I would like to start watching Naruto as I have never attempted or tried to get into watching Naruto. The main problem I have is that I don't want to watch all 300+ episodes in Naruto or read the dozens of Mangas to understand what Naruto is about and the many plots that are involved.

I know this might be a really silly question for someone who watches anime and this may sound very far fetched but I havent watched Naruto before. I do not want to read through pages and pages of information from Naruto's Wikia and do not want to go watching through episode through episode of about 300+ to understand Naruto.

Are there any episodes in Naruto that will help me understand the story and key terms/terminology without doing this? In other words I am looking for a short cut.

Think of this scenario: Death Note created two special episodes for those who have not watched it before so they wouldn't have to go through all the episodes to understand the plot. Did Naruto do this? If so that would be extremely helpful.

Please note: I have not watched ever Naruto or Naruto Shippuden and as such have no actual knowledge of anything Naruto.

  • 16
    Doesn't this kind of... defeat the purpose of watching anime?
    – senshin
    Apr 19, 2014 at 8:00
  • 2
    @senshin- I know it defeats the purpose, but I am not going to watch 300+ episodes. Call me lazy, but im looking for a shortcut to understand the story. Apr 19, 2014 at 9:45
  • 1
    browsing through its wikia maybe? naruto.wikia.com/wiki/Narutopedia
    – user2435
    Apr 19, 2014 at 12:34
  • From my point you should watch them. Or just read the shoneen
    – user4549
    Apr 19, 2014 at 19:11
  • You can always check out this page, and review any particular arc you find you need more info on.
    – JNat
    Apr 21, 2014 at 10:08

5 Answers 5


Although I strongly advise against not watching/reading them, there are some shortcuts to take.

  1. You could read episode summaries.
    As one of your main options it gives a good insight on the story, though not specifically into the terms used in the story. But those aren't too hard to catch onto when watching the second season.

  2. Watch the Naruto abridged series.
    Shortens a ton of episodes to just a mere 5 minutes, but still covering a bunch of key points. But there is a lot of parody involved, causing it not to be 100% accurate. It also does not cover the key terminology in the series.

  3. Watch the anime without the anime-only arcs.
    Just go watch the season without watching all the anime-only arcs. Greatly reducing the episode count, as you can skip the following episodes, which reduces the original 220 episodes with roughly 80 episodes. On the provided site they also have a list for the Shippuuden series, also reducing the non-canon content in there.

    • Episodes 102—106: Naruto and Team 7 go to the Land of Tea to help Idate Morino win a race.
    • Episodes 136—141: Naruto, Sakura, and Jiraiya, while investigating Orochimaru's whereabouts, encounters the Fūma clan.
    • Episodes 142—147: Naruto helps Iruka catch the escaped convict, Mizuki.
    • Episodes 148—151: Naruto and Team 8 look for the bikōchū beetle in the hopes that it will lead them to Sasuke Uchiha.
    • Episodes 152—157: Naruto and Team Guy deal with Raiga Kurosuki and his Kurosuki family.
    • Episodes 159—160: Naruto, Kiba, and Hinata help Sazanami clear his name.
    • Episodes 162—167: Naruto, Neji, and Tenten go to the Land of Birds to deal with a mysterious ghost.
    • Episodes 169—173: Anko Mitarashi takes Naruto, Ino, and Shino to the Land of the Sea to find information on Orochimaru.
    • Episodes 175—176: Naruto is again paired up with Kiba and Hinata in order to improve their teamwork.
    • Episodes 178—183: Naruto and Team Guy go to Hoshigakure to help the villagers protect their sacred star.
    • Episodes 187—191: Naruto, Hinata, and Chōji go to the Land of Vegetables to protect some peddlers from the Criminal Brothers.
    • Episodes 195—196: Guy is forced to deal with Yagura's apparent attempts at revenge.
    • Episodes 197—201: The Konoha 11 stop Gennō from destroying Konoha.
    • Episodes 203—207: Kurenai temporarily leaves Team 8 to take care of some old business with Yakumo Kurama.
    • Episodes 209—212: Naruto, Lee, and Sakura help transfer a member of the Shinobazu to prison.
    • Episodes 213—215: Naruto helps Menma regain his memory.
    • Episodes 216—220: The Konoha 11 go to Sunagakure to help rescue Matsuri from the Four Celestial Symbols Men.

