The original Naruto series has ended, living us quite a… happy and touchy ending. Of course, the entire Naruto series is not really finished since we now have Boruto Naruto Next Generations. Still, the original Naruto era has ended and now is probably a good time to commemorate our beloved Naruto characters. Since we have already seen tons of best Naruto characters, most powerful Naruto characters, best Naruto main characters list, etc… out there. This time, why not change our direction a bit? And so let’s us begin! The top 10 Naruto side characters!
- Since this is Naruto side characters list, we will exclude big Naruto characters and antagonists like Kakashi, Itachi, Konoha Sannin, Madara and more… Also, we will not cover characters from Boruto Naruto Next Generations.
- This list is subjective only and if you have any different opinions, let’s share with us!
Though his appearances are few, Kimimaro is an impressive side villain since the early days of Naruto. He is the sole survivor of Kaguya Clan and later on, he was “adopted” by Orochimaru. Kimimaro is quite an interesting villain, and more importantly, a fascinating character. Has he not died since the Sasuke Retrieval Arc, he would have been an awesome character in the future. Sadly, Kishimoto’s plot demanded his death… so we guess that’s his fate? But let’s back to the main point.
The reason why Kimimaro is on this list is due to 3 reasons:
- His “bizarre” loyalty to Orochimaru: Orochimaru was the biggest baddie during Sasuke Retrieval Arc. Almost everyone hates him to the core. And when we say “almost”, yes there are people actually honor Orochimaru and Kimimaro is one such person. For Kimimaro, Orochimaru was his “hero” who saved him and gave him purpose in life. He voluntarily devoted himself for Orochimaru’s experiments (which we can expect to be pretty evil).
- His epic battle with Gaara: The battle between Gaara and Kimimaro was the second-final battle in Sasuke Retrieval Arc and indeed it was extremely cool. With the dances of sand and bones, we can safely say it was one of the most epic battles in Naruto. Also to some extent, Kimimaro was to the one who shown us the extent of Gaara’s power, and how Gaara changed after his previous Shukaku
- His unique Kekkai Gekkai: Kimimaro’s main power is Shikotsumyaku, an unique Kekkai Gekkai which allows him to easily manipulate his bones inside his body. These bones are extremely durable and sharp which can cut down even armors. In his Cursed Seal form, Kimimaro becomes even more of a monster with incredibly high speed and great bone lance which can pierce Gaara’s perfect defense.
Overall, Kimimaro is a very interesting side villain during the early age of Naruto. Even though his appearance is relatively short, he still succeeded in surprising us viewers. Of course Kimimaro still made a short return in Naruto Shippuden, yet we still think his very first appearance was the most impressive.
9. Hidan – Kakuzu
It may sound “unfair” when we put these two characters in one spot, but please, bear with us. Hidan and Kakuzu are equally impressive Akatsuki duo and more importantly, they are the cause of Asuma’s death and Shikamaru’s growth. So, who are these “undead” anyway?
Hidan is sort of… immortal, and unfortunately we don’t know the reason why. All we know is that he is an immoral ninja who is both arrogant and doesn’t show any remorse. He follows a cult named Jashin and he definitely loves killing and bloodletting. Putting his immortality aside, probably the most “disgusting” thing about Hidan is his Ritual power. It allows him to transfer the pain to his target, provided that he tasted his target’s blood. And since he is an immortal, why should he care about his pain? (not to mention he seems to love that).
On the other hand, Kakuzu is not a “perfect” immortal like Hidan. Yet, he is one of the oldest villains to date. Yes, he lived at the same time with Hashirama Senju; he took a mission of assassinating Hashirama. But of course, this mission failed. After a few “mischievous events”, Kakuzu betrayed Takigakure village and learned the village’s forbidden technique which allowed him to use other people’s heart for his own life. As long as he still has living hearts, he is literally immortal. In addition to this grotesque technique, he can unleash different Chakra elements depending on the hearts he using.
