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Naruto Uzumaki's Relationships

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Due to his friendly nature and his unique charisma, Naruto Uzumaki has built many relationships over the course of the series that have defined him and others, even tailed beasts and other jinchūriki. Many of these relationships started off antagonistic, but through his tenacity and empathy, they developed into deep and lasting friendships.

In addition, the villagers of Konoha as a whole had a drastic change in the manner that they view Naruto: moving from what they viewed as a menace and looming threat because of Kurama sealed within him, to a citizen/hero of Konoha whom they genuinely care about and would even go as far as to risk their own lives to ensure that he was safe.[1][2]

Kurama

File:Naruto and Kurama.png

A relationship that shaped Naruto's character, albeit unintentionally, was with the tailed beast that was sealed within him since the day he was born, Kurama — the Nine-Tails. Because he was the fox's jinchūriki, though never learning why, Naruto was hated and shunned by most of the villagers and his peers. Even after learning the truth, the isolation only convinced Naruto to desire their acknowledgement prior to meeting Kurama and consciously accessing its chakra. However, having intense hatred and distrust against humans, mainly due to forced subjugation by Madara and being sealed within Uzumaki jinchūriki for three generations,[3] Kurama plotted to use Naruto's dependence on its power to consume the boy and eventually break free from the seal. When Naruto resolved to use his own power after accidentally hurting Sakura, Kurama became very antagonistic and made several attempts to gain control over Naruto, before it was bested in combat and stripped of most of its chakra.[4]

However, Kurama's attitude towards Naruto soon began to change during the Fourth Shinobi World War, when the boy promised to someday resolve its hatred.[5] Despite the fox reproaching him for making such a claim, it nevertheless showed Kurama that Naruto was different from the humans it had previously encountered to point of allowing him to utilise his Nine-Tails Chakra Mode without consequence. Kurama then intentionally aided Naruto when the reincarnated Madara was fighting against one of Naruto's shadow clones and the Fourth Division.[6]

Afterwards, Naruto told Son Gokū of his desire to save the tailed beasts and admitted that he was jealous of Killer B's dynamic relationship with Gyūki and wanted the same with Kurama.[7] Kurama — having witnessed all of the challenges and endeavours Naruto had in his life — stood by to see if Naruto could truly aid its kin through his actions.[8] When Naruto successfully freed Son Gokū from Obito's control, Kurama finally became convinced of Naruto's word and offered to meld its chakra with his as a coalition, to which Naruto then removed the seal that restrained it and happily acknowledged the fox as his team-mate from Konoha.[9]

Their relationship has greatly improved by this action, as shown when Kurama pulled Naruto into the other tailed beasts' subconscious, and teased Naruto about his first and only kiss with Sasuke.[10] Within that short space of time, the two instantly gained utmost trust in one another, even to the point where Naruto would allow Kurama to momentarily take control of his body without worry.[11] Later on, when Obito tried to instil doubt into Naruto as an attempt to weaken his resolve, Kurama asked Naruto to switch once again long enough to reveal that it was sealed within Naruto to give the boy the strength to stop him while proclaiming itself as Naruto's friend, along with the confidence in its jinchūriki's ability to live up to the legacy Minato and Jiraiya left him.[12] When Naruto fell into despair over Neji's death, Kurama, with Hinata's aid, managed to break him out of it by reminding him over how his parents died for him as Neji did without a second thought over how his life has an unshakable bond.[13]

Parents

Two Suns

Naruto's parents and their faith in him are the source of his strength.

Throughout most of the series, Naruto never knew his parents due to Hiruzen's attempt to keep his lineage a secret as a way to protect the boy. However, despite not knowing that he was his father, Naruto had expressed the utmost respect for the Fourth Hokage Minato Namikaze. Though angry at Minato's chakra imprint at first once learning of their relation and that it was his own father who sealed Kurama inside of him, Naruto quickly got over his anger and expressed pride in being the Fourth Hokage's son.[14]

During his training to control Kurama's power, Naruto tearfully embraced his mother Kushina Uzumaki when her chakra imprint came to his aid.[15] After learning how his parents met and how they died in what actually occurred during Kurama's attack on Konoha, Naruto told his mother that he could finally understand what a parent's love felt like and that he didn't blame her or Minato, instead he felt glad to be their son.[16]

On his way to the Fourth Shinobi World War, Naruto defended his parents with vigour when the Raikage A insulted Minato on how he failed as the "Child of the Prophecy" upon his death.[17] Naruto also explained to A that despite his parents died shortly after he was born, their love and faith in him made him strong.[18]

Mentors

Naruto has had several mentors over the course of the series. Through their guidance Naruto honed his skills and became one of Konoha's most powerful ninja. Many of their teachings have had a profound influence on Naruto's own life philosophy, shaping him into a better person.

Iruka Umino

Iruka-popsicle

Iruka comforting Naruto over Jiraiya's death.

As it was because of his parents' death by Kurama's attack that he suffered a miserable childhood, Iruka Umino initially found it awkward to become a teacher to Naruto, before eventually deciding to be strict with the boy so he could work harder and reach his potential. In time, learning from Hiruzen Sarutobi that the boy acted out with his antics to be acknowledged as he had in his youth, Iruka understood Naruto's loneliness and went out of his way to connect with the boy outside the classroom — treating Naruto like a younger brother. As a result, after Naruto learned of his nature as a jinchūriki and Kurama's role in the deaths of his teacher's parents, Iruka confidently believed in Naruto as a ninja of their village and nothing else.

