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The Naruto manga and anime series features an extensive cast of characters created by Masashi Kishimoto. The series takes place in a fictional universe where different countries vie for power by using ninja who can use supernatural abilities in combat. The Naruto storyline is divided into two parts, simply named Part I and Part II, with the latter taking place two-and-a-half years after the conclusion of Part I. The series' storyline follows the adventures of a group of young ninja from the village of Konohagakure.
The titular character of the series is Naruto Uzumaki, an energetic ninja who wishes to become Hokage, the leader of Konohagakure. During the early part of the series, he is assigned to Team 7, during which he meets Sasuke Uchiha, a taciturn and highly skilled "genius" of the Uchiha clan; Sakura Haruno, who is infatuated with Sasuke yet has Naruto's affection; and Kakashi Hatake, the quiet and mysterious leader of the team. Over the course of the series, Naruto interacts with and befriends several of his fellow ninja in Konohagakure as well as other villages. He also encounters the series' antagonists, including Orochimaru, a former ninja of Konohagakure scheming to destroy his former home, and the elite ninja of the criminal organization Akatsuki.
While developing the series, Kishimoto created the three primary characters as a basis for the designs of the other three-person teams. He also utilized characters in other shōnen manga as references in his design of the characters, a decision that was criticized by several anime and manga publications. The characters that Kishimoto developed were however praised for incorporating many of the better aspects of previous shōnen characters, although many publications lamented the perceived lack of growth beyond such stereotypes. The visual presentation of the characters was commented on by reviewers, with praise and criticism given to Kishimoto's work in the manga and anime adaptation.
When Masashi Kishimoto was originally creating the Naruto series, he looked to other shōnen manga for influences while attempting to make his characters as unique as possible. Kishimoto cites Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball series as one of these influences, noting that Goku, the protagonist of Dragon Ball, was a key factor when creating Naruto Uzumaki due to his energetic and mischievous personality. To complement Naruto, Kishimoto worked on creating a rival that was a "cool genius", as he believed this was "the archetypal rival character". After reviewing different manga for ideas, he ultimately developed Sasuke Uchiha. When creating the primary heroine, Kishimoto admitted, "I don't have a definite image of what a heroine should be". He eventually created Sakura, emphasizing "her energy and flirtatious spirit" as her primary characteristics. These three characters would be the mold for the other three main Naruto teams.
The separation of the characters into different teams was intended to give each group a specific flavor. Kishimoto wished for each team member to be "extreme", having a high amount of aptitude in one given attribute, yet talentless in another. This approach was used to make each team perform best when individual members worked together to overcome their weaknesses. Having watched tokusatsu dramas as a child, Kishimoto wished for his teams to be different from the superhero teams in these dramas, dismissing the value of a team in which all the teammates were "strong to the point of perfection". Kishimoto notes that the different roles the characters assume is similar to many role-playing games, and "each character stands out better that way".
Kishimos' moral values. He stated that this focus on illustrating the difference in values is central to his creation of villains to the point that, "I don't really think about them in combat". The villains' physical appearances were also embellished in order to differentiate them from other characters, making it easier for a reader to follow the story and identify the villains, even in heated battle scenes. Kishimoto noted that making the villains "flamboyant" with a "showy costume" is "one of my guiding principles", as well as making them "more memorable".
When drawing the characters, Kishimoto consistently follows a five-step process: concept and rough sketch, drafting, inking, shading, and coloring. These steps are followed when he is drawing the manga and making the color illustrations that commonly adorn the cover of tankōbon, the cover of the Weekly Shōnen Jump, or other media, but the toolkit he utilizes occasionally changes. For instance, he used an airbrush for one illustration for a Weekly Shōnen Jump cover, but decided not to use it for future drawings largely due to the cleanup required.
The main charaters of the Naruto series are part of Squad 7, a group of ninja affiliated with the village of Konohagakure. After Sasuke Uchiha's departure from Konohagakure at the end of Part I, the team disbands. During Part II, the team reforms as Team Kakashi with two new members: Sai, who occupies Sasuke's position, and Yamato as assistant leader.[ch. 285]
Naruto Uzumaki (うずまき ナルト Uzumaki Naruto?) is the primary protagonist of the Naruto series. He was the first character created by Kishimoto during the conception of the series, and was designed with many traits from other shōnen characters. In the series, Naruto has ambitions of becoming Hokage, the leader of Konohagakure. Because he is the host of Kurama, the nine-tailed fox that attacked Konoha, he is ostracized by the other villagers.[ch. 2] He compensates for this with his cheerful and boisterous personality, and over the course of the series, manages to befriend many foreign and Konoha ninja. He develops an especially close relationship with Sasuke Uchiha and Sakura Haruno, two of his fellow ninja in Team 7.[ch. 237] Naruto later trains with Jiraiya during the two-and-a-half years prior to the start of Part II. From then on he becomes the prime target of the Akatsuki, realizing that they could not achieve their plan until they captured Naruto and obtained the Nine Tails. Naruto's voice actress in the Japanese anime is Junko Takeuchi, and he is voiced by Maile Flanagan in the English adaptation.
Sasuke Uchiha (うちは サスケ Uchiha Sasuke?) is Naruto's rival, designed by Kishimoto to be "cool genius" as it is an integral part of an ideal rivalry. He is one of the few remaining members of the Uchiha clan along with his brother, Itachi Uchiha, who killed the rest of their family.[ch. 224] Due to this, Sasuke's sole desire is to kill his brother, and he develops a cold and withdrawn personality. When made a member to Team 7, Sasuke began to considered them precious to the point of risking his life to protect the while focusing less on revenge at the start of the series. During an encounter with his brother in Part I, Sasuke's quick defeat leads him to sever his ties and leave the village to seek more power from the criminal Orochimaru.[ch. 237] His teammates' attempts to recover him from Orochimaru forms a major component in the first half of the Part II plot before he later becomes an apprentice of Obito Uchiha, who convinces Sasuke to aid him once revealing Itachi's actions against the Uchiha as on the Village's order. But during the Fourth Great Ninja War, Sasuke learns the full truth of his family history and aids his friends against Obito and Madara. In the Japanese anime, Sasuke is voiced by Noriaki Sugiyama, and his English voice actor is Yuri Lowenthal.
Sakura Haruno (春野 サクラ Haruno Sakura?) is the sole female member of Team 7. Kishimoto created her as the heroine of the series, although he has admitted that he has little perception of what an ideal heroine should be. As a child, Sakura was taunted by other children because of her large forehead, a feature Kishimoto has tried to emphasize in Sakura's appearances. She was comforted by Ino Yamanaka. As the two continued to grow, however, they became increasingly distant due to their shared affection for Sasuke Uchiha. During most of Part I, Sakura is in love with Sasuke, and depises Naruto Uzumaki.[ch. 3] But after Sasuke leaves the village, Naruto makes a lifelong promise to her to bring him back. After his first attempt fails, she resolves to become stronger by training with Tsunade so they could bring back Sasuke together. In Part II when Sakura and Naruto are 16, she displays highly developed skills from her training giving her the brutal power and strength of about 10 men.[ch. 297] In the Japanese anime, her voice actress is Chie Nakamura, and she is voiced by Kate Higgins in the English adaptation.
Kakashi Hatake (はたけ カカシ Hatake Kakashi?) is the leader of Team 7 and the sensei of Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura. Kishimoto had originally intended for Kakashi to be introduced earlier in the series than he actually was, and created him as an easygoing person that would be able to keep the members of Team 7 in check. Kakashi treats his leadership position with a detached manner, and is consistently late to meetings as a result. In a gaiden on Kakashi's past, Kakashi is revealed to been trained by Naruto's father during the Third Great Ninja War and obtained his Sharingan eye from one of his teammates, Obito Uchiha.[ch. 243] With Obito's Sharingan, Kakashi has amassed a reputation as a skilled and powerful ninja, earning the moniker "Copy Ninja Kakashi" (コピー忍者のカカシ Kopī Ninja no Kakashi?).[ch. 212] Although he mentors all three members of Team 7 early in the series, Kakashi focused on Sasuke's progress and taught him his personal Chidori. However, he is unable to prevent Sasuke from leaving the village to seek Orochimaru for greater power.[ch. 176] During the events Part II, his remaining students excelling his expectations, Kakashi learns of Obito's survival as Naruto's enemy. Kakashi's Japanese voice actor in the anime is Kazuhiko Inoue with Mutsumi Tamura voicing his younger self, and his English voice actor is Dave Wittenberg.
Sai (サイ) is a ninja who joins Team Kakashi in Part II, carefully designed by Kishimoto to stand out as Sasuke's replacement. Having been a member of The Foundation since he was a child, Sai has been trained to not possess or desire any type of emotion or camaraderie. Had his adoptive brother Shin (シン?) not died from a disease, they would have been pitted at each other's throat during the Foundation's fight-to-the-death training.[ch. 518] After spending time with Naruto, however, he begins to crave bonds with other people, which has since become his primary role in the series.[ch. 303] Sai's attempts to form bonds turn can be humorous as he tries giving pet names to others; however, he often says what he actually thinks of a person, resulting with him choosing names such as "fatso" and "ugly". He eventually learns from his mistakes and attempts the opposite approach, for instance, calling Ino Yamanaka "beautiful".[ch. 312] When not making an attempt to bond with others, Sai spends his time painting and drawing, and has produced thousands of works. His artistic talents extend to his choice of attacks in battles: he can infuse chakra with his inking brush to make his drawings come to life.[ch. 283] Sai's voice actor is Satoshi Hino in the Naruto: Shippūden anime, and his English voice actor is Ben Diskin.
Yamato (ヤマト?) is introduced during Part II of the series as a ANBU member and a temporary replacement for Kakashi Hatake as the leader of Team Kakashi.[ch. 285] After Kakashi's return, he stays on the team in an additional leadership position. "Yamato" is not his real name, but rather a codename assigned to him for the purposes of joining Team Kakashi; Kakashi, who was Yamato's senior during the time he served ANBU, calls him by the name "Tenzo" (テンゾウ Tenzō?),[ch. 317] and in the anime adaptation in which he also additionally served Root before switching to ANBU, his codename is "Kinoe" (甲?). Unlike Kakashi, who places his teammates before the mission, Yamato will leave them behind if they become a hindrance, citing that as ninja they should be able to look after themselves.[ch. 298] During his childhood, Yamato was abducted by Orochimaru and experimented upon in an attempt to replicate the First Hokage's unique abilities. Orochimaru was forced to flee Konohagakure before he could complete his testing, and thus never knew that Yamato had successfully obtained Hashirama's Mokuton techniques. When using Mokuton techniques, Yamato can form anything out of wood at will. It also allows him to suppress a tailed beast's influence over its host. This is the primary reason he is assigned to Team Kakashi, as he can stop Naruto Uzumaki if Kurama takes control of his host.[ch. 291] However, because he possessed Hashirama's DNA, Yamato gets captured by Kabuto to strengthen the White Zetsu clones for the Fourth Great Ninja War. His fate afterwards is unknown, as the Gedo Statue (where he is stationed) was briefly transformed to the Ten Tails by Obito Uchiha before reverting back to it decayed state.[ch. 609] In the Naruto: Shippūden anime, Yamato's voice actor is Rikiya Koyama, while Eri Gōda voices him as a child. Inn the English version, he is voiced by Troy Baker.
