Any story that big is bound to have plenty of powerful characters, along with worthless ones. Even a hit series like Game of Thrones has its fair share of worthless characters. In the case of Naruto, the worthless characters weren’t necessarily that way because of filler. As talented as Masashi Kishimoto is as a creator, storyteller, and illustrator, he has made plenty of mistakes too.
While our list takes into consideration databook stats and battles fought, it also encompasses the influence that these individual characters had on others and their own personal story arcs.
Many of the individuals listed as worthless had the potential to be something greater within the Naruto story, but were slighted due to poor writing and development inconsistencies. The same goes for those listed as powerful. They made the list not only due to their skills and high databook stats, but because of the influence they had on those around them due to excellent writing and complete story arcs.
So, grab a hot bowl of Miso Chashu Pork Ramen and get comfortable as we settle the great debate of Hinata and Sakura — along with which character truly deserves to be listed as the most powerful.
Here are the 9 Most Powerful (and 9 Worthless) Naruto Characters.
18 Powerful: Tobirama Senju
Tobirama Senju (千手扉間) was the younger brother of Hashirama Senju. Following his brothers Will of Fire, he would become the second Hogake. While being a powerful fighter, his greatest achievements in life would come from working tirelessly to maintain stability through political methods and implementing institutions towards a goal of peace amongst clans.
He first became recognized as a force to be reckoned with after killing Madara’s younger brother Izuna Uchiha. He was also able to survive a battle with a pair of brothers who possessed the Nine-Tails' chakra, known as the Gold and Silver brothers.
Ironically, one of Tobirama’s accomplishments would come back to haunt him. This being the creation of the Impure World Reincarnation. Despite this, he was also the creator of the Shadow Clone Technique, which Naruto used regularly in battle.
17 Worthless: Chōji Akimichi
Chōji Akimichi (秋道チョウジ) is a character who had great potential within the Naruto story, but was never given the proper development. While most would assume that Chōji is worthless because of his insecurities, the main issue is why his character stayed this way which makes him disposable.
It wouldn’t be until the Fourth Shinobi World War that Chōji would overcome his insecurities, find his way, and prove himself worthy as a character in Naruto.
His constant hunger and the annoyance it created from his other team members was funny at first, but became old and annoying fairly quickly. Chōji Akimichi’s obsession over food had no resolution, creating a character that wasn’t identifiable by fans. His databook stats remained at an incredible low of 13.5 for parts one and two and only increased to a 20.5 in part three.
16 Powerful: Sasori
Defeating the Third Kazekage and considered as one of the strongest ninja in Suna's history, Sasori (サソリ) was a legend of evil. His power was talked about across the world and he was even given the title Sasori of the Red Sand, due to the bodies he left in his wake. As a puppet master like none before him, Sasori considered his puppetry to be a work of art.
Loyal to the Akatsuki in life, as well as after death in his resurrected puppet form, Sasori was extremely detached from society and from life itself. His databook stats rate him at a 34.5, with his lowest score of three being in the strength category. His “works of art,” however, compensated for his weaknesses, making him a powerful adversary.
15 Worthless: Yamanaka Ino
The storyline of Sakura being smitten with Sasuke was annoying enough to begin with, but adding Yamanaka Ino (山中いの) into the mix made it 10 times worse.
Yamanaka defended Sakura when she was teased about having a large forehead, bringing them together as close friends and allies. The friendship, and any potential character development between the two, ended abruptly when they became rivals due to their love of Sasuke.
Despite graduating at the top of her class, Ino's databook rankings were horrible. Yamanaka Ino started at a 15 in part one and only grew to a 21 by part three of Naruto.
If Yamanaka and Sakura had stayed close friends, their characters could have grown together and become a strong foundation for a powerful team.
14 Powerful: Kakashi Hatake
Out of the dozens of characters that Kishimoto created in Naruto, few leave a lasting impression like Kakashi Hatake (はたけカカシ). While his battle scenes are thrilling to watch, what makes him so powerful is his ability to live the ninja life (100) all the time.
Kakashi has been through so much, yet he remains active after handing off the Hokage position to Naruto. He can even be seen giving Naruto advice during the Nue fight, showing his humility through his love of teaching. He’s also still active in Boruto, working behind the scenes on his own personal investigations.
Don’t let his passive demeanor fool you, though, Kakashi is not one to mess with. His databook stats only reinforce this fact, as he has a score of 34.5.
13 Worthless: Rock Lee
The greatest moment Rock Lee (ロック・リ) had in Naruto happened when he was the first one ever to land a punch on Gaara. In what should have been a pivotal moment for his character, became his peak accomplishment instead.
