5 times Naruto disobeyed rules (and 5 times he obeyed them)

Naruto Uzumaki, reaffirming his ninja way (Image via Masashi Kishimoto/Shueisha/Viz Media/Naruto)
Naruto Uzumaki, reaffirming his ninja way (Image via Masashi Kishimoto/Shueisha/Viz Media/Naruto)

Naruto Uzumaki has never been a stickler for the rules of Shinobi. That's a huge understatement, considering he started the series as a delinquent defacing Hokage Rock. Ironically, his son would later do the same in Boruto, to Naruto's exasperation.

While the rules of Shinobi are considered ironclad, they aren't infallible, and neither are people. Kakashi Hatake is living proof that constantly following the rules to the letter doesn't lead to anything but misery. Naturally, Uzumaki is the perfect practitioner of where and when rules need to be broken, bent, and upheld.

Note: These will go into spoilers for Naruto, Shippuden, and Boruto. Furthermore, the article only reflects the author's opinion.


Five ninja rules Naruto broke, and when

1) "A shinobi must never show their tears during a mission" - Broken during Land of Waves and most after

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How many times has Naruto cried during a mission? It's probably too much at this point. From the Land of Waves and Sasuke Retrieval Mission, Uzumaki is a very expressive ninja, which can manifest in emotions like anger or sadness.

This isn't technically a bad thing at all, as that particular rule is about minding emotions. This one's a product of the extreme conditions Shinobi have to face. The Shinobi rules were created during wartime, hence the idea of "killing emotions" during missions.

Emotional control during a mission is a skill that requires years to hone. As a result, many characters have struggled to maintain their emotions, especially where and when it gets personal.

Examples include Kakashi having to leave Obito behind and later fighting him or Sasuke abandoning his village to get revenge on Itachi.


2) "A shinobi must follow their commander's instructions" - Broken during the Five Kage Summit assault

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The Five Kage Summit assault was a pivotal moment in Shippuden. After saving the Hidden Leaf Village from Pain, Uzumaki reaffirmed his belief in saving Sasuke.

It resulted in him hyperventilating when he realized he was the sole voice trying to save Sasuke and passing out for a while after.

The consequences of taking this attitude consisted of disobeying the instructions to kill Sasuke on sight by Danzo and begging for Sasuke's life to be spared. The request was rejected by Raikage A, who was angered when Sasuke tried to kidnap Killer B.

Naruto was also beaten by Hidden Cloud ninja for it. Uzumaki never wavered in giving credit where it's due and succeeded in bringing Sasuke back. More on this later, but it's a good example to note.


3) "A shinobi must never show any weakness" - Broken at least twice

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There are many different ideas of what constitutes "weakness." If we take deficiency to mean letting emotions go into overdrive, there are two missions where Uzumaki lost control.

The first is the Tenchi Bridge Recon, where he went Four-Tailed Fox against Orochimaru and injured Sakura in his rage.

The second was during Pain Arc, wherein the fox took over again, saving his life and progressing to eight tails. It took Yamato using Wood Release to help the first time and Minato's lingering spirit to help Naruto out the second.

The second time was vital, however, as Naruto met his father. It would also be key when he trained to gain control of Kurama with his mother's help.


4) "Shinobi must always put the mission first" - Broken during the Land of Waves

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Naruto often considers the rules, at best as guidelines, at worst as active hindrances. This one has been tough for him to follow. Putting the mission first means only focusing on your mission objectives and leaving everything else behind.

The problem with Naruto and this rule? It often means he goes off-book and ends up saving people or other consequences. It usually means running headlong into battle, as he did during the Bell Test and Land of Waves. He got beaten and nearly killed during those two events.

As an aside, he also broke this during the Five Kage Summit, as detailed in Point 2. He'd later disobey orders to stay on an island during the Shinobi World War, joining the war with Killer B.


5) "Always watch your back/always be two steps ahead of the enemy" - Broken in the early days

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Two of the more basic rules for Shinobi to learn are: always watch your back, and be two steps ahead of the enemy. While Naruto isn't stupid, sometimes he doesn't plan that far ahead.

His basic strategy tends to be using Shadow Clones to bait the enemy, then trying to come up with something to stop them.

He's been ambushed more than once alone, with famous examples including the Demon Brothers and Zabuza. He has a habit of being caught off guard when fleeing.

