List of Naruto characters
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.
Creation and conception 
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".
Kishimoto inserted villains into the story to counteract the lead characters' 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 protagonists of the Naruto series are part of Squad 7 (Team Kakashi), 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 with two new members, Sai, who occupies Sasuke's position, and Yamato, who acts as Kakashi's replacement when he is briefly incapacitated and later stays with the team when Kakashi returns.[ch. 285]
Naruto Uzumaki 
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's voice actor in the Japanese anime is Junko Takeuchi, and he is voiced by Maile Flanagan in the English adaptation.
Sasuke Uchiha 
Sasuke Uchiha (うちは サスケ Uchiha Sasuke ) is one of the members of Team 7. He was created to be a rival to Naruto, as well as a "cool genius", which Kishimoto believed was 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. His interactions with his fellow teammates, who are all considered precious to him, make him focus less on revenge at the start of the series. During an encounter with his brother in Part I, Sasuke is easily beaten, which leads him to 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 of the Part II plot. In the Japanese anime, Sasuke is voiced by Noriaki Sugiyama, and his English voice actor is Yuri Lowenthal.
Sakura Haruno 
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 1st attempt is delayed by the Sound Ninja 4, she resolves to become stronger by training with Tsunade. 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 
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, this is shown to be the result of an incident in which he witnessed the death of one of his teammates, Obito Uchiha, who gave Kakashi his Sharingan eye and imparted many of his habits, including his tardiness.[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, he concentrates on training Sasuke as the series continues, teaching him his Chidori technique; however, he is unable to prevent Sasuke from leaving the village to seek Orochimaru for greater power.[ch. 176] Kakashi's Japanese voice actor in the anime is Kazuhiko Inoue, and his English voice actor is Dave Wittenberg.
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. 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, in the hopes of destroying his former home.[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 the series.[ch. 238] 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 
Kabuto Yakushi (薬師 カブト Yakushi Kabuto ) is a spy working for Orochimaru initially introduced as an experienced Konohagakure genin that takes Team 7 under his wing during one of their ninja exams. As a child with no memory of his past, he was found on a battlefield by a nun from Konohagakure who raised him as a son before he was recruited by Danzo as a covert spy for the village to infiltrate numerous countries and organizations.[ch. 289] However, after Root 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 ninja exams as a villager of Konohagakure so as to gather information on his fellow participants.[ch. 88] Kabuto is highly proficient with medical techniques, being likened in ability to Tsunade: he can regenerate from 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 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,Kabuto expresses desire to kill Sasuke Uchiha and eventual intent to seetle 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 he own while mastering snake Senjutsu. Once perfecting the Reanimation Jutsu, using Madara's revived body as leverage, Kabuto forces Tobi into a tenuous alliance with him under the promise that he can have Sasuke once they win the war against the Shinobi Alliance.[ch. 520] However, during the second day of the 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. In the Japanese anime, Kabuto is voiced by Nobutoshi Canna, and his English voice actor is Henry Dittman.
Sound Four 
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 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] It was also at the time 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. Led by Tobi, the Akatsuki's goal is world domination by using the power of the nine tailed beasts.[ch. 239] The members of 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, Akatsuki is composed of eight members, who operate in two-man teams. They share similar clothing, most notably a long, dark cloak bearing red clouds and a chin-high collar. Aside from an attempt by two Akatsuki members, Itachi Uchiha and Kisame Hoshigaki, to capture Kurama (the nine-tailed fox sealed within Naruto Uzumaki) Akatsuki is not prominently featured in Part I.[ch. 143] In Part II, they take a more active role, capturing Gaara and extracting the one-tailed tanuki, Shukaku, from his body, as well as working towards capturing the remaining tailed beasts.[ch. 261] Kishimoto called the Akatsuki's members antiheroes as he wished to expand their backgrounds as much as the ones from the series' protagonists, contrasting them with other types of villains.
Itachi Uchiha 
Itachi Uchiha (うちは イタチ Uchiha Itachi ) is 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 is 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 have had help from Tobi 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 shinobi war, Itachi is under control of Kabuto, but manages to release himself using a crow he inplanted 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 
Kisame Hoshigaki (干柿 鬼鮫 Hoshigaki Kisame ) is 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 that was just a shapeshifting technique performed by Zetsu; the real Kisame having hidden inside Samehada.[ch. 487] He attempts to flee from the ninjas but is defeated by Guy and captured. Kisame commits suicide by summoning sharks and allowing them to eat him, but not before using one of them to steal back the information he had compiled and send it to the Akatsuki.[ch. 508] His voice actor in the Japanese anime is Tomoyuki Dan, and his English voice actor is Kirk Thornton.
