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The Year Of Naruto Begins Now

the year of naruto

How many things can turn 20 in one month? The Sega Dreamcast was released today, twenty years ago. Final Fantasy VIII was released in the US today, twenty years ago. And now it turns out even Naruto is that old? Believe it!

The spiky-haired ninja made his debut in Shonen Jump in 1999, but folks outside Japan didn’t really get to know him until 2003, when Viz Media started translating and publishing the manga in the US. One year later a dub version of the Naruto anime began airing on Toonami, and became one of the signature attractions of its CN daytime years.

Two decades and two spinoffs later, the Naruto series is not only one of the most successful manga franchises in Japan but is universally recognized around the world. And Viz is celebrating with the Year Of Naruto, a twelve-month celebration that launches at New York Comic-Con later this year and continues throughout 2020.

Many new collectible Naruto products will be released in honor of his birthday; just announced by Viz is a hand-numbered exclusive poster showing the growth of Mr. Uzumaki from scrappy child in his original series to full-fledged Hokage in Boruto. There will also be a Naruto skateboard deck released by Hypland. Watch for much more to be revealed at NYCC.

“The YEAR OF NARUTO is a fitting tribute to a global marquee brand and an important international ambassador for Japanese pop culture,” says Brad Woods, Chief Marketing Officer at VIZ Media. “Join us as we celebrate our favorite ninja with special collaborations, new officially licensed merchandise, and events in the coming year!”