Naruto: The 16 Best Characters In The Series

By on Feb 03, 2022

Naruto: The 16 Best Characters In The Series

Ninjas, villains, and demonic foxes alike, Masashi Kishimoto's Naruto series is packed with great characters. Here are some of the best.

Naruto is one in every of the foremost successful anime and manga series, both in Japan and across the planet, and has amassed a legion of loyal fans since first debuting in Shonen Jump way back in 1999. Masashi Kishimoto’s manga series is now complete and a derivative featuring Naruto’s son Boruto has begun with an anime counterpart soon to follow. Meanwhile, within the West, Lionsgate is reportedly developing a live-action Naruto movie that is reportedly developing a live-action Naruto movie with Kishimoto’s involvement. Clearly, the following chapter within the franchise’s lifespan has started.

A large part of the rationale for this continued success is Naruto’s abundance of engaging characters; figures that cause you to want to root for them, cause you to laugh aloud, and keep viewers and readers coming week after week. Narrowing down this impressive ensemble isn't any easy task but taking under consideration personality, development, and outright awesomeness, here are the 16 Best Characters From Naruto.



The third Hokage was a well-liked character in his title, and finding a replacement wasn’t just a difficult task for the citizens of Konoha except for Kishimoto likewise. Luckily, Sarutobi’s (technically second) successor was as as entertaining and fascinating and quickly endeared herself to Naruto fans.

As one of the legendary Sannin alongside Orochimaru and Jiraiya, Tsunade is a wonderful fighter with monstrous strength and techniques that derive from her grandfather Hashirama. She’s also perhaps the premier healing ninja in Naruto and later passes this data all the way down to her student Sakura. Such is Tsunade’s skill with healing Jutsu, she actually manages to take care of the looks of a lovely 30-something woman despite actually being a wife. She also has the power to summon a large talking slug which proves to be much more useful than it sounds.

Tsunade’s personality is stuffed with detail and intricacy, from her comedic gambling habit to the death of her lover Dan and brother Nawaki and although some might groan at the more fan-service based elements of Tsunade’s appearance, there’s plenty more to her than meets the attention.

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Rock Lee

The Marmite of the Naruto universe, fans tend to either love or hate this strictly taijutsu-only ninja. Inspired by his beloved teacher, Might Guy, Lee is endlessly optimistic and sees a chance for training at every juncture. For some, Lee’s uber-positive attitude can sometimes be grating but his determination and strength quite make up for this.

Rock Lee has been involved in some classic Naruto battles during the show’s tenure. His bout with Gaara during the Chuunin exams and taking up Kimimaro whilst drunk being just two highlights. Lee’s ability to harness the facility of the Eight Gates always proved exciting and although some might argue that the character is somewhat one-dimensional, it’s certainly an entertaining dimension to look at.

Ultimately, Rock Lee is one in all Naruto’s goofiest characters but this is often tempered by his brutal martial arts skills and it’s this juxtaposition that creates Lee one in every one of the franchises most memorable figures – and therefore the owner of 1 of its worst haircuts.

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The fourth Hokage and – SPOILER ALERT – Naruto’s old man is already deceased when the series starts then doesn’t feature as heavily within the franchise because of the remainder of this list. But during his scenes of flashback material and when semi-revived as a spirit and a part of the Edo Tensei technique, Minato certainly makes a sway.

The character’s ongoing love for his wife and child is evident – whether or not he did stuff a deadly demonic fox into his newborn boy – and Minato has an array of attractive, fan-pleasing attacks like the Flying Thunder God technique at his disposal.

After Naruto’s parentage is revealed, the daddy and son duo share several touching moments like their dual-Nine Tails fist bump and in fact, their final goodbye when the Edo Tensei is released. In fact, the more the series reveals about Minato, the more poignant and noble his sacrifice ultimately seems.

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When Shikamaru first debuted within the Naruto manga, he was an unassuming, somewhat snarky kid who wanted nothing quite to measure a carefree life and put in minimal effort. Despite this, however, it had been always hinted that at the character’s core was a sort heart and a powerful desire to try to good.

