LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 26: Actress Maile Flanagan attends the 2014 Radio Disney Music Awards at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 26, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
Movies - TV
Letting Naruto Age Was 'Extraordinary' For Voice Actress Maile Flanagan
Although shōnen manga and superhero comics have some similarities, the Japanese graphic novel style has several distinct storytelling advantages, such as being free from maintaining a static world. Manga progresses toward their story’s conclusion, often having the characters grow with time, like the “Naruto” franchise following the heroes from childhood to adulthood.
No one was more thrilled to see Naruto grow than the character’s English voice actress Maile Flanagan. Flanagan shared what it’s been like witnessing her character’s coming of age, saying, “What’s extraordinary is that cartoon characters don’t always, or often, hardly ever grow up. As an actor, it’s so great to be able to play those different mindsets, ages and emotions that go along with it.”
Flanagan has been voicing Naruto since the show premiered in 2005 and has had to reflect the character’s growing maturity in her performance over the years, especially when returning for “Boruto.” The growth of the characters is what’s made “Naruto” a rewarding experience, with anime fan actor Michael B. Jordan sharing, “I’ve literally seen Sasuke and Naruto grow up.”