The iconic director of the Naruto anime series, Hayato Date, almost directed a completely different film.
One Piece animation director Mamoru Yokota recently held a gathering at the LOFT PLUS ONE building in Shinjuku, which Date and other industry figures attended. Through an attendee, Date talked about the time he directed Saiyuki (April 2000 to March 2001) and initially intended to direct Hikaru no Go afterward. However, due to Saiyuki’s unforeseen popularity, he suddenly took on the responsibility of directing four parts of the series. This left him without enough time to direct Hikaru no Go, which was released in October of the same year (until March 2003). For this reason, he instead decided to make Naruto, which premiered in October 2002. Notably, all three series were animated by Studio Pierrot.
One Piece and Dragon Ball Director Condemns Allegations of Child Labor in Anime
The controversy surrounding the possibility of child labor attracted the attention of several anime figures, including the directors of One Piece and Dragon Ball.
Naruto’s anime director almost worked on Hikaru no Go instead
The first tweet read: “In a situation that appears to be related to yesterday’s events, Director Hayato Date was originally assigned to direct Hikaru no Go. However, due to Saiyuki’s unexpected success, they ended up making 4 parts. Since he could no longer continue with Hikaru no Go, he decided to direct Naruto instead. I found that story quite interesting.”
It’s safe to say that Naruto would have been quite different if Date hadn’t directed the series. In addition to directing Naruto Part 1, he also directed Naruto Shippuden until 2016. A 2022 interview with Anime Recorder revealed Date’s influence and intentions in directing the anime, wanting to make it more like a historical drama rather than a typical action movie. Many fans note that the world-building of Naruto, especially when the main cast travels to other villages, is one of the highlights of the work. Date said while focusing on the film, he let the action staff do ‘whatever they wanted’. Key action scenes were entrusted to Naruto veterans Atsushi Wakabayashi and Toshiyuki Tsuru.
Hot debate about who would win in a no-power boxing match: Naruto or One Piece’s Luffy
Fans nerfed Naruto and Luffy to debate which character would win in a duel, with the majority claiming a clear winner.
Both Naruto and its follow-up anime series, Naruto Shippuden, remain among the most popular anime of all time to this day. The former is featured in CBR’s 60 Best Shonen Anime Ever and the latter is in the 30 Best Anime of All Time. Both are available to stream on Crunchyroll, with the original Naruto described as: “The village hidden in the leaves is home to the sneakiest ninja. But twelve years ago, a terrifying nine-tailed fox terrorized the village before it was subdued and its soul sealed in the body of a young boy.”
Naruto Uzumaki, a mischievous adolescent ninja, struggles as he searches for recognition and dreams of becoming Hokage, village leader, and strongest ninja.
Release date September 10, 2002
Creator Masashi Kishimoto
Cast Junko Takeuchi, Maile Flanagan, Kate Higgins
Production company Pierrot, Hãng phim Staralis
Source: X (formerly Twitter)