Thoughts on Anime News Network’s interview with Masashi Kishimoto at NY Comic Con

Or better said, on a particular side of it. Yes, I am sure that by now everyone knows what I am talking about.

As we all know, Masashi Kishimoto has recently been at the New York Comic Con where he met Naruto fans and where many others got to talk to him. Among those many others were also the guys at Anime News Network who got a chance to interview Naruto’s creator.

Now, as we all know, at a certain point the team at ANN asked certain questions to Kishimoto, particularly referring to:

Did you expect such a divided reaction (in the U.S. at least) when you revealed whom Naruto marries in the future?

I actually didn’t realize I caused such controversy.

Really? You had no idea?

Mari Morimoto:
So the fans wanted Naruto to get together with Sakura?

Well, there’s definitely camps of fans who felt that way, and there were also those that were very happy he ended up with Hinata. But there were quite passionate opinions on both sides!

I almost caused a rift in my own household too, because my wife was very upset also that Narutodidn’t get together with Sakura. In fact, she complained quite vehemently to me!

Jo Otsuki:
Quite few of the female staff at Studio Pierrot that produces the anime, apparently were also upset.

Whoah. So how did you handle that, especially with your wife?

I tried to defuse the situation by assuring my wife that SHE was actually the model for Hinata. (laughs)

As you were saying that, I thought, I wonder if your family life was more like Hinata and Naruto‘s family or Sasuke and Sakura’s? (everyone laughs)

Masashi Kishiimoto: Well… it might not actually be like either. My wife is quite strong as well, she’s a strong character.

Oh, so kind of like Sakura!

So I think my wife might secretly realize that Hinata wasn’t really the model for her… (laughs)

Did you decide this early on, that Hinata and Naruto would get together in the end, or when…?

From the middle, actually.

From the middle of the story? Hm! What sealed this decision for you?

I think what made me realize it was partly because, if you really look back and think about it, Hinata always supported and acknowledged Naruto, even before Master Iruka. She had the ability to see beyond his reputation and see the true person inside. I think I started realizing that they were meant to be.

Now, as I have told you guys on my Tumblr as well as on my Facebook page, there are certain things that don’t sit well with me. Not that you guys didn’t expect this! ;) Let’s take it on turns.

So, first Kishimoto says he wasn’t aware that he had created such a controversy. Wow, really? Doesn’t this go a bit against his previous statements according to which he purposely mislead the NaruSaku fans with the Kushina / Sakura parallel? In order to be able to mislead someone on purpose you first have to be aware of the controversy because you want to keep those people still interested.

So you see, this is lie number 1. No wonder the guys at ANN ask the “really you had no idea?” question. We all smell the scent of lie from miles away. Asking if the fans wanted Naruto to get together with Sakura after stating what he had stated previously is such a transparent move on his side. He shouldn’t even be asking this question knowing that he wrote what he wrote.

But hey, it’s Kishimoto we’re talking about here.

Then comes a part I personally admire and like what the guys at Anime News Network said: they were impartially informing Kishimoto that yes, there were fans on both sides with passionate opinions.

One of the reasons I like this is because finally someone doesn’t brush NaruSaku fans away as if the Naruto and Sakura relationship, development and subtle romance indication was non existent. They inform Kishimoto that there are of course fans that are happy that Naruto got together with Hinata but they do make known to him the other side of the glass. That side that most other interviewers brushed away. So mad props to you guys and in the name of the NaruSaku fandom I’d like to personally thank you. Why? I’ll tell you later because now I just want to move forward.

Next, Kishimoto states when informed of this that apparently, with the way he ended things he had been causing a rift in his own household too given that his wife was very upset at the fact that Naruto did not end up with Sakura and apparently she complained vehemently to him.

Now, I know this is the part that hit everyone’s buttons and that’s the part some let’s say… curious souls are waiting to see what I have to say about this.

Well, I already said it shortly on my Facebook page and Tumblr. But let me develop it a bit more here.

