The Hokage are the military and political leaders of the Leaf Village in the Naruto universe. Over the course of the series, there have been a total of seven shinobi to take on the Hokage title, with the reign of Hashirama and Tobirama ending before the story began.
While all Hokage are respectable figures to their people who have fought endlessly for peace and order, they vary drastically in maturity. By ranking them as such, we gain a better understanding of who may not have been deserving of the mantle as the three elders anticipated. Further, we achieve a better window into their worst vices.
7 Tsunade Has Little Control When It Comes To Drinking & Gambling
Tsunade was handily the most immature of the seven Hokage. In addition to being rude when drunk, she also had a gambling problem so severe that one of Shizune’s primary duties was to watch over her.
Additionally, she physically lashed out at Naruto whenever he referred to her as a “Grandma,” illustrating poor restraint and patience. While Tsunade may have saved the village through her healing jutsu, she struggles to occlude her problems and poor habits.
6 Kakashi Openly Read Dirty Novels & Behaved Inappropriately With Team Seven
Kakashi may have the benefit of Anbu training and years of experience, although he is prone to spurts of immaturity. For example, he openly reads smut novels in public around teachers and students alike.
Worse yet, his early years with Naruto were completely inappropriate. Although the “Thousand Years of Death” technique was played for laughs, it has serious implications when critically considered and could have meant the end of his brief tenure as Hokage if brought to light.
5 Naruto Had A History Of Troublemaking & An Overall Unrealistic View Of The Shinobi World
Naruto was perhaps the biggest troublemaker of the series in his youth, having vandalized the Hokage statues and actively worked to make his teachers’ lives difficult. He even used his “Sexy Jutsu” on Jiraiya in order to prompt a reaction from him.
While Naruto has since abandoned his childish antics, he still possesses some qualities that suggest his immaturity and naivety. Specifically, he attempts to redeem villains like Obito Uchiha, who was responsible for countless deaths, including that of his father, Minato. For the plot’s sake, his “talk no jutsu” is almost always successful.
4 Hiruzen Sarutobi Literally Let Danzo Get Away With Murder
Hiruzen Sarutobi may have generally carried himself with eloquence and maturity, although his leadership was completely irresponsible. He made excuses for his wartime comrade, Danzo Shimura, because he felt as if the Leaf needed darkness to balance its light.
As a result, Danzo was able to get away with multiple atrocities including the Uchiha genocide and even a direct attempt on the Third Hokage’s life. While Hiruzen ordered that the Foundation be dissolved due to his actions, he would not follow through with the demand, thereby discrediting his own leadership.
3 Hashirama Was Responsible & Capable But Sometimes Too Idealistic
Hashirama was the man responsible for uniting the Senju and Uchiha clans to form the Leaf Village. Although his problem-solving capacities may imply maturity, the way he handled Madara’s defection did not.
Even after Madara betrayed the Leaf, attempted to spur the Uchiha Clan into a rebellion, enslaved Kurama, and nearly murdered him, Hashirama allowed his old friend to escape with his life. As a result, the villain managed to steal his cells, manipulate Obito, and use him to help kick off the Fourth Shinobi War, as well as his plans for resurrection.
2 Tobirama Was Well-Grounded But Sometimes Stubborn & Inflexible
Tobirama took a much more active stance than his brother against the Uchiha. He treated them as a possible threat and ensured that his people would be safe in the event of an attack. Ultimately, his preconceptions were proven correct even after allowing them to serve as the village’s police force.
While Tobirama takes a more practical stance regarding the nature of the shinobi world, he is sometimes unreasonably hardheaded. He was much less willing to listen to Hashirama and hear his perspective than the other way around.
1 Minato Balanced Family With Responsibilities Perfectly
As the father of Naruto, Minato embodied what it meant to be Hokage perfectly. He was responsible, strong, and found the correct balance between duty and family.
Additionally, Minato trained powerful students that would serve as worthy successors after his death. He gave his life defending Konoha and his son from the threat of Kurama and went down in history as the fastest shinobi to have ever lived. Brief as Minato’s reign may have been, it’s almost impossible to scrutinize his accomplishments or character.