Naruto: How Hiruzen failed everyone with his bad decision-making skills
When it comes to the Hokages of the Hidden Leaf, Hiruzen has always been the black sheep whom the Naruto community often likes to look upon as little more than a joke.
He is often considered the worst Hokage to have ever held office in the brief history of the village. Some of the blunders that his decisions have led to during his tenure really do not help his cause all that much.
Throughout the course of the series, the Third Hokage was always criticized for his decision-making and how he often let his personal feelings get in the way of doing the right thing for the village.
Some of the actions that he took had severe repercussions and at one point even led the Hidden Leaf down the path of ruin.
His past actions were detrimental to how some parts of the narrative played out in Naruto and Shippuden, and therefore in today’s article, we will look at some instances which show that Hiruzen has ultimately failed everyone as a Hokage.
What makes Hiruzen one of the least liked Hokages in Naruto?
Before going into the arguments, it’s important to note that the list below reflects the writer’s subjective take on the matter. This is not a universal community consensus, and should not be taken as such.
1) Hiruzen failed the series protagonist the most
One of Hiruzen’s biggest sins was to let Naruto grow up in isolation while being shunned by the entirety of the Hidden Leaf. What surprised fans even more was the fact that before Minato died while protecting the village from Kurama, he had asked Hiruzen to protect his newborn son.
While Hiruzen was somehow able to keep Naruto physically safe during his formative years, he was not able to save the series protagonist from the abuse and torture that he got from the other villagers due to his existence as a Jinchuriki.
While, for the sake of the plot, his tough childhood made him who he was, many in the community find it inexcusable that Hiruzen would allow the child of the Fourth Hokage to go through what he did for years.
It was almost a miracle that Naruto did not turn out like Nagato as the narrative progressed.
2) His weakness for Orochimaru
Hiruzen has always had a weak spot for Orochimaru, who was the first major antagonist introduced in the show. He was the reason behind the destruction of the Hidden Leaf during the Chunin Exam arc, and then for Sasuke defecting from the village as he sought more power with Orochimaru to be able to take down Itachi.
Hiruzen had previously allowed Orochimaru to escape even after discovering that he was behind the mass kidnappings that took place in the leaf. The Sennin was experimenting with all those kidnapped, and even after getting exposed, Hiruzen let his former disciple escape due to his weak resolve.
He did not have the heart to stop Orochimaru, which eventually led to the destruction of the leaf during the Chunin Exam arc as well as to Hiruzen's death at his hands.
3) Putting no leash on Danzo
While Danzo may have thought that his actions were for the overall prosperity of the Leaf, his decisions, much like that of Hiruzen’s, did more harm than good. His measures were ultimately very extreme, and these were moments in the show where Danzo came off as more of a bad guy in the show than Orochimaru and Akatsuki combined.
Even though Hiruzen realized that Danzo’s ways were not right, he seldom did anything to stop him, and let Danzo do as he desired. Hiruzen let his feelings get in the way, with his decisions often getting overruled by the village elders, his lack of resolve led to the murder of the entire Uchiha clan, and led Sasuke down the dark path of revenge.
Hiruzen was always averse to internal conflict in Naruto, and he would always seem to give in every time there was a harsh decision to be made in Naruto.