Naruto anniversary artwork
Naruto has been off the air for over 6 years now, with the final episode of Naruto Shippuden airing on March 23, 2017. Since then, it’s continued on with Boruto, a series that follows Naruto’s son Boruto, but Naruto and the gang haven’t featured all that much in the series. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the anime, four new episodes were set to air next week — but they’ve now been indefinitely delayed.
The four new episodes were set to feature pre-Shippuden Team 7 members, including Naruto, Sasuke, Sakura, and Kakashi, and were scheduled to be aired starting on September 3, 2023. We don’t really know what the episodes were going to be about, or where exactly they’d fit into the series, if at all, but we’re going to be waiting a little while longer.
According to a news post on the official Naruto website, the new episodes have been delayed indefinitely in an effort to “further raise its quality,” with the Naruto Anime Production Committee apologizing for the delay and promising it will create anime that lives up to expectations.
“The broadcast of the new, 4-week animation celebrating the NARUTO anime's 20th anniversary has been postponed from its scheduled air date of September 3rd, 2023 at 5:30 PM (JST),” the news post reads, “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.”
In its place, four episodes of Boruto, which the production committee says are “the best of that series,” will air in Japan, and obviously that won’t really mean much to those watching from overseas. Instead, we’ll have to wait patiently for a date that, at this stage, could very well be pushed into 2024.