Hiruzen Sarutobi was the third (and only living) Hokage at the start of Naruto. Respected and revered by his village, he was well known for his combat prowess, incredible ninjutsu versatility, and warmth for his fellow villagers. Hiruzen boasted the ability to use all five changes in Chakra nature transformations in addition to an exceptional capacity to analyze and comprehend foreign justsu in battle.
Hiruzen's aptitude earned him the title of Hokage at a young age. He was mentored by the second Hokage, who he surpassed even in his youth. Despite his accomplishments, there are valid criticisms of Konoha's third defender. He allowed Naruto to be ostracized by the village, Sasuke to be captured by Orochimaru, and Konoha to be invaded.
There are some Shinobi who could have perhaps handled village matters better than Hiruzen. However, this article will cover members of Konohagakura who would have paled in comparison to the Sarutobi Clan prodigy.
10 Naruto characters who would have had trouble as a Hokage
One of the proctors of the Chunin Exams, Hayate was a tokubetsu jōnin who specialized in swordplay. He was killed by Baki after overhearing Sunakagure and Otogakure's plan to invade Konoha. Given that Hayate could not defeat even one member of the two invading nations, he would have stood no chance against Orochimaru. Additionally, his only specialization being swordplay would have left much to be desired as the designated protector of the village.
As a genin, Anko was mentored by none other than Orochimaru. Eventually becoming one of her mentor's test subjects, she bore her the Cursed Seal of Heaven mark. This is one of the main reasons why Anko would not have been fit to serve as Hokage. Although she learned to resist the mark's power, Orochimaru could activate it at any time. That would be a huge liability to the village.
Additionally, Anko's act-first, think-second personality is not befitting of a village leader. However, she did meet the qualification of being willing to sacrifice her life for her village and comrades.
Choji is far more qualified for a position of leadership at the end of Naruto than he was at the beginning of the series. However, his shyness and weak decision-making skills mostly persisted throughout his development as a ninja.
Although Choji mastered the Akimichi Clan's secret technique, his strength alone would not suffice as a leader. Without Shikamaru by his side, the chubby ninja is indecisive and unconfident. Furthermore, he'd rather eat snacks than handle diplomacy.
The heiress of the famous Hyuga clan started out as a quiet and nervous kunoichi. Hinata's development of her byakugan and fighting prowess land her in the middle of this list. Due to her caring heart, she would have perhaps taken a better approach to protecting Naruto and Sasuke. But despite her massive growth as a shinobi, the Hygua heiress is still not confident or decisive enough to oversee an entire village.
Shino's placement on this list should not be a statement on his skill as a ninja. The Aburame clan possesses one of the most deadly ninja arts in all of Konoha. Their insect-based jutsu is extremely versatile, stealthy, and lethal.
However, Shino's depiction in Boruto as a ninja academy teacher shows that he is awkward and unable to control his students. Nobody is saying that having Boruto in their class would be easy to handle, but the Hokage is responsible for matters that dwarf Shino's challenges as a teacher.
One of the most important qualifications to be Hokage is to desire the job. Kiba shares Naruto's dream of one day becoming the village leader. He trains hard and fights with the Will of Fire, notably pushing himself beyond his limits in his fight with Sakon and Ukon.
However, Kiba does not have the presence of mind or the mastery of ninjutsu to qualify for the position. He would likely make brash decisions that could endanger the village.
Naruto's teacher and close friend would likely make a great diplomat. Iruka is very sympathetic and understanding, especially for a ninja. His love for his Konohagakure and drive to properly cultivate the youth would likely have resulted in a better outcome for rearing Naruto and Sasuke.
Although Iruka is well-rounded in his ninja skills, he is not a top-tier user of any. To be Hokage, one must possess an unparalleled technique.
The mysterious leader of The Foundation (Root) did hold the seat of Hokage for a brief time. He had many qualities that would have made him a proper leader for Konoha. His strength and intellect were at a high level and as a seasoned shinobi, he had great decision-making skills. Alas, Danzo was felled by Sasuke, a member of the Uchiha clan that Danzo was so intent on destroying.
Danzo's shortcomings were his ego, lack of empathy, and underhanded approach. He was far too willing to sacrifice members of Konoha for the "greater good." Danzo was already disliked by many Naruto fans before it was revealed that he stole a slew of eyes from deceased members of the Uchiha clan. After this information was unveiled, The Foundation leader became one of the most hated and least trustworthy characters in the series.
At the young age of six, Yamato graduated from the ninja academy and was promoted to the rank of chunin. He was subsequently abducted by Orochimaru, leading to his ability to use wood-style jutsu.
Yamato boasts a ninja art unseen since the death of the first Hokage. He is intelligent, powerful, and has a refined command of all ninja arts. Yamato's biggest disqualification as a potential Hokage equal to Hiruzen is his history with Danzo. Although the former Anbu member seems able to think for himself, his connection to The Foundation would likely make him susceptible to Danzo's corrupt influence.
The "Blue Beast of Konoha" is another ninja who falls short of Hokage qualification. Despite his inability to use ninjutsu or genjutsu, Might Guy proved to be a never-ending challenge for every opponent. His taijutsu is sharply refined, and he was able to land devastating blows on even the revived Madara. He planned on sacrificing his life to damage the Uchiha legend.
Guy's command over the Eight Inner Gates technique is possibly enough to override the versatility required by someone who could surpass Hiruzen. He is on par with the overall skill level of his friendly rival, Kakashi, who succeeded the fifth Hokage. Regardless, Guy has an awful memory and is somewhat of an airhead.