Naruto is an amazing show that showcases an array of fascinating characters. They range from vengeful, vindictive villains such as Pain to fun, quirky side characters like the Ramen Guy.
Now, the problem is that anime fans tend to focus solely on the main characters. And it’s not really their fault. After all, the show is literally called Naruto, so it’s understandable for the MC’s adventures to be the center of attention.
If you’re planning to take another go at the show, however, we highly recommend following the storyline of these underrated characters.
Pro Tip: Most of them were killed off early, so you can just search for their backstories and fight scene compilations on YouTube.
5. Teuchi the Ramen Guy
Teuchi the Ramen Guy deserved more love! He is definitely among Naruto’s father figures, along with Iruka Sensei and Jiraiya-sama.
Think about it, Teuchi was there for Naruto ever since he was a kid. While other adults would shun him for absolutely no reason, Teuzen would welcome him to his shop with open arms. He would even go as far as to give him free meals!
Spoiler: In the Boruto series, the Ichiraku Ramen shop evolves into a large family restaurant.
4. Rock Lee
(image credits: itl.cat)
Rock Lee has one of the worst character developments in the show. He started off as this cool taijutsu specialist who can hold his ground against Gaara despite not having any ninjutsu skills. Even Sasuke was threatened by him at one point.
The only problem here is that the show did little to improve his character. He gradually devolved from being a serious taijutsu beast to a gag character. Rock Lee is strong, but he can’t compare to his peers like Neji, Sasuke, and of course, Naruto.
While his funny, quirky character has its charms, we can’t help but wish he had more fighting and training scenes. At least that way, the viewers would take him seriously.
Sasori was not weak. He is a renowned legendary master of the puppet corps and is respected by similar fighters such as Kankuro. Fans only made him out to be weak because he was the first Akatsuki member to die. And to make matters worse, he was defeated by Sakura, who is arguably one of the most hated characters on the show.
Again, Sasori was not weak. In fact, even his fellow Akatsuki member Deidara admitted that Sasori is stronger than him.
Keep in mind that the only reason Sakura was able to beat Sasori was through the help of Grandmother Chiyo. Even if she exhausted all her top-notch antidotes, she would not have escaped Sasori’s venomous attacks.
2. Hiruzen Sarutobi
Hiruzen Sarutobi wasn’t just a monstrously strong fighter, he was also a great political leader. He was able to keep the village peaceful and boost citizen morale despite having just being attacked by Kyuubi the nine-tailed fox.
On top of that, there was an ongoing war. Villages were attacking each other at every chance. Heck, even the Genins wanted to kill each other. Just imagine how great of a leader he was to keep things as peaceful as they were.
Perhaps the only reason he was underrated was that he died early in the show.
1. Shikamaru Nara
Some readers might argue with this, but Shikamaru deserved to be Naruto’s best friend. For starters, unlike the vengeful, genocidal, and at one point, psychopathic Sasuke, he did not want to kill Naruto and his entire village.
Secondly, he supported Naruto on the path to becoming Hokage. There are multiple scenes where Shikamaru would genuinely tell Naruto that he believed in him and his aspirations.
Thirdly, he was the one who helped Naruto get over Jiraiya-sama’s death. Just imagine how close they are for Shikamaru to be able to speak so directly with him about something so sensitive.
Every shonen anime is filled with underrated characters. You can’t blame the author for focusing on the main characters because if they were to create a full storyline for everyone, then 10,000 episodes wouldn’t even be enough. So it’s understandable for some characters to get more screen time than the rest.
However, if you were to completely ignore all the others, you’ll be missing out on a lot. Now, since most schools and offices are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you can use this break to rewatch the series, but this time, focus on underrated characters. You’ll come to realize that there are others who are just as interesting as the main cast. Believe it!