5 Naruto characters who were considered failures (& 5 who were prodigies)

Nobody expected these two kids to become such powerful Shinobi (Image via Masashi Kishimoto/Shueisha, Viz Media, Naruto Shippuden)
Nobody expected these two kids to become such powerful Shinobi (Image via Masashi Kishimoto/Shueisha, Viz Media, Naruto Shippuden)

Naruto’s world has many different fantastical elements inside of it. However, it also has its fair share of realistic elements. One such element is the constant categorization that children go through while they are still little.

The formative years of a children’s life can show the people around them many of their capacities, and adults take this as an indication of the kid’s potential. Some are seen as failures throughout most of their lives because of this, while others are praised as prodigies since they are still little.

There are a lot of examples of this phenomenon in the world of Naruto. In this list, we will present 5 examples of ninjas who were considered failures and 5 who were told they were prodigies in Naruto and Naruto Shippuden.

Disclaimer: This list will be based on the author’s opinion and will not have an order. It will contain spoilers for Naruto and Naruto Shippuden.


Shikamaru and other 4 Naruto characters who were called failures as kids

1) Obito Uchiha

Obito was much more skilled than many gave him credit for (Image via Masashi Kishimoto/Shueisha, Viz Media, Naruto Shippuden)
Obito was much more skilled than many gave him credit for (Image via Masashi Kishimoto/Shueisha, Viz Media, Naruto Shippuden)

Obito was one of the most powerful adversaries Naruto and his friends ever faced. However, he was not always that strong, since he was considered a problem child and a failure as a kid by many people.

Obito was never too fond of studying, preferring real action over theory, which made him get horrible grades in the academy. He also tended to arrive late to places, as his selfless nature always drove him to help anyone in need.

Obito proved, in the end, that being called a failure is not always the end of the world, since he became one of the most skilled and powerful Shinobi in the world.


2) Shikamaru Nara

Shikamaru was always jelous of cloud (Image via Masashi Kishimoto/Shueisha, Viz Media, Naruto Shippuden)
Shikamaru was always jelous of cloud (Image via Masashi Kishimoto/Shueisha, Viz Media, Naruto Shippuden)

Shikamaru has one of the most powerful minds in the whole Shinobi World. His IQ is estimated to be over 200 points. Nevertheless, during his academy years, most teachers considered him a failure and had no hopes for him in the future, after all, he fell asleep during most classes.

Asuma was the first person who realized Shikamaru’s laziness came from his boredom with most subjects, on account of his genius level intellect. He never stopped being the lazy individual he was during his childhood. Despite that, he became the right hand of the Seventh Hokage, and one of the best strategists in the whole world.


3) Hinata Hyuga

Hinata is not very fond of fighting, because her kind soul prefers to resolve conflicts in a more amicable way. Due to this, her own father and clan considered her a failure, preferring to train her little sister Hanabi instead of her.

In spite of that, Hinata became a powerful Kunoichi who was always trying to help the people closest to her heart. She never stopped trying to become a better and stronger person, inspired by Naruto and Neji.


4) Choji Akimichi

Choji is a proud member of the Akimichi clan (Image via Masashi Kishimoto/Shueisha, Viz Media, Naruto Shippuden)
Choji is a proud member of the Akimichi clan (Image via Masashi Kishimoto/Shueisha, Viz Media, Naruto Shippuden)

Choji is similar to his best friend Shikamaru considering they were both designated as failures during their formative years. However, unlike Shikamaru, Choji is not a lazy genius, he is a selfless individual who just wants to have a good time with his friends and enjoy good food.

Still, Choji grew up to be one of the bravest and most dedicated warriors the Leaf village has ever seen. He trained day and night to become a valuable member of his team, since they depend on a perfect synchronicity between them.


5) Killer B

Never challenge him to a rap battle, unless you want to lose (Image via Masashi Kishimoto/Shueisha, Viz Media, Naruto Shippuden)
Never challenge him to a rap battle, unless you want to lose (Image via Masashi Kishimoto/Shueisha, Viz Media, Naruto Shippuden)

B has been the Jinchuriki of the Eight-Tails since he was a kid, a fact that drove most of his village to hate him and ostracize him. He was always treated as a failure and a monster, resulting in him being alone most of his childhood.

Even then, B never gave up on his training, working tirelessly to obtain the power most of his village never taught he would achieve. He became good friends with his Bijuu, a master swordsman and a respected member of his community.


Sai and other 4 Naruto characters considered prodigies since their childhoods

1) Shisui Uchiha

Shisui was always looking after Itachi and his village (Image via Masashi Kishimoto/Shueisha, Viz Media, Naruto Shippuden)
Shisui was always looking after Itachi and his village (Image via Masashi Kishimoto/Shueisha, Viz Media, Naruto Shippuden)

Shisui was considered one of the most prominent prodigies of the Uchiha clan. He was the most skilled member of his academy class, and most importantly, he was loved by most members of his clan, who saw him as the hope of the Uchihas.

His abilities with Genjutsu were beyond what most ninjas could imagine. This was something that was complemented by his acquisition of Mangekyou Sharingan very early in life. He would have become a vital member of Konoha’s forces if Danzo had not seen his incredible capabilities as a threat to his plans.


2) Sasuke Uchiha

Sasuke is still trying to amend all the sins of his past (Image via Masashi Kishimoto/Shueisha, Viz Media, Naruto Shippuden)
Sasuke is still trying to amend all the sins of his past (Image via Masashi Kishimoto/Shueisha, Viz Media, Naruto Shippuden)

Since he was a child, Sasuke’s only goal was to surpass his brother Itachi and receive his father’s approval. He was not as skilled as his brother was at his age during most of his childhood, but he never allowed this to halt his efforts.

When he arrived at the academy, he was immediately categorized as a prodigy, in view of his abilities being levels above his classmates. For most of his life, he was in constant search for power. At first, it was to avenge his clan by killing his brother Itachi, and later it was to change the village into a place that would make Itachi proud.


3) Sasori

Sasori was a master puppeteer who could control a hundred different marionettes at the same time. He was introduced into this art by his grandmother, Chijo, at a very tender age, becoming one of the most skilled individuals in his home village shortly after.

His skills never stopped growing, however, this caused him to become less and less social, until he wanted nothing to do with humans. He wanted to become emotionless and never feel the pain of his parents’ deaths again, going as far as to transform himself into a puppet.


4) Minato

Minato was always considered a model student by his teachers and peers, going so far as to get the highest marks any academy student has ever obtained. After he graduated, his training under Jiraiya made it clear that he was one of the most skilled Shinobi in Konoha’s history.

He was a master of Ninjutsu, able to modify the Second Hokage’s Flying Thunder God Technique and create one of the most iconic Jutsu of all, the Rasengan. These abilities made him one of the best assets Konoha had during the Third Shinobi War and the best candidate for the Hokage position later in life.


5) Orochimaru

Orochimaru changed his ways after the Fourth Shinobi War (Image via Masashi Kishimoto/Shueisha, Viz Media, Naruto Shippuden)
Orochimaru changed his ways after the Fourth Shinobi War (Image via Masashi Kishimoto/Shueisha, Viz Media, Naruto Shippuden)

During his time studying under Hiruzen, Orochimaru was regarded as the most skilled member of his team and a prodigy in the eyes of his teacher. He was incredibly smart and driven, always looking for a way to better himself.

These traits were corrupted into something dark and twisted because of his innate desire for power. Orochimaru was convinced that to become a strong ninja, you needed to learn the most Jutsu possible.

This idea is what inspired most of his brilliant but cruel experiments that, while morally wrong and inhumane, did help him obtain power like no other.


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