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Naruto UzumakiうずまきナルトUzumaki Naruto
Anime and Manga
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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 which is also 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. An interesting fact is that his mother is from the Whirlpool Country.
Naruto's definitive characteristic in battle is his immense amount of chakra. While naturally having a significant amount of chakra on his own, he can summon a gargantuan amount given to him by the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox.
October 10th, Naruto's birthday, was Health and Sports Day ("Taiiku no hi") in Japan when his character was conceived. 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 was ranked fourth. According to the latest character poll, Naruto took second.
Naruto was born on October 10th to Minato Namikaze the Fourth Hokage, and Kushina Uzumaki, a kunoichi from the former Whirlpool Country, and was named after the lead character in Jiraiya's book. As a newborn infant, the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox, which had attacked the village of Konohagakure, was sealed within Naruto's body by his father.
Despite Minato's wish that Naruto be seen as a hero rather than a container of the demon fox, the villagers of Konoha harbored a fierce hatred for the young child, since he bore the demon fox 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.
Even 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.
In Part II, 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 very 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 still has a massive crush on Sakura, however, he is much more mature about it. 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. They also now seem to like spending time together.
As stated by Jiraiya, Naruto bears a striking resemblance to his father, especially when he was a kid. Naruto possesses similar blue eyes and spikey blonde hair. Naruto is regularly seen with an upbeat and eager persona, always eager for something such as learning a new technique or a hot bowl of ramen. A trait regularly mentioned that easily angered him was his short stature even for his age. During Part I, he was one shortest of his graduating class, second only by Hinata. During Part II, he had a significant growth spurt that was noticeable to all, as first mentioned by Sakura who stated he was much taller than her. Even Kiba states that Naruto has become a "giant". Also earlier in the series Naruto used to squint his eyes alot but stopped after awhile.
Naruto and the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox
Main article: Naruto Jinchūriki Forms As the host of the demon fox, both Naruto's body and occasionally his mind 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.
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 demon fox's overwhelming 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 demon fox itself to ensure its survival. Naruto eventually learns to contact the demon 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 demon fox remains trapped within Naruto, its chakra can leak out through the seal and mix with Naruto's. The demon 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 demon fox's 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 demon fox's chakra by himself before his tailed transformations begin surfacing. Beyond that, the demon 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.
See also: Plot of Naruto
Naruto began 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 ended up no different, and it seemed as if he'd have to go through yet another year at the Academy. However, he got an unusual break in the form of Mizuki, who tricked Naruto into stealing a forbidden scroll in order to steal it himself without being blamed. To do so, he claimed that Naruto would graduate if he simply learned a technique from the scroll. In an ironic twist, the jutsu he learned 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 was allowed to graduate for learning such an advanced clone technique. Naruto also learned about the demon fox from Mizuki, who told Naruto about it despite the taboo forbidding it.
Having graduated, Naruto was paired with Sakura Haruno and Sasuke Uchiha in Team 7. The three did not work well together, and having Kakashi Hatake assigned as their Jonin-sensei didn't help matters. Once the test stated, Naruto quickly got arrogant and challenged Kakashi directly. Even with the assistance of his Shadow Clone technique, Kakashi had no trouble brushing Naruto off. After the team failed the test, and Naruto was tied to a post for trying to eat his meal before earning it, Kakashi revealed that the true goal of the test was to emphasize teamwork above all else. However, Kakashi gave them another chance, and they passed the test by learning to think as a team.
Wave Country arcs
With Team 7 officially formed, they started going on simple missions. Naruto, wanting to be challenged, inadvertently got Team 7 assigned an A-rank bodyguard mission for a bridge builder named Tazuna, 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 froze out of fear, while Sasuke calmly took on the enemy. Kakashi intervened before either was seriously injured, though Naruto was poisoned. Sasuke made fun of Naruto for his fear, beginning their long-standing rivalry. The rest of the team then had 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 took 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 had to bandage the wound out of fear of Naruto dying of blood loss, but it was seen that the wound already started to heal.
In a subsequent battle against Zabuza Momochi, a Jonin-level ninja sent by evil businessman Gato to assassinate their client, Naruto froze up again but upon seeing the bandage on his hand and remembering his vow, got over his fear and worked with Sasuke to free Kakashi from a water prison created by Zabuza. Despite their rivalry, the two made a perfect team and freed Kakashi, who subsequently defeated Zabuza. Zabuza was 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 continued protecting the bridge builder, Kakashi taught Team 7 to walk up trees using chakra. Sakura mastered the technique instantly, while Sasuke only got a short distance and Naruto couldn't manage to stick to the practice tree. While normally not one to ask for help, Naruto asked Sakura for pointers, and quickly caught up to Sasuke. The two served as motivation for one another, since neither wanted to lose to the other, and they mastered the technique in a few days. During their training, Naruto stumbled upon Haku, not knowing who he really was, and the two had a short conversation about protecting those precious to them.
This conversation served as a basis for their eventual battle, during which Sasuke seemingly gave his life to protect Naruto (Haku had in fact done the same thing to Sasuke as he had to Zabuza, but deliberately avoided telling Naruto). Enraged, Naruto subconsciously calls upon the demon fox's chakra and defeated Haku in a blind rage, despite Haku being even stronger than Zabuza. Though it appeared as if Naruto would kill Haku, he pulled back when he realized that Haku was the same person he met in the woods earlier. Haku, having no other purpose in life than to protect Zabuza and fulfill his dreams, asked that Naruto kill him. Naruto was eventually persuaded to do so by the story of Haku's past, but didn't get the chance. Haku, sensing Zabuza was in danger, instead killed 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 did care, however, and couldn't hide that fact after Naruto's speech. When Zabuza's employer betrayed him, Zabuza sacrificed his own life to kill him. As a final wish, Zabuza died next to Haku, hoping to be in death where he wasn't in life.
Profoundly affected by the mission, Naruto vowed 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 left, the villagers decided 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 was admitted into the Chunin Exams. During this time in particular, Naruto made several friends out of former enemies, and grew much stronger through these battles. He also saw some of the other Genin in a new light.
During the first part of the exam, which was a written exam designed specifically to be too hard for Genin to complete, Naruto was left sweating over the fact that he couldn't answer any of the questions. He did not realize that the purpose of the exam was to cheat without being caught by the proctors positioned around the room. Hinata Hyuga, who was sitting next to him, offered to let him copy her test. Though not sure at first, he almost took her up on her offer. However, he heard the tell-tale sound of a moving pencil from one of the proctors, signifying that they see someone cheating, and decided it's best not to, since Hinata would get in trouble, too. Hinata was 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 was merely the willingness to try, is where Naruto's attitude rubs off on the other Genin. Unwilling to give up, he proclaimed in front of everyone participating that he wouldn't be scared away, and as such many more decided to do the same than they would have otherwise.
