When Are ‘Naruto’, ‘Shippuden’, and ‘Boruto’ Set?

When Are Naruto, Shippuden, and Boruto Set?
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Naruto was serialized from 1999 to 2014 and was later released in book form. The manga was adapted into an anime television series that broadcast a total of 220 episodes in Japan from 2002 to 2007. Naruto: Shippuden, a sequel to the original series, premiered in Japan in 2007, and ended in 2017, after an incredible 500 episodes. The story of Naruto today continues with Naruto’s son, Boruto Uzumaki, in Boruto: Naruto Next Generations. Naruto has been one of the most popular anime titles for years now, and while most questions have been answered over the years, there are still some that keep bugging us, and one of them is going to be answered here. Namely, we are going to tell you the years that Naruto, Naruto: Shippuden, and Boruto are set in.

  • Article Breakdown:
  • It is not officially known when the series are set in comparison to our real-life calendar, nor in relation to an actual in-universe calendar.
  • We know how many years have passed in-universe, and we know a lot of the dates, but we actually have no clue what year it is in the series.
  • Since the Naruto franchise is set in an alternative reality, it is almost impossible to properly determine the years.

What year is Naruto set in?

This is, honestly, a question that has been bugging fans for some time now. Namely, Masashi Kishimoto never actually revealed the chronology of his magnum opus, so we do know how many years have passed between events in the manga, but we don’t know what year it actually is, nor how the Naruto timeline is related to our real-world timeline. The fact that Kishimoto actually combines a lot of feudal elements with modern ones, which means that the series is filled with anachronisms, makes it even harder for us to properly determine a date.

Now, some fans speculate that Naruto is set in real-time but in an alternative reality. That would make sense, and it would, of course, make things easier. This would mean that the beginning of Naruto is set in the year 1999, when the manga actually began. Although we don’t have any precise proof for this theory, it does make sense, seeing how Naruto has a lot of 1990s tropes and elements from that time. Plus, despite the anachronisms, the story of Naruto is in-line with the technology and society of the time.

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Some other theories think that it is set earlier, in the 1970s or 1980s, also based on their interpretations of the technology presented in the series. A third theory suggests that it is simply impossible to determine the year because Kishimoto combined some really old elements with some contemporary ones. We, honestly, think that the first theory makes a lot of sense and that there is no need for any further complications, but since we don’t know – we can still make our own theories. So, what is Naruto about, anyway?

The story begins during Naruto’s adolescence, around the age of twelve. An orphan dunce and a great prankster, he does all possible stupidity to get noticed. His dream: to become the best Hokage in order to be recognized by the inhabitants of his village. Indeed, the nine-tailed fox demon sealed within him has fueled the fear and contempt of the other villagers, who, over time, no longer differentiate between Kyūbi and Naruto. Despite this, Naruto continues to train very hard to become the genin, the first level among ninjas.

After failing the genin exam 3 times, he finally manages to receive his Konoha forehead protector. He is then included in a team of three ninja apprentices, with Sakura Haruno and the talented Sasuke Uchiha who wants to avenge the people dear to him, by killing his brother Itachi Uchiha. Soon after, they meet their jōnin (upper-class ninja), the one who will take care of their training: the mysterious Kakashi Hatake. At first, feared and despised by his peers, Naruto will gradually rise in power and gain the respect and affection of the villagers thanks, in particular, to the complex battles he will win against the most powerful enemies of the ninja world.

What year is Naruto: Shippuden set in?

Naruto: Shippuden is the continuation of the original Naruto series and an adaptation of Part 2 of the original Naruto manga. Now, the second part of the manga debuted in 2005, but from the in-universe chronology, we know that it is set two and a half years after Naruto, which means that – according to our dominant theory, would put the plot of Naruto: Shippuden in 2002, with it ending in 2003. This doesn’t coincide with the real-life publication of the Naruto manga, but the internal chronology has been confirmed by Kishimoto, so we simply adapted it to our theory. What happened in Naruto: Shippuden?

