Anko Mitarashi is a supporting character in the Naruto anime, she permeates the series up to the newest sequel of Boruto: Next Generations and featured the most in the original Naruto anime series created by Mashashi Kishimoto.
Kishimoto was quoted in an interview as listing ANko as his favourite female character based on her relationship with Orochimaru. She was also ranked 11 in a vote on the most popular Naruto characters.
Anko Mitarashi was famed in the original anime for her curvy and suggestive character design, many of the young males who watched the original Naruto anime had innocent crushes on her, so they may be wondering why she is now overweight in the most recent series of Boruto.
As always with Naruto, there are a plethora of reasons why this happened both within the plot of the anime and externally from its creators. I’ve sifted through Naruto’s winding and complex plot so that you don’t have to, read on to learn more about Anko Mitarashi.
Who Is Anko Mitarashi?
Anko Mitarashi’s background within the Hidden Leaf Village is pretty sparse. We know she was from the same generation as Minato Uzumaki, the Fourth Hokage, who was taught by the legendary sannin.
While Minato’s team was led by Jiraiya, Anko was left under the tutelage of the dangerously powerful Orochimaru, while he was still part of the Hidden Leaf Village.
The other two members of Orochimaru’s team remained unnamed, although one ended up being the sensei of Kabuto Yakushi.
During this period Orochimaru was knee deep in his covert experiments and espionage against the beliefs of the Hidden Leaf Village.
Many of Orochimaru’s students such as Kabuto, became either spies or test subjects who were usually led on and groomed by the sannin Orochimaru. Anko was recognised for her strong abilities as a kunoichi, a female shinobi, during her childhood.
For this reason Orochimaru chose her as one of his test subjects, he also taught her his signature jutsu while also branding her with his curse seal mark.
Anko’s History With Orochimaru
Orochimaru often gives his curse seal to his favorite students, and those with whom he is considering as a host for his body. Orochimaru’s curse seal allows him to see through the eyes of anyone who has been branded, allowing him to be omniscient.
The seal also endows the user with a reserve of chakra, although this chakra is from Orochimaru’s senjutsu and can be dangerous if relied upon.
Those who master the multiple levels of teh seal, such as Sasuke Uchiha, can control its powers and ultimately be able to enter a transformation jutsu. The transformation jutsu is similar to Jiraiaya’s Sage Mode Transformation.
The users of the cursed seal have the ability to transform into a humanoid beast with great power, but in this state the user becomes maddened and can lose their mind if they don’t control the transformation.
Anko Mitarashi was in the first group of test subjects of whom received Orochimaru’s curse seal. Anko was the only one of an original ten who survived the experiments, likely due to her chakra prowess, and formed the 1 in 10 success rate of the seal.
Unwilling to use it, the curse seal began to recede and Anko chose to no longer study under Orochimaru.
Orochimaru was going to kill Anko but realised she was too important to his experiments and studies so instead wiped her memory and convinced her that she wasn’t good enough to bear his curse seal, even though she was already branded.
Anko was the only one to host the Cursed Seal of Heaven until Orochimaru branded Sasuke with the same curse when he realised he wanted Sasuke to be his host body.
While Anko rejected it, Sasuke learned how to use it under Orochimaru and has a powerful transformation jutsu that he often uses, until he killed Orochimaru.
Believing that she was abandoned for not being suitable for the cursed seal, Anko never forgave her sensei for this, and vowed to defeat Orochimaru as it was her duty as his student.
The next time Anko meets Orochimaru is during Naruto’s chunin exam. Anko proctors the second stage which takes place in the Forest of Death.
Unbeknownst to ANko and the Konoha elders, Orochimaru is hiding in the Forest of Death in disguise. Orochimaru kills three ninja from the Hidden Grass Village and steals their faces to remain disguised during the exams.
Once Anko is alerted that these Kisa-nin are in fact Orochimaru in disguise she heads into the forest to find and defeat Orochimaru herself.
Anko uses the Twin Snakes Death Justu to attempt to defeat Orochimaru, a unique jutsu that would perform a double suicide on her and Orochimaru. Although she soon realises that she is using the power on a shadow clone.
Soon after, Orochimaru activates her receded curse mark once more which immobilises her, after which Orochimaru leaves.
