The Tale of the Utterly Gutsy Shinobi was Jiraiya's first book, written while training the Ame Orphans. It sold poorly; nobody attended Jiraiya's book signing. Minato Namikaze enjoyed it, however, enough to name his then-unborn son after the character of Naruto in the story, in the hopes that his son would grow up to be just like the protagonist.
The story follows the adventures of a ninja named Naruto, a name Jiraiya came up with while eating ramen. Minato notes that Naruto's personality and some of his travels are very similar to Jiraiya's, thus making it a sort of autobiography. Naruto never gives up and vows to break the "curse", which represents the cycles of war, conflict, and hatred that occupies the ninja world. As this is an idea Jiraiya first heard spoken of by Nagato, the novel is dedicated to him.
- In the anime, Jiraiya's fight with the first Animal Path may have been the inspiration for the Evil Ninja and his fight with the character named Naruto in the book.
- After Pain's Assault was over, Naruto left a copy of the book, along with the bouquet of paper flowers that Konan gave him, at a rock, as a tribute to Jiraiya.
- When Nagato used the Deva Path to use Shinra Tensei on Naruto, Nagato, ironically making himself to be the Evil Ninja, told Naruto to just give up, only for Naruto to use Naruto's (the character in the book) line he should give up thinking Naruto would give up.
- ↑ Volume 48