Warning: Naruto manga spoilers ahead!
It’s been a few weeks since Masashi Kishimoto’s Naruto manga series ended, but the words of this legend keep flowing to the world through interviews and other media. Speaking with Entermix magazine after concluding the series, Kishimoto-sensei talks Sasuke, friendship, and The Last: Naruto the Movie. After the magazine congratulates him for 15 years of hard work, they ask about his feelings now. Kishimoto-sensei shares that with the tight weekly deadlines he had to follow, the past 15 years have been long, but now after the end, it feels like it all just passed by in a blink of an eye.
Since the beginning of Naruto, the plan was to always finish the manga with Naruto vs Sasuke. The interview starts with focuses on friendship, which has been an important theme in the Naruto series, and to Kishimoto-sensei it is something very close to the love of a brother or another family member. He says losing a friend is like losing one’s identity, which is one of the most feared things for a teenager. Those feelings culminated throughout the Naruto series and in order to convey those feelings, Kishimoto-sensei decided it would be communicated best through the final battle.
From start to finish, the relationship of Naruto and Sasuke mirrors that of twin brothers. The reason is Kishimoto-sensei has a twin brother, Seishi Kishimoto. From Anime Games Online’s understanding of the interview, whenever Seishi would do something and not succeed, it would feel as painful as if Kishimoto-sensei himself had not succeeded. He felt as if there was a physical bond of sorts with his brother. In high school and college, Kishimoto-sensei had the same feelings when things for his friends did not go smoothly, which is why he feels love for a brother and friends are the same. Kishimoto-sensei continues on to say Naruto and Sasuke’s friendship was modeled after him and his brother.
The interview shifts to questions more directly related to the manga. At the end of 699, Sasuke leaves the village to go traveling. Entermix asks what was the intention of this and Kishimoto-sensei responds that after all of the things Sasuke has done, it would be tough to live in the village like everybody else so he went on a journey of atonement. Further, in Kishimoto-sensei’s mind, Sasuke has gone out into the world to find the answers to all of the unanswered questions. For example, who and what was Kaguya exactly? Sasuke wants to find out how her plan for revival was executed the first time around so it could be avoided in the future. In order to unnecessarily avoid lengthening the manga, however, Kishimoto-sensei decided to skip writing about it and he has no plans to continue that storyline.
While the manga was geared toward friendship, the theme in The Last: Naruto the Movie will be about love. Kishimoto-sensei explains the idea was originally from the anime producers. He himself was unable to write about love in the manga, it was something he avoided due to feelings of embarrassment, so he felt this could go well as a movie theme to further show Naruto’s growth. The script for the movie was not written exclusively by Kishimoto-sensei, rather he was given a script so that he could recommend changes to properly flesh out the story and set the mood.
Kishimoto-sensei mentions the timeskip between Naruto chapters 699 and 700 was inspired by Dragon Ball. Ultimately, it allowed The Last: Naruto the Movie to smoothly connect with the manga.
The scans for the interview also reiterate Kishimoto-sensei working on a Naruto part 3 and what we already know about the movie, such as Naruto being 19-years old, Toneri Otsutsuki being the final villain.
On a separate occasion, unrelated to the interview above, Kishimoto-sensei very briefly shares comments in regards to The Last: Naruto the Movie.
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The Last: Naruto the Movie Trailer 4
The Last: Naruto the Movie: 3 New Clips, Naruto vs Toneri Footage
The Last: Naruto the Movie will be making its debut in Japanese theaters on December 6, 2014. The movie’s plot is as follows: The moon has begun moving closer to the Earth! At this rate, the moon will collapse and meteorites will crash onto the Earth’s surface. As Earth’s final days approach, Hanabi Hyuga is abducted from the Hidden Leaf Village by a mysterious man named Toneri Otsutsuki. It’s up to Naruto, Sakura, Sai, Shikamaru, and Hinata to bring her back on a rescue mission! Can Naruto and the others overcome this crisis?