- Character name: Naruto Uzumaki (うずまきナルト, Uzumaki Naruto)
- Debut: Manga Chapter 1, Naruto Episode 1
- Seiyu: Junko Takeuchi, Ema Kogure (for Sexy Technique)
- Voice actor: Maile Flanagan, Stephanie Sheh (for Sexy Technique)
- Age: Part I: 12-13, Part II: 15
- Height: Part I: 147.5 cm, Part II: 166
- Weight: 40.6
- Birthday: October 10
- Blood type: B
- Rank: Genin
- Current affiliation: Konohagakure
- Current team: Team Yamato (Yamato, Naruto Uzumaki, Sakura Haruno, Sai)
- Previous affiliation:
- Previous team: Team 7 (Kakashi Hatake, Naruto Uzumaki, Sasuke Uchiha, Sakura Haruno), Team Shikamaru (Shikamaru Nara, Choji Akimichi, Neji Hyuga, Kiba Inuzuka, Naruto Uzumaki)
- Relatives: The Fourth Hokage(?)
Naruto Uzumaki (うずまきナルト, Uzumaki Naruto) is the main character in the anime and manga series Naruto.
Naruto can mean "maelstrom," and is also the name for a sliced stick of Kamaboko with a pink whirlpool design in the middle that is used as a topping for Ramen (Naruto's favorite food). The surname "Uzumaki" is a pun on "spiral" (渦巻), while "Uzumaki" refers to a three-dimensional spiral, like a whirlpool or vortex. A more accurate translation for spiral would be "Rasen." The Konoha leaf symbol is drawn with an arrow attached to a spiral, part of the seal on his abdomen is a spiral, the symbol on the back of his jacket and shoulders is a spiral, and one of his attacks is Rasengan, which means "Spiraling Sphere." "Uzumaki" can also mean "whirlpool," in reference to the Naruto whirlpool (鳴門の渦潮), named after the city of Naruto.
October 10, Naruto's birthday, was Health and Sports Day ("Taiiku no hi") in Japan when his character was conceived – a holiday full of physical activity fit for a hyperactive kid. The holiday, however, was moved to the second Monday of October in 1999.
Masashi Kishimoto, the creator of the manga series, stated in a recent interview with the U.S. Shonen Jump that his childhood was like that of Naruto's years while he was enrolled in the Academy.
Naruto consistently ranked in the top two (taking first place twice) in the first five official Shonen Jump character popularity polls. However, in the sixth character poll, he ranked fourth.
Naruto was born on October 10, but not much is known beyond that. His parentage remains a mystery, as do any other family ties he may have had. As a newborn infant, the nine-tailed demon fox, which had attacked the village of Konoha, was sealed within Naruto's body by the Fourth Hokage of Konoha.
Despite the Fourth Hokage's wish that Naruto be seen as a hero who contained the demon, the villagers of Konoha harbored a fierce hatred for the young child, since he bore the spirit of the demon who decimated their once peaceful village. Naruto wasn't even aware of the presence of the demonic entity inside him until he was twelve years old, leaving him confused for most of his childhood about why the villagers of Konoha hated him so much.
Fortunately, Naruto was befriended by his compassionate ninja instructor, a Chunin named Iruka Umino. Though Iruka's own parents perished at the hands of the demon fox, Iruka didn't blame Naruto for their deaths. Instead, Iruka accepted Naruto and empathized with the boy's desire to be accepted, since he too once had the same desire. He may have been the first person to believe in Naruto, and has made a lasting impact on Naruto himself. It is through Iruka's presence as Naruto's only family figure that Naruto learns to overcome his sadness.
Before graduating from the Academy, Naruto had a craving for acknowledgment. He would play pranks all around the village in an attempt to be recognized by its inhabitants. This included, but was not limited to, painting graffiti on the monument depicting the first four Hokages, and transforming himself into a naked female version of himself to annoy his instructors. He would also tell everyone who doubted him on a near-constant basis that he would one day become Hokage. As he tells Iruka, he wishes to achieve this rank in order to be recognized by those around him, and to have the responsibility of defending them. Even after graduating, Naruto is still determined to be recognized, and becomes the "Number One Loudest, Unpredictable, Hyperactive Knuckleheaded Ninja" of Konoha, as described by Kakashi Hatake.
Naruto's exuberant personality and fiery desire for self-improvement strongly impacts the lives of those around him. At the beginning of the series, Naruto befriends Konohamaru, the grandson of the Third Hokage, and it is through his brief tutelage that Konohamaru learns that the path to success is through plenty of hard work. Despite his brash, headstrong, and even slightly dumb nature, Naruto is a clever prankster who overcomes his opponents through a combination of willpower, clever diversions, and more-often-than-not dumb luck (though as Kakashi states, luck is very important).
