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. When 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 unique. Naruto's initial design has been changed several times by Kishimoto, providing the character with different clothes to make him more appealing to Western audiences, in addition to being easier to draw and color.
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 to gain recognition amongst his peers. Nonetheless, 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 original video animation.
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 fan-base, placing high in several popularity polls. Merchandise based on Naruto has also been released, including figurines and plush dolls.
When Kishimoto created Naruto's character, he incorporated a number of traits he felt made an ideal hero: a straightforward way of thinking, a mischievous side, and many of the attributes possessed by Goku from the Dragon Ball franchise. He also made sure to keep Naruto "simple and stupid." Kishimoto did not model Naruto after anyone in particular, instead conceiving him as childlike with a dark side induced by his harsh past. Despite this, he is always optimistic, a trait Kishimoto says makes him unique. Naruto's personality is, by and large, childish in nature. Kishimoto frequently tries to show this when illustrating Naruto, such as depicting him mimicking a turtle like a child might do on the manga cover of volume 10.
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