Once A Knucklehead Ninja…
He may be one of the most iconic shounen protagonists of all time, but that doesn’t mean the Hero of the Leaf Village hasn’t made quite a few mistakes over the years. Whether as a shinobi in training or as the Seventh Hokage, Naruto has stepped in it more times that we can count. Guess some things never change…
#5: Impersonating Sasuke to Get Sakura to Kiss Him
For much of the franchise, Naruto pines fruitlessly after his teammate Sakura Haruno, who, in turn, has a crush on their other teammate Sasuke Uchiha. Early on, Naruto enacts a rather scummy scheme, whereby he ties up Sasuke and assumes his appearance in order to get Sakura, who initially despises him, to kiss him. While it doesn’t work, thanks to some convenient indigestion, it’s still identity theft and him trying to trick Sakura into kissing him is damn low. We love you Naruto, but you were a terrible kid, at least at first.
#4: Humiliating His Son in Front of Everyone
When Naruto does eventually become Hokage, his kids, especially his son, Boruto, have a lot to live up to. It’s this high expectation, among other things, that leads Boruto to cheat and use an illegal ninja tool during the Chuunin exams, a test for young ninjas. Instead of quietly removing his son from the arena, Naruto publicly disqualifies Boruto, humiliating him in front of a crowd. While we certainly don’t condone cheating in any sort of event, Naruto didn’t need to be so blatant about it and he could’ve easily shielded Boruto from public ridicule.
#3: Making Friends with Those Who Killed His Parents
Naruto tends to make his enemies into his friends or allies with startling regularity throughout his story, but one of the most bizarre and inexplicable is the fact that he befriends both the nine tailed fox that was sealed inside him that killed his parents, as well as the mastermind who took control of the fox to do it. In the fox’s case, making friends with him makes some sense, since working together grants Naruto greater strength and abilities. Still, we can’t help but feel like making friends with the one responsible for his parents’ deaths is kind of spitting on their sacrifice, even if the world is at stake and no matter how much Naruto relates to him.
#2: His Obsession with Sasuke
One of the defining relationships in Naruto’s life is his friendship/rivalry with his teammate Sasuke…for better and for worse. Fierce and competitive rivals, both of them are orphaned and have similar backgrounds, yet have fundamentally different outlooks on life. Eventually Sasuke betrays the village and leaves to seek out power to get revenge. However, Naruto never gives up on his friend, even when Sasuke tries to kill him…and Sakura…and their friends…and attacks a summit between ninja villages…and kills a corrupt village elder who’s the temporary Hokage…and plans to destroy their entire village…and…well, you get the idea. At a certain point, Naruto’s “friendship” with Sasuke becomes an unhealthy attachment and while devotion to a friend is admirable, we would’ve written Sasuke off, personally.
#1: Neglecting His Family
While most of Naruto’s previous faults are due to the inexperience of youth, his worst failing occurs as an adult. After finally becoming Hokage, Naruto spends much of his time working as the village leader, to the point where he neglects his wife and children. One particularly egregious example occurs when Naruto sends one of these clones to attend his daughter’s birthday, despite promising to attend himself. What was Naruto’s Ninja Way again? “I never go back on my word!” Oh that’s right. So not only is he letting down his family, he’s also betraying his own fundamental ethos – for paperwork.
Be sure to check out the video below to see our picks for the Top 10 Naruto Shippuden Fight Scenes.