The hit shonen series Naruto maintains a careful balance between its lighter and darker sides to create a nuanced and compelling narrative from start to finish. As true shonen story, Naruto it is an optimistic story that embodies the virtues of hope, friendship, courage, humility and others. But the story also has its dark side, including a variety of frighteningly dark characters.
Many of the darker characters of Naruto they are defined by pain, hardship, betrayal, etc., and this describes many of the villains or antagonists that Naruto has fought, some of whom went on to overcome their dark side and become heroes.
10 Kakuzu Makes Immortality Scary
The twisted Akatsuki member Kakuzu is part of the immortal duo, along with the brutal Hidan. However, unlike the pious Hidan, Kakuzu loves money, and is an experienced bounty hunter who sees everything in terms of contracts and payments. He does not consider anything more sacred.
10 Most Dangerous Villains Naruto Fought Against
Naruto: 10 Ways Naruto Uzumaki Is Unlike Any Other Shounen Protagonist
Naruto confronted Kakuzu in the middle of Shippuden, and it was a tough fight, to say the least. The creepy and unsettling Kakuzu didn’t care about anyone’s life but his own, and he sent chills down the spines of all onlookers as he struggled with his strange jutsu. Naruto had never faced a villain like this.
9 Kaguya Otsutsuki Felt Absolute Despair
The moon princess herself, Kaguya Otsutsuki, was in total despair over the state of the world and the chakra itself. She is an alien being who served as the progenitor of chakra in the world, and cannot stand the sight of humans using chakra to wage war and harm each other.
Kaguya openly wept, and is determined to reshape the world according to her own vision, no matter the cost. She had to be stopped, but to a certain extent, the fans from naruto they could see his point of view. She was like a mother to everyone, except she was a monster too.
8 Kimimaro Served Orochimaru To The End
Kimimaro managed to die doing what he loved the most, serving Lord Orochimaru the sannin. However, Kimimaro’s short life was anything but happy, even if he did wield a fearsome kekkei genkai. Kimimaro had nothing but his duty to Orochimaru, and he had no chance of having an ordinary and peaceful life.
It was tragic and chilling to see this young shinobi go to such lengths for a cruel teacher like Orochimaru, and all the while, on top of that, he was slowly dying of a deadly disease. He is definitely among the darker characters of the pre-Shippuden era.
7 Lady Tsunade Almost Lost In Her Pain
Lady Tsunade, the slug princess, is another member of the sannin, but unlike her old friend Jiraiya, she felt no loyalty to the Hidden Leaf Village when she was introduced. At the moment, Tsunade was busy drowning her grief in sake, gambling, and aimless wandering, but Jiraiya still saw an opportunity to turn the situation around.
Tsunade was still grieving the loss of her little brother, Nawaki, and her lover, Dan, and was in no mood to become Hokage. Fortunately, her dark life took a turn for the better after meeting Naruto, and she went on to become one of the best leaders in the Leaf Village. But Naruto had to fight her first and show her Rasengan to prove that he was worthy of her.
6 Neji Hyuga Was A Total Fatalist
The prodigious Neji Hyuga was Naruto’s toughest opponent in the chunin exam story arc, and the two young ninjas had a serious clash of ideologies during their fight in that arena. Unlike the optimistic Naruto, Neji believed that everyone’s fate was set in stone, no matter how miserable that fate was.
Neji’s attitude was a result of his belonging to the downtrodden branch family of the Hyuga clan, internalizing a feeling of worthlessness upon seeing how poorly the branch family is treated. Like Tsunade, Neji had a change of heart when he lost to Naruto and began to embrace shonen values in his place.
5 Haku Always Had It Hard
Haku was one of the first characters Naruto Uzumaki fought, and he’s also among the darkest. Haku had a terrible childhood in his home village of Hidden Mist, and might have died in the street if it wasn’t for Zabuza who rescued him.
From then on, Haku was Zabuza’s loyal ally, and the two of them undertook many bloody and brutal missions together as renegade ninjas who would do anything for money. Haku never had a good life, but at least he died somewhat happily by Zabuza’s side.
4 Itachi Uchiha Carries A Lot Of Burdens
Naruto briefly clashed with Itachi Uchiha on a few occasions, often in naruto shippuden, and Itachi is easily one of the darkest characters Naruto has ever encountered on the battlefield. In Naruto’s eyes, Itachi is nothing more than a traitorous former ninja who is helping the terrorists capture the tailed beasts, but there is something more.
Itachi actually had to make the difficult decision to murder his scheming family in order to protect the Hidden Leaf Village and let the whole world think of him as a monster, and that’s pretty dark. What’s more, Itachi was slowly dying and losing the “light” from him, and actually arranged for Sasuke to kill him in battle. Which is exactly what happened.
3 Sasuke Uchiha Has Been Dark From The Beginning
Darkness is pretty much the defining trait of Naruto’s friend/rival/enemy, Sasuke Uchiha, who was once a key member of Team 7 in the good old days. Sasuke has always been a bitter loner obsessed with his own goals, and for years he ruthlessly sought power so he could kill his brother, Itachi.
Sasuke left the Leaf Village and trained with Orochimaru for that very reason, eventually killing Itachi, only to be drawn into Obito and Madara’s schemes, which twisted him further. Redemption seemed impossible for Sasuke until the final battle took place.
2 Pain wanted to share his agony with the world
The Six Paths of Pain can be considered several characters in one, with the main path being the body of the fallen Yahiko. This is an obscure character, who is called Pain for good reason. In years past, the three friends Yahiko, Nagato, and Konan shared a dream of transforming their homeland for the better, but then things took a dark turn.
Yahiko died, and now he is Pain, a scheming and angry undead shinobi, who is determined to teach the entire world a lesson about the cycle of pain, violence and hate, by any means necessary. That’s kind of dark even if he didn’t destroy the Hidden Leaf Village, but at least Naruto defeated him in the end.
1 Gaara Suffered Every Minute Of His Childhood
When introduced early in the chunin exam story arc, Gaara of the Sand was easily the darkest character in the series, being an even more tragic and tormented version of Naruto. Both boys grew up as outcasts in their respective villages, being jinchuriki who had monsters inside them.
Growing up, Gaara had no friends or allies to call his own, and even the seemingly friendly Yashamaru betrayed him. Gaara was in a deep, dark well of isolation, anger, and despair and sought validation by killing everyone around him, but ultimately, Naruto helped turn his life around after their battle.