Forest of Death
During the second part of the exam, Naruto and Sasuke ended 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, were paralyzed with fear from Orochimaru's great intention to kill. Naruto, who wasn't there to experience it, not only killed the giant snake which had previously detained him, but fought off another one of Orochimaru's summoned snakes by using the demon fox's chakra. In this instance, he retained control. Sakura and Sasuke got their first look at Naruto's demon fox state, though they didn't truly understand what it meant. After pinning the giant snake, Naruto mocke Sasuke in the same manner as Sasuke had done to him. Orochimaru used the opportunity to grab Naruto and seal the demon fox's chakra, which remained sealed until after the preliminary parts of the Chunin Exam. Naruto was left unconscious for the remainder of the fight, and Team 7 only survived 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, were 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 defeated 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 was slightly more than twice the normal amount, so preliminary exams were held to cut the numbers in half with one on one battles. Before the exams began, Sasuke admitted to Naruto that he wanted to fight him. Naruto was eventually paired against Kiba Inuzuka. Kiba and virtually everyone else present believed Naruto stood no chance, and Kiba even mocked Naruto's dream of being Hokage. Naruto, however, took everything Kiba throws at him, despite the clear advantage in Kiba's favor. Kiba gave Naruto one punch, which knocked him over, but surprising everyone, Naruto got up. Kiba managed to throw two smoke bombs and Akamaru attacked Naruto. Naruto appeared to be unconscious, but it turned out Naruto transformed into Akamaru to attack Kiba. Kiba was surprised that Naruto learned the Transformation Technique and the Shadow Clone Technique, which originally was his worst technique. Kiba gave Akamaru a special food pill and took one himself, and his increased strenth and speed completely overwhelms Naruto, but after a while, Naruto got an idea. After Kiba's next attack, which involved smoke bombs, Naruto transformed into Kiba, and everyone is confused on which one was Naruto and which was Akamaru. Naruto tricked Kiba into attacking Akamaru, but was still at a disadvantage. He paralyzed Kiba by farting directly in his face (Kiba was trying to attack from behind). Then, for the first time, dished out his Uzumaki Naruto Combo. Other notable battles included Hinata's battle against Neji Hyuga. Neji labeled Hinata as a failure and a dropout who couldn't change her fate, which enraged Naruto. After her utter defeat at Neji's hands, Naruto tried to attack him, but was stopped by Rock Lee, who insisted 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 sweared to defeat Neji. Sure enough, he got his chance. Once the preliminaries are over, he was paired against Neji for the first match. The nine remaining candidates were given one month to prepare for the main matches.
Hoping to get a lot of training in during the month-long break, Naruto tried to get Kakashi to help. Kakashi, however, was busy training Sasuke, and left Naruto in the care of Ebisu. Ebisu began training Naruto to walk on water, but the training was cut short with the introduction of Jiraiya, one of the Legendary Sannin, three of the most powerful ninja alive. Ebisu caught Jiraiya peeping on women and tried to stop him. Not happy about the interruption, Jiraiya summoned a toad and had it tongue-whip Ebisu into unconsciousness. Minus one teacher, Naruto insisted that Jiraiya replace Ebisu. Always the insatiable pervert, it's Naruto's Sexy Technique that convinced him to do so. For the remainder of the month, Jiraiya taught Naruto to summon toads and use the demon fox's chakra, which was essential for the former technique. It was during this time that Naruto first summoned Gamabunta, who, after cowing Naruto into submission, agreed to make Naruto his subordinate. However, summoning the toad king landed Naruto in the hospital the day before the main matches begin. Shikamaru Nara came and brought him a fruit basket, but both 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 learned that Gaara contains a demon too, and that their pasts were 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 stopped him from doing so.
Once the main matches began, Naruto originally appeared outmatched once again against the genius Neji. Despite this, Naruto continually questioned Neji's outlook on life, even though every attack he tried was repelled. Neji eventually decided to finish the match by closing off Naruto's chakra points, but Naruto got up from this attack, too. Impressed, Neji told Naruto about his painful past and the cursed seal on his forehead. Neji insisted 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. Naruto used his shadow clones throughout the match, but when he finally tricked Neji, Neji uses his Eight Trigrams Sixty-Four Palms. Now all hope for Naruto seemed to have vanished completely, and even Hinata began crying, but Naruto remembered about Jiraiya's statement that Naruto has two kinds of chakra. Not convinced by Neji's reasoning, Naruto called upon the demon fox's chakra, surprising everyone even more, and instantly evened the odds. In the end, Naruto defeated Neji with the use of a shadow clone, which surprised everyone in the arena even more, as they thought Naruto was a terrible ninja who only beat Kiba through dumb luck. This convinced Neji that fate truly can be changed.
Destruction of Konoha
After the attack on Konoha began, Naruto, Sakura, Shikamaru, and Pakkun were sent to retrieve Sasuke, who was 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 decided to stay behind to deal with a group of Sound-nin tracking them. Though Sakura was unsure if Shikamaru would actually confront them, Naruto had complete faith in him. He noted that Shikamaru is lazy, but when he actually tries to do something would always come through. Upon catching up to Gaara, Naruto was initially unwilling to fight him, since he was aware of just what Gaara was and Sasuke was unable to help. He was convinced to fight after Gaara captured Sakura and pinned her with a detached hand of sand, which suffocated her at a slow rate. Since defeating Gaara was the only way to remove it, Naruto got serious, badly damaging Gaara in order to protect his friends. Even in the face of Gaara's full Shukaku form, he refused to give up, summoning Gamabunta and destroying the sand creature with the chief toad's help. In the end, Naruto landed the final punch on Gaara, leaving him unable to move. Naruto's not much better off, but crawled his way to Gaara to make sure he was defeated. As he crawled, he admits to Gaara that he knew the same pain of loneliness, but wouldn't let Gaara kill the people who saved him from it. Though Sasuke stopped Naruto, he still managed to change Gaara's outlook on life.