As Naruto and its sequel series Naruto Shippuden progress, Shikamaru’s more conscientious and responsible traits begin to come back to the fore and therefore the character gets an outsized chunk of his development thanks to the death of his sensei Asuma. Shikamaru goes on to become perhaps the foremost mature member of the Konoha Eleven and assumes his father’s role as master tactician due to his fantastic intellect.

Making the character even more interesting is Shikamaru’s move-set which is essentially based around his manipulation of shadows, allowing him to use darkness to choke, control, or stab enemies in battle.

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Sakura, the Naruto franchise’s most prominent female character, gets a small amount of a foul rap from certain sections of fans. Some believe that within the Shippuden 1/2 the story, specifically, Sakura is written into irrelevance et al find her continued crush on Sasuke in spite of his increasingly evil actions incredibly frustrating.

Although you'll be able to certainly make the argument that Naruto might’ve done greater things with Sakura, the character continues to be more entertaining than many give her credit for. Early within the series, the feminine ninja is distinguished by her superior intelligence but because the narrative progresses, Sakura begins to excel in medical Jutsu and inherits Tsunade’s barbaric strength in addition.

Sakura’s affection for Sasuke may be annoying now and then but this can be somewhat remedied by the very fact that she eventually features a child with him, proving her feelings to be genuine love instead of a silly childhood crush as often perceived to be the case.

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Madara Uchiha could be a figure of legend for much of the Naruto series, eventually evolving into one among its primary antagonists. As a rival to Hashirama Senju, Madara’s strength is verging on biblical and his mastery of the Susanoo technique makes for several an awe-inspiring scene within the anime series.

Madara’s calm and menacing demeanor immediately makes him a figure of interest and also the reveal that he’s secretly to blame for numerous events within the Naruto story makes his eventual resurrection even more gripping. Upon being brought back to life, Madara’s overwhelming power cements his status mutually of the franchise’s premier villains, as evidenced by his awesome battle with an Eight Gates-powered Might Guy.

Unfortunately, much of this good character work is undermined by the revelations towards the tip of Naruto Shippuden which proves him to be little over a pawn within the schemes of an excellent more powerful arch-villain. This decision wasn’t universally well-received and a few fans felt that the legendary Uchiha deserved to be the series’ final antagonist.

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Oh, Neji. This one still hurts. Initially, Neji felt more like one in every of Naruto’s baddies as he brutalized his fellow Hyuuga clansman Hinata within the Chuunin exams. Neji’s anger is well-fleshed out with an enticing political-themed back-story that delves into the inner workings of his clan and his abominable strength marks the youngster out as an intimidating character timely.

After taking a beating from the supposedly inferior Naruto, however, Neji quickly changes his ways and chills out further because the series progresses. This character arc involves a tear-jerking conclusion when Neji sacrifices himself to assist Naruto and Hinata within the Fourth Great Shinobi War and fans were left permanently scarred by the character’s emotional last stand.

Even before his tragic death, Neji makes a sizeable contribution to the Naruto franchise along with his striking, white-eyed appearance, graceful fighting technique, and cool, collected personality. His natural genius was always at odds with Naruto’s hard-working approach but the pair’s eventual friendship epitomized one in all the show’s key messages: greatness isn’t born, it’s earned.



As the only non-human character on this list, Kurama is maybe at a drawback when it involves endearing himself to audiences. Furthermore, the Nine-Tailed Fox spends the bulk of Naruto acting more sort of a plot device than a fully-fledged character. However, as Naruto’s power begins to grow, Kurama’s true personality slowly starts to emerge.

The development truly begins when Naruto finally gains enough power to tame the beast inside him, allowing the ninja to form the pledge that someday, he’ll remove the fad inside Kurama. From this time on, the Nine-Tails becomes less of a faceless, angry temptation to Naruto and a genuinely more sympathetic entity.