Where do I stand with this and with the rest of the interview? Let’s take it on turns.

First of all, I am 50-50 with this. I am half inclined to believe but my other half kind of screams… BS detected! Let me explain myself why.

First of all, as we all know there is always a Marketing team behind any project you see in this world. I’ve been part of Marketing teams in the different workplaces I’ve had myself.

When you work in Marketing (thing that I must say, I despise – or better said, certain principles the concepts bases itself upon), when you want to launch something what you have to do first is research. What kind of research? People research. You have to investigate what exactly makes people tick. It involves a little bit of psychoanalysis. What makes that man or woman tick? Oh, that does? Well, if that’s the case then you start building your own product around that and most of the times it involves manipulating a person’s subconsciousness subtly in a direction or other. But that’s a bit past the point I wanted to make.

With these things kept in mind, I bet that by now you understand where I’m getting at, right? Well, yeah, as we all know the Marketing team did its research on what exactly goes around the Naruto fandom.

Now given that The Last was an opening for the market abroad first and foremost, SP’s research marketing team had to, of course, research what people overseas thought. So of course they found out about this. Remember the baiting commentary in the advertisement for the last regarding Sakura’s beauty and that Naruto surely must be …?

Well, that’s Marketing bait 101.

And what also the Marketing team does is prepare you via PR most of the times in what exactly to say.

Of course people noticed that NaruSaku fans observed the similarities between Sakura – Kushina – Kishimoto’s wife given the tough woman trope and Oda’s commentary. So of course they’d use that and an answer that Kishimoto might have had prepared an answer like this perfect to “soothe” in a way NaruSaku fans’s hearts. Why do I believe this? Well, it’s not like we’re still kids and aren’t aware of these things.

Like I said to a good friend of mine while talking on Facebook, his replies feel too catering to each part of the fandom so to speak and that I get that he might want to be okay with everyone given Naruto’s character who always tried to reconcile everyone and given that he often said how Naruto is like him, as I said once again, I get the attempt to make peace with everyone but there are certain things you have to give up on in order to make the “right thing”, so to speak. But he doesn’t and tries to make peace with everyone and it’s ending in a fiasco, just because of the aforementioned reason.

Funny, that was a part of Naruto we never got to explore in the manga either. He just said what he won’t do certain things (not killing Sasuke for example), but never got the resolve on how to deal with the consequences he was about to face.  Same with Kishi here.

However, there is also the other possibility and that he might be right and his wife did indeed complained about it. After all, like I said, the message he leaves behind given the development of the manga is in this context a highly toxic one for teenagers all across the world and as we know, Kishimoto himself has a daughter and I am sure that no mother would be okay with the answers he gives to the problems and development he showed.

So if it’s indeed that way, all the respect for Mrs. Kishimoto!

But I still feel as if it’s “too good to be true” kind of thing, know what I mean? Call me too skeptical or however you might want but after how things ended, in my eyes, Kishimoto lost all credibility and professionalism!

Also, why do I say I smell BS? Because then he quickly switches to saying that he tried to assure her that actually Hinata was modeled around her. Remembering the aforementioned marketing stunts, let’s not forget which has always been the beef between the NaruSaku and NaruHina fans: yeah, the Sakura / Kushina comparison where NaruSaku fans have supported the idea and lately apparently confirmed by Kishimoto himself that Sakura and Kushina were made alike while NaruHina fans supported the idea that Hinata is like Kushina.

So you see, he quickly then switches and tries to cater somewhat to the NaruHina fans too! It’s like I said, all this sounds like an attempt at catering to both sides in order to… what? Only Kishimoto knows.

And then, Jo Otsuki quickly comes in to assure us that even few female staff at Studio Pierrot were upset with the decision too. How convenient this all sounds… too convenient, if you ask me!

By now I am sure that they must be aware of the thing that people complained of the treatment Sakura had at Studio Pierrot in comparison with Hinata and how the two were made to look when it came to interacting with Naruto. It’s not like it wasn’t that obvious.

