her clan. What will she do with the system that governs the Hyugas? Not to mention, we’re still yet to find the secrets behind the scattering of the Uzumakis and Karin Uzumaki’s own background, which Kishimoto promised to touch upon and so many other questions that need to be answered.
Therefore, with the info we have, it’s safe to assume that although Naruto as a manga is ending, the series will still live on for a couple of… years, maybe? At least that’s what I think.
What do you think? How do you imagine this will be played out? Feel free to leave some answers down below, I am curious about what you guys think!
With that being said,
See ya next time,