7 characters who were under-used in Naruto (& 3 who were over-used)

Some of the characters that didn't receive screen time and some that were overused in the Naruto series (images via Pierrot)
Some of the characters that didn't receive screen time and some that were overused in the Naruto series (images via Pierrot)

Owing to the sheer length of the series, Naruto has introduced various characters that vary in personality, strength, and appearance. However, fans believe that not all characters were utilized well in the series.

Some characters landed on the other end of the spectrum as they received a lot of screen time and didn’t have the impact they should have.

Characters who were underutilized in Naruto

1) Hiruzen

Given the sheer number of filler episodes present throughout the Naruto series, the show could have featured a good long arc that showcased Hiruzen in his prime. This man was considered the God of Shinobi, but Kishimoto didn’t back it up with feats. Fans would have thoroughly enjoyed a long arc that explored the Third Hokage in his prime.

2) Tenten

There are plenty of memes about Tenten not receiving enough screen time in the series. She didn’t seem extremely powerful or talented based on what was shown. However, the show could have given Tenten more screen time owing to her unique fighting style. She is a weapons expert and her fighting style could have been explored in the series.

3) Kurenai

Kurenai was killed early in the series. The show could have given her some more screen time considering she was one of the few characters that happened to be a Genjutsu specialist. Her strong will and ability to fight were reasons fans wished Kurenai received more screen time in the Naruto series.

4) Shino

Shino Aburame was another unique shinobi hailing from a clan that used insects to fight combatants. The insects were extremely versatile as it allowed the users to carry out surveillance and fight some of the toughest close-range opponents by maintaining their distance. However, the fact that his battle intellect and unique fighting style were not utilized in the series was disappointing.

5) Anko

During earlier episodes of the Naruto series, Anko was a character that fans loved owing to her personality and appearance. The show also did a good job of building up the plot by connecting her to Orochimaru. However, the payoff was not nearly as good as fans wanted it to be simply because she wasn’t central to the plot, contrary to what the build-up had suggested.

6) Yamato

Yamato received a good amount of screen time. However, he wasn’t utilized well in the series. He played an important role as Naruto’s mentor, but Yamato was underutilized given his powers and abilities. He was considered a valuable asset to Konohagakure, which could have been used as a plot progression tool and made him a part of a grander scheme involving some of the toughest shinobis.

7) Rock Lee

Rock Lee was a character who had some good fight scenes and showcased his strength. He was extremely strong and left fans in awe after the fight against Gaara during the Chunin exams.

Characters who received too much screen time

1) Sakura

Sakura was one of the most important supporting characters. However, based on the screen time she received, not many feats were achieved by her. It was only in the Fourth great Ninja War that Sakura proved just how good she could get by activating the 100 Healing jutsu. Fans believe that her screen time could have been reduced since she didn’t utilize it well.

2) The Swing

The number of memes surrounding the fact that the swing received more screen time than Tenten is uncountable. When Naruto talks about the pain and suffering he went through during his childhood, the swing makes another appearance and atmospheric background music. Some fans even checked the total screen time of this inanimate object that was repeatedly shown in the series.

3) Uchiha clan

While it’s not a character, fans have been particularly vocal about how the Uchiha clan was given too much importance. Kishimoto could have focused on other clans like the Uzumaki, who were supposed to be quite strong. The plot completely depended on the Uchiha clan and their past, which could have been avoided.

Note: The list is in no particular order and reflects the author's opinions.