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10 saddest deaths in ‘Naruto’

In honor of the all the great Naruto characters who have come and gone, these are the top 10 saddest deaths in the Naruto anime.

via Studio Pierrot

Death is part of the cycle of life, but in most anime, death isn’t final. That’s not the case for Naruto, which isn’t afraid of killing off major characters to move the story along.

The great thing about shows like Naruto is that the viewers become so invested in the characters: when good things happen to the characters, the viewers cheer; when bad things happen to the characters, the viewers are sad; and when one of their favorite characters die, the viewers cry.

In honor of the all the great Naruto characters who have come and gone, these are the top 10 saddest deaths in the Naruto anime.

10. Neji

Neji Hyuga is a prodigy from Konohagakure’s Hyuga clan, whose specialty was taijutsu. He was convinced his only path in life was in service to his house. That belief changed after meeting Naruto, who showed him life could be whatever he wanted.

The Allied Shinobi Forces arrive to assist Naruto in his battle against Ten-Tails. As Ten-Tails hurls wooden projectiles at Naruto’s army, Hinata and Neji do whatever they can to protect Naruto, resulting in Neji getting impaled by wood. Naruto cried as his friend died in his arms.

9. Konan

Konan was a founding member of the Akatsuki and village head of Amegakure. As a child, she was trained by Jiraiya. Loyal only to Nagato, who turned against Jiraiya’s ways as a matter of survival, Konan followed suit, until she realized how much believing in Tobi resulted Nagato’s downfall.

Following Nagato’s death, Tobi infiltrates Amegakure to take Nagato’s Rinnegan from his corpse. Instead, Konan confronts him and they argue about her turning good. Konan believes she killed Tobi after denotating 600 billion explosive tags, but after the explosives end, Tobi appears behind her and stabs her with a pipe. Konan continues to fight back, until Tobi grabs her by the neck, strangling her and leaving her body floating in the water.

8. Granny Chiyo

Granny Chiyo was a potions expert and a retired counsellor Sunagakure in the Land of Wind. She is the grandmother of Sasori and taught him puppet mastery.

Under the orders of the Fourth Kazekage, she sealed the One-Tailed Shukaku inside Gaara before he was even born, which she did not like. During the Kazakage Rescue Mission, Akatsuki’s members extracted the Shukaku from Gaara, killing him. Always regretting being the one who sealed the Shukaku inside Gaara, Granny Chiyo trades her life force for his, dying in peace.

7. Minato and Kushina

Minato and Kushina are the parents of Naruto, the main protagonist of the anime. Minato Namikaze was the Fourth Hokage of Konohagakure and fell in love with Kushina Uzumaki – the bearer of the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox – while being trained in Konoha’s Academy.

Pregnant with Naruto, and knowing that childbirth would weaken the seals binding the demon, Minato and Kushina took extra precautions to make sure the village would be secure and gave birth in a remote area outside of the village, but they were attacked by Tobi who extracted Nine-Tails from Kushina and began attacking Konoha Village. Minato was able to restrain the demon and transport it back to Kushina, who was already dying because the demon was removed from her body. Knowing the demon might be needed in the future, and believing that their infant could be the child prophesied to save the world, Minato decided to seal the demon inside Naruto. Realizing the plan, the demon tried to kill the baby, but Naruto’s parents shielded their son. Minato wove Kushina’s chakra into the seal so that she could someday assist Naruto as they both died.

6. Third Hokage

Hiruzen Sarutobi, otherwise known as the Third Hokage, is a powerful ninja who is hailed as the “God of Shinobi”. Following the Nine-Tailed Demon attack on Konoha, which resulted in Minato and Kushina’s deaths, the Third Hokage ordered the outlaw of any mention of Nine-Tails, hoping to project Naruto from the village’s hate. He further protected Naruto by giving him his mother’s surname, instead of his father’s more recognizable one.

During a battle against Orochimaru, Hiruzen attempts to remove Orochimaru’s soul, but when he senses it happening, he summonS the Kusanagi back to him, which lodges in Hiruzen’s back. Unable to successfully complete the spell, Hiruzen instead seals Orochimaru’s arms so he cannot harm the village any longer. The Third Hokage was the leader everyone looked up to, so his death impacted a lot of the characters in Naruto.

5. Zabuza and Haku

Zabuza and Haku are ‘missing-nin’, ninjas who abandon their villages. Zabuza Momochi, known as the Demon of the Hidden Mist, discovers the orphaned Haku and trains him to be a shinobi. The two become best friends, despite Zabuzza’s rough exterior.

During the events of the Fourth Shinobi World War, an already severely wounded Haku sacrificed himself to save Zabuza from Kakashi’s lightening cutter. Heartbroken and willing to go out fighting, Zabuza took on dozens of Gato’s men to reach the sociopath. After stabbing Gato, his men attacked Zabuza from behind, stabbing him in the back with seven spears. Weakened from his injuries, Zabuza completed his mission by killing Gato and then asked Kakashi to take him to Haku’s body, before dying beside his friend.

“You were always at my side. The least I can do is be beside you at the end.”

4. Obito

Obito Uchiha was believed to have died during the Third Shinobi World War, but was saved and trained by Madara. He resurfaced with the name Tobi – yes, the same Tobi responsible for several of the deaths on this list – and wanted to rob mankind of their free will, believing it was the only way to bring peace to the world.

Obito eventually saw the error of his ways and willingly sacrificed himself to save Naruto, seeing his true love Rin in visions leading up to and during his final fight.

3. Asuma

Asuma is a jonin of Konahagakure’s Sarutobi clan and a former member of the Twelve Guardian Ninja, bodyguards of the Land of Fire’s leader. Asuma is highly skilled with knives and possessed the gift of wind release. Combined together, the wind release would increase the lethality of his knives.

Asuma is also linked to the immortal being Hidan, which means any damage to Hiddan would also affest Asuma. During a battle the two, Hidan stabbed himself in the heart with his spear, killing Asuma.

2. Jiraiya

Easily one of the saddest and most tragic deaths in the series, Jiraiya was Naruto’s friend and mentor, a character who felt like a friend even to the viewing audience. He was known as Toad Sage, and is one of the Third Hokage’s Legendary Sannin. Due to his obsession with women, Naruto nicknamed him Pervy Sage. Jiraiya held an unrequited love – or so he thought – for Tsunade.  

Despite being a powerful ninja, the odds were not in his favor. Pain immediately crushed Jiraiya’s larynx before his goons stabbed him in the back with wooden spears. After initially passing out, Jiraiya willed himself awake long enough to send a coded message on the back of his toad, before Pain and his goons attacked him again, drowning him in the lake.

1. Itachi

Itachi Uchiha is the older brother of Sasuke and a member of the international criminal organization Akatsuki. After seeing all the casualties in the Third Shinobi World War, Itachi becomes a pacificist and makes it his goal to become the best ninja ever so he can put an end to fighting and bring world peace.

As the Uchiha clan plan a coup in their village, Danzo Shimura realized the Uchiha clan would not survive the conflict and gave Itachi two options: allow his entire clan to be murdered; or Itachi himself kills his clan, sparing Sasuke. Itachi chooses option two, killing his entire clan, including his own parents.

When Sasuke and Itachi finally faced off, Sasuke has no idea that his brother wanted him to be strong enough to kill him – to put an end to the misery he caused. As Itachi died, the rains started pouring down over the brothers, like Mother Earth was crying along with the fans.

After finding out the truth about Itachi, his death is even more sad on second watch, knowing he was good the entire time, but chose the path he did to protect his village, and most importantly, his brother.

About the author

Brandy Cruz