A blue-eyed ninja with spiky blond hair and whisker marks is leading Tencent Holdings Ltd.'s campaign to capture the eyes and wallets of China's anime fans.

The hero, Naruto, a keystone of manga, isn't fighting alone. He's in a stable of characters assembled by Tencent that includes a Chinese teen on a quest for immortality and a hugely popular gang of treasure-seeking pirates. Their mission: to help Asia's biggest Internet company lure more customers to its messaging and video sites.

Tencent bought the rights to more than 300 Japanese anime franchises and cultivated others at home with a plan to parlay them into multimedia juggernauts.