Anime shonen series Naruto is one of the best-known. You can see how each character’s story progressed here.
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Naruto is a popular anime series that many anime fans know and love. It was Naruto and Naruto Shippuden that introduced a whole new generation to the story of Konoha and its Jinchuriki, who ended up on a quest to save both his best buddy and the entire shinobi world from destruction.
Of course the most endearing elements in long-running series installments are their characters, and Naruto does not disappoint here. Aside from Naruto, the series also has a slew of memorable characters, both friends and foes, who all serve to advance the plot along. It’s true that certain characters in Naruto have better character development and tales than others, but how do the key characters rank?
Amanda Bruce updated this page on June 30th, 2021: Naruto’s characters go through a lot of growth due of how long the franchise spans over a single year. Through Naruto and Naruto Shippuden, fans may follow the titular character and his pals through their adolescent years as they fight for their world’s survival. As a result of the anime’s extensive use of flashbacks and filler episodes, the anime’s adult characters are better developed than in the manga. Inevitably, more time is spent on the screen focusing on some Naruto characters than others, resulting in additional plots and character growth.
1. Sakura Haruno
Although this character had great promise, Sakura is currently ranked at the bottom of the Naruto character rankings by arc, which is unfortunate because this character had so much potential. Character development was hinted at in several places, such as her desire to improve her skills in genjutsu and her proclivity for genjutsu.
As a result, Sakura’s storyline faded into obscurity due to the increased attention paid to other characters, particularly Naruto and Sasuke.
2. Ino Yaminaka
There are few things that Ino doesn’t do. She doesn’t appear in Naruto’s primary storyline, unlike Sakura and Sasuke. That implies the audience isn’t always privy to her character’s potential growth.
The series opens with her being portrayed as superficial and preoccupied with her physical looks rather than her abilities. It’s not just her appearance that she values; she also cares profoundly about those around her, and she vows to study both the mind control and medical techniques that are passed down through her family. Even though she is still very insecure, Ino gradually becomes a somebody everyone can rely on.
3. Neji Hyuga
Shinobi-in-training Neji takes his job extremely seriously. When he first sees his cousin Hinata getting so much attention for her role in the main Hyuga family, he doesn’t think it’s fair.
After the Chunin Exams, Neji has a major character shift. In their one-on-one match, he comes to realize how wrong his actions were despite nearly killing his cousin. Because of his conversation with her father, Neji has become one of Hinata’s most ardent supporters and an even better teammate. He’s willing to give up his life to save her, based on the events of Naruto Shippuden.
4. Hashirama Senju
Despite the fact that Hashirama isn’t a central character in Naruto, his influence may be seen throughout the series. His desire for justice and fairness made him one of the more likeable characters in the entire show, and he governed nearly every action he took as an individual because of it.
While the way of his death has been a major narrative hole in Naruto, the rest of his character is well-written and forms the perfect half of a story with his lifelong nemesis.
5. Obito Uchiha
Until recently, Obito was a fascinating enemy, and fans eagerly anticipated learning more about Kakashi’s pal… only to be horrified by what they discovered.
Obito’s betrayal of Leaf Village and subsequent formulation of a depraved scheme have no logical explanation. Despite the fact that Kakashi was not to blame for Rin’s death, he still harbored a deep-seated hatred for him, despite the fact that he knew it wasn’t his fault that she died.
6. Madara Uchiha
It’s a testament to Madara’s devious and tenacious nature that even in death, he didn’t give up on his goals.
Madara is an intriguing figure who demonstrates the absurdity of both ambition and hatred. Kaguya had to be shoehorned into Naruto in order to raise the stakes even higher, and he might have easily been the final enemy. Because Naruto and Sasuke could have easily battled Madara instead, it was a risky decision that backfired.
Gaara’s casual cruelty and belief that he is superior to the other students in the Chunin Exams are shared by his siblings at first. Gaara’s transformation begins with a single encounter with Naruto.