Zabuza Momochi (桃地 再不斬 Momochi Zabuza?) was a former member of Kirigakure's Seven Swordsmen of the Mist, a group of ninja that used particularly large swords in battle. Zabuza had a massive sword called Kubikiri Bōchō (首斬り包丁?, lit. Decapitating Knife), which is later claimed by Suigetsu Hozuki after Zabuza's death. After a failed coup d'état wherein he tried to assassinate the Fourth Mizukage, Zabuza and his followers fled the village and began working as mercenary assassins.[ch. 30] He also took in a young boy, Haku as his apprentice, mostly treating him as a tool although he ultimately does care for him.[ch. 32] Like most Kirigakure ninja, Zabuza is skilled in water-based abilities. His area of expertise, however, is in assassinations; by blanketing an area in mist, Zabuza can blind an opponent, locate them by the sounds they make, and kill them without them ever noticing his presence.[ch. 26] His talents lead to him being hired by a criminal mastermind named Gato to kill a man named Tazuna, a job he is never able to finish due to interference by Tazuna's bodyguard, Kakashi Hatake. Because he takes too long to complete the task, his contract is revoked, and his employer tries to have Zabuza killed. Zabuza kills him first, though is mortally wounded and dies soon afterwards.[ch. 32] The Kubikiri Bōchō served as Zabuza's gravemarker until it was taken by Suigetsu. He is one of the shinobi resurrected by Kabuto to fight on the Akatsuki side and is defeated and released from Kabuto's control in a rematch with Kakashi, his soul being put to rest after the resurrection's cancellation.[ch. 516, 524] In the Japanese anime, his voice actor is Unshō Ishizuka, and his English voice actor is Steven Blum.
Haku (白?) was Zabuza Momochi's right hand man and most faithful follower. Before he started working for Zabuza, Haku lived as an orphan. His father killed his mother when it was discovered that he possessed a genetic ability, and Haku then killed him. After wandering from place to place for a time he was found by Zabuza. He recognized Haku's talents and agreed to take him in as a tool. As a result, Haku becomes unquestioningly protective of and loyal to Zabuza, and only by being useful does he find a purpose in life.[ch. 29] He ultimately gives his life in his mission to be useful to Zabuza, becoming a human shield to protect his master from Kakashi Hatake's Lightning Blade.[ch. 30] Haku's genetic inheritance, Hyōton (氷遁?, lit. "Ice Release"), allows him to mix wind and water elements to create ice. He commonly uses this ability to surround an enemy with ice mirrors that he can freely merge with and instantly move between. He then bombards them with needles, and with his superb accuracy, he can hit pressure points to put opponents in a death-like state. This reflects his pacifistic nature; despite being a ninja and Zabuza's tool of battle, Haku dislikes fighting and does all that he can to subdue opponents without actually killing them.[ch. 24] Haku is resurrected by Kabuto later in the series to fight in the Shinobi World War.[ch. 516, 524], however, the alliance managed to seal him with his soul put to rest after the resurrection technique is cancelled. His voice actress in the Japanese anime is Mayumi Asano, and his English voice actress is Susan Dalian. Mona Marshall voiced Haku as a child.
Otogakure (音隠れの里 Otogakure no Sato?, lit. "Village Hidden in Sound") is a village founded by Orochimaru for the purpose of collecting ninja for his experiments to learn all the jutsu in the world. The village is not contiguous, consisting of multiple assorted lairs located within the Land of Sound and outside it.
Orochimaru (大蛇丸?) is a criminal who was previously affiliated with Konohagakure, serving as the principal villain of Part I. To emphasize his role as a villain, Kishimoto worked towards making him appear "pasty and sickly" as part of his theme of distinguishing villains from the protagonists. In the series, Orochimaru is a former ninja of Konohagakure and a student of the Third Hokage. During his time in the village, he distinguished himself as one of the village's most powerful ninja along with his teammates, Jiraiya and Tsunade.[ch. 170] His desire to obtain immortality led him to conduct experiments on other Konohagakure ninja, and he eventually fled the village and joined the criminal organization Akatsuki. After attacking fellow Akatsuki member Itachi Uchiha, who defeats him, he leaves Akatsuki and establishes his own ninja village, Otogakure, as both his personal laboratory to continue his work and to amass a personal army to destroy Konoha with.[ch. 69] His immortality technique involves transferring his consciousness between different host bodies, and his desire for a new host, particularly Sasuke Uchiha, is one of his driving motivations throughout most of series.[ch. 238] However, Madara's intentions force Orochimaru into allying himself with his former allies against him and Obito. Because of his different host bodies and the disguises he assumes, a panoply of voice actors are utilized for Orochimaru; his most common voice actor in the Japanese anime is Kujira, and the corresponding English voice actor is Steven Blum.
Kabuto Yakushi (薬師 カブト Yakushi Kabuto?) is a spy working for Orochimaru, though he acts on his own whims. As a child with no memory of his past, he was found on a battlefield by a nun, Nono Yakushi from Konohagakure who raised him as a son before he was recruited by the Foundation as a covert spy for the village to infiltrate numerous countries and organizations.[ch. 289] However, after the Foundation declared him too great a security risk to be kept alive, Kabuto left with Orochimaru after being promised an identity he can call his own. Using his former affiliations, and infiltrating the Akatsuki, Kabuto gathers intelligence on Orochimaru's behalf; for instance, he participates in the bi-annual Chunin Exams as Konoha representative to gather information on his fellow participants.[ch. 88] Highly proficient with medical techniques and genetic manipulation, Kabuto devises means to heal wounds by reactivating dead cells in order to grow new ones and can form a scalpel with chakra to deal surgical strikes to his opponents using his knowledge of human anatomy.[ch. 164]
In Part I, Kabuto initially introduced as an experienced Konohagakure genin that takes Team 7 under his wing during the Chunin Exams before dropping out to conceal his true abilities. It was only after the finals that Kabuto's true loyalties are revealed and he remained by Orochimaru's side since then, overpowering Tsunade by using her fears before being defeated by Naruto. In Part II, after his mentor's defeat by Sasuke, Kabuto integrates some of Orochimaru's remains into his body in order to become powerful enough to not serve anyone again. Though Orochimaru's cells attempt to consume him, Kabuto's desire to kill Sasuke Uchiha and eventual intent to settle things with Naruto enabled him to control his new powers.[ch. 357] Kabuto also assimilated the DNA of Karin, Jugo, Suigetsu and the Sound Five to utilize their abilities as his own while mastering Senjutsu through the White Snake Sage. Once perfecting the Reanimation Jutsu, using Madara's revived body as leverage, Kabuto forces Obito Uchiha into a tenuous alliance with him under the promise that he can have Sasuke once they win the war against the Ninja Alliance.[ch. 520] However, during the second day of the Fourth Great Ninja War, Itachi manages to break free of Kabuto's control and ends up finding and defeating him after forcing him to end the reanimation jutsu. Furthermore, the revived Orochimaru extracts his cells from Kabuto and restores his former apprentice to his original state. In the Japanese anime, Kabuto is voiced by Nobutoshi Canna, and his English voice actor is Henry Dittman.
The Sound Four (音隠れの忍四人衆 Otogakure no Shinobi Yonin Shū?, lit. "Hidden Sound Shinobi Four People", English TV: "Sound Ninja Four") are Orochimaru's elite bodyguards. The group was originally known as the "Sound Five" as they were forced to accept Kimimaro (君麻呂?), the last of the Kaguya Clan who has his kin's ability to manipulate his bone structure, as leader after he defeated the entire group in battle. After Kimimaro became bedridden due to his illness, the group resumed calling themselves the Sound Four.[ch. 201] As a group they specialize in barriers, defensive walls, sealing techniques as well as possessing their own individual unique techniques and Curse Marks that increase their strengths.[ch. 184]
The group is composed of Jirobo (次郎坊 Jirōbō?), a large-sized man who specializes in absorbing chakra and close-quarters combat,[ch. 187] Kidomaru (鬼童丸 Kidōmaru?), a six-armed ninja who can produce spider-webs to fight and specialized in ranged combat,[ch. 192] Sakon (左近?) and twin brother Ukon (右近?), who are the strongest of the Sound Four and count as one member due their merging abilities,[ch. 203,204] and Tayuya (多由也?), a woman that uses a flute to control summoned demons and cast illusions.[ch. 206] Though introduced during Orochimaru's invasion of Konohagakure, the Sound Four do not become a prominent part of the story until sent by their leader to escort Sasuke Uchiha to him. Even with Kimimaro joining the group to ensure Sasuke's passage to Orochimaru, the Sound Five all died in the process [ch. 184, 217] During the Fourth Great Ninja War, Kimimaro is revived by Kabuto for the war against the allied Shinobi Forces.[ch. 515] In the anime adaptation, unaware that Kabuto brought them back instead of Orochimaru, the Sound Four were also reanimated and were allowed to act on their impulse for revenge before being defeated. It was also at the time of the war's climax that Kabuto reveals that he assimilated the Sound Five's DNA to access their abilities.[ch. 585]
Akatsuki (暁?, lit. "Dawn" or "Daybreak") is an organization of criminal ninja that serves as the primary antagonistic force of the Naruto series. It was founded by Yahiko, Nagato and Konan under intent to bring peace to their village through nonviolent acts. However, the actions of Danzo Shimura enlisting the Hidden Rain Village's leader Hanzo in an attempted assassination of the three results with Yahiko's death and Nagato's madness. Taking advantage of this situation, changing the organization into its current incarnation, Obito Uchiha takes over the Akatsuki and makes Nagato as a figurehead leader on the notion that they are using tailed beasts to achieve peace through world domination.[ch. 239] The members of the Akatsuki are ninja who have abandoned their villages, and are considered by their former homes to be S-class criminals, the most powerful and wanted ninja in the Naruto universe. At any given time, the Akatsuki is composed of ten members, who operate in two-man teams; it was later reduced to nine after Orochimaru's departure. They share similar clothing, most notably a long, dark cloak bearing red clouds and a chin-high collar. Each member also possesses a stone-embedded ring, which links them to the Gedo Statue for the rituals involving it. With Orochimaru's departure, the length of time in the ritual is extended to a period of days. Aside from an attempt by Itachi Uchiha and Kisame Hoshigaki, to capture Naruto to get Kurama, the Akatsuki are not prominently featured in Part I.[ch. 143] In Part II, the Akatsuki begin taking a more active role, capturing Gaara and extracting Shukaku the One-Tail before going after the remaining tailed beasts.[ch. 261] By the time the first seven tailed beasts are captured, the other members have been killed off or defected through the course of the storyline, leaving only Obito and Zetsu; however, Obito later defects. This completely disbands the Akatsuki. Kishimoto called the Akatsuki's members antiheroes as expanded their backgrounds, compared to the protagonists, to contrast them with other types of villains.
Itachi Uchiha (うちは イタチ Uchiha Itachi?) was a former ninja of Konohagakure and the partner of Kisame Hoshigaki. Though having spent his early youth as the child prodigy of the Uchiha clan, Itachi was treated as a villain for much of the series. He is initially portrayed as being solely responsible for the killing of his entire clan and family, sparing only his brother, Sasuke Uchiha, with the explanation that he was testing his abilities.[ch. 224] Around the time of his death his villainous role is downplayed; not only is he revealed to offering help to Obito Uchiha in killing the clan, but he performed the massacre under the orders of Konoha's leadership so as to prevent an Uchiha coup d'état.[ch. 400] During the Fourth Great Ninja War, Itachi is resurrected under control of Kabuto, but manages to release himself using a genjutsu through his best friend, Shisui's eye which he placed in a crow he implanted in Naruto, meant for Sasuke. He then searches for Kabuto, teaming up with Sasuke along the way. They defeat him, destroying the resurection jutsu, but Itachi fades away because of it. In the Japanese anime, Itachi's voice actor is Hideo Ishikawa. His first voice actor in the English anime was Skip Stellrecht, who voiced Itachi in episodes 29 and 30, but in all following appearances, he has been voiced by Crispin Freeman.