    Source: Naruto Wiki: Naruto Plot

  4. Read full episode summaries as written by fans.
    Although this most definitely will take longer then just taking your time and read the manga. you could give Full Naruto Episode Summaries a shot. They describe the episode in details, and also include the key information of the episodes.

I personally think that it would be the best shortcut to just read the manga if you want to have a proper start in the series. The original Naruto is covered in a mere 238 chapters, after all, which for me only took about a week and a half to read, while the episodes took me roughly a year to watch through. Or, you could just go ahead and take the risk and jump in mid-series, just Google or take for granted the terms you do not know yet, and try to get into the story that way. Either way, its all up to you.

  • And for the people that land here and do decide to go watch the full series How long will it take me to watch everything from Naruto
    – Dimitri mx
    Sep 17, 2015 at 18:50
  • I generally find that reading manga goes a lot more quickly than watching anime. With manga, you can read at whatever speed you want (I typically find myself speeding through a weekly-length Naruto chapter in about 4 minutes), whereas for anime, you have to go at the pace set by the studio. I seem to recall some Shippuden episodes going at the very slow pace of only ~1 manga chapter per episode.
    – ahiijny
    Sep 1, 2018 at 21:59

Well let's see what I can do....

The story starts off with a fox demon attacking the fire village. The 4th hokage (which, in other words, is the leader of the village) sealed this demon inside of a newborn baby. When you watch the series you find out that the baby's name was Naruto and the 4th hokage was Naruto's dad. Now through the series you see that Naruto gets stronger with his teammates: Sasuke, Sakura, and Kakashi (the team leader). Later down the road Naruto and his team enter the chuunin exams, which is a set of tests to go up to the next level.

A lot of things happened though the chuunin exams. After that, a few episodes later, Naruto fights Sasuke to try to get him to stay in the village, but Naruto lost that fight even though Naruto used the demon fox's chakra. After 3 years of training with the toad sage (Jiraiya), Naruto comes back to the village. Naruto goes on a mission to save Gaara (who also had a demon inside of him). Gaara did die but was brought back from the dead by the sand village elder Chiyo (the puppet master of 10 puppets), who died to bring Gaara back from the dead. Naruto gets a new teammate (Sai) and a new squad leader (Yamato).

Now, way down the road, Sasuke kills his older brother (Itachi) for killing his whole clan. Sasuke then comes to find out that his brother didn't do it of his own free will. He was ordered to do it by the 4 elders of the hidden village of fire. Sasuke then goes on a hunt to get revenge for his brother and his clan. Sasuke then kills Danzou (one of the 4 elders that ordered Itachi to kill his clan) but ends up finding out that he needs to destroy the village to get revenge.

Naruto and Sasuke fight again after both Kakashi and Sakura run into and try to kill Sasuke. Later, Naruto unlocks the powers of the fox demon inside of him and Sasuke gets his brother's eyes. So things happened during the time Sasuke was trying to kill Danzou, which leads to the 4th great ninja war. Now I'm just going to skip a lot and I mean a lot now. Uchiha Madara (the real one) is brought back from the dead and destroys the ninja alliance between the 5 great nations. Now in the manga where it's at now, Naruto and Sasuke unlock new powers that are close to the sage of the 6 paths (the first person to be born with chakra). And now, both Naruto and Sasuke are fighting Madara to try to end this war.

P.S. Sorry if it's not talking about everything that happened, but there was so much that happened that it's hard to explain so fast. In other news you should try to catch up either by the books or by the shows, because the next chapters that are coming out for the manga are going to be epic.

