Naruto and Hunter x Hunter
Facts - Anime

Naruto Was Greatly Inspired By Hunter x Hunter And Yu Yu Hakusho

Source – Google | Image by Cbr

Given that Hunter x Hunter was out before Naruto, it’s possible that Naruto was influenced by Hunter x Hunter and Yu Yu Hakusho.

Source – Google | Image by Polygan

There were points in Naruto which were obviously inspired by Hunter x Hunter, down to the paneling. A lot of Naruto plot points were lifted right off of Hunter x Hunter, like the whole Uchiha clan massacre similarly like the Kurata Clan. The Chunin Exams and the Hunter Exams. Sasuke is an amalgam of Killua, Kurapika and Hiei (from Yu Yu Hakusho).

Source – Google | Image by Cbr

This comes as no surprise given that Kishimoto (Naruto mangaka) lists Togashi Yoshihiro (creator of Hunter x Hunter) as his favorite mangaka. Kishimoto has stated in interviews that Dragon Ball, Yuu Yuu Hakusho, and Hunter x Hunter influenced him greatly. In fact, when working on Naruto, he keeps a copy of Hunter x Hunter in his studio and uses it as a reference for facial expressions and such. (This is why Naruto’s paneling looks so similar to HxH.)

Source – Google | Image by Reddit

In fact, Kishimoto even stated that Naruto’s Kage Bunshin no Jutsu was inspired by Yu Yu Hakusho’s Suzaku. 

The influence of Hunter x Hunter is so obvious in Naruto that a lot of us were joking about how the reason why Naruto sucked after the time skip was because Hunter x Hunter was on hiatus at the time, so Kishimoto had nothing to be “inspired” by.

No need to Believe in what we say… These are the words of Kishimoto sensei himself from his interview alongside Togashi Sensei the author of Hunter x Hunter and Yu Yu Hakusho.

Interviewer : “Alright, I would like to ask Kishimoto-sensei what are some of the things you like in Togashi-sensei’s works?”

Kishimoto: “His works are amazing in multiple aspects, before I started working on my manga, I was one of the many fans of Yu Yu Hakusho and I also read HxH with great passion.”

Interviewer : “What do you find impressive about his works?”

Kishimoto : “His way of surprising the reader, First of the way he can create unexpected scenes that can show the threat that the enemies represent, the Kagebushin no Jutsu of Naruto is strongly inspired by Suzaku’s technique in Yu Yu Hakusho. The idea of having after-images be real was very innovative, I was excited and thought “how will they beat this guy”, Another thing I like was the characters’ faces during the sequences where they see their adversary exhibit their true power, I’ve spent a lot of time studying the delicate balance of expressions of characters when they’re astonished or in a life-threatening scenario., Back when I started the serialization of Naruto, my inspiration for these kinds of facial expressions was Hunter x Hunter, even to this day it still has a special place for me and I often re-read it. next, there’s the character Hiei who’s been developed in a fantastic way.”

Kishimoto : “I was already a big fan of Hiei back when I was only a reader, but I’ve also taken him as a source of inspiration when I started creating my characters, At first I wasn’t able to create a “cool” character, I didn’t know where to begin so I studied one my favorite characters: Hiei, and I succeeded in creating Sasuke, the Sharingan, as well as some of his other techniques were inspired by him.”

Interviewer: “Interesting! Now that I think about it that has to be true.”