Deidara (デイダラ) is a former ninja of Iwagakure. He was also a terrorist bomber-for-hire before Itachi Uchiha forced him to join Akatsuki. Though he came to embrace the organization, Deidara holds a grudge against Itachi and all Uchiha 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 Sasori is replaced by Tobi after his death. Though he abuses Tobi when he annoys him, Deidara becomes more like a teacher to Tobi, and adopts a genuine care for his well-being.[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 so Deidara transforms himself into a living bomb in an effort to kill Sasuke and to prove the supremacy of his art, but fails in the attempt, literally "going out with a bang" as his fellow Akatsuki members put it.[ch. 363] He is later resurrected by Kabuto for the war against the Shinobi Alliance but is defeated.[ch. 520] 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) is 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, leaving 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. 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 teamed with Deidara, who looks to him and his artistic knowledge with reverence.[ch. 248] In due time he 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.[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] 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, but not before telling Sakura about his rendezvous with one of Orochimaru's henchmen who had been working for him as a spy.[ch. 464] After being resurrected by Kabuto, Sasori fights Kankuro, but is defeated and captured. Effectively making use of a flaw in Kabuto's jutsu that releases the soul from its binds, Sasori comes to terms with his life and is finally able to pass on and rest in peace. 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 his clone brothers from the DNA of Hashirama blended with plants through the power of the Demonic Statue of the Outer Path. Near death, Madara infused part of his mind into Zetsu, causing his right side turn black with a second personality named Black Zetsu (黒ゼツ Kuro Zetsu ). 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 make 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, the original White Zetsu is killed by Sasuke Uchiha while Black Zetsu is defeated and captured. 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 is 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.
Tobi (トビ), whose real name is Obito Uchiha (うちはオビト Uchiha Obito), is the leader of the Akatsuki who 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 eventually took him as his apprentice to continue his work after he died when the youth witnessed Kakashi kill their teammate Rin caused by the actions of the ninja villages' conduct.[ch. 602, 606] Obito is the primary antagonist of the entire series, having served a behind-the-scenes role throughout the first half Part II and causing most of the tragic events prior to the series that include 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, Obito can use Wood Style attacks as he possess Hashirama's blood.[ch. 310, 395]
As Tobi, Obito joins the Akatsuki as Sasori's carefree replacement to oversee the Eye of the Moon Plan. After his partner Deidara dies in a suicidal bid to kill Sasuke Uchiha, Tobi starts taking a special interest in Sasuke's development up to Itachi Uchiha's death while leading the Akatsuki.[ch. 364] After Nagato's death, deciding to completely assume the Madara name as lost the means to revive him, Tobi reveals his mentor's Eye of the Moon Plan to the Kage to become host to a resurrected Ten-Tails to cast an eternal illusion called the Infinite Tsukuyomi (無限月読 Mugen Tsukuyomi ), bringing all life under his command. After the Kage refuse to surrender to him, Tobi 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] Tobi retrieves Nagato's Rinnegan, replacing his left Sharingan, and uses it to convert the reanimated corpses of the captured Jinchuriki into his personal Paths of Pain to use the captured Tailed Beasts' power through them.[ch. 510, 544] During the ensuing war, Madara is revealed and Tobi's true identity as Obito is exposed.[ch. 560] Regardless, as the Ten Tails is revived 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 the Ten Tails, Obito ends up taking Kakashi to dimension tied to Kamui where he reveals his true reasons for aiding Madara. [ch. 628, 629]
Tobi was Kishimoto's favorite Akatsuki character at the time to draw, due to his simple mask. In the Japanese anime, Obito is voiced by Naoya Uchida while his Tobi persona is voiced by Wataru Takagi. In his youth, he is voiced by Sōsuke Komori. 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.
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 voodoo doll-like 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) is the partner of Hidan and a former ninja of Takigakure, the Village Hidden in the Waterfalls. Kakuzu is 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.
Pain (ペイン Pein ) is the figurehead leader of Akatsuki for Tobi, partnered to Konan and the principal figure in the tailed beast sealing ceremony. The first Pain appearing in the series is actually Yahiko (弥彦), one of six animated corpses collectively known as The Six Paths of Pain (ペイン六道 Pein Rokudō ) that are all controlled by one will[ch. 378, 419]: Nagato (長門) of Amegakure. 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 abilities based on the six Buddhist paths of reincarnation. Orphaned, 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, Yahiko's death in a trap laid by Amegakure's dictator Hanzo that also crippled him, Nagato came to the realization that peace could only be attained by teaching the world the pain caused by war.
To that end he adopted the name "Pain" to conquer Amegakure and invented the Six Path of Pain to overcome his handicap and kill Hanzo, becoming a "god" in the eyes of Amegakure's citizens.[ch. 369] Having made cosmetically alterations to the other Paths by dying 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 relatation to their name's installation. They can also Nagato's Rinnegan share visual information and coordinate attacks.[ch. 378] However, other than the need to be at a certain distance to be able to control them, Nagato can only use a sixth of his full power as a Rinnegan in each body.
During Pain's attack on Konoha, the other five Paths were destroyed while the Yahiko corpse is eventually defeated by Naruto. When manages to renew his faith in their late master and in the possibility of peace, Nagato sacrifices his life in order to revive the people he killed in Konoha with the Samsara of Heavenly Life Jutsu.[ch. 449] Nagato is later resurrected by Kabuto and sent alongside Itachi to battle Naruto and Killer Bee, during which Nagato absorbs enough chakra to regain his mobility and youth to overwhelm the two Jinchuriki. Luckily, Itachi escapes Kabuto's control and seals Nagato away with his Susanoo. It would later be revealed that, were it not for Naruto, Nagato was meant to sacrifice himself to resurrect Madara. In the Japanese anime, Yahiko/Deva Path 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) is 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 Pain, 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.[ch. 372] Later, she is confronted by Tobi 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 actor is Dorothy Elias-Fahn.
