Naruto: Kishimoto Nearly Made a Dog the 4th Hokage Until His Editor Saved Him from a Manga-ending Blunder

How Masashi Kishimoto's editor saved him from messing up the Fourth Hokage's spot.

Minato Namikaze Naruto Dog 4th Hokage

SUMMARY

  • Masashi Kishimoto initially planned to make the Fourth Hokage a ninja dog instead of Minato.
  • His editor stopped him from making the decision as he was overthinking.
  • Instead Minato was instated as the Fourth Hokage and Naruto's father.
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Masashi Kishimoto is never short on brilliant characters. In fact, the unrivaled backstories of some characters are what makes Naruto as famous as it is. Yet, not even Kishimoto is immune to silly plot mistakes.

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Thankfully, he had an editor who could catch such errors before they could reach the public. One such silly idea struck Kishimoto while he was constructing the past Hokage in Naruto.

(This article contains major Naruto spoilers, so proceed with caution.)

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The Original Fourth Hokage in Naruto

The Hokage Rock in Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto
The Hokage Rock in Naruto | Studio Pierrot

In an interview with Masashi Kishimoto regarding The Last: Naruto the Movie, the author opened up about some hilarious situations surrounding the series. One such situation was regarding the Hokage Rock, the mountain where the faces of the Hokage were carved with stone.

If you have watched/read Naruto from the very beginning, you must remember there were four Hokage featured on the wall before the addition of Tsunade. The Hokage were Hashirama Senju, Tobiraa Senju, Hiruzen Sarutobi, and Minato Namikaze, the father of Naruto.

Having lived as an orphan his entire life, Naruto had no idea that he was the Fourth Hokage’s son until much later in the series. But did you know that the position of the Fourth Hokage was extremely close to being given away to a dog?

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Before coming up with Minato as the 4th Hokage, Minato’s spot on the Hokage Monument was actually taken by a dog.

The author explained that he wanted a Ninken or ninja dog to have the Fourth Hokage’s spot. Ninkens have heightened senses and abilities, and some can even talk, as proved by the Ninkens summoned by Kakashi.

Ninja Dogs in Naruto
Ninja Dogs in Naruto | Studio Pierrot

In one episode, the Ninken even helped Kakashi train a troublesome student. Thus, the idea of a dog smart and brave enough to be a Hokage was naturally born in Kishimoto’s head. However, his editor stopped him from implementing the idea by saying the author was thinking of a tangent again.

The Inception of Minato by Masashi Kishimoto

Minato in Naruto Shippuden
Minato in Naruto Shippuden | Studio Pierrot

Masashi Kishimoto admitted that by chapter 16 of Naruto, he had decided on the storyline of Obito being a Uchiha and Minato being Naruto’s dad. While the identity of Minato was clear in his head, his being Naruto’s dad or the Fourth Hokage was not.

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Thus, Kishimoto had opted for a dog to be the Fourth Hokage before realizing that it could easily be Minato’s spot. This way, the character’s introduction became much smoother. This delay in creating a space for Minato could be why Naruto himself came to know about her father pretty late in the series.

Nonetheless, Minato losing his spot to a Ninken would have been a pretty hilarious scenario had it been implemented. Plus, who does not like the addition of a dog to the Hokage Rock?

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

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Written by Aaheli Pradhan

Articles Published: 188

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.