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The Hokage

The Hokage is the leader of the Hidden Leaf village. Each is recognized as the head of the village, and each one has the talent to match.

While Hokage candidates need to be approved by the Hidden Leaf's elite ninjas, they also need the approval of both the village's other ninjas, as well as the Land of Fire's daimyo in order to take office. Having the approval of the villagers certainly doesn't hurt either.

Becoming Hokage is the main goal of the titular character, Naruto.

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  • The Ace: The first four Hokage were each hailed as the strongest warriors of their time, and managed to surpass every other shinobi in the art of asskicking, to the point where their strength and skill were considered absurdly unnatural. Two of the seven Hokage are gifted with the title God of Shinobi, which is only shared with one other person in history: Hagoromo Otsutsuki, the Sage of Six Paths, and the Seventh Hokage, Naruto Uzumaki, is credited as being not only the strongest of all the Hokage, but the strongest ninja in history.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: Zig-zagged. It was initially claimed that the Hokages earned the position by being hands down the strongest ninja in the village at the time (which the first four were, to be fair), but politics also plays a big role in their selection, as they need to be approved of by both the ninjas of the village and the daimyo. Notably, Hashirama originally intended the First Hokage to be Madara, but he was outvoted by the rest of the village. However, it's likely that candidates still need to be one of the village's best to even be considered for the job.
  • Back from the Dead: The first four were all revived by Orochimaru in Chapter 618.
  • Barrier Warrior: The first four use the Four Red Yang Formation in an attempt to bind the Ten Tails.
  • Big Good: They're Kage, who are by the very nature of the title badass. The Hokage are considered to be badass even by the other Kage.
  • Big Damn Heroes: After Orochimaru revives them using Edo Tensei to speak with Sasuke, they go to join the war against Madara and the Ten Tails.
  • Broad Strokes: We never get an objective view of just which Hokage is truly strongest, and Kishimoto's word is no help. It leads to Serious Business debates.
  • Failure Knight: The only Hokage who didn't end up lamenting his shortcomings or inability to resolve problems was Tobirama, who ironically caused the most problems out of all the Hokages.
  • Famed In-Story: Like most elite ninja. Most notable with Hashirama, who has both the largest reputation and is the farthest from it (in terms of personality).
  • Hot Consort: The wives of the Hokage are this to their spouses: Mito to Hashirama (First Hokage) and Kushina to Minato (Fourth Hokage). Later, Hinata is this to her husband, Naruto (Seventh Hokage).
  • Informed Ability: For most of the series, almost everything we knew about their combat prowess was through word of mouth from characters that came after them, and what we actually saw was fairly underwhelming, to say the least (due to their powers being far from their prime whenever they are seen). After they're all revived by Orochimaru at near full strength during the Fourth Ninja War, we get a much better showing from them, particularly the First and Second Hokages.
  • Master-Apprentice Chain: Hashirama founded the village and was the First Hokage. His brother Tobirama became the Second Hokage, and was the one who trained Hiruzen and Danzo, who would become the Third Hokage and acting Sixth Hokage respectively. The Third Hokage trained the Fifth Hokage Tsunade (who is herself the granddaughter of the First and grandniece of the Second) and Jiraiya, who would go on to train the Fourth Hokage, Minato. The Fourth Hokage (Minato), of course, would train Kakashi, who would train Naruto. Both would go on to become Hokage; the Sixth and Seventh, respectively.
  • No-Sell: Thanks to being resurrected zombies, the first four Hokages are immune to Madara's Infinite Tsukiyomi.
  • One-Man Army: Part of the job description.
  • Posthumous Character: The first two and the Fourth are this, and we also end up learning more about the Third after his death than we did before it.
  • Renaissance Man: Everything we've seen and heard of their abilities shows each of them as masters of a wide variety of techniques that don't really have anything in common with each other.
  • Self-Duplication: All but Tsunade have some sort of Clone technique, and Tsunade's summon can do this too. Wood for Hashirama and Shadow clones for the rest.
  • Strong and Skilled: In comparison to each other, they run the gamut from mostly relying on bloodline traits to mainly relying on extremely refined taught shinobi arts, but in comparison to all other Ninja there is no question the Hokage are both very powerful and very skilled.
  • The Team: The first four work together as Edo Tensei, with the Fifth close to the action. They roughly hit the archetypes of the Five-Man Band. The First is the The Leader, The Hero, and a jovial and open-minded. The Second is his brother and Lancer with a stern and judgmental personality. The Third is The Big Guy, hailed as the God of Shinobi during part one and good enough to take on (slightly weakened versions of) the first two simultaneously. The Fourth is The Smart Guy as a Combat Pragmatist that lacks the others' raw power, but is shown to be calm, cultured, and Crazy-Prepared. The Fifth is The Chick as the Token Girl and the world's best medical shinobi.
  • Undying Loyalty: Each of the Hokage is completely loyal to the village and its inhabitants.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: The first four Hokages have all inadvertently helped cause the current conflicts.
    • Hashirama spared Madara, enabling everything Madara would go on to do. Though it's later revealed that this isn't exactly what happened. Hashirama actually did kill Madara, however Madara - using rather convoluted means was able to revive himself.
    • Tobirama was partially responsible for Madara gaining the Eternal Mangekyo Sharingan. He also invented the Edo Tensei technique that allowed for Kabuto to resurrect and use the dead for evil.
    • Sarutobi was the one to first get Orochimaru fixated on immortality, due to a comment made near Oro's parents' graves. He also couldn't bring himself to stop Orochimaru (who would later start a war against Konoha and eventually kill him) when he had the chance. He also allowed Danzo to run around unchecked, which would have severe consequences in the long run, as every single non-Uchiha Big Bad, including Orochimaru, had some ties with Danzo or were a result of his actions that would come to haunt the very village he was claiming to protect.
    • Minato was unable to prevent his students Rin and Obito's deaths, which is what spawned the Big Bad. His own death also caused a vast amount of problems, as it forced Sarutobi to re-assume the position, and Sarutobi's lack of a sufficient backbone in his old age was one of the major reasons for all the problems he ended up causing. Not to mention Minato's decision to seal half of Kurama in Naruto led to his own son being hated and feared as a pariah for much of his childhood, the terror of being controlled by Kurama's malevolence, and him being hunted by the Akatsuki and eventually the entire village being destroyed by their leader.
  • Walking Spoiler: Given just how deeply ingrained their actions are into the backstory of the series, and their influence on everything that's actually going on in the present day, this is unavoidable.
  • World's Best Warrior/World's Strongest Man: This title has been somewhat liberally applied to the whole group, even Tsunade (who's hailed as the strongest kunoichi), with each having been variously stated to be the strongest Shinobi alive while they held the position and "strongest shinobi ever produced/seen by the Hidden Leaf". Chapter 627 even uses "the four strongest soldiers" in the narrative text when referring to them. Needless to say, when the top dog of the four is discussed, it gets messy. Though amongst all seven of the Hokage, there's no debate because the most powerful by far and away is obviously Naruto.