Naruto has a great sense of humor, albeit somewhat perverted in some cases, and usually smiles and laughs all round (though at times, he smiles to hide whatever is bothering him so no one worries about him; those who are closest to him see right through it). Outside his world, he's just an ordinary, loud, hotheaded kid with a fierce will and a knack for getting into trouble.
One of Naruto's hobbies is gardening, even though Naruto was beaten in episode 20 for not knowing the difference between weeds and herbs. He is the one who gives Kakashi Mr. Ukki, the plant seen on Kakashi's windowsill (Kishimoto once described how he had the same plant for a while until he fed it undiluted plant food).
In the Japanese versions, Naruto often ends his sentences with "dattebayo," and as such has a unique style of speech. In Japanese, an ending with no literal meaning can be added to make the tone sound tougher, childish, girlish, or many other changes depending on the many existing endings. "-ttebayo," which is not a well-known ending, has no literal meaning and cannot be translated, but carries the connotations of the speaker being uncultured, brusque, and seeming tougher than they really are In the English anime and video games, he often says "Believe it!" to fit with the mouth movements of "-ttebayo."
Despite rapidly maturing throughout the series, Naruto retains a naive streak and a knack for childish accessories. For example, his pajamas always include a comical black nightcap with eyes and teeth. Naruto also keeps his money in a chubby, green-frog wallet he affectionately calls Gama-chan.
Naruto is an avid eater with an appetite comparable to that of Choji Akimichi's. His favorite food, ramen, serves as a bond between Naruto and anyone who would treat him to it. In many episodes, he can be seen devouring enormous servings of ramen in a variety of flavors. However, an opportunity to eat any sort of food usually leaves Naruto lying down and exclaiming, "Whew, I ate too much!" with an exaggerated pot belly.
Though Naruto is usually quite dense in most cases (which often results in Sakura or someone nearby hitting him), he can actually be quite observant when he wants to be, or the subject tweaks his interest. During their first meeting with Rock Lee, it is Naruto who points out to the rest of Team 7 that Lee's hand wraps hide his battered and bruised knuckles, indicating Lee is the type of person who trains non-stop.
Naruto and the demon fox
As the host of the demon fox, both Naruto's body and mind (occasionally) are influenced by it. Physically, Naruto has some of the demon fox's characteristics, such as whisker-like marks on his cheeks and larger than normal canines. His eyes are also somewhat slitted like a fox. He also has increased stamina and healing ability, which allows him to recover from major injuries within a day and minor injuries within a few seconds. Mentally, Naruto remains largely unaffected, save for a few animalistic traits that slip through, such as his occasional tendency to leap between trees on all fours. Since the demon fox was sealed inside Naruto at birth, it is unclear just what parts of his personality it has had an effect on; however, it could explain Naruto's devilish side for pulling pranks to gain attention, as well as his stubbornness to never back down from a challenge. These traits become more pronounced as he draws upon the demon fox's chakra.
The kitsune (狐) is a well-known character in Japanese folklore, and the influence behind not only the demon fox but many other reincarnations in modern Japanese culture. It likes to play tricks and pranks on people, and on occasions transforms itself into a beautiful woman and seduces a man (obviously the inspiration for Sexy Technique). Also, Kitsune are known to keep their promises, a trait Naruto has; his ninja way is to "never go back on [his] word." It should also be noted that every time Naruto loses control and is overwhelmed by the demon fox's chakra, he seemingly gains another "tail" of chakra. This stems from the belief that the more tails a kitsune has, the more powerful it is, with nine tails usually being the limit.
Naruto's normal chakra level is considered extremely high, partially because of the demon fox. Even without directly drawing upon it, a small amount of the demon fox's chakra is always mixed with his own. His body instinctively rejects the bulk of it due to the damage it would cause. Ebisu implies that Naruto's poor chakra control stems from this, as a portion of his chakra is used to reject the overwhelming fox chakra. According to Kakashi, Naruto's regular chakra level is about double that of Kakashi's own. As such, he is naturally suited to jutsu that use a large amount of chakra, such as his signature jutsu: Shadow Clone Technique. While most ninja are only capable of creating a few clones safely, due to the jutsu's hazard of equally dividing the user's chakra among the clones, Naruto is able to create upwards of two thousand while maintaining a decent supply of chakra in each one.
