One of the most influential anime of the early 2000s, Naruto and its sequel Naruto Shippuden will be making their Blu-ray debut in the United Kingdom and Ireland, following an announcement by Anime Limited at MCM London Comic Con. A Collector’s Edition release has been announced, with details to follow in early 2024.
Naruto has been a cultural force for the past twenty years. Starting life as a manga by Masashi Kishimoto serialised in the pages of Weekly Shonen JUMP magazine, the series now has over 250-million copies in print, and has been adapted into multiple mediums, including anime. Adapted by Studio Pierrot, the first Naruto anime series premiered back in 2002 and ran for 220 episodes, with its sequel series Naruto Shippuden airing a further 500 episodes between 2007-2017. The first series was broadcast in the UK from 2006 on the long since-defunct channel Jetix, and has been widely credited with expanding the audience for anime in the west, even inspiring popular actors like Michael B. Jordan (did you spot the Naruto Shippuden poster in Creed III?).
The series follows the adventures of Naruto Uzumaki, a young troublemaker and fledgling ninja outcast due to the Nine-Tailed Fox spirit sealed within him. Naruto has big dreams of becoming the “Hokage” – the leader and most respected figure in the Hidden Leaf Village. However, in order to do, he’ll have to learn to work together with teammates like the smart Sakura, standoffish Sasuke, and his mysterious teacher as they fight to maintain peace in the ninja world.
“NARUTO has been one of the most pivotal anime in cultivating fandom in the UK,” says Andrew Partridge, Anime Ltd.’s director and co-founder. “We’re incredibly proud to be able to bring our passion and decade of experience making memorable and high-quality releases.”
“NARUTO’s dedicated following has only grown in the UK over the last 20 years,” said Kerry Kasim, Anime Ltd.’s UK General Manager. “We’re committed to bringing releases that meet fans’ high expectations and that respects the rich history of these series.”
Naruto and Naruto Shippuden were both previously released on DVD by Manga Entertainment (now a subsidiary of Crunchyroll), and is currently streaming in Japanese with English subtitles on Crunchyroll. This news follows Anime Limited’s acquisition of fellow iconic Weekly Shonen JUMP anime BLEACH and its recent sequel BLEACH: The Thousand-Year Blood War at Japan Expo earlier this year.
Source: Anime Limited