As for always being two steps ahead? Charging into battle usually precludes any grand strategy.

Sometimes, it results in him getting thrashed, and other times, it confuses the enemy. Using the reverse harem Jutsu on Kaguya worked, and using the shadow clone distraction on Neji also worked, so it's not like Naruto isn't aware of this.


Five ninja rules Naruto upheld, and when

1) "A shinobi must see the hidden meanings within the hidden meanings\" - After Jiraiya's death

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To piggyback off of the last point, Naruto is not stupid. He may have flunked out of the academy three times, but he has matured and is remarkably perceptive.

This example follows Jiraiya's death, where Uzumaki helped decipher his last message:

"The real one (Pain) isn't there (with the Six Paths)."

This is after Shikamaru Nara had to help Naruto out of his depression following Jiraiya's death. It was an accomplishment for the former dumb ninja. Following this, Naruto talked Pain down after defeating him in combat.

It may take him a minute on certain things, but Naruto gets the point eventually. He figured out how to fuse his wind nature with the Rasengan and master control with Kurama. Talking down opponents is also a skill, usually relating the meanings from their lives to his.


2) "A shinobi must prepare before it is too late to" - All training: Rasengan, Shadow Clone, Sage Mode, Kurama

The preparation for the Pain Assault may not have been specific to Pain, but Uzumaki never slacked off in training after the first part of the series. He not only trained till he passed out on mastering the Rasengan but also on controlling Kurama and Sage Mode.

These extensive training segments helped him unlock significant benefits down the road, including being able to battle and beat Pain, where many others failed. Naruto was able to help everyone else with his shadow clone and tailed beast cloaks during the Shinobi World War, prolonging and saving many lives.

His training also helped him withstand the immense levels of power the Sage of Six paths gave him. This was critical to fighting Madara Uchiha and Kaguya.

It also did wonders for his stamina and durability, as he could take heavy hits and keep fighting.


3) Three prohibitions for Shinobi: women, alcohol, and money - Upheld to a point

The Legendary Sannin Jiraiya laid out these three prohibitions in Chapter 150 of the Naruto manga. To his credit, the plucky Uzumaki did avoid these for most of his ninja career.

He never lusted after anyone unless his one-sided crush on Sakura counts. Even then, that broke off, and his marriage to Hinata was official.

Naruto hasn't been a ninja purely in the pursuit of wealth, either. Money helps, of course, and he did get mad at Jiraiya for spending it all at one point. But overall, riches were at the back of his mind in his journey to become Hokage.

As for alcohol? Uzumaki is a very lightweight drinker in the anime. He never really indulges in it, even as an adult.

That's best left to his mentors like Tsunade or Jiraiya. Cleaning up the mess afterward is usually Uzumaki's job, much to his chagrin.


4) "Those who break the rules of the ninja world are scum, but those who abandon their friends are worse than scum" - Upheld multiple times

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While not precisely an official rule as much as a belief Kakashi and Obito shared, this is Naruto's thesis statement. The blonde-haired ninja has upheld this so many times concerning multiple characters. Incredibly, it's not a law.

The first and most obvious example is Sasuke Uchiha. Naruto never gave up on Sasuke, even when the other Kage and his friends condemned him to death.

If not for the impassioned plea from Uzumaki after a year's worth of a prison sentence, Sasuke would've spent life in prison.

But there are plenty of other examples. Uzumaki kept going after Gaara when he was captured, never thinking of pulling back without him. He likewise befriended Kurama after a long time, not giving up on that idea.

There are other examples, like reminding Obito that Rin wouldn't think highly of him becoming a monster.


5) "A ninja must know when to bend the rules to adapt and cope with the situation" - Upheld as a major character trait

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It is a lesson Minato tried to impose on his students from the manga, specifically Chapter 240. This isn't an invitation to childishly break the rules and regulations, only to keep in mind that they aren't ironclad.

In other words, the act of "killing emotions" doesn't exactly work for everyone. Uzumaki has this as a major character trait.

He's expressive, loud, and extremely in favor of discarding the rules when doing what he believes to be correct. He's done this multiple times, as shown through this list.

Above all else, even as Hokage, Uzumaki has never been a massive stickler for following the rules to the letter. This has enabled him to do many great things, like help opponents out of the darkness.

It's just one of the many qualities that make Naruto Uzumaki a great ninja, following his own path through life.

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