the story of Naruto is famed not just for its exciting jutsu-based combat system or its stylish worldbuilding, but also its heartfelt characters and their remarkable character arcs from beginning to end. It’s true that some characters such as the incredible Might Guy remained largely the same, but there are plenty of dynamic characters to choose from.
Characters in shonen series such as Naruto may change on the inside and/or outside, from getting a new outfit to reinventing their fighting style, and most of all, they may change their worldview and relationship to others. A cynic might become a believer, and a timid character may become brave.
10 Naruto Uzumaki Has Come A Long Way
As expected from a good story like Naruto, the protagonist has changed in many remarkable ways, all of them for the better. Deep down, Naruto Uzumaki is the same fun-loving prankster he always was, but he certainly has come a long way since his days of defacing the Hokage monument while ditching class.
Naruto was once a troubled and ostracized kid who longed to prove himself. Bit by bit, Naruto became stronger, wiser, kinder, and more popular, and by the series’ end, everyone looked up to him for protection and guidance. He even eclipsed Tsunade herself before he actually became Hokage.
9 Hinata Hyuga Learned To Believe In Herself
Hinata Hyuga is Naruto’s lover, and she had a roughly similar character arc as other shonen heroines like Ochaco Uraraka and Orihime Inoue. Characters like these are born with talent but not a lot of self-confidence or courage, and they must quickly catch up to their peers or get left behind.
For years, Hinata neglected her natural talents and felt like a failure, until Naruto’s famous “talk jutsu” lit a fire in her. Hinata took control of her life from her at last and put herself on the path to greatness, to the point she stood up to the mighty Pain himself to defend Naruto and the village, and she’s never looked back.
8 Tsunade Became A True Believer
Tsunade the slug princess changed a great deal where her worldview and attitude are concerned. Her fighting style and her appearance remained largely the same, but on the inside, she did a total of 180 thanks to Naruto Uzumaki. She heard the talk jutsu and had a total change of heart.
Tsunade became bitter and jaded after the deaths of her little brother and friend, and she lost herself in drinking, gambling, and aimless wandering. Now she is a believer once again and she assumed the mantle of Hokage to defend the entire village.
7 Konohamaru Was Once Just A Brat
When he was first introduced early in the series, the young Konohamaru was just a bratty kid who longed to escape his Hokage grandfather’s shadow. In a way, he was a preview of Boruto Uzumaki, and even before the actual Boruto series, Konohamaru underwent some changes.
This obnoxious, insecure kid rapidly grew up after he started a friendly rivalry with Naruto, and during Shippuden, Konohamaru was a hopeful genin rookie who was more confident in himself than ever before. He could even use the Rasengan technique and sexy jutsu, showing how much he takes after his rival from him.
6 Neji Hyuga Started Fighting For Others’ Sake
Neji Hyuga belonged to the family’s disposable cadet branch, but he had talent worthy of any main branch member. Alas, he couldn’t escape his lowly station in the family, which gave him a deterministic worldview. He thought that people were born with fixed destinies, and he read Naruto about this during their fight.
All that changed with the talk jutsu and a shocking defeat at Naruto’s hands, and Neji later became a kinder and more open-minded ninja. He accepted that the future is always in one’s own hands, and he gave his life from him to protect Hinata during the Fourth Great Shinobi War.
5 Sakura Haruno Learned Some New Skills
Sakura Haruno is still widely mocked for falling short of Naruto and Sasuke even after all this time, but all the same, Sakura has come a long way, and she is owed credit for that. Sakura’s character arc was actually similar to Hinata’s, featuring an insecure girl who thought little of herself and wasted her natural talents.
Sakura learned to define herself by more than her crush on Sasuke Uchiha. She became a fierce and confident fighter with fearsome taijutsu to match, not to mention medical ninjutsu she learned from Tsunade personally. Now, she is a highly capable kunoichi who can stand on her own.
4 Sai Gained A Heart
The inkbrush ninja, Sai, is almost like Wizard of Oz‘s Tinman, with the personal goal of gaining a heart to truly understand others. Sai began the series as a stone-cold member of the Root/Foundation organization, an unfeeling tool serving his cruel master Danzo.
Sai greatly annoyed Naruto and Sakura at first, but then Sai’s kinder side emerged, and he learned to view his teammates as cherished friends. He became a loyal and reliable ally before long and even started showing emotions. He soon got angry and indignant on behalf of not himself or Danzo, but his friends of him.
3 Gaara Of The Sand Turned His Life Around
A number of Naruto characters have parallel character arcs, such as Hinata/Sakura. Another parallel exists between Naruto and his fellow jinchuriki, Gaara of the Sand. Ostraciziation greatly wounded Naruto’s heart from him, but the effects were even more acute on Gaara, who truly had no one to love him, not even Yashamaru.
Gaara was a bitter and cruel jinchuriki who found validation in killing others, but all that changed when Naruto fought him to a standstill and delivered yet another talk jutsu. Now Gaara is a kind friend to Naruto and the entire Leaf Village and a wise and gentle Kazekage. He has finally found happiness.
two Nagato Decided To Believe In Naruto’s Dream
Nagato was once Jiraiya the toad sage’s student, along with his friends Yahiko and Konan. He had the Rinnegan eye, and later witnessed Yahiko’s death, which was too much pain to bear. He ended up becoming a key Akatsuki member, controlling the Six Paths of Pain remotely.
Nagato was convinced that peace and hope were impossible in the world, but Naruto, a fellow student of Jiraiya, talked him out of it. This was Naruto’s finest talk jutsu yet, and it convinced Nagato to believe in Naruto’s dream of him and give his own life to undo his mistakes of him.
1 Shikamaru Nara Became A True Leader
At a glance, the brilliant Shikamaru Nara doesn’t seem that different from when he first started. But in all the ways that count, Shikamaru has come a long way, and he is someone Naruto and Tsunade can absolutely rely on. He still might complain about work, but after a point, he didn’t really seem to mean it that much.
Shikamaru went from a genius slacker and whiner to a true leader who’s ready to push himself and risk his life for the sake of a friend or the mission, and that’s why everyone learned to trust him rather than mock him. He finally became who he was always meant to be.
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