Kisame Hoshigaki (干柿 鬼鮫 Hoshigaki Kisame?) was a former ninja of Kirigakure and partnered to Itachi Uchiha, having a unique appearance with pale blue skin, a gill-like facial structure, and sharp triangular teeth. While he was still loyal to Kirigakure, Kisame was one of the Seven Swordsmen of the Mist, a group of violent ninja that use particularly large swords in battle. His sword, Samehada (鮫肌 "Sharkskin" in Shippuden?), is a living weapon covered in scales that can absorb untold amounts of an opponent's chakra. Only allowing those it sees as worthy to wield it, Samehada can provide the user with the chakra it holds, ensuring him an infinite amount of stamina. Kisame himself has massive amounts of chakra, comparable to a tailed beast, enough so that a clone created by the Akatsuki that held only 30% of his power contained an amount of chakra comparable to Naruto when using the Nine-Tails' chakra.[ch. 142] By fusing Samehada into him, Kisame can assume a more shark-like form that increases his abilities. In battle, he frequently shapes water into the forms of sharks to damage opponents.[ch. 258] After discarding Samehada when it chose Killer Bee over him, Kisame is decapitated by Bee and the Raikage. It is later revealed the real Kisame hid inside Samehada; a Zetsu clone switched place with him.[ch. 487] He attempts to flee from the ninjas but is defeated by Guy and captured. Kisame commits suicide by summoning sharks to eat him, but not before using one of them to steal back the information he had compiled and send it to the Akatsuki. Before his death, Kisame regretted not being able to go to the "world without lies" Madara envisioned, and was happy to realise he was a decent person. [ch. 508] His voice actor in the Japanese anime was the late Tomoyuki Dan, and his English voice actor is Kirk Thornton.
Deidara (デイダラ?) was a former ninja of Iwagakure, having previously left the village after bombing it and follows an ideal that "art is an explosion" as he sees beauty as what can be only seen in a single instant. He was a terrorist bomber-for-hire before Itachi Uchiha forced him to join Akatsuki. Though he came to embrace the organization, Deidara stoll holds a grudge against Itachi and all other Uchiha clansmen throughout the series, as he feels their Sharingan eyes look down on his art work.[ch. 359] Upon joining the Akatsuki, he is partnered with Sasori and later Obito under the alias Tobi, unaware that his new partner is an Uchiha and could not tolerate his eccentric behavior before becoming a mentor figure to him.[ch. 366] Each of Deidara's hands have mouths on them that, by infusing clay or other fine-grained minerals with chakra, create "sculptures" that are actually bombs that explode with varying intensities. Deidara's bombs can take any form he chooses, and from the time of their creation to their detonation, he can animate and control them remotely.[ch. 248] Sasuke Uchiha, Itachi's younger brother, is able to systematically nullify his bombs in combat, and Deidara is forced to use his C4 Garuda (カルラ Karura?) explosives to attack Sasuke at a cellular level. When that failed, Deidara transforms himself into a living bomb in a last effort to kill Sasuke and to prove the supremacy of his art, but fails in the attempt and literally goes "out with a bang" as his fellow Akatsuki members put it.[ch. 363] Deidara is later reanimated by Kabuto for the war against the Shinobi Alliance but is defeated by Kankuro.[ch. 520] In the anime, Deidara did attempt to escape before being recaptured with his soul sent back to the afterlife when the Reanimation Jutsu is canceled. His voice actor in the Japanese anime is Katsuhiko Kawamoto. In his cameo appearance in episode 135 of the English adaptation, he is voiced by Quinton Flynn, and in the anime of Shippuden by Roger Craig Smith.
Sasori (サソリ?) was a former ninja of Sunagakure and known as "Sasori of the Red Sand" (赤砂のサソリ Akasuna no Sasori?). His parents were killed by Sakumo Hatake, also known as the White Fang of Konoha. This left him in the care of his grandmother, Chiyo who taught Sasori the art of puppetry, which he refined to fit his needs over the years. In due time he secretly devised a way to convert the corpses of humans into puppets, allowing him to use any of the ninja abilities they possessed during their life for himself. Lacking the love of parents, Sasori left Sunagakure when he got older and joined Akatsuki where he is initially partnered with Orochimaru.[ch. 267] After Orochimaru's defection, Sasori used a mind-controlled Kabuto Yakushi as his agent to spy on Orochimaru. Sasori teamed with Deidara, who looks up to him and his artistic knowledge with reverence despite having a opposite view on true artistic beauty.[ch. 248] [ch. 263] In time he even converted his own body into a puppet, which essentially gives him eternal life and allows him to control hundreds of puppets at once.[ch. 271] He used his spy in Sunagakure and aided Deidara in the capture of Gaara. Sakura Haruno and Chiyo eventually destroy his heart, the only part of his humanity he kept when converting himself to a puppet, resulting in his death as he tells Sakura about his rendezvous with who he though was a sleeper agent he sent to spy on Orochimaru: Kabuto.[ch. 464] After being reanimated by Kabuto, delighting in having a true immortal body, Sasori fights Kankuro before he is defeated and captured. Kankuro then convinces Sasori that his surviving puppets are his legacy, enabling him to break from Kabuto's jutsu upon coming to terms with himself. In the Japanese anime, Sasori is voiced by Akiko Yajima as a child; and in the English version he is voiced by Kari Wahlgren and as an adult, he is voiced by Takahiro Sakurai and the English version by Johnny Yong Bosch. His scorpion-like puppet body, Hiruko, is voiced by Yutaka Aoyama in the Japanese version and in the English version by J. B. Blanc.
Zetsu (ゼツ?) is the only member of the Akatsuki to regularly act without a partner. He is also the only nonhuman member and Obito's right hand. One half of Zetsu, White Zetsu (白ゼツ Shiro Zetsu?), was created by Madara among a spiral-faced Zetsu and their fellow deformed clone brothers from the DNA of Hashirama blended with plants through the power of the Gedo Statue. While his spiral-faced brother became a suit for Obito, White Zetsu was infused with a part of the dying Madara's mind which manifested a second personality named Black Zetsu (黒ゼツ Kuro Zetsu?) that occupied the blackened right side and completed the Zetsu that became an Akatsuki member. The two personalities differ with Zetsu tending to talk and argue with himself. Through Hashirama's blood, Zetsu can merge into the ground or vegetation to quickly travel to a new location. This makes him not only of use to the Akatsuki as a spy, but also to devour bodies of deceased Akatsuki members or those the organization does not want found.[ch. 255, 261] Zetsu can also split his personas in two separate bodies with White Zetsu able to create perfect clones of himself or whoever he touches along with using spores in his attacks.[ch. 289] During the Fourth Great Ninja War, in which an army of perfected humanoid White Zetsus are deployed by Obito, the original White Zetsu is killed by Sasuke Uchiha while Black Zetsu was briefly captured before he hid himself for the duration of the war. It was only on Madara's command that Black Zetsu merges onto Obito's artificial body, forcing the human to resurrect his creator while acting to reclaim Madara's rinnegan and absorbing Yin-Kurama. However, Obito manages to will Black Zetsu from leaving his body to be absorbed back into Madara. By that time, having encased himself over a new body, the spiral-faced Zetsu reveals himself and proceeds to fight alongside the remaining members of the White Zetsu Army against the Shinobi Alliance before being immobilized by Orochimaru.
As Kishimoto originally planned Akatsuki to be a group of individuals with close to no human characteristics, he decided to make Zetsu half black and half white to emphasize his split personality. In the Japanese anime, Zetsu and his clone brothers are all voiced by Nobuo Tobita. In his cameo appearance in episode 134 of the English adaptation, Zetsu has two voice actors: Black Zetsu voiced by Michael Sorich and White Zetsu by Brian Beacock, and in the English Shippuden anime both halves are voiced by Travis Willingham.
Hidan (飛段?) is the immortal, foul-mouthed, and sadomasochistic partner of Kakuzu and a former ninja of Yugakure, the Village Hidden in Boiling Water. He is a member of the Jashin (ジャシン?, lit. "evil god") religion, a religion that worships a deity of the same name and where wreaking anything less than death and utter destruction in battle is considered a sin.[ch. 313] His religion's experimentations have led to the creation of his unique abilities; by consuming an opponent's blood and then drawing Jashin's triangular-design on the ground, Hidan can create a link with his opponent. Once this link is created, any damage done to Hidan's body is reflected on his opponent, allowing him to kill them by giving himself fatal injuries. Because he is immortal, Hidan is not impaired while doing this, instead finding pleasure in the pain it causes him.[ch. 325] After Hidan uses this ability to kill Asuma Sarutobi, Shikamaru Nara fights him to avenge his teacher. Their battle culminates in Hidan being blown up, and Shikamaru burying his still-speaking remains in a place Akatsuki will never be able to reach.[ch. 339] As such, Hidan is no longer considered a member by the rest of Akatsuki.[ch. 353] In the Japanese version of the anime, Hidan is voiced by Masaki Terasoma. In the English version, he is voiced by Chris Edgerly and in Naruto Shippūden: Clash of Ninja Revolution 3 by Wally Wingert.
Kakuzu (角都?) was the partner of Hidan and a former ninja of Takigakure, the Village Hidden in the Waterfalls. Kakuzu was motivated by greed and joins the Akatsuki to seek out valuable bounties. However, his extreme temperament led Kakuzu to dislike having a partner and eventually killing whomever he is partnered with in a fit of rage, being paired up with the immortal Hidan as a result.[ch. 322] Kakuzu's body is composed of large amounts of black threads, allowing him to reattach any bodypart, his or another, back onto its owner. The threads are also capable of piercing flesh, which Kakuzu uses to remove the still-beating hearts of his opponents for his personal use while executing a jutsu called Jiongu (地怨虞?) to integrate their hearts into his body to cheat death and extend his life indefinitely. Kakuzu can store up to four spare hearts in animal masks that are sewn to his back. The masks can be detached during combat situations to shoot elemental blasts at his opponents, and can quickly be recalled to his body if he needs a replacement heart.[ch. 336] Kakuzu's hearts are systematically destroyed soon after his introduction by a group of Konohagakure ninja. After Naruto Uzumaki leaves his final heart on the brink of failure, Kakuzu is easily finished off by Kakashi.[ch. 342] After being resurrected by Kabuto, he is sent out to participate in the war until being sealed. In the Japanese anime, Kakuzu's Japanese voice actor is Takaya Hashi and in the English version he is voiced by Fred Tatasciore.
Nagato (長門?), primarily known as Pain (ペイン Pein?) was the figurehead leader of Akatsuki and a ninja from Amegakure, partnered to Konan, with Obito acting as his benefactor. He was one of the few known surviving members of the Uzumaki clan, which gave him long lifespan and special chakra; thus he is related to the series' main protagonist, Naruto Uzumaki.[ch. 510] He was also the principal figure in the tailed beast sealing ceremony. The "Pain" that is normally seen in the series and uses the Deva Path abilities is actually Nagato's deceased friend, Yahiko (弥彦?), who had turned as one of six animated corpses collectively known as The Six Paths of Pain (ペイン六道 Pein Rikudō?) that are all controlled by Nagato and each use one sixth of his full power.[ch. 378, 419] At a young age, Nagato was secretly visited by Madara Uchiha who implanted his Rinnegan (輪廻眼?, lit. "Saṃsāra Eye") into the child's body, giving him the ability to use powerful abilities the Six Paths of Pain. Orphaned from the war-torn country of Amegakure, Nagato met fellow orphans Konan and Yahiko before they are all trained by Jiraiya. Nagato desired peace for the world, aiding Yahiko to create the Akatsuki to achieve that shared dream.[ch. 373] However, a trap laid by Amegakure's dictator Hanzo led to Yahiko's death, causing Nagato to take over as the new leader of the organization. Though the encounter crippled Nagato, the experience of having his best friend die caused Nagato to come to the realization that peace could only be attained by teaching the world the pain caused by war.
To that end he adopted the alias "Pain" to conquer Amegakure and invented the Six Paths of Pain to overcome his handicap and kill Hanzo, becoming a "god" in the eyes of Amegakure's citizens.[ch. 369] Having made cosmetic alterations to the other Paths by dyeing their hair to match Yahiko's, the Paths are all outfitted with a number of body piercings that serve as a means for Nagato to control them and to give them a "more dangerous" appearance in relation to their name's installation. Through Nagato's Rinnegan, they can also share visual information and coordinate attacks.[ch. 378]
Jiraiya would later confront Nagato in the Deva Path vessel while infiltrating Amegakure, resulting in a fight with Nagato dismissing his former mentor's ideals while killing him. However, Jiraiya managed to take out Nagato's Animal Path vessel and he fashions a new one from a female corpse. During Pain's attack on Konoha, the rest of the Paths destroyed in the fight, the Deva Path is defeated by Naruto. Talking with Naruto, Nagato's faith in their mentor and world peace is renewed as he sacrifices his life in order to revive the people he killed in Konoha.[ch. 449] From there, Nagato and Yahiko's body are taken back to Amegakure for a proper funeral. However, after Obito took back the Rinnegan from him, Nagato is reanimated by Kabuto and sent alongside Itachi to battle Naruto and Killer Bee. Though he regained his ability to fight at his full potential, Nagato is defeated by Itachi and sent back to the afterlife. In the Japanese anime, Yahiko/Pain and the other male Paths are voiced by Kenyu Horiuchi while Nagato's voice actor is Junpei Morita. In his cameo appearance in episode 135 of the English adaptation, Yahiko/Pain is voiced by Dave Wittenberg, and in the Shippuden anime he is voiced by Troy Baker, while Nagato is voiced by Vic Mignogna.