Even after Naruto graduated, Iruka still treats his former student at the Ramen Ichiraku whenever he returns from a mission. Though times like that allow him an opportunity to see how Naruto is developing as a ninja, Iruka still tends to worry about him. During the Fourth Shinobi World War, Iruka was among the ninja assigned to keep an unaware Naruto safe from the army Obito amassed to take him and Killer B by force. But once Naruto learned of the war, Iruka attempted to talk Naruto out participating in the fight until the youth reminded him of the confidence he had in him years ago. Staging an apparent capture of him while secretly giving his former student a message to come back alive, Iruka was assured by Killer B that he and his teachings are with Naruto in his heart.

Kakashi Hatake

Kakashi Hatake is the leader of Team 7, the squad Naruto was assigned to after becoming a genin, and one of his first mentors after becoming an official ninja. While at first they had a negative impression of each other, Kakashi came to understand Naruto's unique potential in surpassing Minato. In turn, Naruto would cherish the lessons he learned from Kakashi about friendship and teamwork. After he came back from training with Jiraiya, Kakashi would train Naruto in nature transformation and acknowledged that Naruto had surpassed him once he developed the Rasenshuriken. Kakashi was also one of the few people who knew Minato was Naruto's father. When Kakashi later finds himself facing Obito Uchiha, he lacked the drive to fight his former friend until Naruto comes to aid and rekindled Kakashi's will with the resolve to protect his student.

Ebisu

Naruto first met Ebisu who was Konohamaru's tutor and would later defeat him using the Harem Technique. Initially, he believed that Naruto was nothing but a worthless nuisance and mocked his dream of becoming Hokage as he believed that only people of high lineage could amount to anything. He said all this about Naruto however, out of the ignorance of not knowing who his father was. Ebisu was asked by Kakashi to train Naruto for the main match of the Chūnin Exams, even though both he and Naruto were reluctant at first. Ebisu would train Naruto in improving his chakra control by having him do the water walking technique, which proved difficult due to the seal he got from Orochimaru. Naruto's training would later be taken over by Jiraiya. At the time of Pain's invasion of Konoha, it was revealed that Ebisu's perspective of Naruto had changed drastically upon seeing what he had done for the village.[2]

Jiraiya

Naruto and Jiraiya

Naruto with his mentor and godfather, Jiraiya.

Even before Naruto met him, Jiraiya indirectly played a role in his life as he was mentor to both Minato Namikaze and to Nagato due to being foretold that a student under him would be destined for greatness. He was also named Naruto's godfather, with the boy named after the protagonist in his "The Tale of the Utterly Gutsy Shinobi" novel. Because of Orochimaru's defection, and learning of the Akatsuki's existence, Jiraiya was forced to leave the village to spy on the organisation and was unable to take care of his godson during the first twelve years of his life. Jiraiya would only meet Naruto years later during the boy's first Chūnin Exam, being labelled "Perverted Hermit" (エロ仙人, Ero-sennin; English TV "Pervy Sage").

While more perverted than Naruto, Jiraiya has some similarities to his godson from a desire to bring peace to an unrequited affection for his former team-mate Tsunade. Since their meeting, Jiraiya and Naruto became close with the latter holding him in high regard as he took news of his mentor's death by Pain hard. After being moved to tears from reading "The Tale of the Utterly Gutsy Shinobi", Naruto confronts Jiraiya's killer and the true identity of Pain, his fellow pupil Nagato. Meeting Nagato face to face, Naruto declared that what he inherited from Jiraiya will help him bring peace in this world, and that if Jiraiya was willing to place his faith in him, then Naruto was willing to believe in himself and stated that he would find peace for the world. Naruto also made a memorial grave in honour of Jiraiya. In the Fourth Shinobi World War, when Tobi and Naruto argued about dreams, Naruto answered back that he thought of Jiraiya as a hero.

Fukasaku

Naruto first met Fukasaku when the elderly toad sage arrived in Konoha to bring news of Jiraiya's death. Despite Naruto's lack of formality toward Fukasaku upon their first meeting, the toad sage apparently took a liking to the young man as his personality reminded him of his late pupil and found Naruto's nickname for Jiraiya ("Perverted Hermit") to be both very fitting and amusing.[19] Knowing that Naruto wanted revenge, and that he was ill-prepared for a battle with Pain, Fukasaku took him to Mount Myōboku to teach him senjutsu. In light of Naruto's rapid progress in his intense training, Fukasaku believed that the young man would surpass Jiraiya in power, even willing to consider that Naruto was the "Child of the Prophecy" after he saw how much Naruto loved Jiraiya when he took news of his mentor's death pretty hard.

Friends and Allies

Konoha 11

Konoha 11 Part I

The Konoha 11.

Naruto gets along well with the entire Konoha 11, as they are all comrades who fought alongside each other for the love of their village and Will of Fire. He has some sort of rivalry with some of them, such as Kiba and Lee, but they are good friends regardless. That, along with Naruto's accomplishments in saving the village amongst other deeds, made the rest of Konoha 11 appreciate and admire him. Naruto, in turn, was able to convince them to allow him to handle Sasuke alone, when the rest of them wanted to kill him together.