Return of Itachi and Search for Tsunade arcs
After the attack on Konoha, Jiraiya was asked to become the Fifth Hokage by Konoha's elders. He declined the offer, however, and instead decided to locate Tsunade, also one of the Legendary Sannin, and have her become the Fifth. The elders offered to have an ANBU squad accompany him, but he refused. Aside from the fact that traveling with an ANBU squad would only make Tsunade harder to find, he already had someone he wanted to take: Naruto. Itachi Uchiha and Kisame Hoshigaki, two members of Akatsuki, were searching for Naruto, so Jiraiya was taking Naruto to protect him. Naruto initially didn't want to go, but Jiraiya offered to teach him a powerful technique, which instantly sold Naruto on the idea. Despite Jiraiya taking him along for the trip, Itachi and Kisame eventually found them. Using a hypnotized woman to draw Jiraiya away, the two attempted to kidnap Naruto. The arrival of Sasuke slowed them slightly, though only because Itachi was unwilling to finish Sasuke off. Regardless, the short delay was enough time for Jiraiya to arrive and force the two Akatsuki to retreat.
With the threat from Akatsuki gone, Jiraiya began teaching Naruto the Rasengan, an advanced A-rank technique, developed by the Fourth Hokage, that only required one hand and no hand seals to use; it's chakra manipulation in its purest form. Naruto was mostly left to learn the technique by himself, since he needed to learn the trick to doing it by himself. Jiraiya never told Naruto this, leaving Naruto disappointed. While they were searching for Tsunade, Tsunade was approached by Orochimaru, who wanted her to heal his sealed arms. In exchange, he offered to resurrect her dead brother and lover, and allowed her a week to consider the offer. When Jiraiya and Naruto finally found Tsunade, Naruto couldn't believe that she was going to be the Fifth Hokage. Her disrespectful remarks to both the position and the recently deceased Third didn't help matters, and he challenged her to a fight. Against one of the Sannin, Naruto had no chance, and Tsunade held him off with a single finger. Though he had yet to perfect it, he attempted to use the rasengan on her. She dodges this, too, and then berated Jiraiya for teaching Naruto a technique he couldn't possibly master. Naruto insisted that he could, and bet that he could learn it in three days. Naruto's personality reminded Tsunade of her deceased loved ones, so she took the bet, giving Naruto a week. If Naruto won, 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 hadn't mastered the technique, but noted that he had an alternate means of completing it should it be necessary. Their bet was interrupted by the arrival of Orochimaru and Kabuto, whom Tsunade betrayed. Naruto was initially left out of the fight, but came to Tsunade's aid after Kabuto tried to kill her. It was during their fight that Naruto finally completed the rasengan, using a shadow clone to do what he could not do by himself. Kabuto was severely injured by the technique, but injured Naruto just as badly. Naruto was saved by Tsunade, who got over her hemophobia, or fear of blood, in order to save him. He regained consciousness just long enough to proclaim he won their bet. In turn, she gave him her necklace and accepted that he would become Hokage someday.
Sasuke Retrieval arc
In the anime, a short filler arc involving a mission to the Land of Tea preceded 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 recognized Sakura's feelings for Sasuke. Though still jealous, he was mature enough not to get in the way. Meanwhile, Sasuke brooded over the substantial progress Naruto has made in comparison to his own. Feeling inferior, Sasuke challenged 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 stepped in to prevent them from injuring Sakura, who attempted to intervene. Kakashi deflected their attacks into adjacent water towers. At first, it appeared 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 was revealed Naruto's attack also blew a large hole out the back of the tower, demonstrating that Naruto's strength was greatly superior. Though Kakashi tried to convince Sasuke to give up his quest for revenge, his defeat at the hands of the Sound Four led him to defect to Orochimaru.
Naruto's friends hold off the Sound Four so Naruto could reach Sasuke. Once he did, 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 claimed that he didn't need any friends, as that did nothing to make him more powerful, since killing Itachi was his only goal. Naruto refused to accept Sasuke's decision, as by his own admission Sasuke was like a brother to him and he couldn't bear to lose him to the twisted path of self-destruction he had chosen. This drove Naruto to draw upon the demon fox's chakra to such a degree that he nearly overcame Sasuke's fully awakened Sharingan. As such, Sasuke finally acknowledged Naruto as an equal. In the end, the two used 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 missed, instead scratching Sasuke's headband, and Sasuke didn't kill Naruto because he didn't want to become like Itachi (though this mentality seemingly changed in Part II as he now has no reservations about killing Naruto).
Pre-Shippuuden filler arcs
With Sasuke's successful defection, Naruto's main goal is to bring Sasuke back before Orochimaru could take him as his new host. Jiraiya, recognizing Naruto's determination, remembered his own attempt to stop Orochimaru from defecting. Though he clearly believed Naruto's goal to be foolish, he took Naruto with him for a 2½ year period of training. There was 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
Rescue Gaara arc
When Part II began, Naruto reestablished himself in Konoha, after meeting some of his old friends again. Kakashi then took the remaining members of Team 7 for a second bell test, which even with their now excellent team work, the two couldn't take the bells from Kakashi by force. It was Naruto who thought of using Kakashi's obsession with the Icha Icha series of books to their advantage. Naruto and Sakura rushed Kakashi at once, with Naruto yelling spoilers for the new book, causing Kakashi to close his eyes, thus losing the advantage of the Sharingan, and his ears so he couldn't hear what they were saying, allowing the two to retrieve the bells. Afterward, Tsunade gave them a mission, a request from Sunagakure, to help rescue their captured Kazekage.
It was when Team 7 was on the way to Sunagakure that Naruto finally revealed to Sakura and Temari that the demon fox was sealed inside him. Sakura sympathized with him, as did Temari, who was very grateful to Naruto for the change in her little brother, Gaara. With this revelation, Sakura began to understand why the village hated him and why he was so alone growing up. Continuing on their mission with the help of Team Guy Naruto and his team got as far as to find Gaara, already dead, the Shukaku extracted from him by the Akatsuki, and the only members there, Deidara, and Sasori. In a rage, Naruto went after Deidara alone, after the latter used one of his clay creations to grab Gaara's body as bait to capture Naruto as well, with Kakashi deciding to back him up. While they chased him, Kakashi used his Mangekyo Sharingan to cripple Deidara, allowing Naruto and a few clones to grab and attack him, while another grabed his clay bird to retrieve Gaara's body, whom Naruto hoped survived. Seeing Gaara's body and releasing that the Deidara he was attacking was just a Clay Clone, Naruto became enraged. Kakashi watched as Naruto began to grow two chakra tails of the demon fox, to which he quickly suppressed before it was complete, using a seal Jiraiya gave him just before the mission. When Deidara escaped and Chiyo revived Gaara at the cost of her life, Team 7 and Team Guy returned to Konoha, with new information about Orochimaru's location.
