For the most part, the ninja classification system in Naruto makes sense and is a good representation of a ninja’s strength. However, nothing is totally perfect nor can it account for all circumstances, and this system used to determine what rank a particular shinobi falls into is no exception.
There are many shinobi who never become chunin despite easily possessing the necessary skills to do so. This can be due to all sorts of factors, from when a character is kicked out of his village and thus has no exam to participate in, until he fails once and does not re-appear despite his abilities exceeding. far more than required to pass. There are also quite a few characters who simply don’t have their rank openly mentioned, or who end up progressing so far in terms of chunin strength that it’s easy to forget that they never rose through the ranks.
10 Sasuke never completes the Chunin exam and doesn’t get another chance after dropping out
During the Chunin Exams arc, Sasuke is one of the most promising genin and with many eyes on him. This is reinforced by how long viewers were willing to wait for Sasuke to show up for his match against Gaara.
Naruto: 10 ninjas who never rose above the Chunin rank
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Fans know that this round of the Chunin exams is never completed due to Sunagakure’s attack on Konoha, and since Sasuke’s match could not be completed, his abilities were not evaluated accurately enough for him to be promoted. He then deserts, but even after returning to the village, he is never promoted beyond genin despite having the ability to do so easily.
9 Haku has to flee his village and is considered a mercenary ninja
Haku never obtained a proper shinobi rank due to the manifestation of his Kekkei Genkai at a young age, and the subsequent ostracism he faces for it. Living in a village where Kekkei Genkai users are used as weapons of war, Haku’s father kills his mother and attempts to kill Haku as well upon learning of her blood trait.
In an act of self-defense, Haku is capable of producing icicles so powerful that they eliminate his father and the entire mob of angry villagers that were pursuing him. Combine this with the deadly Ice Mirrors technique that he has been seen using on Naruto and Sasuke, he is more than qualified to be chunin level.
8 Kabuto has to remain a genin in order to infiltrate the chunin exams
Kabuto proves to be a very skilled medical ninja, whose combat prowess is nothing to write home about either. He’s smart enough to come up with combat strategies on the fly, helping him stand his ground against Shizune and Tsunade, though he’s no match for the latter once he gets over his hemophobia.
Thanks to the made-up story that Orochimaru gives him, Kabuto is able to enlist as a Konoha genin. His abilities are easily chunin or even jonin level, but if he allowed himself to rank up, he would no longer be able to infiltrate chunin exams to gather information.
7 Hanabi gets a team to lead in the anime but is still considered a genin
Hanabi becomes a genin during the series’ Blank Period, and given the fact that she is capable of defeating her older sister in combat, there is no doubt that she has the necessary skills to become a chunin. However, she is never seen participating in the Chunin Exams, and her rank never advances.
Despite this, in the anime he is assigned his own genin team to lead it. This is a bit strange, considering that he technically has the same rank of shinobi as his students, and it seems that his genin status was not taken into account or was forgotten when it was decided that he would lead Team Fifteen.
6 Karin’s village is destroyed and she becomes Orochimaru’s subordinate before becoming a genin
Karin and her mother take refuge in Kusagakure, and although her mother passes away while receiving medical care, Karin becomes a genin and participates in the Chunin exams. Ultimately, her team fails for failing to collect the two necessary scrolls in time, and the village is destroyed before she can re-enter.
She becomes a subordinate of Orochimaru and therefore has no other chance to sit for the exam. Although she is not a great physical combatant, her talent for ninjutsu combined with her intelligence easily make her a chunin level.
5 Fu was a skilled surprise attacker, but died when her Jinchuriki was removed
Fu was a genin from Takigakure who was also the host of the Seven-Tails jinchuriki. This automatically put her life at greater risk than most others, and her village leader was very careful to hide her from the world and keep her safe.
However, he was too sociable and hyperactive a spirit to keep her locked up, and he insisted on taking the Chunin exams. He proved his mettle in combat by singlehandedly taking down a giant scorpion, but his participation was also what allowed the Akatsuki to track him down and extract his beast tail, ultimately ending in his death.
4 Kosuke is very skilled, but doesn’t think he deserves to be promoted beyond the genin
Kosuke is an incredibly tragic tale of a character whose abilities far exceed what is necessary to reach the Chunin level, but he personally decides not to rise through the ranks. While still a child, he makes a reckless decision during a mission that ends up costing his two teammates their lives.
From this point on, he decides that he is not personally worthy of becoming a chunin. He remains a genin for over fifty years, and is awarded the title of Immortal Genin by others.
3 Sen is a clever Genjutsu user, but the Chunin exams end before she can pass them
Sen is a kunoichi from Sunagakure who has proven to be highly intelligent and specializes in genjutsu, an overly underused field in the series despite its uses. He resembles Temari in that he has fans that he uses for melee combat, and he has shown to be capable of catching people like Team Guy with his genjutsu.
Sen and his team were supposed to pass the second round of the Chunin Exams and advance, but sadly they end prematurely. Reports are sent to the village leaders to decide who gets promoted, but without being able to truly demonstrate her combat prowess in the tournament round, Sen is still a genin.
2 Izumi graduates from the Academy a year earlier, but is killed by Obito on the night of the Uchiha massacre.
Izumi is a very skilled member of the Uchiha clan. Despite the use of his Sharingan putting his body under tremendous strain, it has been known to wake him up earlier than Itachi himself.
She is also known to be an expert in taijutsu, and her skills allow her to graduate from the academy a year earlier. She would have easily had the skills to pass the Chunin exams, but was killed by Obito the night of the Uchiha clan’s downfall.
1 Ameno is a skilled medical ninja, but is outmatched by Sakura and Ino in the Chunin exams.
Ameno is a medic ninja hailing from Sunagakure, and she’s also lacking for nothing in the combat department. She is known to be capable of good medical surgery involving venom removal, and has been seen to do so even under intense pressure from Chunin exams.
She and her team are able to hold out against Ino and Sakura – one of whom had been trained by the legendary Sannin Tsunade herself – for an impressive time before being finally outmatched. Even after being defeated, Ameno is shown healing even her enemies, showing that she knows how to handle their losses as well.