Naruto's 700 chapters are filled with memorable characters who left impressions on readers, and while Naruto's journey ends, we still remember the epic fights, the side characters that made us laugh, and godlike villains hell-bent on achieving their goals.
We remember the great characters, as well as the worst ones we equally despise. Then are the characters that we never really cared for, the characters that are so incompetent that we wished Masashi could have removed them altogether, or at least improve their story arcs and skillsets.
These characters were created for the sake of plot convenience before they were shelved, and plenty of Kishimoto characters fell into the trap. Yet, who really fell into the realm of complete worthlessness?
We will be focusing on major characters that were given foundations for their arcs and had potential solo arcs but wound up being completely worthless, providing nothing to the plot. This ranges from shonen stereotypes to terribly written characters, as well weak shinobi characters who don't add anything to a battle. Each character is ranked based on these three pointers, but some manage to embody each of these flaws.
Without further ado, here are 15 Completely Worthless Naruto Characters, Ranked.
Shizune is Tsunade’s right-hand aid and Dan Kato’s niece. She often gets dragged into Tsunade’s habitual gambling antics, and also takes care of Tsunade’s pet pig, Tonton. Ability-wise, she is a capable ninja, and was captain of the medical ninja team during the Fourth Shinobi War.
She also managed to seal the three-tailed fox, but as for her character arc, she remains as Tsunade’s assistant, and never went beyond her duties or made any real impression on the readers or show watchers.
Though Shizune is well known for her great medical-nin, Sakura Haruno’s character outperforms her by a landslide, as she is able to unlock the Strength of a Hundred Seal Technique. Whereas Shizune, who has been under Tsunade's tutelage longer than Sakura, has yet to master the seal technique.
Overall, Shizune was a huge letdown, and many fans were underwhelmed by her character, since she appeared to have a lot of potential.
14 Iruka Umino
Iruka Umino is a character we see once every year. Originally, he’s the only adult we first meet that cared for Naruto, while everyone else in the village despised him. The entire first chapter of Naruto focuses on Iruka and Naruto’s character arc, as he is the only person who bonds with Naruto on the first few chapters.
Afterward, Iruka is shelved, and we only see him once every year, as he occasionally pops up as the moral support. As a ninja, however, he’s pretty useless.
We meet stronger ninjas with different jutsus later on in the series, who basically make us forget all about Iruka, aside from the one time he shines as Naruto’s godfather.
He’s really only still around for nostalgic reasons-- as both readers and Naruto grow up with other characters-- and he doesn’t add too much to the plot. Naruto goes on to meet other mentors and figures that have a much more significant impression on him than Iruka (i.e., Jiraiya, Kakashi).
13 Shino Aburame
Shino Aburame is pretty much a forgettable side character, who was first introduced during the Chunin exams. Readers may remember him as the ninja specialized in kikaichu-- parasitic insects used to sap and transfer chakaras.
Shino had his ten minutes of intrigue, but eventually fell into obscurity, and is normally seen in a group of other characters. As is common with a long manga series that is littered with a large cast of minor characters, Shino just happens to be one of the many characters who is easily forgettable.
Compared to other side characters that had more screen time, Shino gets the short end of the stick in terms of character development, and by the final battle, he’s simply there because he's part of the massive group of characters.
In the epilogue, it’s revealed that he’s an instructor at the academy, but even his students forget about his lectures in favor of watching ninjas fighting. However, in the new Boruto series he may, hopefully, surprise us.
12 The Samurai
The samurais are first introduced later in the Land of Iron. In order to stop Sasuke and the Akatsuki, the five Kages decided to meet at the Summit hosted by Mifune. While ninjas focuse on chakaras and human bonds, the Samurais' chakaras focuse on spirituality and the way of life.
The shinobi never meddled with the warriors because their Iado ability can outspeed a ninja. Hence it made perfect sense to hold an alliance meeting in neutral territory where samurais have the upper hand in terms of tactical advantage.
Yet, the warriors couldn’t stop Sasuke from intervening at the Summit. The moderator, Mifune, is a veteran samurai who couldn’t even come close to stopping Sasuke-- to the point that the five Kages had to intervene with their ninjutsu skills. The warriors, who are famed to outmatch ninjas, were defeated by one underage boy.
11 Kiba Inuzuka
As the dog owner of the group, Kiba Inuzuka is best remembered as the dude who can morph into Cerberus 2.0 and owner of the large Akamaru who obeys his every command. Although it’s easy to claim that he’s a repeat of Shino, Kiba's powers are at least a little more convenient.
