It took years, but Naruto finally reached his goal of becoming the Hokage. But who will take on that role after him? The Boruto series keeps implying that it’s possible Naruto won’t make it to the end of the story, which would fit with the recurring theme of getting to see the next generation grow into the role of taking care of Konohagakure.
But which characters could fit in that role? Being responsible for Konoha is a difficult job that demands a powerful ninja with a strong love for the village and its people. Which characters are even capable of taking over whenever Naruto steps down, whether that’s soon or much further down the line?
8 Tsunade Could Be Considered In An Emergency, But Is Unlikely To Take Over Again
Tsunade is the least likely person who could take over the role, if only because she’s no longer the last Hokage chosen. There’s no reason to make her the successor should anything happen to Naruto, because the job can be passed back to Kakashi instead.
Having said that, she’s still got the experience, and the Third Hokage kept the role long after he should have retired because he was forced back into the position. She’s legendary because of how she revolutionized the way ninja teams are built, and having done the job once before, she’d be instinctively trusted to bring back some stability if Konoha needed another Hokage suddenly.
7 Shikadai Is Seen As A Rising Young Genius
Realistically, Shikadai stands a better chance than Boruto; at least he hasn’t said he doesn’t care about being Hokage at all. Shikadai’s problem is that he lacks experience and the Nara clan typically haven’t been geniuses in terms of mastering ninjutsu, even though they tend to be super-smart at everything else. This holds them back because the Hokage is often powerful enough to be the strongest ninja in the village.
That aside, Shikadai is already seen as valuable enough for people to ask him to give up on being a ninja and instead work in other areas within Konoha to aid the village in a different way than what’s normally expected of the Nara clan. If he had the ambition, he could absolutely maneuver himself to the position of Hokage.
6 Boruto Could Carry On The Family Legacy Of Being Hokage, But He Doesn’t Want The Job
It would be a mistake to have Boruto take over as Hokage, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility. Boruto’s father and grandfather have been Hokage, so the job’s practically in his blood. However, Boruto has multiple times said he doesn’t want to be the Hokage, and would prefer to work from the shadows to protect the village and support Sarada.
But Boruto has shown he’s willing to protect his allies, even in the face of impossible odds. He would rank higher but he absolutely isn’t meant to have this role, and hopefully the series doesn’t force things in this direction.
5 Sarada’s Goal Is To Become Hokage, And She Has The Narrative On Her Side
Sarada’s been aiming to become the Hokage for a long time. She looks up to Naruto because he’s someone who loves the entire village, and she’s done everything she can to prove herself worthy to follow in his footsteps. Right now, she’s just too young and inexperienced to take over the role, so it’s unlikely she’ll be able to become the next Hokage.
However, it’s fitting the role would eventually be hers. The Uchiha family has historically been mistreated by Konoha, and Sarada taking over would fulfill the goal her father had to lead the village.
4 Sasuke Has More Experience And Power Than His Daughter In The Short Term
Sasuke wanted to become Hokage at the end of Naruto, but he’d committed far too many crimes to be a palatable choice. He’d been nothing but a pain for the village for several years, and the thought that he would even be considered as Hokage is laughable.
But that was nearly two decades ago, and since then Sasuke has been nothing but an asset for Konoha. These days, it still might be a bit of a stretch, but one advantage Sasuke has over most other candidates is that he’s got the same level of power and experience as Naruto.
3 Kakashi Could Be Given The Role Again If Necessary
This has been done before, in that after the Fourth Hokage couldn’t defeat the Nine-Tails, Konoha needed a new Hokage and gave the role back to the Third. If Naruto passes too soon, then it seems highly likely that none of the younger generation would be ready yet and the role could be passed back. Kakashi isn’t too old for it, and he has both the love for the village and the ability to train the children of the next generation.
2 Konohamaru Seems Like The Most Likely Choice For The Next True Hokage
If Boruto follows the path Naruto did, Konohamaru is actually the most likely character to become the Eighth Hokage. In the original series, it wasn’t Naruto who became the Hokage after Tsunade, but Kakashi Hatake.
Similarly, it won’t be one of the genin who takes on the role, but rather someone who stated their desire to become Hokage a long time ago. He’s been a jonin for years, guiding the students of the next generation to become ninja, and he knows what it takes to be a caring leader.
1 Shikamaru Is The Best Candidate From A Strategic Perspective
Shikamaru realistically should’ve been the Seventh Hokage in the first place. It’s understandable to make a combat genius the Hokage, but Shikamaru is just a genius in general. He’s been one of the smartest people in the village for years, and he already works alongside Naruto. He was integral during several critical junctures of the Naruto storyline, and it’d be nice to hand the job over to someone who can out-think every one of Konoha’s enemies.