The world of anime is rather broad, with thousands of animated works released each year. Besides the legendary Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z animated series, there are a handful of other anime that have captured the hearts, minds, imaginations, and rabid loyalty of fans the world over, such as Neon Genesis Evangelion, One Piece, and the crown jewel of them all, Naruto. Well, the fans of the “talk-jutsu” master ninja should brace themselves for a journey down memory lane, but with a bit of a twist—to mark the 20th anniversary of the iconic series Studio Pierrot has announced a remake of Naruto.
And no, we’re not discussing another chapter in the tale of Boruto, who has his own spin-off, much to the dismay of many, MANY fans. This remake will be a refreshing and newly-animated dive into the early adventures of Team 7, as Naruto, Sasuke, Kakashi, and Sakura, under the tutelage of famed shinobi Kakashi Hatake, embark on their quest to become legendary shinobi. Unfortunately, the details regarding the remake are scarce, and the fandom is still debating what exactly this “remake” will actually revisit or outright retcon. Well, before we try and answer that question, let’s dive into Naruto’s history first.
The original Naruto anime, first released in Japan in 2002, was primarily focused on Naruto Uzumaki, a young boy harnessing the power of the Nine-Tailed fox, a force of untold destruction that devastated the leaf village before the onset of the series. Naruto dreams of becoming the strongest ninja and the Hokage (leader) of his leaf village. Throughout the series, our eponymous hero faced various challenges from enemies both within and without, confronting his past and stigma, all while forming unbreakable bonds with his friends. The series narrative, which is mostly about friendship, perseverance, personal growth, and exciting ninja battles, made the anime a cultural phenomenon, spiking a massive following.
The run of the original anime series concluded in 2007, but its narrative continued in Naruto: Shippuden—a “time skip” continuation of the original anime corresponding to Part II of the Naruto manga. Shippuden continued Naruto’s story into his late teens and early adulthood, delving deeper into the overarching plot while also exploring the past of several characters and bringing numerous long-lasting conflicts within the series to an end. By the end of the series, the eponymous hero earned the respect and admiration of the entire Hidden Leaf Village and the broader ninja world.
However, the actual moment of Naruto becoming a Hokage and achieving his dream was never explored in either Naruto or Naruto: Shippuden, though he has been depicted as the Seventh Hokage in 2015’s Boruto: Naruto the Movie, a cinematic prequel to Boruto: Naruto Next Generation, which centers on Naruto’s son. So, for all intents and purposes, the mainline Naruto series has found a bookend or kunai to stick with the theme and has been completed. With that said a handful of Naruto fans believe that the creators are in the process of producing an official remake of the original series.
To be entirely honest, Studio Pierrot did little to disprove any rumors regarding the remake of the original series. They even launched Road to Naruto, a ten-minute recap of some of the best Naruto and Naruto: Shippuden moments with completely remastered animation, as part of the series’ 20th anniversary. Many believed that Road to Naruto was a trial run for the long-awaited remake, with the series’ 20th anniversary being a perfect delivery date. Unfortunately, however, there’s no official news of a Naruto remake on the horizon, at least in terms of remaking or remastering the original series.
Instead, what Studio Pierrot and the fans are collectively referring to as a Naruto Remake is actually an upcoming miniseries announced last year and not a complete remake of the original manga adaptation. While these facts are disheartening for die-hard fans of the series who would like to see Naruto receive the same treatment Dragon Ball Z received with Dragon Ball Kai, there is still much to look forward to on Konoha’s horizon. The miniseries will consist of four new episodes whose plot details remain unknown, apart from the fact that their story takes place within the already established narrative.
This means that the new episodes won’t introduce any changes, but possible expansions to the already established storyline, throwing the idea of a remake, at least in a traditional sense, out the window. The new story might address some minor inconsistencies or simply introduce a new storyline along with awesome new ninja battles made even more stunning with new animation and lighting technologies.
One thing is certain: the purported remake will introduce a whole new generation to Boruto’s dad, showing the younger viewers just how iconic Naruto was before he became a Hogake of the Hidden Leaf Village. So, the upcoming episodes might not be the Naruto remake the fans have been expecting, and not a typical HD remaster (Naruto already received an HD remaster in 2017), but that doesn’t mean it won’t be anything short of a masterpiece.
And while the possibility of a canon Naruto remake remains unlikely at this point, the four new episodes will be enough to satiate the thirst of die-hard fans while attracting new audiences to a legendary anime. The all-new animation and story will breathe fresh life into a timeless tale, making the new Naruto episodes a must-watch for anime fans—Believe it!