Naruto, Masashi Kishimoto’s bestselling ninja manga, will come to an end next month after a 15-year run. The final chapter will be published Nov. 10 in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump.
The impending end doesn’t come as a surprise to most readers, as Kishimoto announced in 2012 that the “series is rising towards its climax,” and just last year revealed Naruto was “in its final phase.”
Debuting in September 1999 in Weekly Shonen Jump, Naruto has been collected in Japan into 70 volumes (the 71st will be released in November); Viz Media will publish the 57th volume next month in North America. More than 200 million copies have been published worldwide (130 million in Japan alone).
Of course, Naruto grew far beyond the page, inspiring hit anime series, five OVAs, and a slew of films (The Last: Naruto the Movie opens Dec. 6 in Japan) and video games. The manga also spawned a pair of spinoffs Rock Lee & His Ninja Pals (itself adapted as an anime series) and, just this year, Sasuke Uchiha’s Shuringan Legend.
The Asahi Shimbun notes that Naruto and Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece have been largely responsible for the popularity of Weekly Shonen Jump.
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