Sakura Haruno

Naruto and Sakura databook 2

Naruto and his team-mate, Sakura.

Naruto had a long-standing crush on Sakura Haruno, but his feelings were not mutual as she was attracted to Sasuke instead. Even back then in the Academy, Sakura disliked Naruto because she considered him as a talentless loser. However, when her making fun of him for not having any parents offended Sasuke, Sakura realised that she went too far and decided to try to be a bit nicer to Naruto from then on.[20]

While rather disrespectful to Naruto during their few first missions as members of Team 7, Sakura eventually began to see Naruto in a new light due to his constant dedication to his friends. Even though she still had a tendency to lash out at him whenever he annoyed her or side with Sasuke over him, there have been moments when she attempted to be nice to Naruto, such as in explaining the Tree Climbing Practice during their mission in the Land of Waves,[21] and willing to forfeit her entry into the Chūnin Exams when she saw that Naruto didn't have a chance of answering the questions, in order to prevent him from being stuck as a genin.[22]

After Sasuke defected from Konoha, realising her strong genuine feelings for their former team-mate, Naruto promised Sakura that he would do everything in his power to bring Sasuke back to her.[23] When Naruto returned after his two-and-a-half year-long training, Sakura was quickly partnered with him as they both become members of the reformed Team Kakashi, resulting in her to understand Naruto even more when his status as a jinchūriki was revealed to her. Though their relationship stemmed into a strong friendship, it also bared some similarities to that of their mentors, Tsunade and Jiraiya, ultimately Naruto's feelings remain one-sided due to Sakura's love for Sasuke.

When their new team-mate, Sai, informed Sakura that the strain of making her happy and fulfilling his promise to her had been the source of Naruto's internal pain, she was filled with regret for asking too much from Naruto and decided to stop Sasuke from sinking any lower by herself.[24][25] Sakura tried to relieve Naruto from his promise by telling him that she loved him and not Sasuke anymore, but Naruto immediately knew she was lying.[26] After Naruto saved Sakura from being killed by Sasuke and voiced his resolve that he would shoulder Sasuke's hatred as a friend, she was touched by Naruto's determination, for he had again given her hope that there may still be a happy ending for Team 7.[27] Later, as the Fourth Shinobi World War reached its climax, motivated by burdens he had to carry alone, Sakura resolved to aid Naruto in fighting Obito.[28]

Hinata Hyūga

Hinata defends naruto

Hinata defending Naruto.

Ever since they were children, Hinata Hyūga always admired Naruto's strength, determination to never give up no matter what the odds, his selfless nature and how his smile changed her, and she always strives to better herself thanks to Naruto's influence. In addition, Hinata was one of the very first people to identify Naruto's painful childhood,[29] and she fiercely believed that he would one day achieve his goal of becoming Hokage. As the series progressed, Hinata's long-standing admiration for Naruto soon grew into genuine care and affection, eventually leading her to fall in love with him.

Even though Naruto was initially oblivious to her feelings, he always held Hinata in high regard as a close friend because of her desire to change herself and be acknowledged, something that he can relate to. He has also shown a great deal of care for her, as in the Chūnin Exams, he declined her offer of copying her test due their risk of being disqualified,[30] defended Hinata from Neji's contempt toward her,[31] and even vowed with her own blood to defeat Neji in her place.[32] When Naruto later revealed his growing doubts about the match and his own abilities to Hinata, she reassured him that he was incredibly strong because he always had the strength to overcome his own failures. Naruto gratefully thanked Hinata for bringing him out of his depression, and he said to her that even though he had thought of her as a shy and quiet girl, he really liked a person like her.[33]

During the invasion of Pain, Hinata came to Naruto's aid after he was pinned down by Pain. Though knowing she stood no chance against the stronger opponent, Hinata refused to leave Naruto behind as she finally admitted her feelings to him before being struck down by the Akatsuki leader. Left speechless upon hearing her confession, Naruto took what he thought was her death very hard to the point of allowing Kurama to take full control out of sheer rage.[34] But once Naruto returned to normal, he was greatly relieved to learn that Hinata was still alive.[35] Using the memory of that event during the Fourth Shinobi World War after he saved her from the disguised White Zetsu, Naruto assured a depressed Hinata that she had become strong, to which she silently thanked him for cheering her up.[36]

Upon learning that Naruto was fighting against Obito, Hinata quickly made her way to aid Naruto, as well as making a firm resolve to be together with him once the war ends.[37] After Neji died protecting her and Naruto from the Ten-Tails, Hinata, with Kurama's aid, saved Naruto from falling into despair and reaffirmed his ninja way. With his self-confidence restored, Naruto took Hinata's hand and he admiringly thanked her for staying by his side as he fought alongside with her.[38]

Neji Hyūga

Neji's Fight With Naruto

Naruto battling Neji.

In the beginning, Naruto developed a strong dislike towards Neji Hyūga due to his ideals that no one can ever change their fate. Furthermore, after Neji left his cousin Hinata in critical condition, Naruto vowed to beat him at their match.[32] Their match proved not only a physical battle, but also a conflict of ideals with Neji losing on both accounts when Neji revealed his own fight with his fate as a branch member of the Hyūga clan. When Naruto promised that he would change the fate of the Hyūga clan for him, Neji became a nicer person as he set aside his hatred for the main house, looking after Hinata as he trained with her, and desired to become strong enough to return the favor to Naruto.

