10 Naruto characters who never deserved the hate they got
Its fanbase often compliments Naruto for having some of the most colorful and complicated characters with great development throughout the narrative.
Although some characters in the series start off being quite disliked by those around them and the audience, they soon evolve into some of the most memorable personalities in the shounen.
They have great development arcs where, with a proper exposition of their past and ideals, Mangaka Masashi Kishimoto creates a situation where fans realize that these characters never really deserved the hate they initially got.
Naruto has many such characters who were initially disliked. Therefore, the following list will feature 10 of the most hated personalities in the series who never really deserved the hate that the community and the characters in the anime threw at them.
Disclaimer: Before heading into the list, it’s important to remember that the choices produced below are subjective and the writer’s personal opinions on the matter.
These Naruto characters were misunderstood
1) Naruto Uzumaki
From the very beginning of the anime, Naruto was pretty much hated by the rest of the Hidden Leaf villagers. As the show's main character, he was not precisely very convincing to the audience.
For being a Jinchuriki, he was shunned and avoided by those around him, making his story one of the most tragic backstories in history.
Naruto grew up alone in isolation. However, his drive to become a future Hokage got him going and won the approval of those around him. The series traces his development beautifully. While the “talk-no-Jutsu” might be a community meme, it’s a sign of how much he was able to grow.
The protagonist did not deserve the hate he received early on, and thankfully the series was able to do justice to his convictions and redeem him after providing him with a tragic childhood.
2) Sakura Haruno
Sakura, one of the most useless and poorly developed characters, has been a sort of a universal fact in Naruto. She got a lot of hate from the community, and the “Sakura is useless” meme has been some of the most trending topics of arguments on social media in the past.
However, she has had a great deal of character development throughout the narrative, especially in Shippuden. During the fourth shinobi war, Sakura became a vital part of the proceedings and one of the most reliable shinobi on the battlefield.
Boruto redeemed her character even further, and many in the community suggested that she truly never deserved the community hate she had gotten for so many years.
When she first joined Team 7, Sakura was always made to play catch up to Sasuke, an Uchiha who came with innate skills and a chakra pool, and Naruto, a descendant of the Uzumaki clan and was also a Jinchuriki. Sakura always tried her best to catch up to her already buffed teammates.
3) Itachi Uchiha
The exposition on Itachi’s past was a turning point in Shippuden, and the community soon started to see the Akatsuki member differently.
Itachi has received a lot of hate from the fanbase and the Hidden Leaf villagers, as he was attributed to being one who wiped out his entire clan overnight. Sasuke made revenge on his brother his sole reason to grow strong.
Hence, it came as quite a shock when it was revealed that Itachi had killed his clan members to prevent them from destroying the Hidden Leaf.
Danzo was pulling all the strings from the shadows, and Itachi, although willingly, became the puppet for this execution.
Itachi’s death during his encounter with Sasuke in Shippuden is one of the most gut-wrenching scenes in the show. Upon his past exposure, audiences soon realized his hate towards him was groundless, and Itachi did nothing wrong.
4) Shikamaru Nara
During the initial seasons of Naruto, Shikamaru was one of the more disliked characters in the show. While he was not exactly hated, his passive nature and innate tendency to procrastinate on every given task did not exactly make him someone who was immediately likable.
He wasn't driven by any ideals. However, much like Sakura, Shikamaru had a great character development as the narrative progressed. His high intellect and strategic mind made him an asset during the Fourth Shinobi War, soon becoming one of Naruto's most significant assets.
By the time Boruto came knocking, Shikamaru was one of the most valuable assets of the Hidden Leaf as well as the Hokage’s right-hand man.
Shikamaru did not deserve the amount of dislike he had received over the years. He just needed a bit of a driving force to push to become the best he could be. Only after Asuma’s death did he slowly start becoming one of the most reliable ninjas.
Gaara’s childhood was much like Naruto’s in that they were ostracized and even betrayed by the closest ones due to their existence as a Jinchuriki. While the series protagonist could hold onto the goodness of his heart, Gaara preferred a much darker and criminal path.
