Naruto Uzumaki (うずまき ナルト, Uzumaki Naruto) is a fictional character in the anime and manga franchise Naruto created by Masashi Kishimoto. The main protagonist and titular character of the series, he is a ninja affiliated with the fictional village of Konohagakure. The villagers ostracize Naruto because the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox, a malevolent creature that attacked Konohagakure, is sealed within his body. As a result, Naruto has ambitions of becoming the village's leader, the Hokage, in order to gain recognition amongst his peers. He maintains a cheerful and boisterous personality, allowing him to befriend several other Konoha ninja throughout the series, as well as ninja from other villages. Naruto appears in all of the series' films, as well as in other media related to the franchise, including all video games and original video animations.
When creating Naruto, Kishimoto wished to keep the character "simple and stupid", while giving him many attributes for an ideal hero. However, Kishimoto also added his harsh past to include a dark side of him. Naruto's initial design has been changed several times by Kishimoto, providing the character with different clothes to make him more appealing to Western audiences, in addition to being easier to illustrate. The character has been voiced by Junko Takeuchi in the animated series and Maile Flanagan in the English adaptations.
Several anime and manga publications have expressed acclaim and criticism of Naruto's character. Some view him as a stereotypical manga and anime protagonist comparable to those in many other shōnen manga, while others have praised his personality as well as his development in the series. Nevertheless, Naruto has remained highly popular with the Naruto fan-base, placing high in several popularity polls. Merchandise based on Naruto has also been released, including figurines and plush dolls.