Sai and Sasuke arc
When the teams returned to Konoha, Naruto was reunited with Shino, whom Naruto couldn't recognize because of his hood, Kiba, who calls Naruto a "giant" because he was now taller than him, and Hinata, was so overcome with emotions by simply seeing Naruto, she couldn't bring herself to see him herself, instead looking up to see Naruto talking to her and faints. Later Naruto met up with Shikamaru and Choji before the three were "attacked" by Ink Lions, created by Sai, the repleacement of Sasuke in Team 7. Team 7 was then given a new leader, the ANBU ninja, Yamato, for their next mission, to use Sasori's information to get info on Orochimaru's plans, and more importantly, get Sasuke back. On the way, Sai's personality, and his general lack of respect for the traitorous Sasuke caused conflicts with his other teammates.
The meeting with Kabuto didn't however go as planned as Orochimaru himself showed up before they could get the information from Kabuto. Yamato called his team for support, but Orochimaru brought up the touchy situtaion of Sasuke. Naruto, enraged that Orochimaru was referring to Sasuke like he belonged to him, demanded Sasuke to be returned to them, and quickly slipped from one to three-tails transformation. When it was clear Orochimaru couldn't be beaten that easily, his fury increased and Naruto slips into the grasp of the demon fox, and he grew four chakra tails, allowing the demon fox to take over his body, turning him into a miniature demon fox.
In battle, four-tailed Naruto was almost unbeatable. No matter what Orochimaru attacked him with, Naruto either shrugged it off, or attacked with greater force. Finally, Naruto began to charge a concentrated chakra ball and fired it that seemingly defeated Orochimaru. However Orochimaru simply used his snake like body to expand his neck and stabbing Naruto in the chest with his Kusanagi Sword, which sent Naruto back towards the bridge, but didn't go through his chakra shield. Kabuto mentioned to Sakura that Naruto was like this because of his desire to save Sasuke, and to fulfill his promise to Sakura to bring him home, to the point where he would kill Orochimaru and not even be conscious. In tears, Sakura ran to try to talk sense into Naruto, saying she would bring Sasuke back for both of them, but the four-tailed Naruto instead attacked her with one of his tails, injuring her left arm and thus leaving an opening for Yamato's wood trap. Yamato then forcibly suppressed the demon fox's chakra so Naruto turned back to normal, but covered in his own blood. As Sakura healed him, Sakura revealed to Yamato that she wanted to be more helpful to Naruto and be there for him and beat the Akatsuki, who was commenting that Sakura had stronger feelings for Naruto than she'll admit, but he was interrupted by Naruto regaining consciousness.
When the remainder of the team broke into Orochimaru's hideout they first found Sai who revealed to them his mission from Danzo, to side with Orochimaru in destroying Konoha, and to then betray him in the end. They brought Sai out of the base where he questioned Naruto on why he would risk his life to save someone who didn't care about him anymore, and Naruto explained that he is his friend, the first person to truly acknowledge his existence. Just then, Kabuto appeared but was quickly subdued by Sai. With Kabuto temporarily dealt with, they once again split up to find Sasuke, Sakura going with Yamato, and Sai going with Naruto. Together, Sai saw his brother in Naruto and he finally smiled from the heart, only to be interrupted by the deviant, Orochimaru. Naruto told Sai he would deal with Orochimaru while he goes after Sasuke. When Sakura and Yamato arrived to support Naruto, Orochimaru simply told them he would rather go after Sai now and disappeared. Yamato showed Naruto and Sakura Sai's Bingo Book, with Sasuke's profile. Naruto initally refused to believe Sai would try to kill Sasuke, but remembered what he told them when they first met; a smile can fool anyone, even if its fake.
As they searched the compound, they heard a loud explosion and follow it leading them to Sai and Sasuke. Sasuke looked down at his former teammates with very little concern, as Sai explained his new intentions to help them bring Sasuke back. When Sasuke explained that bonds had made him weak, made him lose sight of his goal, which was to kill Itachi, Naruto questioned why Sasuke didn't kill him at the Valley of the End in their last fight. Sasuke explained that he spared Naruto only on a whim, and it was on a whim that he was going to end Naruto at that moment. Sasuke then asked why someone who wished to become Hokage would risk so much just to save one person. Naruto explained that if he couldn't even save one person, he shouldn't be Hokage. At that moment, Sai came to block the blade from cutting into Naruto and a short fight began with Sasuke having the clear upper hand. After getting hit with Sasuke's Chidori Current, Naruto's consciousness was sent to the sewer where he had another talk with the demon fox. This moment gave a sign of the seal weakening, as when first revealed the demon fox could barely get its claws through the gate , to now the demon fox could pull itself, even if its just its chakra a great deal out of its cage. Naruto told the demon fox that he didn't want to see it's face anymore, and that he didn't want to use the it's chakra. The demon fox mocked Naruto and told him that Naruto had always been running to it's aid when ever he was in a fight, but Naruto tells the demon fox that he didn't need it anymore, just as Sasuke appeared inside Naruto's mind. Sasuke simply said he could "see" the demon fox. The demon fox told him and Naruto that Sasuke's eyes had power and chakra that was far more sinister than it's own, because his Sharingan reminded it of Madara Uchiha. When Sasuke suppressed the demon fox's chakra back into its cage, it then warned Sasuke not to kill Naruto, as he would live to regret it. 
It was also shown that Sasuke's defection still affects Naruto and Sakura, and when the whole of Team 7 (minus Kakashi) finally met after 2½ years, Sasuke greeted them, as he did when they became a team, with cold indifference, and said he doesn't care if he becomes Orochimaru's vessel as long as Itachi would die. He even attempted to kill Sakura and Naruto. Later, after Sasuke left with Orochimaru and Kabuto, Naruto and Sakura were clearly upset that he was no longer the Sasuke they knew.
After his "reunion" with Sasuke, and the realization that after all his special training he was no closer to saving Sasuke, Naruto sunk into a deep depression. His outlook was changed, however, when Kakashi told him that he would 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'd always desired, and with his last encounter with Sasuke driving him, Naruto became more serious and focused than he'd ever been. During his training, Kakashi remarked that he believed Naruto would surpass the Fourth Hokage and later, even saw a vision of the Fourth Hokage around Naruto. Also, after Naruto showed off the results of his special training Kakashi admitted to himself that Naruto had surpassed him. While continuing his training, Kakashi and Yamato began to explain to him elemental chakra. To further understand this, Naruto was sent to Asuma Sarutobi, who was skilled at the same wind chakra Naruto has.
