It may sound like a joke, but it sure brings fans together.
In 1999, the first issue of the popular manga Naruto was released in Japan. Since then, it has captured the affection of not only Japanese anime and manga fans, but also a lot more around the world.
2017 marks 18 years since the first issue was published. Instead of gathering for an anime-watching or manga-reading marathon, though, fans around the world have decided to show their fandom to the world in a different kind of marathon.
Fans have organized “Naruto Runs,” slightly less formal and official than the Dragon Ball Runs you may have heard about, at locations across the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Australia, Belgium, and more. Most of them are posted on Facebook as events, which you can find by searching for “Naruto Run.” Some events have as little as 16 participants, while others, such as the Trump Tower Naruto Run taking place on September 1, 2017, have almost 5,000 fans who have RSVP’d. Most locations are on popular streets in cities, college campuses, and famous landmarks.
Okay, but what do you do at a Naruto Run? Well, you run like Naruto. Run like you normally do, only this time, run with both arms out behind you. I guess that’s what makes Naruto a great ninja. Maybe. Sounds embarrassing? Not if you’re a true fan. Watch this guy show you how to do it.
J-Dragon (@IzanamiFonFabre) April 02, 2017
It’s not just limited to streets; you can even show off your Naruto running skills on the beach!
This is what it looks like when everyone does the Naruto Run.
City Pages Arts (@citypagesarts) August 21, 2017
This one is from last year, and it’s been viewed over 250,000 times!
Japanese netizens have responded to the idea of Naruto Runs mostly with laughter, with a few pieces of important wisdom thrown in. Here are some examples.
“There’s a Hurricane in the southern U.S.A right now, but people still want to do a Naruto Run? Hahaha!”
“People are calling it the Naruto Run, but didn’t DBZ (Dragon Ball Z) come first?”
“There are a lot of manga artists that draw characters like this, like the character Arare-chan.”
“It’s how a ninja runs. They don’t run to cover distance; they run in a way so that their hands are closer to their throwing weapons.”
“Just how much free time…do these anime fans have…?”
“A lot of them are university students, and they have a lot of free time, haha.”
“Doesn’t Mario beat them all?”
Yes, the similarities between Mario’s run and the Dragon Ball Z run are similar…it all depends on who you talk to, I suppose.
So, would you be interested in joining a Naruto Run? Do you know anyone–or have you, for that matter–participated in a Naruto Run? Tell us about your experience!