So when it comes to Japanese anime, there will always a couple that stand above the rest. For decades now it was the big three, One Piece, Bleach, and Naruto.
These three shonen franchises were international hits that got their own movies, games, books, and even anime adaptions.
Now eventually, Bleach fell off and was replaced by My Hero Academia. Naruto managed to stay up there with One Piece up until it came to an end in late 2014. All the while, both shows had an anime adaption running alongside them. One Piece was handled by Toei Animation, who get the job done but make tons of mistakes. Naruto, on the other hand, was handled by Studio Pierrot, who has made some amazing shows in the past. But, no company is perfect, and the boat that was the Naruto anime began showing some holes.
Now, these differences are gathered between Naruto and Naruto: Shippuden, which was "technically" a new iteration of the franchise that took place a couple years later. For a while, Pierrot was catching up to the manga releases, meaning they had no new material to adapt for next weeks episode. And that's why the Naruto anime has such an incredibly high amount of filler. Now it's up to you which you personally want to experience the journey of Naruto through. On one hand, the anime has some amazingly well-animated fights, and some great new material, even if it's filler. But, the manga is much more streamlined, with better art, and a more consistent pace. To help you with such a difficult decision, I'm here to tell you the 24 Weird Things Cut From Naruto (That Were In The Manga).
20 They Cut The Intensity, Mostly
This might be a little odd, but I'm going to start off with a cut that wasn't so weird. So, the team behind the anime, Studio Pierrot, removed a lot of the gratuitous gore in Naruto.
Not much of a surprise considering Naruto has some pretty hardcore stuff.
But it always bothered me the way Pierrot changed things a lot of the time. One of the primary examples was Orochimaru's lab. In the manga, the lab was less "high-tech" with bodies hanging everywhere. But, in the anime, it looked a lot more sterile. Rather than bodies, there were organs in jars. Which honestly is worse, in my opinion.
19 They Pruned Gaara's Elimination Tally
Everyone remembers Gaara. How could you forget one of the most memorable characters in the series?
He had a unique design and an amazing fight with Rock Lee.
Gaara, when he first appeared, was ready to fight with just about anyone. He had a body count to be sure, but it might've been more than you'd expect. In the anime, a lot of Gaara's more "brutal" moments were cut for a number of reasons. Namely, they were really graphic. Luckily, these changes also helped him seem a bit more redeemable since he eventually does turn over a new leaf.
18 They Cut Chiaotzu From Naruto
This is probably one of the cuts that people noticed the least. Sad too since it features some beloved characters. They only appear for a single panel in the manga, but during Naruto's travels with Jiraya, they come across a mask shop.
As Naruto walks by to purchase a mask from the stand, we can see some faces we recognize on the masks.
Faces such as Chiaotzu from Dragon Ball Z or a Kamen Rider mask. Unfortunately, to avoid legal issues they, of course, had to be cut out in the anime.
17 They Didn't Cut Open Kimmimaro
So far, a lot of this list has been odd, sure, but the cuts Pierrot made mostly made sense. But not in Kimmimaro's case. His gimmick is using his own constantly regenerating bones as weapons.
Now, in the manga, his body opens up, and you can see inside it. But, in the anime, his body has more of clay or putty-like structure to it.
The bones just kind of...come out? It's an absurdly small nitpick to be sure. But the body horror actually did a lot for Kimmimaro as a character. Maybe they did it to save on animation by not having to draw the inside of the body? Who really knows.
16 They Cut Out Silhouette's For Sai And Sasuke
Naruto uses his ninja magic to flirt with old men. Yeah. and it's about as creepy as it sounds, sorry. In the earlier chapters of the manga, Naruto has his own trademarked Justu.
Using it turns him into an "attractive" young lady. It's odd, that's for sure.
But what's even worse is that Konohamaru, a pupil of Naruto, and a child, tries his own version. It's a bit later on in the story, and his version depicts Team 7's Sai and Sasuke, closer than ever. This was shown in the manga as a way to confuse Sakura, and it still made it into the anime but was heavily censored.
15 Obito Can Cut To His Heart's Content
Earlier I mentioned that the anime tends to cut out the more horrifying aspects of the manga.
