why the series remains a hit

The Naruto saga follows the young ninja from age 12-13 to adulthood.

At the end of 2016, the adventures may have ended in France, the best-selling manga Naruto continues to inspire the French. Since the epilogue, it has still sold 8.5 million volumes, culminating in total sales of the series in France of 26.5 million copies. As for the first part of Narutotwenty years after its discovery in France, it remains the best-selling manga album (and even one of the books) in the country in 2020 and 2021.

Scores that do not run out: the Franco-Belgian publishing house Kana, which imported the ninja tornado, will re-release its bestseller from Friday, May 6 in a new edition called “Hokage” (the term referring to the head of the village of Naruto): a Large format double volume with color pages from the time of publication in the Japanese preprint magazine Weekly Shonen Jump from 1999. Readers will rediscover the epic of Naruto Uzumaki, an orphan who aspires to become the greatest ninja and the leader of his village of Konoha. Despised from childhood because a destructive demon – Kyubi the Nine-Tailed Fox – was sealed in his body, the young shinobi will win the friendship and respect of all through his perseverance and loyalty.

The new object, which does not exist in Japan and was designed in Paris and Brussels, highlights the work of manga artist Masashi Kishimoto, who is not stingy with big action scenes, explosions and spread drawings on double shelves. It won’t overshadow the original paperback version that will continue to be produced, though: the Hokage format is primarily intended to rekindle the spark among an already conquered audience, who know the series and may have tired of it before.

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“French cultural exception”

New readers, especially those still in elementary school, have picked up since 2016, when Kana halved the price of the first three volumes, which also explains the recent scores. A choice renewed every year and welcomed by Christel Hoolans, general manager of Kana and Lombard editions. “In the wake of the three-euro operation, more volumes 4, 5 and 6 were sold than before, demonstrating that the series was compelling, and that readers were willing to go beyond the promotional offer. addictive manga.” † she explains.

In the same year, Naruto’s son Boruto also took over the lead in a soap opera drawn by Mikio Ikemoto, the former assistant of Masashi Kishimoto, under the supervision of the master himself. Without displaying the scores of his father appearing as an adult in the new stories, borutostill published, has sold 1.3 million copies in France to date and serves as a link between generations of ninjas and readers.

Unlike the whole world and especially Japan – where it is A pieceanother mastodon and a hostile brother born in the same magazine, which is most appreciated (and still going on) – Naruto still often wins popularity contests in France† A plebiscite that also topped the sales rankings for a decade centered around the broadcast of the animated adaptation on French television in the mid-2000s, leading the publisher Kana to say Naruto was a “French cultural exception”

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Both archetypal and dissonant

Thanks to the incarcerations and the broadcasting of animated series Naruto et Naruto Shippuden on various streaming platforms, Netflix and DNA in mind, the ninja has experienced tremendous interest. Before that, on the web, many youtubers, streamers, columnists and personalities regularly referred to Narutoputting the series on the rank of a. coming “essential work of the manga”as Christel Hoolans describes it. “We are now talking about Naruto if Dragon Ball, namely a classic that you must read if you like manga. Naruto also has a comforting side, it is a value that parents and grandparents offer, pass on without any problem. †

Illustration on the cover of volume 1 of Naruto.

The lifespan of Naruto Finally, it is due to its intrinsic qualities, which made the public enthusiastic in the beginning. Over 700 weekly episodes, over fifteen years, Masashi Kishimoto not only told the initiation story of a child on his way to his dream and the discovery of his origin, his journey to tame his inner demon and save his village, but also built an entire mythology surrounding the rationale and disintegration of the ninja world. The wealth of life stories of each character, even secondary ones, antagonists, clans, supernatural powers and political forces has caused many readers to become attached to a variety of passages and protagonists such as Sasuke, Itachi or Kakashi.

Not to mention the fondness for the hero, both archetypal and dissonant: Naruto, a fighter and broken arm in an orange uniform, who collides in a ninja universe full of secrets and conspiracies and whose empathy will win the respect of his enemies enforce. Over the course of the series, Masashi Kishimoto has Shikamaru, one of the child ninjas, say a sentence that might sum up how much readers think about Naruto: “He is the best asset in the village. When you meet him, you want to walk by his side.”

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