The demon fox's chakra usually comes to Naruto during life threatening or other stressful situations, given to him by the fox itself to ensure its survival. Naruto eventually learns to contact the fox and demand some of its chakra, which it seems to comply to out of amusement. The reason Naruto is able to access its chakra is because of the unique way in which it was sealed. Though the fox remains trapped within Naruto, its chakra can leak out through the seal and mix with Naruto's. The fox's near-limitless supply of chakra becomes an invaluable weapon for Naruto, often turning the tide of a difficult battle in his favor. The fox chakra increases every aspect of Naruto's physiology, making him a nearly unstoppable force. His speed and strength increase far beyond that of any normal human, and even beyond that of most ninja. It also increases his healing rate, allowing him to regenerate even major wounds in a few seconds. His stamina is also increased beyond its normal level, allowing him to fight without tiring. Finally, if the chakra shield is summoned, it is capable of acting on its own as a separate entity, making it difficult to predict Naruto's movements. Naruto can usually suppress the fox's chakra by himself before his tailed transformations begin surfacing. Beyond that, the fox's chakra seems to increase in intensity with time. Several external methods can be used to suppress it once this occurs, such as Jiraiya's sealing talisman or Yamato's sealing techniques.
This tremendous power is not without its disadvantages, however. When he first accesses it, Naruto is unable to retain control when using the demon fox's chakra, allowing its innate rage and anger to take over his personality. Over time, Naruto gains more control over the demon fox, allowing him to retain his personality while using its chakra. However, his degree of control is determined by the amount of chakra he draws upon and his emotional state. As he becomes more emotional and draws on more of the demon fox's chakra, his own personality is gradually supplanted by the demon fox's.
Naruto's state of mind coincides with his tailed transformation states, which are characterized by a fox-shaped shield of chakra surrounding Naruto. Naruto becomes more powerful with each "tail" the chakra shield grows, but also loses more of himself to the demon fox. This is shown within his mind as the demon fox drawing ever closer to him. At first, some of the demon fox's chakra merely leaks through the bars. The amount of chakra increases as the demon fox grows more dominant. Up to his three-tailed state, he remains in control, though somewhat more feral than normal. He also starts feeling pain from the intense chakra. In his three-tailed state, Naruto has to fight the demon fox for dominance, and the chakra is intense enough to not only cause him pain, but anyone in the vicinity as well. Once he reaches his four-tailed state, the demon fox becomes dominant. In his mind, Naruto slips through the bars and into the demon fox's grasp. In this state, which is the highest state Naruto has reached, Naruto's mind becomes mixed with the demon fox's, causing the regular Naruto to fade out. As Jiraiya describes it, Naruto becomes a miniature version of the demon fox.
The shield created by the demon fox's chakra is perhaps the most versatile defense seen in the series, since it is impervious to almost any attack. The shield can act as a separate entity, which confuses opponents, even those with the Sharingan. The shield can also stretch and skew to many sizes and lengths, allowing Naruto to attack opponents from a distance. Additionally, Naruto can use it to create shock waves to repel opponents. In Naruto's four-tailed state, the chakra shield is intense enough to burn others and act as a potent poison. Naruto also gains the ability to mold the chakra to a much finer degree. In this state, he was able to create a ball of concentrated chakra to fire at an opponent. The chakra ball was powerful enough to break through three Rashomon gates without losing momentum.
Even with all of its benefits, Naruto's human body can only handle so much of the demon fox's chakra, as demon chakra is far more intense than human chakra. As he draws upon greater amounts of the demon fox's chakra, his own body is weakened. In his four-tailed state, the demon fox's chakra is so intense that it constantly burns Naruto's skin, causing him to bleed from every pore. This causes his blood to mix with the demon fox's chakra, creating a red chakra shield. In addition to the constant damage, the demon fox's chakra also constantly regenerates Naruto's damaged tissue. This repeated cycle of damage and repair severely weakens Naruto's cellular structure, shortening his overall lifespan in a manner similar to Tsunade's Creation Rebirth.
See also: Plot of Naruto
Naruto begins as an unsuccessful student of the ninja academy, having failed the graduation exam twice. Each time, it had been based on the Clone Technique, which he could never perform properly. His third try ends up no different, and it seems as if he'll have to go through yet another year at the Academy. However, he gets an unusual break in the form of Mizuki, who tricks Naruto into stealing a forbidden scroll in order to steal it himself without being blamed. To do so, he claims that Naruto will graduate if he simply learns a technique from the scroll. In an ironic twist, the jutsu he learns is the Multiple Shadow Clone Technique, which is an enhanced form of the regular version. After learning the truth about Mizuki and subsequently beating him to a pulp for it, he is allowed to graduate for learning such an advanced clone technique. Naruto also learns about the demon fox from Mizuki, who tells Naruto about it despite the taboo forbidding it.