Obito is apparently an exception to that rule. He's also one of the more tragic characters in Naruto.
Later in Shippuden, we get a glance back at his traumatizing experiences, like when he goes on a rampage against a group of ninjas that took his childhood sweetheart away. Weirdly enough, there was little cut from this massacre in terms of gore. And, believe me, it was violent. Maybe the team realized that Obito's backstory kind of needed the aspect in order to hit home?
14 Cut The Footage Of Temari Owning Tenten
The Chunin exams were arguably the peak of Naruto as an anime according to some. It's where most people hopped on, and it also convinced them to stay. It wasn't just a fighting tournament like most other shonen anime, at least not until the last section. But, even when it became an arena-style tournament, fans were excited to see the matchups.
One of the more commonly ignored characters was the weapon-specialized Tenten from Guy's team.
But, for some reason, only in the anime, Tenten's fight with Temari (Gaara's friend with the giant fan) was completely ignored to show more of Ino and Sakura arguing.
13 They Cut Away Jiraya's Honor
Here comes the Toad Sage. I'm of course talking about Jiraya, one of the three great sages. Jiraya was an absurdly powerful ninja that grew up with both Orochimaru and Tsunade.
Sure he had many faults, but overall he seemed to be the honorable sort of person, like when he agreed to train Naruto.
In the manga, their training starts at the Konoha Hot Springs, but in the anime, Jiraya is a bit flakier. The animated Jiraya attempts to ditch Naruto, who then chases him across town all the way to a nearby river, where the training finally begins. Anime Jiraiya's a real jerk.
12 Or Maybe They Didn't
Apparently, I had it backward. Manga Jiraya is the jerk, and anime Jiraya is a true hero. Why do I say this? Well because, later on, when Jiraya and Naruto are still in town, they come across some trouble in a gambling parlor.
A certain thug named Gantestsu starts trouble with Jiraya.
The Toad Sage then uses him as a vehicle to show Naruto the Rasengan. In the anime, he knocks out Gantetsu who then gives him his wallet as a sign of respect. In the manga, however, he simply steals it. For shame Jiraya, for shame.
11 They Cut Down Kabuto's Patience
Kabuto, Orochimaru's right-hand man and all around weirdo showed his true colors during the finals of the Chunin Exams. In the manga, he axes an Anbu ninja, assumes their identity, then helps heal Hinata after her bout with Neji. Directly after healing her, he konks Kiba on the head and knocks him out during Naruto and Neji's fight.
But, for some reason, in the anime, the knock-out takes place during the Sasuke vs Gaara match.
What's even weirder is that when this event is shown again during a flashback in Shippuden, it shows Kabuto knocking Kiba out during Naruto's bout, which means they knew they had messed up.
10 They Cut Sasuke's Special Treatment
I will never, in my life, understand why people like Sasuke. The guy is so incredibly boring and is constantly rewarded for things he doesn't deserve.
One such example happens during the finals of the Chunin exams.
In it, it's Sasuke versus Gaara. But, Sasuke is nowhere to be found. So, he's disqualified, right? Wrong. The Third Hokage, as well as the other Kages in attendance, agree to give Sasuke an extension. Alright, fine. But, in the anime, they actually give him two extensions, which is exponentially worse. One shows that they're being generous, two, however, shows a sign of favoritism.
9 They Put Shikamaru's Promotion On Hold
Also, because of Orochimaru's petty attack on the Hidden Leaf, Naruto missed out on becoming a Chunin. The finals of that year's exam were obviously canceled due to the events that transpired, and a funeral had to sadly be arranged.
Though Shikamaru in the manga managed to become a Chunin sometime between Naruto leaving with Jiraya and his return with Tsunade.
But, in the anime, thanks to the Land of Tea filler, Shikamaru's promotion had to wait until Tsunade had become Hokage. Poor Shikamaru, getting his own promotion pushed back for filler. And not even good filler at that.
8 Neji'sRecommendationn Got Cut
Speaking of geniuses who got snubbed, another one that missed out in the anime was Neji.
This all takes place during the Sasuke retrieval arc, where Neji just randomly appears and joins the team.
