Throughout Naruto, the young Uzumaki has a single goal: to one day become Hokage to lead and protect his people. This coveted role passes along to several residents of Konoha before falling to this young man. Lucky for him, he eventually becomes one of the most powerful ninja ever, making him a perfect candidate.
However, he's hardly the only Kage out there. There are four other leaders also trying to protect their own villages and lands. After all, the Land of Fire is only one of five great nations. Even if Naruto is incredibly powerful, more protectors are needed to keep their whole world safe. With time, he's even become friends with some of these leaders.
With all the years the Hidden Villages have existed, there have been dozens of Kage to protect them. Not every Kage is made equally, though. Some are stunningly powerful, others are just okay, and even a few weren't very worthy at all. Looking over the entire history of these villages and their leaders, it isn't hard to see some have a greater impact than others.
Here is Every Kage, Ranked From Weakest To Strongest.
Though the Hoshikage isn't recognized by the five great Shinobi Countries, they are organized and have a rich enough history to deserve mention. However, the Third Hoshikage is, by far, the weakest Kage. While he was strong enough to lead a powerful village, he completely didn't notice and was overpowered by his successor's plot to overthrow him. Of course, it doesn't help that he doesn't even have a given name in the anime.
This Kage could have used more foresight and power, but at least he led his people proudly.
Father of the fifth Kazekage, Rasa dug his own grave with unsavory dealings and horrible parenting. Rasa happily used his youngest son as a weapon, making him the jinchuriki of the One-Tailed Beast as a child. While Rasa was a master of Gold Dust, his decision to make Gaara a monster overshadowed that ability. Worse, trying to solve the problem by assassinating Gaara only made things worse. Eventually, Rasa turned to plots with Orochimaru, which led him to his grave.
Though he had unique abilities, his poor choices and selfish endangerment made him a poor Kage.
Like many of the second Kage, A worked hard to maintain the peace and unity his predecessor built. Along with keeping the village at peace, he wanted to remain on good terms with the other Hidden Villages. While his abilities are a mystery in Naruto, his tenure as Raikage was largely uneventful. A kept the status quo, but didn't really add anything of his own to the village.
Spending many years as the first Raikage's body guard, he probably just wanted his friend's vision to remain intact, even if it left him unremarkable.
Not the prettiest man, Byakuren was the first ninja to unite the warriors in the Land of Water. Creating Kirigakure, he united his people. However, he also kept his village isolated. Byakuren was a cautious man and distrusted the other ninja, leaving Kirikagure very mysterious to other leaders. Though this protected them from infighting, this seclusion eventually helped lead to the barbaric practices of the Bloody Mist era.
Byakuren did his best and protected his people, but he set them up poorly for the future.
Founder of Kumogakure, the young first Raikage did everything in his power to keep his village protected. Unlike many of the other aggressive Kage, he was even willing to give away lands for loyalty and protection. While not one to flex his powers, he was pragmatic and effective. When war took his life, he only entrusted his long-time bodyguard, who also deeply believed in protecting Kumogakure, with the Kage position.
Anyone strong enough to unite and keep a country together deserves to be recognized. Clearly, though, he relied more on intelligence and diplomacy over strength.
When the first Mizukage went to meet with the other nations, his bodyguard was the serious future third Mizukage. As far as Naruto and Konoha knew, the third Mizukage was even more isolated than his predecessors. After village meetings and the violent history of the second Mizukage, this Kage kept Kirigakure more secluded than ever. The Gengetsu/Mu feud almost ripped both of their villages apart.
While the third Mizukage pulled the village back together, he only made their isolationism worsen. Far worse, he facilitated the vicious graduation rituals that led to Yagura, a powerful and terrible Mizukage.
Unlike many other Kage, Shamon's greatest feats don't come from power or strategy. The second Kazekage was the first person to seriously research improving the power of the tailed beasts. He also developed ninjutsu into his own style, using puppets, which is used by Sunagakure ninja to this day.