Konan (小南?) was the only female ninja in Akatsuki. As such, Kishimoto originally wanted her to have an obscene appearance showing more of her bust. Being a partner of Nagato, Konan was also a pupil under Jiraiya after she was orphaned as a child by one of Amegakure's many wars and forced to fend for herself. Because she serves under Nagato, she is referred to by villagers of Amegakure as "God's angel". While under Jiraiya, Konan learned to take advantage of her natural talent with origami, using it as a key component in her battle style.[ch. 373, 449] Konan can divide her body into countless sheets of paper, which she controls and reshapes remotely to scout out an area, form weapons for attack, or create wings that mirror her title. While Konan's abilities are restricted when the paper is wet; since paper will cling to itself and lose its stiffness, she is able to use this weakness to her advantage as she implements explosive tags into her paper clones. After Nagato's death, Konan withdraws her position in Akatsuki and leaves the organization; thus reducing it to Obito, Zetsu and Kisame.[ch. 372] Later, she is confronted by Obito over the location of Nagato's Rinnegan eyes. She fights him, but is killed after being forced to reveal Nagato's resting place.[ch. 510] In the Japanese anime, Konan is voiced by Atsuko Tanaka and in the English anime, her voice actress is Dorothy Elias-Fahn.
Obito Uchiha (うちは オビト Uchiha Obito?), primarily known under his alias Tobi (トビ?) is the real leader of Akatsuki and a major antagonist in the series. He was originally Kakashi Hatake's teammate who gave him his Sharingan before his presumed death in the Third Great Ninja War. In reality, he was saved by Madara Uchiha who managed to save him and eventually took him as his apprentice to continue his work after he died when the youth witnessed Kakashi kill their teammate Rin Nohara caused by the actions of the ninja villages' conduct.[ch. 602, 606] Obito served a behind-the-scenes role throughout the first half of Part II and caused most of the tragic events that occurred prior to the series, including the deaths of Naruto's parents.[ch. 501] Other than using his right Sharingan to utilize Kamui in a fashion that made it seem he is intangible and teleport over great distances.
Using the alias Tobi to take an active role, Obito joins the Akatsuki as Sasori's carefree replacement to oversee the Eye of the Moon Plan. After Deidara dies in a suicidal bid to kill Sasuke Uchiha, Obito takes a special interest in Sasuke and took him under his wing after Itachi Uchiha's death.[ch. 364] After Nagato's death, Obito completely assumed Madara's identity as the means to revive him was lost; Obito reveals his mentor's Eye of the Moon Plan to the Kage so, as the resurrected Ten-Tails's host, he can cast an eternal illusion called the Infinite Tsukuyomi (無限月読 Mugen Tsukuyomi?) to subjugate all life. After the Kage refuse to surrender to him, Obito declares the Fourth Great Ninja War and ends up forming a reluctant alliance with Kabuto Yakushi who blackmailed him with a reanimated Madara.[ch. 467,490] Retrieving Nagato's Rinnegan to replace his left eye, Tobi converts the reanimated corpses of the captured Jinchuriki into his personal Six Paths of Pain so he can use the captured Tailed Beasts' power through them.[ch. 510, 544] During the ensuing war, Madara is revealed and Obito's true identity is exposed.[ch. 560] Regardless, as the Ten Tails is revived, albeit incomplete, while he and Madara control it, Obito made personal attacks on Naruto's friends to break his spirit before Hinata rekindled it and gave their side the advantage. After losing control of Ten Tails, Obito ends up taking Kakashi to the dimension tied to Kamui where the two would fight as Obito reveals his true reasons for aiding Madara. [ch. 628, 629, 636] Mortally wounded by Kakashi, Obito returns to reality where he is nearly sacrificed by Madara to restore the latter back to life until Madara's control over Obito is halted by the Allied Shinobi Forces, resulting in Obito becoming the Ten Tails Jinchuriki himself.[ch. 636, 637] From there, overwhelming the reanimated Hokage, Obito releases the power of the Ten Tails in the form of Shinju, which slowly assumes its final form before Obito faces Naruto and Sasuke. However, after Naruto convinces him to stop deluding himself and accept his regrets as the Allied Shinobi Forces extract the tailed beasts from the Shinju, Obito accepts his defeat.[ch. 654,655] Weakened by the Ten Tails' extraction, realizing his defeat was by the teachings of Jiraiya, whose ideals his mentor and Naruto inherited, Obito decides to use the Samsara of Heavenly Life to revive those who died in the war in redemption and meet Rin on the other side. However, Madara has Black Zetsu fuse onto Obito to direct the jutsu on him instead. As a result of the forced symbiosis, Obito is now between life and death as Black Zetsu takes the Rinnegan from him while using his body to fight Kakashi and Minato.[ch. 656, 657] When Madara arrives to absorb Black Zetsu to obtain the Nine Tails's yin chakra, Obito asserts enough will power to keep the artificial being on him while intending to fight Madara before he obtains fragments of the One Tail and Eights Tails before sealing the Yin half into Naruto; who lost the Yang Half to Madara and reacquires the other half to live.
Obito in his Tobi persona was Kishimoto's favorite Akatsuki character at the time to draw, due to his simple mask. In the Japanese anime, Obito is voiced by Wataru Takagi, while Naoya Uchida voiced his Madara guise from episodes 125 to 343. In his youth, he is voiced by Sōsuke Komori, with Megumi Han taking over the position in 343. In the English anime, Obito is voiced by Neil Kaplan with Michael Yurchak voicing his Tobi persona. Nolan North does Obito's voice in the video games while his younger self is voiced by Vic Mignogna.
Taka (鷹?, "Hawk") is a group formed by Sasuke Uchiha that consists of Orochimaru's former subordinates. When first formed it goes by the name "Hebi" (蛇?, "Snake"), with its mission being to find and kill Sasuke's brother, Itachi Uchiha, to avenge the latter's slaughter of the Uchiha clan by the time the name change occurs.[ch. 352] Its first recruited member is Suigetsu Hozuki (鬼灯 水月 Hōzuki Suigetsu?), former test subject of Orochimaru whose Kekkei Genkai allows him to change his body to liquid form, who wishes to restore the Kirigakure's Seven Swordsmen by taking their swords.[ch. 352, 523] He utilizes the regenerative sword Kubikiribōchō, formerly owned by Zabuza Momochi. The second member is Karin (香燐?), a former assistant to Orochimaru who specializes in tracking specific individuals through chakra over long distances,[ch. 365] and is highly flirtatious when she is alone with Sasuke.[ch. 348] She is later revealed to be one of the few surviving members of the Uzumaki clan; thus she is related to other characters descended from the clan, including the series' titular character, Naruto Uzumaki, and the Akatsuki's figurehead leader, Nagato.[ch. 579] The third and last member is the prisoner Jugo (重吾 Jūgo?), the source of Orochimaru's cursed seals due to enzymes that render him mentally unstable, who follows Sasuke as he sees him as the living legacy of his late friend Kimimaro.[ch. 351, 352]
After Itachi's death and Sasuke's discovery that the Uchiha were wiped out under the orders of Konohagakure, Sasuke renames their group "Taka" and changes its mission to the destruction of Konoha. Prior to carrying out this intent, Sasuke agrees to work with Akatsuki to help them obtain Tailed Beast Gyuki though his group failed to capture Killer Bee.[ch. 403] After Sasuke's failed infiltration of the Kage Summit in the Land of Iron, Taka splits as Jugo and Suigetsu are captured by the samurai of the Land of Iron, and Karin taken for questioning after being abandoned by Sasuke during the ensuing fight with Danzo Shimura.[ch. 482, 523] However, Jugo and Suigetsu escape their captors and return to one of Orochimaru's many hideouts where they find an ancient scroll of great significance. Karin later escapes from prison and reunites with Sasuke and her teammates, alongside Orochimaru and the four resurrected Hokage. Sasuke and Jūgo go on to help the Ninja Alliance against Madara and Obito while Suigetsu and Karin heal the five injured current Kage following their battle against Madara; the two proceed to join the former two after they have done that.
Madara Uchiha (うちは マダラ Uchiha Madara?) is one of the founders of Konohagakure[ch. 385] and the main antagonist of the entire series, although he is absent for much of the series, having died approximately twelve years before the story began; instead, most of the major events were done by his followers. Though a childhood friend of Hashirama Senju, he become leader of the Uchiha clan in their adult years after their friendship dissolved. Madara fought many times with Hashirama during the "Elder Days" from this point on.[ch. 622] In time, Madara's overuse of Mangekyo Sharingan blinded him. To help him, Madara's younger brother Izuna Uchiha (うちは イズナ Uchiha Izuna?) gave him his eyes to continue their war against the Senju Clan. Izuna soon died right after from fatal wounds caused by Tobirama Senju. By taking his brother's eyes Madara awakend the Eternal Mangekyo Sharingan and used it to continue fighting opposing clans.[ch. 386] However, though he eventually agreed to an alliance with his rival, Madara had felt he would never be accepted by the Senju and lost hope in Hashirama after reading an Uchiha tablet that explained the true purpose of the Sharingan and the Uchiha Clan's "Curse of Hatred", and ultimately left the village to achieve his dream. While achieving his goal, Madara captures Kurama the Nine Tails and used him in his final clash with Hashirama.[ch. 399, 621] Madara was believed to have been killed by Hashirama during this fight but he survived and went into hiding while secretly taking a blood sample of Hashirama, gathered during their previous bout. With Hashirama's blood, Madara transfused himself with it to increase his power. He was able to awaken the Rinnegan near the end of his life after using Hashirama's blood.[ch. 560] Madara saves Obito Uchiha's life during the Third Shinobi War and takes him on as his apprentice to continue his work with the Eye of the Moon Plan. When the two of them first met Madara explains he transplanted his eyes to someone else (Nagato) so his Rinnegan can be preserved for his revival years later.[ch. 605] After explaining everything that needed to be done for the Eye of the Moon Plan to Obito, Madara disconnected himself from the living clone of Hashirama he cultivated by using his stolen blood and allowed himself to die so Obito could carry out the plan in his stead.
During most of the Naruto series, Obito uses the name of Tobi and later Madara Uchiha as a cover until Kabuto Yakushi finds the real Madara's body and uses the corpse to negotiate a partnership. However, having been modified to resemble his younger self with all the power he gained in his old age intact, Madara is reanimated to fight against the Shinobi Alliance anyway behind Obito's back.[ch. 562] Madara proceeds to fight the Five Kage before severing his connection to Kabuto's technique after it was canceled to remain among the living. Madara continues his assault on the Five Kage before defeating them once and for all and joining Obito's side as the Ten Tails is resurrected. Though he desires Obito to truly resurrect him in the flesh, Madara's intent to become the Ten Tails jinchuriki fails as he resolves to settle things with the reincarnated Hashirama instead and Obito makes himself the beast's host.[ch. 638] When Obito attempts to use the Outer Path in a final act of redemption after his defeat, Madara succeeds in being resurrected when he has Black Zetsu force Obito to use the jutsu on him. From there, Madara manages to swiftly reclaim the released Tailed Beasts and finally extracting Gyuki the Eight Tails from Killer Bee and Kurama from Naruto with the Gedo Statue and his right eye, retrieved by a White Zetsu clone.[ch. 656, 657, 658] Madara proceeds to seal the newly recreated Ten Tailed Beast into himself and become its jinchuriki. While being the jinchuriki Madara resembles the Sage of the Six Paths just as Obito had when he possessed the beast. Madara states he still needs his left eye and turns his attention towards Kakashi and Minato who are currently trying to subdue Obito as he is possessed by Black Zetsu who obtained Yin Kurama.[ch. 663]. Though he attempts to absorb Black Zetsu and regain his eye, Madara finds himself fighting Obito instead; who steals a fragment of Shukaku the One Tail and Gyuki in the processing after failing to remove the tailed-beasts from the elder Uchiha. [ch. 666] In the Japanese anime, Madara is voiced by Naoya Uchida while Neil Kaplan voices him in the English version.
