Why You Never Heard Of This Samurai Project From Naruto’s Creator

The “Naruto” manga may have ended in 2014, but it wasn’t until May 2019 that Masashi Kishimoto released his new project, “Samurai 8: The Tale of Hachimaru.” Set in a futuristic universe, the manga told the story of its titular character, a young boy born with a rare condition that requires him to be hooked up to a complex machine to survive. Hachimaru spent most of his life indoors, dreaming of becoming a samurai, which here are cyborg warriors who wander the galaxy saving people. When his new robot dog turns out to be one of these samurai, Hachimaru finally gets his chance to overcome his condition and live his dream.

At the time, this concept was enough to get many people hooked. Anime News Network reviewed its first chapter, giving it a B- and observing that it had potential despite several having weak worldbuilding and gaps in its story. In the end, however, “Samurai 8” would not live up to that potential. The series sold abysmally despite Kishimoto’s popularity, with its first two volumes selling less than 20,000 units in its first few months (via OtaQuest). It wasn’t long before Kishimoto began wrapping up the project earlier than initially planned. In the end, “Samurai 8” was in publication for less than a year, releasing its fifth and final volume in March 2020.

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