The first brand new Naruto episodes in six years have been hit by a last-minute delay. Just days before it was due to air on Japanese TVs, the eagerly anticipated new episodes - which return to the original anime's timeline - have been pushed back, with no new release date confirmed.
The Naruto Anime Committee apologized for the delay, explaining the launch of the four new episodes has been postponed so they have extra time to "raise its quality". The upcoming new Naruto episodes are being released as part of the anime's 20th anniversary celebrations, and mark the first time that new Naruto episodes have been released since Naruto Shippuden ended in 2017.
The first new Naruto episode was originally scheduled to premiere on Japanese TVs on Sunday September 3, with the remaining episodes released on a weekly basis after that. To fill the gaps in Japanese TV schedules left by this delay, a selection of episodes from Naruto follow-up Boruto will be shown instead.
The surprise delay was revealed in a post from the official Naruto account on X:
【番組に関する重要なお知らせ】 pic.twitter.com/eSOAOi4G5A— アニメ BORUTO-ボルト-【公式】 (@NARUTOtoBORUTO) August 29, 2023
As the post was in Japanese, it was also translated on the official Naruto website. 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.
While we'll have to wait and see when the new release date gets penciled in, there are a few exciting things we do know about the new Naruto episodes. Judging by a recent teaser, it looks like the new episodes will be going back to Naruto's roots and showing a pre-Shippuden Team 7.
We've also found out that FLOW, who performed the fourth opening song for the original Naruto, will be returning to record the opening and closing tracks for the Naruto anniversary episodes. To help you prepare for Team 7's return, we've rounded up everything we know about the new Naruto episodes so check that out if you want to get up to speed.
Looking for more Naruto content? If you're just getting into the iconic anime then make sure you check out our Naruto watch order to find out the best way to watch every episode and movie. For help getting into other popular animes we've also got guides on the Attack on Titan watch order, Demon Slayer watch order, and One Piece watch order.