Once the bodyguard of the first Kazekage, fans have to assume the guy was pretty powerful. However, he altered the world a lot more in the legacy he left for his village. Awakened tailed beasts and puppets became unique assets of their town.
Within a natural stronghold of mountains and rockface, Ishikawa founded Iwagakure, the Hidden Village in the Land of Earth. The town has wonderful defensive capabilities, something its people are very proud of. As the village's leader, Ishikawa was a proud, strong man with unique abilities. History records have implied he manipulated bugs. However, Iwaga ninja know him best for his ability to make his body light enough to fly.
Though he spoke in puns and rock jokes, Ishakawa took his Kage position seriously. The village he created has always been secure and strong.
After the worst of the "Bloody Mist" Mizukage's reign ended, Mei Terumi took over the position. From the second she took office, Mei began to reform all the ruthless policies left by her predecessors. While Yagura was the worst, more before him also took part in the violence.
Considering she turned the entire village around after so many years of brutality, she deserves commendation for that alone. Despite her kind nature, it's still not best to cross her. A master of steam and lava, Mei is a dangerous foe for anyone to face.
When Naruto started, Hiruzen was the elderly Hokage that the young Uzumaki admired and listened to. A close friend of Tobirama and Hashirama, the village fell under his protection once both were gone. Able to summon a great ape warrior and use high-level fusion nature transformations, even in his old age his abilities were impressive.
Unfortunately, though, Hiruzen waited far too long to step down from his position. When he was far too old, he had to face off against Orochimaru as Hokage and lost. While a wise man, his judgment always waned when it came to him.
Of all the nations, the desert dwelling shinobi were the most nomadic and difficult to manage. First Kazekage Reto had to draw upon his own overwhelming strength to convince them all to come together as one village. From what fans see of them in Naruto and Boruto, they're a stubborn people. His powers must have been domineering if he convinced them all to change their ways.
Unfortunately, Reto himself is horribly stubborn. He almost tore the First Kage Summit apart with his demands. It's no surprise that, despite his abilities, he was eventually assassinated.
After the "Bloody Mist" era in Kirigakure's history, the next Mizukage put a lot of effort towards reforming their image. Mei Terumi conducted most of the internal work, but Chojuro improved the town so that it looked like any other Hidden Village. Children learned how to be ninja, traditional ways were preserved, and outsiders were welcome.
Furthermore, Chojuro became a master swordsman as well as an adept user of water ninjutsu. He excels in blades and stealth. Though he's much kinder than most historical Mizukage, he still is a powerful and dangerous leader bound to protecting his people.
A deceitful and powerful man, the fourth Hoshikage, Akahoshi, brought back the dangerous but incredible star-training of his people. While the star-abilities are impressive, working with the meteorite that fuels them is toxic to humans. Though the Myserious Peacock Method and others set them apart from other ninja and make them powerful, it also decays their people.
Akahoshi's willingness to sacrifice his people and himself for glory makes him an awful person. However, when it comes to power, his mastery of the star-training and ability to get noticed by other nations makes him (almost) the strongest Hoshikage to date.
As the fifth Raikage, Darui saw a lot of cultural changes in his people. For one, he's the first Raikage not to be named A. Second, he's become far more trusting of the other ninja villages. Once the fourth Raikage's bodyguard, he's a capable shinobi with a great understanding of lightning ninjutsu, the village's specialty. By the time Boruto is a genin, he has become the leader of his village and does so with seriousness.
Specializing himself in broadswords, black lighting, and shadow clones, Darui will use whatever means necessary to protect Kumogakure.
In some ways, Onoki is a legendary ninja who deserves higher standing. However, the third Tsuchikage has some glaring flaws that make him less ideal. For one, despite being immensely powerful, his sporadic joint pains cause chaos in battle. Second, his cloning during the times of Boruto threw his morality into a murky place. After all, his clones were powerful but he didn't treat them right.
