Naruto becoming a Hokage was one of the most anticipated and celebrated moments in all of anime. A lot of fans grew up watching the titular protagonist working hard for his goal, always willing to give his life for others, and bringing peace to a broken shinobi world, so it was very rewarding to see Naruto become what he always wanted to be by the end of the series.
However, considering that his father, Minato Namikaze, was the 4th Hokage, there have always been a lot of comparisons between these two in this particular role. After all, despite limited appearances, Minato has always been a fan-favorite, and his impact in this series was felt throughout, as he was the one that managed to put Kurama inside his son due to extreme circumstances.
But in terms of being a Hokage and the legacy both brought to the shinobi world, did Naruto manage to outshine the 4th Hokage?
Disclaimer: This article contains spoilers from the Naruto series.
Naruto's contributions and legacy is unmatched
Taking into account everything that happened during the series, and the relevance that it had within the world of the story, there is no denying that Naruto had a superior legacy when compared to the 4th Hokage. This cannot be argued.
That is due to the fact that he managed to stop a conflict that had been going on long before the foundation of Konoha and the shinobi world as it was known during his time. All of this was reflected in Madara Uchiha, a man that had developed a plan for generations and caused a lot of pain all over the world to achieve his goal.
The protagonist had to face him, Obito Uchiha, Orochimaru, several terrorist organizations, evil Kages, and a Fourth Great Ninja War while still developing his abilities as a ninja in the process. And while Minato was a hero during the Third Great Ninja War, and his sacrifice to stop Kurama added to his status as a legend, that simply doesn’t stack up to what his son accomplished.
Naruto has also been able to maintain peace in the world for several years, forming a partnership with Sasuke that has proven to be quite useful. And while he may not have that Superman feel of Minato, having the personality, abilities, and decision-making to always get it right, he has surrounded himself with capable people that can aid and assist him, such as Shikamaru.
This last part is very important because it shows the titular protagonist’s flexibility and capacity to delegate and rely on others, which is something that a lot of Hokages have tended to struggle with. Minato arguably had too much on his plate for doing way too much all the time, and that resulted in Konoha not being ready to lose him after his untimely passing.
This is not meant to undermine the 4th Hokage, who is one of the greatest ninjas in the entire series, but there is also no denying that Naruto’s achievements, accolades, and influence cannot be understated. He becomes the most powerful ninja in the world and uses that to establish the kind of peace that the world hadn’t seen until that point.
Minato is certainly a phenomenal character, and one that never truly overstayed its welcome in the series, but there is also no denying that his son has proven to be the superior Hokage and overall, the superior ninja. His influence in the shinobi world has led to a lot of changes, and ended a lot of cycles of war, hatred, and discontent, which is something that some generational ninjas were not able to do.
All in all, this is one of those situations where the answer is simply too obvious, and is the result of an entire series backing that statement.