Team 8 is a group of Konohagakure ninja led by Kurenai Yuhi. The members of Team 8 primarily concentrate on tracking, with each of the members' unique abilities being utilized in this role. During Part II, Team 8, excluding Kurenai due to her pregnancy, joins Naruto Uzumaki and Team 7 in their search for Itachi Uchiha and Sasuke Uchiha.[ch. 354] However, their mission ends up in failure, with them being unable to locate either of the Uchiha brothers.
Kiba Inuzuka (犬塚 キバ Inuzuka Kiba?) is a member of Team 8 who is of the Inuzuka Clan, a group of ninja with canine characteristics such a sense of smell who train alongside their ninja dog (忍犬 ninken?) partners. Very protective of his teammates, Kiba displays the same loyalty to Akamaru, unwilling to abandon him and putting himself in harm's way for Akamaru's sake.[ch. 204] In exchange for Kiba's devotion, Akamaru fights with him in battle; he uses his heightened senses to Kiba's advantage, and helps to double-team opponents with volleys of physical attacks. Since Akamaru is naturally better equipped for combat, Kiba usually modifies his own abilities at the start of a battle, growing claws and traveling on all four limbs to increase his speed.[ch. 75] He can also drastically increase his sense of smell, and by the second half of the series he can use it to track things dogs cannot.[ch. 364] Both Kiba and Naruto have a sense of friendship and rivalry with one another, as Kiba constantly challenges Naruto's aspirations for the position of Hokage. Kiba's voice actor in the Japanese anime is Kōsuke Toriumi, and his English voice actor is Kyle Hebert.
Akamaru (赤丸?) is Kiba Inuzuka's ninja dog, best friend, and constant companion. At the start of the series, Kiba carries Akamaru around on his head or inside his jacket. By Part II of the Naruto storyline, Akamaru grows large enough for Kiba to ride atop his back, but since Kiba spends so much time with Akamaru, he fails to notice this drastic difference.[ch. 282] With his heightened sense of smell, hearing, and the ability to detect others' chakra levels, Akamaru acts as a valuable tool for Kiba in hostile situations. To help Kiba keep track of opponents, Akamaru can urinate on them, giving them a strong odor that can easily be tracked. In battle, however, he relies on Kiba to provide the chakra for the combination attacks they execute, which requires Akamaru to transform into a clone of Kiba.[ch. 203] In the original Japanese anime, Akamaru is voiced by Junko Takeuchi, who is also the voice actor for Naruto Uzumaki, and Kōsuke Toriumi, who voices Kiba, when Akamaru transforms into a clone of Kiba. In the English adaptation of the anime, Akamaru's vocal effects as a puppy are provided by Jamie Simone though Kyle Hebert provided the voice of Akamaru when he took Kiba's form. Akamaru is one of the cutest dogs in naruto. 
Shino Aburame (油女 シノ Aburame Shino?) is one of the members of Team 8 who is of the Aburame Clan, ninja who formed a symbiosis with a special breed of insects known as "destruction bugs" (寄壊蟲 kikaichū?) by allowing the insects to use their bodies as hives. In his free time, Shino collects insects and often uses them as analogies during conversation.[ch. 172] During a battle, Shino directs his bugs towards an opponent, boxing them in without their knowledge and absorbing their chakra once they have been surrounded. Shino's merciless tendencies, in regards to opponents as well as his attachment to insects, have caused other characters to label him as "creepy".[ch. 70] Nevertheless, Shino cares deeply for his teammates, being acutely aware of their inner workings and always regretting when he is unable to help them.[ch. 238] In the Japanese anime, his voice actor is Shinji Kawada. His first voice actor in the English anime was Sam Riegel, who voiced Shino in episodes 23 and 24, but in all following appearances, he has been voiced by Derek Stephen Prince.
Hinata Hyuga (日向 ヒナタ Hyūga Hinata?) a member of Team 8 who suffers from a lack of self-confidence throughout the series. Though born of the Hyuga clan's main house and raised to become its succeeding leader, Hinata's shyness and inability to stand up for herself caused her father to disown her at a young age, leaving her in the care of Kurenai Yuhi.[ch. 78] Under Kurenai's guidance, Hinata began training to become stronger, both to overcome her own weaknesses and to prove her worth to her father. Her efforts begin to prove successful towards the end of Part I, as her father takes a greater interest in her training.[ch. 238]
Hinata's growing self-confidence mainly comes from her long-standing admiration for Naruto, as she is inspired by his enthusiasm and his unyielding determination to never give up. As the series progresses, her admiration towards Naruto grows into genuine care and affection, eventually leading her to fall in love with him. While Hinata was hesitant to openly admit her feelings for him, most characters were aware of her feelings.[ch. 77, 80] In the anime, Hinata's attempts to impress Naruto result in her creation of an original ability capable of instantly blocking or attacking anything in her extended field of vision. During Part II, Hinata finally confesses her love to Naruto while protecting him from Pain and later fighting by his side during the Allied Ninjas' battle with the Ten Tails.[ch. 437, 615] Her voice actress in the Japanese anime is Nana Mizuki, and her English voice actress is Stephanie Sheh.
Kurenai Yuhi (夕日 紅 Yūhi Kurenai?) is the leader of Team 8, a skilled user of genjutsu who is shown to be particularly skilled with illusions involving plants.[ch. 141] Of all her students, Kurenai is closest with Hinata, acting as a surrogate parent in the absence of Hinata's father and helping Hinata overcome her weaknesses.[ch. 78] Whenever Kurenai appears in the series, she is usually accompanied by her childhood friend Asuma Sarutobi. Because of this, many other characters assume them to be a couple, though they both deny this.[ch. 140] During Part II of the series, Kurenai is revealed to be pregnant with Asuma's child, making their relationship clear.[ch. 342] Several months after Asuma's death, Kurenai gave birth to their child; however, the child's name remains unknown.[ch. 533] In the Japanese anime, her voice actress is Rumi Ochiai, while Megumi Han voices Kurenai's younger self. In the English adaptation of the anime, she was voiced by Saffron Henderson in episode three, and Mary Elizabeth McGlynn in all subsequent appearances.
Team 10 is a group of Konohagakure ninja led by Asuma Sarutobi. The fathers of the three team members Choji Akimichi, Shikamaru Nara, and Ino Yamanaka were also on a team together, and both generations refer to their team using the moniker "Ino-Shika-Cho."[ch. 137] During Part II, Asuma is slain in an encounter with members of Akatsuki, and Kakashi Hatake briefly assumes leadership of the team to hunt down those responsible for Asuma's death.[ch. 331]
Choji Akimichi (秋道 チョウジ Akimichi Chōji?) is a member of Team 10 who is typified by his deep love for food to the extent that he always has a snack with him during the series. Though his habit of always eating gives him a relatively large appearance, Choji insists he is not fat, instead using explanations like being "big-boned". If someone refers to him as fat, Choji instantly becomes hostile and increases his resolve to battle.[ch. 55] Shikamaru Nara has never found an issue with Choji's weight, instead choosing to look upon Choji's inner strength. Because of this, Choji regards him as his best friend, stating he would willingly give his life to defend Shikamaru.[ch. 190] In battle, Choji can increase the size of his body to improve the amount of damage his strikes deal upon impact.[ch. 189] He can also use his clan's signature Calorie Control (カロリーコントロール Karorī Kontorōru?) which converts his body fat to chakra (symbolized by butterfly wings in his back), although at first he can only use it through the help of three colored pills that can inflict side effects if eaten.[ch. 190] Kishimoto stated that Chōji and Killer B are currently his favourite characters in the Naruto series during a 2012 Shōnen Jump interview. His voice actor in the Japanese anime is Kentaro Ito and his English voice actor is Robbie Rist.
Shikamaru Nara (奈良 シカマル Nara Shikamaru?) is one of the members of Team 10. Creator Kishimoto has noted that he "likes" Shikamaru due to his easygoing nature despite being a genius, and contrasted him against Sasuke Uchiha's intelligent but abrasive personality. Shikamaru's intelligence is such that Asuma Sarutobi, Team 10's leader, has never been able to defeat Shikamaru at games such as shogi or go, and he can devise complex strategies even in the heat of battle. However, his laziness frequently prevents him from effectively utilizing his intelligence.[ch. 107] Shikamaru is a longtime friend of Choji Akimichi, his fellow Team 10 member, as he chooses to look upon Choji as a person rather than only considering his large girth.[ch. 190] In battle, Shikamaru can manipulate his shadow, and by extending it into another person's shadow he can force the target to mimic his movements.[ch. 107] In the Japanese anime, Shikamaru's voice actor is Showtaro Morikubo, although Nobutoshi Canna acted as a stand-in for Morikubo in episode 141. His English voice actor is Tom Gibis.
Ino Yamanaka (山中 いの Yamanaka Ino?) is the only female member of Team 10. She is a childhood friend of Sakura Haruno, helping her to develop her own identity. When they discovered that they both liked Sasuke Uchiha, Sakura ended their friendship so they could properly compete for his affection.[ch. 71] The two eventually make amends and rekindle their friendship, but still maintain a competitive attitude towards each other.[ch. 73] In the anime, when Sakura begins to excel in healing techniques, Ino becomes her surrogate apprentice, hoping to be more useful to her friends and teammates as an able medical ninja. In terms of combat abilities, Ino specializes in mind-altering techniques. To use these techniques, Ino transfers her consciousness to her target's mind, gaining control over their body which she can then use to attack others.[ch. 55] In the Japanese anime, her voice actress is Ryōka Yuzuki, and her voice actress is Colleen O'Shaughnessey in the English adaptation.
Asuma Sarutobi (猿飛 アスマ Sarutobi Asuma?) was the leader of Team 10 and son of the Third Hokage Hiruzen Sarutobi. In battle, Asuma wields trench knives that can be infused his wind nature chakra to extend the blades' length and easily pierce through a rock.[ch. 317] Asuma had a falling out with his father when he was younger and briefly left Konohagakure in protest, gaining fame as a member of the Land of Fire's Twelve Guardian Shinobi. Though Asuma eventually returned, gaining the resolve to protect Konoha's next generation from his experiences outside his home, he never completely reconciled with his father by the time of Hiruzen's death.[ch. 314] Asuma is usually seen smoking a cigarette, but will temporarily drop the habit when something is bothering him, such as when his father died.[ch. 321] Among all his students, Asuma shares a particularly close relationship with Shikamaru Nara, often playing shogi or go together.[ch. 107] Asuma frequently appears alongside his childhood friend Kurenai Yuhi, denying having a relation before it is revealed that Kurenai is bearing his child.[ch. 140, 342] After Asuma is killed by Hidan of the criminal organization Akatsuki, Shikamaru inherited his mentor's ideals as he uses his knuckles to defeat Hidan. During the Fourth Great Ninja War, Asuma is brought back with the Reanimation Jutsu to fight for Kabuto before he defeated by his students and sealed until his soul is allowed to return to the afterlife. Asuma's voice actor in the Japanese anime is Jūrōta Kosugi with Fujiko Takimoto voicing his younger self, while Doug Erholtz is his voice actor in the English adaptation.
