4 Naruto mentors who did their job poorly (& 4 who were excellent)

Naruto's world is inhabited by both good and terrible mentors (image via Masashi Kishimoto/Shueisha, Viz, Naruto)
Naruto's world is inhabited by both good and terrible mentors (image via Masashi Kishimoto/Shueisha, Viz, Naruto)

The Shinobi world in the Naruto series focuses a lot on setting up academies that train kids to become shinobis. Many children in the series aspire to become strong shinobis that would one day become the leader of the village and safeguard it from potential threats.

One of the most essential components of this academy is a teacher or a mentor. These mentors are usually team leaders of the team that any student is assigned to after they graduate from the academy. The series has introduced numerous mentors who have done a great job in shaping the minds of the upcoming generation. However, not every mentor has done a fantastic job in this area. Let's take a look at some mentors from both sides of the spectrum.


Orochimaru and 3 others who weren’t the best mentors in Naruto

1) Orochimaru

Orochimaru (image via Masashi Kishimoto/Shueisha, Viz, Naruto)
Orochimaru (image via Masashi Kishimoto/Shueisha, Viz, Naruto)

Orochimaru is one of the most devious and evil characters in the series. He constantly terrorized people and wasn’t afraid of performing experiments on human beings. Anko was a shinobi that was being trained by Orochimaru. He performed experiments and she was the only one who survived the Curse Seal experiment, while the others died because their bodies couldn't handle it. Orochimaru is without a doubt one of the series' worst mentors for doing this.


2) Danzo

Danzo Shimura (image via Masashi Kishimoto/Shueisha, Viz, Naruto)
Danzo Shimura (image via Masashi Kishimoto/Shueisha, Viz, Naruto)

He headed the Root organization and Sai was his disciple. The latter was raised by Danzo in a manner that required him to eradicate all emotions just like all other members of the organization. Sai regarded Shin as an older brother who encouraged the latter to pursue his passion for art and other skills. Danzo later instructed the two to fight until one of them died as part of the training stage. Danzo forced them to fight each other so that the winner would be emotionally devoid when on missions. This was extremely dangerous, and it killed Sai on the inside. Danzo is one of the most despised characters in the series due to his brutal approach to everything he does.


3) Ebisu

Ebisu (image via Masashi Kishimoto/Shueisha, Viz, Naruto)
Ebisu (image via Masashi Kishimoto/Shueisha, Viz, Naruto)

Ebisu is quite close-minded and has displayed his inability to assess the true potential of a shinobi. He expressed his hatred for the protagonist and believes that those who had a great lineage have the ability to become Hokage. He might seem like the kind of person who plays by the book, but he is quite perverted as well. In the series, he was just happy to be training the Hokage’s grandson, but he didn’t really add much value as a teacher, which one could understand from the limited screen time that he received in the series.


4) Kurenai

Kurenai isn’t particularly a bad mentor in the series. She simply didn't get much screen time, and when she did, the series didn't truly show her assisting her students through difficult moments. Given that she is a genjutsu specialist, her chakra control is quite good, but fans didn’t really see her teach chakra control to any of her students. Fans would have loved to see more of Kurenai in the series since she seemed like she had the potential of becoming a good teacher in the Naruto series.


Tsunade and 3 others that were great mentors

1) Tsunade

Tsunade (image via Masashi Kishimoto/Shueisha, Viz, Naruto)
Tsunade (image via Masashi Kishimoto/Shueisha, Viz, Naruto)

There is no doubt that Tsunade Senju was a great teacher in the Naruto series. Despite being a Hokage, she took the time to teach Sakura chakra control in order for her to become a medical ninja. Tsunade believed that every squad needed a medical ninja to assist the injured shinobis. Sakura also became a better fighter under Tsunade’s guidance. She progressed to the point that she devised the Hundred Healings technique, which only a handful have mastered.


2) Asuma

Asuma is one of the most beloved characters in the entire series. He is someone who truly loved his students and assisted them in times of need. He understood Ino, Choji and Shikamaru well enough and motivated them to be better shinobis. He worked with Shikamaru’s strategizing skills because he understood how important an asset it is in a mission. Instead of making fun of Choji’s eating habits, he would often use that as an incentive for him to be more serious in training. Asuma didn’t receive as much screen time because he died during a fight against Hidan.


3) Iruka

Iruka (image via Masashi Kishimoto/Shueisha, Viz, Naruto)
Iruka (image via Masashi Kishimoto/Shueisha, Viz, Naruto)

Iruka sensei might not be the most skilled mentor in the series, but he certainly played an important role in Naruto’s development. He was one of the first people to acknowledge the protagonist and was a father figure in his early life. Iruka understood the importance of being a good teacher and was quite patient with the protagonist’s antics. He ensured that the protagonist wouldn’t feel as isolated and stuck by him in times of difficulty. Iruka did an amazing job given his limited knowledge of ninjutsu and combat.


4) Minato

Minato Namikaze (image via Masashi Kishimoto/Shueisha, Viz, Naruto)
Minato Namikaze (image via Masashi Kishimoto/Shueisha, Viz, Naruto)

Minato was another great teacher who had a great set of students as well. Obito, Kakashi and Rin were being trained by Minato. Kakashi would often disagree and argue with Obito and despite all of this, Minato was quite patient and understood their feelings. He saved the trio in tough situations when deployed on missions as well. It was unfortunate that Obito almost died and he witnessed Rin killing herself as well. While the circumstances were unfortunate, he certainly was an excellent teacher to his students.


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