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'Brand New' Naruto Episodes Delayed To Improve Anime Quality

Naruto, the mega-popular shonen anime series, was supposed to receive four “newly made” episodes on September 3 to commemorate the show’s 20th anniversary, but a recent announcement has pushed back their release.

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A Tuesday, August 29 blog post from the official Naruto website announced the anime’s delay, saying Studio Pierrot, who hasn’t animated a Naruto episode in roughly six years, decided to postpone broadcasting the new Naruto episodes to “improve their quality.”

“We sincerely apologize to all the fans who have been looking forward to the broadcast,” the Naruto blog post said. “We will do our best to make it a work that meets everyone’s expectations, so we appreciate your understanding.”

No new release date for the four Naruto episodes has been revealed but fans can keep track of announcements about its release date on the Naruto website and social media accounts. In lieu of the Naruto episodes airing in Japan, the blog post said fans can look forward to reruns of select episodes of its spin-off, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations.

Not much was known about the four new Naruto episodes outside of the fact that Japanese rock band FLOW would return to perform the fan-favorite opening theme song “GO!!!,” according to Anime News Network.

Studio Pierrot

The recent, sudden delays of popular anime series

Naruto’s episode delays are part of a larger trend of anime series experiencing unexpected delays. Earlier this year, the anime adaptation of Square Enix’s critically acclaimed action game, Nier: Automata, experienced a series of delays due to covid which resulted in the show releasing in batches to make up for lost time. More recently, the new zombie-centric anime, Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead, was delayed multiple times on Netflix, Hulu, and Crunchyroll due to “production circumstances,” according to Anime News Network.

Most famously, the anime adaptation of horror auteur Junji Ito’s Uzumaki spiraled into its third delay late last year. At the time, anime studio Production I.G cited a similar reason for the delay of the hotly anticipated show, saying it required more time to recreate “the quality of the intricate designs and detailed line work” of Ito’s work. Luckily the series appears to be back on track and is slated to release later this year on Toonami.

While anime delays suck, it’s fortunate that Studio Pierrot pre-emptively delayed the brand-new Naruto episodes instead of releasing them in a less-than-stellar state. The Naruto fandom, specifically the Boruto-heads, have already been entrenched with One Piece fans in a very irritating fandom war comparing the animation quality of their respective shows on TikTok and Twitter. I think we can all agree that if the newly-made Naruto episode released in a shoddy state, being online as a shonen would be even more annoying than it already is. Take your time, Pierrot.

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