Naruto debuted as a manga series in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine. It quickly became one of the publication's most popular series, which led to an anime adaptation. Naruto would find a huge audience outside of Japan, where it has become one of the biggest-selling mangas of all time. The Naruto anime and manga series both ran for fifteen years each, with the franchise transitioning into a sequel that is being written by a new creative team.
The Naruto manga was authored by Masashi Kishimoto, who endured the stress of creating a weekly series for fifteen years. It's likely due to this pressure that caused Naruto's story to make less sense over time, as Kishimoto's editorial staff was pressuring him to keep the series going for as long as possible. This left Naruto fans with many questions about the plot that were never answered.
We are here today to question some of the plot points in Naruto that were left unresolved, including Konoha's shoddy adoption program to the important rings that were quickly pushed aside.
Here are 15 Unresolved Mysteries And Plot Holes Naruto Left Hanging.
15 Why Wasn't Naruto Put Up For Adoption?
Naruto's parents both died on the day that he was born. His identity as the son of the fourth Hokage and his status as the jinchūriki of the Nine-Tailed Fox was a classified secret in Konoha. Naruto's heritage made him the heir to the limitless power of the Nine-Tailed Fox and the chakra of the Uzumaki clan, which could make him a great asset or a fearful enemy.
So what do the elders of Konoha do? They leave him as an orphan and ostracize him from the rest of the village.
Why wasn't Naruto placed with a loving family? The Third Hokage had a family of his own, so why didn't he take care of Naruto? Konoha risked turning one of their most useful assets into a murderous psychopath (like Gaara), who had the potential to give in to his rage and turn into the Fox again. This is a huge oversight on the author's part which is never properly addressed.
14 What's The Deal With Sakura's Genjutsu?
Sakura is supposed to be one of the main characters of Naruto. Despite this, she is quickly overshadowed by Naruto and Sasuke, to the point where she is barely in the series. It seems that Sakura is going to become more important after the time-skip, as she becomes the student of Tsunade.
After the time skip, she has an awesome fight against Sasori and is part of the mission to find Orochimaru. Unfortunately, her importance dwindles after to this point and she never rises to prominence as a main character again.
The most unusual part of Sakura's character growth involves her specialty. Both Kakashi and Tsunade comment that Sakura's greatest talent is in genjutsu and it is heavily implied that she will learn how to use illusion-based techniques. This never comes to pass, however, as she mainly uses medical techniques and her super strength for the remainder of the series. It seems as if Kishimoto had planned for Sakura to have more complex abilities at one point, but then changed his mind.
13 Why Didn't Orochimaru Go After The Shinigami Release Mask?
When Orochimaru attempts to destroy Konoha during the finals of the Chūnin exam, he separates the Third Hokage from his bodyguards and attempts to kill him. Here Orochimaru has an overwhelming advantage, as he brings the First & Second Hokages back from the dead to fight at his side.
The Third Hokage uses the Dead Demon Consuming Seal technique to summon a Shinigami. This allows the Third Hokage to sacrafice his own soul in order to destroy the First & Second Hokages and rob Orochimaru of the use of his arms. Orochimaru's arms start to rot away, which forces him to hasten his plans for Sasuke.
The Dead Demon Consuming Seal technique traps the soul of its user and its target within the belly of the Grim Reaper. Near the end of the manga, Orochimaru reveals that there is a mask hidden in the outskirts of Konoha that can release the souls within the Shinigami. So why did he never go after it or send one of his associates to retrieve it? How did he learn of its existence? There is never any attempt to justify its presence.
12 When Did Sasuke Learn To Summon Hawks?!
During the Chūnin exam, the concept of the Summoning Technique is first introduced. A ninja can summon an intelligent animal by performing specific hand seals and using their chakra. Naruto gains the ability to summon toads. In order to do this, he has to sign a contract in his own blood on a scroll that is presented to him by another person who can summon toads. This is stated to be the same for all who wish to summon animals.
When Sasuke battles Danzō, he summons a giant hawk to aid him in battle. It is never explained how he acquires the ability to summon a hawk, nor where or when he signed the contract. In the Naruto manga, he uses this summon only once and it is never mentioned again. He uses the summon a few times in the anime.
11 Isn't The Moon's Eye Plan The Same As Killing Everybody?
The main antagonist of Naruto is Uchiha Obito. His evil scheme is to use a jutsu that will trap everyone in the Matrix. Obito's ultimate goal is to use the Infinite Tsukuyomi on everyone in the world at once, which will trap them in an illusion where they can finally be happy. This plan is supposed to stop all of the suffering and conflict in the world, at the cost of free will.
In order for the plan to work, Uchiha Madara summons the God Tree, which wraps everyone who is affected by the Infinite Tsukuyomi within a cocoon. This keeps everyone alive and immobile, as the tree provides them with nutrients in exchange for chakra.
