Which iconic anime series inspired the Shadow Clone Jutsu technique in Naruto? Author Masashi Kishimoto reveals original series insight.

When Naruto author Masashi Kishimoto was creating his iconic manga, he was inspired to design the series’ most famous Jutsu technique by another well-known anime series – but which show inspired the Shadow Clone Jutsu?

Naruto stands in a black suit with yellow eyes
Naruto/Pierrot/Vizmedia YouTube channel

Which iconic anime inspired Naruto’s Jutsu technique?

Throughout the popular manga series, lead character Naruto Uzumaki uses a ‘forbidden technique’ known as Kage Bushin no Jutsu, also known as Shadow Clone Jutsu.

This technique is arguably one of the most famous Jutsu techniques in manga and anime history; however, it turns out that author Masashi Kishimoto was inspired by Yu Yu Hakusho in its creation.

In an interview with both the authors of Naruto and Yu Yu Hakusho, Masashi Kishimoto and Toshihiro Togashi, Kishimoto celebrated Togashi’s ability to surprise the reader with unexpected techniques and themes.

The iconic mangaka confirmed that “the Kagebushin no Jutsu of Naruto is strongly inspired by Suzaku’s technique in Yu Yu Hakusho. The idea of having after-images be real was very innovative, I was excited and thought “how will they beat this guy”.”

Kishimoto also revealed that he was a big fan of Togashi’s work before he started on the Naruto manga and that several characters themselves were inspired by those in Yu Yu Hakusho, as well as other series such as Hunter x Hunter.

“I was already a big fan of Hiei [a character in Yu Yu Hakusho] 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.”

Kishimoto also studied the “delicate balance of expressions of characters when they’re surprised or when they find themselves in a dangerous situation.”

“Back when I’ve started the serialization of Naruto, my inspiration for these kind of facial expressions was Hunter x Hunter, even to this day it still has a special place for me and I often re-read it. Next there’s the character Hiei who’s been developed in a fantastic way.”

Naruto returns with four new episodes in September

Fans of the original Naruto series are currently in the middle of their final countdown towards four new episodes of the iconic anime adaptation, which are set to broadcast in September 2023.

The first of these four episodes is scheduled to release in Japan on Sunday, September 3 at around 5:30 PM location time, after which new episodes will be aired weekly.

Whilst details on the plot for these new episodes have been kept secret by the production team, the teaser trailer showing pre-Shuppuden Team 7 members indicates that the events seen will take place between the Boruto and Naruto Shippuden timelines.

The opening theme song ‘Go!!!’ and ending theme song ‘Viva Rock’ will be performed by FLOW both previously featured in the Naruto anime as the fourth opening and third ending song respectively – the latter will actually be a cover of the original song by Orange Range.

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