    First Hokage - Hashirama Senju 

Hashirama Senju

Voiced by: Takayuki Sugo (JP), Jamieson Price (EN, Part I), Peter Lurie (EN, part II), Max Mittelman (EN, young), Andrés Gutiérrez Coto (Latin America), Gaëtan Wiernik (French)

Debut: Naruto Chapter 118 (Manga), Naruto Episode 69 (Anime)

The fellow countrymen of the Konoha make up each part of my body… those of the village believe in me, and I believe in them… That's what it means to be Hokage!

The First Hokage, also Tsunade's grandfather, was one of the founders of the Village Hidden in The Leaves (The other being Madara Uchiha). He was one of the greatest shinobi to ever live and respected by nearly everyone. His claim to fame was his Kekkei Genkai, Wood Style, which allowed him to utilize wood for various effects, to the point of being able to combat and suppress the power of a Tailed Beast.

In Shippuden, it's revealed he was the head of the Senju Clan who, in the olden days, clashed with Madara Uchiha and his clan. He formed an alliance with Madara and the other Uchiha to establish the Hidden Leaf Village as the first ninja village; However, Madara believed that he and the Uchiha were being treated unfairly and the two fought at the Valley of the End, with Hashirama ultimately emerging victorious.

His hobbies: bonsai and wood sculpting.
Favorite phrases: "The vast lands fertile" and "Heaven's garments are without seams"
They refer to perfect beauty without any artificial elements.

