One of the big three anime series, Naruto has been going strong for a better part of two decades and fans still can’t get enough of the series. It describes the story of Naruto Uzumaki, a teenage ninja who wants acclaim from his classmates and aspires to be the Hokage, or village leader. Naruto is one of the best-selling manga series in history, with 250 million copies in circulation in 47 countries and territories worldwide, including 153 million copies in Japan alone and the remaining 97 million copies abroad.
Fans have loved the series since its start and even gave love to the sequel of the series Boruto, which followed the adventures of Naruto’s sons. This proves the caliber of the series. However, there was a time when the series almost got canceled and shut down because of how dark it became for some viewers.
Naruto Almost Got Canceled
Naruto was written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto and serialized for 15 years in Shueisha’s magazine, Weekly Shonen Jump, from September 21, 1999 to November 10, 2014. However, the original Naruto anime television series, directed by Hayato Date and produced by Pierrot and Aniplex, began on TV Tokyo in Japan on October 3, 2002, and concluded on February 8, 2007, after 220 episodes. However, at one point, the anime was on the verge of being canceled. A certain organization was upset by the high number of deaths in the series and filed a complaint, requesting that one of the show’s sponsors drop their support.
The number of deaths in the series led to the interpretation that Naruto was a dark anime series and while it was a part of the Shonen Jump, it had some dark moments which would have adverse effects on children. This ultimately led to the series being almost canceled.
Dark Moments That Got Naruto Almost Canceled
Despite its action, adventure, and humor, Naruto is a pretty gloomy manga that addresses battle, death, treachery, manipulation, and a variety of other weighty issues. The program was able to mix its deeper issues with lighthearted humor, but there were still instances that came off as far too grim when compared to the overall tale. The deaths of several significant characters, including The Third Hokage, The Fourth Hokage, Jiraiya, and the Itachi Uchiha clan murder, added a grim tone to the tale.
However, it is ultimately those dark tragedies that make all the times of humor and optimism so much more significant. Every anime series has some form of death to keep the story going forward or give the main characters some sort of boost. Maybe Naruto’s portrayal of death might be a little dark but it later blossomed into a beautiful story we all cherish and love.