One of the most popular and wildly known Manga series of all time, Naruto has a strong fan base across the world. Written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto, it revolves around the story of an adolescent ninja Naruto Uzumaki who strives to earn recognition from his peers and dreams of becoming a Hokage, the leader of his village. One of the strong points of Naruto is the character development which binds the viewers/readers with each and every character has their own story. They just don’t come and go away. Ever character has a dark past behind what they are today. The villains and antagonists are likeable due to their intentions of choosing the path of destruction and hatred which are well explained.
Naruto’s uniqueness lies in the fact that every character develops their own variations of jutsu in order to fight. The battle scenes are well paced and well executed with a good amount of tactics and strategies which make it compelling to watch. It also does well in adding some suspense as the fight scenes progress. As the series progresses, we observe how the vast different characters evolve and grow in both maturity and strength. The series does well to incorporate such dark themes and discrimination where everyone isn’t actually equal and how the characters with different powers and abilities deal with each other which is so overwhelming to watch.
Over the years, Naruto has gone on to become one of best-selling manga series in history, selling more than 200 million copies worldwide. It has been serialised into anime TV series and been translated to English which has been hugely popular with other countries. The Naruto video games especially Naruto: Shippuden series are also hugely popular. Anyways with that being said, Naruto’s characters form an integral part of the storylines. Now this series is filled with a plethora of characters which is why only those characters are picked who leave a lasting impression on Naruto fans and are not solely picked on how powerful they are. So for all the Naruto fans out there, here is the list of all Naruto characters ranked. The list includes both male and female Naruto characters. You can also interpret this as the list of strongest Naruto characters. So, which Naruto character are you?
It’s often rare for a woman to be in a manga dominated by boys/men and be both powerful and extremely beautiful at the same time. That’s what Tsunade is which is quite refreshing to see. Being one of the legendary Sannin alongside Orochimaru and Jiraiya, Tsunade is a gambling, drinking, face-punching, no-nonsense woman who boasts of monstrous strength and techniques that derive from her grandfather Hashirama. Her biggest asset is to be the premier healing ninja in the series. Her skill with the healing jitsu is so good that she actually manages to maintain the appearance of a hot 30-year-old woman despite being such an old lady. She proves to be a strong mentor to Sakura who was often overshadowed by her male counterparts. Her personality is full of detail and intricacy which brings some much-needed female perspective to the story.
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13. Neji Hyuga
Initially when we were introduced to this character, we all thought Neji was more of a baddie with his fatalistic philosophy believing that weak person is always weak. Neji’s anger is well fleshed out with an engaging political-themed back-story that delves into the inner working of his clan and his abominable strength marks the youngster out as an intimidating character early on. After being defeated by a relatively inferior Naruto during his Chunin Exams, Neji quickly changes his ways and become so chilled out as the series progresses. What makes him so likeable is his striking, white-eyed appearance, graceful fighting technique, cool and collected demeanor and natural genius. Fans were left scarred while watching the tear-jerking conclusion when he sacrifices himself to protect Naruto and Hinata from Obito Uchiha’s attack in the Fourth Great Shinobi War.
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Being the first arch-villain in the Naruto series, Orochimaru is a natural villain with a creep, snake-like design and repitilian techniques to match, which makes him an enduring villain. He boasts of abilities to manipulate others and an immortality technique of transferring his consciousness to other host bodies; such features which makes his presence far more threatening to watch than your average evil-doer. He features in some very cool battles to watch like his fight with the Third Hokage, and that epic three-way stand-off between his fellow Sannin -Tsunade and Jiraiya.
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11. Hinata Hyuga
Every protagonist needs a love interest. A lot of Naruto fans were split into a debate regarding whether Naruto should end up with Sakura or Hinata. Thankfully, Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto decided to stick with the latter. That’s due to the fact that we see how Hinata’s character progresses from being a shy, demure figure afraid to make a mark in the valued Konoha ninja to able to stand up the might of Pain. She isn’t just reduced to being a romantic partner to Naruto but also what makes here character so strong is that she surpasses all the other Naruto characters in being one of the most kindest, graceful character in the series and that she consistently demonstrates the ideals and values celebrated by the ninja society: the Will of Fire, and staying true to one’s Nindo their Ninja way. Just like Naruto, Hinata also didn’t have a great upbringing as she was often considered by her family to be a failure to the point of being emotionally abused by her father for being worthless. This is why we all feel for Hinata so much and that she makes the perfect romantic companion for Naruto.
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10. Rock Lee
You either hate or love this guy! Rock Lee though being taijutsu-only ninja, is endlessly optimistic and never shies from training at any given juncture. With a Beatles’ hairdo, Rock Lee oozes the uber-positive personality and his determination and strength make him look credible. Despite not knowing no other Jutsu style, Lee fought so well against Gaara in the Chuunin Exams. Though some fans might feel his character is a bit one-dimensional, Rock Lee makes it up for being one of the most goofiest characters in the series but again, one cannot dismiss his brutal martial arts skills.