Survival Test and Wave Country arcs
Having graduated, Naruto is paired with Sakura Haruno and Sasuke Uchiha in Team 7. The three do not work well together, and having Kakashi Hatake assigned as their Jonin-sensei doesn't help matters, since he emphasizes teamwork above all else. His first test, which is designed to test their teamwork, goes badly to say the least, since not one of them passes and Naruto is tied to a post for cheating. However, Kakashi gives them another chance, and they pass the test by learning to think as a team.
With Team 7 officially formed, they start going on simple missions. Naruto, wanting to be challenged, inadvertently gets Team 7 assigned an A-rank bodyguard mission for a bridge builder, though it was listed as C-rank due to misinformation on the client's part. In their first battle with two Chunin-level ninja, Naruto freezes out of fear, while Sasuke calmly takes on the enemy. Kakashi intervenes before either is seriously injured, though Naruto is poisoned. Sasuke makes fun of Naruto for his fear, beginning their long-standing rivalry. The rest of the team then have a conversation over what to do about the poison, all the while making Naruto feel like more and more of a burden because he froze. Finally out of frustration Naruto takes action by stabbing a kunai into his wound to bleed out the poison, vowing to protect the bridge-builder and never freeze up again. Kakashi then has to bandage the wound out of fear of Naruto dying of blood loss, but it's seen that the wound already starts to heal.
In a subsequent battle against Zabuza Momochi, a Jonin-level ninja sent by evil businessman Gato to assassinate their client, Naruto freezes up again but upon seeing the bandage on his hand and remembering his vow, gets over his fear and works with Sasuke to free Kakashi from a water prison created by Zabuza. Despite their rivalry, the two make a perfect team and free Kakashi, who subsequently defeats Zabuza. Zabuza is saved from death by Haku, who disguised himself as a hunter-nin and put Zabuza into a death-like coma. He departed with the body under the guise of disposing with it for security reasons.
While they continue protecting the bridge builder, Kakashi teaches Team 7 to walk up trees using chakra. Sakura masters the technique instantly, while Sasuke only gets a short distance and Naruto can't manage to stick to the practice tree. While normally not one to ask for help, Naruto asks Sakura for pointers, and quickly catches up to Sasuke. The two serve as motivation for one another, since neither wants to lose to the other, and they master the technique in a few days. During their training, Naruto stumbles upon Haku, not knowing who he really is, and the two have a short conversation about protecting those precious to them.
This conversation serves as a basis for their eventual battle, during which Sasuke seemingly gives his life to protect Naruto (Haku had in fact done the same thing to Sasuke as he had to Zabuza, but deliberately avoids telling Naruto). Enraged, Naruto subconsciously calls upon the demon fox's chakra and defeats Haku in a blind rage, despite Haku being even stronger than Zabuza. Though it appears as if Naruto will kill Haku, he pulls back when he realizes that Haku is the same person he met in the woods earlier. Haku, having no other purpose in life than to protect Zabuza and fulfill his dreams, asks that Naruto kill him. Naruto is eventually persuaded to do so by the story of Haku's past, but doesn't get the chance. Haku, sensing Zabuza was in danger, instead kills himself by intercepting a fatal attack from Kakashi. Zabuza was initially indifferent to Haku's death, leading to a guilt trip by Naruto. Zabuza actually does care, however, and can't hide that fact after Naruto's speech. When Zabuza's employer betrays him, Zabuza sacrifices his own life to kill him. As a final wish, Zabuza dies next to Haku, hoping to be in death where he wasn't in life.
Profoundly affected by the mission, Naruto vows not to become an emotionless weapon as Zabuza and Haku were (for the most part). At the end of the episode, when Naruto and company leave, the villagers decide to name the bridge "The Great Naruto Bridge," as Naruto changed one character in the arc, Inari, who had lost all hope after his "father" died after Gato had taken control of the Wave Country.
Chunin Exam and Destruction of Konoha arcs
Fresh from their mission in the Wave Country, Team 7 is admitted into the Chunin Exams. During this time in particular, Naruto makes several friends out of former enemies, and grows much stronger through these battles. He also sees some of the other Genin in a new light.
During the first part of the exam, which is a written exam designed specifically to be too hard for Genin to complete, Naruto is left sweating over the fact that he can't answer any of the questions. He does not realize that the purpose of the exam is to cheat without being caught by the proctors positioned around the room. Hinata Hyuga, who is sitting next to him, offers to let him copy her test. Though not sure at first, he almost takes her up on her offer. However, he hears the tell-tale sound of a moving pencil from one of the proctors, signifying that they see someone cheating, and decides it's best not to, since Hinata would get in trouble, too. Hinata is glad that Naruto really does care about her, protecting her from getting into trouble and having to forfeit the Chunin exams. The last question of the test, whose secret answer is merely the willingness to try, is where Naruto's attitude rubs off on the other Genin. Unwilling to give up, he proclaims in front of everyone participating that he won't be scared away, and as such many more decide to do the same than they would have otherwise.
