|Magazine||Weekly Shōnen Jump|
|Year of inception||1999|
|Original run||September 21, 1999 – November 10, 2014|
The Naruto (ナルト Naruto) universe refers to the Super Smash Flash series' collection of characters, stages, and properties that hail from Weekly Shōnen Jump's manga series written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto. The plot tells the story of Naruto Uzumaki, an adolescent ninja who constantly searches for recognition and aspires to become a Hokage, the ninja that is acknowledged as the leader of his village and the strongest of all. The series has sparked a global phenomenon, growing to become one of the most popular manga franchises in the world. It is the only manga series that has appeared in both the original Super Smash Flash and it's reboot Super Smash Flash 2.
Masashi Kishimoto first created a one-shot of Naruto for August 1997 issue of Akamaru Jump. Despite its high positive results in the reader poll, Kishimoto thought "the art stinks and the story's a mess!" Kishimoto was originally working on Karakuri for the Hop Step Award when, unsatisfied by the rough drafts, he decided to work on something different, which later formed into the manga series Naruto. Kishimoto has expressed concerns that the use of chakras and hand signs makes Naruto too Japanese, but still believes it to be an enjoyable read.
Naruto Uzumaki is a young boy who has the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox sealed within him. Twelve years before the start of the series, the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox attacked the ninja village Konohagakure, slaughtering many people. In response, the leader of Konohagakure and its ninja military – the Fourth Hokage – sacrificed his life to seal the demon inside Naruto when he was a newborn. Konohagakure, however, regarded Naruto as if he were the demon fox itself and mistreated him throughout most of his childhood. A decree made by the Third Hokage, who replaced the Fourth Hokage after his death, forbid anyone mention the attack of the demon fox to anyone. Years later, Naruto is tricked by the renegade ninja Mizuki into stealing a forbidden scroll, but is stopped by his teacher, Iruka Umino. When Iruka almost dies while protecting Naruto from Mizuki, Naruto defeats Mizuki using the power from the scroll, which develops the supernatural ability Jutsu Shadow Clone Technique that creates clones from himself. That encounter makes Naruto realize he was the container of the demon fox.
The main story follows Naruto and his friends' personal growth. Naruto befriends two comrades, Sasuke Uchiha and Sakura Haruno, who are assigned with him to form a three-person team named Team 7 under an experienced sensei named Kakashi Hatake. Like all the ninja teams from every village, Team 7 is in charge in completing missions requested by villagers such as being bodyguards. During the course of the missions, Naruto also befriends other characters that he meets throughout the series. They learn new abilities, get to know each other and other villagers better, and experience a coming-of-age journey as Naruto dreams of becoming the Hokage of Konohagakure. After several missions, Kakashi allows Team 7 to participate into a ninja exam in which they can improve their ranks, and thus, be part of harder missions. During the exams, Orochimaru, a criminal at the top of Konohagakure's most wanted list, attacks Konoha killing the Third Hokage as an act of revenge. This causes one of the three legendary ninja, Jiraiya to search for his partner Tsunade, to become the Fifth Hokage. During that search, it is revealed that Orochimaru also desires to acquire Sasuke Uchiha due to his powerful genetic heritage. Believing Orochimaru will be able to give him the strength needed to kill his brother Itachi, who destroyed all his clan, Sasuke goes to him. Tsunade sends a group of ninja including Naruto to make Sasuke return to Konoha, but Naruto is unable to defeat him. Naruto does not give up on Sasuke, leaving Konoha for two-and-a-half years of training under Jiraiya's tuition to prepare himself for the next time he encounters Sasuke.
After the training period, a mysterious organization called Akatsuki attempts to capture the nine powerful tailed beasts including the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox sealed inside of Naruto. Several ninjas from Konohagakure, including Team 7, fight against the Akatsuki members and search for their teammate Sasuke. Although they manage to save the host from the One-tailed beast, Gaara, Akatsuki is successful in capturing seven from the creatures. Sasuke, in the meantime betrays Orochimaru and faces Itachi to take revenge. Although Itachi dies in battle, Sasuke is later told by the Akatsuki founder Madara Uchiha that Itachi was ordered by Konohagakure's leadership to destroy his clan. Saddened with the revelation, Sasuke joins forces with Akatsuki to destroy Konohagakure. Meanwhile, as several Akatsuki members are defeated by the Konohagakure ninja, the leader, Pain, invades the village to capture Naruto. However, Naruto defeats all of Pain's bodies and convinces the real one to leave. While the villagers rebuild Konohagakure Tsunade is dismissed from her position as the Hokage as she ended in coma for using all her energy to protect the villagers from Pain. Therefore, the elder Danzo quickly takes the role. Some time later, after Sasuke defeats Danzo, attacks the Five Kage Summit, and Tobi reveals to everyone the organization's plans of world domination by using the power of a dreadful beast, the Fourth Great Shinobi World War bursts. After Naruto succeeds a special training that allowed him to control the powers of his Tailed Beast, led by fellow Jinchuriki Killer B, they both decide to take part on the war. Some time after, when the army of undead shinobi was defeated, the senior Jinchuriki controlled by Tobi were freed, and Tobi moves on with his plan, alongside the legendary shinobi, Madara Uchiha, the terrible Ten-Tails is finally revived, and the Great War reaches it's final stage.
