How would you like Naruto Shippuden to be all canon and nothing, but canon after the ANBU Kakashi filler arc for the rest of 2014? Well, according to Hayato Date, the director for the Naruto Shippuden anime, that is the plan!
Date-san doesn’t go into any further details, he just says the plan after the ANBU Kakashi arc is to pretty much follow Masashi Kishimoto’s great Naruto manga story for the rest of the year.
Plans can of course change and fillers can be added here and there to pad the episodes, but lets assume they don’t. Now, the question is how long will the ANBU Kakashi arc last? As of today, that is a complete unknown. Saiyan Island’s prediction is 8 episodes, however, we don’t have any basis for it other than the next Naruto Shippuden opening will begin after that time, which would be April 2014.
Naruto Shippuden episode 345 covered up to manga chapter 605. Although some of you may have read the chapter already, Naruto manga chapter 661 will be officially released tomorrow in Japan, putting the manga 56 chapters ahead of the anime. With a somewhat close gap, you may be wondering how can the anime go canon all year?
Sometimes the anime goes faster and other times it goes slower, but at an average two chapter pace, in 28 episodes the anime will have caught up to the manga chapter 661. In those 28 weeks, the manga will have progressed an additional 28 chapters, giving the anime another 14 episodes worth of content (again, at an average of 2 chapters per episode). That’s 42 episodes and that doesn’t even include those predicted 8 weeks when the Kakashi ANBU episodes are shown. Assuming March 27th is the last episode of the ANBU Kakashi arc and April 3rd is when the canon episodes re-start, the year will have around 39 Thursdays left of anime. This doesn’t factor in any holidays like Christmas (which will be a Thursday this year) or those occasional weeks the anime doesn’t air, but as a rough estimate, we will have enough manga content for the anime.
It will be interesting to see how it all plays out! Just to be very clear, aside from the fact the manga will be officially 56 chapters ahead of the anime tomorrow (Monday, January 20), everything after our sentence of “Date-san doesn’t go into any further details, he just says the plan after the ANBU Kakashi arc is to pretty much follow Masashi Kishimoto’s great Naruto manga story for the rest of the year” is just a prediction by Saiyan Island.
Masashi Kishimoto has mentioned Naruto’s story is at the final phase, but it’s unclear when the manga will actually end. It could be in in 2014 or it could be in 2015, no official announcement has been made at this time. Stay tuned to Saiyan Island, we hope to have the latest Naruto anime/manga news as it breaks!
Thanks artondrius for the heads up!