Team Guy is a group of Konohagakure ninja led by Might Guy. The members of Team Guy primarily concentrate on physical attacks and weapons. They are a year older than the other members of Konohagakure's teams, as Guy wanted to wait a year before they could take the test to advance in ninja rank and become Chunin. In Part II, Team Guy joins Team 7 in attempting to save Gaara from the criminal organization, Akatsuki.[ch. 253]
Neji Hyuga (日向 ネジ Hyūga Neji?) was a member of Team Guy and a child prodigy of the Hyuga clan, as well as being Hinata's cousin.[ch. 101] As he was the only ninja of his generation to be promoted to the rank of Jonin during Part II, he frequently acted as leader of his assigned teams and the secondary leader of Team Guy which Might Guy is not around. Though a member of the branch house, Neji displayed his title as a prodigy of the Hyuga throughout the series as a master of his clan's Gentle Fist style of combat that he taught to himself.[ch. 101] At the start of the series, Neji openly hated the main house because his father was killed in the place of the main house's leader, his uncle and Hinata's father.
Originally, Neji believed in a fatalistic philosophy: that one's destiny is inescapable and that a weak person will always be weak.[ch. 38] After being defeated in the Chunin Exams by Naruto Uzumaki, who defied his own "fate" by getting stronger, Neji had a change of heart once Hiashi revealed the full story of his twin brother's death as an act of self-sacrifice. Since then, Neji abandoned the idea of a predetermined fate and resolved to get strong enough to never lose a battle.[ch. 197] As the series progressed, Neji refined his Gentle Fist and devised original variations that either increase their potency or to fix an inherent flaw such as a blindspot in his Byakugan.[ch. 197] Neji also remedy the estranged relations between himself and the members of the main house, resulting in his training with Hiashi and Hinata at the end of Part I.[ch. 238] Neji is killed during the Fourth Great Ninja War as he sacrifices himself to protect Naruto and Hinata from Obito Uchiha's attack, telling a horrified Naruto that he made the choice to die protecting those dear to him as his father had. In the Japanese anime, his voice actor is Kōichi Tōchika, and when he is featured as a child, he is voiced by Keiko Nemoto. His voice in the English anime is provided by Steve Staley, and Wendee Lee provides his child voice.
Rock Lee (ロック・リー Rokku Rī?) is a member of Team Guy and the favorite student of team leader Might Guy. In the ninja academy, Rock Lee was unable to use ninjutsu or genjutsu techniques, but his persistence impressed Guy. Guy spends much of his free time training with Lee to help him accomplish his dream of becoming a respected ninja by using only taijutsu. Lee has adopted several of Guy's habits because of this, such as his wardrobe and his perseverance.[ch. 84] Guy has taught him a number of powerful, even forbidden, techniques. Because some of these techniques, such as the ability to open the eight chakra gates, can pose a severe risk to Lee's body, he is only permitted to use them to protect something or someone dear to him.[ch. 52] In the Japanese anime and manga, he almost always utilizes honorifics such as "san" and "kun". In the English adaptations, he never uses contractions other than sensei, though neither do any other characters. In the Japanese anime, his voice actor is Yoichi Masukawa, and his voice actor is Brian Donovan in English.
Tenten (テンテン?) is the only female member of Team Guy, and longs to prove that a female ninja can be just as skilled as a male ninja. Of all the Naruto protagonists, Tenten receives the least amount of screen time in the series, such that her only fight in Part I of the manga is almost entirely skipped; the battle's start and her eventual defeat are the only portions shown.[ch. 73] Despite her lack of appearances, series creator Masashi Kishimoto favors her design more than those of any of the other female characters he has created. In battle, Tenten specializes in weaponry, ranging from projectiles to close-combat weapons and even explosives by the second part of the series. During a fight she uses the hundreds of weapons kept stored in scrolls she carries with her to bombard opponents with pinpoint accuracy. Tenten uses this expertise to help Neji Hyuga train his defensive techniques, and she holds him in high regard since he can always block her attacks.[ch. 98] Her Japanese voice actress is Yukari Tamura, and her English voice actress is Danielle Judovits.
Might Guy (マイト・ガイ Maito Gai?) is the leader of Team Guy, and dedicates most of his time to only one of his students, Rock Lee. Because of Guy's dedication to him, Lee has modeled himself in his master's image, mimicking Guy's distinctive green jumpsuit and shiny bowl haircut. Lee has also adopted many of Guy's mannerisms, including his "My Rules" philosophy, which involves setting tough self-imposed penalties for failure in the belief that the punishment will make him stronger.[ch. 180] Series creator Masashi Kishimoto likens Guy's passionate personality to that of a physical education teacher he had in junior high school, but notes that the teacher was not a model for Guy's character.
In battle, Guy specializes in physical attacks, which he constantly tries to teach to Lee. While Lee is forced to concentrate on physical attacks due to his inability to use other types of techniques, Guy deliberately chooses not to use techniques other than physical attacks. When not teaching Lee a new ability, Guy is usually found in competition with his self-proclaimed rival, Kakashi Hatake. Throughout the series, Kakashi has never displayed a particular interest in their rivalry, which only further motivates Guy to defeat Kakashi and his "coolness".[ch. 65] He is also an extremely capable ninja, being able to handle Itachi Uchiha and also beating Kisame Hoshigaki single-handedly on two occasions. In the Japanese anime, his voice actor is Masashi Ebara, and his English voice actor is Skip Stellrecht. Masayuki Makiguchi voices him as a child.
The Hokage (火影?, lit. "Fire Shadow") is the leader of Konohagakure. Over the course of the series, there have been five Hokage, who are honored by the village by having sculptures of their faces carved into the rock formation overlooking Konohagakure. The First Hokage was Hashirama Senju, who founded the village along with Madara Uchiha. The First was succeeded by his younger brother, Tobirama Senju, the Second Hokage who created Konoha's government system and attempted to keep Uchiha clan members from ending up like Madara. He in turn was followed by one of his students, Hiruzen Sarutobi, who became the Third Hokage. After a long rule, the Third abdicated in favor of Minato Namikaze, who took the position of Fourth Hokage, but reclaimed his position after the Fourth gave his life to save the village from Kurama, the nine-tailed fox.[ch. 1] Hiruzen is the Hokage at the beginning of the series, but he dies in battle with his former student, Orochimaru, during an invasion of Konohagakure.[ch. 137] One of Hiruzen's students and also Hashirama's granddaughter Tsunade, succeeds him as the Fifth Hokage.[ch. 172] Danzo Shimura follows Tsunade becoming the unofficial leader of Konoha, the candidate Sixth Hokage, after she enters a coma as a consequence of defending the village from Pain. After Danzo's death, Kakashi Hatake is considered for the Hokage title until Tsunade's recovery, at which point she resumes her duty.[ch. 489]
Hashirama Senju (千手 柱間 Senju Hashirama?), the First Hokage (初代火影 Shodai Hokage?) is the co-founder of the first ninja village, Konohagakure, and the former leader of Senju Clan. He is also the husband of the first host of Kurama, Mito Uzumaki, and the grandfather of the Fifth Hokage, Tsunade. He was a respected ninja of his era and was known as the "God of Shinobi" (忍の神 Shinobi no Kami?). He was also the only person in his clan who was naturally born with the Wood Style kekkei genkai. Despite living during the Warring States period, forced to attend the funerals of some of his brothers at the hands of Uchiha, Hashirama had a cheerful and happy-go-lucky personality with a desire to end the conflict. As a child, Hashirama forged a friendship with Madara Uchiha before the youth declared them enemies and they battled on occasion with Hashirama eventually convincing Madara to have their clans make peace while finding Konoha. However, Tobirama's objection of Hashirama naming Madara their village leader ended that friendship. Hashirama then captured the Tailed Beasts as offerings for the stability between the villages, including Kurama, who he captured after a long battle with Madara.[ch. 399] He later died through many wars of his era, yet was brought back by the Reanimation jutsu twice by Orochimaru[ch. 118]; the first of which to battle his former student Hiruzen, while the second to help Sasuke understand the Konoha's history before battling Madara in the Fourth Great Ninja War. However, once Madara is resurrected, Hashirama is defeated with the Uchiha stealing some of his chakra. In the Japanese anime, he is voiced by Takayuki Sugō, and his English voice actors are Jamieson Price in Part I, Peter Lurie in Part II, and J.B. Blanc in some video games.
Tobirama Senju (千手 扉間 Senju Tobirama?), the Second Hokage (二代目火影 Nidaime Hokage?), is the younger brother of Hashirama and the former teacher of Hiruzen Sarutobi. He is credited as being the Hokage who created the infrastructure of Konohagakure, including the Ninja Academy and Police Force. He was skilled in Water Style techniques and is known throughout the Ninja World for creating the Flying Thunder God Jutsu (飛雷神の術 Hiraishin no Jutsu?), the Shadow Clone Jutsu, and the controversial Reanimation Jutsu, although he abandoned its completion due to its sinister nature. [ch. 520]. His knowledge of the Uchiha anatomy and source of their power shows that he was into anatomical research and studies. In contrast to his brother's pacifistic look of life, Tobirama is a proud man with a sense of self righteous and composed individual stemming from the traumatic childhood he endured from their brothers' deaths by the Uchiha during the Warring States period. Consequently, he disapproved of Hashirama's friendship with Madara Uchiha despite after the rival clans had reconciled, eventually leading to Madara's departure. Tobirama later received the title of Hokage after Hashirama's death. However this was short-lived as he was killed in an ambush during the First Great Ninja War[ch. 501]. Before his death he appointed Hiruzen as his successor, much to the dislike of Danzo Shimura. He was later brought back by the Reanimation Jutsu after it was perfected by Orochimaru and forced to battle Hiruzen.[ch. 118] Tobirama is later brought back again to inform Sasuke Uchiha about the Uchiha Clan and to participate in the battle against Madara, Obito, and the Ten Tails. Once Madara is resurrected, he incapacitates Tobirama using chakra rods, making him unable to move. In the Japanese anime, he is voiced by Ken'yū Horiuchi, and his English voice actors are Peter Lurie in Part I, Jamieson Price in Part II, and Steven Blum in some video games.
Hiruzen Sarutobi (猿飛 ヒルゼン Sarutobi Hiruzen?), the Third Hokage (三代目火影 Sandaime Hokage?), has been the longest-ruling Hokage, being forced to return to duty after the Fourth Hokage, Minato Namikaze's death. He is a peace-loving leader, preferring nonviolent discussions to his advisers' more militaristic suggestions. He is highly revered by the villagers, and even by his all time rival Danzo Shimura. Throughout the series, he acts as a source of wisdom to younger generations; and from the start, is one of the few characters to treat Naruto Uzumaki as a person, not as the host of Kurama.[ch. 2] He was also known as "The Professor" (プロフェッサー Purofessā?), as he purportedly knew every jutsu in Konohagakure, and was also revered as the "God of Shinobi" (忍の神 Shinobi no Kami?).[ch. 121] He is able to use the Summoning Jutsu, which allows him to summon the Monkey King Enma (閻魔?), who takes the form of a long rod when not summoned. He was also the teacher of Jiraiya, Orochimaru, and Tsunade. Orochimaru had always been his favorite student, and Sarutobi could never bring himself to recognize Orochimaru's evil qualities. When Orochimaru invades Konoha years later, Sarutobi fights him to repent for never prosecuting Orochimaru as he should have.[ch. 121] While he is unable to seal Orochimaru with the forbidden Reaper Death Seal, Hiruzen still manages to rob Orochimaru of his ability to use jutsu by sealing just his arms, bringing an end to the invasion and thus allowing him to die happily.[ch. 137] During the Fourth Great Ninja War, Orochimaru releases Hiruzen's soul from the Reaper and reanimates him so Sasuke can confirm the events behind the Uchiha Clan Massacre. He later participates in the battle against Obito and Madara alongside the other resurrected Hokage. In the Japanese anime, he is voiced by Hidekatsu Shibata, and his English voice actor is Steve Kramer.