When originally creating the Naruto story, Kishimoto looked to other shōnen manga as influences for his work, although he attempted to make his characters as unique as possible. The separation of the characters into different teams was intended to give each group a specific flavor. Kishimoto wished for each member to be "extreme," having a high amount of aptitude in one given attribute yet be talentless in another." The insertion of villains into the story was largely to have them act as a counterpoint to the characters' moral values. Kishimoto has admitted that this focus on illustrating the difference in values is central to his creation of villains to the point that, "I don't really think about them in combat." When drawing the characters, Kishimoto consistently follows a five-step process: concept and rough sketch, drafting, inking, shading, and coloring. These steps are followed when he is drawing the actual manga and making the color illustrations that commonly adorn the cover of tankōbon, the cover of Weekly Shōnen Jump, or other media, but the toolkit he utilizes occasionally changes. For instance, he utilized an airbrush for one illustration for a Weekly Shōnen Jump cover, but decided not to use it for future drawings largely due to the cleanup required. For Part II, the part of the manga beginning with volume 28, Kishimoto said that he attempted to not "overdo the typical manga style" by not including "too much deformation" and keeping the panel layouts to make it easy for the reader to follow the plot. Kishomoto said his drawing style changed from "the classic manga look to something a bit more realistic."
Kishimoto added that, as Naruto takes place in a "Japanese fantasy world," he has set certain rules, in a systematic way so that he could easily "convey the story." Kishimoto wanted to "draw on" the Chinese zodiac tradition, which had a long-standing presence in Japan; the zodiac hand signs originate from this. When Kishimoto was creating the setting of the Naruto manga, he initially concentrated on the designs for village of Konohagakure, the primary setting of the series. Kishimoto asserts that his design for Konohagakure was created "pretty spontaneously without much thought", but admits that the scenery is based on his home in the Okayama prefecture in Japan. Without a specific time period, Kishimoto included modern elements in the series such as convenience stores, but specifically excluded projectile weapons and vehicles from the storyline. For reference materials, Kishimoto performs his own research into Japanese culture and alludes to it in his work. Regarding technology Kishimoto said that Naruto would not have any firearms. He said he may include automobiles, aircraft, and "low-processing" computers; Kishimoto specified the computers would "maybe" be eight-bit and that they would "definitely not" be sixteen-bit. He has also stated that he has a visual idea of the last chapter of the series, including the text and the story. However, he notes that it may take a long time to end the series since "there are still so many things that need to be resolved".
When asked about what was Naruto's main theme during Part I, Kishimoto answered that it is how people accept each other citing Naruto's development in such part. Since being unable to focus in the romance during Part I, Kishimoto that during Part II he was to emphasize this theme more, despite finding it difficult.
In the Super Smash Flash series
Without many speculations, Naruto appeared as a bonus franchises in Super Smash Flash represented only by one secret character.
- Naruto Uzumaki: The protagonist of the manga, Naruto is a ninja affiliated with the fictional village of Konohagakure. The villagers ostracize Naruto because the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox, a malevolent creature that attacked Konohagakure, is sealed within his body. As such, Naruto has ambitions of becoming the village's leader, the Hokage, in order to gain recognition amongst his peers. Nonetheless, Naruto maintains a cheerful and boisterous personality, allowing him to befriend several other Konoha ninja throughout the series, as well as ninja from other villages. He builds an especially close relationship with Team 7, the ninja team where he belongs, treating them as his family. In SSF, for fans dismay, his attacks lack the use of Jutsu or Chakra, Naruto can only use variety of normal attacks, like kicks, punches or headbutts.
In Super Smash Flash 2
The Naruto franchise was expanded in Super Smash Flash 2. The franchise is now based on the second part of the series Naruto: Shippūden (ナルト 疾風伝, Naruto Shippūden, lit. "Naruto: Hurricane Chronicles") thus being the only anime and manga franchise that has appeared in both games of the series.
The series is represented by one character from the series. Sasuke Uchiha has been cut from the game. Originally there was going to be a third character called Rock Lee, but he was cut out after there were not many progress during his development. He still appears but in a cameo simply as a background character.
- Naruto Uzumaki: A returning character in Super Smash Flash 2, but considered a newcomer due to him not appearing in the main Super Smash Bros. games. Naruto debuted in demo v0.5. In SSF2, he has gained more attacks to his moveset. Naruto favors the Rasengan, a concentrated orb of spiraling chakra. When performing the technique, he creates Shadow Clones to help him manipulate the chakra into its proper shape. While capable of grinding into whatever it touches and causing great damage. He is also able to control the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox's chakra as his Final Smash.
- Hidden Leaf Village: Originally known as Konohagakure no Sato (木ノ葉隠れの里, lit. "Village Hidden among Tree Leaves"), the hidden village within the Land of Fire and the primary setting of the Naruto series. As the hidden village of one of the Five Great Shinobi Nations, the village is led by a Kage, known as the Hokage. One can spot the Ichiraku Ramen Bar, the Ninja Academy and Ino Yamanaka's family's flower shop. Players can only stand on the Academy and the flower shop, though. Many supporting characters from the series appear as a background characters during the curse of the match but they don't affect it in any way.
- Final Valley: Also known as "Valley of the End", a valley that rests on the border of the Land of Fire, where Hidden Leaf Village resides, and the Land of Sound, where the rogue ninja Orochimaru operates. Players can stand on platforms by the statues of Madara Uchiha and the first Hokage Hashirama Senju, and two small platforms are placed in the middle where the waterfall resides.
- Explosive Tag: A scrap of paper inscribed with a special writing, centering around the kanji for "explode" (爆, baku). It comes attached with a kunai, which can be thrown and pierce anything, either a character or a surface, and after it ignites, it will explode after some time has passed, so players who get hit by the tag must act fast. In v0.9b, the item has been scrapped from the game because devs considered the item as an "ugly" item, but it returned in SSF2 Beta.