And when the Nine-Tailed Fox’s background is finally told, the explanations for his rage become clear and his burgeoning friendship along with his Jinchuuriki Naruto becomes one amongst the foremost gripping elements of the series. After a mess of episodes with the pair at odds, Naruto and Kurama’s partnership may be a joy to behold and also the fox’s dry sense of humor only adds to his bright personality.



As the first arch-villain within the Naruto series, Orochimaru certainly had lots to measure up to, and judging by the character’s enduring popularity, he succeeded. With a creepy, snake-like design and reptilian techniques to match, Orochimaru may be a natural villain but his ability to control others and alter his appearance makes his presence much more threatening than your average evil-doer.

Character highlights include the mesmerizing battle between Orochimaru and therefore the Third Hokage – whether or not the anime did drag things out a small amount an excessive amount of – and therefore the epic three-way stand-off between the antagonist and his two fellow Sannin, Jiraiya and Tsunade.

Sadly, very like Madara, Orochimaru’s story arguably deserved a stronger conclusion. rather than being best in an exceedingly climactic final bout, Orochimaru is assassinated by his student Sasuke in an exceeding segment that comes without much warning. To complicate matters, Sasuke later revives his former master who then seemingly becomes a reluctant somebody. Nevertheless, these later developments don’t undermine Orochimaru’s strong showing within the original Naruto series.

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Towards the tip of the Naruto manga, the series’ fandom was split into two distinct groups: those that wanted Naruto to finish up with Sakura and people who thought Hinata was his ideal partner. Author Masashi Kishimoto was clearly within the latter camp and given the number of character progression the Hyuuga undergoes, it’s easy to work out why.

Hinata’s transformation from a shy, demure figure afraid to form a peep into a valued Konoha ninja ready to rise the might of Pain is one among the best arcs within the franchise. the very fact that this evolution is inspired by Naruto himself only makes the pair’s eventual romance even more heart-warming.

Hinata isn’t just a romantic partner for Naruto though, she’s a quite capable fighter in her title, able to give Neji a endure his money as far as her usage of the Gentle Fist goes. She also shows outstanding loyalty and crucially, is one amongst the few characters to own recognized Naruto’s virtues since the very beginning.

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Easily one in each of the good characters within the Naruto canon, Gaara may be a reformed antagonist within the series. A fellow Jinchuuriki, Gaara, and Naruto both suffered difficult childhoods but answer this in vastly other ways. As was the case with Neji, it’s up to Naruto to line Gaara back on the correct path with a sound beating, and naturally, the duo becomes firm friends as a result.

Gaara’s sand-based techniques give him a highly interesting form of fighting and therefore the brutality during which he executes such moves – particularly as a villain - is commonly gleefully painful to observe. Gaara’s transition from angry child to respected Kage keeps the character fresh heading into Shippuden and happily, his new job doesn’t prevent the character from taking to the battlefield.

The sad history that accompanies Gaara gives his character an additional layer of detail and somehow succeeds in explaining both his villainous origins and his eventual turn towards the nice side, whilst also getting e

Naruto features a few teachers over the course of his story but Jiraiya is one among the foremost crucial and therefore the man arguably chargeable for transforming him from a wannabe that a lot of in Konoha laughed at to a real contender that commands respect. Jiraiya also gives Naruto variety of techniques that will later become synonymous with the character including his father’s Rasengan and his ability to summon toads.

Jiraiya is way than simply a way of powering up Naruto though and it might be argued that he’s actually a kind of phantom narrator within the series. Jiraiya was eternally committed to finding the ninja of prophecy who would bring peace to the land. If you'll get past the cliché of that missive, Naruto’s entire journey actually represents the fulfillment of Jiraiya’s dream, making the Sennin one in every of the foremost important characters within the franchise. whether or not he's an enormous pervert.

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Naruto features a few teachers over the course of his story but Jiraiya is one among the foremost crucial and therefore the man arguably chargeable for transforming him from a wannabe that a lot of in Konoha laughed at to a real contender that commands respect. Jiraiya also gives Naruto variety of techniques that will later become synonymous with the character including his father’s Rasengan and his ability to summon toads.