Minato Namikaze (波風 ミナト Namikaze Minato?), the Fourth Hokage (四代目火影 Yondaime Hokage?), is the father of Naruto Uzumaki and spouse to Kushina Uzumaki. Although Naruto and Minato are noted to have a number of similar physical traits throughout the series, their familial relationship is not revealed until Part II of the series.[ch. 367] He was the student of Jiraiya and the teacher of Kakashi Hatake, Obito Uchiha, and Rin Nohara. The entire village respects Minato as a hero of the village, having perfected Tobirama's Flying Thunder God Jutsu, a method of teleportation with pre-made seals, to earn the title of "Konoha's Yellow Flash" (木ノ葉の黄色い閃光 Konoha no Kiiroi Senkō?).[ch. 240] He has learned many transportation and sealing techniques, the latter from the texts of the near extinct Uzumaki clan that include the Reaper Death Seal. Before the start of the series, after battling the mysterious masked ninja who released the nine Tails Kurama, Minato siphons Kurama's Yin chakra to weaken the beast to be sealed into Naruto's body in a sacrificial act so his son can only access the Nine Tails's yang chakra.[ch. 2] Years later during the Fourth Great Ninja War, Orochimaru releases Minato's soul and reanimates him. After Sasuke listens to his answers, Minato and the other Hokage decide to fight alongside Sasuke on the battlefield and defeat Madara Uchiha once and for all. Minato reveals his own Nine Tails Chakra mode during the fight before learning that Obito was the masked man he faced the night of his death. Kishimoto has expressed desire to make a spin-off series with Minato as the protagonist, but much younger. In the Japanese version, Minato is voiced by Toshiyuki Morikawa with Miyu Irino voicing him as a child. In the English version, his voice actor is Tony Oliver.
Tsunade (綱手?), as well as her former teammates Jiraiya and Orochimaru, is a former student of Hiruzen Sarutobi.[ch. 170] Despite looking like a buxom woman in her twenties, Tsunade is actually an older woman in her fifties who uses a transformation technique to maintain her youthful appearance.[ch. 149] Tsunade is also the granddaughter of Hashirama Senju and Mito Uzumaki with many referring to her by the Japanese honorific "hime" (princess). Despite her connections to the three first Hokage, Tsunade hates the position when she is first introduced. After her boyfriend Dan Katō and brother Nawaki died in pursuit of their dreams to become Hokage, she lost faith in the title and the concept of dreams. She regains her faith in both after meeting Naruto Uzumaki, who consistently overcomes any obstacle in his own dreams of being Hokage.[ch. 172] As a result, Tsunade accepts the position of Fifth Hokage (五代目火影 Godaime Hokage?) to protect Konohakagure on behalf of everyone she has loved.[ch. 169] Despite the importance of her position, Tsunade tends to avoid her everyday duties, instead leaving them for her assistant Shizune. She will fulfil her role to address matters important to the village, and throughout Part II leads Konoha in combating the Akatsuki.[ch. 238] Tsunade is a compulsive gambler with terrible luck with a rare winning streak perceived by her as a bad omen. Despite her odd personality, Tsunade is a talented medical ninja with superhuman strength that allows her to reduce buildings to rubble and can heal injuries that most others would consider incurable. Tsunade devised a method of mitotic regeneration for herself that make her nearly unkillable in battle yet greatly shortens her overall lifespan. In the Japanese anime, Tsunade's voice actress is Masako Katsuki, and her English voice actress is Debi Mae West. In some of the video games, however, her English voice actress is Mary Elizabeth McGlynn.
Danzo Shimura (志村 ダンゾウ Shimura Danzō?) was one of the oldest villagers in Konoha, a moderately cantankerous war hawk who believed that all of the former Hokage, despite having similar ideals to Tobirama Senju, have placed world peace above the village's best interests. He believed that ninja are supposed to be emotionless, working from the shadows and willing to take up any means and go to any end to achieve goals. Danzo had orchestrated many events that would earn him hatred from many parties, including the Uchiha Clan massacre and an attempted assassination of the Akatsuki's leaders by enlisting Hanzo, the latter playing a role in the organization's subsequent shift from being a group decided to peace to a army of various criminals. The right half of his body is covered in bandages to hide a damaged Sharingan eye transplanted from the body of Shisui Uchiha, as well as the vast amount of Sharingan eyes grafted to his arm. He also had himself injected with the cells of the First Hokage allowing him to use the Senju Clan's unique skills. From his early youth he had seen Hiruzen as his rival. Consequently, he opposed all the teachings of Hiruzen. He was considered for the position of Third Hokage, but that title was given to Hiruzen Sarutobi by Tobirama, whom he served as an advisor.[ch. 285] Since then he has been using The Foundation, along with his own personal black ops team Root, to secretly ensure he would become Hokage.[ch. 298] Throughout Part II, Danzo has been at odds with Tsunade and acts on his agenda of killing off Sasuke Uchiha in secret.[ch. 285] After Konoha is destroyed by Pain and Tsunade is left in a coma, Danzo finally convinces the Fire Country's feudal lord to make him the Sixth Hokage Candidate (六代目火影候補 Rokudaime Hokage Kōho?) over his competition Kakashi Hatake, arguing that Jiraiya and all Hokages who believed in Hiruzen's teachings have led to the village's distress. Using his new-found power, he orders to have the ninja track down both Sasuke and Kabuto, the latter in order to restore Shisui's eye. However, while at the Five Kage conference, Danzo is forced into fighting Sasuke. He dies shortly after Sasuke mortally wounds him.[ch. 481] Before his death, making a final attempt on Sasuke and Obito through a sealing jutsu, Danzo admits that Hiruzen and he were dichotomous analogues to the trunk and roots of the tree that is Konoha. His animal summon is the giant tapir Baku. In the Japanese anime, Danzo is voiced by Hiroshi Ito while his voice in the English version is provided by William Frederick Knight.
Iruka Umino (うみの イルカ Umino Iruka?) is a Konohagakure ninja and instructor at the Ninja Academy, a school for prospective ninja. Masashi Kishimoto's initial design of Iruka featured "evil" eyes and sharper cheekbones, but this was abandoned in favor of a more relaxed appearance.[vol. 2:126] When Iruka was a child, his parents were killed by Kurama, the nine-tailed fox, which was sealed into Naruto Uzumaki. He bears no ill will towards Naruto, instead being one of the few people at the start of the series to recognize Naruto as a person and not just a container for Kurama. Naruto thinks of Iruka as a father-figure because of this, and Iruka in turn has immense faith in Naruto's potential to be a great ninja.[ch. 1] In the Japanese anime, his voice actor is Toshihiko Seki, and his English voice actor is Quinton Flynn.
Konohamaru Sarutobi (猿飛 木ノ葉丸 Sarutobi Konohamaru?), named after Konohagakure, is the grandson of the Third Hokage. He strives to replace his grandfather as Hokage so the villagers of Konohagakure will recognize him by name, not as the Hokage's grandson. He looks to Naruto Uzumaki as a mentor in this quest, emulating his work ethic, determination, and signature jutsu such as the Rasengan and a variety of other techniques. Konohamaru insists, however, that he will only become Hokage after Naruto has been Hokage first.[ch. 2] Konohamaru's design caused great difficulties for Masashi Kishimoto; he intended for Konohamaru to look like a "punk" smaller than Naruto, yet all of his attempts resulted in a mere recreation of Naruto. He eventually gave Konohamaru small, angry-looking eyes, and was instantly happy with the design.[vol. 2:26] He is voiced in the Japanese anime by Ikue Ōtani, and by Akiko Koike as a stand-in. Colleen O'Shaughnessey is his English voice actor.
Jiraiya (自来也?) was a Konohagakure ninja, being not only Naruto's teacher but also his god-father. Kishimoto has commented that out of all the master-pupil relationships he has created in the Naruto series, the bond between Naruto and Jiraiya is his favorite, noting that it makes drawing them "worthwhile". As a child, Jiraiya was under the tutelage of Hiruzen Sarutobi, along with his teammates, Tsunade and Orochimaru.[ch. 170] Jiraiya is known throughout the Naruto world as the "Toad Sage" (蝦蟇仙人 Gama Sennin?) due to his toad-related jutsu and learning Sage Jutsu. Prior to Naruto, due to a prophecy he heard that his pupil would be great man, Jiraiya also trained a few others like Minato and Nagato. Although still affiliated with Konoha, Jiraiya spends much of his time traveling to watch over potential threats to his home. Jiraiya's personality is openly lecherous, proudly describes himself as a "super pervert" while authoring a series of best-selling adult romance novels.[ch. 91] He also wrote the epic "Tale of the Gutsy Ninja", with Naruto named after its protagonist. During Part I, he takes Naruto as his student, and returns him to Konoha in Part II before leaving to investigate the Akatsuki. However, finding Nagato leading the organization, Jiraiya dies fighting his former student's Paths of Pain while sending a message of them to the village.[ch. 245] In the Japanese anime, Jiraiya is voiced by Hōchū Ōtsuka, and his English voice actor is David Lodge.
Shizune (シズネ?) is a Konohagakure ninja introduced in the series as Tsunade's assistant. She left Konohagakure with Tsunade after the death of her uncle, and over the years, Tsunade taught her medical techniques. Despite her medicinal affinity, many of the attacks she uses in the series are poison-based, including using concealed poisoned needles or emitting toxic gas from her mouth.[ch. 166] Shizune is one of the few characters that Tsunade trusts with absolute certainty, as she identifies details that Tsunade tends to overlook. In Part II of the series, Shizune's concern for details causes her to question Tsunade's judgment, creating interference with Tsunade's plans and temporarily straining the relationship between the two.[ch. 282] During Pain's attack on Konohagakure, Shizune is briefly killed when her soul is stripped away as the result of the Human Path's interrogation on her about Naruto's whereabouts,[ch. 429] though she is revived at the end of the invasion through Nagato's Outer Path: Samsara of Heavenly Life Jutsu.[ch. 449] In the Japanese anime, her voice actress is Keiko Nemoto, and her English voice actress is Megan Hollingshead.
Rin Nohara (のはら リン Nohara Rin?) was a member of Team Minato and the teammate of Kakashi Hatake and Obito Uchiha, appearing only in person during the Kakashi Gaiden act.[ch. 239] Rin's role in the group is as a medical ninja and she has a crush on Kakashi while unaware that has the affection of Obito. Despite his unrequited love for Rin, she did expressed an interest in his dream to become a Hokage.[ch. 653] When Team Minato was sent to sabotage Kannabi Bridge during the Third Great Ninja War, Rin was kidnapped by the Iwagakure ninja before the resulting rescue mission ended with Obito's apparent death while he managed to confess his love for her.[ch. 241, 243] Sometime afterward, Rin was captured by the Kirigakure ninja and made her into a Jinchuriki as part of a Trojan horse scheme to destroy Konoha with Isobu. However, having learned of their scheme as Kakashi rescues her, Rin begs him to kill her for the safety of their village. Despite his reluctance to kill her, Rin jumps in the way of Kakashi's Lightning Blade and enabled him to manifest his Mangekyo Sharingan.[ch. 604, 630] The event of Rin's death, having arrived to the scene at the time, caused Obito's descent into madness as he resolves to enact the Eye of the Moon Plan to wipe out the Shinboi Nations' system and create a new world where Rin is still alive.[ch. 606] In the Japanese anime, her voice actress is Haruhi Terada, while her English voice actress is Stephanie Sheh.
Kushina Uzumaki (うずまき クシナ Uzumaki Kushina?) is the mother of the series' protagonist, Naruto Uzumaki and the wife of the Fourth Hokage, Minato Namikaze.[ch. 382] She was the former host of Kurama, immediately preceding Naruto.[ch. 499] Being a member of the Uzumaki Clan, Kushina possessed a special chakra that was even distinguished among her peers, causing her to be sent from her homeland to Konohagakure to be the host of Kurama, replacing Mito Uzumaki.[ch. 500] She was very brash and hot-blooded as a child that she was nicknamed Tomato (トマト?) and Red Hot-Blooded Habañero (赤い血潮のハバネロ Akai Chishio no Habanero?); her son, Naruto, shares a lot of Kushina's personality and traits, most notably having a variation of Kushina's verbal tic -ttebane (as -ttebayo) used to end her sentences, even when she herself personally wished that he would not inherit this trait. In Konohagakure, Kushina met with Minato who, while at first deprived by his "feminine" appearance, eventually became Kushina's love after he saved her from a kidnapper, leading to their marriage.[ch. 498] Kushina was eventually pregnant, and she had to be sent to a secretive place during labor so as to prevent Kurama's seal being broken.[ch. 500] However, the place was subdued by Obito Uchiha, and he released Kurama who ran rampant on Konoha.[ch. 501] Kushina survived the ordeal, although she was greatly weakened. She and Minato both sacrificed their lives to seal Kurama's half to Naruto, while also placing some of their chakra to their son as a fail-safe if he would break the seal.[ch. 503] In Part II, Kushina's chakra appears during Naruto's subconscious battle with Kurama, helping her son to seal the fox and to tell him the truth behind Kurama's attack sixteen years ago.[ch. 497] Before disappearing, she thanks Naruto for forgiving her about the whole ordeal of the sealing of Kurama.[ch. 504] In the Japanese anime, Kushina is voiced by Emi Shinohara, and her English voice actresses are Cindy Robinson in the anime and Laura Bailey in some video games.
