By Kyra Louie, Staff Writer
I want to welcome all of you body pillow fanatics, cosplayers, otakus, weeaboos, anime watchers, manga readers and the like, because this is going to be one heck of a ride. I might look like a normal human, but as vice president of BU’s Anime Club, I took it upon myself to let the world know that “Naruto” will end on Nov. 10, 2014.
If you look at the first layer of anime and manga, you will find the shōnen genre: the fine line where Japanese cartoons are considered tasteful pop culture (airing on Toonami and Adult Swim), where people will not label you as “that person obsessed with anime” after exclaiming how good you think it is. The trifecta of shōnen is “One Piece,” “Bleach” and “Naruto.”
The ninja series is one of what we in the weeaboo-culture like to refer as a “gateway anime”: the series that threw you headfirst into the anime/manga culture where you now reside.
For those that don’t know, “Naruto” is about an outcast boy living in a ninja village who has to overcome obstacles and opponents, while making friends, into order to become the best ninja in the world.
Since its manga debut in 1999 (the anime started in 2002), “Naruto” has been a global sensation for the past 15 years. Between the plethora of merchandise (wall scrolls, action figures, key chains, posters, what have you) and multitude of video games, it can be classified as one of the more internationally iconic series.
The final chapter of “Naruto” will be released in Shonen Jump’s 50th issue, according to publisher Shueisha Inc. Masashi Kishimoto, the author of this wonderful series, had hinted last year that “Naruto” only had a year and a half left of the story.
Not to fret, the anime still has a lot of catching up to do (especially with subtitles), and the manga has about four weeks to close the final Sasuke vs. Naruto battle and end the series on a (hopefully) happy note. For those that buy the translated volumes, the end of manga will be at least a few months away. Kishimoto also released information about a final “Naruto” movie that would be released in Japan some time in early December 2014.
Naruto has sold over 300 million copies in Japan since its debut, and over 200 million copies in Europe and America. With almost 600 episodes, seven movies, over 41 video games and countless cosplayers and fans (including me) at conventions around the world, Nov. 10 will mark the end of an era.