During the second part of the exam, Naruto and Sasuke end up in opposite positions as they had during Team 7's first battle. Sakura and Sasuke, having met Orochimaru after a giant summoned snake ate Naruto, are paralyzed with fear from Orochimaru's great intention to kill. Naruto, who wasn't there to experience it, not only kills the giant snake which had previously detained him, but fights off another one of Orochimaru's summoned snakes by using the demon fox's chakra. In this instance, he retains control. Sakura and Sasuke get their first look at Naruto's demon fox state, though they don't truly understand what it means. After pinning the giant snake, Naruto mocks Sasuke in the same manner as Sasuke had done to him. Orochimaru uses the opportunity to grab Naruto and seal the demon fox's chakra, which remains sealed until after the preliminary parts of the Chunin Exam. Naruto is left unconscious for the remainder of the fight, and Team 7 only survives because Orochimaru never intended to kill them, only wanting to brand Sasuke with the Cursed Seal of Heaven. To complete this part of the exam, Team 7 and Kabuto Yakushi, a fellow Genin, are forced to fight off a group of Rain Genin, one of whom had attacked Sasuke earlier. Despite his own chakra being disrupted from the seal, Naruto defeats the entire team almost single-handedly using his clones, though a small distraction from Kabuto also helped.
Because of Naruto's earlier outburst during the first part of the exam, as well as a particularly skilled group of remaining candidates after that point, 21 people make it to the third part of the exam. This is slightly more than twice the normal amount, so preliminary exams are held to cut the numbers in half with one on one battles. Before the exams begin, Sasuke admits to Naruto that he wants to fight him. Naruto is eventually paired against Kiba Inuzuka. Kiba and virtually everyone else present believe Naruto stands no chance, and Kiba even mocks Naruto's dream of being Hokage. Naruto, however, takes everything Kiba throws at him, despite the clear advantage in Kiba's favor. In the end, Naruto wins through a little dumb luck and a clever use of his shadow clones. Other notable battles include Hinata's battle against Neji. Neji labels Hinata as a failure and a dropout who can't change her fate, enraging Naruto. After her utter defeat at Neji's hands, Naruto tries to attack him, but is stopped by Rock Lee, who insists that a dropout defeating a genius would be sight to see, but should be done in a proper match. On Hinata's spilled blood, Naruto swears to defeat Neji. Sure enough, he gets his chance. Once the preliminaries are over, he is paired against Neji for the first match. The nine remaining candidates are given one month to prepare for the main matches.
Hoping to get a lot of training in during the month-long break, Naruto tries to get Kakashi to help. Kakashi, however, is busy training Sasuke, and leaves Naruto in the care of Ebisu. Ebisu begins training Naruto to walk on water, but the training is cut short with the introduction of Jiraiya, one of the Legendary Sannin, three of the most powerful ninja alive. Ebisu catches Jiraiya peeping on women and tries to stop him. Not happy about the interruption, Jiraiya summons a toad and has it tongue-whip Ebisu into unconsciousness. Minus one teacher, Naruto insists that Jiraiya replace Ebisu. Always the insatiable pervert, it's Naruto's Sexy Technique that convinces him to do so. For the remainder of the month, Jiraiya teaches Naruto to summon toads and use the demon fox chakra, which is essential for the former technique. It is during this time that Naruto first summons Gamabunta, who, after cowing Naruto into submission, agrees to make Naruto his subordinate. The day before the main matches begin, Naruto and Shikamaru inadvertently catch Gaara attempting to kill Rock Lee, whom he had tried to kill during an earlier battle. During their confrontation, Naruto learns that Gaara contains a demon too, and that their pasts are quite similar. Gaara, however, only had one person acknowledge him, and that one person ended up trying to kill him. This drove Gaara insane, and convinced him that the only way to insure his existence was to kill anyone who threatened it. Gaara would have killed both Naruto and Shikamaru then and there, but Might Guy stops him from doing so.
Once the main matches begin, Naruto originally appears outmatched once again against the genius Neji. Despite this, Naruto continually questions Neji's outlook on life, even though every attack he tries is repelled. Neji eventually decides to finish the match by closing off Naruto's chakra points, but Naruto gets up from this attack, too. Impressed, Neji tells Naruto about his painful past and the cursed seal on his forehead. Neji insists that Naruto could never know what it's like to carry a mark that will be with him till death, though this couldn't be further from the truth. Not convinced by Neji's reasoning, Naruto calls upon the Demon fox's chakra and instantly evens the odds. In the end, Naruto defeats Neji, convincing him that fate truly can be changed.
