5 most courageous ninjas in Naruto (& 5 who are cowards)
The Naruto series revolves around the lives of Shinobi. They go on various missions, and depending on their Shinobi rank, the task could either be very simple or incredibly complex and dangerous. To succeed in these dangerous high-ranking missions, a Shinobi must have a certain level of courage. This is due to the fact that there is a much higher risk of death associated with high-ranking Shinobi missions.
These missions also acted as a demonstration of various ninjas in Naruto. The courageous Shinobi would try their best to complete the mission no matter what. It did not matter if their enemy was stronger than them, they would give it their all even if they faced death. However, there were also Shinobi who gave up on missions within seconds of being exposed to danger.
Note: This list is subjective and solely reflects the author's personal opinion.
5 Shinobi in Naruto who demonstrated incredible bravery despite the danger they faced
1) Tobirama Senju
Tobirama Senju was the Second Hokage and was incredibly intelligent. He is the creator of many notable Jutsus in the Naruto series, including the Shadow Clone Jutsu and the Flying Thunder God Jutsu.
During the Second Great Ninja War, Tobirama and his squad were stranded with no way of escaping. To save his teammates, he volunteered to be a decoy in Hiruzen's place. He also named Hiruzen the Third Hokage prior to his departure. Kinkaku ended up killing him and ending his time as the Second Hokage.
Tobirama demonstrated unmatched bravery when he decided to sacrifice his life to save his squad.
2) Minato Namikaze
Minato Namikaze was the Fourth Hokage, succeeding Hiruzen. He created the Rasengan, an A-rank Jutsu, and sacrificed his life to protect Konoha. Just moments after Naruto was born, Minato and Kushina were attacked by Obito Uchiha. Minato beat Obito in a short fight, but then Kurama was summoned out of Kushina. After being placed under a Genjutsu, Kurama went on a rampage, destroying much of the village and killing Kushina and Minato.
Minato displayed immense courage when he decided to take on Kurama. This was to be expected from him since he was the Hokage, but it does not make him any less brave.
3) Naruto Uzumaki
The titular protagonist, Naruto Uzumaki, is the Seventh Hokage and one of the strongest characters in the series. His naturally immense chakra reserves and friendship with Kurama allow him to easily overwhelm many of the opponents he faces.
One of Naruto's main ways of thinking is to never give up. No matter who the enemy is or how much stronger they are than him, Naruto will always find a way to win through grit and determination. His courage also shines through when he needs to protect the village from invaders. He will always put the lives of the villagers ahead of his own and will do anything to make sure they are all safe.
4) Sakumo Hatake
Sakumo Hatake, also known as the White Fang, was a very skilled Shinobi and a tragic character.
He showed immense courage when he decided to forsake an important mission to save his comrades. Sakumo knew the backlash he would receive from the citizens of Konoha would be overwhelming since the mission always went before anything else but he did not care. As a result, everyone ridiculed him, including the comrades he saved. He then fell into a deep depression and committed suicide.
5) Might Duy
Might Duy was the father of Might Guy and a master of the Eight Inner Gates Formation. Although he was seen as weak by the entirety of Konoha due to him remaining as a Genin for decades, he was very powerful during that time.
When Guy and his teammates were ambushed by the Seven Ninja Swordsmen of the Mist, Might Duy weakly intervened and protected his son. Using the Eight Inner Gates, Duy was able to kill four of the seven swordsmen during the fight. Might Duy displayed great courage since he was willing to sacrifice himself to save his son.
5 Shinobi who are incredibly spineless
1) Danzo Shimura
Danzo Shimura was incredibly powerful but also the most cowardly Shinobi in the Naruto series. He operated from the shadows, controlling the members of ROOT and manipulating Konoha's state of affairs.
One of the worst things Danzo did was steal the Sharingans from various Uchiha Clan members and then killing them. He used his cunning mind and skill to catch these people off guard. He was too much of a coward to face them head-on.
Another instance of his cowardice is in his fight against Sasuke. Danzo was confident that he would be able to take down Sasuke with minimal trouble, but he was quickly proven wrong. As a result, he started running away while Sasuke slowly walked after him.
Mizuki was one of the first villains shown in Naruto. In the first episode of the anime, Mizuki blatantly manipulates Naruto into stealing the Scroll of Sealing and bringing it to the forest, where Mizuki waited in order to steal it. Naruto ends up completely pummeling Mizuki in order to defend Iruka from the rogue Shinobi.
Rasa is both a terrible father and a coward. When Gaara was a child, Rasa would send various Shinobi to try and kill him. This was because Rasa grew fearful of Shukaku, who resided inside Gaara. It was not until towards the end of the series that Gaara was finally able to confront Rasa for everything he did to him while growing up.
4) Black Zetsu
Black Zetsu is one of the biggest cowards in Naruto because he always operates in the shadows. He was the puppetmaster who acted as the catalyst for the major plot events in the series, and he manipulated all of the main villains. Obito, Madara, Nagato, et cetera all fell victim to his mind tricks.
Orochimaru is not an inherently cowardly character since he was willing to confront incredibly powerful Shinobi to get what he wanted. His cowardice stemmed from the horrible way he went about doing everything.
While attempting to steal Sasuke and Itachi's bodies, he tried to sneak up on them and take them down with a surprise attack. Thankfully, the brothers were capable of easily taking him down and surviving. Orochimaru is also prone to running away from a fight when he realizes the battle is no longer in his favor. He has no honor and will do whatever it takes to make sure he wins.