Years after, Neji got his chance during the Fourth Shinobi World War when he and Hinata came to Naruto's aid in a plan to defeat the Ten-Tails. However, their defences proved no match for the monster, and Neji took a deathblow from the Ten-Tails meant for Naruto and Hinata. As Naruto pleaded why he sacrificed himself, Neji stated he reminded him of their battle years ago and that Naruto called him a genius, Neji realised in his final moments that, like his father before him, he made the choice to die for those he holds dear.[39] Naruto's resolve was shattered upon Neji's death so much that Obito openly mocked Naruto for failing to protect his comrades. However, after Hinata and Kurama managed to remind him of his life not being just his own nor should give up on his death so easily. As his confidence was restored, Naruto thanked Hinata and admitted to himself how he'd never be able to thank Neji for everything he had done.[40]

Rock Lee

Calling him Centipede Brows (ゲジマユ, Gejimayu; English TV "Bushy Brows"), Naruto originally saw Rock Lee as a rival and vice-versa. Lee's victory over Naruto before the Chūnin Exams started was used by the latter as motivation to get stronger. After he stopped Naruto from attacking Neji for nearly killing Hinata, Lee admits his resolve to prove his team-mate's ideals of a fixed destiny being wrong. Seeing him sharing that same resolve, Lee was willing to let Naruto handle Neji in his stead prior to his injuries from fighting Gaara. Wanting to help Lee make a full recovery, Naruto brought Tsunade to Konoha in hopes that she could heal him. During the Fourth Shinobi World War, as he was mourning over Neji's death, Naruto helped Lee by giving him the strength needed to continue on fighting.[41][42]

Shikamaru Nara

Leaf Concentration Practice

Naruto and the other "dead lasts" in the Academy.

Though a genius, Shikamaru Nara was a "dead last" student like Naruto during their Academy days. Having noticed the way the other villagers ostracised Naruto, Shikamaru seemed to be one of the first of their peers to see him as more than as a jinchūriki. Furthermore, Shikamaru himself stated that there was something about Naruto compels him to follow him, and because of this, outside of missions that may include them working together, Shikamaru would sometimes hang out with Naruto. Having lost his mentor Asuma Sarutobi prior, Shikamaru played a role in helping Naruto cope with Jiraiya's death.

Kiba Inuzuka

Originally one of Naruto's fellow "dead lasts" during their Academy days, both Kiba Inuzuka and Naruto had developed a sense of friendship and rivalry with one another. Though he expected an easy win against Naruto in the Chūnin Exams, Kiba lost when his sensory abilities as an Inuzuka clan member were used against him. Despite the undignified defeat, Kiba maintained his friendship with Naruto and aided him on the failed mission to retrieve Sasuke back to Konoha. It was shown that Kiba wishes to become stronger than Naruto and have a rematch with him. Aware of Hinata's feelings for Naruto, Kiba was seen teasing him about it, stating that he doesn't need to act so tough in front of Hinata.[43]

Chōji Akimichi

Originally one of Naruto's fellow "dead lasts" during their Academy days, Chōji Akimichi, like his friend Shikamaru, mostly hangs out with Naruto when not on missions, usually going out to eat. While Naruto can be friendly to Chōji, he tries to avoid mentioning his weight due to the damage Chōji may cause if called "fat". Chōji at one time aided Naruto on the failed mission to retrieve Sasuke back to Konoha.

Shino Aburame

Like their other peers, Shino Aburame originally considered Naruto to be a talentless troublemaker but soon accepted him as a fellow ninja, despite bearing a slight grudge on the youth for not recognising him after being away for nearly three years.[44] Regardless, Shino admitted that Naruto had surpassed the rest of their peers, and during the Fourth Shinobi World War, he stated that he himself needed no reason to follow Naruto and aid him without question.[45]

Ino Yamanaka

Like her friend Sakura, Ino Yamanaka was attracted to Sasuke and originally considered Naruto as a loser compared to him. However, upon seeing Naruto's strength and unshakeable resolve during the Chūnin Exams, Ino gradually grew to respect and like him as a friend.

Tenten

At first, Tenten didn't have any real thoughts about Naruto until his upcoming match with Neji in the Chūnin Exams. Having seen her team-mate's strength, she instantly thought that Naruto wouldn't stand a chance against Neji, but was soon taken by surprise when the former defeated the latter, and would later grew to respect him.

Hiruzen Sarutobi

Naruto was looked after by Hiruzen Sarutobi after his parents' deaths. The Hokage kept his parents' identity a secret and gave him his mother's last name. He asked the village to never reveal anything about Kurama to Naruto or the children. Naruto was inspired by the Hokage, originally due to the respect they received, including Hiruzen, and hoped to become Hokage himself someday. He would often get under Hiruzen's skin by the disturbances he would make by his pranks or the use Sexy Technique, the latter of which often caused Hiruzen to suffer from nosebleeds due to being a closet pervert. Despite their unique relationship, Naruto deeply cared for Hiruzen and was very saddened by his sudden death, to which he payed his respects to the Hokage at the ceremony for the sacrifices he made for the village. Thanks to Hiruzen's teachings and value, Naruto would continue to help and protect the village after his death.

