Anyone familiar with Naruto is well-versed with its sheer range of characters. A masterpiece by Masashi Kishimoto, almost every character in the manga series boasts some unique quirks, be it in terms of personality or powers.
While it is an established fact that Kishimoto invested inordinate amounts of time and effort into this manga, it must also be noted that not all characters enjoyed equal attention from their creator.
Some, like Sasuke and Hinata, boasted outstanding abilities and well-rounded personalities. However, others, like Sakura did not live up to their promise. This could be owing to a number of reasons such as design complexity, appalling personalities, or simply because Kishimoto grew tired of them.
In this list, you will find five examples of Naruto characters that Kishimoto holds dear, as well as five that he would rather not work on.
Disclaimer: This article was created using various interviews Masashi Kishimoto has given throughout the years.
Who are some of the Naruto characters that Kishimoto will always love?
Besides being one of the most intelligent people in the world of Naruto, Shikamaru is also one of the most popular characters in the show. While his lazy personality makes him relatable for fans, his spectacular strategies sets him apart from others.
Kishimoto also shares a similar affection for Shikamaru. During an interview, when asked who he would like to date if he had been born a woman, Kishimoto chose Shikamaru, explaining that he liked how smart the Nara heir was, and claiming that he believed Shikamaru would be successful.
2) Killer Bee
Killer Bee, the Eight-tails Jinchuriki, is also Naruto’s best rapper and is a beloved of fans worldwide. His mastery in sword fighting is legendary amongst Shinobis from all nations. He is also one of the few Perfect Jinchurikis that was able to connect with his Bijuu on a deeper level.
For Kishimoto, Killer Bee is more than just a simple character. He is a tribute to one of his closest coworkers. Kishimoto has previously revealed that that Bee’s wrestling moves were inspired by his editor’s love for the sport.
Naruto has never lacked strong, beautiful ladies, and Hinata Hyuga definitely ranks atop them all. Unlike most other women in the franchise, who are portrayed as being short-tempered or extremely motivated, Hinata is a soft and kind soul who avoids using violence as much as she can.
Although Kishimoto generally tries to avoid the topic of favorite female characters, Hinata stans will be happy to hear that much like them, the creator of Naruto also has a soft spot for the character. In a previous interview, he reportedly said that he loves Hinata because she is not aggressive.
As the deuteragonist of the series, Sasuke's fanbase is only rivaled by that of Naruto himself. No matter what fans think about the Uchiha heir, it is universally acknowledged that the series wouldn't be the same without Sasuke in it. His cold and calculative attitude, combined with his outstanding abilities, make him a force to be reckoned with.
Kishimoto also loves Sasuke and revealed in a prior interview that he is always excited to work on the character, because Sasuke is his favorite character to draw.
Hidan is among the most unique and interesting members out of all the Akatsuki. A bounty hunter who joined the organization only for the possibility of making money and killing people, Hidan is popular because of his power. He was granted immortality by his god Jashin, who asked him to kill in his name as payment.
Hidan is an extremely powerful and reckless individual who never runs from a good challenge. This is exactly why Hidan is Kishimoto’s favorite villain. Kishimoto loves how powerful and determined Hidan is, as well as his ability to never die.
Kaguya and 4 other Naruto characters Kishimoto dreads turning to
1) Young Naruto
It is strange to see the protagonist of the series on a list of characters the creator dislikes to work on. However, there is a perfectly reasonable explanation for the same. The main difference between the young Naruto we saw at the beginning of the series and the iconic one we are all familiar with, lies in his goggles.
The work of a mangaka can sometimes be tedious and repetitive. Drawing the goggles on young Naruto’s head over and over again, made his character exponentially harder to work on for Kishimoto, which is why he tends to avoid him as much as possible.
2) Young Obito
Obito will forever be remembered as one of Naruto’s greatest villains. His motivations were sensible enough for fans to agree with some of his points, and his tragic backstory allowed fans to connect and empathize with him.
Despite how great Obito is as a villain, Kishimoto dreaded having to work on his backstory. Like Naruto in his youth, Obito was also constantly wearing goggles, thereby making his design extremely difficult to draw repeatedly.
3) Chunin Exam Sasuke
Despite Kishimoto’s love for Sasuke, even this beloved character has one iteration that the mangaka hated with a passion.
During the final stages of the Chunin exams, Sasuke debuted a whole new outfit containing several belts, bandages and accessories.
While they looked cool, they were a hassle for Kishimoto to work on, which explains why after its brief appearance in the Chunin exams, this outfit was never seen again in the series.
When the series first started, Kishimoto was proud of how Sakura turned out to be. He wanted to create a realistic girl who would have strengths, weaknesses and flaws. Sadly, this creation that he was so proud of, ended up being hated by many fans.
This helped him realize that he made Sakura a tad bit more violent than he should have. As the series progressed, he started to dislike Sakura’s personality. In fact, he even went as far as to comment on how awful Sakura was as a character for faking her love towards Naruto.
Hate her or love her, Kaguya will always hold a special place in Naruto’s history for being the final villain of the series. Nevertheless, her iconic status does not prevent her from being criticized by fans for how rushed her introduction to the series seemed to be.
It is true that Kaguya’s introduction was forced to be way quicker than Kishimoto had initially anticipated. This was because Naruto’s story was supposed to be a lot shorter than the one we got. Owing to its success, Kishimoto was basically forced to keep his franchise going, as a result of which, the Kaguya we got was not the one he originally set out to create.
Just like fans of Naruto have their favorite and despised characters, Kishimoto too is no exception. For every character that he cherishes having created, there is also one that he would rather have left behind.
Despite these flaws, the characters of this manga series, no matter how good or bad they are, enjoy a significant amount of attention from fans.