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 able to turn his body to liquid form, who wishes to restore the Kirigakure's Seven Swordsmen by taking their swords.[ch. 352, 523] The second member is Karin (香燐), a former assistant to Orochimaru who specializes in track specific individuals through chakra over long distances,[ch. 365] and is highly flirtatious when she is alone with Sasuke.[ch. 348] 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 reanimated four Hokage. After forgiving Sasuke, Taka was reformed and aids Sasuke in the Fourth Great Ninja War.
Zabuza Momochi 
Zabuza Momochi (桃地 再不斬 Momochi Zabuza ) is a former member of Kirigakure's Seven Swordsmen of the Mist, a group of ninja that use particularly large swords in battle. Zabuza possesses 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] 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 Madara's side and is defeated and released from Kabuto's control in a rematch with Kakashi.[ch. 516, 524] In the Japanese anime, his voice actor is Unshō Ishizuka, and his English voice actor is Steven Blum.
Haku (白) is Zabuza Momochi's right hand man and most faithful follower. He has a heavily androgynous appearance, so much so that when Naruto Uzumaki first meets Haku he ends up mistaking him for a girl.[ch. 21] Before he started working for Zabuza, Haku lived as an orphan. His father killed his mother when it was discovered that she 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 pacifist 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] His voice actor in the Japanese anime is Mayumi Asano, and his English voice actor is Susan Dalian. Mona Marshall voiced Haku as a child.
Madara Uchiha 
Madara Uchiha (うちは マダラ Uchiha Madara ) is one of the founders of Konohagakure and the leader of the Uchiha clan and one of the main antagonists of the series.[ch. 385] Though a childhood friend of Hashirama Senju, Madara fought with him during the Warring States Period.[ch. 622] In time, Madara's overuse of Mangekyo Sharingan blinded him before he gained the transplanted eyes of his younger brother to obtain the Eternal Mangekyo Sharingan to continue fighting opposing clans.[ch. 386] However, though he agreed to have peace, Madara felt he would never be accepted and ultimately left the village to achieve his dream. While achieving his goal, Madara captures Kurama the Nine Tails and use him to in a scheme to destroy Konoha.[ch. 399, 621] Madara was believed to have been killed by Hashirama's hand, but survived and went into hiding, having taken a blood sample of Hashirama and used it on himself to increase his power and set the stage for his Eye of the Moon Plan.[ch. 560] Using life support after gaining the Rinnegan as a old man, Madara takes Obito Uchiha as his apprentice and continue his work while transplanting his eyes into Nagato as means to be revived years later.[ch. 605]
During most of the Naruto series, Obito uses the name of Madara until Kabuto Yakushi finds the real Madara and reanimates him to fight against the Shinobi Alliance.[ch. 562] Madara manages to sever his connection to Kabuto's technique to remain after the other reanimated ninja are allowed to return to the afterlife, and defeats the five Kage, before joining Obito in battle.[ch. 601] In the Japanese anime, Madara is voiced by Naoya Uchida while Neil Kaplan voices him in the English version of Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3.
Other characters 
Team 8 
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 Sasuke Uchiha.[ch. 354]
Kiba Inuzuka 
Kiba Inuzuka (犬塚 キバ Inuzuka Kiba ) is a member of Team 8 characterized by a number of dog-like traits such as being very protective of his teammates and extremely keen senses such as smell. Most apparent of his connection to dogs is the constant presence of his ninja dog (忍犬 ninken ), Akamaru. Kiba is fiercely loyal 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] 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.
Shino Aburame 
Shino Aburame (油女 シノ Aburame Shino ) is one of the members of Team 8 and is fascinated with insects; he spends his free time capturing and studying insects and often uses them as analogies during conversation.[ch. 172] A deep connection with insects runs in Shino's family, as each person born in to the Aburame clan is infused with a special breed of insects known as "destruction bugs" (寄壊蟲 kikaichū ) during birth. In exchange for using Shino as a hive and feeding on his chakra, the bugs do as he commands. 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 Hyuuga 
Hinata Hyuga (日向 ヒナタ Hyūga Hinata ) is a member of Team 8 who suffers from a lack of self-confidence throughout the series. She is always reluctant to speak her mind or to do something that might antagonize another character, causing her difficulties whenever she is on a mission.[ch. 80] This results in her effective expulsion from the Hyuga clan even though she is the eldest daughter of the clan's leader and thus its heiress. Hinata's inability to stand up for herself caused her father to disown her at a young age, leaving her in the care of her teacher, Kurenai Yuhi.[ch. 78] Soon after her introduction, Hinata begins 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]
Though Hinata's training has in large part been to prove herself, she also trains to try to win the attention of the series protagonist Naruto Uzumaki. Inspired by Naruto's confidence and determination, Hinata becomes infatuated with Naruto to the extent that she immediately blushes or faints upon seeing him. However, as the series progresses, she goes out of her way to help him.[ch. 80] While Hinata is hesitant to openly admit her feelings for him, most characters are aware of her feelings.[ch. 77] In the anime, Hinata's attempts to impress Naruto result in her creation of a new ability capable of instantly blocking or attacking anything in her extended field of vision. During Part II, Hinata finally admits 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 
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] After Asuma's death, Kurenai gave birth to their child. In the Japanese anime, her voice actress is Rumi Ochiai. 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 
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 
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] 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 
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 
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 
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 Ten 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, and he is voiced by Doug Erholtz in the English adaptation.