After the attack on Konoha begins, Naruto, Sakura, Shikamaru, and Pakkun are sent to retrieve Sasuke, who is chasing after Gaara. Sasuke had injured Gaara during their battle, so Temari and Kankuro escaped with him so he could recover. During their pursuit, Shikamaru decides to stay behind to deal with a group of Sound-nin tracking them. Though Sakura is unsure if Shikamaru will actually confront them, Naruto has complete faith in him. He notes that Shikamaru is lazy, but when he actually tries to do something will always come through. Upon catching up to Gaara, Naruto is initially unwilling to fight him, since he is aware of just what Gaara is and Sasuke is unable to help. He is convinced to fight after Gaara captures Sakura and pins her with a detached hand of sand, which suffocates her at a slow rate. Since defeating Gaara is the only way to remove it, Naruto gets serious, badly damaging Gaara in order to protect his friends. Even in the face of Gaara's full Shukaku form, he refuses to give up, summoning Gamabunta and destroying the sand creature with the chief toad's help. In the end, Naruto lands the final punch on Gaara, leaving him unable to move. Naruto's not much better off, but crawls his way to Gaara to make sure he's defeated. As he crawls, he admits to Gaara that he knows the same pain of loneliness, but won't let Gaara kill the people who saved him from it. Though Sasuke stops Naruto, he still manages to change Gaara's outlook on life.
Return of Itachi and Search for Tsunade arcs
After the attack on Konoha, Jiraiya is asked to become the Fifth Hokage by Konoha's elders. He declines the offer, however, and instead decides to locate Tsunade, also one of the Legendary Sannin, and have her become the Fifth. The elders offer to have an ANBU squad accompany him, but he refuses. Aside from the fact that traveling with an ANBU squad would only make Tsunade harder to find, he already has someone he wants to take: Naruto. Itachi Uchiha and Kisame Hoshigaki, two members of Akatsuki, are searching for Naruto, so Jiraiya is taking Naruto to protect him. Naruto initially doesn't want to go, but Jiraiya offers to teach him a powerful technique, which instantly sells Naruto on the idea. Despite Jiraiya taking him along for the trip, Itachi and Kisame do eventually find them. Using a hypnotized woman to draw Jiraiya away, the two attempt to kidnap Naruto. The arrival of Sasuke slows them slightly, though only because Itachi is unwilling to finish Sasuke off. Regardless, the short delay is enough time for Jiraiya to arrive and force the two Akatsuki to retreat.
With the threat from Akatsuki gone, Jiraiya begins teaching Naruto the Rasengan, an advanced A-rank technique, developed by the Fourth Hokage, that only requires one hand and no hand seals to use; it's chakra manipulation in its purest form. Naruto is mostly left to learn the technique by himself, since he needs to learn the trick to doing it by himself. Jiraiya never tells Naruto this, leaving Naruto disappointed. While they are searching for Tsunade, Tsunade is approached by Orochimaru, who wants her to heal his sealed arms. In exchange, he offers to resurrect her dead brother and lover, and allows her a week to consider the offer. When Jiraiya and Naruto finally find Tsunade, Naruto can't believe that she's going to be the Fifth Hokage. Her disrespectful remarks to both the position and the recently deceased Third don't help matters, and he challenges her to a fight. Against one of the Sannin, Naruto has no chance, and Tsunade holds him off with a single finger. Though he has yet to perfect it, he attempts to use the Spiraling Sphere on her. She dodges this, too, and then berates Jiraiya for teaching Naruto a technique he can't possibly master. Naruto insists that he can, and bets that he can learn it in three days. Naruto's personality reminds Tsunade of her deceased loved ones, so she takes the bet, giving Naruto a week. If Naruto wins, she'll accept that he can become Hokage, and give him her incredibly valuable necklace that originally belonged to the First Hokage. Her two deceased loved ones had also owned it for a time, and died soon after receiving it.
By week's end, Naruto still hasn't mastered the technique, but notes that he has an alternate means of completing it should it be necessary. Their bet is interrupted by the arrival of Orochimaru and Kabuto, whom Tsunade betrays. Naruto is initially left out of the fight, but comes to Tsunade's aid after Kabuto tries to kill her. It is during their fight that Naruto finally completes the Spiraling Sphere, using a shadow clone to do what he could not do by himself. Kabuto is severely injured by the technique, but injures Naruto just as badly. Naruto is saved by Tsunade, who gets over her hemophobia, or fear of blood, in order to save him. He regains consciousness just long enough to proclaim he won their bet. In turn, she gives him her necklace and accepts that he will become Hokage someday.
