Naruto Creator Draws Portrait of Tennis Star Naomi Osaka

Tennis star Naomi Osaka may not have won the gold medal, but she did score a portrait from Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto this Olympics.

The highly decorated Japanese tennis pro Naomi Osaka is a four-time Grand Slam champion and was chosen to be the torch bearer for the now completed Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The honors did not stop there, however; inspired by Osaka's appearance at the Olympics, Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto gifted her a signed portrait. Osaka shared the sketch, which features a drawing of herself alongside series characters Naruto and Sakura, in a collage celebrating the games on her Instagram page.

Naomi Osaka portrait by Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto

In a 2020 interview with Highsnobiety, Naomi Osaka previously stated her love of the Naruto series and her affinity for its protagonist. Explaining how she identifies with Naruto, the half-Japanese, half Haitian Osaka said, "Just watching as an outsider and seeing all the work that he put in, was really cool when I was younger. He was the outcast, and then he proved himself to people, and we started believing in him. That stubbornness is something maybe I have a little bit."

Kishimoto's portrait is not the first time Osaka has found herself depicted in an anime art style. Since December 2020, twin manga artists Jitsuna and Kizuna Kamikita, the talent behind the manga adaptations of the long-running magical girl franchise Pretty Cure, have been serializing Unrivaled NAOMI Tenkaichi, a sci-fi shojo manga that features Osaka as its protagonist. Naomi Osaka's sister Mari is supervising the new series, which follows protagonist Naomi on her quest to become the strongest tennis player in all outer space.

Source: Instagram, Crunchyroll


Original Image: Pmenzel86 via Creative Commons

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