Team Guy 
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 
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] 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 Ninja World 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 
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 
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.
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 The First Hokage (初代火影 Shodai Hokage ) was Hashirama Senju, who founded the village along with Madara Uchiha. The First was succeeded by his younger brother, Tobirama Senju (千手扉間 Senju Tobirama ), the Second Hokage (二代目火影 Nidaime 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] The Third 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] Another of his students, Hashirama's granddaughter Tsunade, succeeds him as the Fifth Hokage.[ch. 172] Danzo follows Tsunade becoming the unoffical leader of Konoha, the canidate Sixth Hokage, after she enters a coma as a consequence of defending the village from Pain. After Danzo's death, Kakashi is considered for the Hokage title until her recovery, Tsunade returns to duty.[ch. 489]
Hiruzen Sarutobi 
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's death. He is a peace-loving leader, preferring nonviolent discussions to his advisers' more militaristic suggestions. 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] In his youth Sarutobi was 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 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] When he is unable to win with the Reaper Death Seal, Hiruzen still manages to rob Orochimaru of his ability to use jutsu (by "sealing" his arms), bringing an end to the invasion and thus allowing Sarutobi to die happily.[ch. 137] However, years later during the Fourth Great Ninja War, Orochimaru releases Hiruzen's soul from the Reaper and reanimates him so he can confirm the events behind the Uchiha Clan Massacre. In the Japanese anime, he is voiced by Hidekatsu Shibata, and his English voice actor is Steve Kramer.
Minato Namikaze 
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 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. Minato was a prodigy among ninja, such that enemy villages issued flee-on-sight orders if ever he appeared on a battlefield. He developed a jutsu that was in essence a teleportation jutsu, allowing him to wipe out whole armies in the blink of an eye, thus earning him the title of "Konoha's Yellow Flash" (木ノ葉の黄色い閃光 Konoha no Kiiroi Senkō ).[ch. 240] Before the start of the series, he gave his life to seal Kurama, the nine-tailed fox, into Naruto's body, saving Konoha from destruction and giving Naruto access to its great strength.[ch. 2] Years later during the Fourth Great Ninja War, Orochimaru releases Minato's soul from the Reaper and reanimates him. After Sasuke learns his answers, Minato and the other Hokage decide to fight alongside Sasuke on the battlefield and defeat Madara Uchiha once and for all. Minato is the first to arrive and meets his son Naruto the moment of his arrival. Kishimoto has expressed desire to make a spin-off series with Minato as the protagonist, but much younger. His Japanese voice actor is Toshiyuki Morikawa and his English voice actor is Tony Oliver.
Tsunade (綱手), as well as her former teammates Jiraiya and Orochimaru, is a former student of Hiruzen.[ch. 170] Despite looking like a buxom woman in her twenties, Tsunade is actually an old woman who can maintain her youthful appearance.[ch. 149] Tsunade is also the granddaughter of Hashirama Senju and Mito Uzumaki, and Tobirama's grandniece, 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 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 assistants. She will fulfil her role to address matters important to the village, and throughout Part II leads Konoha in combating the Akatsuki.[ch. 238] Inheriting this aspect from the First Hokage, 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. Utilizing her Uzumaki bloodline, Tsunade devised a method of mitotic regeneration for herself that make her nearly invincible 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.
Danzo Shimura 
Danzo Shimura (志村 ダンゾウ Shimura Danzō ) is one of the oldest villagers in Konohagakure, a war hawk who believes that all of the former Hokage have placed peace above the village's best interests. He was one of the elders who orchestrated the Uchiha Clan's demise. 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. He was once considered for the position of Third Hokage, but that title was given to Hiruzen Sarutobi whom he served as an adviser.[ch. 285] Since then he has been using The Foundation, his own personal black ops team, 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 in secret.[ch. 285] But after Konohagakure is destroyed and Tsunade is left in a coma, Danzo finally convinces the Fire Country's feudal lord to make him Acting Candidate Sixth Hokage (六代目火影候補 Rokudaime Hokage Kouho ), using his newfound power to have the ninja track down both Sasuke and Kabuto, the latter in order to restore Shisui's eye. However, while at the Kage conference, Danzo is forced into fighting Sasuke. He dies shortly after Sasuke mortally wounds him.[ch. 481] In the Japanese anime he is voiced by Hiroshi Ito and in the English version he is voiced by William Frederick Knight.
