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Viz to Stream Naruto on Naruto.com Within 1 Week of Japanese Airing (Updated)

posted on by Egan Loo
Near-simultaneous free streams of English-subbed Shippūden to begin on January 15

The North American anime distributor Viz Media has announced that it will begin streaming the latest episodes of the Naruto Shippūden anime sequel within a week of their Japanese broadcast premiere — for free — on January 15. The next latest episode will be added with English subtitles every Thursday thereafter.

In addition, the official Naruto.com website will stream the first eight episodes of Naruto Shippūden for free on January 2. The website will add eight more episodes every Friday thereafter until all of the earlier episodes are online. Naruto.com is already streaming the episodes of the first Naruto ninja action series, and its ad-supported streams are available to users in the United States and Canada.

Viz Media has also confirmed that it will publish volumes 34 to 44 of Masashi Kishimoto's original Naruto manga between February and April of next year. Volume 44 had only just shipped in Japan this month. After volume 44, Viz Media will release the Naruto manga on a quarterly schedule.

Cartoon Network is airing the last episodes of the first 220-episode Naruto anime series with English dubbing every Saturday evening. (Viz Media has not indicated when Naruto Shippūden will be available with English dubbing, or how it will be available.) The Naruto Shippūden sequel takes place two and a half years after the first Naruto anime series as the older, somewhat more mature title character returns to his village of Konoha and faces the Akatsuki criminal ninja organization. By January 15, the Japanese television station TV Tokyo will have aired about 90 episodes of Naruto Shippūden.

Image © 2002 Masashi Kishimoto / 2007 Shippuden

Update: Viz Media has confirmed, as TV Tokyo's press release announced earlier, that the Joost and Hulu video services will also stream the Naruto Shippūden episodes for free at the same time as Naruto.com will.

This article has a follow-up: Dattebayo to Stop Fansubbing Naruto on January 15 (2008-11-21 16:33)
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