5 Best Masashi Kishimoto Books to Read – Naruto and More

If you’re a fan of manga and anime, then you’ve probably heard of Masashi Kishimoto, the Japanese manga artist and creator of the popular manga series, Naruto. However, there’s much more to Kishimoto than just Naruto. In this article, we will explore the life and career of Masashi Kishimoto, the impact of Naruto on pop culture, and explore some of his other works. But first, let’s start with Kishimoto’s early life and influences.

5 Best Masashi Kishimoto Books to Read - Naruto and More

The Life and Career of Masashi Kishimoto

Kishimoto was born on November 8, 1974, in Nagi, Okayama, Japan. As a child, he was fascinated by manga and anime, particularly the works of Akira Toriyama, the creator of the Dragon Ball series. He would frequently spend his time reading manga and watching anime. However, it wasn’t until high school that he decided to pursue a career in manga.

Early Life and Influences

As a child, Kishimoto was a shy and introverted kid who found solace in the world of manga and anime. He was particularly drawn to the action-packed adventures of Akira Toriyamas Dragon Ball series. Kishimoto was inspired by Toriyama’s unique art style and intricate plotlines, which sparked his creativity and imagination.

After graduating from high school, Kishimoto enrolled in a college manga course, where he further developed his skills and learned about the different aspects of creating manga. He spent countless hours honing his craft, studying the works of other manga artists, and experimenting with different art styles.

Despite his passion and dedication, Kishimoto faced numerous rejections and setbacks early on in his career. His first manga work, Karakuri, was rejected by the magazine Fresh Jump. But Kishimoto refused to give up on his dream and continued to submit his work to various magazines.

The Creation of Naruto

In 1999, Kishimoto finally got his big break with his first published work, Naruto. The series was an instant hit, captivating readers with its unique blend of action, adventure, and coming-of-age themes.

Naruto is set in a fictional world where ninjas exist and are trained in ninja techniques. The story follows the young ninja Naruto Uzumaki as he aspires to become the strongest ninja in his village and gain the acceptance of his peers. Kishimoto’s unique art style, intricate plotlines, and well-developed characters are what made Naruto so successful and popular.

The series has been serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump from 1999 to 2014 and has been adapted into multiple anime series, movies, and video games. Naruto has become a cultural phenomenon, inspiring a generation of manga and anime fans around the world.

Beyond Naruto: Other Works and Projects

After the success of Naruto, Kishimoto has continued to create manga and expand his portfolio. In 2019, he launched a new series called Samurai 8: The Tale of Hachimaru, which follows the adventures of a young samurai who dreams of exploring the galaxy.

Kishimoto has also collaborated with other manga artists and authors, including the creator of One Piece, Eiichiro Oda. He has made guest appearances in other manga series, such as Bakuman and Death Note, and has even created a one-shot manga featuring the iconic video game character Mario.

Despite his success, Kishimoto remains humble and dedicated to his craft. He continues to push the boundaries of manga and inspire new generations of artists and creators.

The Naruto Series: A Cultural Phenomenon

The Original Naruto Manga

Naruto Graphic Novels

The original Naruto manga ran for 15 years and was serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump from 1999 to 2014. The series follows the story of Naruto Uzumaki, a young ninja who dreams of becoming the strongest ninja in his village and gaining the respect of his peers.

The Naruto manga quickly became a sensation in Japan, with fans eagerly awaiting each new installment. As the series progressed, it gained an ever-growing following around the world, eventually becoming one of the most popular manga series of all time.

Naruto Shippuden: The Next Generation

In 2007, the Naruto anime series was updated to Naruto Shippuden, which picks up where the first series left off and focuses on Naruto’s growth as a ninja and his quest to save his friend Sasuke. The series concluded in 2017 after 500 episodes, making it one of the longest-running anime series in history.

Naruto Shippuden was not only a commercial success, but it was also critically acclaimed. The series was praised for its complex characters, intricate plotlines, and stunning animation. It also tackled mature themes such as loss, sacrifice, and the consequences of war, making it a series that appealed to both young and adult audiences.

Spin-offs and Side Stories

In addition to the main Naruto series, Kishimoto has also created a number of spin-off and side stories, including:

These spin-offs and side stories have allowed fans to delve deeper into the Naruto universe and explore new characters and storylines. They have also introduced new themes and ideas, such as the struggles of the next generation to live up to the legacy of their parents.

