Harry Potter and Naruto are two series that I love a great deal. They’re both imaginative, relatable, and full of suspense. They’re both long, they were both a part of my childhood and still are part of my life today. But the similarities run deeper than that. Let’s take a look at the similarities between the main characters (p.s. this contains spoilers):
Death of the main character’s parents
Harry Potter series:Harry Potter’s parents, James and Lily Potter, were killed by Voldemort when Harry was only a year old.
Naruto series: Naruto Uzumaki’s parents, Minato Namikaze and Kushina Uzumaki, were killed in the process of sealing away the rampant Nine-Tailed Fox on the day of Naruto’s birth (it’s very complex but that’s the gist of it).
A mark left by the attack
HP: Harry has a lightning-bolt shaped scar on his forehead from when he withstood Voldemort’s Avada Kedavra. Voldemort also can’t touch Harry later on because Harry is protected by his mother’s sacrifice.
N: The Nine-Tailed Fox that was unleashed upon the village was sealed away inside of the newborn Naruto. As a shinobi, he is able to harness the Nine-Tailed Fox’s chakra.
HP: Harry lived with his aunt, uncle, and cousin, the Dursleys, before he was old enough to attend Hogwarts. The Dursleys treated Harry like scum and wanted nothing to do with him, making him stay in a cupboard under the stairs. He grew up with no awareness of magic or that he was famous in the wizard world.
N: Naruto grew up completely alone. He was shunned in Konohagakure (known as the Hidden Leaf Village in the dubbed anime) because everyone feared the Nine-Tailed Fox inside of him. Naruto didn’t know why no one would talk to him, and misbehaved, causing people to hate him even more.
Discovering their true powers through rage
HP: Mysterious things happen when Harry gets angry. This is when he first notices that he can do magic, but he can’t control it at all yet.
N: The Nine-Tailed Fox’s chakra kicks in when Naruto is in a dangerous situation, or when he gets mad because somebody hurts his friends (see: the Zabuza arc, the first time training with Jiraya).
HP: Initially has none. Makes friends with Ron Weasley, a goofball and Hermione Granger, a know-it-all bookworm. Harry makes friends with a ton of people at Hogwarts also.
N: Initially has none. Assigned to be teammates with Sasuke Uchiha, a cool guy and an excellent ninja, and Sakura Haruno, a know-it-all book-smart girl. Becomes friends with the Rookie 9 plus Lee, Neji, Tenten, Konohamaru and company, Gaara, Temari, and Kankuro, and other random people that they meet (like my personal favorite, Sumaru).
The similarities here are the know-it-all close female friend and the making tons of friends because of having a magnetic personality…also, perhaps you could say the way that Ron and Hermione end up together: Sakura has a crush on Sasuke, and we don’t know how exactly it’s going to end yet (But it should be noted that Ron and Sasuke are nothing alike).
HP: Famous in the wizard world, and pretty much everyone loves him before they have even met him.
N: Famous in Konoha, but, um, everyone really hates him and shuns him. BUT after he saves the village…he’s a hero!
The Wise, Old Leader That Dies And It’s Tragic
HP: Albus Dumbledore – leader of Hogwarts
N: The Third Hokage (Hiruzen Sarutobi) – leader of Konoha
The Aloof One – But Really Cares About The Kids And Is Passionate When It Comes To Things That Matter
HP: Rubeus Hagrid (for passion, see: the Buckbeak thing in Prisoner of Azkaban)
N: Kakashi Hatake (for passion, see: Make Out Paradise) (just kidding but not really) (see: really any time Kakashi’s in a fight, like the Zabuza arc or when Itachi first appears)
AND they both have crazy hair!
The Slightly Crazy Father Figure Who Is Actually The Kid’s Godfather And Very Powerful In His Respective Universe That Again Dies And It’s Tragic
HP: Sirius Black (Ok, so Sirius himself isn’t that crazy, but his circumstances)
N: Jiraiya (the Pervy Sage…that pretty much says it all)
A coming of age story
HP: The series begins when Harry is 11 years old, and ends when Harry is 17 (not including the epilogue).
N: This series begins when Naruto is 12, and we don’t know the ending yet, but right now he should be about 16 or 17, since he was away for 3 years starting at (probably) age 13, and it’s been a while since then.
N: Orochimaru (Part I), Madara/Obito (Part II)
Interesting how Voldemort and Orochimaru both have a thing for snakes. They’re also both totally freaky.
HP: Death Eaters
HP: Draco Malfoy (he has a good guy/bad guy complex in the end)
N: Sasuke Uchiha (he ALSO has a good guy/bad guy complex in the middle/end(???))
Both of them are widely regarded as good looking and also are generally among the most proficient students. Also it’s interesting how Harry himself is more like Sasuke than like Naruto in certain ways – for one, Harry is a parseltongue (he can talk to snakes) and Sasuke can summon snakes. But Sasuke is also a bit like Malfoy, with the way Sasuke’s always calling Naruto a loser in Part I…
“The Chosen One”
HP: Harry is the only one who can stop Voldemort. As such, the Death Eaters and Voldemort always try to stop him…
N: Naruto is the vessel (“jinchuuriki” if you will) that contains the Nine-Tailed Fox spirit. The plot of Part II/Shippuden is essentially “find Naruto to get the Nine-Tailed Fox.”
HP: Protect the people you love, loneliness, good triumphs over evil, friendship, working together (see: Dumbledore’s Army)
N: “I never go back on a promise!” (“Cause that’s my nindo! MY NINJA WAY!” Admit it, you read it in his voice), also, protect the people you love, loneliness, good triumphs over evil, friendship, working together (see: Allied Shinobi Forces)
The themes of “friendship” and “working together” play huge roles in these series.
So, what do you think? Naruto and Harry Potter are pretty similar…surprising, right? Not like fall out of your chair surprising, because it’s mostly because of allegories and tropes and stuff, but maybe enough to make Harry Potter fans at least try Naruto. And if there are Naruto fans who haven’t tried Harry Potter, they must live under a rock or something.