Jiraiya is way than simply a way of powering up Naruto though and it might be argued that he’s actually a kind of phantom narrator within the series. Jiraiya was eternally committed to finding the ninja of prophecy who would bring peace to the land. If you'll get past the cliché of that missive, Naruto’s entire journey actually represents the fulfillment of Jiraiya’s dream, making the Sennin one in every of the foremost important characters within the franchise. whether or not he's an enormous pervert.

View more: Jiraiya Shoes



For much of Naruto, Itachi is a mystery wrapped inside an enigma and bent into the shape of a question mark. Did he really kill the entire Uchiha clan? Did he do it for a reason? Is he just downright evil? Even when answers to those questions do eventually come, there are yet more twists and turns waiting further down the road.

Despite the often convoluted nature of Itachi’s arc, unwrapping his secrets is one of the most intriguing parts of the Naruto story. Adding to his mysterious nature, Itachi has an endless cool that combines well with his unparalleled Genjutsu skills, allowing him to dispatch enemies without moving a muscle.

Both of Itachi’s farewell scenes with his brother Sasuke rank among the series’ most emotional moments and when all of his motivations are finally revealed, Itachi becomes the franchise’s ultimate tragic figure. Itachi is almost the highest ranking Uchiha on this list, but not quite...

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Arguably as integral to the narrative because the title character, Sasuke is that the yin the Naruto’s yang; the moon to his sun and although the 2 often look like polar opposites, they're also inextricably connected on many levels.

As early as Naruto’s opening few episodes, Sasuke immediately commands the audience’s attention along with his rage-filled attitude and natural skill at ninjutsu. His gradual acceptance of Naruto as a rival is compelling enough but it’s Sasuke’s descent towards evil that has the initial Naruto series with its explosive climax.

Although Sasuke’s evil phase lasted a bit longer than some fans may have liked, this era gave rise to the always-entertaining Taka group and was also the catalyst for a few amazing fight scenes like Sasuke’s battles with Danzo, Bee, and his brother Itachi. Naruto might provide this series with its foundations but Sasuke gives it a good deal of its color.

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Of course, Naruto’s title character needs to rank highly on any list of its best characters. The boy’s journey from ambitious but unskilled rookie to Hokage and one amongst the foremost powerful ninjas of all time is that the lifeblood of the franchise, and ultimately the very thing that hooked fans into the story within the first place.

It isn’t just the flashy attacks and youthful exuberance that make Naruto such a compelling protagonist though, there are multiple layers to his personality that are unpicked over the course of the whole narrative.

Naruto’s underlying desire to be accepted and loved is universally relatable to audiences and his drive to pass these feelings onto others gives fans something to aspire to. But Naruto is additionally inherently flawed and this makes him way more realistic than many of his peers. By ultimately achieving his dreams, Naruto’s tale could be a feel-good one, a minimum of for the foremost part, and also the unwavering resolve of the character goes an extended way toward this.

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Naruto may have title billing but the spotlight is simply nicked away by his Team 7 leader, Kakashi. The Sharingan user won't be as crucial to the story as Naruto or Sasuke but he has, arguably, captured fans’ imaginations over the other figure within the franchise.

Kakashi’s backstory and character development are utterly engaging. Moreover, his generally unaffected attitude to life, ability to read adult romance novels, and kick-ass simultaneously and his way of being in complete control of any situation are equally as amusing as they're fist-pumping awesome.

Such is Kakashi’s popularity that within the brief moments within which it appeared he’d been killed within the fight against Pain, viewers were genuinely left wondering if the show would ever be ready to get over such a loss. Most tellingly, however, Kakashi is maybe the sole main character within the series with no obvious frustrating or annoying traits. Sasuke’s brooding might wear off and Naruto’s stubbornness is irksome but through it all, Naruto fans can always depend on Kakashi.

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