Brand: Naruto x Mizuno

Model: Contender

Release Date: January 8 (Japan)

Price: ¥13,200 (approximately $115)

Buy: Mizuno's Japanese website and select Japanese retailers

What We’re Saying: Naruto, the world-famous anime watched by millions worldwide, is the subject of Mizuno’s latest collaborative release. It ain't Mizuno's sleekest or most fashion-y collab but it's perhaps the most commercial one in ages.

The capsule comprises three colorways of Mizuno’s Contender sneaker. Each colorway represents a different character from the show, namely Sakura Haruno, Sasuke Uchiha, and, of course, the eponymous Naruto Uzumaki.

Each of the sneakers is rendered in a colorway that reflects the style and hair colors of the popular franchise's main characters.

Naruto’s is black and yellow, Sakura's is pink, red, and white, and Sasuke's is purple.

Each shoe also has a special pattern in a nod to the characters, while also featuring the Hidden Leaf Village's symbol (worn by Naruto and pals on their headbands) on the heel and tongue of the shoe.

Odd that either Mizuno or Pierrot Co., the Japanese company that owns Naruto's license (as well as the license for popular franchises like Bleach and Tokyo Ghoul), opted for a pretty conventional pair of kicks, rather than a more contemporary sneaker but the old school Contender at least offers ample space for the thematic colorways to take effect.

No international release planned for this sneaker pack but, given Naruto's effervescent popularity, it seems like the time is well past due to give the franchise a more adventurous collab, the adidas shoes notwithstanding.

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