‘Naruto’ was never supposed to be about ninjas, according to creator Masashi Kishimoto

‘Naruto’ was never supposed to be about ninjas, according to creator Masashi Kishimoto
Bryan Ke
September 8, 2023
Retelling the story: While details about Kishimoto’s original vision for “Naruto” first circulated nearly a decade ago, they were reshared and widely circulated this week, revealing to new fans of the series that the franchise was not originally about ninjas.
It was about ramen: Kishimoto, 48, told Fuji TV’s Kendo Kobayashi in a past interview that “Naruto” was originally inspired by the ramen restaurant he used to go to in college. The YouTube video of Kishimoto’s interview has since been taken down.
The first pitch: Kishimoto initially pitched “Naruto” as a story of an apprentice at a ramen restaurant. The series would have focused more on Naruto’s growth and antics as he learns the ropes of the ramen business under the head chef’s teachings.
Fortunately for “Naruto” fans, Shonen Jump rejected that idea, and Kishimoto went back to the drawing board with a few more revisions before landing on the franchise we all know today.
Some elements remained: While the series went through several revisions, some of the elements from Kishimoto’s original idea remained, notably Naruto’s name and his love for ramen.
The connection: Naruto’s name is a reference to narutomaki, a topping commonly found in ramen made from a type of cured fishcake. The topping features an iconic bright pink swirl, which was reportedly the inspiration behind Naturo’s clan’s emblem.

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