Actually, it turns out that in the manga, Rock Lee overheard Shikamaru and Naruto brainstorming potential members, and recommends the Byakugan user Neji. This way is way better because Lee has to come to terms with the fact that he can't go due to his injury from Gaara. So, he shows his growth as an adult by recommending his rival Neji to take his place.
7 They Cut Into Valuable Konohamru Training Time
Another casualty of the filler was Konohamaru. Grandson to the third Hokage, Konohomaru slowly but surely became Naruto's first pupil.
The two of them always caused trouble together and eventually, Konohamru learned Naruto's trademark technique, the Rasengan as well.
Though, the timing was a bit, muddled, in the transition from ink to anime. In the manga, Konohamru learned the Rasengan from Naruto before the time-skip that took place between the original series and Shippuden. But, in the anime, he actually learned it after. A weirdly specific detail for the anime to change, especially considering the fact that Konohamru using the Rasengan is so crucial in the Pain arc.
6 Sakura Can Save Herself, So Cut It Out
Team Six's Sakura is vastly underused in general. She's a crucial part of the trio with Sasuke and Naruto and is unique with her own specialties. She's the perfect middle ground between Naruto's gung-ho nature and Sasuke's calculating but cold mentality. Plus, she punches so insanely hard.
Unfortunately, the series pretty much ignores her and makes her a damsel in distress constantly.
Thankfully, during the Ten-Tails' rampage near the end of the series, she had some great moments. Originally in the manga, Kakashi has to save Sakura from the Ten-Tails attack, but in the anime, she saves herself and others. It's a small step, but I still appreciate it.
5 They Didn't Cut Any Of The Filler
What even is filler in anime? Well, filler episodes are parts of any series where the plot or events are non-canon. These events don't have any lasting effect on the rest of the series and are usually only used as a way of placating the audience while they wait for more chapters of the manga to adapt. In any case, Naruto is the worst with it.
In fact, people have made entire blogs and websites dedicated documenting which parts of the series are filler.
I mean, there's even an entire arc where Naruto fights a robot version of himself. Funny? Sure. But still gross nonetheless.
4 They Cut Out All The Great Artistic Detail
This isn't necessarily fair to the anime, but I don't care. The art in the Naruto manga is so much better than the anime at times it's depressing. Now, granted, some of the fights and moments in the anime are so amazingly well animated, such as the Pain battle.
But, that doesn't change the fact that in general, the team cuts as many corners as they can to not include the level of detail and energy that the art in the manga does.
Though I will give them credit, they're nowhere near as bad as the team behind the One Piece anime.
3 They Cut Into Our Valuable Time With Long Fights
What do you do when your anime adaptation has caught up to the source material? Well, you slow down every episode of course. Make it an unbearably slow mess of course, what else?
With One Piece there's an absurdly long recap in every episode, but with Naruto, they drag out the fights.
What I mean by this is that they cut the tension out of almost every encounter. Every fight, especially after the Ninja War starts, is spent mostly on the two combatants staring at each other while flashbacks happen. Again, when fights get started, the animation can be truly amazing, but those moments are far and few between.
2 Do Clothes Transform Too, Or Do They Not Make The Cut?
Killer B is the best character in Naruto. There I said it. The only others who even come close are Rock Lee and Guy Sensei. Anyway, Killer B is the host for the Eight-Tailed spirit, Gyūki, which is an octopus.
B is also the perfect Jinchuriki in that he has a working relationship with Gyūki and can transform at will.
When he does however in the anime, they for some reason make it so his sandals and knee pads simply fall to the floor as he transforms. This was only in the anime, and made no sense, considering his shades, shirt, and even headband transformed with him.
1 Naruto Cut Tsunade's Face From His Memory
Studio Pierrot really did a great job at making sure everything in the anime stayed mistake-free. Well, except for one big instance. When Jiraya first returns to the village at the beginning of Shippuden, Tsunade's face hasn't made it onto the rock wall yet.
But, when the pair leaves to train not too long after, Naruto looks back and suddenly her face is carved up there.
This wasn't the case in the manga, meaning that the team behind the anime messed up big time. This isn't some small detail, they literally mistakenly added an extra face onto a mountain. Talk about making mountains out of mole-hills.