August 29, 2010
***May contain SPOILERS*** (you have been warned)
Well there are a lot of interviews out there (real and fake) so i decided to make a collection of his interviews i believe are all real... hopefully between us we can update this and find the real from fake
first of all i will post an interview from the LA Times... this will give a little information about Naruto and Masashi Kishimoto.
Masashi Kishimoto's self portrait...
Interview: The man behind 'Naruto'
A talk with Masashi Kishimoto: The hero of his manga series is 'based on my self-image of my own childhood, but different from how I really was.'
By Charles Solomon
December 17, 2008
At 34, Masashi Kishimoto is one of the most successful manga-ka, or manga artists, in the world. His long-running series about ninja-in-training Naruto Uzumaki has sold tens of millions of books around the world. Kishimoto, born in the rural prefecture of Okayama, lives in Tokyo, where he works with several assistants. Although Naruto can be insufferably cocky at times, Kishimoto seems a bit overwhelmed by the runaway success of his first major creation.
"It's rather awkward to talk about what makes Naruto appealing to audiences, but I think his being a knucklehead gives him an appeal," Kishimoto said in an interview conducted via e-mail with help from translator Hiromi Psaila. "Perfect heroes are cool, but no one can really empathize or identify with them. Naruto often makes blunders, and he has weaknesses. Naruto feels inferior to his peers, but he hates to be a loser. Although he doesn't think about it too much, he knows he hates to lose, and we all know what that feels like. I think readers see themselves in Naruto, and that's what appeals to them: They can empathize with him and his weaknesses."
As a boy, Kishimoto was obsessed with manga and baseball. In elementary school, he became "completely addicted" to the popular boys' series "Dragon Ball." His interest gradually expanded to include other manga series, notably Katsuhiro Otomo's landmark "Akira." Kishimoto explained that he was so focused on his drawings that he did poorly in high school, ranking 30th in a class of 31.
While in art school, Kishimoto won a contest for aspiring manga artists with his story "Karakuri" (Mechanism). His next work, a manga short story about a fox spirit disguised as a human (foxes are traditional shape-shifters in Japanese folklore) named Naruto, appeared in 1997. Two years later, a new version of "Naruto" premiered as a serial in the magazine Weekly Shonen Jump and scored an immediate hit.
Although the name was the same, the new version of "Naruto" was very different from the previous story. The Hidden Leaf Village of ninjas was nearly destroyed by a nine-tailed fox demon, a creature so terrible it was seen as divine punishment. The village chieftain died, sealing that demon within the body of a newborn baby: Naruto. Because he was associated with the demon, Naruto was a lonely child, shunned by the people of the village. At the Ninja Academy, he blew off his lessons, played pranks and got into mischief.
"When Naruto was born, it was more like he somehow came out, rather than my creating him from some inspiration," he continued. "The only image I had in mind was a character who was a naughty boy. I was a poor student, but unlike Naruto, I was the type of poor student who gave up easily and pondered things that weren't worth pondering. I wanted Naruto to be different. He was created based on my self-image of my own childhood, but different from how I really was."
His impish nature and spotty record make Naruto a come-from-behind kid. After graduating from the academy -- after three tries -- he begins his advanced training as a ninja. Although he remains a goof-off at heart, Naruto will lay his life on the line to protect his friends. And in extreme circumstances, he can draw on the energy of the demon imprisoned within his body. Under the supervision of his teacher, Kakashi, he goes on missions in a team with his rival Sasuke and Sakura, on whom he nurtures a crush.
Kishimoto's strong clean lines and massed areas of black give the many action sequences a visual punch. The human figures are well-drawn and accurately proportioned, and their poses suggest believable movements. "I chose to draw the human figures as accurately as possible because I thought it would give a more realistic feel to the action scenes," Kishimoto explains. "Exaggeration can lend action scenes more force, but I like to stick to more realistic figures: They help keep the cool in the action scenes, although they may be not as forceful as the exaggerated ones."
Kishimoto lays out each page like a director/cinematographer, often juxtaposing a series of close-ups of a character's changing expression with large drawings of a combat sequence. The viewer sees Naruto's resolve stiffen before he kicks the wasabi out of his opponent.
"I watch a lot of movies, and I tend to be influenced by scenes that intrigue me, that make me want to use the same effects or technique," Kishimoto explains. "I once adopted [actor-director] Takeshi Kitano's technique of shooting objects from a great distance to stifle the emotion in the scene. I like the way Quentin Tarantino creates a scene using a series of close-ups or showing very cool images of a person or people walking on some ordinary street in slow motion. I wish I could achieve that kind of slow-motion effect in manga, but it's rather difficult to draw; the only things we can play with are tones of black and white. I also like Michael Bay's technique of shooting a scene against the background light. I'd like to try this in manga, but again it would be rather difficult."
