Why Naruto has a western appearance despite being a Japanese Ninja, explained

Ever since the show made its debut, Naruto has become one of the most well-known shonen anime characters to be a topic of discussion among fans. However, one thing that seems to have confused them is the character’s appearance in the show. We are talking about an anime whose world-building revolves around shinobis, so naturally, most elements will retain their Japanese authenticity.

Despite that, the main character is blonde in the series, and therefore, it is implied that he has a western appearance. Why is that the case? Was Naruto designed in that manner for a specific purpose? The series certainly hasn’t provided an answer in any of the episodes. But the fanbase has numerous interesting takes on this topic, and the article will explore them.

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Why does Naruto seem like a western character in the series?

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If we look at the shinobi world, many elements seem to be inspired from the Japanese culture. Hence, one can say that the setting is loosely based on Japanese elements but isn’t really set in Japan. The use of Kanji on numerous buildings and banners, the language, the concept of shinobis, and so on attests to the fact. Despite that, the main character has a bit of a western appearance. If we look at most anime series, they usually give a character blonde hair and blue eyes only when they want to make it of North American or European ethnicity. However, anime series gives the character blonde hair and blue eyes for another reason as well.

If the series wants the main character to stand out, they take the visual route and give them an appearance that is unique from the rest. For example, if we look at the main character of Himouto Umaru-chan, she has blonde hair. She’s just a school girl who does well in school but is lazy at home. However, since she’s the main character of the series, the blonde hair sets her apart from her classmates and other side characters who have black hair. Since it’s implied that she’s Japanese, this is the only logical explanation for why she is blonde in the series.

Similarly, Kishimoto could have given Naruto yellow hair because it sets him apart from the rest. Another reason the character has blonde hair could be due to the meanings associated with the color. In graphic design, color psychology looks at colors or hues as a determinant of how a human behaves. Gold, yellow or blonde is usually used to imply happy and energetic characters. Given that the main character is always energetic, this could be a reason why he has blonde hair. Kushina can also be taken as an example since she has red hair. Red is usually associated with fury and rage, which explains Kushina’s short temper in the series.

However, there is one more point that could explain why Kishimoto gave Naruto blonde hair. According to reports, the main character’s hair served as a sign that he was an outsider. The series made it clear that the villagers ostracized him for being a Jinchuriki, but sources state that Kishimoto intended for Naruto to be an outsider. This could be another reason why the main character has blonde hair in the series.


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