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Naruto is one of the essential manga and anime series ever released. Part of the fabled “Big Three” manga/anime, Naruto, features a lot of chapters. With about 700 branches in total, there are many people in each of them. This Naruto characters guide is here to help you with that overwhelming number.
The Naruto characters guide will go over each of the various main characters and supporting members you should know about. This also includes the main antagonists from across the series. There are a lot of people to cover in this decades-spanning series so let’s begin.
Bottom Line Up Front
Naruto is a manga series that began in 1999 and ran for about 15 years. Following the story of the titular Naruto Uzumaki, it tells about his life growing up in Konohagakure as a ninja. Through this, it features a ton of characters that Naruto meets and engages within his life.
This includes members of his ninja team, Team 7, and other teams as well. It also includes the citizens of the Hidden Leaf Village and the various villains he faces. For the total list of the main characters in this guide, take a look down below:
- Naruto Uzumaki
- Sasuke Uchiha
- Sakura Haruno
- Kakashi Hatake
- Hinata Hyuga
- Rock Lee
- Boruto Uzumaki
- Himawari Uzumaki
- Sarada Uchiha
- Obito Uchiha
- Itachi Uchiha
- Madara Uchiha
- Kaguya Otsutsuki
- Hiruzen Sarutobi
- Minato Namikaze
- Kushina Uzumaki
Naruto Characters Guide
I am going to guide you along with the main and side characters that you should know about in the Naruto series. For reference, before we start, it is worth noting that there are some spoilers ahead. Since this is an older series with a sequel, it is difficult to avoid spoilers.
This is mainly in children of main characters, love interests, and the like. Do not worry; we will not spoil any notable deaths or anything like that. At least deaths that take place in the series that is. However, these minor spoilers are undoubtedly worth mentioning before we begin. With that out of the way, here is a full breakdown of all the characters you need to know about.
While the Naruto franchise is a massive one with hundreds and hundreds of chapters, there are only a handful of main characters. For the most part, these prominent cast members are part of Team 7. This is the same ninja team that protagonist Naruto is a member of for most of his ninja journey. Here are the characters you spend a lot of time in the manga and anime.
It all starts and ends with the one and only Naruto Uzumaki. Unlike other shounen protagonists in series like Dragon Ball or One Piece, Naruto is named after him. If that does not make it clear that Naruto is, well, all about Naruto, then I don’t know what does.
Naruto Uzumaki is a young boy who grows up in the Konohagakure village. As an orphan and the host of the infamous Kurama, he is ostracized by the entire village. Everyone looks down on him or simply wants to avoid being around him, creating a very lonely childhood.
Despite this, Naruto has one of the most positive and optimistic outlooks on life. He does not look at the sad circumstances that he is in but focuses solely on his dreams. He dreams of becoming a ninja and eventually surpassing everyone to become the next Hokage or leader of the village.
Throughout the series, Naruto becomes the most powerful hero of them all, learning many different abilities. He can summon shadow clones in battle, use the Rasengan, confuse his opponents, and have Kurama on his side. He can channel Kurama, the Nine-Tailed Fox, to make use of his powers.
Early on in the story, Naruto successfully becomes a ninja and a Team 7. On that team, he can work together with the other main characters in the series to go on missions and stop evildoers from having their way in the world.
After Naruto, the second-most important character in the manga and anime series is Sasuke Uchiha. The only one to rival Naruto in terms of strength and popularity, he is a fan favorite in his own right. Sasuke is the partner of Naruto and his eternal rival as a fellow member of Team 7.
Sasuke is almost the lone survivor of the Uchiha Clan, with his brother, Itachi Uchiha, being the only other person alive. Sasuke’s one goal in life is to hunt down his older brother and get revenge for killing everyone in their family.
This vengeance drives Sasuke and causes him to have a cold personality. At the start of the series, he cares about no one else and only focuses on getting revenge. This does, of course, lend to his good-looking bad boy aesthetic, which makes him famous in the series and its community.
That said, there is a secret softer side to Sasuke that exists. As the series goes on and he becomes closer to characters like Naruto and Sakura, we see more of the real Sasuke underneath. There is more to him than meets the eye, as is seen throughout the pages of the Naruto manga.
The third and final member initially of the Team 7 trio is Sakura Haruno. The only female in the group, Sakura is a headstrong character with a bold personality. She is not afraid to take someone on, both verbally and physically, and is an excellent match for her two male counterparts.