The Sand Siblings are ninja from the village of Sunagakure and the children of the Fourth Kazekage, the former leader of the village.[ch. 59] They came to Konohagakure to participate in the biannual Chunin exams, and serve as antagonists in the subsequent invasion of Konohagakure. Due to their interactions with Naruto Uzumaki, and learning their father was murdered by their supposed ally Orochimaru, the Sand Siblings return as allies of Konohagakure, aiding Naruto's group in their attempts to retrieve Sasuke Uchiha from Orochimaru's forces. Kishimoto changed their costumes for their return due to the difficulty in drawing their original attire, as well as to symbolize their new friendship with Konohagakure. By the event of Part II, Gaara became the Fifth Kazekage while his older siblings become his bodyguards.
Gaara (我愛羅?) is the youngest of the three siblings, created as a foil to Naruto Uzumaki, with a similar background yet a highly divergent personality. Before being born, Gaara was made into a weapon by his father by becoming the Jinchuriki of the tailed beast Shukaku the One-Tail (一尾の守鶴 Ichibi no Shukaku?). This act caused the death of his mother during labor and Gaara was placed in the care of his mother's younger brother. Like any other Jinchuriki, and because his sand unconsciously attacked those around him when he was threatened, Gaara was tormented by his fellow villagers.[ch. 131] When he battles Naruto during the invasion of Konoha, learning that he is also a Jinchuriki like himself, Gaara's outlook changes as he resolves to help others and he succeeds his deceased father as Sunagakure's Fifth Kazekage during Part II.[ch. 249] Gaara's Japanese voice actor is Akira Ishida, and his English voice actor is Liam O'Brien.
Kankuro (カンクロウ Kankurō?) is the second oldest of the three siblings, dressed in Kuroko attire and skilled in his village's use of puppeteering ninjutsu, normally using his bladed attack puppet Crow (烏 Karasu?) and trapping puppet Black Ant (黒蟻 Kuroari?) in combination attacks. He also possesses the large puppet Salamander (山椒魚 Sanshōuo?) that provides him with combination defense and offense. For the first half of the series, Kankuro was frequently at odds with Gaara, though he tends to hold his tongue for fear of being killed.[ch. 36] In Part II, once Gaara begins to reveal his dreams and motivations to him, Kankuro becomes very loyal and protective of Gaara to the pointing of risking his own life to save his brother.[ch. 249] After his puppets were destroyed by their creator, Kankuro gains a new puppet in Sasori's lifeless body Scorpion (蠍 Sasori?) and modifies it for his use as a normal puppet. During the Fourth Great Ninja War, after defeating the reanimated Sasori and breaking Kabuto's hold over him, Kankuro is entrusted with the Mother and Father puppets. In the Japanese anime, his voice actor is Yasuyuki Kase, and his English voice actor is Michael Lindsay, until he was replaced by Doug Erholtz in 2013.
Temari (テマリ?) is the oldest of the three siblings. Unlike her more combat-loving brothers, Temari values peace, as she questions Sunagakure's justifications for going to war with Konohagakure.[ch. 95] This trait carries over to Part II, in which she begins acting as a liaison between Sunagakure and Konohagakure to help the two villages work together. In her time in Konohagakure, Temari is often seen walking with Shikamaru Nara, causing other characters to think they are dating, although both deny this.[ch. 247] In battle, Temari wields a giant iron fan that can create powerful gusts of wind capable of leveling the surrounding landscape. As she is skilled at deducing an opponent's strategies and weaknesses soon after a battle begins, she typically uses her winds to remove parts of the battlefield that might be advantageous to the enemy.[ch. 107] During Part I of the series, Temari is also one of the only two ninja of her generation (other than Naruto) to be able to use the Summoning Jutsu, in which she can summon a scythe-wielding weasel called Kamatari (カマタリ?) who can inflict a large hurricane capable of cutting down an entire forest.[ch. 214] Temari's voice actress in the Japanese anime is Romi Paku, and her English voice actress is Tara Platt.
Chiyo (チヨ?) was an elder advisor to Sunagakure who is introduced at the start of Part II, initially mistrustful of other ninja villages due to the Second and Third Great Ninja Wars. During those wars, she played a role in formal treaties while strengthening Sunagakure's military might with her knowledge of poisons despite her efforts nullified by Tsunade's antidotes. As a skilled puppeteer, Chiyo took Sasori after his parents died at the hands of Kakashi Hatake's father, Sakumo, and taught him everything she knew before he left. Chiyo played a role in Gaara becoming a Jinchuriki, regretting the choice as she took to solitude alongside her brother. When Gaara is captured by the Akatsuki, despite attacking Kakashi at first due to his resemblance to his father, Chiyo joins Team Kakashi to rescue the Kazekage. Confronting Sasori, Chiyo is able to kill her grandson with help from Sakura Haruno. Despite their efforts, Gaara also dies before they can rescue him.[ch. 375] Touched by the genuine bond formed between Sunagakure and Konoha, Chiyo gives up her life to revive Gaara, hoping that the relationship of peace might be continued.[ch. 280] However, by the Fourth Great Ninja War, Chiyo is brought back by Kabuto's Reanimation Jutsu to fight against the combined Ninja Alliance. She is eventually put to rest again after Itachi cancels the technique. In the Japanese anime, her voice actress is Ikuko Tani, and in the English version her voice actress is Barbara Goodson.
Killer Bee (キラービー Kirābī?) is a ninja from the village of Kumogakure. He is introduced during Part II as one of the two Jinchuriki that have yet to be captured by the criminal organization Akatsuki, the other being series protagonist Naruto Uzumaki.[ch. 411] The host of the ushi-oni-like eight-tailed beast Gyuki, Killer Bee has complete control over the beast sealed within him. In battle he uses its great strength to increase the lethality of his professional wrestling-styled attacks,[ch. 413] something Kishimoto's former editor wanted to add in the series despite him being a ninja. He is also a talented swordsman capable of using up to seven swords at once and to execute attacks that are improvisible enough to render Sasuke's Sharingan useless.[ch. 411] Killer Bee is the adoptive brother of Ay (エー Ē?), the current Raikage of Kumogakure, and as such is expected to be the guardian of the village.[ch. 541] When Akatsuki attacks him, he pretends to be captured to escape at the cost of losing some from eight-tailed's chakra and pursue a career as an enka music singer.[ch. 419, 537] However, Killer Bee is brought back to Kumogakure before playing a role in teaching Naruto to subdue Kurama. He also joins him in the war against Akatsuki after gaining his brother's approval to fight alongside him.[ch. 544] During the battle against the resurrected Madara, Gyūki is extracted out of Killer Bee by Madara and sealed within the Gedo Statue, leaving Killer Bee's fate uncertain.[ch. 660] Despite the difficulties in making his lines, as he always speaks in rhymes, Kishimoto wishes to make him a rich character. His voice actor in the Japanese anime is Hisao Egawa, and his English voice actor is Catero Colbert.
Kurama (九喇嘛?), who is often called the Nine-Tails (九尾の妖狐 Kyūbi no Yōko?, lit. Nine-Tailed Demon Fox), is the most powerful of the tailed beasts, as a single swipe of one of its tails can raise tsunamis and flatten mountains. Used by Madara in his attempt to wipe out Konoha at the time of its foundation, Kurama was defeated and sealed within Hashirama's wife and then transferred in Kushina Uzumaki two generations later. Through Obito's scheme, Kurama was released and attacked Konohagakure out of vengeful rage before being stopped by the Fourth Hokage Minato Namikaze, who sealed the fox's Yin half of its chakra within himself before he and Kushina sacrificed themselves to seal its Yang half within their son, Naruto Uzumaki, twelve years before the series' start.[ch. 1] Throughout the series, Naruto tries to harness Kurama's immense chakra to perform jutsu that would normally be impossible for a shinobi of his age,[ch. 95] but at the same time, the fox plots to use Naruto's dependence on its power to gain control over him and break free from the seal. Naruto eventually takes control of the fox's chakra with help from an imprint of Kushina.[ch. 499] During Naruto's fight against Obito, seeing its jinchūriki's resolve to save the other tailed beasts, Kurama starts befriending Naruto to the point where it lends its chakra willingly, thus allowing him to achieve the tailed beast transformation.[ch. 571] When Naruto and his reanimated father join forces to battle Obito together, Yang-Kurama comes in contact with its Yin half before donning Sasuke's Susanoo to defeat him.[ch. 643] Though Yang-Kurama is finally extracted by Madara, it told Gaara to transfer its Yin half into Naruto to save him from his near-death state. The plan initially failed as Black Zetsu prevented it by absorbing Yin-Kurama himself,[ch. 660, 661, 663, 664] until Obito steals it and sends it into Naruto; effectively saving him.[ch. 666] Kishimoto was mainly inspired to create Kurama based on the character with the same name from the manga series YuYu Hakusho. In the Japanese anime, Kurama's voice actor is Tesshō Genda, and in the English adaptation, it is voiced by Paul St. Peter.
The characters of Naruto have received both praise and criticism from publications dedicated to anime, manga, and other media. Active Anime lauded the characters for not being "simple cardboard cut-out characters" due to their "fleshed out personalities" and "underlying dramatic motivations", and praised the "deeply moving emotional trials" they undergo over the course of the series. Adam Cook of Anime Boredom agreed with this assessment, extolling the characters as "well rounded" and "imaginative", and celebrated how the characters allowed the series to successfully incorporate comedy, action, and drama together in a believable manner. Christina Ross of T.H.E.M. Anime Reviews disagreed, dismissing the characters as echoes of stereotypical shōnen characters, and noted that several of the characters were not likable. A second review from Derrick Tucker, also of T.H.E.M. Anime Reviews offered a more positive view, commenting that Naruto Uzumaki combined the finer values of his shōnen predecessors, but lamented the characters' personalities tended to fall between Naruto's "charisma and coolness" and Sasuke's "blandness", making it difficult to think about the characters on "any deep or meaningful level". Justin Rich of the entertainment website Mania asserted that the series lacked the "tremendous depth in it’s [sic] characters" or "the most flushed out backgrounds" seen in other shōnen series, and believed the primary focus of the series was on the fighting. The anime and manga magazine Neo described Naruto's character as "irksome", but attributed the series' "almost sickening addictiveness" to its level of characterization.
The visual appearances of the characters in the anime and manga have also received notice from reviewers. Carl Kimlinger of Anime News Network praised the characters' "distinctive clothing, hair, faces and personalities" that made them easily identifiable, as well as Kishimoto's "clear eye for geography, movement and the human form" and "impeccable visual timing". Tucker described Kishimoto as "an average artist at best" and derided the poor transition of his artistic style into animation. Despite this, he admitted that when the animators were at their best, they produced "artistic renderings that leave little to be desired on the part of fans of the manga", but ultimately concluded the animation was "a mixed bag".
Although a large number of antagonists appear in the series, Rich has called Orochimaru the "first real villain", noting that he had no redeeming qualities, versus Zabuza Momochi, the villain of the previous arc. Several of the antagonists have been very popular within Naruto reader base. Itachi Uchiha, since his debut in the manga, has continually ranked high in the official Weekly Shōnen Jump popularity poll of the series, reaching as high as 5th position,[ch. 531] while Sasori ranked 6th in the latest poll.[ch. 531]
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