Two and a half years after Sasuke’s escape, Naruto returns to Konoha. There he has to realize that he is the last of his friends to still be a Genin. Together with Sakura and Kakashi, he forms the new Team Kakashi. Meanwhile, two more members of Akatsuki appear in Sunagakure: Sasori and Deidara. They kidnap Gaara, who is now the village’s Kazekage, with Deidara losing an arm in the fight. The Sand Village turns to Konoha for help, so Team Kakashi and Team Guy move out to free Gaara. Together with Chiyo, an old Suna-kunoichi, you pick up the trail of Gaara.

Meanwhile, the rest of the Akatsuki members meet in a cave. All nine members perform a jutsu, separating the Shukaku from Gaara’s body. During the pursuit, Chiyo learns that Naruto, like Gaara, is a so-called Jinchūriki because he also carries a demon inside. There are a total of nine demons in the ninja world. The Shukaku is the Ichibi, the demon with one tail, while the Kyūbi Nine-Tails has the most tails. All nine demons were repeatedly used militarily by the ninja villages by enclosing them in people, the jinchūriki. Itachi and Kisame soon face off against Team Kakashi and Team Guy.

The two are quickly defeated, but they weren’t really Itachi and Kisame, just servants of the Akatsuki who were given their appearance. By the time the teams reach the cave, it is already too late: Shukaku has been extracted and Gaara is already dead. In the ensuing fight, Chiyo and Sakura defeat Sasori while Deidara loses his second arm, but manages to escape Naruto and Kakashi.

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Using a jutsu after the fight, Chiyo manages to bring Gaara back to life at the cost of her own life. The dying Sasori hinted to Sakura that in a few days he would meet up with a spy he planted on Orochimaru. Tsunade decides to send Team Kakashi to the rendezvous. Since Kakashi is bruised from the fight, Yamato replaces him. Sai joins as the fourth member of the new Team Kakashi.

At the meeting point, the bridge between heaven and earth, they meet Kabuto, the spy sent by Sasori and Orochimaru’s closest confidante. Shortly thereafter, Orochimaru appears and a fight ensues between him and Naruto, during which the Kyūbi awakens within Naruto and manifests in a form in which Naruto is no longer in control of his powers. Orochimaru escapes, accompanied by Sai. Meanwhile, Naruto is just held back and saved by Yamato.

What year is Boruto set in?

As for Boruto, the situation was quite complex because we knew immediately that the chronology would not coincide with the publication of the manga, as it would completely ruin the complete in-universe chronology that Kishimoto had established. Now, knowing what we know about Boruto’s birth, we know that he was 12 years old when Boruto began, and we also know that the plot of Boruto began 15 years after the Fourth Shinobi World War in 2003. Based on these facts, it would mean that Boruto Uzumaki was born three years after the war ended, i.e., when Naruto was 20 years old since we know that Naruto was 17 when Shippuden ended.

Based on the calculations we made taking into account what we have said above about the chronology of the Naruto series, we have seemingly been able to find the year. Namely, knowing that Naruto was 20 when Boruto was born, it would mean that Boruto Uzumaki was born on March 27, 2006, which means that the plot of Boruto is set in the year 2018, which would perfectly fit the internal chronology as established by Kishimoto. What happens in Boruto?

Since his father became Hokage and holds the highest office in the village of Konoha, Boruto Uzumaki, son of Naruto Uzumaki and Hinata Hyūga, lives in his shadow. Always seeking to attract the attention of the latter, he took the firm resolution to surpass him. But the life led by high-flying ninjas is punctuated by complex missions and rigorous training, he will also learn the hard way that becoming the best ninja is not an easy task. In the company of Sarada Uchiha, the daughter of Sasuke Uchiha and Sakura Haruno, and Mitsuki the son of Orochimaru, Boruto will therefore discover the universe of ninjas, as well as its foundations.

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