10 forgettable Naruto characters

10 forgettable Naruto characters
Teten in Naruto Shippuden (Image via Viz Media)

When there's a long-running franchise like Naruto, there are plenty of characters to go around, multiple ninja teams from various countries, numerous ninja organizations, samurai, and more. All of this means that, no matter how skilled a writer is, a few characters will fall through the cracks.

Naruto Shippuden (Image Credit via Viz Media)
Naruto Shippuden (Image Credit via Viz Media)

To make things clearer, this article will be looking at the characters that only appeared in the manga to avoid confusing them with anime filler or movies.

Note: This article contains spoilers for the Naruto anime and manga and solely reflects the writer’s personal views. Some of the embeds contain depictions of canon-typical violence. Discretion is advised.


10 unmemorable Naruto characters

10) Shizune

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Shizune holds a particular position in Naruto yet somehow always seems to be left behind in the plot. Assistant to Hokage Tsunade, Shizune is a Jonin-level ninja who, presumably, is equal to a few named characters in the series, yet she barely has any screen time or relevance of her own.

When she does get a chance to fight, it's usually in a support role or to establish how heartless a villain is. As the series goes on, Shizune gets less and less screentime as new characters enter the fray.


9) Mei Terumi

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Want to know how to rob a female character in a position of power of her agency in Naruto? It can be done by making finding a husband her only goal. Enter Mei Terumi, Kirigakure (A Kage of the Hidden Mist Village), which puts her on par with the other Kage in the series. Yet, she has very little agency of her own.

With such a position of power, Mei should be one of the leading faction heads in the series, but she has barely the same amount of acknowledgment as Shizune above.


8) Ebisu

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Ebisu was introduced early in Naruto, a little bit after the introductory arc. The audience learns that he is a Jonin responsible for training the nephew of the third Hokage. So, with that kind of resume, a reader might think he'd be a bit more impressive, but sadly, aside from one showing against Pain, he might as well not even be in the series.


7) Kurenai

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Another character introduced early on is Kurenai, a friend of Kakashi and somewhere on his level. The leader of team 8, Hinata's team, Kurenai, is a ninja who is skilled in Genjutsu, and that's about it.

Not much can be said about her skills or abilities as she's barely involved in the series. Most of her team's missions are done without her.


6) Yūgao Uzuki

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If the audience has never heard of this character, that's not surprising. Yugao is the girlfriend of Genma Hayate, the coughing supervisor of the Chunin exams. She's ANBU black ops, which is pretty great on its own.

But aside from those two things, there's really not much someone can say about her, other than in filler, she had to kill her old boyfriend after he came back to life.


5) Tenten

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While she does get more of the spotlight in Rock Lee’s Springtime of Youth, Tenten doesn’t get a lot of focus in the main series. Despite being part of Naruto’s graduating class and part of Team Guy, Tenten is just sort of there in the background.

She doesn’t have a lot going for her, and her main skill is with weaponry, which isn’t bad on its own, but when there are people running around summoning giant flaming skeletons and wooden buddha statues, a sword is kind of silly in comparison.


4) Baki

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Who? That's exactly what someone would ask on this Naruto list and for good reason. Baki's main role in the series is to be the rough but kind mentor to the Village Hidden in the Sand, and there are about three other characters who can fulfill the same role, making him interchangeable at best.

Baki does have some agency as the mentor of Gaara, but considering how little he appears, that doesn't amount to much.


3) Kabuto

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Orochimaru's right-hand snake man in Naruto, Kabuto, was introduced during the Chunin Exam arc as a friend to Team 7. Even afterward, he managed to make himself somewhat interesting as a recurring villain. But a few arcs into Shippuden, no one can remember the first thing about him.


2) Yamato

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When Kakashi gets injured, the new Team 7 needs a plan, and who else than Captain Yamato? The man with wood-style ninjutsu, the same kind as the first Hokage and founder of the Hidden Leaf Village, and the one who never blinks.

As it turns out, Yamato gets replaced by the guy he was going to replace because the moment Kakashi returns to Team 7, Yamato gets shunted off to the sideline and serves as a background character.


1) The other Tailed Beasts

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When the first thing the audience sees is that a nine tailed beast is destroying everything and that there are eight other beasts sealed inside people like Naruto Uzumaki, then the first thing people want to see are those other Tailed Beasts.

The audience does meet them way into Shippuden, all killed/sealed away by a ninja terrorist group, and only in the Spirit world. It's not great to see such beings of incredible power get little to no screen time and even less agency in the plot aside from some offhand mentions by the bad guys.