If people judged him solely by his younger years, Onoki would be one of the top Kage. However, looking at his tenure overall, in his latter years he put his village in serious danger.
The First Hoshikage of Hoshigakure was the ninja that discovered the "fallen star", a meteorite that gave anyone who trained with it supernatural ninjutsu abilities. Eventually, villagers called this the Mysterious Peacock Method. Their first Hoshikage was the first to master this style, ushering in a new era of power and recognition for Hoshigakure. They thought they belonged at the Kage Summits, and this power could get them noticed.
Between learning the star's secret benefits and founding their village, the first Hoshikage did great things for his people. If only he had learned the terrible side effects of the star faster.
Kage can be an overwhelming position, but few were as uninterested as Kakashi. A strong ninja given the powers of the Sharingan, his laid back attitude masks his own capability. However, that hardly means he's the leader type. After only a few years, he passed the title onto Naruto.
During his time as a leader, though, Kakashi didn't slouch. He helped protect Konoha from The Fourth Shinobi War and Kaguya's assault. An intelligent ninja, he used his abilities and made decisions that contributed to saving the world. Even if he was reluctant, that makes for a pretty good Kage.
When Naruto first ventured to Kumohagakure, it was led by the stern fourth Raikage, A. A is known for his lightning transformations and his immense chakra. When Minato Namikaze passed on, he became the new fastest shinobi alive. Despite losing an arm, he was still chosen as the Supreme Leader of the Allied Shinobi Forces during war.
The most impressive part of the fourth Raikage, though, is his determination. Though he lost his dominant hand, he persevered and still protected his people and the world. He was determined to fight during war, even if it cost him his life.
While many Kage positions suffer from nepotism, one of the worst offenders are the Kazekage. Villagers assume that Children of the Hokage will lead one day. This became frightening when it came to Gaara, the young ninja raised to be a weapon.
Luckily, while visiting Konoha for the Chunin Exams and a plot, Gaara met Naruto, Rock Lee, and other genin who broadened his tainted, wounded mind. His impressive power continued to grow and he eventually became a powerful and thoughtful Kage. As an adult, he even adopted a local boy with powers that reminded him of his own.
A clever shinobi, Kurotsuchi is a well-rounded and powerful ninja. Between that and her Kage lineage, she was an easy choice for Tsuchikage. She learned everything she knew from her grandfather and father. Because of her proficiency in fire and earth releases, she's a master of lava release. However, her powers of misdirection, reflexes, and physical strength are what bolster her ninjutsu to be all the more powerful.
As a smart woman with many capabilities, Kurotsuchi makes for a versatile and effective Tsuchikage.
Despite Gaara's abilities and fame/infamy, the people of Sunagakure name the third Kazekage as their most powerful leader. Considering his competition, a jinchuriki, a gold-dust master, and the first Kazekage, that feat is wildly impressive. His mastery of iron sand and magnetism make his a dangerous foe. Furthermore, when Orochimaru reincarnated him, he ran into a bit of a problem. Not only did the third Kazekage defeat his copy, but also awoke from Orochimaru's influence. That's a strong body and mind.
If this man could impress the divisive sand people, he had to be one amazing Kage.
Tsunade showed serious promise as a ninja all of her life. She was passionate and had a serious knack for healing. Furthermore, she dedicated herself to reforming medic rules on ninja teams, in honor of her brother. As a ninja, she had a hand in both protection and diplomacy. When Orochimaru tragically slayed Hiruzen, she was a natural choice for the role. After all, she also had the blood of the first Hokage running in her veins.
Though she was reluctant at first, Tsunade spent her time as Hokage protecting her people, progressing medical-nin abilities, and training ninja below her.
Few Kumogakure ninja can compare to their third Raikage, A. The people consider him their greatest leader. Not only could he accomplish most all other Raikage ninjutsu, but also the stamina to face a Tailed Beast head on. That's not an easy feat. Similarly, he could use the Heavenly Transfer Technique, which could destroy a man from the inside out when used.
