Alright, I actually have eleven characters. I couldn’t cut them down any further. Watching a video about someone else’s top characters inspired me to reflect on my own. I guess a few of mine may be a little unconventional but nevertheless they are mine. I spent the weekend no-lifing the manga. I read over 500 chapters. I just had to know what was happening as I didn’t want to be a crying mess on the couch when the time came. What an experience! Here are my favourite characters.
I have a soft spot for characters who have had a tough life. Which will probably be evident when you read the rest of the list. Sai is no exception. I actually struggled to decide whether to include Sai or Suigetsu. Ultimately I went with Sai as he had more impact on the plot. Raised in The Foundation under Danzo’s creepy gaze; ordered to fight his surrogate brother to the death and rid himself of any emotions. That would be enough to turn anyone a bit loopy. Sai is able to overcome these things after being assigned as Sasukes replacement in Team 7. I feel that Sai’s characters strength lies in his interaction with other characters. Having not previously mingled with others he is socially awkward and works really hard to say the correct thing. Which often humorously blows up in his face. Well, in a way I suppose it worked for him as he called Ino beautiful (as he thought girls want to hear the opposite of what they are) and they ended up together.
Jiraiya. What a character. Incredibly strong and talented. A great teacher for Naruto and I guess Nagato, Konan and Yahiko also. I feel like he did two major things during the series. One was write his books. They paved the way for Naruto who was named after the main character as well as helped decode a message during the Pain Arc. The second thing he did in my opinion was taught Naruto. Not just the Rasengan or eventually leading Naruto to learn Sage Jutsu but about his views on life and his idea of wanting to get rid of hatred. Naruto took a lot of these beliefs on-board.
The most upsetting thing about Jiraiya’s death was that he hadn’t accomplished what he had set out to do. He hadn’t beaten hatred, he hadn’t won Tsunade’s heart or managed to get Orochimaru to return to the village. It seemed too early and by his former student. Waaaah.
9. Sarutobi Konohamaru
Good old Konohamaru. I feel like he is so underrated? Why is that? Is it because his name takes so long to type? Seriously though. This kid is a hero. Initially he is a little lame but once he becomes rivals with Naruto he really grows. He’s able to create Shadow Clones and even do the Rasengan. Not only that but during the Pain Arc he actually destroyed one of the Pains.
8. Senju Hashirama
To me Hashirama was the one who really created the Ninja World. I know it’s really Kaguya and Hagoromo but to me Hashirama is the man. In a time of war where constant members of the Senju and Uchiha clans were being slaughtered Hashirama had the vision to join forces with them as allies and create a village where everyone could live in harmony. He even convinced Madara of this. So sure of his ideals that he risked committing suicide to achieve it. Despite being such a strong shinobi he is incredibly down to earth. He jumped even higher on my favourites list when he appeared at the final battle and rejected Madara’s initial battle request. Madara’s reaction was priceless.
7. Nara Shikamaru
Shikamaru is really the only shinobi I really liked that went to the Academy other than Naruto. The best thing about Shikamaru is that he knows he isn’t overly strong and therefore creates calculated battle tactics that give him the advantage. Shikamaru is down to earth. An average guy that would rather relax and avoid drama where he can. His moment of glory was definitely his fight with Hidan. That was definitely all about Shikamaru.
Left orphaned after his parents were killed by Leaf shinobi, he was left to fend for himself. Used as a pawn by Madara who implanted the Rinnegan into his eyes. He befriends Konan and Yahiko and eventually with Jiraiya’s help they become strong shinobi. They create the Akatsuki lead by Yahiko as a means to help people and eventually they become well known. Obito visits and convinces Nagato and the others and then becomes the benefactor of the Akatsuki. Changing their goals to collecting all of the tailed beasts.
Nagato’s story is just so sad because there’s literally no happiness. His family is dead, the country is at war, his close friend Yahiko is also dead and then he is manipulated into thinking that what he is doing is for the greater good and to stop people feeling pain like he did. What makes him such a good character is that you can really see how he went down that path and empathise with him.
Gaara! His father attempted to kill him many times. His uncle Yashamaru who was the only one to show Gaara love was ordered to kill Gaara by his father. When Gaara instinctively retaliated and left him fatally wounded Yashamaru told Gaara that his mother never loved him, she named him after a ‘demon that only fought for himself’ and that Yashamaru himself never loved him and only wanted to avenge his sister. All lies to provoke Gaara to see if he was in control of Shukaku. After that incident Gaara became cold-hearted and enjoyed murdering others as a means to prove himself.
After meeting and fighting Naruto he grows and starts to build bonds with his siblings, the Hidden Sand and shinobi of Konoha. Becoming Kazekage, losing Shukaku, being revived by Chiyo and moving on to become the Commander of the Fourth Division and the Regimental Commander during the Fourth Great Ninja War.