  • In your answer, are these like key events in the series + a recap on the story so far? Apr 20, 2014 at 9:55
  • If that is then I wouldn't mind accepting your answer. Apr 20, 2014 at 9:56
  • 4
    Lol, "Sasuke killed Itachi"... as if.
    – JNat
    Apr 20, 2014 at 12:06

There is very strong character development in this series. The plot is extremely involved. I'm not sure that any summary could do the show justice. For example, watching 300+ episodes of sasuke trying to avenge his clan only to find out that he has a massive misconception about the entire thing is not nearly as impactful as it would be if you watched the anime or read the manga. You grow to hate the murderer of his clan as much as he does, and feel almost the same emotions he does when he realizes there is more behind their slaughter than previously imagined. Watching Naruto meet his parents would not affect you in the slightest if you didn't experience the pain he went through as a child in their absence. Watching Naruto repeatedly recieve the approval of his peers wouldn't affect you in any way if you hadn't seen him struggle to do it. You should set aside the time. It's very good. Don't watch the filler though... I repeat: DO NOT WATCH THE FILLER. Animefillerlist.com... I'm very serious haha. You'll get the feels by probably 20 episodes in and if you don't, you're probably made of cardboard.


It's a good story and worth reading. I don't understand why you want to be involved, but are too lazy to read the story. Being too lazy or uninterested to pay attention to a story is absolutely fine, there are far too many books/manga/tv shows for any one person to read even a tiny fraction of them.

But Naruto is not factual, you won't learn anything by finding out what's going on in the current arc. It isn't based on current events, so the older episodes aren't dated or irrelevant. I just don't know why you're in such a hurry, there are more than 300 episodes out but they aren't going anywhere. You can watch a few, then leave them for a few months and watch some more, there isn't any pressure.

You see the knowledge you get by watching Naruto as a goal, rather than a side effect of enjoying the story. The only possible reason I can think for this is that you want to discuss Naruto with your friends, or you're just insane and think it might be true. But either way, there just isn't a way to get all the knowledge without watching the show, your friends have each spent hundreds of hours getting to know Naruto and the story, you can't spend a few hours reading and get all the knowledge they have. And even if you could read descriptions of all the events, you wouldn't remember any of it, without context it's just a bunch of weird Japanese names fighting each other at random.

I realise I haven't answered your question at all, but I hope you read this and reconsider, there's nothing wrong with not caring/knowing about Naruto, and there's nothing wrong with watching a bit of Naruto every now and then, but all you're gonna guarantee is that if you do enjoy the story you'll completely ruin it for yourself with all these half remembered facts you accumulate, and if you don't like it you've just wasted your time trying to understand it.

  • 2
    Ive been wanting to watch Naruto for a long time, but you see the idea of watching both Naruto and Naruto Shippuden is out of the question since there is about 600+ episodes altogether. I ended up just using Dimitrix answer as a guide. Apr 23, 2014 at 23:45

First off what is your purpose? I mean, do you just want to jump in to Shippuuden where its at now and just see Naruto at his full power? Ill tell you this, since you haven't watched any Naruto. It won't be something boring or a hassle. You won't have any idea how Naruto will progress. In other words, it would be worth watching it from scratch. Since you get to know all the characters way better if you watch everything. You get a much better understanding of the Naruto Universe as a whole. There is only benefits to start from the beginning. Look at it like this, Naruto was made to be watched from episode one, or be read from Manga Volume one. So you will find out new things about the Naruto Universe through each episodes that passes and you won't get bored. Sure it will take you a while to watch it all, but you won't think of it that way when you are watching it, its hard to explain. But I recommend you to start from the beginning. This is how I got caught up in Naruto. A friend in School was talking day in and day out about Naruto and I wasn't sure what it real was. I didn't even know it involved Ninjas. So I just thought to myself "why don't I just watch like 10 episodes, just so I understand what this guy is talking about". it took me about 3 days to watch 50 episodes. I got caught up so quickly, and it didn't even bother me that I still had over 600 episodes left (including Shippuuden). I was just happy that I had that much left of the show. Cause I liked it so much. And I started loving the Anime when they went on their first mission, thats when I really began to love it.

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