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9. Shikamaru Nara
What makes Shikamaru’s character arc so interesting is that he goes from being a snarky kid with a carefree attitude and putting minimal efforts in life to becoming one of the most matured members of Konoha Eleven. After the death of his sensei Asuma, Shikamaru’s conscientious and responsible traits get displayed. He possesses a fantastic intellect, can manipulate shadows and can use darkness to choke, control and stab enemies in battle. A very interesting character who always jumps into action when his friends are in danger, Shikamaru is a ninja with a good heart and a strong desire to be good.
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8. Minato Namikaze
Being the fourth Hokage of Village Hidden in the Leafs and also being the man responsible for sealing the nine-tailed demon fox inside Naruto Uzumaki when he was born, Minato Namikaze in doing so lost his life. Naruto’s father may have already passed away when the series started so naturally doesn’t feature much in the series as compared to the other characters. Nevertheless, Minato makes an impact by appearing in flashbacks and being semi-revived as a spirit. Minato has an array of attractive, fan-pleasing attacks like the Flying Thunder God technique, instant teleportation, etc. The more the series reveals about Minato, the more poignant and noble his sacrifice ultimately seems.
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One of the most diabolical, powerful and epic villains in the Naruto series, what makes Madara a fan favourite is his calm and menacing demeanour which makes him a figure of interest. Madara is a powerhouse, he is skilled in hand-to-hand, knows thousands of jutsu and is an Uchiha bad-ass who surpassed the sage of six paths in power and brought the ninja world to its knees. The fact that he’s secretly responsible for so many events in the Naruto series which makes his eventual resurrection even more gripping. Upon being brought back to life, Madara’s overwhelming power cements his status as the franchise’s premier villains, as seen by the awesome battle with an Eight Gates-powered Might Guy.
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Being a grandfather to Naruto, Jiraiya transformed Naruto from a wannabe ninja that many at Konoha would laugh at to a genuine contender who commands respect. Being the man who trained the fourth Hokage, Jiraiya taught Naruto a number of techniques such as Naruto’s trademark Rasengan. You could say he’s almost like the phantom narrator of this series for he was committed to finding the ninja of prophecy that would bring peace to the Shinobi world. This means he’s almost wholly responsible for the entire series of events revolving around Naruto. Jiraiya oozes of personality, even though he was a Class A pervert.
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Arguably, all Naruto fans can agree on this point that Gaara is easily one of the coolest characters in the Naruto series. Suffering a difficult childhood just like Naruto, Gaara is more of a reformed antagonist in this series. The character is quite scary looking at the beginning. He possesses great powers like the ability to crush people with sand with his bare hands. His transformation from an angry child to a respected Kage makes him quite captivating to watch. His sad history succeeds in explaining his villainous origins and his eventual turn to the good side.
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4. Sasuke Uchiha
Possibly the most popular character who commands everyone’s attention apart from the titular character, Sasuke hooked our attention at the beginning of the series with his rage-filled attitude and natural skills at ninjutsu. An intelligent and powerful, patient man, he never reveals to anyone what his plan is. What made his character arc even greater was his descent to the evil side that gave the original Naruto series an explosive climax. His most entertaining battle to date was with his brother Itachi. Fans feel for Sasuke as he lost his path because of the tragedy his clan had to suffer. A definite favourite for any Naruto fan.
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3. Naruto Uzumaki
Ah the titular character himself. An orphan with a tragic past, we observe his journey as how he goes from being an ambitious rookie to a title of a Hokage. Granted, Naruto isn’t a perfect character, he has his flaws and isn’t the most powerful character in this list but what makes him such a compelling protagonist is due to his multi-layered personality. We see ourselves through this teen as he longs to be loved and accepted by all which makes him so relatable to all of us. With a never give in attitude and will power, he ultimately achieves his dreams in becoming a Hokage.
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2. Itachi Uchiha
Itachi is a mystery trapped in an enigma as there are a lot of burning questions revolving around his character. Did he really wipe off his entire Uchiha clan for a reason? Is he just downright evil? The more we get to know about him, we find out how tragic his whole backstory is, which makes him so incredibly elegant and sad. Adding to his mysterious aura, Itachi is so cool in nature and he boasts of some incredible Genjutsu skills, allowing him to dispatch his enemies without even moving a muscle. The scenes where he chooses to sacrifice his village and his brother Sasuke makes one of the most emotional and poignant moments of the series. He’s the ultimate tragic figure of any manga series. Period.
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1. Kakashi Hatake
Now granted, this Sharingan might not be as crucial to the story as compared to Naruto and Sasuke’s impact on the story, yet Kakashi has captured all the Naruto fans’ imagination worldwide. Being the most well rounded character in the entire series, he too has a dark past but is a terrific mentor to his students especially when it comes to dealing with their grief and guilt. What makes his character so engaging is his generally unaffected attitude to life and how he tries to find humor in any situation. Kakashi is quite a skilled shinobi and possesses a wide variety of jutsus thanks to his sharingan in his eye. Not only he is the best looking character of the entire lot, Kakashi Hatake is the closest to stealing the spotlight from Naruto himself which is why he grabs the No 1 spot in this list.
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