Released in 2003 in France, volume 1 of the Naruto manga (Kana editions) was still in the top 10 best-selling books in the country in 2021.
Masashi Kishimoto’s little ninja is one of the symbols of the success of manga in France, the second largest market in the world after Japan. narutohis whimsical hero, has been accompanying French readers since 2003 and volume 1 of his adventures again ranked ninth place for best-selling books (all styles combined) in 2021 according to GfK, research & consulting partner.
Confinement, the cultural past and the success of anime adaptations on online viewing platforms have boosted manga sales in recent years. In 2021, 47 million copies were sold in France for a turnover of 353 million euros.
of the concept
Like many young people of my generation, I grew up watching naruto. It’s simply the first anime I’ve seen and the first manga I’ve read. It’s really a work that rocked my childhoodsays Arnaud Jahan, author ofPhilosophy according to Naruto (Editions de L’Opportun) released in March 2022.
This title, which has 72 volumes, is classified among the shonen, a very codified category of the genre and rather reserved for a male adolescent audience. Even if, in recent years, these codes have expanded to make the readership more mixed.
This is particularly the case of Masashi Kishimoto who, beyond the initiation rite inherent in this kind of work, explores other paths. In my opinion, naruto knew how to stand out thanks to three elementscontinues Arnaud Jahan. The manga has a large gallery of characters who mostly all have a deep development. The antagonist not only blocks the protagonist, he points in the first place. The hero, lonely and mocked in his childhood, is characterized by his perseverance and kindness. What makes it particularly endearing.
The second element is emotion. Whether during fights, dialogues or flashbacks, we feel in naruto intense emotions, transposable to our own experience. At last, references to Japanese mythology and history at the heart of this universe bring real depth despite some burlesque trappings. There are wars and conflicts, from generation to generation. The confrontations, the difficulties overcome and the loss of loved ones are the thread of the story.
Break the cycle of hate
Obviously, this progress is made at the rate of ferocious and violent fights. Elements that penalized the vision of gender in the 1980s and 1990s. We don’t forget them, that’s for sure… but what we remember above all is what follows these clashestempts Arnaud Jahan. The character of Naruto does not fight for no reason. Most of the time, it’s to protect his own or help his opponents find the right path. There really isn’t an aimless, worthless, unresolved fight behind it.
Violence is for recall the dangerous world in which the characters move and reinforce the author’s message: A world that ends up breaking the cycle of hatred in the hope of building a peaceful world. A world where man has ended up learning from the mistakes of the past so as not to repeat them again.
The success of naruto can finally be explained by its longevity. Parents who have read it can now find in it a vehicle for discussion with their children by transposing the ubiquitous relations of the younger year or the teacher. The world of this manga is hirarchis. The notion of transmission is very important. The young people are respectful, listen and learn from the older ones. It is not a role of dominator-dominated, but rather a philosophy of life to conduct oneself in the fairest way possible.