And so, both Kakuzu and Hidan became Akatsuki’s Zombie Combo. Although they didn’t really like each other, they were perfect team in fighting and their fight with Asuma’s team proved their horrifying combo. Even though they were later killed by Naruto and Shikamaru, their fearsome power and maniac characteristics were still incomprehensible.
8. Neji Hyuga
For Neji’s fans, sadly Neji Hyuga’s end left us quite a bad taste, even though it’s all thanks to his sacrifice that Naruto, Hinata, and all other people can see the light of days. And although Neji Hyuga didn’t make much appearance in the series, he is still an impressive and admirable character.
Initially, Neji was shown like a spoiled, talented brat who often looked down on other classmates. But gradually, we got to see his miserable past and the tragic fate of Hyuga Clan. His changed started after the Chunin battle with Naruto. He started to see another path and he has become an admirable character in Naruto: talented, yet calm and respectful.
Even though he made few appearances, Neji Hyuga is still a great character. But no matter how we praised him, he won’t ever return. Guess it was not easy to forgive “lord Kishimoto” for letting him died huh?
Some people may not agree with us here but personally, we still think Sai is an interesting characters and he’s worthy to be on this list. What fascinates us isn’t really about his ability, but rather, his original story and how he changed.
Sai was originally one of the orphans recruited into the Root, a secret branch of Anzu founded by Danzo. As a true Root agent, Sai had no name and his sole purpose was to fulfilling whatever missions were given. Even his current name “Sai” was still a “fake name” in order to infiltrate in Team 7 under the order of Danzo.
What makes Sai stands in number 8 on this list is due to his changes throughout his time with Team 7. From an emotionless, cold ninja who only cared about orders, Sai gradually regained his emotions and feelings. Thus, later on he helped Naruto in various events and needless to say, he is truly a good friend of Naruto. Even in these days, we can still see Sai working as adviser for Naruto.
Though he can be annoying at first, gradually he has shown various sides of him and he’s worthy to deserve a second chance. And oh by the way! Do you know that Sai married Ino and they have a child?
6. Danzo Shimura
Again, this guy may not get much approval on this list. In fact, he is probably one of the most hated characters in Naruto. Still, we believe Danzo is a good side antagonist and he deserves a spot on the list.
Danzo Shimura isn’t really a full-evil antagonist, he simply pursued his own agenda, which is pretty messed up in human being standard. Danzo used to be Hiruzen Sarutobi’s rival and he also wanted to become a Hokage. Unfortunately for him, Hiruzen Sarutobi was chosen and Danzo gradually fell into a shadowy path.
Like Hiruzen, Danzo also shared a deep love for Leaf Village. However, his “caring ideology” was extremely “negative”. The most iconic symbol for this ideology was the Root organization founded by Danzo himself. The Root organization was the true symbol of negative love, it would cut down any “threat” without remorse. The actions of Root reflect the vision of Danzo himself, a twisted way of thinking, and also somewhat… desperate. In addition, Danzo conducted various “vile experiments”, including his Sharingan-filled arm and the recent Gozu Tennou in Boruto Naruto Next Generations.
In the end, Danzo Shimura seems like to be a man beyond redemption. Yet, what he did and his influence throughout the series were important, thus granting him the 7 spot on the list.
5. Zabuza Momochi – Haku
Once again, we have this old villain duo appeared since the beginning of Naruto: Zabuza Momochi and Haku. They appeared in almost every top or best Naruto characters list. Of course, we cannot just abandon this memorable duo.
Zabuza and Haku are probably the most emotional-filling characters and also the most touching villains in Naruto Universe. Their tragic story and their fate bind them together: a story of a demon who regained his humanity thanks to his “useful tool” Haku. In addition, their battle with young Team 7 and Kakashi is one of the best battles in Naruto.
There are much to say about this duo but it would take too long to talk about them. But still, let’s pay our respect for these two iconic characters, and they are always a great memory among Naruto fans.
Compared to other characters in this list, frankly speaking Iruka is the weakest in term of combat. But that doesn’t mean he is a trivial character. “Iruka-sensei” appeared right at the beginning of Naruto, he was Naruto’s teacher in Ninja school and he was also the first person who acknowledged Naruto not just a ninja, but as a whole person.