4. Hatake Kakashi
I have mixed feelings about Kakashi but ultimately when it comes down to it.. I really like him. His younger self that you see in flashbacks is the Kakashi that I despise. He is just so mean. It means nothing to me that his father committed suicide and was disgraced as he disobeyed orders and saved his comrades. Kakashi after this wanted to follow the rules. He took this so far that when Rin was kidnapped during a mission with Kakashi, Rin and Obito. He initially refused to help Obito retrieve her. However after a lecture and them going their separate ways he had a change of heart. In saying this my opinion is probably skewed as Obito is my favourite character and he was the one that Kakashi picked on. Oops!
In saying that Kakashi’s character development (Thanks Obito!) was fantastic. He became such a fantastic shinobi and teacher for Team 7. The Tenzo/Kakashi arc was definitely a highlight. He is so down to earth and would do anything for anyone. Living his life by the values that Obito seemingly left him as he constantly repeats them as he trains Team 7 and overcomes obstacles with them.
3. Uchiha Itachi
I don’t think anyone could do a top ten or possibly even a top five list and not include Itachi. His life is horrible. A double agent for the Uchiha and Konoha. His best friend dies and he gets blamed for it. Ordered to kill all of the Uchiha clan and listed in the Bingo Book. Joined the Akatsuki to gather information. Though no matter what happened he still loved Konoha and was always one step ahead. Planning meeting Sasuke, planning to lose to Sasuke, give him his powers, implant Amaterasu to awaken when Obito’s Sharingan was present, placed Shisui’s eye in Naruto. He was always one step ahead. The Kabuto fight was amazing and Itachi telling Sasuke that he loved him was definitely adorable.
2. Uzumaki Naruto
Naruto has to be up there as one of the best characters. He’s not my favourite but I do like him. The fact that unlike Sasuke, Obito and even Gaara to an extent he stays true to himself and good instead of letting darkness take over is impressive. I like that at first he is just your average guy in fact I would even go as far as to say he is below average. Though his aspirations to become the Hokage and to become stronger than Sasuke inspire him to train hard and believe in himself.
I like his personality. He has time for anyone no matter who they are. He’s willing to help everyone even the tailed beasts and call them by name.
1. Uchiha Obito
This should come as little surprise to anyone but my favourite character in the series is Obito! If he is not your favourite character I feel like we probably didn’t watch the same show because he should be everyone’s favourite. There’s two main reasons why I like him. The fact that his involvement in the story is crucial and without him a lot of it wouldn’t have happened. The other reason why I quite fancy him is because his story is just so sad. In a way I feel like I can relate to him. I mean I wasn’t crushed under a rock and I didn’t see the love of my life murdered by my best friend. Nor was I manipulated to be used as a tool in a war. Even so.. The feeling of not having anyone. Once Rin left him he felt like he was all alone and that life was worthless. Empty. I literally feel for him. It makes sense.
Anyway I would love to say that firstly Obito is a badarse. When you look back at it he created so many events in the story that led up to the Fourth Great Ninja War. He was the one who found out about Naruto’s birth place and extracted Kurama from Kushina. Releasing it and letting it attack Konoha, which in turn led to Naruto’s parents death and Naruto becoming Kurama’s Jinchuriki. He helped Itachi slaughter the Uchiha. He recruited strong missing-nin into the Akatsuki building it up to become a force to be reckoned with. He took control of the fourth Mizukage. He managed to capture seven of the tailed beasts (collecting chakra from eight and nine) and become the ten tails Jinchuriki. He’s pretty great.
On the other hand I just feel so sorry for him. He dreamed of becoming Hokage and worked hard to grow stronger. He had no family and the only friend he really had at the time was Rin. Obito was desperately in love with Rin and it hurt him to see that she herself was in love with Kakashi. He constantly had to endure being second best to Kakashi in battle ability and in love. Kakashi always let him know that he thought he was a worthless shinobi. During their last mission together when Kakashi was willing to leave Rin, Obito’s words changed him and they worked together to save her. Kakashi losing his eye and Obito awakening his Sharingan in the process. Once they rescued Rin the cave collapsed and Obito sacrificed himself to save Kakashi, giving him a Sharingan as a late Jonin gift.
Madara saved Obito and started to try to manipulate him into following his plans. Obito didn’t fall for it at first and just put all of his effort into recovery. Until Madara manipulated the event of Kakashi killing Rin and Obito being there at the right time with the help of White Zetsu to shatter Obito and be able to control him. Obito not wanting to live in a world without his only light Rin decided to help Madara achieve his dream that he believed would make the world a better place. Madara then started to use him as a pawn.
After all that Obito realised that he had just been misled and used the last of his chakra to reseal Kurama inside Naruto and sacrificed himself to help defeat Kaguya. In the end giving both of his eyes to Kakashi before moving on with Rin. Man, he’s so great. Without him the world would have been destroyed.
I didn’t think I would have another anime crush since Gohan defeated Cell. That was so cool! I was so scared he was going to die. I was wrong. I was also wrong about how being an adult and paying rent would prevent me from liking another character! Good old Obito!
Special Mentions: Minato and Suigetsu