The Impact of Naruto on Pop Culture

Naruto has become a cultural phenomenon, influencing and inspiring a whole generation of manga and anime fans. The series has spawned numerous spin-offs, movies, video games, and merchandise, and has been referenced in countless TV shows, movies, and other media.

But Naruto’s impact extends beyond just pop culture. The themes of friendship, loyalty, and perseverance that are present in the series have resonated with fans worldwide, making it a beloved and enduring series.

Furthermore, Naruto has also had a significant impact on the world of cosplay. Fans around the world have created elaborate costumes based on their favorite Naruto characters, attending conventions and events dressed as Naruto, Sasuke, Sakura, and other beloved characters.

Overall, the Naruto series has left an indelible mark on pop culture and has become a beloved classic that will continue to inspire and entertain fans for generations to come.

Exploring Other Works by Masashi Kishimoto

Samurai 8: The Tale of Hachimaru

Samurai 8

Samurai 8 is Kishimoto’s most recent work, which he co-created with illustrator Akira Okubo. The series follows the story of Hachimaru, a boy who dreams of becoming a samurai and exploring the cosmos. The series draws inspiration from traditional Japanese samurai stories and features Kishimoto’s unique art style.

Mario: The One-Shot Manga

In 2015, Kishimoto created a one-shot manga featuring the iconic video game character Mario. The manga was published in Weekly Shonen Jump and features Kishimoto’s art style and storytelling abilities.

Collaborations and Guest Appearances

Kishimoto has also collaborated with other manga artists and made guest appearances in various other works. One of his notable collaborations was with the manga artist Akira Toriyama, who provided illustrations for a Naruto video game.

The Art of Masashi Kishimoto

Kishimoto’s Unique Art Style

Kishimoto’s art style is truly one of a kind. His use of bold lines and dynamic shading creates a sense of movement and energy in his illustrations. But it’s his attention to detail that really sets his work apart. From the intricate patterns on clothing to the subtle expressions on characters’ faces, Kishimoto’s illustrations are full of small details that bring his characters to life.

One of the most striking aspects of Kishimoto’s art style is his use of contrast. He often juxtaposes light and dark colors to create a dramatic effect. This is particularly evident in his fight scenes, where the use of black and white creates a sense of intensity and urgency.

The Evolution of His Art Throughout the Years

Kishimoto’s art has undergone a significant transformation over the years. In the early days of Naruto, his illustrations were more simplistic and lacked the level of detail that would later become his trademark. However, as the series progressed, Kishimoto’s art became more refined and detailed.

One of the most notable changes in Kishimoto’s art style is his use of color. In the early days of Naruto, his illustrations were primarily black and white. But as the series progressed, Kishimoto began to incorporate more color into his work. This added a new dimension to his illustrations, making them even more vibrant and eye-catching.

Iconic Character Designs and Illustrations

Kishimoto’s character designs are some of the most iconic in all of manga. From Naruto’s bright orange jumpsuit to Sasuke’s brooding demeanor, Kishimoto’s characters are instantly recognizable. But it’s not just their appearance that makes them so memorable. Kishimoto has a talent for creating characters with complex personalities and compelling backstories.

One of the most famous illustrations in all of Naruto is the cover of volume one. This image, which features Naruto standing atop a cliff with his arms outstretched, has become an iconic symbol of the series. It perfectly captures the sense of adventure and excitement that permeates throughout Naruto.

In conclusion, Masashi Kishimoto is a true master of his craft. His unique art style, attention to detail, and iconic character designs have made him one of the most beloved manga artists of all time. Whether you’re a fan of Naruto or just appreciate great art, Kishimoto’s work is definitely worth exploring.


How many copies of Naruto have been sold across the world?

First released in 1999, over 250 million copies of Naruto have been sold. The series ran for 15 years, concluding in 2014. It still remains hugely popular among manga fans

Has Naruto been adapted?

Yes – Naruto was first adapted in 2007. The series is comprised of 500 episodes and is considered to belong in the Big 3 of animes alongside One Piece and Bleach.

What age range is the Naruto manga appropriate for?

Naruto is targeted toward readers aged 13 and older. Many adult readers enjoy both the manga and its subsequent anime adaptation.

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Eddison Monroe
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