Orochimaru leaves so that he can brand a child Sasuke with the same curse mark. Orochimaru’s whole reason to be at the exams was to observe Sasuke as he resolves that Sasuke will be his host when he dies.
The Cursed Seal of Heaven which Sasuke is branded with becomes a big part of his ninja combat when he learns how to master it under Orochimaru’s tutelage and he also masters the transformation jutsu before killing Orochimaru himself.
After the chunin exams, much before Orochimaru is killed by Sasuke, we meet Anko again near the end of the original Naruto series, in a filler arc. In this filler Arc, the Hidden Leaf Village is hired to protect a shipping container in the Land of the Sea.
As this was the land where Anko was branded by Orochimaru and he committed experiments on her, the Third Hokage believes Anko should go in order to get some closure on her history with Orochimaru.
Anko and her team of genin enter the Land of the Sea and she leads them to one of Orochimaru’s hideouts where he experimented on Anko and other children.
Still active, this lab is now under the control of one of Orochimaru’s subjects who continues to experiment on children. Once Naruto and the team save a few experiment subjects, Anko learns more about her past.
Anko learns that she wasn’t actually rejected for the seal, she learns that Orochimaru did not actually abandon her but rather she abandoned him. She is glad to know that she chose the right path rather than being the reject she thought she was.
This is one of the last real times we see Anko in both Naruto and Naruto: Shippuden. In Naruto: Shippuden she only really appears again at the end of the series when the shinobi and kunoichi of the Hidden Leaf Village are mobilised in the Fourth Shinobi World War.
She isn’t even really mentioned when Orochimaru is killed by Sasuke.
Why Is Anko So Overweight In Boruto: Next Generations?
When Anko does seem to return as a more regular character in this anime world, is in Boruto: Next Generations, in the same sort of role she had in Naruto.
Anko returns, 10 years after the Fourth Shinobi World War, as an academy teacher at the Konoha Academy where she helps deal with Boruto and his mischief.
Most fans were surprised when the previously slender and attractive Anko returned as an overweight woman seemingly without any explanation. The best explanation, beyond simply overeating, is an aggregation of a few different reasons.
In the anime, Boruto takes place 10 years after the Fourth Shinobi World War when there has been a considerable period of peace with Naruto as the Seventh Hokage.
For this reason, Anko probably hasn’t done much fighting or training, especially now she is a teacher rather than a powerful kunoichi. She has probably been pretty inactive over the years.
Moreover, Orochimaru has been dead for at least 10 years now which means she won’t have anything to motivate her to train and better herself. Although, Anko is still a powerful kunoichi even in her enlarged state.
During the Academy arc, Anko pits the prospects to fight her and other Konoha elders over a 24 hour period. Anko obviously makes light work of the enthusiastic prospects, but this is the only real time we see her fight in Boruto.
The biggest and probably most boring reason is that it’s likely a joke from the writers.
When looking back at all the Naruto characters to bring back in Naruto they probably thought it would be funny to bring the character back but stripping her of her attractive qualities that made her such a hit with vulgar male fans.
What’s more, ‘Anko’ and ‘Mitarashi’ both refer to Anko’s favorite food: Dango. Dango is enjoyed by many of the characters in Naruto in the rich culinary display within the anime and manga.
Dango is a Japanese dumpling that is skewered onto a stick, you have probably seen them all over the B roll of Naruto. Anko refers to a sweetened red bean paste that is a famous flavor of Dango. Similarly, Mitarashi is another form of Dango that is covered in syrup.
So the writers are probably an inside joke at the expense of the vulgar fans who seemed to enjoy Anko a bit too much.
So, Anko is fat in Boruto, and we just need to move past it. Many fans were left bemused and confused when she reappeared in Boruto with a different character design but she’s still the same person.
Most shinobi and kunoichi in the anime are chiseled and athletic, but life catches up to us all, and Anko is great example that your weight shouldn’t get in the way of skill and technique.
Her name choice suggests that the writers were possibly planning this all along, which will confuse many fans further as they felt that Anko’s story and her relationship with Orochimaru was an pretty interesting character arc that should have been developed further.
So some fans find it kind of weird that she’s used in such a gimmicky and childish way in Boruto, rather than bothering to make a real story about her.
On the Naruto sub reddit, many fans refer to the ‘Forgotten by Kishimoto’ Jutsu as the most powerful in all of Naruto – no character comes back from this.