Masashi Kishimoto’s Naruto series focuses on the journey of Naruto Uzumaki, a young boy who aims to become the Hokage of his village. Being a shonen manga, Naruto is heavily focused on using the popular formula of delivering exhilarating fights and jaw-dropping power-ups as the story progresses.
While the cast of Naruto is certainly incredibly diverse, not every ninja has received the power-ups that they deserve in the story. In fact, Kishimoto neglected a lot of his popular characters, especially as the story headed toward its conclusion.
10 Neji Started Off Strong But Never Received Any Major Power-Up
Neji was one of Konoha’s brightest shinobi, having been labeled a genius at the Hyuga’s special taijutsu several times in the story. He was the first of the Konoha 11 to become a jonin, which just goes to show how skilled he truly was. Neji’s Byakugan abilities were fully explored in the first half of the story, and fans expected him to reveal new powers after the timeskip. Unfortunately, Neji was never focused enough on by the author to demonstrate whether he learned any new techniques or not, and he eventually ended up dying.
9 Temari Was Never A Major Part Of The Naruto Story
Sunagakure’s Temari was shown to be quite skilled with her giant fan from her early days as a ninja. During the Chunin Exams, she managed to defeat Tenten with rather ease. After the timeskip in Naruto, she had already progressed to the rank of a jonin and had surpassed even Shikamaru Nara. Despite that, Temari never got any major power-ups for the fans to see, and this was down to the story’s lack of focus on her character.
8 Iruka Umino Never Progressed Past The Rank Of Chunin
Iruka was one of the most important characters in Naruto’s journey toward becoming the Hokage. As one of the few people who believed in him, Iruka was like a family member that Naruto never had. Although a ninja, fighting was never his role in the story. Instead, his job was to look over Naruto and guide him to the right path. When Naruto was at his lowest, Iruka was always there to pick him up. As such, his character was never about fighting, and he therefore never received any major power-ups.
7 Hinata Hyuga Was Never Given A Major Fight After The Chunin Exams
Hinata shone in the Chunin Exams as a genius of the Byakugan despite losing to Neji. After her loss, she trained with him and honed her skills to a point where she was qualified enough to become a chunin.
Sadly, Hinata never received a major fight in the story to demonstrate what she had learned over the years. Although she developed the Gentle Step: Twin Lion Fist, the exact powers and effects of this jutsu were never shown in the story.
6 Tsunade Senju Was Already Beyond Her Prime In Naruto
One of the Legendary Sannin, Tsunade was quite a skilled kunoichi whose expertise in medical ninjutsu and taijutsu made her a unique asset to the village. After the death of Hiruzen Sarutobi, Tsunade was sought out to become the Hokage of the village. Although she was involved in some major fights in the story, she never received any power-ups, and this was largely due to the fact that Tsunade was well beyond her prime. She had already hit her peak by the beginning of Naruto and thus, could only display what she’d already learned years ago.
5 Orochimaru’s Body Kept Getting Weaker Over Time
Orochimaru was introduced in Naruto as one of the biggest threats to Konohagakure and the shinobi world. Although powerful enough to kill even some Kage, he could never properly make his mark on the age of shinobi because of his body’s limitations. His quest to attain Sasuke’s body led him into all sorts of trouble, and he only got weaker over time. Not only did he get killed by Sasuke, but later, when he reemerged, he was sealed away by Itachi Uchiha using the Totsuka Blade.
4 Tenten Was Among The Least Used Characters In The Story
Team Guy’s Tenten was one of the least used characters in the Naruto series as other characters always seemed to overshadow her presence. Her skill with various weapons was nothing short of amazing during the first part of Naruto, yet it was never built upon.
Ultimately, Tenten was left without any major power-ups throughout the entire story. Although she’s improved as a shinobi, fans have yet to see what she’s truly capable of even in Boruto.
3 Anko Wasn’t Given Room Or Time To Grow
Anko was once a student of Orochimaru under whom she learned a tremendous amount of powerful jutsu. Her talent was once acknowledged by the Sannin himself, however, her progress as a ninja was rather underwhelming. What’s more, Anko was completely cast aside once she was captured by Kabuto Yakushi. Consequently, she was never in any major fight and thus didn’t receive any power-ups.
2 Kurenai Was One Of The Most Underwhelming Jonin In The Village
Kurenai was the leader of Team 8 and a young jonin thought to hold great potential. Although she was said to be very skilled, especially in the ways of genjutsu, she hardly ever got to show it to the fans. In Naruto Shippuden, Kurenai was pregnant with Mirai Sarutobi for the most part and, thus, didn’t participate in the Fourth Great Ninja War. As such, she never influenced the story in any major way and didn’t receive any power-ups either.
1 Gaara Lost The Power Of Shukaku & Got Weaker
Gaara was once the jinchuriki of the One-Tail, Shukaku, and someone who could fight the likes of Naruto Uzumaki on equal footing. After the timeskip, the Akatsuki finally made their move, and Gaara was one of the very first targets of the group. Having lost his Tailed Beast to them, Gaara was weakened considerably. Nonetheless, he trained hard to improve his skills and could eventually fight against the likes of Madara Uchiha as well. However, he was unlucky to never receive any new power-ups.