But if indeed that’s the case, well, then so be it. It’s not like the development between Naruto and Sakura wasn’t that obvious. It wasn’t obvious to those who did not want to see it. But yeah, moving on.

Then the whole Kishi’s wife and the juggling between the who exactly is more like her. But if we are to judge by the supposed distaste of Kishimoto’s wife for how he ended things, allow me to presume that she didn’t like it. And I get her. In the context that Kishi wrote Hinata, I would be offended too!

Now, let me get to the most important part and one that offended me as an ex-Naruto fan, deeply! When asked about when was the decision taken regarding who Naruto will end up with, going past the reused excuse with the middle though once it was in the beginning and then again in the middle ( see where I’m getting here? ;) ), there was this particular thing that offended me and I am sure many others.

if you really look back and think about it, Hinata always supported and acknowledged Naruto, even before Master Iruka

…even before Iruka, he says. Noooow, were have we heard that before? Oh, right! We know where. Once again my conviction with catering with the fans gets stronger and stronger.

I mean, do you see the pattern here? He literally tries to give a hand for each bite. ;)

I am going to interrupt the idea a bit here and get back to what I told you earlier about why I am thankful to the ANN team for bringing forward this thing and NaruSaku fandom’s opinion on the matter.

You know why? Because this was first and foremost a manga about bonds – relationships so of course people would look into the relationships maybe even more than into the fight and plot. Because the emphasis was on that from the beginning, that was what Kishimoto emphasized with Naruto, that was the whole point. And when you compare the two relationships with one another, yes, Sakura was the bitch, Sakura did him wrong, Sakura was in the wrong.

Yes, Hinata was there and didn’t judge him. But that was it. In Naruto’s POV, the one Kishimoto himself wrote, Iruka was his very first bond, his very first parental model, in a way. And to put Hinata above that is beyond ridiculous, imo! But hey, that’s what NaruHina fans always tried to argue with. And as I said earlier, this is why this whole thing smells as BS and trying to cater to them. Because as we all know it, before this, Kishi always held the idea that Iruka is Naruto’s first bond.

And now, at the end of my thoughts with this and why I consider it an offense, I’m not going to say more than give a certain quote in regards to the whole Hinata thing and the high pedestal Kishi tries to put her in order to cater to NaruHina fans.

I bet you all know it.


Who was there and did nothing when she could’ve changed the world?

And with this, I said it all.

Yeah, I’m not into the series anymore and for quite a while now I haven’t checked anything new regarding it, I have no idea where things stand more than what I cannot literally not avoid but given there was this post on Tumblr directed at us NaruSaku fans, it did get me curious and I wanted to see it with my own two eyes.

And after all, even if Naruto ended the way it did and it’s not something I keep supporting nor recommending to anyone, for me NaruSaku still means a lot along with the people in the fandom so you see, I couldn’t just stand by and got curious and his responses managed to squeeze an opinion out of me I couldn’t just keep to myself.

That’s kind of it. Thanks for reading. Till next time,


yours truly,

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Jazzy Jeff (2 years ago)

I thought you were done Naruto entirely so why are you commenting?

Jazzy Jeff (2 years ago)

You just want complain for no reason despite your insistence that you were done with Naruto.

    DANZOR (2 years ago)

    It has been a year since the epilogue was revealed and she´s still complaining over these kind of things… maybe she believes one day Kishimoto will see her blogs and will have a change of heart about the pairings in the manga LOL

    Chatte Georgiana (2 years ago)

    A year has passed and you still haven’t learned the difference. Oh dear.
    But let’s hope, maybe one day…!

Deiber (2 years ago)

A year has passed since Naruto ended and you are still complaining about it… why? Just let it go, Chatte. You said you were ¨done¨ with Kishimoto´s manga months ago, so try to stand by those words. It´s OK if you don´t like the manga, it´s your opinion after all. However, acting like a fangirl just because your favorite ship did not become canon is not right… and deep inside you know it. I hope this will be your last entry about Naruto. See ya.

