Movie Reviews

10 Best Naruto Characters

illustration of naruto characters

Over the course of 15 years, 700 chapters, and 500 episodes, Naruto has birthed some of the most iconic characters in the medium, and the series is hailed for its incredible cast of main and side characters. From the villains, heroes, and anyone in between, very few other anime rival Naruto when it comes to character writing.

Written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto, the series boasts more than 600 characters, not counting the sequel, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations. What makes Naruto‘s cast exceptionally strong is that each represents a lesson such as hard work, sacrifice and more.

These characters challenge and motivate the viewer into expanding their horizons and bettering themselves as a person, something very few series offer.

There are many characters who had more screentime than Iruka, and his role in the series was limited to Naruto’s first teacher and an instructor at the Ninja Academy. However, his impact on the series, parting in the first few episodes, is undeniable and made him memorable despite fading into irrelevance. He might not have been very strong, but he is wise beyond his age, and his guidance was the reason Naruto didn’t lose hope and turn evil.

Iruka Umino is one of Naruto‘s best characters because he provides essential emotional support and guidance to Naruto. As Naruto’s first mentor, Iruka’s compassion and understanding help Naruto overcome his loneliness and develop self-confidence. His unwavering belief in Naruto’s potential sets the foundation for Naruto’s journey to becoming Hokage. Iruka’s role exemplifies the importance of kindness and mentorship in personal growth and resilience. He was also Naruto’s first father figure, and served as his father during his wedding.

Nagato, or more commonly known as Pain, is one of the series’ best villains and one of the most tragic characters. He was the figurehead leader of the Akatsuki until it was later revealed who was truly behind the organization, but Nagato’s incredible power made him one of the most powerful and feared in Naruto. Because of him, Naruto’s mentality and goals evolved from simply becoming the Hokage, to ending the cycle of hate for good, having an incredible impact on him.

As one of the few surviving members of the Uzumaki Clan, Nagato always had incredible potential, and this coupled with his Rinnegan made Jiraiya take him as his student. However, the death of his close friend, Yahiko, pushed him into despair and led him to commit one of the most grave crimes in the series. What makes Nagato so beloved, despite his role as an antagonist, is that he wanted to bring peace to the world that broke him, and his impeccable writing and backstory made fans empathize and fall in love with him.

The true mastermind behind the 4th Great Ninja War, Madara Uchiha was possibly the most feared character in the show, and Obito invoking his name was the catalyst to the great war, and all the major nations put aside their differences to stop this monster. His debut was everything fans wanted and more, absolutely annihilating the Shinobi Alliance and having one of the most iconic moments.

Madara was one of the founders of Konoha alongside Hashirama, but the two fell out and Madara left the village. It cannot be understated how awesome of a villain Madara was, as his powers, ideology, personality, and character design made him an instant favorite. Although he was the last person standing against the Shinobi Alliance, he was their biggest hurdle. He accomplished his goal of awakening the Infinite Tsukoyomi but was ambushed by Kaguya, who became the final villain.

Obito Uchiha was the mysterious man known as Tobi and the leader of the Akatsuki who was pulling the strings. His reveal was one of the most exciting and shocking plot twists in the series, and made the series so much more exciting given his background with Kakashi. His power was nothing to scoff at, effortlessly using the Mangekyo Sharingan and managing to seal the Ten-Tails within himself, momentarily making him the series’ strongest.

Obito is what Naruto would have been had he lost hope, and he once shared the same aspiration of becoming Hokage. However, witnessing the war and then the death of Rin set him on a dark path that led him to trigger the biggest war in history. He committed many heinous acts, but he came back to the good side and assisted by reviving Naruto and taking down Kaguya, giving him the series’ best character conclusion.

Might Guy is one of the franchise’s most inspiring characters, and he holds many of the values the series teaches, such as family and hard work. His design is very comforting and hilarious, rocking the iconic green unitard and the bow cut confidently. His funny personality will definitely cheer anyone up, and he is the only person who can make Kakashi’s fun side come out.

Guy has one of the most heartwarming tales in the series, and it was revealed before unlocking the Eighth Gate how weak and untalented he was when it came to ninjutsu. However, with the help of his father, he worked himself to the bone and exceeded expectations by becoming a jonin and one of Konoha’s best ninjas. His story as an underdog and his being a father figure for Rock Lee make Might Guy the most inspirational and hilarious character in the series.

The fiery and hot-headed Sakura is one of the series’ most popular, as shown by the recent Naruto popularity poll held in 2023. She has incredible character growth, starting out as someone who made fun of Naruto’s circumstances to one of his best friends and biggest supporters. She had many incredible moments: taking down Sasori, activating her 100 Healing Mark, restraining Kaguya, and many more that show her incredible strength and usefulness as a healer.

Although Sakura had controversial moments and often lagged behind her peers, Naruto and Sasuke, her incredible spirit and will allowed her to develop a unique skill set that saved the lives of both. Sakura’s journey from a self-conscious girl to a confident, strong woman exemplifies personal growth and the importance of inner strength.

With his spiky silver hair, a covered eye, and a mask, Kakashi Hatake is one of the most popular anime characters ever, rivaling even the main character. With how cool and well-written he is, it is easy to see why Kakashi Of The Sharingan is loved by almost every fan of the series. He played an important role throughout the series, and the final war saw him face his past and give fans one of the best fights in the Naruto franchise.

As Team 7’s leader, his wisdom, calm demeanor, and tactical genius guide Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura through their formative years. Kakashi’s backstory, marked by loss and perseverance, adds depth to his character. His journey from a detached prodigy to a caring mentor highlights themes of redemption and the importance of bonds.

Considered the second main character of the series, Sasuke Uchiha is Naruto’s rival and, in a way, his closest friend. The series had arcs dedicated solely to his journey in search of his target, providing a nice contrast to Naruto, who is the opposite of him. As stated by Kishimoto himself, Naruto wouldn’t be what it is without Sasuke, proving how the avenger of the Uchiha clan was integral to the plot.

Sasuke Uchiha is one of Naruto‘s best characters due to his intricate development and compelling narrative arc. As a talented yet tormented ninja, Sasuke’s quest for vengeance and his struggle with darkness provides a stark contrast to Naruto’s journey. His internal conflict, marked by loyalty, rivalry, and redemption, adds depth to the story. Sasuke’s evolution from an avenger to a protector of the village underscores themes of forgiveness and the complexity of human emotions.

No Naruto character has caused as many debates as Itachi, and his character is often one of the most discussed. Responsible for killing the Uchiha Clan to stop a rebellion, Itachi became a criminal in order to protect Konoha from the shadows, sacrificing his family, life, and future all for his home. He was the object of Sasuke’s hate and spurred his younger brother to become strong to protect himself.