Konohamaru Sarutobi

Naruto's fav. student

Naruto and Konohamaru.

Even though he and Naruto had a rough start when they first met, Konohamaru Sarutobi is the second person to acknowledge Naruto as he is. This was due to Naruto not seeing Konohamaru as Hiruzen's grandson like everyone else in Konoha originally did. Though he pretended to be Naruto's rival for the position of succeeding Hokage, Konohamaru clearly has a deep and understanding friendship with Naruto and appears content to be the Seventh Hokage as he is perfectly convinced that the older boy will become the Sixth.[46] Having trained under him to learn the Sexy technique, Konohamaru devised his own variations of the unorthodox transformation technique. At some point, Naruto would go on further to teach him the Rasengan, further establishing both a brotherly and mentor-pupil relationship.

Tsunade

Naruto's relationship with Tsunade began when he aided Jiraiya in looking for her as an ideal successor to their mentor Hiruzen. Upon finding her, Naruto challenged Tsunade after she said only fools would want to become Hokage, accepting her wager of mastering the Rasengan within a week. Despite her reluctance to become Hokage and lack of faith, Tsunade was loyal to her village and attempted to kill her former team-mate Orochimaru before Kabuto used her hemophobia to his advantage. When Naruto defeated Kabuto with a fully mastered Rasengan, Tsunade overcame her phobia to aid him and accepted the position of Fifth Hokage. As a sign of thanks for restoring her faith in their village, Tsunade entrusted Naruto with her grandfather's necklace.

Overall, the two have a very strong relationship based on mutual love and respect, one that could almost be called familial as Naruto is the only person to refer to Tsunade as "granny". Tsunade aided Naruto in not only keeping the Konoha Council from restricting his movement, but also supporting his search for Sasuke and keeping him out of Konoha's Bingo Book. During the Fourth Shinobi World War, Tsunade is the only Kage who argued in favor of Naruto being allowed to fight with them. Though outvoted, the other Kage eventually agree with her resolve. Watching Naruto head off into battle, Tsunaded looked on with an expression of nostalgia, sadness, and pride on her face.

Sai

When Naruto first met Sai, they had a rough start due to Sai's constant criticism and regards of Sasuke as a traitor. However, the two got to understand each other better during their attempt to retrieve Sasuke with Naruto now considering Sai a member of Team Kakashi. Inspired by Naruto, seeing him as a big brother, Sai works to become a more social person though his attempts can sometimes be awkward. Although Naruto's ties to Sasuke were his overall motivation for bettering himself, Sai began to feel what he believed to anger over Sasuke becoming beyond redemption with all the grief that he caused for Naruto through his crime-riddled vendetta. During the Fourth Shinobi World War, Sai finally reaches a full understanding of friendship before arriving to Naruto's side during his battle with the Ten-Tails.

Might Guy

Though first seeing him as an eccentric weirdo, Naruto warmed up a bit to Might Guy after becoming friends with his apprentice Rock Lee. In turn, especially after his surprising victory over Neji in the Chūnin Exams, Guy grew to respect Naruto for his strong will, optimism, and determination. Guy later gave Naruto one of his spare green jumpsuits with the insistence that it would help improve his training.

Itachi Uchiha

Though he learned from Sasuke that he is looking for his brother, Itachi Uchiha, Naruto had no idea that Sasuke intended to kill Itachi for the massacre of their clan. By the time Naruto learned of this, he was attacked by Itachi when the Akatsuki sent him and Kisame Hoshigaki to capture him. Naruto was forced to stand by and watch Sasuke's failed attempt of revenge that lead him to defect from Konoha.

When encountered by Itachi again years later over his interest in Sasuke, Naruto told him that Sasuke was more of a brother to him than to Itachi. This made Itachi smile as he asked if that resolve would be as strong if Sasuke thought to attack the village, delighting with Naruto's answer of finding a way protect the village and save Sasuke without killing him. Taking his leave, Itachi placed a crow in Naruto's body with hopes that he may never need to use it.

Eventually, after Itachi's death, the crow is revealed to be embedded with Shisui Uchiha's Sharingan with Itachi installing a command that would compel Sasuke to protect Konoha. However, reincarnated and under the control of Kabuto during the Fourth Shinobi World War, tasked alongside Nagato to capture Naruto and Killer B, Itachi is forced to sacrifice his gambit to free himself from Kabuto's control and aid Naruto. Upon learning that Naruto was told the truth of the Uchiha clan massacre, gaining his respect for the lengths he would go to protect their village and promise not to reveal it to anyone else, Itachi entrusts Sasuke's well being to Naruto as he departed to stop Kabuto and release all the reincarnated ninja to give their side a fighting chance.

Itachi was also one of the few people who knew the identities of Naruto's parents and was well aware of his dream of becoming Hokage.

Nagato and Konan

Two students

Naruto meeting Nagato and Konan.

Like Naruto and his father, Nagato and Konan were apprentices under Jiraiya. However, events resulting from the death of their friend Yahiko forced Nagato and Konan to stray from their ideals as Obito warped the organisation they created into the current version of the Akatsuki that Naruto faces. After defeating Pain, one of six corpses that Nagato used as a vessel for his Deva Path ability, Naruto confronts Nagato. Though angry at Nagato for killing their mentor and destroying Konoha, Naruto asked him how, as a fellow student of Jiraiya, could have strayed so far from their master's teachings. Hoping that Naruto would come to agree with his solution for peace, Nagato told him his past and how he came to the conclusion to believe that only pain and suffering would save the world.