At the beginning of the series, there is a bit of a love triangle between the three main characters. Sakura is clear in her affection for Sasuke while Naruto has a crush on her. She grows into her own as the series goes on and she becomes more powerful.
The leader of Team 7 is Kakashi Hatake, a mentor to the group and their teacher. He is seen as one of the most powerful ninjas alive at the start of the series. Personality-wise, he is a pretty chill guy who leads his team in a more laidback manner, only guiding them along occasionally.
The appearance of Kakashi is one of the most iconic in the series with his notable white hair and eye covering. He has the powerful Sharingan ability that he uses in battle. As the leader of Naruto, he is a core part of how the young protagonist becomes one of the most powerful ninjas to ever live.
Kurama is the Nine-Tailed Fox that lives inside of Naruto. He has a deep and dark history, one that causes hatred from the villagers in the Naruto series. Kurama is known as the beast that was used early in the history of Konohagakure to try and destroy it.
But it was unsuccessful and Kurama became sealed inside of Kushina Uzumaki, Naruto’s mother. He is eventually passed down to Naruto at the beginning of the series, causing a tragic childhood for the young boy. For most of the series, there is an eternal battle with Kurama.
Naruto and the Nine-Tailed Fox battle for control and it takes time but the two do eventually become friends. This key friendship allows Naruto to access power beyond what other ninjas before him were able to do.
Hinata Hyuga is a young ninja girl who is a member of Team 8. As part of this other group of ninjas, she is a scout. She is the next in line to inherit her family’s clan but has a personality that is the opposite of that. Early on in the series, she is quite shy, serious, and quiet.
She lacks confidence and mostly keeps to herself, requiring growth throughout the series. Naruto plays a huge role in that, helping her to grow into the strong ninja she can be. It is clear from the start that she has some feelings for the titular main character. Those feelings grow over time, especially as they get older in the second half of the series.
Beyond the main characters, there are some notable supporting characters as well. These are major recurring characters in several parts of the series. Some of them are mentors to the core cast while others are rivals and fellow ninjas. Still, others are characters who appear later in the series and its sequel Boruto. All of these characters are noteworthy and fan favorites in their own way.
Jiraiya is an integral part of childhood for Naruto. He is also the epitome of the perverted old man trope. He is a sage in the village and a well-respected, strong ninja. Also for Naruto at a young age, Jiraiya is one of the most influential parts of his life.
Jiraiya acts as one of the first teachers for Naruto, showing him how to be a ninja. He acts as a surrogate father in a way to Naruto, given that he is an orphan in the series. Their relationship with one another is a favorite in the series. Jiraiya’s powers involve summoning toad enemies to help him fight in battle.
One of the most beloved ninjas in the early parts of the Naruto manga is Rock Lee. Part of Team Guy, Rock Lee is a martial arts fighter through and through. Unable to use some of the ninjutsu and other techniques that other ninjas have, he sticks to fighting. That said, Rock Lee is a martial arts master and contributes to one of the most popular fights in the entire manga/anime.
The amazing Rock Lee fight early in Naruto is against Gaara, another popular ninja. Gaara is the youngest of the three Sand Siblings in the series. In many ways, there are similarities between him and Naruto. Like the hero, Gaara is shunned by those around him and disliked.
While Naruto took that tragedy and used it to be a better person, Gaara is a harsh character at first. He is almost antagonistic early in the series but is ultimately a great ally.
Moving on from the beginning of the Naruto manga, we come to the end of it. In the final sections of the book as well as an anime film, we see the future of Naruto. In this, we find out that Naruto gets married to Hinata in the end and has two kids.
The first of these kids is Boruto Uzumaki, the older brother. Boruto is the star of the sequel manga and anime series. Similar in design to his father, Boruto is just as headstrong. He differs, though, in that he has a family but he is disappointed in his mostly absent father.
Boruto inherits some of the abilities from both sides of his family as well as traits of both parents. Like his father before him, he is the main character of his own series of becoming a ninja.
Himawari Uzumaki is the younger daughter of Naruto and Hinata, taking after her mom in terms of appearance. She is younger in the Naruto series so we do not get to see much of her abilities. That said, we do know that she has inherited the Hyuga Clan’s signature Byakugan. It seems to only activate, though, when she is under distress.