Sand Siblings 
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 come 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, made into a weapon by father when he became the Jinchuriki of the tailed beast Shukaku the One-Tail (一尾の守鶴 Ichibi no Shukaku ) before he was born. This act caused the death of his mother during labor and Gaara was placed in the care of his mother's brother. Like Naruto, because of his sand unconsciously attack those around him, Gaara was tormented by his fellow villagers. After his uncle tried to kill him, Gaara developed a sadistic and withdrawn personality, killing others to affirm the value of his existence.[ch. 131] He was created as a foil to Naruto Uzumaki, with a similar background yet a highly divergent personality. His battle with Naruto during the invasion of Konoha changes this mentality; as a result, he becomes more willing to help others as the purpose for his existence, and he succeeds his deceased father as Sunagakure's Fifth Kazekage during Part II.[ch. 249] Though Shukaku was removed from his body by the Akatsuki, Gaara still controlled sand. Later he learns the truth behind his jutsu and his uncle's actions when he confronted his reanimated father during the Fourth Great Ninja War. 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. For the first half of the series, he is 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 Kankuro, Kankuro becomes very protective of Gaara; he lashes out at anyone who speaks poorly of Gaara and when Gaara is kidnapped, he readily risks his life to save him.[ch. 249] Kankuro is a talented puppeteer, and has thus far been shown to have three puppets in his arsenal: Karasu (烏, lit. "Crow"), Kuroari (黒蟻, lit. "Black Ant"), and Sanshōuo (山椒魚, lit. "Salamander"). Crow is used for offensive purposes, Black Ant traps opponents in its body to make them easier targets, and Salamander protects Kankuro and his allies from enemy attacks. The puppets are all destroyed by their original creator, Sasori, in Part II. Kankuro is later seen using Sasori's body as his new puppet. In the Japanese anime, his voice actor is Yasuyuki Kase, and his English voice actor is Michael Lindsay.
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 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] Temari's voice actress in the Japanese anime is Romi Paku, and her English voice actress is Tara Platt.
Iruka Umino 
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 
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] In the Japanese anime, her voice actress is Keiko Nemoto, and her English voice actress is Megan Hollingshead.
Chiyo (チヨ) is an adviser to Sunagakure who is introduced at the start of Part II. She is mistrustful of other ninja villages, making treaties as a formality and quietly strengthening Sunagakure's military might simultaneously. During the various ninja wars, she used her knowledge of poisons to aid Sunagakure, only to have many of her efforts nullified by the work of Tsunade. She is a skilled puppeteer and taught her grandson, Sasori, everything she knew. When Deidara defeats and kidnaps Gaara, the leader of Sunagakure, in Part II, Chiyo joins a group of Konohagakure ninja in rescuing him. After the alliance catches up with the kidnappers, Chiyo, with the help of Sakura Haruno, is able to confront and kill her grandson Sasori. 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] In later chapters, Chiyo is brought back through Impure World Resurrection to fight against the combined Shinobi army. In the Japanese anime, her voice actor is Ikuko Tani, and in the English version her voice actor is Barbara Goodson.
Sai (サイ) is a ninja who joins Team 7 in Part II. Replacing Sasuke in the team, Kishimoto was careful in his design to make him stand out. 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. After spending time with Naruto Uzumaki, 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 involve 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 Benjamin 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 7.[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 7.[ch. 317] 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 7, 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. In the Naruto: Shippūden anime, Yamato's voice actor is Rikiya Koyama, and in the English version he is voiced by Troy Baker.
Killer Bee 
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 hosts 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 eight 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] Despite the difficulties in making his lines, as he always speaks in rhymes, Kishimoto wishes to make him a rich character. Kishimoto stated that Killer B and Chōji Akimichi are currently his favourite characters in the Naruto series during a 2012 Shōnen Jump interview. 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. Kurama is responsible for attacking Konohagakure before being stopped by the Fourth Hokage, who gave up his life to seal the fox into his son, Naruto Uzumaki, twelve years before the series' start.[ch. 1] Throughout the series, after a couple isolated incidents of falling under its influence during heated battles, Naruto tries to gain dominance over Kurama and harness its great strength to perform jutsu that would normally be impossible for a ninja of his age.[ch. 95] At the same time, Kurama tries to gain control over Naruto, provoking his rage and thus allowing its violent personality to influence and consume him.[ch. 291] Naruto eventually takes control of the fox's chakra with help from his mother Kushina Uzumaki, Kurama's former possessor.[ch. 499] During Naruto's fight against Akatsuki's forces, Kurama starts befriending Naruto to the point he lends his chakra willingly.[ch. 571] 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, its voice actor is Tesshō Genda, and in the English adaptation, it is voiced by Paul St. Peter.
Several types of merchandise have been produced based on the likeness of the characters in the Naruto series. Apparel such as clothing, backpacks, and other accessories, have been released, as well as full costumes used for cosplay. Other merchandise includes action figures, plush dolls of characters' Part I and Part II appearances, key chains, and figurines—many of which are limited editions produced in small quantities. Many characters are also featured on posters, wallpapers, and trading cards from the Naruto Collectible Card Game.