While still a student, Kishimoto studied the work of some of the most famous manga artists and Japanese animators. In addition to "Dragon Ball" and "Akira," he read, re-read and copied the drawings in Hiroyuki Okiura's sci-fi fantasy "Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade," Koji Kiriyama's ninja tale "Ninku" and Masamune Shirow's groundbreaking cyberpunk tale "Ghost in the Shell," which was adapted to the screen by Mamoru Oshii. Kishimoto feels their successes paved by the way for the international popularity of "Naruto," which was influenced by them.
"I didn't think much about foreign readers when I began 'Naruto,' but I knew that many of the artists who influenced me had already been accepted overseas," he concluded. "All the people I was influenced by have been very successful in other countries, which may be why it was easier for my work to be accepted there. 'Naruto' owes a lot to those artists who won acceptance and popularity overseas."
Solomon is the author, most recently, of "Disney Lost and Found."
Copyright © 2011, Los Angeles Times
next will be his (i believe) earliest interview...
In early 2006, Shonen Jump (USA) conducted an interview with creator of the Naruto series, Masashi Kishimoto. This interview was then divided into two parts and released in the 2006 May and June issues of Shonen Jump.
SHONEN JUMP talks with NARUTO creator MASASHI KISHIMOTO
The Hokage Speaks
The blindfold didn’t hurt much, and though the car windows were dark, we felt more safe than scared. The ninja bodyguards were quite friendly, really. They kept us sated with ramen and green tea as we made our way toward the secret location where we were scheduled to interview secluded ninja storyteller Masashi Kishimoto, creator of Naruto. Kishimoto-sensei was polite and soft spoken. He told us about his childhood, the word of Naruto and how he already knows the way the manga will end – not that he gave anything away. And then, in a cloud of smoke, he disappeared…
SHONEN JUMP: Let’s get right to the most pressing and important question, something our readers often ask, and we’d like to know, too: What is this thing? >>>>>>
It’s rumored that it’s lipstick Naruto uses when he does the Ninja Centerfold Jutsu.
MASASHI KISHIMOTO: [laughs] Many Japanese fans ask the same question. What is it? I just drew it in as a spur of the moment thing, and it doesn’t have much meaning. I’m hoping I can expand more on it later and integrate it into the story.
SJ: Are any of the characters we’ve met based on people you know or experiences you’ve had?
MK: I did base some of the characters on my friends in college, with some embellishment. But really, I’ve been creating original characters mostly.
SJ: Sakura and Rock Lee don’t appear to have any of the special powers that ninja like Naruto, Sasuke and Gaara have – do you think those two characters are popular because they provide a kind of reader’s-eye view of the story as it unfolds?
MK: Is Sakura popular in the U.S.? Well, Lee only has taijutsu. And as a girl, Sakura is [physically] weaker than the others. So I can see why it’s easy to empathize with them. They represent human weaknesses.
SJ: We want to know more about the rest of the Naruto world – what are the normal people like, what are the governments like, is this the whole world?
MK: The world outside of the ninja is pretty normal. People make their living by running businesses, et cetera. Konohagakure, the Village Hidden in the Leaves, is the military part of the country. Hinokuni, or the Land of Fire, provides Konohagakure a place to live, and in return, the resident ninja protect the country as a whole, similar to a military force.
As for the government, the daimyo, or warlords, govern the lands and run the political system and the bureaucracy.
Each country has warlords at the top, and its military has its leaders. In America, you have a president at the top, but you also have the military general at the top of the military. The states have more power than the ninja, but since the daimyo don’t cooperate with each other, I guess coup d’états happen rather frequently. The world is not yet solid [laughs], but what you see in the story is not everything in the world of Naruto.
SJ: Has it been tough to maintain the rigorous production needs of the manga, now that you have a family? Do you ever get used to the intense schedule?
MK: It’s been six years since I started Naruto, but I’ve never gotten used to the schedule of weekly installments. The lifestyle is not for any normal human. When I was just a reader of manga, I always thought, “Why can’t the artists draw more?” Now that I’ve finally become a manga-ka, I’m like, “You’re asking for something impossible!” [laughs]
SJ: Have any of your assistant artists gone on to do their own manga yet?
MK: Yes, one of them has: Osamu Kajisa (also spelled as "Osamu Kazisa"). His work, Tattoo Hearts, has been published.
SJ: It sounds like you had a pretty happy childhood – what motivated you to write a story about an outsider?
MK: My childhood wasn’t all that happy. It may have sounded like it was all good in my journal entries in the manga volumes, but that was in order to make it interesting for the readers. Like any person, I’ve had hardships in my life. I was not the center of anyone’s attention in school, rather sitting on the outskirts. I didn’t do well in everything. I didn’t excel in studies nor sports. So I can understand Naruto’s feelings of being an underdog. I don’t really like people who are too perfect. [laughs]
SJ: Oda-sensei says he knows how One Piece will end – do you know how Naruto will end?
MK: Yes, I have the last episode clearly drawn in my mind. I’ve already decided on the layout, text and scenes. Not just the story ideas, but the visual ideas are solid.
All I have to do is just head toward the ending I have, but there are still so many things that need to be resolved before reaching that point. Maybe I have thrown in too many ideas, so I need to wrap them up neatly.