Sarada Uchiha is another main character at the end of the Naruto manga. A prominent figure in the sequel series, Sarada is the daughter of Sasuke and Sakura in the future. She is roughly the same age as Boruto and a teammate of his. Sarada also has the Sharingan ability that runs in the Uchiha Clan.
Mitsuki is another character at the end of Naruto and a protagonist in Boruto. Mitsuki is the third member of Boruto’s ninja team. He is a mysterious transfer student with an unusual appearance. He is able to extend his limbs. Finding out more about who he is, is one of the core early parts of the Boruto series.
A major shounen manga series like Naruto would not be complete without its suite of villains. With such a long history, Naruto has some of the richest and most in-depth antagonist groups ever. There are multiple clans and groups that are vying for power across its chapters.
Since there are so many villains, we are going to only cover the core enemies that you should know about. These are the leaders and main villains that are at the crux of many major story arcs in the series. If you do not want to know about the major villains in the series up until the very end, be sure to skip this part.
Zabuza is the first main villain in the Naruto series. He is a former citizen of the village who defected. He is considered an enemy of the village and to be killed on sight. While not inherently evil like other villains, he does shady missions like assassinations with his mercenary crew.
Orochimaru is one of the most memorable villains in the Naruto series. He is a featured antagonist during the first half of the series. As a former member of the village and a well-known ninja, he turned evil in hopes of experimenting to gain immortality. He created his own village where he works on his experiments.
The Akatsuki is a villainous organization that appears in the Naruto Shippuden anime and the second half of the manga. This evil group is the core threat for the main heroes after the time skip. The Akatsuki supposedly have the purpose of trying to bring about peace. Unfortunately, such “peace” comes about through the use of force.
Obito Uchiha is the real leader of the Akatsuki. One of the strongest villains in the series, he is a dangerous ninja. He has ties to Kakashi, being a partner of his in their younger years. Thought to be dead, he is actually hiding in the shadows and causing much of the suffering in the series.
Pain, or Nagato as his original name was, is the supposed leader of the Akatsuki. While not actually in charge, he appears that way. Even still, he is a main villain and one who is a direct enemy for Naruto. His powers allow him to control corpses in a morbid fighting technique.
Itachi Uchiha is the older brother of Sasuke Uchiha. He is the sole target of all of the vengeance that Sasuke holds in his heart. Itachi is the one who massacred the Uchiha Clan, only leaving Sasuke alive. He is one of the members associated with the Akatsuki.
Madara Uchiha is an older ninja and one of the founders of the Hidden Leaf Village. Thought to be dead for a long time, Obito Uchiha goes by his name. In reality, though, Madara is long dead. However, he does appear in the end as one of the villains in the final story arcs of the Naruto series.
The Otsutsuki Clan are the overarching villains in the Naruto series, though is not revealed until the end. They are a group of intelligent beings that essentially exist in space. They go from planet to planet, raising up planets and its inhabitants only to destroy them later on. This is all to serve the main purpose that the group has of continuing their long lives.
In the Naruto manga, the final villain of them all is revealed to be Kaguya Otsutsuki. She is behind everything in the series, having watched over all of the events. She played a role in the entire franchise by creating the chakra and various powers that the ninja use.
However, Kaguya differs from her brethren in that she does not want to destroy the world. Instead, she wants to rule it and create peace in the process. She is unbelievably powerful on an entirely different level from the other villains. With the power of just about every jutsu out there, she could destroy the entire world in an instant.
There are still other characters that are worth noting. They might be side characters who appear in smaller roles in certain arcs or important ones later on in the series. And then some of them are mainly just key to what happens just before the beginning of the Naruto series. Despite this, they are worth mentioning as well for their impact on the franchise.
In the second half of the series, one of the main characters is Sai. He joins Team Kakashi after the departure of Sasuke. His personality is pretty much empty as he has little emotion. It is during his time with the team that he learns how to be a normal human. His powers are flexible, able to use several different elemental attacks.
The current Hokage at the beginning of the series is the Third Hokage, Hiruzen Sarutobi. He is one of the strongest ninjas at the start of Naruto and a wise old man. He influences many of the various main characters in the series and even pitches in for a fight or two.
In the second half of the series, Yamato is another member of Team Kakashi. He joins to replace Kakashi and ends up a permanent member. His wood-based skills allow him to even keep an eye on Naruto. This is important for keeping him in check when it comes to the much-maligned Kurama Nine-Tailed Fox inside of the hero.