Although Naruto agreed with Nagato's conclusion, he could never accept it as he explains that putting an end to the cycle of hatred is the only way to achieve true peace. Amazed by Naruto's resolve to the point of being spared, Nagato decided to put his faith in the youth as he sacrifices himself to revive everyone he killed during his invasion while wishing for Naruto's dream of peace to become a reality. Konan, showing admiration for Naruto as he touched Nagato's heart along with her own, gave Naruto a bouquet as a sign of a truce and her new undying faith in him. Though she later died by Obito's hand, Konan continued to have faith that Naruto's light can extinguish Obito's darkness.

After Nagato's reincarnation, he is shown to be kinder and carefree to the point he was even willing to start making jokes, something that surprised Naruto. His opinion of Naruto also strengthened after he last saw him, pointing out to Itachi Uchiha that he wasn't surprised that Naruto was able to advance his control over Kurama's power since they both had studied under the same master. Upon Nagato's sealing, he bid Naruto farewell and how he would leave Naruto to finish the story their master started with a better ending than before.

Jinchūriki and the Tailed Beasts

Jinchūriki

Naruto and the other most recent jinchūriki.

Although he never knew every one of them personally, the jinchūriki and the tailed beasts are all considered by Naruto as his comrades. During the Fourth Shinobi World War, Naruto encountered the other jinchūriki that were reincarnated by Kabuto and the tailed beasts that were under Obito's control. Naruto understood their pain and resolved to aid them, in turn convincing Kurama to trust the human as Naruto was taken into the tailed beasts' shared subconsciousness along with the other jinchūriki. The jinchūriki and their tailed beasts each introduce themselves while placing their faith in Naruto and Kurama through fist bumps. While their jinchūriki were allowed to pass on, the tailed beasts each gave Naruto a part of their chakra before being pulled back into the Demonic Statue of the Outer Path prior to its regeneration into the Ten-Tails.

Gaara

Naruto saves Gaara

Naruto's friendship with Gaara, a former enemy from Sunagakure.

When Naruto first met Gaara prior to the Chūnin Exams, he was unaware that he was jinchūriki like himself until he and Shikamaru stopped him from finishing off the hospitalised Lee. The encounter at the hospital, and later during his battle against Gaara during the Invasion of Konoha, Naruto saw Gaara to have suffered like he had. After defeating Gaara, Naruto crawled towards him and revealed himself as a jinchūriki. While shocked that his opponent suffered as he had, Gaara was even more surprised that Naruto never gave up hope on being acknowledged as a person and ultimately found friends who truly cared for him.

Naruto's undying devotion and desire to protect his loved ones inspired Gaara to take a similar path, becoming the Fifth Kazekage of Sunagakure to connect to his people and be finally acknowledged as a person rather than as Shukaku's jinchūriki. Over the next few years, Gaara's determination to find happiness became apparent from his decision to rely on his own power rather than his inner demons. When Naruto insisted to save Gaara from by the Akatsuki members Sasori and Deidara, he lamented to find that the Akatsuki killed Gaara by extracting Shukaku. Though he criticised Chiyo for sealing Shukaku inside him, Naruto offered his chakra to her for Gaara's revival.

During the Five Kage Summit, when Sasuke attacked the meeting, Gaara tried convincing him to go back to light. But Sasuke's refusal forces Gaara to consider any attempt Naruto makes to reach his former friend futile, along with possibly damaging his faith in him and his devotion to his friends. He confronted Naruto about this face-to-face, stating to Naruto if can become Hokage, he would be placed in a position of either saving Sasuke or protecting Konoha's people from him. When they met again on the battlefield, his earlier decision motivated by the need to protect his friend, Gaara eventually came to accept that he may have made an error in judgement when he decided to isolate Naruto from the war, willing to place his trust in him again. Stating likewise, Naruto insists that he doesn't plan on dying before becoming Hokage, and saying that Gaara's position as Kazekage doesn't mean that he should treat him like a kid.

Due to its desire to kill him during their only meeting, Shukaku is the only tailed beast who had not come to terms with Naruto nor have the chance to once the Ten-Tails is recreated.

Killer B and Gyūki

B intercepts

Killer B standing up for Naruto.

When Naruto first met Killer B, he thought his raps were a little bit weird, but after discovering that he was a jinchūriki like him and had full control, he immediately requested B to train him. After gaining B's respect, the two became good friends and can actually relate to one another, even by communicating with B's raps and fist bumps, something that Yamato, much to his own frustration, couldn't understand what they were saying. Naruto in return shows respect for B, calling him uncle. B was also willing to help him fight Kurama within his subconscious with Gyūki's help. B even stood up for him against his brother, A, when he tried to kill him and stated he would keep his promise from Iruka to protect Naruto, even going as far as to offer up his own life in exchange for A allowing Naruto to continue on. The two then fought off against Obito and his Six Paths of Pain and could understand the other tailed beasts' suffering from Obito's control.