Fire Temple filler arc
While still deep in his training, Tsunade ordered Naruto to join his team in a mission to the Fire. At night while walking around to cool off from Sai's latest "bonding" attempt, Naruto found a a hidden tomb. Inside, he bumped into a young man. The boy, thinking Naruto was a robber, attacked Naruto while showing off impressive wind-chakra jutsu. They were interrupted by Yamato and their guide from the Fire Temple, Chiriku. The boy was then introduced as Sora, another monk from the temple. Naruto was intrigued by Sora's unique wind jutsu and curious as to why his right arm was bandaged, but Sora made it no secret he disliked Naruto and kept trying to annoy him.
When they arrived at the Fire Temple, Chiruku explained that one of the tombs containing one of the former Twelve Guardian Ninja members was robbed of its corpse. Later, Naruto watched a training session of the monks and laughed at how goofy Sora looked, causing them to once again fight. As the fight continued, Naruto noticed that the monks were looking at Sora in the same way the people of Konoha looked at him. When asked about Sora and found out that he too shared a hard past of ridicule and loneliness, Naruto's view on Sora changed and tried to reach out to him, only to to have Sora reject him and saying he didn't blame the monks for the rejection as he too hates his powers.
After word about that three more former Guardian Ninja corpses were taken, Naruto followed the trail with his team and members of the Fire Temple. They followed the trail to an open field, where upon entry the entire landscape was altered into a rocky canyon, trapping Naruto along with his team and Sora inside. Naruto then found himself up against one of the tomb robbers, Fuka. She immediately began trying to kiss Naruto, but Naruto countered her attempts with his Shadow Clone Technique. Angered by Naruto's ridicule, Fuka began demonstrating her tremendous prowess in element ninjutsu until eventually, Fuka revealed to have mastery over all five elements.
Eventually, Naruto then managed to land a strike on her. To Naruto's shock, Fuka's suddenly withered up and turned into dust before reappearing, very angry, and paralyzed Naruto to finish him. She then proceeded to kiss him, somehow sucking out Naruto's chakra and soul in the process. Forunately, Naruto's soul being merged with the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox proved to much for Fuka to handle, causing her to scream in pain and push Naruto away before collapsing. As both teams finally appeared, the tomb robbers retreated. It was decided then that Sora would join Naruto's team in returning to Konoha as a temporary substitute for Sai who was injured. As Naruto continued trying to become friends with Sora, Sora continued to scoff him off and everyone he met. Shortly after returning, Yamato tricked Asuma into training Naruto and Sora began training to further master the principles of wind-chakra, learning Asuma's trademark technique in the process.
Later, when Naruto found Sora very angry about something, he followed Sora to find him attacking Asuma, stopping him from being attacked by ANBU black ops, only to watch Sora run off. Naruto once again looked for Sora, and stopped him this time from trying to kill Tsunade. As he once again pursued Sora, Naruto tried to get him to listen to reason. Unfortunately, Sora was still to angered by the knowledge that Asuma killed his father and the presumption that Tsunade was out to kill him. It wasn't until Asuma appeared and explained the village's situation that Sora began to listen, but instead of agreeing to work with Naruto, Sora decided to handle this on his own.
While Naruto chased after him, he was ambushed again by Fuka. After managing to strike her, Fuka took out a scroll and somehow healed instantly. When Naruto managed to hit her with his Rasengan, he noticed that although she recovered again, she reappeared with her previous injury. Upon noticing that she stopped using certain elements, Naruto realized that Fuka somehow had multiple bodies that each has its own affinity which she can switch between. Fuka managed to kiss Naruto, decided to take both his chakra and body to replace one of her lost ones, but Naruto once again being observant by realizing her soul was located in her hair, ripped some hair off to escape. Completely enraged, she attack him with her hair, but Naruto countered with his wind-chakra himself and destroyed Fuka's last body. Then he launched a Rasengan attack at Fuka's soul, contained in her hair, finishing her once and for all.
Naruto quickly went after Sora, finding him against the tomb robbers' leader, Kazuma, a former Ninja Guardian and discovered that Kazuma infused Sora with chakra harvested from the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox. Discovering that Sora's demon chakra was being completely unleashed, Naruto tried frantically to save him. Unfortunately, Sora had entered the four-tailed demon form and went on a destructive rampage. Naruto's emotional state then caused his own demon chakra to be unleashed. Remembering his promise to rely on his own power from now on, he fought to maintain control and with the assistance of Sora's claw blade returned to normal. Seeing that it was possible to stop the demon fox chakra on his own, he realized that Sora could be saved as well. Eventually, Naruto's words reached Sora and freed him from the control of the demon chakra, allowing Sora to return to normal and expelling all the demon chakra. Later, with invasion attempt stopped, Naruto bid Sora good-bye as Sora left to venture the world.
Hidan and Kakuzu arc
After successfully mastering his wind-chakra, Kakashi revealed to Naruto the true goal of Naruto training; to complete the Rasengan by combining it with element chakra. While attempting to complete it, Naruto was told about Asuma falling in battle against members of Akatsuki. Wanting to help avenge Asuma, but still needing to complete his jutsu, Naruto was given the deadline by Tsunade to finish the training, or he would be unable to aid Team 10 and Kakashi deal with the two Akatsuki members Hidan and Kakuzu.
Naruto and Yamato arrived to help Choji, Ino, and Kakashi battle Kakuzu, who so far had been revealed to be more than a match for the team. Naruto challanged Kakuzu himself and revealed his new jutsu, the Wind Release: Rasengan, and its special ability, the Wind Release: Rasenshuriken. After one failed attempt, Naruto managed to get behind Kakuzu, trapping him in the incredable vortex of wind, tearing Kakuzu apart. When Shikamaru arrived to tell them Hidan was delt with, they returned to Konoha. Upon their return, Naruto needed to be hospitalized due to injuries to the arm he used the Rasenshuriken in. Tsunade told Kakashi that the Rasenshuriken caused cellular damage to cells in his arms which could render him unable to use chakra, and has since forbidden the use of the technique.
