Okay, I'll be ignorant and ask more questions. I've skimmed over the wikipedia page and Cartoon Network page, but it sounds like the characters as presented there are from an earlier "epic" than we're talking about for the game. There's no mention of Hinata, for instance. The Naruto story does look really cool though, and I've been meaning to get into more manga and anime (my experience is limited to Akira, Ghost in the Shell, Spirited Away, and the like). So maybe I'll try to get some or catch some episodes on Cartoon Network.
Here's an idea - could someone who is more conversant with Naruto volunteer to be my mentor (in and out of character). I'll come up with a general character idea, corrected to be appropriate to the world, and my character is perhaps a younger sister or ward of the other person.
That might also help if I end up being flaky in the game, since I'm essentially a "cohort" to the more experienced player.
Oh, and it looks like most people in Naruto are under the board-age-limit, so I'm guessing none of us will be taking the young age disadvantages. :)