As part of Naruto‘s 20th anniversary celebrations, Studio Pierrot released a 10-minute promotional video for the anime. The viral video, titled “ROAD OF NARUTO”, re-imagined several iconic scenes from the original and its sequel series Naruto: Shippuden with updated animation, cool new special effects and, in certain cases, entirely new art for especially hard-hitting moments.
The video proved instantly popular with fans and has garnered over four million views on YouTube and over 20,000 comments, many of which were full of love for Naruto — and curious about whether a remake of the classic anime was on the horizon.
Why Should Studio Pierrot Remake Naruto?
Naruto began airing in 2002, and fans followed the young shinobi as he embarked on a journey to become Hokage until Shippuden concluded in 2017. For most of the anime’s run, new episodes were being released alongside manga chapters, so Studio Pierrot had to get creative to prevent the story from getting ahead of itself. This logistical issue was responsible for Naruto‘s infamously lengthy filler arcs, as well as why so many earlier episodes felt like mere recaps of the one preceding them. Although each episode enjoyed the standard 20-minute run time, the “Land of Waves” arc especially had episodes that felt repetitive, spending several minutes going over previous happenings with relatively little time for new content.
Seeing as Masashi Kishimoto finished the Naruto manga in 2014, an anime remake would be free of the challenges that plagued its earlier run. Rather than churning out an episode weekly, many studios now opt to release their latest stories in seasons, giving them enough time to air episodes that sacrifice neither story progression nor animation quality. There would be no need for bloated episodes or extended filler arcs in a remake as the studio no longer has an ongoing manga to risk catching up to.
Additionally, Naruto‘s animation is by no means bad, but in comparison new-gen titans like Jujutsu Kaisen and Demon Slayer, it definitely looks a little dated. If the animation in “ROAD OF NARUTO” is anything to judge by, a remake would easily put it on the same tier as these newer titles. The Naruto series’ current saving grace is its fight choreography, which none of the other high-profile shonen titles have matched as yet. Updating the animation to keep up with the competition while retaining the unique complications of shinobi battles would take the Naruto series to a whole new level of popularity.
Would a Studio Pierrot Naruto Remake Be Popular?
Even though Naruto concluded in 2017, the series’ fandom is still going strong, with new fans discovering it every day. Nearly two decades after the manga’s first chapter, the heartfelt tale of a young man striving to prove his worth to naysayers still connects to audiences.
Out of anime’s “Big Three”, new One Piece manga chapters and anime episodes are released regularly with record-breaking views and sales. Bleach‘s Thousand-Year Blood War anime adaptation is one of the most anticipated releases of the Fall 2022 anime season. Naruto‘s peers are enjoying success in modern times; contemporary audiences are still very much in love with classic shonen.
Based on the “ROAD OF NARUTO” reception, an anime return — complete with better animation that honors the source material as well as its original run did — might even eclipse the success of its peers. Many clips from the YouTube video were cross-posted on different social media, where they were the subject of much praise. An unfortunate side effect was that these clips misled many into believing a remake had already been announced, which is not the case. Even YouTuber Mr. Beast weighed in on the conversation, asking how he could support an anime remake effort.
Even though the original Naruto series does have its flaws, there are still no signs of a remake on the horizon. Older fans nostalgic for the series’ glory days will have no option but to revisit the originals, which is hardly a problem. Compared to a good deal of anime from its era, Naruto has aged remarkably well and remains an exciting viewing experience that is well worth a second viewing. Who knows — the story might even hit harder with a rewatch.