After the team returned Naruto, Sakura, and Sai were in Ichiraku's ramen bar. As Naruto tried eating with his left hand, and had much difficulty, Sakura remembered when she was healing Naruto. Also remembering his words about them getting closer together and to Sasuke she offered to feed him. This greatly shocked and excited Naruto. But as she was going to start Sai started feeding him. This caused Naruto to get extremely aggrivated at Sai and reminded him to be aware of the intimate moment he and Sakura were having if he decided to help again.
Three-Tails Arrival filler arc
While still recovering from over-using his Rasenshuriken, Jiraiya appears to congratulate his student's latest successes, that being defeating one of the Akatsuki members and completing the Fourth Hokage's jutsu. Naruto however is not as pleased with himself. He reveals to Jiraiya that even the standard Wind Release Rasengan takes too much out of him. Jiraiya offers to take Naruto on another journey to train, which Naruto quickly agrees to. In truth, Jiraiya's main reason for taking Naruto from Konoha again was so he would not join Kakashi and Team 8 on their mission to find Orochimaru's latest hideout.
When Naruto and Jiraiya arrive in a neighboring town to use the hot springs, Jiraiya admits that Naruto as grown somewhat since they last met. Later, Jiraiya takes advantage of Naruto's new usage of wind chakra to teach Naruto about combination techniques. To Naruto's horror, Jiraiya summons Gamariki to assist him. After it became clear that the two could not get along with each other and hence could not synchronize, Naruto instead summoned Gamakichi and Gamatatsu. Unfortunately, to his dismay, their methods of synch training was just as embarrassing.
Later while resting in the hot springs, he mets a young boy named Yukimaru, unaware he is with Kabuto and hence a minion of Orochimaru. They talk for a short time about bonds, making the boy happy. After the boy disappears, Gamakichi talks to Naruto about what true synchronizing is and convinces Naruto to bare with the indignity of it to master synchronizing. Eventually, Naruto manages to get in tune with Gamakichi and Gamatatsu, to which Jiraiya applauds.
While Naruto rests from the training, Jiraiya recieves a message involving the Akatsuki which forces him to leave Naruto. Naruto then returns to the village where he continues his training. Unfortunately, he learns that neither Gamakichi or Gamatatsu are capable of using water-based jutsu like the one Gamariki used a for an example earlier.
Hunt for Uchiha arc
Team Yamato would later be called into Tsunade's office where Jiraiya informed that Sasuke had killed Orochimaru. With joy, Naruto expected Sasuke to return to Konoha on his own, but Tsunade and Jiraiya told him that that's not the case. Naruto then asked Tsunade to form a team to hunt down Itachi for a single purpose; Sasuke was after Itachi, if Konoha captured Itachi, Sasuke would have no choice but return home. Tsunade assigned Team Yamato, Kakashi, and the members of Team 8; Hinata, Shino, and Kiba to hunt down Itachi.
While searching, Naruto, Yamato, and Hinata were found by Kabuto. Kabuto told them how without Orochimaru, he was left without a leader and had since made a resolve to make himself stronger. But to achieve this, Kabuto implanted Orochimaru's remains into his own body. Kabuto left the group vowing he would return to kill Naruto once he took care of Orchimaru's killer. After this, the 8-man squad heard and followed a large explosion and went to investigate. Kiba informed them that Sasuke was there at that explosion and he could follow his scent. Unfortunantly, Karin sensed them coming and attempted to lead them off the trail by using Sasuke's old clothes and scatter them in different directions. Naruto used his Shadow Clone Technique to follow the scents, only to find Itachi. Naruto attacked Itachi, who only wanted to talk. Itachi asked Naruto why he cared so much about Sasuke to which Naruto explained that Sasuke was like a brother to him and he would be a much better brother to him than he (Itachi) could ever be. To this response, Itachi gave a rare smile (possibly because of what he had already sacrificed to protect Sasuke). Naruto again tried to attack him but was quickly caught in his Genjutsu. Once again regrouping with the squad, one of Naruto's shadow clones was destroyed when Sasuke plowed through it, once again leading them to Sasuke's trail. While still following Sasuke the squad ran into Tobi, who taunted them playfully until Naruto attempted to attack him with a Rasengan. Instead, Naruto phased straight through Tobi. He was then apart of the battle group as they tried several different formations to take down Tobi, but all failed, leaving Shino to use his clans secret techniques to handle him. Tobi retreated when he heard of Itachi's death. Naruto's team rushed to the battlefield, to find Sasuke's scent mixed with the scent of the Akatsuki, and none of them present.
It was later revealed by Itachi that he had transfered some of his power to Naruto before he died. It was suspected he did this because he anticipated Sasuke's attack on Konoha. To what extent these powers have been granted is unknown.
Post Hunt For Uchiha arc
Upon returning to Konoha, Naruto recalled when he met with Itachi during the hunt. Itachi had transfered some of his power to Naruto before he died, and asked could Naruto kill Sasuke if he ever became a threat to the village. Before he could ponder this issue further, Kakashi, along with Gamabunta and Gamakichi, told Naruto that the Fifth needed him. When he arrived at the Hokage Residence, the full members of Team Yamato/Kakashi, several Toads, and Fukasaku were waiting for him. There he was told that Jiraiya died in his battle with Pain. Grief stricken, Naruto blamed Tsunade for his death and departed. He spent the rest of the day mourning the loss of his teacher, musing over the fact he had wanted Jiraiya to be there when he became Hokage. Iruka comforted Naruto, telling him that Jiraiya had always been proud of him and what he had and would become.
Sage Arts Training arc
After he assisted Shikamaru in deciphering Jiraiya's code, Naruto was dead set on destroying Pain. Fukasaku offered to train Naruto the art of Senjutsu, seeing as Naruto stood no chance of killing the apparent Akatsuki leader. Naruto readily accepted his offer. Then Naruto and Fukasaku traveled to Myobokuzan through a reverse summon from Gamakichi. Senjutsu is a way to make a ninja's chakra mixed together with nature, or the ground, atmosphere, and all the things that are related to nature. Fukasaku demonstrated it to Naruto by lifting a giant statue, and Naruto had a hard time understanding about Senjutsu. Eventually, he began to sense the Natural energy around him through the use of toad oil. He was eventually able to lift a giant frog statue. Even Fukasaku thought that Naruto was learning at a faster rate than Jiraiya. After he mastered using the toad oil, Fukasuku told Naruto that he had to master Senjutsu without the oil. But before they began, he handed Naruto Jiraiya's first book "The Legend of the Gutsy Ninja." This was the book that gave Naruto his name.