However, Kiba doesn’t fare much better than Shino in terms of powers, upgrades, and arc. Kiba has interesting abilities. He's a great tracker, and can use his sense of smell to find his opponents in a sea of smoke, though he is repeatedly outclassed by other teammates.
He’s capable of greater ninjutsu if he and Akamaru are together, but if separated, they can't compete against stronger opponents. The readers may find their arc interesting. However, the major turn off-- and why he’s on this list-- is due to his to dream to be the next Hokage, which doesn't seem very realistic. Akamaru as Hokage, on the other hand...
Readers remember this character from Team 7’s first major mission. As a right-hand man of Zabuza, Haku is known for kekkei genkai ability, aka Ice Release, which is feared by both villagers and advanced shinobi.
However, Haku and his mentor are only used as one-time characters, since they disappear after Team 7 learns their lesson and the manga moves onto the next arc. The whole arc, in a way, showcases the after effects of ninja wars and other Kage’s practices.
Kishimoto would then repeat the same scenario, again in the later arcs, which eventually loses its weight in storytelling. By then, Haku’s overall plot is forgotten and meaningless in the grand scheme of things. He was the first antagonist with a compelling story, but eventually, he wadded off into obscurity and ended up having no emotional weight.
Haku’s role served as a sacrificial lamb, and he is never heard of again until volumes later, when he and Zabuza are resurrected during the Fourth Shinobi War. Unlike other filler characters in the series, Haku is rarely mentioned every again.
9 Hiruzen Sarutobi
The third Hokage of Konoha is widely revered for his accomplishments and is recognized the “God of Shinobi.” However, as an actual leader and ninja, he has failed many times.
As Hokage, he let the Anbu-- a CIA-like syndicate-- led by Hiruzen’s rival and traitor Danzo run the organization in order to preserve peace. The third Hokage, unfortunately, has a tendency to learn the truth about a mission only after it has been completed.
When the Konoha Council believed that the Uchiha Clan was responsible for the Nine-tailed beast attack, the clan attempted a coup, and Hiruzen tried negotiations but eventually allowed Danzo to order Itachi to kill the entire clan.
Hiruzen forbade people from speaking about the Nine-tailed Fox, but that wasn’t enough to prevent the villagers from ostracizing Naruto. He couldn’t even bring himself to arrest his own prodigy, Orochimaru who threaten to destroy Konoha years later.
Later on, he and the rest of the Hokages reflect on their roles, to which Hiruzen openly admits that he failed as a leader. Had he known about Danzo and Orochimaru’s plans, then the innocent Uchiha clan wouldn’t have suffered such a terrible fate.
8 Anko Mitarashi
Anko Mitarashi served more as a plot device than as a fully functioning character. She was so worthless that Kishimoto-- and most fans-- completely forgot about her. The last time we see her is during Orochimaru’s revival.
After their brief talk, Sasuke and the group leaves Anko, who is unconscious, behind. Did no one think about finding her, or bring her to a medical ninja? As Anko’s mentor, Orochimaru could have at least made sure she was safe. Her character arc was built on her apprenticeship under Orochimaru. Heck, she even learned his snake techniques and Kinjutsu.
At least, the anime was kind enough to show her alive after the war in a funeral shot. (Apparently, the anime has a tendency to fill in what Kishimoto misses.) We learn later that she’s alive and teaches at Konoha in the epilogue.
7 Hinata Hyuga
On the positive note, Hinata Hyuga often stood right beside Naruto and was one of the first people who saw Naruto as a human being, while everyone else hated him. She had great potential to be a powerful Byakugan user but got sidelined as a damsel in distress, and quickly fell into the "waifu" archetype.
The underlying problem for Hinata is the lack of screentime and development of her character arc. Her motivation is due to Naruto, and you can argue that he is the inspiration for countless others in the series.
However, the other characters have personal goals, reasons, and dreams. For example, Tsunade never desired the Hokage position, but after Naruto’s pep talk, she gives it a shot, and from that point on, Tsunade's decisions are based on her judgments of what is right and wrong.
If you take away Naruto and focus exclusively on Hinata, you will soon discover that we know nothing of her motivations, friends, or life goals, except she that wants to be with Naruto and makes decisions purely based on what she thinks Naruto would do.
Kaguya is revealed at the last moment as the "big baddie" with no backstory and nothing pertaining to the plot. Replace her with Jar Jar Binks as the great evil and it wouldn’t make a difference.
She’s based on the legendary Princess Kaguya, a well-known figure in Japanese folklore, and anime fans may recall, Studio Ghibli’s adaptation of the tale, which was miles better than the mess Kishimoto created.
In Naruto, she’s the God of Shinobi and the original entity who brought chakara to the ninjas. Readers anticipated a grand finale, but never imagined the final great evil was an alien princess shoehorned in at the last minute.