If Obito's plan had worked, then wouldn't mankind have been wiped out when the current generation dies? If no one is having children, then humanity will end when all the current humans die of old age. Wouldn't it have been simpler for Obito to just wipe out humanity instead of bothering with a needlessly complex plan?
10 Why Didn't Yugao Seek Revenge?
One of the administrators of the Chūnin exam is a ninja named Hayate. He acts as the proctor of the preliminary matches of the final round of the exam. Hayate is later seen spying on Baki and Gaara. He is discovered and killed by Baki, who summons a sword made of wind to slash Hayate's body. When Orochimaru's invasion of Konoha begins, we see a woman named Yugao praying at the memorial stone. She swears to avenge Hayate's death.
However, nothing ever comes of Yugao's desire for revenge. Once the invasion ends, a truce is declared between Konoha and Sunagakure, which remains active until the end of the series. Baki appears a few more times as an ally, with no mention of Hayate's death.
Why did Kishimoto waste time introducing Yugao if he wasn't going to allow her the vengeance she so desired? She appears more in the anime, where she encounters the undead version of Hayate, though this is filler material that resolves nothing. Did he originally have plans for Yugao that got sidetracked?
9 Why Did Kabuto Heal Hinata?
The final rounds of the Chūnin exam involves a battle between Naruto and Neji. During the fight, Hinata's injuries suddenly flare up and she passes out. Kiba calls for assistance and is helped by a masked member of the Anbu, who uses his medical jutsu to stabilize Hinata's condition.
It is revealed a few episodes earlier that this member of the Anbu is actually Kabuto in disguise. We see him killing the previous wearer of the mask and stealing their identity. Kabuto is about to take part in a plan to attack Konoha, so why does he help Hinata? He uses up some of his chakra on a girl who is intended to be massacred in a few hours. Why?
The most likely answer to this question is that Kishimoto is trying to make Kabuto out to be a Snape-like character, whose loyalties are unclear. This scene might make the audience question whether Kabuto is actually loyal to Konoha, but his actions don't make much sense in the grand scheme of things, given that we soon discover that he is actually a devote follower of Orochimaru.
8 How Did Rock Lee Pass The Exam?
In Konoha, all prospective students must study at the Academy. It is there that they are taught the basics of the three principles of ninja skills: ninjutsu, genjutsu, and taijutsu. Each student is also taught to use stealth and weapons, as well as in more practical skills. In order to graduate from the Academy and earn their headband, the student must complete a final exam.
When Naruto takes the exam, he has to perform the Clone Technique, which he cannot do. He is later allowed to pass due to the fact that he can perform the more advanced Shadow Clone Technique.
The question remaining concerns Rock Lee: how did he manage to pass the exam if he could not perform ninjutsu or genjuts? Did his final exam really focus on physical skills instead of ninjutsu? It's possible, but it has never been confirmed.
7 What's The Deal With Kakashi & Susanoo?
The Sharingan starts out as one of the coolest abilities in Naruto. Only a member of the Uchiha clan or someone who has an Uchiha eye transplant can use the Sharingan. When it is activated, it allows the user to see chakra. This later develops into the ability to predict physical movements. The Sharingan only becomes more complex as time goes on, with variations of it allowing the user to conjure unquenchable fire, summon an indestructible giant, or perfectly controlling the minds of others.
Kakashi is a not a member of the Uchiha clan and only gains the ability to use the Sharingan from an eye implant. He does not possess an Eternal Mangekyō Sharingan, as he never swaps eyes with anyone (which wouldn't work anyway, as he isn't an Uchiha). Despite this, he summons a Perfect Susanoo, with no explanation given for how it's possible. He lacks the chakra to be able to perform the technique without dying and is only given two "ghost" Sharingan from the dead Obito. It's clear that Kishimoto gave up on following any of the rules of the Sharingan at this point.
6 Why Didn't Danzo Make His Move After The Third Hokage Died?
One of the new characters introduced after the time-skip is Danzō. He is the leader of an organization in Konoha called Root, which deals with potential threats to the village. Danzō is responsible for placing Sai on Naruto's team, so that he could gather information on the host of the Nine-Tailed Fox. When Pain attacks Konoha, Danzō keeps his soldiers in reserve. It is hinted that Danzō is aware of Orochimaru's plan to attack the village and chose to do nothing about it. Once Pain is dealt with, Danzō becomes the Sixth Hokage.
If Danzō is so power hungry, then why didn't he try and become the Hokage after the Third was murdered? Konoha is left leaderless for weeks while Naruto goes on his journey to find Tsunade. The real answer to this question is that Kishimoto hadn't created the character yet. This is true, but it still doesn't explain why Kishimoto had no retroactive explanation for Danzō's inaction, or why he helps Orochimaru and never takes advantage of the gap in leadership.