Soon after, Fukasaku tried to make Naruto stand still while balancing on a spike. After achieving balance, Naruto was able to enter Hermit Mode. Fukasaku was amazed to see that Naruto only had sage eyes and no toad mutations while in Hermit Mode. At night, Naruto began training in secret to perfect a secret jutsu. After that, Naruto was told that he could not use Hermit Mode in battle because he would need to stop moving in battle in order to do so, leaving him as an open target in the process. Fukasaku then told Naruto that they needed to "merge" together in order to use Hermit Mode in battle. Fukasaku then explained to Naruto that while Naruto is fighting, he would be sitting on Naruto's shoulder taking in Natural energy. Naruto and Fukasaku tried to merge together, but couldn't because the demon fox rejected Fukasaku. Knowing he had no other option, Naruto insisted that he would perform Hermit Mode activation while moving, to which Fukusaku protested. This was short-lived, however, as Naruto was later seen attempting this very feat. Naruto kept on attempting to run while gathering Natural energy, but couldn't maintain it. Fukasaku then said that to do it, you'd have to look both left and right at the same time. Naruto recalled Kakashi saying something similar in regard to mixing Rasengan with wind chakra.
Naruto and Fukasaku were later told by another toad that the messenger toad's name, Kousuke, had gone missing from the tubes, and also heard from Shima, who was near Konoha, that something was happening. Naruto, Shima, and Fukasaku began planning to summon something big, something that would apparently require all three of them to work together to summon.
Invasion of Pain arc
After Pain successfully used Shinra Tensei to devastate the entire village of Konoha, in the middle of it all, Naruto appeared alongside Gamaken, Gamahiro, Gamabunta and Gamakichi on top of Gamabunta's head, with Naruto on top of Gamakichi and with Fukasaku on his side. Naruto now sported a red and black flamed coat, similar to his father's, and a scroll on his back, similar to Jiraiya's.
When he appeared he wondered if he was really in Konoha, and when Shima came to them, both Naruto and Fukasaku asked if she had summoned them to the right place. She confirmed that she actually did, something Naruto comfirmed by spotting the Hokage Monument.
There he was greeted by Pain's Deva Path who thanked him, for coming to him all by himself, something that enraged Naruto. When Tsunade challenged Pain again, the repaired Asura Path rushed to attack her, but Naruto demonstrated tremendous speed by intercepting him and smashing him with a Rasengan. Naruto then proceeded to call out to Pain, to finish things. He then noticed he could sense everyone's chakra in Konoha and he asked Tsunade if Kakashi was away. As she didn't responsed, he just stated that he understood. He then had Gamakichi take Tsunade to Sakura.
As the battle begun, Pain's Animal Path summoned the rhino and it charged towards Naruto, but Naruto stopped it bare handed and heaved it up high into the air. He then told the toads to kill the rhino, dog, and yak alongside two clones of himself. He then got into a fist fight with Pain's Preta Path and after Naruto, apparently, misses to connect a punch, Preta Path is killed . Pain's Deva Path gave a shocked look and Fukasaku explained that Naruto doesn't have to land a punch to harm his enemies. Naruto then proceeds to show the fruits of his secret jutsu too, the fully perfected and improved Rasenshuriken.
Pain finally realizes that Naruto is using the same Hermit Mode Jiraiya used and reveals that he too was a student of Jiraiya. Naruto becomes furious that someone who trained under that man would become so violent to the point of rejecting his teachings and even kill his former teacher. Naruto then shocks his opponents by hurling his jutsu. While they initially dodge it, Naruto drastically expands its size to take down Human Path. Unfortunately, it uses up alot of chakra. Realizing he is running out of time for using his Hermit Mode, Naruto works in combination with Gamabunta to take down Animal Path with a Rasenrengan.
As Naruto feared and Pain anticipated, Naruto finally ran out of enough nature chakra to sustain Hermit Mode and reverts to an exhausted normal state. As Deva Path finally goes on the assault, Naruto takes out the summoning scroll on his back and gives it to Fukasaku. He then uses it to summon one of Naruto's shadow clones from Myobokuzan. As it immediately disperses, Naruto returns to Hermit Mode and goes back on the offensive.
Naruto then tries another Rasenshuriken, only for it to be absorbed by a newly revived Preta Path. Remembering that Naraka Path has the power to revive the other bodies, Naruto uses a smokescreen to blind Pain again and takes down Naraka Path with another Rasenrengan. Unfortunately, Deva Path has returned to full strength.
At the start of the series, the only jutsu Naruto could do without fail was the Sexy Technique, a creative but almost completely useless diversionary technique used simply to shock his instructors. Though Naruto had trouble with the Clone Technique at the start of the series, he quickly learns how to use the Shadow Clone Technique and the larger-scale Multiple Shadow Clone Technique, Jonin-level techniques, in both the first episode and chapter of the series. In Part II, his abilities have evolved exponentially. He has incapacitated five paths of Pain without much effort, invented a S-rank Kinjutsu, defeated an Akatsuki member, mastered the abilities of a Sage, completed the Fourth's Rasengan by adding his wind chakra, and surpassed Kakashi, Jiraiya, and Minato.(as stated by Fukasaku).
Shadow Clone Technique
This particular Ninjutsu grows to be his signature technique, as it often serves as the basis for other moves. The Shadow Clone Technique allows Naruto to create replicas of himself. Unlike the Clone Technique, the replicas are physical beings rather than illusions, making them capable of attacking and intercepting blows, and even adding intensity to one's training. He even uses his shadow clones to "add" to his first jutsu to create the Harem Technique, though it is still a fairly useless technique.
In the beginning, Naruto primarily creates shadow clones for the purpose of Taijutsu in terms of combat. Naruto also often creates shadow clones to act as decoys or for other deceptive tactics, such as diverting attention away from himself so that he may use the Transformation Technique unnoticed. Naruto makes more intelligent and better control of his clones as the series progresses. In his fight with Neji, for instance, Naruto dispersed several of his shadow clones once one was hit, creating the illusion that Neji had hit the real Naruto. Later in the series, Naruto would hide away while several clones attack, confusing the enemy when there was no Naruto remaining. During his fight with Gaara, Naruto even uses his clones as shields and platforms to bound off of in the air. By Part II, Naruto's usage and timing of the technique has become more advanced. Various tactics he has shown include creating clones to push himself out of the way of an attack, transform into weapons, and fall for traps in his stead. He has also learned to use the clones to determine an opponents abilities and how many shadow clones he will really need without wasting any extra chakra.
According to Kakashi, during Naruto's wind-chakra training, Naruto has mastered this jutsu to level higher than any other.
