In October 2002, Studio Pierrot released the anime adaptation of Mashashi Kishimoto’s Naruto. The manga was a big deal at the time and was grouped in with Bleach and One Piece as “the Big Three,” wherein each were the most popular and longest-running shonen series at the time. Naruto’s anime had similar success: across 20 years, it spawned a large amount of merchandise including films, light novels, and games (some of which still persist to this day). Even though the big 2-0 milestone came months ago, Pierrot isn’t quite done celebrating the ninja series quite yet.
Revealed ahead of the weekend by the Naruto Twitter account, Pierrot is releasing four wholly new episodes of the original Naruto anime. The studio hasn’t divulged any details beyond that at the moment, but they’ll be premiering in September, following a selection of episodes re-airing in Japan during the summer. Back in October 2022, Studio Pierrot released a 10-minute retrospective of the original series, Naruto Part I (2002-2007) and its sequel series, Naruto Shippuden (2007-2017). That retrospective featured new animation in some spots and an art style reminiscent of the one currently seen in the sequel series, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations.
To go along with that, Pierrot also revealed that production on Boruto Part I has wrapped, and will end with the show’s upcoming 293rd episode on March 26. Part II of that series is currently in production, but a release window for it hasn’t been given at time of writing. While Boruto has a solid fanbase of its own, it’s yet to reach the heights of its predecessor; beyond the near 300-episode count, it has a handful of light novels and some video games, it’s yet to spawn a live stage play or even a movie of its own beyond the 2015 movie that acted as a semi-backdoor pilot ahead of the Boruto anime’s release in 2017.
If the idea of new Naruto episodes excites you, all of the original show’s episodes can be watched over on Crunchyroll and Hulu. It’s a lot of episodes, but there’s plenty of time to refresh one’s memories ahead of the new four episodes in the fall.
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