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 Deidara ranked 6th in the latest poll.[ch. 531]
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- Naruto manga volumes by Kishimoto, Masashi. Original Japanese version published by Shueisha. English translation published by Viz Media.
- Vol. 1 (ch. 1–7): うずまきナルト!!. March 3, 2000. ISBN 978-4-08-872840-7. (in Japanese). and The Tests of the Ninja. August 6, 2003. ISBN 978-1-56931-900-0. (in English).
- Vol. 2 (ch. 8–17): 最悪の依頼人. June 2, 2000. ISBN 978-4-08-872878-0. (in Japanese). and The Worst Client. December 17, 2003. ISBN 978-1-59116-178-3. (in English).
- Vol. 3 (ch. 18–27): 夢の為に...!!. August 4, 2000. ISBN 4-08-872898-8. (in Japanese). and Bridge of Courage. April 14, 2004. ISBN 978-1-59116-187-5. (in English).
- Vol. 4 (ch. 28–36): 英雄の橋!!. October 4, 2000. ISBN 978-4-08-873026-4. (in Japanese). and The New Opponents. August 3, 2004. ISBN 978-1-59116-358-9. (in English).
- Vol. 5 (ch. 37–45): 挑戦者たち!!. October 4, 2000. ISBN 978-4-08-873050-9. (in Japanese). and Exam Hell. December 7, 2004. ISBN 978-1-59116-359-6. (in English).
- Vol. 6 (ch. 46–54): サクラの決意!!. March 2, 2001. ISBN 978-4-08-873089-9. (in Japanese). and The Forest of Death. April 5, 2005. ISBN 978-1-59116-739-6. (in English).
- Vol. 7 (ch. 55–63): 進むべき道...!!. May 1, 2001. ISBN 4-08-873113-1. (in Japanese). and Orochimaru's Curse. August 2, 2005. ISBN 978-1-59116-875-1. (in English).
- Vol. 8 (ch. 64–72): 命懸けの戦い!!. August 3, 2001. ISBN 4-08-873147-6. (in Japanese). and Life-and-Death Battles. December 6, 2005. ISBN 978-1-4215-0124-6. (in English).
- Vol. 9 (ch. 73–81): ネジとヒナタ. October 4, 2001. ISBN 978-4-08-873174-2. (in Japanese). and Turning the Tables. March 7, 2006. ISBN 978-1-4215-0239-7. (in English).
- Vol. 10 (ch. 82–90): 立派な忍者...!!. December 4, 2001. ISBN 978-4-08-873197-1. (in Japanese). and A Splendid Ninja. June 6, 2006. ISBN 978-1-4215-0240-3. (in English).
- Vol. 11 (ch. 91–99): 弟子入り志願 !?. March 4, 2002. ISBN 4-08-873236-7. (in Japanese). and Impassioned Efforts. September 5, 2006. ISBN 978-1-4215-0241-0. (in English).
- Vol. 12 (ch. 100–108): 大いなる飛翔!!. May 1, 2002. ISBN 4-08-873259-6. (in Japanese). and The Great Flight. December 5, 2006. ISBN 978-1-4215-0242-7. (in English).
- Vol. 13 (ch. 109–117): 中忍試験、終了...!!. August 2, 2002. ISBN 978-4-08-873298-5. (in Japanese). and The Chûnin Exam, Concluded...!!. March 6, 2007. ISBN 978-1-4215-1087-3. (in English).
- Vol. 14 (ch. 118–126): 火影VS火影!!. November 1, 2002. ISBN 978-4-08-873341-8. (in Japanese). and Hokage vs. Hokage!!. May 1, 2007. ISBN 978-1-4215-1088-0. (in English).
- Vol. 15 (ch. 127–135): ナルト忍法帖!!. December 20, 2002. ISBN 978-4-08-873368-5. (in Japanese). and Naruto's Ninja Handbook!. July 3, 2007. ISBN 978-1-4215-1089-7. (in English).
- Vol. 16 (ch. 136–144): 木ノ葉崩し、終結!!. March 4, 2003. ISBN 978-4-08-873394-4. (in Japanese). and Eulogy. September 4, 2007. ISBN 978-1-4215-1090-3. (in English).
- Vol. 17 (ch. 145–153): イタチの能力!!. May 1, 2003. ISBN 978-4-08-873420-0. (in Japanese). and Itachi's Power. September 4, 2007. ISBN 978-1-4215-1652-3. (in English).
- Vol. 18 (ch. 154–162): 綱手の決意!!. August 4, 2003. ISBN 978-4-08-873493-4. (in Japanese). and Tsunade's Choice. September 4, 2007. ISBN 978-1-4215-1653-0. (in English).
- Vol. 19 (ch. 163–171): 受け継ぐ者. November 11, 2003. ISBN 4-08-873523-4. (in Japanese). and Successor. October 2, 2007. ISBN 978-1-4215-1654-7. (in English).
- Vol. 20 (ch. 172–180): ナルトvsサスケ!!. December 19, 2003. ISBN 4-08-873552-8. (in Japanese). and Naruto vs. Sasuke. October 2, 2007. ISBN 978-1-4215-1655-4. (in English).