Like Chōji Akimichi, Rock Lee faced an uphill battle within himself since he had no talent for ninjutsu and genjutsu. While his databook stats were slightly higher than Chōji’s, Kishimoto failed in creating a character who could overcome insurmountable odds.
Instead, Rock Lee keeps getting injured and running into traps without learning the lessons of the past. Even during the battle of the Ten-Tails' Jinchūriki, Lee’s shining moment was rescuing his teacher and mentor Guy. The moment was brief, however, and all he does for the rest of the battle is watch and retreat.
12 Powerful: Tsunade
Say what you will about Kishimoto’s weakness in writing powerful female characters, but Tsunade (綱手) was a breath of fresh air in a male-dominant storyline. Not only was she powerful enough to become the Fifth Hokage, but her character arc had her overcoming personal struggles and adversity.
Tsunade could literally split the ground by only using a finger, something Naruto learned firsthand the hard way. As a Sannin and an extraordinary healer, Tsunade’s databook stats top off at a 35 of a possible 40.
While Kishimoto could have allowed her to show off this power more often, at least Naruto fans were able to witness such an incredibly powerful and headstrong character. The story of Tsunade isn’t over quite yet, as it’s yet to be determined what kind of role she’ll have in the new Boruto series.
11 Worthless: Jirōbō
Jirōbō (次郎坊) had brute strength and... well, that’s about it. As member of the Sound Five who served under Kimimaro, Jirōbō was a worthless bad guy. Despite having a moment of glory in helping his group escape with Sasuke’s body, he fell for a simple trap set by Shikamaru Nara and revealed his location.
To make matters worse, Jirōbō found himself overpowered by Chōji Akimichi. As if the fight wasn’t ridiculous enough, Chōji kills Jirōbō for eating the last of his favorite snack and for insulting Shikamaru.
Masashi Kishimoto didn’t stop there, though, as Jirōbō was resurrected during the Fourth Shinobi World War. His return was short lived, however, and he met his inevitable death at the hand of Naruto with his soul returning to the afterlife.
10 Powerful: Madara Uchiha
Madara Uchiha (うちはマダラ) was a legend, despite his evil path. Once the leader of Uchiha clan and cofounder of Konohagakure, Madara was intelligent and powerful. Madara was extremely competitive, constantly feeling like he needed to prove he was the best in the world.
His path toward evil began after Izuna's (Madara’s brother) death. He would take on the clans Curse of Hatred, choosing a life of revenge instead of peace and forgiveness. Fighting was in Madara’s DNA. He loved the battlefield and the taste of blood.
Despite his lust for battle, Madara was disciplined in his fighting approach. It would be Madara’s knowledge after all that led to Obito creating Akatsuki. Even his name was powerful enough for Obito to use in unifying ninja to start the Fourth Shinobi World War.
9 Worthless: Hinata
Masashi Kishimoto messed up from the beginning of Naruto when he couldn’t make up his mind in the matter of who should be the lead heroine. Hinata had so much potential to be a great character and ninja.
Instead, her character arcs felt more like a cheap roller coaster ride at a fair ground. The only redeeming quality that Kishimoto gave Hinata came with her finally hooking up with and marrying Naruto.
In the beginning of the anime she was a neglected character. Suddenly, because of Kishimoto changing his mind, Hinata became more powerful while also acquiring some unnecessary anatomy changes.
What truly made her character worthless was that, without Naruto in the picture, Hinata had no identifiable purpose within the overall story. She only thinks and does as Naruto would do, never acquiring a destiny of her own.
8 Powerful: Hashirama Senju
The first Hokage and cofounder of Konohagakure, Hashirama Senju (千手柱間) understood the true balance of power and leadership. Hashirama saw life through a much different lens than his partner Madara Uchiha. Perhaps it was this worldview that allowed Hashirama to always come out victorious over Madara.
Humility was something Hashirama lacked though, calling himself the God of Shinobi. He was born during the Warring States Period, but was tired of the fighting and only wanted to bring peace to his people. He did not find that peace in his lifetime, but his Will of Fire would continue through to the generations that would come after him.
The most powerful message Hashirama taught was his belief in village loyalty first rather than each clan only looking out for themselves.
7 Worthless: Zaku Abumi
Zaku Abumi (ザク・アブミ) is a prime example of weak evil characters who didn’t exist within the Naruto story except to take up space. He’s never given a proper backstory like the rest of his teammates and served only as a disposable pawn for Orochimaru’s goals.
However, what makes Zaku Abumi such an incredibly worthless character are his databook stats. Whereas Jirōbō excelled at strength, Zaku had no definitive characteristics about him. His databook stat was a resounding 14, and would remain that way through until he was used as a sacrifice.
