Everyone has a favorite food, and they can like it for all sorts of reasons. Obviously, it can be the taste. It can also be a happy memory associated with the dish. It can even be a special gift provided by a friend. In this sense, food is not only sustenance, but also happiness. This kind of love for food can also be seen in the main character of Naruto .
Naruto Uzumaki loves ramen. As much. He is constantly seen eating at Ichiraku Ramen with his friends and mentors. He knocks on his door in the morning and he’ll probably answer with a cup of instant ramen in hand. When he introduces himself, the two big things he talks about are the types of ramen he likes and becoming Hokage. He is pretty much the only thing you see him eat; If Kakashi didn’t stop by his apartment from time to time to feed him vegetables, he might be the only thing I ate. That and the red bean soup. The only other characters who can eat more ramen than Naruto are Yamato and Hinata. To find out the reason(s) for this borderline addiction, one will have to take a closer look at Naruto as a whole.
The most obvious reason for Naruto’s love of ramen is that it fits with his design motif. Naruto may like ramen, but what he really likes is spirals. For this reason, the motif of the spirals is present throughout the franchise of Naruto . The series logo is superimposed on a spiral. Kana-Boon’s theme for Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 is “Spiral”. The iconic Rasengan (螺旋丸) can be translated as “Spiral Chakra Sphere”. In the movie road to ninja Naruto loses his memory and regains it by looking at a rolled up scroll. There are also all sorts of jutsu marks and seals (for example, the Naruto Tetragram Seal) that use a spiral pattern.
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Naruto’s own Uzumaki clan is also all spirals. And the eddies, which are spiral-shaped. His family name means “whirlpool” or “maelstrom”; they come from the Land of Quilts; the family crest, which happens to be worn on Naruto’s back, is a spiral. This has nothing to do with ramen yet, but it will.
Ramen is related to Naruto’s spiral motif due to one of its key ingredients: the narutoki. This fish cake is usually placed on top of a bowl of ramen noodles; its cloud shape and red spiral design have become practically synonymous with the plate itself. It also happens to be one of Naruto’s favorite parts of ramen. His love for this fish cake, in particular, is such that he gets angry when there isn’t one in his bowl (albeit in a way that breaks the straw on the camel’s back).
As for the in-universe reasons for Naruto’s love of ramen, it can be traced back to his name. narutomaki looks like a portmanteau of Naruto and Uzumaki. In fact, Naruto’s parents chose his name based on the main character in one of Jiraiya’s books; he, in turn, thought of the name while he ate a bowl of ramen. This doesn’t necessarily explain where Naruto’s fondness for ramen came from, though he might have reinforced it after learning more about his parents and his teacher.
One possible explanation for Naruto eating at Ichiraku all the time comes from an end credits sequence in the anime. The end 34 of Naruto: Shippūden, “Niji no Sora”, shows a young Naruto being invited to the store by Teuchi and being offered a bowl. From there, Naruto is shown throughout his life frequenting the store with his friends. Other clients include Naruto’s parents and mentors like Iruka and Jiraiya. This ending even fuels the idea that Hinata is capable of eating much more ramen than Naruto; as he piles bowl after bowl, Naruto almost throws up from overeating. This isn’t quite canon in the manga, but it’s too sane to disregard.
Although the manga never specifies what makes Naruto love ramen so much, there are plenty of ways to explain it. It is closely related to the spiral motif of it. Also, in both the anime and manga, he has fond memories of Ichiraku hanging out with his loved ones. Whatever the reason Naruto has started eating ramen, he has created too many good memories with this dish to stop.