We started off with a bunch of strong personalities on the first part of this post and now, the wait is over!
Completing our Top 10 list is another set of unforgettable characters that made names on the entire series!
Leading the guys on this list is…
OROCHIMARU (Fearless, Intellectual Sannin)
A villain with superb jutsu prowess is already formidable. While a villain who has a flock of powerful minions on his beck and call is sure to bring destruction.
If a villain happens to have a combination of both, plus a genius brain to top it all off, you better start considering all your options. Will you fight or flee? (either ways will not matter if Orochimaru catches you – you’ll eventually be among his test subjects, anyway)
Orochimaru’s character embodies the mad scientist version in the shinobi world –ambitious, intelligent, curious – But unlike the typical scientist who spends most of his time locked in his laboratory doing all those experiments god-knows-what, Orochimaru does a lot of traveling – and collecting.
More importantly, his skills are not just limited to his brains. He sure has a lot of things to boast for with the physical strength that he also possess (or managed to acquire from somebody else).
The outside world is his working arena. He’s the man who planted terror over Konoha since the start of the series. His name spells treachery and deceit. It’s as if everything connected to the name Orochimaru rings some evil on it – and information in a more practical sense.
He’s a constant force in the story and he makes a lot of sense. Plus, he mostly have a role to play in all the major battles and revelations in the story.
- trained Sasuke to defeat Itachi
- raised Kabuto and freed him from the clutches of the Akatsuki (Sasori)
- on the same league (even more) with Tsunade and Jiraiya
- managed to evade death from Itachi’s Totsuka
- capable of transferring from one body to another
- Keeper of tons of information
..and the list goes on.
His ways may be twisted. But he sure knows what he’s doing. And we’re left wondering just what he is trying to achieve up until the end.
SHIKAMARU NARA (Shadow Master Strategist)
Shikamaru appears ordinary. He’s got some unique skills in shadow control but the type that wouldn’t standout when joined with the rest.
He’s a successor of the renowned Nara clan, but doesn’t flaunt it. He’s a laidback character who goes to school because it’s required and not because he particularly liked attending classes. Shikamaru doesn’t crave for attention. And I’d bet he wouldn’t mind if he’s ignored.
At some point, you can call him lazy.
But behind Shikamaru’s carefree and unmindful attitude is a genius brain capable of devising foolproof tactics and surefire strategies that can give Konoha the upper hand in battle. If he’s serious enough, he can treat us with one of the best fights. (i.e. match won against Hidan of the Akatsuki)
At Chunin, he is already entrusted by the 5th Hokage Tsunade, to craft battle plans that shall be used by all shinobis of the Leaf.
Shikamaru lives a simple and unpretentious life and I believe this is one thing that makes him unforgettable. Plus, he’s got an honest relationship with his pals. Simply put, he’s that character that makes things look easy amidst all the killings and subterfuges in their era.
Yes he’s not flashy. He’s not even badass. In the series, he doesn’t have much airtime.
But his appearances are marked with identity. And when it comes to Shikamaru, we know we have something to look out for.
‘What you resist will always persist.’
The irony on how Naruto started out as completely averse the using Kyuubi’s chakra in battle but ends up being saved by it a number of times is apparent.
Naruto and Kurama’s story is a game of tag. Every time Naruto starts to lose himself in rage, Kyuubi starts to take over. The more we see our main guy’s struggle, the more we feel antagonistic to this nine tailed beast who is always lurking around, ready to strike when Naruto lets his guard down.
At some point, Kurama seemed like the darker side of Naruto’s personality, but at the same time the shackles that prevented him from succumbing to anger, knowing how he could hurt his friends when Kyuubi’s chakra is unleashed.
Kurama’s unforgettable not just because of the power he possess but also for his character – being that powerful beast who is waiting for the birth of the next Rikudo Sennin (Sage of the Six Paths) who is capable of unifying all the tailed beast.
His was a story of longing and expectation. And the fact that nobody seemed to understand how he feels or what his purpose for living in the first place is a tad bit lonely.
Enter Naruto, and things started to change for our nine-tailed fox. His journey is also that of unconventional friendship – something that started off as harsh, close to antagonistic type of friendship. But Naruto won over.
And the moment we understood what Kurama was looking for was the same time we begin to admire the patience, loyalty and trust that he has to the person who started it all. (Just imagine how many years, decades, centuries he had to endure to see the fruition of Rikudo Sennin’s promise!)
ROCK LEE (Youthful Taijutsu User)
“A dropout will beat a genius through hard work.”
“My motto is to be stronger than yesterday. If I have to I’ll be stronger than half a day ago, even a minute ago!”
“If I can’t do 400 push-ups, I’ll hit the dummy 800 times! If I can’t hit the dummy 800 times, I’ll do 2000 jump ropes!”
Talk about hard work.
If there’s someone on Naruto’s batch who deserves a standing ovation at the end of the series, it would have to be Rock Lee. He’s that guy on the story who doesn’t stand out in the crowd of talent.
Lee isn’t born from a noble clan like Neji. Nor is he gifted with a hereditary prowess like that of Sasuke’s Sharinggan. He doesn’t even know how to use ninjutsu. And in a world shrouded with battles and deadly missions, someone who fails to manifest exceptional ninja skills will eventually end up dead.
But Lee survived. HOW?
He had something nobody in the story ever had – extreme spirit and devotion in hard work. Plus a Guy-sensei who believes and never gives up on him.
Lee’s aware of his weakness. He’s that guy who needs to work extra hard just to pass exams, be acknowledged by his peers, and prove to everyone else that he can be a strong shinobi by just using Taijutsu. Rather than sulk about what he lacked, he focused all of his time and energy (literally) to training, training and more training.
His story may seem like a constant struggle. But its also a story of development, acceptance,learning and friendship.
Yes, he can’t use ninjutsu. So what?
And for that, two thumbs up for Rock Lee!
NARUTO UZUMAKI (Mr. Unpredictable)
Of course, the star of the show who never failed to show us that willpower does wonders more than what you can imagine, Naruto Uzumaki deserves a spot, if not the first, on this list of most unforgettable characters in the entire series.
His confidence despite his ignorance is astounding. In fact it’s sometimes scary. Naruto doesn’t like calculating and assessing the gravity of the situation. He’s impulsive and acts according to how he feels –which, a lot of times have put his nakama (comrade) in dire situations.
Still, he survives.
It’s more than just because of the protection he gets from his peers for being a valued Jinchuuriki. Naruto is a fighter and a survivor. He’s the main guy who’s in constant battle with the inner beast (Kurama) that was intent on using his body to destroy things (take note: was).
There’s something about Naruto’s persistence in getting recognition from the village that makes us root for him. He never gives up, and sometimes, we feel like he’s being redundant. Still, he wins most of us over, anyway.
He’s that character who sometimes makes us question our own reason for watching the anime in the first place.
Naruto has a solid fighting spirit. More importantly, he cares for his friends. And for a main character who shows genuine concern for people, we can’t help but give him a tap on a shoulder for a job well done.
There you have it! The last 5 guys who complete the rank! Now that we shared what we have, it’s your turn to bare your own list!
Drop them down on the comments and let’s see who carved their names on your memories!
Missed the first part? Click here for the Top 10 Naruto Characters Too Awesome to Forget (Part 1)