Question: Let us ask you something about your exciting work, that is so greatly admired. Has the end of Naruto already been decided?
Kishimoto-sensei: Not everything is set in stone just yet. For example, I haven’t decided on the events that lead to the end, but the end itself has been decided pretty clearly. So from here on out it will just be a matter of running towards that point.
Question: In that case, do you have in mind how the very last volume will flow?
Kishimoto-sensei: No, you won’t be able to read something like that just yet (laugh). The story really hasn’t progressed as much as I was expecting. About three years ago, at Jump Festa, I said that I would give Kakashi more to do in the manga. However, I still haven’t been able to do that. Honestly, I myself don’t know how much it will take. Nishio-san, who takes care of the character designs for the anime, also asked me for how long the story would continue and I answered “About one year and a half”. But it seems like it will take longer than that.
Question: Can we expect any more surprises?
Kishimoto-sensei: There are still quite a few. Some characters who originally weren’t going to appear will come up again. And then, well, things are going to get exciting with Naruto, so please give me your support.
Question: Is there any material that you weren’t able to include in this year’s movie?
Kishimoto-sensei: I intended to include all of the things that were inside my head. It’s just that I also have some novel ideas. There is some material that I probably won’t be able to insert in the original work, but if I get the okay of the editorial department, secretly I’d like to include it somewhere, like in a non-serialized story. Some suspenseful developments, the details are a secret, but there are many challenges that I’d like to face.