Sasuke Retrieval arc
In the anime, a short filler arc involving a mission to the Tea Country precedes this arc. This filler arc does little except reinforce Sasuke's point of view in the next arc. After returning with Tsunade and having Sasuke healed, Naruto recognizes Sakura's feelings for Sasuke. Though still jealous, he is mature enough not to get in the way. Meanwhile, Sasuke broods over the substantial progress Naruto has made in comparison to his own. Feeling inferior, Sasuke challenges Naruto to a fight. The two go to the roof of the hospital, where each voices their opinion of their rivalry, with Naruto insisting they're equals while Sasuke thinks otherwise. Their battle is short, ending with each trying to use their most powerful attack on the other. Kakashi steps in to prevent them from injuring Sakura, who attempts to intervene. Kakashi deflects their attacks into adjacent water towers. At first, it appears as if Sasuke did more damage, because Naruto's tower only had a small hole in the front while Sasuke's was greatly damaged. Later it is revealed Naruto's attack also blew a large hole out the back of the tower, demonstrating that Naruto's strength is greatly superior. Though Kakashi tries to convince Sasuke to give up his quest for revenge, his defeat at the hands of the Sound Four leads him to defect to Orochimaru.
Naruto's friends hold off the Sound Four so Naruto can reach Sasuke. Once he does, the two have a much more serious battle, during which they each bring out their respective "gifts," those being Naruto's demon fox chakra and Sasuke's cursed seal. During the battle, Sasuke claims that he doesn't need any friends, as that does nothing to make him more powerful, since killing Itachi is his only goal. Naruto refuses to accept Sasuke's decision, as by his own admission Sasuke is like a brother to him and he can't bear to lose him to the twisted path of self-destruction he has chosen. This drives Naruto to draw upon the demon fox's chakra to such a degree that he nearly overcomes Sasuke's fully awakened Sharingan. As such, Sasuke finally acknowledges Naruto as an equal. In the end, the two use their most powerful attacks against each other once more, only this time enhancing the attacks with their respective gifts. They do not go through with their attacks, however. Naruto purposefully misses, instead scratching Sasuke's headband, and Sasuke doesn't kill Naruto because he doesn't want to become like Itachi (though this mentality seemingly changes in Part II as he now has no reservations about killing Naruto).
With Sasuke's successful defection, Naruto's main goal is to bring Sasuke back before Orochimaru can take him as his new host. Jiraiya, recognizing Naruto's determination, remembers his own attempt to stop Orochimaru from defecting. Though he clearly believes Naruto's goal to be foolish, he takes Naruto with him for a two-and-a-half year period of training. There is a three-month break before this happens, which was covered by series of filler arcs in the anime. Like the Tea Country arc, these provide very little plot and character development. There are a few exceptions (i.e Hinata, Anko), but none involve Naruto's character directly.
See also: Plot of Naruto: Shippūden
In Naruto: Hurricane Chronicles, after a two-and-a-half year time skip, Naruto shows physical growth, sports a new outfit, and appears to not only have increased in strength, speed, and techniques, but intelligence as well, Kakashi even said that Naruto has become more cunning. However, Naruto is still a Genin, since he hasn't had a chance to take the Chunin Exams again. According to Tsunade, Naruto is also slowly adopting some of Jiraiya's perverted traits. During his apprenticeship under Jiraiya, Naruto was able to read the latest of the "Icha Icha" series written by Jiraiya, although when he presents a copy to Kakashi, he says he thought it was boring.
It seems Naruto's feelings for Sakura have matured. He does not seem to have a child-like crush anymore. They have a very easy time communicating with each other, despite the nearly three-year separation. They are capable of having a casual conversation together, and they seem to like spending time together. Naruto is now noticeably taller than Sakura, (In Part I, he is made fun of for being shorter than her) and some of his other friends, (Kiba even states Naruto has become a "giant").
It was when Team 7 was on the way to Sunagakure that Naruto finally reveals to Sakura and Temari that the demon fox was sealed inside him. Sakura sympathizes with him, as does Temari, who is very grateful to Naruto for the change in her little brother, Gaara. With this revelation, Sakura begins to understand why the village hated him and why he was so alone growing up. It is also shown that Sasuke's defection still affects Naruto and Sakura, and when the whole of Team 7 (minus Kakashi) finally meets after two and a half years, Sasuke greets them, as he did when they became a team, with cold indifference, and says he doesn't care if he becomes Orochimaru's vessel as long as Itachi will die. He even attempts to kill Sakura and Naruto. Later, after Sasuke leaves with Orochimaru and Kabuto, Naruto and Sakura are clearly upset that he is no longer the Sasuke they knew.
