Masashi Kishimoto Doesn’t Want Artists to Make the Same Mistake He Did With Naruto: “It’s quite costly”

Masashi Kishimoto's top advice for rookie mangakas that can change lives.



  • Masashi Kishimoto's creation process for Naruto involved a complete hand-drawn approach.
  • However, he strongly advises against it and has realized the need to go digital.
  • He also talked about the unrealistic expectations from mangakas.
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Masashi Kishimoto, the mastermind behind Naruto, made it to the list of top mangakas. But not everyone does, and a majority of wannabe writers fail to reach their goal.


Creating a unique and interesting story, dividing it into individually interesting chapters, and completing it with detailed artwork isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Doing all these things within a strict deadline on a daily basis is a herculean task.

Thus, if you are interested in the manga creating process, it would do you good to pay heed to Kishimoto’s words.


Masashi Kishimoto Does Not Recommend the Manual Method

Mangaka Masashi Kishimoto. | Credit: Screengrab from Star Session's interview on YouTube.
Mangaka Masashi Kishimoto. | Credit: Screengrab from Star Session’s interview on YouTube.

In an interview with Anime News Network, Masashi Kishimoto talked about his creative process. The whole journey of manga creation, from the sketches and storyboards all the way to the finished artwork, is done manually. This process includes a step-by-step hand-drawn method.

While Kishimoto himself has always used the manual procedure, he no longer recommends it for any upcoming authors.

I don’t recommend the manual method anymore. It’s quite costly and it’s quite a lot of work and takes a lot of time. I definitely recommend, for those of you who are just getting started or are not yet started, to go digital

While manually creating manga has its own set of satisfactions, it also includes a whole new level of crises. A single mistake could result in the whole page being thrown away, and redoing them also involves an extra layer of unpaid labor.

naruto uzumaki has always been a knucklehead
Naruto Uzumaki has always been a knucklehead (Credit: Studio Pierrot)

The digital creation process removes a lot of problems and does not need the artist to have an extremely cluttered workspace as everything from drawing pens to tones and paints are concentrated into a single device, which also comes with the Godly undo button.

Still, the author warns people that digitally creating a series isn’t the end-all for a mangaka.

There’s no software out there, no digital technology is going to help you make a better story.

Indeed, if the story isn’t interesting, no amount of great artwork or time-saving skills and high-class technology can save you.


Naruto‘s Author Discusses the Impossible Mangaka Lifestyle

Bakuman Manga
Bakuman Manga | Viz Media

Bakuman is a manga and anime series by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata that deals with the creative process behind manga. It has two protagonists who aspire to become mangakas and show the realistic side of the manga community and lifestyle.

The series inevitably snuck into the discussion with Kishimoto. The author was asked if Bakuman accurately represented what it is like to be a Shonen mangaka. Kishimoto answered that he has had the experience of being yelled at by editors about deadlines. So he thinks 99 percent of what is depicted in the manga is true. So what is the other 1% that is not accurate in Bakuman?

I really don’t think it’s feasible for high school students to really make it professionally and still go to school at the same time! But certainly I had to work even while I was sick.

Being a mangaka is a full-time job, and it would be foolish to think it can be balanced with anything else.


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.