The destruction of the Hidden Leaf during the Chunin exams made Gaara one of the most hated characters in the show. Along with Orochimaru, he played the role of the prime antagonist during the arc.
Audiences saw firsthand how vicious the Sand Village Junchuriki could be, and his personality was something that one immediately disliked.
However, once the series started to delve a bit deeper into his past and how he grew up, to his eventual death and resurrection in Shippuden, Gaara became incredibly likable, and the hate he received started to feel unjust.
Gaara always tried to protect his village and villagers no matter how persecuted he became for his powers.
6) Sasuke Uchiha
Sasuke has a love and hate relationship with the wider Naruto community. While the show kicked off by showing him to be incredibly calm, cool, collected, and capable as compared to the series protagonist, perceptions surrounding Sasuke soon waved as the narrative progressed.
His leaving the Hidden Leaf to train under Orochimaru and then swearing revenge on the village for what they made Itachi do was a shallow point during his character development.
At this point, he was quite disliked by both the community and the characters. However, it was necessary to make him look moody and irritable at this point. It only went on to make his character stronger when Shippuden started the Fourth Shinobi War.
With the series protagonist, he was instrumental in sealing Kaguya and saving the Shinobi world from an everlasting Genjutsu. Sasuke eventually did the right thing by the end of the war arc.
7) Hinata Hyuga
The Naruto series was notorious for not doing justice to its female leads. Along with Sakura, Hinata, too, faced a great deal of hate and dislike from both the community and the characters in the show.
As the oldest child of the head of the Hyuga clan, Hinata was expected to carry the family mantle. However, her innate, shy, and passive nature was a detriment to all the expectations that everyone had of her. During the initial season, she was portrayed as one of the weakest Chunin.
Shippuden did not do her much justice either, at least early on. However, by the time the show ended and Boruto was about to air, Hinata had won the community’s heart. She developed into a solid and capable Shinobi, who was very reliable with a sad but deep childhood and past.
Her unconditional love for the protagonist and devotion towards him was indeed a thing of marvel and Boruto’s parents getting together was one ship that everyone backed without a moment’s hesitation.
Lady Tsunade’s aid Shizune had one of the worst character developments in the show. It almost feels like her role in the narrative was sacrificed by the mangaka to make way for Sakura to bloom and grow.
Shizune’s lack of growth throughout the series was something the community disliked about her. However, going by the core narrative of Naruto, it was not her fault.
She was charted to play a more supporting role to the Sennin, while Sakura succeeded the legendary Shinobi and unlocked the Hundred Seal Technique.
The hate she received was unjustified, as Shiazune sacrificed to make way for Sakura. While she was initially shown to be capable and ready to succeed, Tsunade, Dan Kato’s niece, was hard done due to plot progression.
9) Rock Lee
Rock Lee’s loud and boisterous nature made him come off as a sort of an annoying character as the series began. His lack of Ninjutsu skills often made those around him insult his capabilities as a shinobi.
However, Rock Lee was able to show the village his innate capabilities as a Taijutsu user. His determination alone eventually made him one of the strongest characters in the show, and his likability went up the more he grew in both strength and capability.
Rock Lee soon became one of the more likable characters in Shippuden, and he played a key role in helping stop Madara during the Fourth Shinobi War.
The hate he got over the years was unjust. His determination speaks volumes about his character and development as an incredibly reliable asset for the Hidden Leaf.
10) Ino Yamanaka
Ino is often referred to as the second Sakura in Naruto, who does not bring much value to the team and is known to always fan over the coolest and most edgy kid in class, i.e., Sasuke. However, Shippuden's snotty and borderline annoying nature soon transforms into something more likable.
She gets more mellow as she gets older as well as more reliable and stronger as the series progresses. The rift between Sakura and her diminishes, and she becomes a rather well-rounded character by the end.
During the Fourth Shinobi War, she also had moments of bravery where she put her life on the line to save those around her.