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15 Naruto Facts For Actual Ninjas

Love Naruto? Find out why the show is the way it is with this fascinating list of amazing anime fun facts!

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Beano Team
Last Updated:  November 16th 2023

Have you noticed Naruto has been slowly growing? Or do you know how he got his name? Find out these highly classified Naruto secrets in our epic list of TV facts! Because it turns out there's even more to this amazing show than you thought!

If you're not into Naruto after all (weird), then have a go on these anime facts, these My Hero Academia facts, or for a different kind of animated mischief entirely - try out these Beano facts! Ok back to Naruto, then!

1. The Writer Made It Up As He Went Along!

Writing a long-running hit TV show isn't easy! It takes a lot of work, and the process has to go through loads of different editors and producers too. So the writer of Naruto, Masahi Kishimoto (remember his name, he comes up a lot in this list) didn't have a full plan for everything. Instead, he made up lots of the story on the fly! And we're glad he did!

2. Kakashi used to have a catchphrase

Naruto | Pierrot | Disney XD / Toonami

Early on in the show, Kakashi used to end his sentences with "gozaru", which is an old-fashioned polite phrase. It doesn't mean much on it's own, but just makes him sound polite. They eventually dropped it, as it didn't match his character as he developed throughout the show.

3. The show was originally set in the present day

In the pilot version of Naruto, Kishimoto had originally planned to set the show in modern Japan - in a city, even! The hero was mostly going to solve crimes like art theft. Almost unreognisable from the show it ended up being!

4. The toads are named after famous actors!

And their names are:

Gamabunta = Bunta Sugawara
Gamaken = Takakura Ken
Shima = Iwashita Shima

They were famous actors in the 80s and 90s! We're not sure if they look like them as well!

5. Naruto wasn't meant to be a ninja

At first, Naruto Uzumaki was supposed to be able to use a form of magic instead of ninjutsu. But the writing team thought this was confusing, so just made Naruto a ninja. This makes more sense - and he still kind of gets to use magic anyway!

6. Is it too violent? Maybe!

Naruto | Pierrot | Disney XD / Toonami

Once the anime was aired, it soon got a few high-profile complaints about the number of characters who died in the show. The people who were most upset about it even contacted the sponsors of the show asking them to pull out, but luckily they continued supporting the show! Phew!

7. Naruto kept Kishimoto busy

@ReedPop | Youtube

And that's an understatement! The show took years and years of work, and that obviously had an effect on Kishimoto's personal life. In particular he got married just before the show started production, and he made his wife wait 10 years before going on theor Honeymoon because of the show!

8. Naruto References Dragon Ball...A Lot

Goku Dragon Ball Super
Dragon Ball Super | Toei Animation | Manga Entertainment | Pop

Masahi Kishimoto has admitted several times being inspired by Dragon Ball Z - as it was probably the most succesful anime of the era, so you can't blame him! Many of teh characters have similar traits and stylesm and some even have the same names! Both shows have a Goku for instance, and a Roshi!

9. Kurama is based on a real demon

Naruto | Pierrot | Disney XD / Toonami

The inspiration for Kurama is a real demon from Japanese folklore, called Kitsune. Like Kurama, Kitsune is a nine-tailed fox and there are several different versions. One of them, the Ninko, can possess humans! A little like how Kurama lives inside Naruto?

10. Neji’s forehead marks

Naruto | Pierrot | Disney XD / Toonami

...are different in the anime and manga! This is a fact that only the most eagle-eyed of Naruto fans would notice, but it's true! They actually changed the symbol because they felt the original one was too close to an offensive real-world symbol. Good move, Team Naruto!

11. Naruto grows over the series

Naruto | Pierrot | Disney XD / Toonami

Naruto slowly but noticeably grows taller over time! During Part I, his height was about 145cm. But in Part II it's mentioned that he's 166 centimeters! Naruto starts the show at age twelve, so going through a growth spurt is to be expected. What's unusual is that they went to that much detail!

12. The noodle connection

Naruto gets his name from Narutomaki, a kind of tasty garnish you often get on top of ramen in Japan. Noodles are a big deal in the show (as we'll see again in a minute!) so it's not totally surprising that Naruto is named after a kind of steamed fishcake!

13. The headbands = laziness!

Naruto | Pierrot | Disney XD / Toonami

Originally, the writing team wanted all the characters to have goggles instead of headbands. But they soon realised that the googles would need lots of extra animation so that they would reflect light properly. In the end they decided that headbands were just easier all round!

14. The Naruto run

Naruto | Pierrot | Disney XD / Toonami

As you'll know - Naruto characters often run in an... unusual way. This is based on an old ninja story, but it has created a whole load of modern memes! Some Naruto fans even organise special "Naruto run" events, where they all meet up and run about like Naruto! Some have even made it on the news, when Naruto fans tried to run around near a classified US Air Force base!

15. Naruto’s favorite ramen shop “Ichiraku” exists in real life

We've saved the best until last! Ichiraku is a ramen shop in Kyushu near the university that Masashi Kishimoto graduated from. You can actually go and visit it yourself! You'd better get saving up for a trip to Japan, because there's a bowl of ramen at Ichiraku that's got your name on it!