Naruto‘s panel at Jump Festa 2023 Super Stage announced that the franchise is getting its first ever worldwide popularity poll, titled NARUTOP99, to determine the 99 most popular characters from the franchise, as part of the anime’s 20th anniversary.
An official website for the voting process was also unveiled during the announcement along with a special promo video.
“The Naruto series is a host to a wide variety of memorable characters and to celebrate 20 years since the anime first aired in Japan, we’re holding a worldwide vote to determine the 99 most popular characters,” the message on the official website read.
A total of 488 characters from Naruto manga will be part of the popularity poll, with top 99 characters chosen based on the votes of fans from all over the world.
The character who comes first in the popularity poll will star in an original short manga, whereas the top 20 characters in the poll will receive special illustrations by author Masashi Kishimoto.
The voting period ends on Jan 31, 2022. Every fan can vote once a day online till the period ends. The results of NARUTOP99 will be announced on April 2023.
Kishimoto also revealed a special illustration along with his comment for NARUTOP99.
“NARUTO has done many character popularity surveys in Japan’s Shonen Jump magazine, but this is our first time doing a vote on a global scale, so I’m excited to see which characters will make it to the top ranks!
I’m eagerly awaiting lots of votes from fans around the world,” Kishimoto’s message read.
Additionally, the first 90 chapters of Naruto manga, will be made free to read for audiences worldwide, as part of the popularity poll. The chapters will be available on Zebrak, Shonen Jump + and Manga Plus platforms. The chapters will be free to read till Jan 31, 2022.
Based on the manga series of the same name by Masashi Kishimoto, Naruto anime began airing on Oct 3, 2002. Produced by Studio Pierrot and Aniplex, the first part of Naruto anime aired from 2002 to 2007 with 220 episodes. A sequel titled Naruto: Shippuden began airing the same year, and continued till 2017 before ending.
Naruto: Shippuden aired for a total of 500 episodes.
The main story then continued, focusing on the younger generation, with Naruto’s son Boruto, playing the titular character in Boruto: Naruto Next Generations.
Source: Official website
©1999 by Masashi Kishimoto/ SHUEISHA Inc.