Naruto is Masashi Kishimoto’s most popular work so far and although he has made efforts to revive the success he had with later works it seems difficult. One of the biggest factors about him was the way he naturally blends humor with action, sometimes accidentally and sometimes intentionally. However, it might have been even better, as the Third Hokage was originally planned to be a dog..
Although it is well known that the conception of Naruto is deeply rooted in Akira Toriyama’s admiration for Dragon Ball, we did not know to what extent this was completely true. But, our expectations have been exceeded with the first sketch of Masashi Kishimoto of the Hokage, especially the one that corresponds to the Third Hokage, since it seems completely unknown to the current one and is much more similar to the “President of the world” of Dragon Ball, this leader of The Village Hidden in the Leaves was initially designed to be an anthropomorphic dog.
This image comes from the book Naruto Secret: Scroll of Facing Character Official Databook available on amazonwhere we can see Kishimoto’s concept art for Hiruzen Sarutobi. It is unclear at what point Kishimoto started to move away from this idea or if it was the editing team’s suggestion that he modify this element. Be that as it may, the Third Hokage arrived in the official Naruto series already when he was an old man much more worldly than the intimidating canine figure of Kishimoto’s concept art. This change may be due to the Third Hokage’s role in his Village Invasion arc. It seems that the Third Hokage was always destined to sacrifice his life to stop Orochimaru, so perhaps Kishimoto believed that a weaker-looking man who had passed his prime was a better fit for this role than a soft loin.
Truth be told, the Third Hokage doesn’t have a particularly iconic character design in his own right, and he’s more memorable for the role he played in shaping the world and history of Naruto than his image. There’s no telling how popular the original incarnation of the Third Hokage might have become if it had represented the introduction of anthropomorphic animals in Naruto, would it, furry friends?
The Third Hokage and his role in Naruto
The Third Hokage, Hiruzen Sarutobi, was first introduced in Naruto Chapter 1 as an old man in charge of the Village Hidden in the Leaves. Only later do readers discover that the Hokage is widely considered to be the most powerful ninja in the entire village and one of the strongest in all of history.
With such a seemingly ordinary appearance, this reveal was no doubt a shock to many first-time readers. However, Hiruzen Sarutobi’s original design would have made this reveal even more amazing. doCan you imagine the idea of an anthropomorphic dog saving the most powerful ninja village? Probably, it would have improved a lot from the current presentation that we had in the anime.
Related topics: Naruto
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