With regards to its relationship with the other tailed beasts, Gyūki mentioned that it and the other tailed beasts disliked Kurama for its habit of ranking their strength based on their number of tails.[47] However, it insisted that was no reason for not helping Naruto to control Kurama's power.[48] Gyūki, along with B, were even more impressed by Naruto when he was able to get Kurama to cooperate with him.

Rivals and Enemies

Sasuke Uchiha

Young sasuke and Naruto

Naruto and Sasuke's rivalry during their childhood.

Ever since he first met with Sasuke Uchiha back in the Academy days, Naruto instantly saw him as his rival and was bent to prove himself as an equal before both youths were made members of Team 7. Even though he thought of Naruto as a loser, Sasuke understood the pains of being an orphan well to the point of taking offence to Sakura blaming Naruto's stupidity on him not having parents.[20] As the series progressed, Naruto came to view Sasuke as a brother. In turn, Sasuke also saw Naruto as a dear friend until the events of the Chūnin Exam arc convince him to defect from Konoha to train under Orochimaru to achieve his goal to avenge his clan against his brother Itachi.

Even after being defeated by Sasuke in an attempt to stop him from leaving, Naruto still strived to bring him back home despite Sasuke's willing defection and eventual corruption. When Naruto came to understand both the nature of the cycle of hatred and the reason of Sasuke's malice, his desire to save Sasuke grew even more.[49][50] It became so immense that Naruto was willing to take physical abuse from the Kumo-nin rather than sell Sasuke out, pleading with the Fourth Raikage to pardon Sasuke for his crimes against his village.[51][52]

Naruto would later learn that Tobi poisoned Sasuke against Konoha upon telling him why the Uchiha Clan was killed off. According to him, Naruto and Sasuke are now mortal enemies as they respectively embody the Will of Fire and the Curse of Hatred. Finding Sasuke, yet refusing to back down or kill him with the intent to bare his friend's hatred, Naruto concluded that reasoning him out of destroying Konoha is no longer a possible option and believed that they would most likely die during their fated conflict. Regardless of the scenario that he would have no choice but to kill him the next time they meet, Naruto still recognised Sasuke as a friend.

Zabuza Momochi and Haku

Water Release Water Clone

Naruto's first encounter with Zabuza.

A relationship that shaped Naruto's character, giving him his ninja way and the determination to protect others was during his first C-rank mission of escorting Tazuna to the Land of Waves where he met two mercenary Missing-nin hired to kill Tazuna — Zabuza Momochi of the Seven Ninja Swordsmen of the Mist and his ward Haku. While he met Zabuza only twice in his life on the battlefield, Naruto unknowingly met Haku between the two fights. Both youths got into a discussion over protecting those who were precious to them, with Naruto gaining his unselfish desire to protect his friends and to never give up. By the time Naruto learned Haku was his enemy during their battle, he was reluctant to take his life before Haku acted on his own ideals and sacrificed himself to protect Zabuza after being inflicted with numerous injuries.

Hearing Zabuza talk ill of Haku's sacrifice as the boy serving his purpose as his tool, the older ninja hiding his actual feelings of sadness for someone he grew to care about, Naruto reprimands Zabuza for not appreciating Haku's actions with Zabuza finally opening his heart as he kills his former employer before dying from his wounds. Soon after Zabuza and Haku were buried, Naruto admitted to Kakashi that he liked the two with his mentor feeling the same way. When Kabuto brought the pair back to life for the Fourth Shinobi World War, Zabuza and Haku encounter Kakashi who reveals that Naruto had grown into a fine and well-known shinobi since their deaths.

Orochimaru

Gathering of the Snakes

Naruto vs. Orochimaru.

Naruto first encountered Orochimaru during the Chūnin Exam, unaware of the true identity of his opponent at the time, and was quickly knocked out. Naruto learned that he is one of the Sannin and the one who attacked the village, first meeting Orochimaru officially while trying to help Tsunade. Originally, before watching him defeat Kabuto, Orochimaru viewed Naruto as no threat to him until realising his potential and tried to kill him. After Sakura revealed their previous encounter with the disguised Orochimaru and that he was targeting their team-mate, Naruto resolved to train to face Orochimaru after he lured Sasuke with the promise of power. When they meet again years later, Orochimaru provokes Naruto into fighting him. But when Naruto uses Kurama's power to fight him, Orochimaru finds himself struggling against the youth and manages to escape. However, knowing of Naruto's role in the death of his former partner Sasori, Orochimaru saw the boy to be more useful in taking out his former Akatsuki allies. Though Naruto hoped that Orochimaru's death would mean that Sasuke would return to the village, it only led to a more tragic turn of events.

Kabuto Yakushi

File:Attack! Fury of the Rasengan!.JPG

When Naruto first met Kabuto Yakushi, he saw him as an ally during the Chūnin Exams. Despite his seeming politeness and helping the younger ninja out, Kabuto has some fixation on him. Eventually, when Naruto later discovered that he works under Orochimaru, Kabuto became his enemy and defeated him a fight that nearly killed him were it not for Tsunade. However, three years later, Naruto learns that his win inspired Kabuto to undergo the painful process of modifying his body with Orochimaru's DNA after his master's defeat. Stating that Naruto was his inspiration for the risky act, Kabuto handed over a book containing intelligence on the Akatsuki before taking his leave with the hope that he can settle things with Naruto after honing his new abilities and dealing with Sasuke. Though he crossed paths with Kabuto during the Chikara Arc, Naruto only faced the ninja that Kabuto brought back for the Fourth Shinobi World War.