Naruto was also taught the Summoning Technique from Jiraiya which he could use against larger opponents. Naruto signed the toad contract, so like Jiraiya, he can only summon toads. The type of toads he can summon is proportional to his chakra and skill, as when he started out he could only summon tadpoles. When he uses the demon fox's chakra, he has been shown able to summon the toad boss Gamabunta. When he doesn't use the demon fox's chakra, he seems to have a hard time getting any specific toad as he summons Gamakichi or Gamatatsu. As the animals have minds of their own, Naruto has difficulty controlling them, meaning that they typically have to become motivated to fight on their own. During the flash back of Naruto after Jiraiya died, it was shown that Naruto can summon larger toads like Jiraiya. However, Naruto doesn't use the Summoning Technique very much.
Improvement in Jutsu
In his training with Jiraiya during the timeskip, Naruto's Ninjutsu and Taijutsu prowess have grown greatly. He has also been taught some limited skill at dispelling Genjutsu (although it is hard to tell how proficient he really is as he was up against a Genjutsu master like Itachi). Like Tenten, he has begun storing extra weapons in summoning scrolls to increase his arsernal of tools in battle.
Senjutsu and Hermit Mode
He has also been trained under Fukasaku, a revered toad from Myobokuzan and the mentor of Jiraiya. During his tutelage with him in Myobokuzan, Naruto was taught how to enter Hermit Mode, which boosts his power, endurance, and enables him to use Senjutsu. In order to achieve this power Naruto had to learn to control toad oil so that he could sense the Natural energy surrounding him. Then he had to balance on a spike,a feat requiring perfect stillness, to truly become one with the nature. He has just recently achieved Hermit Mode and has been seen practicing a secret jutsu,now revealed to be an enhanced Wind Release: Rasenshuriken. Fukasaku then proceeded to teach him Frog Katas, which is a special type of Taijutsu that uses the Natural Energy surrounding the user in order to enhance the range and the potency of each hit. In Hermit Mode, Naruto has shown the ability to defeat five of the Six Paths of Pain, something no one has accomplished, not even his masters Kakashi and Jiraiya.
During Naruto's battle with Pain, it was revealed that Naruto has used his experience from developing the Rasenshuriken to overcome the limitations of Hermit Mode. By having Shadow Clones continuously gather nature chakra, he can have one disperse to immediately give him the energy and hence more time in Hermit Mode.
Naruto's most useful offensive technique is the Rasengan, a jutsu his father invented. But Naruto even managed to master the technique in only a month, something that took his father couple a years to do. Unlike Jiraiya or Kakashi, Naruto has to use two hands to create the Rasengan, due to his lack of chakra control. However, even with his two hands, he couldn't form a proper Rasengan sphere. It wasn't until his fight with Kabuto did Naruto use his own hand to create the shell, and used a shadow clone to spin the chakra creating a perfect Rasengan. When he is in his tailed transformations, he seems to have the ability to mold the chakra into a sphere with one hand using the demon fox's chakra alone. In Part II, Naruto showed off his own version of the Rasengan, a larger version simply called the Great Ball Rasengan. After his Training with Fukasaku, he is also able to create Rasenrengan, which is similar to the Twin Rasengan shown in Naruto the Movie 2: Legend of the Stone of Gelel and the Hermit's Art: Great Ball Rasengan, a variation of the Great Ball Rasengan he can only use in Hermit Mode.
Addition of Wind Element Chakra
After failing to bring Sasuke back to Konoha, Naruto went through element training and has since made his own version of the Rasengan, The Wind Release: Rasengan, by combining both shape and nature manipulation (Something that is considered impossible without an inner sense for doing it). This new technique, while stronger than the Rasengan, was only a prelude to its full potential. Naruto improved it to create the Wind Release: Rasenshuriken a much more powerful technique, capable of causing cellular damage to the victim, though at the cost of the user being damaged similarly. However after his Sage Training, he managed perfect the technique and can throw the Rasenshuriken as one would initially believe, thus removing the hazard to the user. Furthermore, the Rasenshuriken now expands soon after being thrown, thus greatly increasing the power and attack radius of the technique.
In each movie, Naruto uses different variant of Rasengan. In Naruto the Movie: Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow, the Seven-Colored Rasengan, which relied on the Spring Heat Generators, was used to defeat Doto Kazahana. In Naruto the Movie 2: Legend of the Stone of Gelel, the Gelel Rasengan, which relied on Temujin's Gelel Stone energy, and the Demon Fox Rasengan, which relied on Naruto's shadow clone, were used to defeat Haido. In Naruto the Movie 3: Guardians of the Crescent Moon Kingdom, the Crescent Moon Rasengan, which relied on the crescent moon's light, was used to defeat Ishidate. In Naruto: Shippūden the Movie, he used the Naruto-Shion Super Chakra Rasengan, which is the combined chakra from both Naruto and the priestess, Shion, was used to destroy the evil demon Mouryō.
- Naruto seems, at some point, have trained Konohamaru at a little extent, as in the time skip in Shippūden, Konohamaru's abilities improved greatly, perhaps using Naruto as a role model: Konohamaru developed the Shadow Clone, Transformation, and Rasengan jutsus (except Konohamaru cannot do the Multiple Shadow Clone Technique, due to not having the demon fox's chakra).
- The coat Naruto wore upon returning to Konoha to face Pain is nearly identical to the one his father, Minato Namikaze, wore as the Fourth Hokage. The only difference is the color, Naruto's coat is red with black flames, while Minato's is white with red flames. Naruto also returned with the toad summoning scroll across his back, similar to Jiraiya.
- In the manga, Naruto once stated himself as having a yellow chakra (blue in the anime) and the demon fox's being red, though he is only shown having yellow chakra in a few video games.
- With Frog-Fighting-Style, Naruto does not have to make a direct hit to harm an enemy. This makes his new fighting style similar to the Hyuga Clan's Gentle Fist fighting style.
- Ironically, Pain believes that Naruto and himself should be able to understand each other very well since they were both trained by Jiraiya
See also: Dattebayo and Believe It
- "Believe it!"
- "And my dream is to be the greatest Hokage! That way people will stop disrespecting me and start treating me like I'm somebody. Someone great!"
- "I'll never go back on my word, that's my nindo, my ninja way!"
- "If being smarter means what you say it does, I'll remain a fool my entire life!"
- "I think someone who can't save their best friend isn't fit to become Hokage. What do you think, Sasuke?"