What makes Iruka interesting is his tie with Naruto. For Naruto, Iruka isn’t simply a teacher; he is like a father figure to Naruto. And indeed, Iruka supported him right at the beginning of the series, and he still cared Naruto like his own son even in these days (yup, he’s still alive and well). Needless to say, Iruka was a big boost for Naruto and pushed Naruto to his bright future. If not for Iruka, probable we will see a totally different story of Naruto.
*Fun fact: Iruka is now headmaster of Leaf Village’s Ninja school.
Gaara of the Sand, or the 5th Kazekage, is indeed a big name and also one of the closest friends of Naruto. Gaara first appeared as an antagonist in Chunin Exam Arc and he was a total maniac. He was extremely unstable and he could easily burst into madness.
Gaara made an impressive first appearance as a fine villain, partly due to his tragic back story. As a young Jinchuriki, he was deemed as monster and denied by all villagers. His story is extremely similar to Naruto. And it’s all thanks to Naruto’s compassion that Gaara could finally change to a better person as he is now.
After the Chunin Exam Arc, Gaara often returned as Naruto’s supporter and best friend. His role gradually becomes more important, typically becoming 5th Kazekage and Regimental Commander of the Allied Shinobi Forces during the 4th Shinobi World War.
It may be unfair to put Gaara onto this list since he is also a popular character. However, he is indeed a great “side” character and it’s hard to ignore this memorable character.
2. Shikamaru Nara
Now this is a difficult choice for us. In our opinion, Shikamaru and Gaara hold the same weight, and therefore their positions can be interchangeable. So it’s safe to say spot 2 and spot 3 on this list are pretty equal on this list (which sounds silly isn’t it?). But anyway, let’s talk about Shikamaru.
When we talk about Shikamaru, probably the first thing we remember is his iconic quote: “how troublesome”. Let’s be frank, this guy was extremely lazy, or at least that’s what he hoped about his life. Initially, he was introduced as Naruto’s friend who just preferred to lazy around, yet he has been one of the busiest characters in Naruto (quite ironic for him, isn’t it?).
Shikamaru is a genius who possessed an IQ level of over 200. As the results, his main strength isn’t all about his Shadow techniques; it’s about his planning ability. His intelligent and planning have helped him and his comrade various times. Typically it helped him triumph victory in his solo battle with Hidan. Back to present day in Boruto series, he is still an important figure as he is now close adviser for Naruto.
Of course, his intelligent isn’t the only thing helped him rank number 2 (or perhaps 3). Shikamaru’s growth is also another fascinating aspect: from a lazy boy to a responsible man, and later on a Hokage’s close adviser and a father (guess who his wife is?). Overall, he is absolutely a great Naruto character in general, and definitely one of the best Naruto side characters.
1. Hinata Hyuga
Hinata is included in almost every top Naruto characters list, yet her position is quite diverse. But since this is list for Naruto side characters, she deserves to be on number 1 on this list.
If we consider the traditional society standard in Japan, then Hinata would be the best girl/woman/wife (it’s also possible that “lord Kishimoto” intentionally designed her that way). Compared to other Naruto characters, Hinata didn’t have much impression. The only impression we had about her was her “obsession” with Naruto and her shy characteristic. However, as we got to discover Hyuga Clan story, we started to see her personality in different points of view.
To some extent, the development of Hinata is similar to Naruto. Though they are different in origins, they share a similar story which is thriving to become stronger, and to become a better person for their friends and people. Hinata is Naruto’s admirer (or shall we say… “hardcore fan), she learned determination from Naruto and gradually her became stronger and more independent.
At first, it seemed Hinata wasn’t intended to become a focused character as she is now. But from time to time Kishimoto has given to give her more love (there is even a movie focusing on Hinata). Now we can say she is one of the best Naruto characters, and also a great wife for Naruto!
And that’s it folk! Thank you and stay tune for more news in the future!
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