Obito Uchiha

Madara wants to talk

Obito talks to Naruto.

Similar to Naruto in his youth in many ways before his presumed death during the Third Shinobi World War, Obito Uchiha is a reflection of the person Naruto would become if he ever gave in to hatred and despair. Though he saw the boy of no concern, Obito has been the cause of almost everything negative in Naruto's life, having been the one who used the newborn as a hostage, started Kurama's attack on Konoha, and indirectly killed his parents. Years later, after adopting the name Tobi, he would encounter Naruto again when he distracts the youth and the rest of the Eight Man Squad from interfering with Sasuke's fight against Itachi. Tobi later appeared before Naruto again, revealing the truth behind the Uchiha clan massacre and how he engineered Sasuke's descent into darkness. Though Tobi claimed his actions were for world peace, he embraced being called a monster while proclaiming that Naruto and Sasuke are fated to battle each other.

Though Tobi initially saw Naruto as a means to stimulate Sasuke for his goals, the youth's inadvertent thwarting of his plans forced him to plunge the entire ninja world into war to expedite his plans. Even after Naruto broke his thrall over the tailed beasts he captured, Tobi reiterated his contempt for Naruto and reassured himself that the boy is no match for him. However, as Kurama stated, Naruto was made a jinchūriki for the purpose of defeating him. Ultimately, it was because of Naruto that Tobi is finally exposed as Obito. While using the Ten-Tails to fight him, Obito realised the similarities between himself and Naruto as he vainly attempts to point out the futility of the youth's struggle against him and Madara. But when Naruto vowed to make sure none of his friends die, disapproving on his new twisted outlook on life, Obito resolved to put both him and the Allied Shinobi Forces into the same despair he experienced. Though he almost succeeded in breaking Naruto with his guilt over his 'inability' to protect Neji, Obito's plan failed when Hinata and Kurama intervened. As a result, now above his psychological warfare, Naruto tells Obito that the only difference between them is that he wants to keep the bonds he made with his friends.

Madara Uchiha

Being Kurama's jinchūriki, Naruto gained a very powerful enemy in Madara Uchiha, the mastermind behind Obito's actions. Brought back through Impure World Reincarnation, Madara didn't think much of Naruto and only cared about obtaining Kurama within him. Madara would go on to battling against the five Kage, whom he could defeat at any moment, rather than pursue Naruto, until he got bored of them. Overall, while not above giving Naruto praise over countering one of his wood techniques, Madara held nothing but contempt for the young man, viewing him only as a slight hindrance in obtaining Kurama, but when Naruto proved to be much more resilient than he thought, he concluded that he won't hesitate in killing him.

References

  1. Naruto chapter 422, page 2
  2. 2.0 2.1 Naruto chapter 426, pages 12-16
  3. Naruto chapter 568, page 8
  4. Naruto chapters 496-499
  5. Naruto chapter 539, pages 1-4
  6. Naruto chapter 561, pages 13-14
  7. Naruto chapter 568, pages 15-17
  8. Naruto chapter 569, pages 12-17
  9. Naruto chapter 570, page 15
  10. Naruto chapter 572, page 8
  11. Naruto chapter 594, pages 4-5, 12
  12. Naruto chapter 597, pages 15-17
  13. Naruto chapter 615, page 13
  14. Naruto chapter 440, pages 6-7
  15. Naruto chapter 498, page 4
  16. Naruto chapter 504, pages 14-15
  17. Naruto chapter 541, pages 10-11
  18. Naruto chapter 544, pages 3-8
  19. Naruto chapter 404, pages 6-9
  20. 20.0 20.1 Naruto chapter 3, pages 21-24
  21. Naruto chapter 19, page 13
  22. Narutochapter 43 pages 12-14
  23. Naruto chapter 183, pages 12-14
  24. Naruto chapter 458, page 13-16
  25. Naruto chapter 474, pages 8-10
  26. Naruto chapter 469, pages 10-17
  27. Naruto chapter 487, pages 9-10
  28. Naruto chapter 573, page 13
  29. Naruto chapter 76, page 11
  30. Naruto chapter 42, page 6
  31. Naruto chapter 78, pages, 16-17
  32. 32.0 32.1 Naruto chapter 81, page 8
  33. Naruto chapter 98, pages 8-14
  34. Naruto chapter 437, pages 8-16
  35. Naruto chapter 441, pages 6-7
  36. Naruto chapter 559, pages 3-6
  37. Naruto chapter 573, pages 9-10
  38. Naruto chapters 614-617
  39. Naruto chapter 614
  40. Naruto chapter 615, page 19
  41. Naruto chapter 616, pages 20-22
  42. Naruto chapter 617, pages 3-4
  43. Naruto chapter 611, page 17
  44. Naruto chapter 282, pages 12-14
  45. Naruto chapter 573, page 10
  46. Naruto: Shippūden episode 1
  47. Naruto chapter 567, page 11
  48. Naruto chapter 493, page 7
  49. Naruto chapter 451, pages 8-10
  50. Naruto chapter 462, pages 8-11
  51. Naruto chapter 454, pages 9-13
  52. Naruto chapter 457, pages 9-10

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