Naruto is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and to mark the occasion Studio Pierrot are releasing four brand new episodes. These episodes will take place before the events of Boruto, and are the first new episodes based in this era to launch since Naruto Shippuden ended in 2017.
If you're already a die-hard Naruto fan this tidbit of information will already be enough to get you excited and get the nostalgia flowing. And if you can't wait for the return of Naruto then we've rounded-up everything you need to know to get ready for Team 7's return.
We've got details on the release date for the new Naruto episodes, where you will be able to watch it outside of Japan, as well as who will be performing the opening theme.
What is the release date of the new Naruto episodes?
The first new Naruto episode was originally set to premiere on Japanese TVs at 5.30pm JST on Sunday September 3 2023. However, just days before the air date the official Naruto account on X, formerly known as Twitter, posted to say the Naruto anniversary episodes had been delayed.
The Naruto Anime Production Committee explained the new episodes had been delayed so they had extra time to "raise its quality", and a revised release date will be announced at a later date.
The announcement on X about the delay was in Japanese, but it was also translated in a news post on the official Naruto website.
— アニメ BORUTO-ボルト-【公式】 (@NARUTOtoBORUTO) August 29, 2023
The announcement said: "As this project is both a celebration of the anime series' 20th anniversary and the first Naruto anime since Naruto: Shippuden ended over six years ago, we have decided to take extra time as we strive to further raise its quality.
"We deeply apologize to all the fans who were looking forward to the anime. A revised broadcast schedule will be announced on our official site and social media once it is finalized."
Four new Naruto episodes are being released to celebrate Naruto's 20th anniversary, and the new episodes were originally scheduled to release on a weekly basis in September.
Where can I watch the new Naruto episodes?
Plans for streaming the new Naruto episodes outside of Japan haven't been announced yet. But chances are the new Naruto episodes will be available to watch on Crunchyroll.
The anime streaming service has every single Naruto and Naruto Shippuden episode in its library, and is the place to stream the Naruto follow-up Boruto.
Some boxsets can be watched for free on Crunchyroll via ad-supported viewing. But simulcast shows, which arrive on the service a few hours after premiering in Japan, tend to only be available with the Crunchyroll Premium plan, which is priced from $7.99 a month.
What is the plot of the new Naruto episodes?
It looks like the new Naruto episodes will be set during the timeline of the original series, before the events of Boruto and Naruto Shippuden. Ahead of the new episodes launching, a teaser poster for the anime was revealed showing pre-Shippuden Team 7 members Naruto, Sasuke, Sakura, and Kakashi.
This seems to heavily indicate the new episodes will be set during the original run. And this would make sense, given the episodes are airing just before the original series celebrates its 20th anniversary. The first ever episode of Naruto aired on October 3 2002.
The official Naruto website also teased that the upcoming episodes will be a "completely new" Naruto animation, but in terms of the exact plot details are being kept under wraps. A post from the official Naruto X account seemed to indicate there won't be any details about the plot announced prior to the new episodes debuting.
What is the opening theme for the new Naruto episodes?
It has been confirmed that Japanese rock band FLOW will perform the new Naruto episodes' opening theme and ending song. Their track 'GO!!!', which was the fourth opening of the original Naruto series, has been re-done for the 20th anniversary episodes.
FLOW will also perform a cover of Orange Range's Viva Rock for the closing song. This track was the third ending song for the original Naruto.
Want to get ready for the return of Naruto? Then check out our Naruto watch order guide and find out how to watch the hit anime series in the right order. We've also got handy guides on the Demon Slayer watch order, Attack on Titan watch order and One Piece watch order to help you get started with these other iconic anime series.