Naruto introduced a huge array of characters during the course of the show. Some of these characters were quite strong even before they passed the chunin exams, which showed just how talented they were.
Fans want to know about some of the strongest genins in the series. In order to rank the genins based on their strength and overall combat abilities, analyzing the chunin exams would be ideal since it serves as a decent metric to gauge their abilities.
Naruto: Some of the strongest genins that fought in the chunin exams
It’s safe to say that Hinata was one of the weakest characters during the Chunin exams. She was quite shy and not confident in her abilities which played a major role in her development.
Her fight against Neji was quite one-sided and she was defeated with ease. However, she became a strong ninja towards the Fourth Great Ninja War
Shino Aburame is a very strong and skilled ninja who uses special insects while fighting. His insects are quite versatile since they can be used during missions that call for reconnaissance as well.
However, Shino wasn’t the strongest and this was proven when he fought against Gaara who annihilated him with ease. Shino sustained serious injuries while Gaara came out unscathed.
Kiba is a driven and motivated shinobi in the Naruto series and is accompanied by his dog, Akamaru, during his fights. He utilizes his and Akamaru’s speed while approaching an enemy. However, he didn’t perform all that well in the exams since he had to fight Naruto.
Kiba lost to the protagonist despite landing a ton of attacks on him. Naruto’s durability was quite high and in the end, he used a very unconventional method to win against Kiba.
Temari hailed from the Sand village and was quite strong in the series. She specialized in Wind Release and used her fans to create gusts of wind that knocked out her opponents. She had to fight against Shikamaru Nara, who was supposed to be one of the smartest characters in the series.
Despite landing a good amount of attacks and inflicting damage on Shikamaru, the master strategist was able to get her with his Shadow Possession jutsu.
Shikamaru Nara is one of the laziest yet smartest characters in the series. He disliked wasting his energy and would choose not to do certain tasks. However, he is quite strong and despite having a jutsu that works best when operating with a team, he was able to defeat someone like Temari.
But, he gave up in the end and his reason for doing so was because of the fact that he accounted for every possibility and that he didn’t stand a chance against Temari despite getting a hold of her in his Shadow Possession jutsu.
Naruto would be higher on this list, but at this stage of the series, he was quite unrefined and didn’t have the level of skill that the likes of Sasuke and Neji had. However, what really helped him during the exams was his ridiculously high durability and chakra reserves that allowed him to stay on his feet during certain fights.
While he might have beaten Neji, it was only because of Kurama’s chakra and fans are still quite vocal about the writing when it comes to this fight.
4) Rock Lee
Rock Lee’s fight against Gaara was one of the best fights in that arc. He was so good at Taijutsu that he was able to drive Gaara to a corner with his sheer speed and strength. He also opened five out of the eight Gates against the Sand ninja.
However, Gaara managed to beat him in the end and ended up sustaining serious injuries in the process. This showcased just how strong Rock Lee was. Despite Rock Lee admitting Neji being better than him, he could have been even stronger than the latter after opening the Gates.
Therefore, he could be placed higher on this list if we consider his power levels after opening the Gates.
Neji was arguably one of the strongest characters in the chunin exams arc of Naruto. His technique and skill were a cut above the rest, given that he was a user of the Byakugan Doujutsu which gave him a near 360 degree vision.
Despite being that strong, he lost to Naruto. The fight would have gone his way if not for Kurama’s chakra that was present inside the protagonist. Neji’s Gentle Fist technique was extremely potent during fights which were demonstrated during the clash against Hinata.
While some might argue that Sasuke was weaker than Neji at the time, as mentioned by Kakashi, one would have to factor in the curse mark while comparing the two fighters.
In their base forms, Neji might have had an advantage over him, but Orochimaru offered him a major boost in terms of power which would have given him the ability to beat the Hyuuga prodigy on this list.
Just when the fight against Gaara was about to take place, Orochimaru’s invasion had begun and therefore, fans didn’t get to see who was the better combatant among Sasuke and Gaara.
Gaara was the main antagonist in that arc and had succeeded in killing many people during the chunin exams. He was portrayed as an unhinged psychopath with an intense bloodlust.
He was so strong that it took Rock Lee's opening five Gates to be able to give him a run for his money. Gaara was cruising through the examination and in the end, was interrupted by Might Guy because he would have killed Rock Lee if not for the intervention.