In Naruto, each of the Five Great Shinobi nations has a leader whose designation goes by the title Kage. A Kage’s duties have more essential features, like overseeing village activities, creating countermeasures for protection against unwelcome threats, resolving feuds, maintaining a good relationship with allied nations, and so on.
Hashirama Senju was the founder of the title and was the first Hokage of the Hidden Leaf. However, a Kage’s selection differs from nation to nation, but in Hidden Leaf, typically a Hokage is often found to be the successor or the student of the previous one.
In Naruto, there are oceans of powerful characters in Hidden Leaf who had the potential to be Hokage but sadly never became.
5 characters in Naruto who could have become Hokage
Shikamaru comes from the Hidden Leaf’s Nara Clan, who are known for their abilities to manipulate shadow. Shikamaru was the advisor of the Sixth Hokage, Kakashi Hatake and currently the advisor of the Seventh Hokage, Naruto Uzumaki.
Although Shikamaru’s strengths are not up to the level of a Hokage, his intelligence, support, and strategy are far superior to others. During the Fourth Great Ninja War, Shikamaru, with his battle strategy, won the hearts of not only the Hidden Leaf but also the admiration and acknowledgment of other nations.
4) Neji Hyuga
Despite being a Hyuga, Neji was treated unfairly in his childhood and felt like he never belonged. The sole reason for it being a member of the clan’s branch house. The Branch Members of the clan get branded with a cursed seal by the Main Family to gain control over them. Moreover, one can destroy their brain with a simple hand seal. Neji got branded when he was four.
Neji was a genius with his clan’s specialized Gentle Fist Art and was the strongest Byakugan user to date. Unfortunately, he died protecting Naruto and Hinata during the Fourth Great Ninja War. Neji certainly would have been a great Hokage.
Jiraiya was one of the Legendary Sannin of Hidden Leaf and was renowned for his impeccable prowess. He was unfathomably powerful in Ninjutsu and Senjutsu. In fact, Jiraiya was offered the position of Hokage a few times, but he deliberately turned down the proposal.
Jiraiya felt unworthy to take such an honorable responsibility upon his shoulder. He could have been one of the most powerful Hokage, but admitted his inferiority in multiple aspects that pertained to the position.
2) Obito Uchiha
Obito grew up without parents much like Naruto and dreamt of becoming Hokage. He trained under the leadership of the Fourth Hokage, Minato Namikaze, alongside Rin Nohara and friend-cum-rival Kakashi Hatake. Obito was believed to be dead in the Third Great Ninja War after he gifted his Sharingan to Kakashi. However, he was rescued by Madara Uchiha.
Obito would’ve been a great Hokage as he aspired to that position similarly to Naruto. However, he gave up his life to end his suffering from the guilt of causing harm to the world.
If Obito would’ve survived the third war and lived under the supervision of Minato Namikaze, he could have been the most acknowledged Hokage of Hidden Leaf.
1) Itachi Uchiha
Itachi was a prodigy since childhood, mastering Sharingan and ninjutsu at a very young age before surpassing his peers in every aspect. He thought like a Hokage at the tender age of seven and joined ANBU at eleven. His rise didn't stop there as she became the ANBU captain at age thirteen.
Itachi wiped out the entire Uchiha clan including his parents except for his younger brother Sasuke Uchiha. The purpose behind the massacre of the Uchiha clan was to prevent another Ninja war between the villages.
Itachi sacrificed his entire life in Naruto which is a testament to his determination and love for tranquility. In a perfect world, he could have been a wise and strong Hokage.