One interesting side note about his character took place in the manga and not in the anime due to censorship. During Zaku's fight with Shino, his arms detonate. In the manga his right hand is completely blown off his arm.
6 Powerful: Itachi Uchiha
As a prodigy of Konohagakure's Uchiha clan, Itachi Uchiha (うちはイタチ) was powerful and intelligent. Scoring the best in everything he set his mind to. Itachi was even allowed to compete in the Chūnin Exams at the age of 10. He would become a member of the Anbu only one year later.
Itachi was so powerful that, when challenged by Orochimaru, who was attempting to obtain the Sharingan from him, Itachi beat him with ease while removing his left hand during the confrontation. His databook scores only reinforce his power as he is listed at a score of 35.5.
The most amazing fact about Itachi was that he contracted a life threatening illness, but kept himself alive through will power and medicine so that he could die at the hand of Sasuke.
5 Worthless: Sakura Uchiha
Much like Hinata, Sakura (うちはサクラ) had the potential to be a viable and powerful character in Naruto. Kishimoto, however, couldn’t make up his mind as to who of the two should be the main heroine. Let’s not forget the completely pointless and endless story of her undying love for Sasuke.
When the war was taking place, Sasuke attempted to kill Sakura multiple times, and yet her character kept droning on and on about how wonderful Sasuke was.
The result of this giant debacle was that a majority of Naruto fans grew to despise Sakura. Kishimoto realized this and tried to make her character more like Tsunade, but the damage was already done at this point. If he had paired the two character arcs earlier and included Hinata in the mix, Naruto would have had anime’s most powerful female trio.
4 Powerful: Jiraiya
Jiraiya (自来也) was a member of the Sannin, along with Tsunade and Orochimaru. Despite his character flaws, Jiraiya was likely the most powerful of the three Sannin. He was extremely intelligent, but remained humble enough to admit his own weaknesses.
Despite his skill in battle, Jiraiya’s true power came in the form of mentor and teacher to Naruto. The time and energy Jiraiya invested into the young and immature future Hokage, accomplished more for the village and its people than any battle fought by Jiraiya.
Scoring a 35.5 in the databook stats, one might think that his greatest technique was the Ultra-Big Ball Rasengan or his mastery of Toad Sage. Jiraiya, however, considered his greatest contribution to be the Transparent Escape Technique, which earned him the name of "Pervy Sage."
3 Worthless: Shino Aburame
Shino Aburame (油女シノ) is a quiet, mysterious, and solitary character who gets flat out ignored through almost the entire Naruto storyline. His worthlessness as a character is a shame considering the fact that he had a lot of potential with his insects.
He was born into the Aburame, which meant that he was infused with a special breed of insects at birth. They used his body as a nest, creating a symbiosis with Shino. He could even use them to steal his opponent’s chakra.
How Kishimoto let Shino slip through the cracks is a mystery. He would start as a 17 in the databooks while finishing part three at only a 21. The final insult to his character would come when he was put in charge of the second phase of the Chūnin Exams with Tenten.
2 Powerful: Naruto
Naruto is the exception regarding powerful characters. His databook stats start at a whopping low of 14.5 and only increase to a 26. Of course, his story isn’t done yet, as the Boruto series takes over where the final Naruto left off.
However, it’s not Naruto’s brute power that entitles him to be the most powerful ninja on this list. Instead, it’s his ability to bring others together, to never give up, and to make the world a better place because of who he is as a person. After all, the entire story is based on him. Without Naruto the character, the story Naruto never would have lasted as long as it has.
The power Naruto projects goes beyond physical and mental limitations. It’s almost spiritual in a sense. He’s changed more lives than anyone before him and has brought about a peace and unity other Hokage could only dream of.
1 Worthless: Dosu Kinuta
Created to be the unofficial leader of Team Dosu, Dosu Kinuta (ドス・キヌタ) takes the cake of worthless characters in Naruto. Much like the rest of his team, he’s nothing more than a sacrificial pawn in a game he doesn’t understand. Thinking himself to be greater than he is, Dosu disobeys orders during the Chūnin Exams.
With a whopping databook stat of 16 (yes, that’s all he scored) Dosu gets it in his head that he’s going to beat Sasuke. In what would be his final stupid mistake, he challenges Gaara. The battle is over before it even begins, as Gaara promptly kills Dosu while Baki and Kabuto Yakushi watch.
Dosu Kinuta had no potential to be a character of interest in the Naruto series from the start. He was just another bland character set in to fill up some space.
What do you think? Are there any other powerful and worthless Naruto characters who we missed? Let us know in the comments!