Naruto was always obsessed with becoming Hokage since it was an important position and indicates that the person in that position is arguably one of the best shinobis in the village. Throughout the series, Konohagakure has seen seven Hokages, and not all of them are equally strong or intelligent.
Being a Hokage is not as easy as one must be good in combat and quite intelligent. It requires a great deal of knowledge and intellect to be able to run a village. Here's a look at some of the smartest Hokages in the series.
Naruto: Ranking the Hokages based on intelligence
Hiruzen Sarutobi was undoubtedly a strong shinobi, who was given the title of “God of Shinobi.” He was extremely powerful and there were very few who could match his level of skill and power in a fight.
While he was called a genius by many, his administrative skills did not back the claims. It was littered with errors and many infiltrations and scheming took place while Hiruzen was in power. The fact that Orochimaru was able to infiltrate Konoha with ease shows Hiruzen’s lack of preparation and gathering of information.
Hashirama is arguably one of the strongest characters on this list and in the Naruto series. He didn’t lack intelligence since he displayed it on multiple occasions and he too was called a genius.
That being said, Hashirama’s intellect was limited to the battlefield since he couldn’t really carry out much in terms of administrative duties. He often sought help from his younger brother Tobirama in matters such as this. Hence, Hashirama is not even close to being one of the smartest Hokages in the Naruto series.
It has been established that Naruto is not the smartest character in the series and is the type of person who lets his emotions get the better of him. However, he matured quite a bit and displayed his intellect on a few occasions. However, he always consults Shikamaru on matters that require a lot of thinking.
He is street smart and is capable of thinking outside the box as well. That being said, he really only shines during battles and when it comes to talking to other villains in the series. He lacked in administration, which is why he is not the smartest Hokage in the village.
Tsunade’s raw power is terrifyingly high, and she is the best medical ninja Konohagakure has seen. She never really liked the Hokage position since she always had a ton of work. She certainly isn’t the smartest Hokage, but she was smart enough not to listen to the band of advisors that spoke to Hiruzen.
Their judgment was wrong on several occasions, and she consulted jonins, like Kakashi and Shikaku, with matters regarding the village. She is quite pragmatic and has done extremely well in tough situations.
Minato is one of the smartest characters on this list and was called a genius by the likes of Jiraiya. He was extremely proficient in ninjutsu and people of other villages followed a “flee on sight” order during wars.
However, Minato didn’t have enough time to prove how effective he was as a Hokage. If he didn’t die during the Nine Tail attack, Minato would have been a fine Hokage that would have done well even in the administrative fields.
Kakashi’s ability to discern and analyze a given situation is unmatched. While he might seem laid back, he is extremely good at finding effective solutions on the fly, which has proven useful on numerous occasions.
He is arguably one of the smartest Hokage the village has ever had since he was pivotal in restoring the village after the Fourth Great Ninja War. He was also responsible for laying the foundations of the technological era.
Tobirama and Kakashi are great Hokages in their own right. Tobirama is credited with creating some of the most advanced jutsus like the Flying Raijin and Edo Tensei. Not only was he good in combat, he was also great when it came to his administrative duties as a Hokage.
Tobirama was also responsible for implementing the concept of democracy when it came to decisions regarding the village’s well-being. Tobirama is probably the best Hokage in the Naruto series.
Note: The article reflects the writer's own views.