Teaching everything he knew to his son, he ensured that the next Kage would have the best training possible. Between his forethought and incredible powers, he protected his people and secured their safety for generations to come.
As possibly the most feared Kage in history, Yagura was raised in a violent village that he only made worse. As a child, he won the Ninja Academy graduation battle, becoming strongest young shinobi in Kirigakure. In no time at all, he became the most powerful in the village and ascended to Mizukage. Between his Three-Tailed Beast and his own strength, he was the most ruthless leader of the "Bloody Mist" period.
Of course, Madara's influence didn't help make him any less violent.
Though he was a horrible person, his power is undeniable. He brought many ninja to their knees.
Brother of the first Hokage, Tobirama dedicated himself to keeping his world stable. After all, the village was fairly new and born of an ending war. Tensions in the area were still difficult. Before appointment, Tobirama was the leader of Konoha's protective forces. Dedicated to his brother's vision and nearly as powerful, he kept Konoha together.
Without a source, Tobirama could create mass volumes of water, useful in battle or for village supplies. An intelligent ninja, he had a wide range of abilities (including time-space ninjutsu and both Yin and Yang release) that helped him protect the home his family built.
After the initial formation of the five Hidden Villages, every second Kage had to work hard to maintain everything. Few had a harder time than Gengetsu, second Mizukage in a brutal feud with Mu, second Tsuchikage. He could summon a giant clam to assault his enemies. His most powerful ability, though, was using a water based oil that diluted even the difficult to handle sand abilities of the Kazekage.
Powerful as he was, his largest flaw was his enmity towards Mu. This rage ultimately ended both their lives. Otherwise, he was a pillar of strength for the people of Kirigakure.
With the ability to erase all signs of his chakra, Mu was easily one of the most powerful and dangerous Kage. Though he was calm and polite, he could evaporate other ninja before they could realize he was there. His sensory abilities, swordsmanship, and general assassin skills made him a formidable leader. Any unseeable enemy is hard to destroy.
His life ended only because his feud with Gengetsu had gone too far. They both lost their lives in their final battle. Otherwise, he would have been intimidating enemies away from Iwagakure for many more years.
Konoha's own prodigal son, villagers knew Minato Namikaze for his speed and summoning. People claimed he was the fastest ninja to ever exist. Jiraiya even thought this "Yellow Flash" ninja was the Child of Prophecy, destined to save the world. When Hiruzen named him Fourth Hokage, no one was surprised.
Able to fend off Tobi/Madara, Minato is a powerful character that cared deeply for his family and his village. After all, he lost his life protecting his newborn son, Naruto, and stopping Kurama's attack on Konoha. Though his tenure was short, he was everything a Kage should be.
Hero of his own anime and Konoha's boldest, knucklehead ninja, Naruto is probably the goofiest Kage. However, that doesn't change the fact he wields immense power, between his own abilities and Kurama's assistance. A jinchuriki as a leader isn't unheard of, but Naruto is far more balanced. His good heart and hereditary power mixed with his passion and persistence make him a great ninja.
With deep chakra reserves, the Rasengan, boosted Nine-Tailed power, Naruto is a force unlike anything else Konoha has seen. He may not be a perfect leader, but how much he cares makes up for it.
When it comes to Kage, no one can ever be stronger than Hashirama Senju. Not only was he an incredibly powerful ninja, but he also was diplomatic enough to convince warring clans to create a single village. He didn't even want the Hokage position for himself, but the people chose him.
An incredible ninja, leader, and man, of course Hashirama would be the strongest Kage. He changed his warring world for the better and created a dynasty of leaders. Even if the shinobi are imperfect, his accomplishments and abilities are endlessly impressive. There's no way anyone can overshadow that.
Are there any other almost Kage that you guys think deserve to be on the list? Do you agree with our order of Naruto's leaders? Let us know in the comments below!