If you’re looking to watch the entire Naruto story in order, you’ve come to the right place. Naruto is 20 years old now and the series remains incredibly popular. Some of that is because new content keeps getting put out by Masashi Kishimoto and company, but a lot of it is because the Naruto series and character are basically timeless.
Those looking to get into it face a big challenge figuring out where to start and in what order to watch the series. Here’s a complete watch order for the Naruto series.
The Naruto anime franchise is over 20 years old at this point and that can be daunting for a newcomer. The good news is that while some anime like Baki the Grappler have an awkward history due to extensive licensing issues, Naruto is fully collected and available to watch on multiple streaming services. Here’s the best order to approach the Naruto series.
Naturally, the place to start with Naruto is the original Naruto series. Naruto opens with the titular character right at the start of his journey to becoming a ninja, struggling to make the cut and often being overshadowed by star pupil Sasuke Uchiha. Those roles get reversed over time, leading to a great deal of tension between the two characters.
A significant chunk of the Naruto anime is filler. Though much of it is focused on reinforcing major story beats or tying up the stories of characters that unceremoniously exited, there’s a full season of filler after the Naruto vs. Sasuke feud reaches its conclusion.
Naruto Shippuden (2007)
Naruto Shippuden takes place two and a half years after the conclusion of Naruto. It follows a slightly older Naruto and friends as they face the Akatsuki outlaw group. Many of the issues in the original Naruto series were secretly being manipulated by the Akatsuki, and the group’s true goals were bigger than anything seen to that point in the Naruto series.
Despite its unique title, Naruto Shippuden still follows the events of the original Naruto manga series. The Naruto manga didn’t undergo a rebranding after the time skip, while the anime did.
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations (2017)
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations lives up to its title by starring Boruto, Naruto’s son. The series takes place roughly 15 years after the end of Naruto Shippuden. Alongside Boruto himself, it also features the children of numerous other characters from the original series, and allows fans to see how these characters have aged over time.
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations is paradoxically rife with filler but also entirely canonical. The anime has wildly outpaced the manga, with only 70 manga chapters written to over 250 episodes being produced for the anime. Boruto has garnered mixed reviews in part as a result of its massive length, but it still enjoys a large fandom. Despite being marketed to children, the series has a dark edge to it that carries forward the tone of Naruto Shippuden.
The above list includes all the major parts of Naruto media, but it’s not everything the series has to offer. There is a longer list of movies worth checking out for those who want to eat up every single last bit of Naruto media. Here’s how to take it all in. Note that this isn’t a list based on release order, but instead considers how the different pieces of Naruto media fit into the larger story.
The various Naruto movies are largely separate from the anime.
Rock Lee and His Ninja Pals is a comedic spin-off of Naruto starring Rock Lee that is not a part of Naruto canon. Despite not being a part of canon, Rock Lee and His Ninja Pals was positively received by fans.
The series technically takes place during Naruto Shippuden but doesn’t tie into many of the major plot points of that series, instead putting major characters into wacky situations. Fans craving more Naruto may want to check it out. Though there are officially 51 episodes, each episode is made up of two separate 12-minute stories. This makes for a lighter watch.
The Naruto movies can be skipped without missing out on any of the major story beats as many of them are likely non-canon. The only movie that Naruto fans may want to consider seeking out is The Last: Naruto the Movie. The 10-minute special The Day Naruto Became Hokage is also worth watching for Naruto fans.
As with most movies that stem from long-running anime series, Naruto movies are largely skippable. Most feature a scary foe who is defeated and then never mentioned again, with no major developments happening that would impact the greater story being told in the anime. One of the lone exceptions to this is The Last: Naruto the Movie.
The film serves as an effective bridge between the end of Naruto Shippuden and the beginning of Boruto. It heavily focuses on some of the romances that came together in the final moments of Naruto Shippuden and lays the foundation for the primary antagonists of Boruto.
The Day Naruto Became Hokage is also worth checking out. Though it doesn’t add anything significant to the story, it does shine a light on a major moment in series canon. It’s also just 10 minutes long, making it both a quick and informative watch.
Portions of Naruto and Naruto Shippuden are available to watch on Netflix in some regions, though the entire series isn’t available on Netflix everywhere.
Each part of the Naruto anime can be found on a number of streaming services. Netflix, Crunchyroll, Hulu, Funimation, and more offer varying levels of access depending on the region. A complete list of services offering Naruto can be found on the Viz Media website. Viewers will have to check out each service to see how much is on offer in their respective regions.
In the United States and Canada, Crunchyroll has the entirety of both Naruto and Naruto Shippuden available to subscribers.