Gaara, like Naruto, was raised in a fear-based environment. Gaara, like Naruto, was raised by his people to be a weapon. He became enraged and unable to control the tailed beast within him as a result of his experiences. The fact that Naruto extended a kind hand to Gaara instead of battling him helped Gaara come to terms with his identity and begin making genuine friendships.
In the beginning, Pervy Sage didn’t make a huge impact, but his persistent appeal and pleasant demeanor eventually made him one of the most memorable characters in Naruto.
Even more devastating is Naruto’s response when he learns of Jiraiya’s death at the hands of Pain, given the lovely link he made with the Nine-Tails Jinchuriki.
9. Minato Namizake
Minato, like Hashirama, has a strong presence in the program despite being absent from the majority of the action. Naruto’s father was a mystery for a long time, which made the revelation of the Fourth Hokage being his father all the more thrilling.
Since Naruto had lost all control during the Pain struggle, it was all the more uplifting when Minato’s identity was revealed. The subsequent development of Minato’s character further demonstrated why he was perhaps the best of the four Hokages… at the time.
10. Konohamaru Sarutobi
There are only a few characters who are introduced to the audience as children and Konohamaru falls into this category. Despite his age, he’s immature, self-centered, and a bit of a showboat. Konohamaru sets out on a mission to “attack” Naruto whenever he gets the chance.
As a result of his grandfather’s sacrifice, Konohamaru’s development begins. Konohamaru, despite his tender age, steps forward to assist his fellow people in fleeing the area. His grandfather’s death at the hands of Orochimaru serves as a catalyst for him to begin his training in earnest. Naruto entrusts Konohamaru with the training of his own son, which he accomplishes with dedication and diligence.
11. Shikamaru Nara
When the story begins, Shikamaru, everyone’s favorite slacker, has no interest in taking responsibility or working hard. It’s a shame, because he’s the franchise’s sharpest cookie.
Shikamaru’s tragic loss of both his sensei and his father sets the tone for many of the series’ other characters. Shikamaru’s outlook on life is drastically altered as a result of the devastating losses and the harsh realities of battle. He devotes himself to the task at hand and becomes a counselor to the Hokage. He is Lady Tsunade’s right-hand man when it comes to strategy, despite being just a teenager at the time of the conflict.
12. Kakashi Hatake
Kakashi would be the most cool of the Naruto characters, according to this study. Naruto looks up to him as a mentor and one of his best teachers. For the most part, Kakashi’s backstory is kept a secret for a long time, making his revelations even more exciting.
Kakashi had a terrible childhood, from the tragic tale of his father to the tragic history of his squad—making his redemption arc in Naruto all the more fascinating to watch.
13. Sasuke Uchiha
No Naruto character arc is complete without mentioning the youngster who succumbs to an insatiable desire for power and almost loses himself in the process, only to reclaim his sense of self as he continues through the story.
Most fans could empathize with Sasuke’s human side, which made him one of the best characters on the program.
14. Naruto Uzumaki
The protagonist of Naruto is also one of the most interesting characters in the series. It’s almost as though Naruto grew up alongside the audience… in a very literal sense! Naruto’s transformation into a mature, smart, and incredibly powerful ninja is the perfect arc for those who have followed the Shinobi since his less-than-flattering beginnings, despite his initial appearance.
The most enjoyable part of the series is seeing him rise to the occasion and eventually become the Hokage.
15. Itachi Uchiha
The best character arc belongs to a single character, and he or she merits the honor. For a long time, Itachi was unquestionably the lowest of the low when it came to the Naruto universe’s antagonist rankings. Having been the single survivor of Itachi’s horrific act that destroyed the whole clan, Sasuke was driven to seek vengeance. Sasuke’s desire for dominance sprang from his desire to overthrow Itachi and end his life.
But after his death, the real Itachi is revealed—he was actually a Konoha double agent sent to exterminate the clan because they were preparing a riot and killing hundreds of innocents—and the truth about Itachi is finally revealed. When faced with such a challenge, Itachi rose to the occasion… while simultaneously becoming one of Naruto’s most memorable characters.”