After his 'reunion' with Sasuke, and the realization that after all his special training he is no closer to saving Sasuke, Naruto sinks into a deep depression. His outlook is changed, however, when Kakashi tells him that he will train Naruto to create a unique jutsu that could possibly give him the strength to finally meet Sasuke on an even level. Finally receiving the one-on-one training with Kakashi that he has always desired, and with his last encounter with Sasuke driving him, Naruto becomes more serious and focused than he's ever been. During his training, Kakashi remarks that he believes Naruto will surpass the Fourth Hokage and later, even sees a vision of the Fourth Hokage around Naruto. Also, after Naruto shows off the results of his special training Kakashi admits to himself that Naruto has surpassed him.
Naruto has displayed a few new abilities since the start of Hurricane Chronicles. His ability to release the demon fox's chakra, and the subsequent lack of control of it as a result, has increased dramatically. Naruto can now use the two or three tail states with ease, although it is a dangerous and harmful technique to use. Sometime during his training with Jiraiya, Naruto transformed into a four-tailed form of the demon fox (and almost killed Jiraiya), although this is extremely dangerous since he starts losing control at this state. Orochimaru states that this form is powerful enough to actually kill him. Jiraiya mentions that the seal holding the demon fox is becoming weaker, accounting for the ease with which its chakra escapes.
Naruto has greatly improved his ninjutsu and taijutsu post-timeskip; he has also become a much better tactician, creating a few shadow clones for specific purposes rather than creating several dozen shadow clones and hoping for the best. He managed to catch Kakashi by surprise during his second test, and even used Kakashi's obsession to the Icha Icha novels to his advantage. Naruto is also starting to wield and become more skilled with weapons other than regular kunai or shurikens, as seen in the Rescue Gaara arc. Like Tenten, he now carries a scroll to summon various weapons from. Naruto has also developed a more powerful version of the Spiraling Sphere, titled the Great Ball Spiraling Sphere. Naruto uses both his and his clone's hand to control it due its unstable nature and immense power.
After Team 7's failed attempt to rescue Sasuke, Kakashi teaches Naruto to manipulate elemental chakra. Naruto's elemental chakra type is revealed to be wind, which is well suited to combat. The elemental training is a prerequisite to creating his own unique jutsu. This jutsu is revealed to be a combination of his elemental chakra and the Spiraling Sphere, which the Fourth Hokage had created expressly for that purpose. He, however, could not manage to combine the two before his death. Kakashi, having learned from the Fourth, could not manage it, either. While such a feat normally takes years to complete, Naruto is able to learn hundreds of times faster through the use of his shadow clones. Since the clones are linked to each other and Naruto, allowing them to share their experiences with the others once they are dispersed (similar to distributed computing).
After much training and a few shortcuts inspired by Kakashi, Naruto creates the Wind Release: Spiraling Sphere, a much more powerful version of the original. The jutsu is capable of producing a massive crater beneath Naruto. Despite the great power of the technique, Yamato confirms that it is still only about halfway finished. Even only half-finished, Naruto's control over the technique is finely-tuned, allowing him to manipulate the wind chakra into various shapes, such as a shuriken. The technique is so powerful, however, that it breaks Naruto's arm in several places. Sakura warns him that he should only use the jutsu as a last resort. It is revealed later in Kakuzu's autopsy that the technique caused so much damage to Kakazu, it damaged every cell in his body. Such is its power that Tsunade likens the effect to poison, stating plainly how concentrated the effect is. Tsunade tells Kakashi and Yamato that Naruto must never use the jutsu again, since his right arm suffered nearly the same damage. As Kakashi is about to tell him this, Naruto stops him, stating that he knows his body better than anyone and that there's nothing to worry about.
- First Official Data Book (秘伝・臨の書キャラクターオフィシャルデータBOOK, Hiden: Rin no Sho Character Official Data Book)
- Second Official Data Book (秘伝・闘の書キャラクターオフィシャルデータBOOK, Hiden: Tō no Sho Character Official Data Book)
- Jump's 2nd Great Hero Book's Mini Data Book (秘伝・翔の書オフィシャルキャラクターデータBOOK mini, Hiden: Shō no Sho Official Character Data Book mini)
- Naruto anime and manga Guidebook (秘伝・翔の書オフィシャルキャラクターデータBOOK mini, Hiden: Shō no Sho Official Character Data Book mini)
- Taken directly from the Naruto manga chapters and anime episodes.