Revenge and the damage it can cause to the person seeking it, as well as those close to them, is one of Naruto’s most pivotal themes. Several characters were completely consumed by the cycle of revenge that Obito warned the Shinobi World about. Because of this, they committed acts that would forever change the perceptions others had of them.
Still, not everyone in the series has allowed themselves to be consumed by the desire to seek retribution. Some characters tried to repress their feelings and forget the people that hurt them. Others focused their efforts on becoming better and letting go of the past.
In this list, we will present 10 Naruto characters who, for one reason or another, never let the Cycle of Revenge take over their lives.
Disclaimer: This article reflects the author’s opinion and contains spoilers.
Rock Lee and 9 other Naruto characters who never thought of revenge as an option
1) Tsunade Senju
When we first met Tsunade, she was a broken woman who could not come to terms with the deaths of her loved ones. The love of her life, Dan, and her little brother, Nawaki, died while protecting the village, even when that meant sacrificing their dreams of becoming Hokage.
Tsunade blamed herself for what happened to them, developing subconscious fears and allowing herself to fall deeper into her addictions to deal with the trauma. While Tsunade never once tried to avenge the death of her loved ones, in the end, she did cause herself a lot of emotional damage.
2) Kakashi Hatake
While Kakashi was never an emotive child, he did have a happy childhood for the first four years of his life. After that, his entire life was turned upside down when his father committed suicide to regain some sense of honor for himself and Kakashi. Kakashi’s father was driven to end his own life by the same people he tried to protect before.
Kakashi had every reason to develop hatred towards the people who took his father from him, but he never did. Kakashi became a fervent follower of the rules established by the Shinobi system, thinking that way he would never end up like his dad. Nonetheless, Kakashi never once tried to hurt his father’s former teammates, even when they made his dad kill himself.
3) Itachi Uchiha
The Uchiha are a clan of people who love deeply, even when they rarely ever let that be known. Yet, when someone they love dies or is taken from them, they cannot help but become enticed by the sweet taste of revenge. One of the only Uchihas who never fell into his clan’s darkness was Itachi.
Itachi and Shisui worked together to prevent the coup the Uchiha clan was planning against Konoha. They wanted to make sure that the conflict would be resolved in a peaceful manner. Danzo caught wind of their plans and did not waste time in killing Shisui, both for his personal agenda and to obtain his ocular powers. This caused the plan to stop the Uchihas to fail, forcing Itachi to kill his own family.
Itachi had every reason to hate and try to kill Danzo for what he did, but he never once tried to avenge his clan. He decided to carry the pain of his decisions alone and wait for the day Sasuke would kill him.
4) Haku Yuki
Kirigakure’s title of the Bloody Mist was not just for show. This village has one of the most brutal and violent histories in the Shinobi World. One example of this is the massacre committed by the inhabitants of the village against people with Kekkei Genkai. They feared people with such abilities, which caused them to end entire clans, like Haku’s.
Haku was the last living member of the Yuki clan, a family with the power of Ice release. Because of the actions of the people of Kirigakure, Haku was left orphaned and abandoned for years. Instead of seeking revenge, Haku decided to dedicate his life to helping Zabusa achieve his dreams. It may not have been the healthiest of choices, but Haku was determined to keep it.
5) Rock Lee
Lee is one of the few ninjas in Naruto’s world who lacks the ability to use Ninjutsu or Genjutsu. To compensate for this, Lee trained his entire life to become a master of Taijutsu like his teacher Might Guy. This dream could have ended with Lee's fight against Gaara during the Chunin Exams.
Gaara, who was still a blood-thirsty monster at the time, used his sand to crush many of Lee’s bones. Tsunade was sure that Lee would never be able to act as a Shinobi ever again because of his injuries.
Instead of becoming enraged and trying to get revenge on Gaara, Lee trained his body to overcome his weakness. When he saw Gaara again, he did not try to hurt him or get mad at him since Lee had already forgiven him.
6) Kurenai Yuhi
For most of the series, Kurenai and Asuma tried to keep their relationship a secret from everyone else. They did not do a good job, seeing as everyone in the village was aware of this. They loved each other deeply and were even waiting for the birth of their first child together. That was until Hidan killed Asuma during a fight against the Akatsuki.
Kurenai was left heartbroken and alone with a baby on the way. Even then, she never tried to seek the person that murdered her lover, focusing all of her energy on raising her future child. Shikamaru did end up avenging Asuma, but Kurenai had nothing to do with this.
7) Kushina Uzumaki
Uzushiogakure used to be the home of the famous and powerful Uzumaki clan. They were experts in Fuinjutsu (the use of seals) and had an exponentially bigger life force than most other Shinobi. Because of this, they became the target of many rival villages that took the decision to wipe them out.
Kushina was only able to survive this massacre because she had moved to Konoha several years before. Kushina lost most of her family after the incident but never allowed that to take control of her life. She did not become obsessed with the idea of avenging her clan. Instead, she decided to love the people she met in Konoha with all her strength to fill the void left by her clan.
As a member of the Sanin, it is fair to say that Jiraiya was probably strong enough to get revenge on anyone he wanted. Nevertheless, Jiraiya was one of the most dedicated believers in the idea of ending the cycle of hatred and bringing peace to the Shinobi World.
It is because of these ideals that he never once thought of getting revenge on anyone. Even after Orochimaru killed their former teacher, Jiraiya never once tried to search for his ex-teammate to kill him. He wanted to bring peace to the world and knew that revenge would only make his goals harder.
9) Konohamaru Sarutobi
From a young age, Konohamaru had to deal with the harsh truths of the world he lives in. He was still a small child when his grandfather was killed by Orochimaru. Despite this, he continued to be the same cheerful kid he was before experiencing this loss.
Years later, his uncle Asuma, who was probably his last relative since his parents were never mentioned, died on a mission. Konohamaru was all alone and could have easily turned into a vengeful person because of this experience. It was because of Naruto and the love his friends gave him that Konohamaru never once thought about getting revenge.
10) Naruto Uzumaki
If anyone in the Shinobi world had a reason to become a vengeful individual, it was Naruto. He was mistreated by the villagers of Konoha for most of his life, going as far as to isolate him from the rest of the world. After he became a ninja, he had to endure deaths and betrayals more often than the average ninja.
The Hokage he admired and respected was killed by Orochimaru, his best friend abandoned the village to search for power, and his parental figure (Jiraiya) was killed by his former students. Naruto could have easily become a person like Sasuke, obsessed with killing those who wronged him. Regardless, Naruto soldiered on and forgave every single person who ever hurt him.