Kishimoto openly admitted that he only thought about Kaguya in the middle of the Shippuden arc. The anime series had to back up her reasons to end the world with a filler episode to legitimize her hatred against humanity.
She is a powerful entity by her right, but in terms of story arc handling, she’s completely useless and it's incredibly obvious that she was only thrown in at the last moment.
5 Sakura Haruno
Kishimoto needs to figure out how to write a better main heroine. Sakura’s story arc is littered with missed opportunities, as we would expect her arc would be complex compared to Naruto and Sasuke.
Her backstory focuses on her forehead being too wide and constant pining over Sasuke to the point where she breaks off her friendship with Ino so they can compete as love rivals, which immediately paints her in bad light.
Most readers can care less about Sakura’s love for Sasuke since there are ongoing wars in the series and because of Sasuke's ultimate betrayal. It’s therefore easy to pinpoint how useless to the plot she is. It takes about 600+ chapters for her to finally become somewhat useful, becoming a professional medical ninja.
In an interview with Kobayashi, Kishimoto said that he spent a lot of time developing Sakura's character, and created "inner Sakura" so girls could relate to her. However, most young female readers thought otherwise, as they hated how Sakura was written and the ridiculous love story altogether.
When her agency doesn’t completely revolve around Sasuke-- and it shouldn't, since the guy did try to kill her a few times-- she has shown herself to be a capable shinobi.
Isaribi, unfortunately, gets the same treatment as other original characters in the anime. Her character arc is a rendition of the typical Naruto story: people hate her character because she doesn’t look/act like them. (Isaribi is part-sea creature.)
She has no friends, though Naruto intervenes and shows her the power of friendship and believes in her-- it's a basic filler arc. However, compared to other original characters, Isaribi’s arc is much, much worse.
Amachi-- the scientist that transformed Isaribi into a sea creature-- told her that he had no intention of killing her. Instead, he only wanted to dissect her once she became worthless to him. This caused her to flee and return to Naruto.
The last time we see her is with Tsunade researching with a cure. We don’t know if she’s okay, or alive for that matter, but then again, original anime characters who not pertaining to the manga plot often end up shelved after their filler arc is over.
Karin is the one character who sums up the ridiculous fandom shipping in Naruto. Her overt obsession with Sasuke is played for laughs, but overall she hasn’t displayed any other complexities aside from being a stock character in the series.
Her only useful attribute is Life Force chakara and her sensory skills, which are very helpful in some situations, such as when Tsunade is injured during the Fourth Shinobi War and must be healed.
The reason why she’s so high on the list is similar to Isaribi’s situation, but amplified. During Sasuke’s fight with Danzo, Sasuke literally stabbed her to injure Danzo, and used her as a pawn to call out Sakura’s bluff. He then proceeds to try ti kill Sakura.
If Karin didn’t mutter a warning to Kakashi, Sakura would have been killed. However, much like Sakura, Karin still forgives Saskue after all of the shenanigans that he put her through.
2 Team Dosu
Team Dosu are one-time villains compared to other complex antagonists in the Naruto series. While Danzo and Madara ruined plenty of lives, Team Dosu members were sacrificial pawns in Orochimaru's plan. They’re the Team Rocket of the group, the stand-ins twirling their mustache, and their character development is not much better than the average minor goons in the series.
However, Sasuke and the rest of the lower ranking ninjas were outmatched. When they learn about Orochimaru's real plan, which is to test out Sasuke's powers, Dosu defies Orochimaru and tries to kill Sasuke during the competition. Dosu ultimately fails.
As for his teammates, Orochimaru kills them and uses two of the members' bodies to resurrect the first and second Hokage during the Konoha invasion.
It's inevitable that Tenten would be ranked as the most useless Naruto character. The anime series included filler episodes and a background story for the audience. She claims to be a powerful shinobi. Her specialty is Fuinjutsu, sealed weapons technique, but gets KO’d during the Chunin Exams in one panel.
While other characters eventually learn new techniques, Tenten is still tinkering with scrolls throughout the entire series. During the final arc, she could have used her specialty to prevent Tobi and Madara from using the Treasured Tools of the Sage of Six Paths for the Moon plan.
During the Fourth Shinobi War, Tenten was given a task to specifically stop Tobi and Madara's plan that only she can do: seal the Treasured Tools of the Sage of Six Paths. With those sealed, the moon plan would fizzle and Kaguya wouldn't be in the picture. She only managed to sealed two. All that buildup, story, and character development dissipated, and to this day, she's still the most worthless character in the Naruto universe.
Do you disagree? Who do you think is Naruto's most worthless character? Let us know in the comments!