5 Why Were Women Still Allowed To Be Jinchūriki?
The world of Naruto is plagued by nine giant monsters, whose size and strength makes them as destructive as a natural disaster. These tailed-beasts can be killed, but they will reappear eventually. One way in which the tailed-beasts can be dealt with is by sealing them within a human being. This turns that person into a jinchūriki. The jinchūriki can learn to co-exist with the beast inside their body, which can potentially lead to the beast providing them with additional power.
It is stated that the seal which contains the tailed-beast can deteriorate over time. The point in which the seal is at its absolute weakest is during childbirth. We see this when Naruto's mother is giving birth to him, as she was the jinchūriki of the Nine-Tailed Fox. If this is the case, then why were women still allowed to become jinchūriki? There are occasions when there is no other choice, such as with Rin or Naruto's mother, but it is never explained why Yugito and Fū are allowed to become jinchūriki. However, one could assume that some of these women knew the risks and perhaps vowed to never have children.
4 Naruto's Age Doesn't Line Up With The Exam
In the first episode of Naruto, it is established that Naruto is taking the Academy graduation exam for the third time. He fails it at first, as he is unable to perform the basic Clone Technique. His instructor later allows him to pass when he uses the Shadow Clone Technique, which is a much more difficult jutsu to perform.
The idea that Naruto attempts the exam on three occasions creates some timeline issues that are never resolved in the story. If Naruto took the exam three times, then why is he the same age as his classmates when they graduate? Shouldn't he be two years older than Sasuke and Sakura? It's later shown that Naruto has been in the same class throughout his time at the Academy, as he is shown training with them in flashbacks. The instructors might allow students to take the exam early, but if that was the case then why hadn't Sasuke or Sakura completed it before, since they are more than capable of passing the exam at the start of the series.
3 Why Did The Fox Help Naruto?
One of the longest running subplots in Naruto concerns the relationship between Naruto and the Nine-Tailed Fox. In the first issue of the manga, Naruto discovers that he is the living prison for the demon fox that attacked his village on the day of his birth. As the series progresses, Naruto realizes that the Fox's presence vastly increases his healing ability. During the fight against Haku & Zabuza, Naruto is able to tap into the Fox's chakra for the first time, which makes him a lot stronger. As he continues to tap into the Fox's ability, it is established that the Fox is willingly giving him extra power.
When a jinchūriki is killed, their tailed-beast temporarily dies as well. This is confirmed with the death of Rin and the Three-Tails. The beasts will eventually regain their form after a few years of waiting. This raises the question of why the Fox was helping Naruto out for so long? If Naruto had been killed in a fight, then the Fox would have been free.
2 Why Wasn't Yamato Put In Charge Of Team Seven From The Start?
When Yamato was a child, he was kidnapped by Orochimaru and used as a subject for horrifying genetic experiments. He was the only survivor of sixty children who had all been implanted with the DNA of the First Hokage. Yamato was rescued and returned to Konoha, where he became an accomplished ninja.
Yamato eventually develops the unique abilities of the First Hokage, which includes the power to reshape nature itself. He is chosen to replace Kakashi as the leader of Team Seven, as Yamato also possesses the ability to suppress the power of a tailed-beast. Whenever Naruto starts to lose control of the Nine-Tailed Fox's power, Yamato helps to keep it in check.
If Yamato possesses the ability to suppress the Fox, then why wasn't he always put in charge of Team Seven? There is always a risk of Naruto losing control of his anger and transforming into the Fox, which Kakashi wouldn't have been able to prevent. Why wasn't Yamato given that responsibility from the start?
1 What's The Deal With The Akatsuki Rings?
The members of Akatsuki are expected to follow a strict dress code, which includes a ring. The rings appear to be of great importance, as each of the ten initial members of the group wear one. A lot of significance is given to the Akatsuki rings... until they are suddenly forgotten.
When Orochimaru leaves Akatsuki, he takes his ring with him. His position is never replaced, which suggests that the ring had something to do with it. When Deidara loses his arm in battle, he returns to dangerous territory in order to reclaim the ring that is on his discarded hand. Tobi and Zetsu also perform a risky mission to retrieve Sasori's ring from his corpse. The significance of the rings is never expanded on after this point. They are originally so irreplaceable that members of Akatsuki risk their lives to retrieve them, but suddenly drop out of the story completely without warning.
It seems that Kishimoto had lots of plans for Naruto that were never fully explored. It's a shame that he wasn't allowed to develop the story in the way that he wanted, as the series may have made more sense in the long-run.
Did you ever notice these Naruto plot holes? Let us know in the comments!