    Chatte Georgiana (2 years ago)

    Yeah, I am done supporting his manga. A year has passed and you guys still can’t make the difference and push this already dusted agenda. Sorry, not my fault you can’t make the difference between the two. :)

      NaruHinaForever (2 years ago)

      You sound like the NS version of Corvida on Naruto Forums, as in nothing you say makes any sense. Ha-ha.

        Chatte Georgiana (2 years ago)

        I have no idea who that is nor am I interested in finding out, however, you sound just like your NH fan next door; nothing new under the sun there either. :)

      Jazzy Jeff (2 years ago)

      The only agenda is your disgusting irony. You praise his wife for not liking the ending but your fandom threatened his family on Twitter and Facebook.

Kate Anesuna (2 years ago)

Ive been trying to talk to you chatte about Naruto. I know you quit but I believe that when you see this you will change your hope. Same name on facebook, tumblr and twitter. Hope to get an answer from you ^^

    Chatte Georgiana (2 years ago)

    Hey, dear! Well, if it’s anything in particular you want to talk about we can do it. It’s not my main dish anymore but that doesn’t mean I cannot talk about it. I believe we already talked on Facebook but if there’s anything else you want to talk about let me know. :)

Girl-chama (2 years ago)

Pretty sure that she could say 1000 times she was done with the manga and still be at liberty to make a comment, or even *gasp*, an article. I find it very insightful that people come to *her* website (you see her name up in the address bar?) and want to make uninvited commentary when they know where she already stands on the matter.

Jazzy Jeff (2 years ago)

What makes it ironic is she still comments but her fandom tried to have Kishimoto’s work banned in North America or force him to change the ending?

RasenganTT (2 years ago)

LOL Iruka is Naruto’s first bond as it is the first bond Naruto himself noticed. Naruto was oblivious to Hinata’s feelings for him. Either way it’s done, it’s not marketing, it’s not lies…it’s canon. It’s the path the author of the story chose, which as an element of the overall picture, was not a major factor at the time of the main message the writer was trying to get across, or the issues he was trying to address. I just had to pass back by your page as I only watched Boruto the movie for the first time last night. It’s amazing to see Naruto and Hinata’s son develop and find his own way of the ninja, their family is so beautiful :D lololololol (I am admittedly just rubbing it in a little bit, sorry)

Catherine Gunning (1 year ago)

So I discovered this website recently, about an hour ago, and I want to say – don’t fret over dropping Naruto. You’re perfectly free to comment on things as you wish, especially since people may ask your opinion on outdated posts. Despite the fact Naruto is one of my most hated anime, it is also the only one I write fanfictions about – the worldbuilding is fastidious.

    Catherine Gunning (1 year ago)

    And I’ll add something. This website is like a controversial YouTube video. I learnt what I needed about Sakura, and I think that’s just about all I can take.

    Chatte Georgiana (1 year ago)

    Hey dear! Thank you for your feedback and welcome to my home! ^_^ As for Naruto series itself, as I said, it’s a series I don’t support nor recommend anymore, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have an opinion on it, and I’m glad there are people out there that understand this concept. :)
    And yes, although the series ended up the way it did and many threads got tangled, in terms of worldbuilding it’s something to admire. It takes quite a lot of work to build such a world, nevertheless. :)
    As for Sakura, well, she’s one of the most controversial characters herself. Great potential, but sadly great punching bag for Kishi and the editors. But oh well… that’s that. :)

      Wizard of odd (1 year ago)

      Hmm It’s good to see how much Kishimoto, Naruto’s ending and Naruto in general bothers you so much. That pleases me greatly. I’m waiting for more Kishimoto interviews so that he can do more damage to the Narusaku fandom. I feel so righteous after I found out that Kishimoto always intended Sasusaku and Naruhina and that Narusaku was a red herring. Lol my respect for Kishimoto just sky rocketed.

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