- Vol. 21 (ch. 181–190): 許せない!!. March 4, 2004. ISBN 978-4-08-873573-3. (in Japanese). and Pursuit. October 2, 2007. ISBN 978-1-4215-1855-8. (in English).
- Vol. 22 (ch. 191–199): 転生...!!. April 30, 2004. ISBN 978-4-08-873595-5. (in Japanese). and Comrades. November 6, 2007. ISBN 978-1-4215-1858-9. (in English).
- Vol. 23 (ch. 200–208): 苦境...!!. August 4, 2004. ISBN 978-4-08-873639-6. (in Japanese). and Predicament. November 6, 2007. ISBN 978-1-4215-1859-6. (in English).
- Vol. 24 (ch. 209–217): ピンチ·ピンチ·ピンチ!!. October 4, 2004. ISBN 978-4-08-873660-0. (in Japanese). and Unorthodox. November 6, 2007. ISBN 978-1-4215-1860-2. (in English).
- Vol. 25 (ch. 218–226): 兄と弟. December 3, 2004. ISBN 978-4-08-873679-2. (in Japanese). and Brothers. November 6, 2007. ISBN 978-1-4215-1861-9. (in English).
- Vol. 26 (ch. 227–235): 別れの日...!!. February 4, 2005. ISBN 978-4-08-873770-6. (in Japanese). and Awakening. December 4, 2007. ISBN 978-1-4215-1862-6. (in English).
- Vol. 27 (ch. 236–244): 旅立ちの日!!. April 4, 2005. ISBN 4-08-873791-1. (in Japanese). and Departure. December 4, 2007. ISBN 978-1-4215-3984-3. (in English).
- Vol. 28 (ch. 245–253): ナルトの帰郷!!. June 3, 2005. ISBN 978-4-08-873828-4. (in Japanese). and Homecoming. March 4, 2008. ISBN 978-1-4215-1864-0. (in English).
- Vol. 29 (ch. 254–262): カカシVSイタチ!!. August 4, 2005. ISBN 978-4-08-873849-9. (in Japanese). and Kakashi vs. Itachi!!. May 6, 2008. ISBN 978-1-4215-1865-7. (in English).
- Vol. 30 (ch. 263–271): チヨバアとサクラ. November 4, 2005. ISBN 978-4-08-873881-9. (in Japanese). and Puppet Masters. July 1, 2008. ISBN 978-1-4215-1942-5. (in English).
- Vol. 31 (ch. 272–281): 託された想い!!. December 26, 2005. ISBN 978-4-08-874002-7. (in Japanese). and Final Battle. September 2, 2008. ISBN 978-1-4215-1943-2. (in English).
- Vol. 32 (ch. 281–289): サスケへの道!!. April 4, 2006. ISBN 978-4-08-874039-3. (in Japanese). and The Search for Sasuke. November 4, 2008. ISBN 978-1-4215-1944-9. (in English).
- Vol. 33 (ch. 290–299): 極秘任務...!!. June 2, 2006. ISBN 978-4-08-874108-6. (in Japanese). and The Secret Mission. December 16, 2008. ISBN 978-1-4215-2001-8. (in English).
- Vol. 34 (ch. 300–309): 再会の時...!!. August 4, 2006. ISBN 978-4-08-874138-3. (in Japanese). and The Reunion. February 3, 2009. ISBN 978-1-4215-2002-5. (in English).
- Vol. 35 (ch. 310–319): 新たなる二人組!!. November 2, 2006. ISBN 978-4-08-874273-1. (in Japanese). and The New Two. February 3, 2009. ISBN 978-1-4215-2003-2. (in English).
- Vol. 36 (ch. 320–329): 第十班. December 27, 2006. ISBN 978-4-08-874288-5. (in Japanese). and Cell Number 10. February 3, 2009. ISBN 978-1-4215-2172-5. (in English).
- Vol. 37 (ch. 330–339): シカマルの戦い!!. April 4, 2007. ISBN 978-4-08-874338-7. (in Japanese). and Shikamaru's Battle. February 3, 2009. ISBN 978-1-4215-2173-2. (in English).
- Vol. 38 (ch. 340–349): 修業の成果...!!. June 4, 2007. ISBN 978-4-08-874364-6. (in Japanese). and Practice Makes Perfect. February 3, 2009. ISBN 978-1-4215-2174-9. (in English).
- Vol. 39 (ch. 350–359): 動き出す者たち. August 3, 2007. ISBN 978-4-08-874397-4. (in Japanese). and On the Move. February 3, 2009. ISBN 978-1-4215-2175-6. (in English).
- Vol. 40 (ch. 360–369): 究極芸術!!. August 3, 2007. ISBN 978-4-08-874432-2. (in Japanese). and The Ultimate Art. November 2, 2007. ISBN 978-1-4215-2841-0. (in English).
- Vol. 41 (ch. 370–379): 自来也の選択!!. February 4, 2008. ISBN 978-4-08-874472-8. (in Japanese). and Jiraiya's Decision. February 3, 2009. ISBN 978-1-4215-2842-7. (in English).
