7 most unexpected developments during chunin exams in Naruto

Instances from chunin exams that surprised the fanbase (Image via Pierrot)
Instances from chunin exams that surprised the fanbase (Image via Pierrot)

The chunin exams in Naruto was a fun section of the series as it featured strong characters taking part in some impressive fights. Apart from the great fights, certain elements took the fanbase by surprise.

Some of the outcomes of the fights were unexpected and some characters made an appearance and interfered during the examination. Here are some of the most surprising developments in the series.

Naruto: Unexpected things that happened during the chunin exams

1) Rock Lee almost beating Gaara


Based on Gaara’s initial performance, fans knew that he was a strong candidate in the exams. Rock Lee, however, didn’t seem all that strong. We saw just how fast and strong Rock Lee was in his base form when he removed his ankle weight.

He also opened the Gates to land heavy blows on Gaara. In the end, Rock Lee was so battered that he stood up unconscious and the medical team said that he could no longer be a shinobi. The young shinobi almost managed to defeat Gaara in Naruto.

2) Hinata making a stand


Neji always bullied Hinata throughout the series. Neji despised her and called her weak. However, after Naruto’s little speech, she decided to fight back and try to win. However, he was superior in combat and didn’t struggle.

Neji’s anger reached a point where he almost killed Hinata if not for the intervention of the instructors. Hinata put up a brilliant fight and didn’t back down in the face of adversity.

3) Gaara’s true strength


Gaara was a mysterious character who had an ominous aura. Hailing from the Sand village, people expected him to be wrong. However, the extent of his powers took the fanbase by surprise. During the chunin exam, he went on a killing spree with his sand release and almost managed to kill Rock Lee.

If Guy had not intervened, Gaara would have killed Rock Lee. His display of power was quite surprising to the Naruto fanbase.

4) Shikamaru giving up


Shikamaru vs Temari was another exciting fight that was enjoyed by the fanbase. Temari showed just how strong her wind release was. The match seemed one-sided as Temari was expected to win the fight. Shikamaru had a level of IQ that was far superior compared to his peers.

No one expected him to give up the fight despite getting Temari caught in his Shadow Possession jutsu. It seemed to be the right choice for him since he calculated all the possibilities and outcomes of this fight.

5) Naruto vs Neji outcome


Neji was powerful and could use his Byakugan in close-range fights. On the other hand, Naruto wasn’t all that strong during the initial phases of the series. People expected Neji to win this fight since his overall chakra control and Gentle Fist caused many problems to some tough characters.

However, we witnessed Naruto win this fight and did so by utilizing the chakra of the Kyuubi that was sealed inside him. This episode revealed how powerful Naruto could become by using even a small amount of Kurama’s chakra.

6) Orochimaru’s cursed mark on Sasuke


One would assume that the chunin exams would merely serve as a platform to judge the skills of the shinobis who would one day serve and protect the village. However, things quickly escalated when Orochimaru was in the equation. His plans were later revealed in the Naruto series and he manipulated Sasuke during the exams.

He gave Sasuke a new set of powers through a cursed mark. This was quite surprising to see and made things quite complicated when it should have been a regular exam.

7) Konoha village invasion


Orochimaru decided to invade Konohagakure during the chunin exams. This was quite surprising as fans were focusing entirely on the outcome of the exams. However, when Orochimaru ended up fighting against Hiruzen, Naruto fans witnessed impressive techniques such as Edo Tensei.

Orochimaru succeeded in bringing back the dead Hashiras. We also saw Hiruzen use the Reaper Death Seal, which led to the former Hokage sacrificing his life to defeat Orochimaru.

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