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What is Naruto?
Naruto is a Shonen (teen male oriented) animated series and manga (Japanese comic) created by Masashi Kishimoto. Both the anime and the manga are ongoing in Japan at the moment. The series has been licensed abroad in various countries. You can find Naruto manga on American shelves and the animated series airing in the Philippines.

The show takes place in a world populated by ninja villages. The ninja in the series serve as the armies for the countries that inhabit the world. Most of the countries have their own Hidden Village, which serves to train and manage the ninja of the country. Also the ninja in the series are able to utilize jutsu techniques, which are the secrecy, body and illusion arts of the ninja. These allow the ninja to perform many amazing skills such as the manipulation of the surrounding elements.

The main character of the series is Uzumaki Naruto, a young boy who dreams of becoming the leader of his Hidden Village. It will be difficult though for Naruto, because when he was a baby an evil demon was placed inside him to stop its rampage. As Naruto grew the townspeople saw Naruto himself as the demon, even though he was merely its container. When the series begins the reader and viewer will begin their journey with Naruto on his path to become respected by the village.

Who creates Naruto?
The Naruto manga is drawn by Masashi Kishimoto. Kishimoto was born in the Okayama Prefecture, Japan in 1974. He gained early acclaim with his work Karakuri. Later in 1997 he would develop an early incarnation of Naruto for Akamaru Jump. The manga would formally begin in 1999 in Weekly Shonen Jump, gaining a large fan following. Kishimoto is not alone in drawing the series, he has assistants who share various drawing duties. These individuals are:

Kazuhiro Takuhashi - Focuses on solid blacks in hair and clothing, fills in the half-tone areas and completes the background art.

Osamu Kazisa - Works similar to Takuhashi, also good at creating speedlines, special effects and plant-life.

Mikio Ikemoto - Works on crowds and background figures, also adds white to speed lines, characters eyes and highlights. Also cleans up the page by whiting out any art which goes out of the panel. Also adds in half-tones.

Takemi Kawahara - Has a hand in most everything in the drawing process.