- Vol. 42 (ch. 380–389): 万華鏡の秘密...!!. May 2, 2008. ISBN 978-4-08-874512-1. (in Japanese). and The Secret of the Mangekyo. April 7, 2009. ISBN 978-1-4215-2843-4. (in English).
- Vol. 43 (ch. 390–402): 真実を知る者. August 4, 2008. ISBN 978-4-08-874552-7. (in Japanese). and The Man with the Truth. April 7, 2009. ISBN 978-1-4215-2929-5. (in English).
- Vol. 44 (ch. 403–412): 仙術伝承...!!. November 4, 2008. ISBN 978-4-08-874589-3. (in Japanese). and Senjutsu Heir. April 7, 2009. ISBN 978-1-4215-3134-2. (in English).
- Vol. 45 (ch. 413–422): 戦場、木ノ葉!!. February 4, 2009. ISBN 978-4-08-874627-2. (in Japanese). and Battlefield, Konoha. July 7, 2009. ISBN 978-1-4215-3135-9. (in English).
- Vol. 46 (ch. 423–432): ナルト帰還!!. May 1, 2009. ISBN 978-4-08-874663-0. (in Japanese). and Naruto Returns. October 6, 2009. ISBN 978-1-4215-3304-9. (in English).
- Vol. 47 (ch. 433–442): 封印破壊!!. August 4, 2009. ISBN 978-4-08-874711-8. (in Japanese). and The Seal Destroyed. February 2, 2010. ISBN 978-1-4215-3305-6. (in English).
- Vol. 48 (ch. 443–453): 歓呼の里!!. November 4, 2009. ISBN 978-4-08-874748-4. (in Japanese). and The Cheering Village. June 1, 2010. ISBN 978-1-4215-3474-9. (in English).
- Vol. 49 (ch. 454–463): 五影会談、開幕...!!. January 4, 2010. ISBN 978-4-08-874784-2. (in Japanese). and The Gokage Summit Commences!!. October 5, 2010. ISBN 978-1-4215-3475-6. (in English).
- Vol. 50 (ch. 464–473): 水牢の死闘!!. March 4, 2010. ISBN 978-4-08-870011-3. (in Japanese). and Water Prison Death Match. February 1, 2011. ISBN 978-1-4215-3497-8. (in English).
- Vol. 51 (ch. 474–483): サスケVSダンゾウ...!!. April 30, 2010. ISBN 978-4-08-870033-5. (in Japanese). and Sasuke vs. Danzo...!!. June 7, 2011. ISBN 978-1-4215-3498-5. (in English).
- Vol. 52 (ch. 484–493): それぞれの第七班!!. August 4, 2010. ISBN 978-4-08-870084-7. (in Japanese). and Cell Seven Reunion!!. September 6, 2011. ISBN 978-1-4215-3957-7. (in English).
- Vol. 53 (ch. 495–504): ナルトの出生. November 4, 2010. ISBN 978-4-08-870126-4. (in Japanese). and The Birth of Naruto. December 6, 2011. ISBN 978-1-4215-4049-8. (in English).
- Vol. 54 (ch. 505–514): 平和への懸け橋. December 29, 2010. ISBN 978-4-08-870143-1. (in Japanese). and The Bridge to Peace. January 3, 2012. ISBN 978-1-4215-4102-0. (in English).
- Vol. 55 (ch. 515–524): 大戦、開戦!. April 21, 2011. ISBN 978-4-08-870185-1. (in Japanese). and Start of the Great War!. March 6, 2012. ISBN 978-1-4215-4152-5. (in English).
- Vol. 56 (ch. 525–534): 再会、アスマ班!. June 3, 2011. ISBN 978-4-08-870218-6. (in Japanese). and Team Asuma Reunites!. May 8, 2012. ISBN 978-1-4215-4207-2. (in English).
- Vol. 57 (ch. 535–544): ナルト戦場へ...!!. August 4, 2011. ISBN 978-4-08-870271-1. (in Japanese). and Naruto Heads to the Battlefield...!!. July 3, 2012. ISBN 978-1-4215-4306-2. (in English).
- Vol. 58 (ch. 545–554): ナルトVSイタチ!!. November 4, 2011. ISBN 978-4-08-870302-2. (in Japanese).
- Vol. 59 (ch. 556–565): 五影集結...!!. February 3, 2012. ISBN 978-4-08-870368-8. (in Japanese) .
- Vol. 60 (ch. 566–575): 九喇嘛!!. May 5, 2012. ISBN 978-4-08-870417-3. (in Japanese). and Kurama February 5, 2013. ISBN 978-1-4215-4943-9. (in English).
- Vol. 61 (ch. 576–587): 兄弟、共闘!!. July 27, 2012 ISBN 978-4-08-870477-7 (in Japanese) .
- Vol. 62 (ch. 588–597): 皹. October 4, 2012 ISBN 978-4-08-870515-6 (in Japanese) .
- Vol. 63 (ch. 598–607): 皹. December 28, 2012 ISBN 978-4-08-870550-7 (in Japanese) .
- Vol. 63 (ch. 608–617): 十尾. April 4, 2013 ISBN 978-4-08-870628-3 (in Japanese) .
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