Saturday, February 14, 2009

Naruto Uzumaki

Naruto Uzumaki (うずまき ナルト Uzumaki Naruto?) is a fictional character in the anime and manga franchise Naruto created by Masashi Kishimoto. Naruto is the main protagonist and titular character of the series. In creating Naruto, Kishimoto wished to keep the character "simple and stupid" while giving him many attributes of Son Goku, the main character from the Dragon Ball franchise. However, Kishimoto also added his dark past to make him look unique. Naruto's initial design has been changed several times by Kishimoto giving him different clothes to make him more appealing to Western audience as well as to be easier to draw.

In the series, Naruto is a ninja affiliated with the fictional village of Konohagakure. The villagers ostracize Naruto because the nine-tailed demon fox, a malevolent creature that attacked Konohagakure, is sealed within his body. As such, Naruto has ambitions of becoming the village's leader, the Hokage in order make everybody respect him. However, Naruto maintains a cheerful and boisterous personality, allowing him to befriend several other Konoha ninja throughout the series, as well as ninja from other villages. He builds an especially close relationship with Team 7, the ninja team where he belongs, treating them as his family. Naruto appears in all of the series' films, as well as in other media related to the franchise, including all video games and OVAs.

Several anime and manga publications have expressed acclaim and criticism of Naruto's character. Some view him as a stereotypical manga and anime protagonist comparable to those in many other shōnen manga, while others have praised his personality as well as his development in the series. Nevertheless, Naruto has remained highly popular with the Naruto reader base, placing high in several popularity polls.[7] Merchandise based on Naruto has also been released, including figurines and plush dolls.