Chiyo is an older ninja in the series and part of the Sunagakure village. She is a puppet master ninja, able to control puppets in battle. She plays a fairly important role in the second half of the series as the Fourth Great Ninja War occurs, teaming up with Kakashi. She also has some direct ties to some of the villains in the series.
Minato Namikaze was the fourth Hokage for the Hidden Leaf Village. He is also the father of Naruto. He was married to Kushina Uzumaki, whose last name Naruto takes. At the beginning of the series, he is already dead, leaving the protagonist as an orphan. This is due to the attack from Kurama prior to the start of the series.
Kushina Uzumaki was the loving mother of Naruto. Prior to the start of the series, she died when Kurama broke free and attacked the village. She was married to the fourth Hokage. She was the previous host of Kurama and fought against Kurama him in the attack. In the end, she decided to sacrifice herself along with her husband to seal Kurama inside Naruto.
Question: Who is the most loved character in Naruto?
Answer: Without a doubt, the answer to this question is pretty easy. You may even know the answer yourself. The most loved character in the Naruto series is, no surprise, Naruto Uzumaki. The story is all about the protagonist so it would make sense for him to be the fan-favorite of the bunch.
It’s simple enough to think this since the entirety of the story is all about him. He is a lovable guy, too, with his heartwarming passion and love for his village. It also helps that he has one of the most lonely and depressing childhoods, giving fans a lot of reason to love him.
As the series hero, he leads the entire franchise in a great way. Shouldering the responsibility of not only the world but the Naruto series, he does it quite well. Without a doubt, he is the most loved character in the series and past fan polls have only proven it.
The only person who could possibly come up behind Naruto would be Sasuke Uchiha. The second hero after Naruto, there are a lot of fans of him. I actually like Sasuke more than Naruto and think he is the more complex and interesting character. There are others who agree, certainly giving Sasuke a close second spot.
Question: Who is the strongest Naruto character ever?
Answer: Determining the strongest Naruto character ever is a surprisingly simple process. Kaguya Otsutsuki, the final villain in the series, is the most powerful of them all. This is a character who defies the logic and limitations of the humans in the rest of the series.
Kaguya is basically a god, having created the chakra in the past. All of the powers that exist in the series and every strength comes from her. Not only that but she is capable of causing unmatched destruction. She is able to decimate the entire world in an instant if she truly wanted to.
With a flick of her finger or a slight touch, she can even reduce a foe to nothing no matter how powerful she is. She has every single major power and jutsu from the series, all within easy access to her in battle. There is no character who comes even close to being as powerful as Kaguya. It is why sealing her away is the only option in the end, rather than outright defeating her for good.
Question: Who is the baddest character in Naruto?
Answer: The evilest character in all of the Naruto series has to be Kaguya Otsutsuki. The final antagonist in the series, Kaguya, represents everything wrong with everyone that came before her. In many ways, she was the puppet master and the one pulling the strings behind previous events.
She was far more vile and sinister than even the Akatsuki, manipulating that group in the process. Her plans to create world peace were tainted and wrong. Her plans for what she would do to the world and its inhabitants were unacceptable. Without a doubt, she is the baddest character in the Naruto series.
A close second, in my opinion, would be someone like Kakuzu, one of the members of the Akatsuki. Though not a main villain or leader of that group, he is noteworthy for his particular evil nature. As someone with what is essentially immortality, he is able to live for a very long time.
During his life, he has collected human hearts and taken on seriously messed up jobs. He is a crazy person who cares nothing about human life and only his selfish ambitions. This is even to the point where he will kill his own partners in the organization without remorse.
Perhaps the worst part about Kakuzu, though, is the fact that he is unlike almost every villain in the series. Naruto is all about redemption and that is seen in even some of the worst enemies in the franchise. But not Kakuzu, though, he wanted no redemption and was content with being a horrible person up until the end.
The Naruto characters guide is a gateway for newcomers who wish to take on the daunting task of this long series. We hope that it was able to introduce you to the core characters you should know about. This way, when you get to see them in action, you will already have an idea of who they are.
For more on the Naruto series beyond just this, be sure to check out our Naruto history and overview guide. Besides giving some more details about the characters in the series, it also is a great starting point. There, you can find out about how it all began and where to watch or read the Naruto series.