Masashi Kishimoto’s Naruto manga is considered to have had the most impact on the Shōnen genre. With well-established storylines and complex characters, it has been the inspiration for many mangakas to this day. Fans of the series even throw dirt on mangas like Black Clover and Nabari Na Ou for shamelessly copying either the story or character dynamics from Naruto.
Even today, Black Clover Yūki Tabata gets backlash for not publicly crediting Kishimoto. It is common knowledge that mangakas copy ideas from each other and they share this secret out of respect. Masashi Kishimoto admitted that the inspiration for Kage Bunshin, aka the Shadow Clone technique in Naruto, came from Yoshihiro Togashi’s Yu Yu Hakusho.
Most recently, Togashi sensei disclosed an interesting fact about Kishimoto copying his ideas.
Yoshihiro Togashi allowed Naruto writer Masashi Kishimoto to ‘steal ideas’ from him
During a recent interview with HardDrive, Yoshihiro Togashi was questioned about his most famous mangas: Yu Yu Hakusho and Hunter X Hunter. He gave a cheeky response on how to pronounce the latter’s name. Husband to Sailor Moon creator Naoko Takeuchi, Togashi was then asked if he was close to any other mangakas in life.
The 57-year-old writer took the name of Masashi Kishimoto while also mentioning that the Naruto mangaka stole ideas from him upon his approval in an interview with Hard Drive:
“A few, yeah. Like Masashi Kishimoto, the creator of Naruto. I let him steal a bunch of ideas from me every now and then, nobody seems to bat an eye so it’s all good.”
Well-known for his honor, Yoshihiro stated that his favorite character in Yu Yu Hakusho was Kazuma Kuwabara – the ever-brash and stupid human friend of Ryusuke. He wanted to include the comical character in the final arc of the manga series but the editors refused. Nonetheless, he referenced Kuwabara in Hunter X Hunter via the character of Knuckle Bine.
One of the most iconic characters from Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto was inspired by Yu Yu Hakusho
Sasuke Uchiha is one of the most memorable villains in Naruto: Shippuden. He played a crucial part in many arcs including The Fourth Great Ninja War and the Eight-Tails mission. Apart from his thrilling fights and mastery of ninjutsu, his gritty nature makes him a favorite of many fans.
Sasuke is not wholly good or evil. His enigmatic, dark character bears a resemblance to ‘Hiei of the Evil Eye’ from the Yu Yu Hakusho manga. Similar to Uchiha, Hiei initially wanted to kill Ryusuke but eventually became one of the protagonists.
As revealed by Masashi Kishimoto during an interview on the 10th year anniversary of Naruto, Sasuke Uchiha was inspired by the character of Hiei:
“I was already a big fan of Hiei back when I was only a reader but I’ve also took him as a source of inspiration when I started creating my characters. At first I wasn’t able to create a “cool” character, I didn’t know where to begin so I studied one my favorite characters: Hiei, and I succeeded in creating Sasuke, the Sharingan as well as some of his other techniques were inspired by him.”
The Naruto manga ended after a span of 15 years on November 10, 2014, with the release of the 700th chapter. It is succeeded by Boruto, which explores the life of Naruto Uzumaki’s son.