Shueisha recently re-branded their Shounen JUMP NEXT magazine as Shounen JUMP GIGA. In its second issue, Naruto creator Masahi Kishimoto conducted an interview where he talked about what the future held for him now that the Naruto franchise has come to an end. Kishimoto stated that he has already planned his next project and has began doing research for it. According to the interview, he believes that he can announce the project sometime before the year’s end, but he does not have a definite date as of yet. He also did not specify the project’s format, either.
There have been mentions of Kishimoto venturing into the science fiction realm for his next project as he had expressed interest in trying his hand in that genre in the past. Whether or not this will come to fruition remains to be seen. Naruto isn’t the only series Kishimoto has worked on; however, as on May 2, 2013, Kishimoto published a one shot entitled Mario.
A quick synopsis of the one shot is:
Mario, half-Japanese and half-Italian born in the US, works as a hitman. One day he meets a female colleague, Saori, who does not talk to men and is asked to work together with her.
That could also provide a hint to Kishimoto’s next project as well, but that is also purely speculation. The only man who knows for sure what it is would be Kishimoto himself so we’ll just have to wait until he makes the announcement.
Kishimoto ended the Naruto series in July 2015 with the manga’s 700th chapter. He wrote an epilogue entitled Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring as well as several light novels based around characters such as Sakura, Kakashi, Itachi and Shikamaru. He oversaw the script for the Boruto movie and is also overseeing the production of the Boruto manga, which is currently being published monthly. The Naruto franchise has spawned two anime seasons with over 600 episodes and is still currently airing in Japan. It has also spawned over a dozen movies, OVAs, spinoffs and merchandise.
VIZ Media holds the license for manga and light novel distribution. They also hold the license for anime distribution as well throughout North America.