“Dug his own grave..”: Masashi Kishimoto’s 1 Regret in Naruto Made the Storytelling Far More Complicated

Naruto might have loved creating his clones, but Masashi Kishimoto did NOT!

masashi kishimoto, naruto
Credits: Youtube/vizmedia


  • Masashi Kishimoto explained in an interview why he introduced the Kage Bunshin move early in Naruto.
  • It was to show Naruto's potential as a character.
  • However, the multiple clones that kept increasing in Naruto was difficult for the author to keep up with.
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Masashi Kishimoto could be one of the most celebrated mangakas in Japan, but that does not mean he is perfect. Even Kishimoto’s masterpiece, Naruto has faced some problems in its initial stage pertaining to long-term planning.


In an interview with Fuji TV in 2015, the mangaka took a deep dive into some of the problems he created himself in Naruto and how he later dealt with them.

Why Masashi Kishimoto Gave Naruto Kage Bunshin From the Beginning

Naruto using multiple clones Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto
Naruto using multiple clones | Naruto Studio Pierrot

Kage Bunchin no Jutsu or the Shadow Clone Technique allows the user to create copies of themselves. The chakra of the user is evenly divided among the clones and as Naruto’s chakra increased, so did the number of his clones.


In the interview, Masashi Kishimoto was asked why it felt like he had dug his own grave with Kage Bunshin, one of the most popular attacks used in Naruto and also the protagonist’s favorite move.

It turns out that giving Naruto such awesome power right from the beginning was done to show how much promise the boy held. Naruto nailed the technique in the very first episode, and it led the audience to expect far more from him. (An expectation he delivered on.)

Despite it being a successful strategy, Kishimoto confessed that introducing the move and empowering Naruto so early had their own consequences.


The Early Introduction of Kage Bunshin no Jutsu Became a Headache

Kakashi's clones in Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto
Kakashi’s clones | Naruto Studio Pierrot

While the Kage Bunshin no Jutsu served its purpose, it was also Kishimoto’s ticket to stressing himself out. The main problem was that as the user’s chakra increased, it enabled the creation of more clones.

Similarly, as the power of Naruto grew over the years, the number of his clones kept increasing. This was the same with many other characters as well. It is an extremely cool move for fans to read about, but let’s think about it from the mangaka’s perspective for a second.

Drawing a few characters in a single panel is difficult as it is, but drawing a page full of Narutos? That must be downright annoying. Everytime the technique was used, dozens of unsupervised Narutos were just roaming all over the page.


The author clearly summarizes his struggle:

That’s right. He [Naruto] quickly got stronger, didn’t he? When he improved, his number of bunshins increased too. I just thought ‘Ive really done it now!

But do you know what is worse than dozens of Naruto? Hundreds of them. And the same goes for every character who used the move in the manga. Drawing the intricate details of the characters must have been draining, to say the least.

Naruto in Naruto Anime
Naruto | Studio Pierrot

Another concern was the power balance and the introduction of new power-ups. Since Naruto began with a strong start, he would have to keep gaining more and more power and eventually overtake the rest of the characters in terms of strength.


Thankfully, Kage Bunshin served its purpose marvelously, and Kishimoto got enough juice out of it to compensate for all the hard work.

You can read Naruto on Viz Media and watch the anime on Crunchyroll.


Written by Aaheli Pradhan

Articles Published: 261

Aaheli is an anime content writer at FandomeWire. With four years of experience under her belt, she is a living, breathing encyclopedia for anime and manga. She believes in living a slow life, surrounded by incomplete art projects and her beloved cat.