  • 100% Adoration Rating: This is the reason why he became Hokage in the first place. Every inhabitant liked and respected him even members of the Uchiha Clan with whom they had a long of enmity recognized him as the leader of the village.
  • Abusive Parents: His own father would punch him in the face for speaking out against conflict, in particular the toll it took on children.
  • The Ace: In terms of raw power, even the other three Hokage pale in comparison to Hashirama's wood-style and Chakra reserves, which are described as being so vast that no other ninja had come close to matching him during his life. Even Madara, who wiped the floor with five Kage (admittedly in a stronger state than he had been in life), used the Sharingan to bring Kurama under his control and Hashirama still beat him. Hashirama is also this for the line of Hagoromo's younger son, Asura. Whereas both Asura and Naruto took time to achieve their potential, needing the help of others to become strong leaders, Hashirama was a gifted shinobi from the start. This resulted in him defeating Indra's transmigrant, Madara Uchiha, every time they fought. He's also the only shinobi to naturally develop the coveted Wood Release jutsu, which not only allowed him to summon massive forests but also gave him the ability to defeat and control the 9 Tailed Beasts as well, even to the point that his control could overpower that of Madara Uchiha's.
  • Adaptational Dye-Job: His Sage markings go from red in the manga to green in the anime.
  • Adapted Out: He and Tobirama are absent in the live theater adaptation.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: He's more than willing to bow his head to another person if it helps calm the situation down.
  • All-Loving Hero: Extremely courteous, sincere and kindhearted, and he sees the best in everyone, for better or worse.
  • Always Someone Better: He was this for Madara Uchiha. A big part of the current problems in the series are ultimately the result of Hashirama beating Madara in everything (particularly power and ideology) and Madara's inability to accept this.
  • Ambiguously Brown: He and his brother likely inherited traits from different sides of their parents, though curiously, in the manga he seems to have the same skin tone as his brother.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: While he is willing to let others abuse him, he will remind them if they've said the wrong choice of words
    Hashirama: No matter what happens I will protect our… no my village. I still believe that protecting the village is the best way to protect people, shinobi, and children…! Anyone who tries to harm it, whether they are my friends, siblings or my own children… I won't forgive them.
  • Awesomeness Is a Force: The force of his chakra is enough to make the room he's standing in start crumbling. And he wasn't even serious.
    Tobirama: Don't get your chakra so riled up, brother.
  • Badass Creed: The "Will of Fire" originates from him.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: He's an easygoing, jovial, and polite guy, but when he gets serious he won't hesitate to kill someone who he considers a brother, or even his own family if they threaten his home.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: He may be a big goof, but there is a reason why he was known as the God of Shinobi.
  • Big Good: He is the first Hokage, founder of the Hidden Leaf Village, the creator of the hidden ninja village system, and praised as the God of Shinobi due to his immense power and massive chakra reserves, without him, Konoha and the other hidden ninja villages would not have existed. Hashirama fully takes this position once he and the reanimated Hokages arrive on the battlefield of the Fourth Shinobi World War, he leads both the resurrected Hokage and the Allied Shinobi Forces to battle against Obito and Madara.
  • Big Man on Campus: While every other Hokage has been wary and evenly-matched with their peers, Hashirama was powerful enough and friendly enough that he could unite the Shinobi world with the sheer force of his name.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Hashirama is a jovial Nice guy and has a very energetic personality.
  • Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: The Boke to his brother's Tsukkomi.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Inverted many times. Due to Hashirama's legendary legacy, people often imagined him to be a noble and composed warrior. When he is brought back by Edo Tensei, it is revealed that Hashirama is actually silly and juvenile, being a Butt-Monkey to his younger brother. However, he is still the only Shinobi capable of fighting his rival, Madara on equal terms.
  • Casting a Shadow: During the manga version his fight against Hiruzen during the Konoha Crush, he uses a Genjutsu called Bringer-Of-Darkness, which blinds the target by placing a hallucinatory darkness over their eyes.
  • Characterization Marches On: When Hashirama was brought back by an incomplete Edo Tensei, he seemed to be quite a serious and composed warrior, he and Tobirama didn't look much different personality wise; one could assume Orochimaru's limiting their powers to control them better also took its toll on their personalities, but nothing was said back then. This first taste of Hashirama's personality was pasted on related material as well, such as Video Games and fillers, showing us a composed warrior befitting of his legend. All that was rendered incompatible by the time Hashirama was revived again, showing us a more laid back and vigorously juvenile man who greatly contrasts with his brother, whose personality does resemble the one we first see. That said, when his Berserk Button gets pushed too far...
  • Childhood Friends: With Madara.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Invoked by Suigetsu in-universe after witnessing his personality when Hashirama gets revived by the Edo Tensei. He finds it hard to believe such a jovial, happy-go-lucky person is one of the strongest shinobi ever. The second half of this trope comes into play when his Berserk Buttons are pressed.
  • Death Glare:
    • To Tobirama after he threatened Sasuke. Everybody got scared shitless, and the sheer force of his and Tobirama's chakra nearly destroyed the temple they were in.
    • He gave Tobirama one to stop him from killing Madara Uchiha. Arguably, his seriousness in that particular situation is how Hashirama's dream for a truce with the Uchiha came into fruition.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: One half of the Wood Style.
  • Don't Make Me Destroy You: He says this during his battle with Madara at the Valley of the End asking him to stop this battle because he did not want to kill him. Madara didn't listen.
  • Doting Grandparent: In his own words, "Tsunade was my first grandchild, so I spoiled her rotten."
  • Energy Absorption: He's capable of absorbing chakra from ninja using his wood release jutsu as a medium. Madara claims it was his Wood Dragon that bound the Nine Tails during their fight, and Madara even overpowers Naruto using the same Wood Dragon jutsu.
  • Facial Markings: Gets these in his Sage Mode.
  • Famed In-Story: Hashirama went down in history as one of the most powerful shinobi to ever live, certainly the most powerful in his time; the man who founded Konoha in its entirety with his Wood Release, the man who achieved a brief world peace, the man who created the Will of Fire, whose battle with Madara was do destructive that it carved out a entire valley, etc. It's actually to the point many in-story characters consider a lot of the stories about Hashirama to be mere myth and exaggeration. What those stories didn't pass on was his exuberant and jovial personality.
  • Fluffy Tamer: His powers allowed him to control the Tailed Beasts.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The foolish sibling to Tobirama's responsible sibling. At least in terms of demeanor.
  • Foil: To Naruto. Both are very strong willed, they both desired peace in the Shinobi world, they are both also have childish personalities, they both do their best to protect those they care about including the Hidden Leaf Village, they both value other peoples opinions, they’re both the reincarnations of Asura and they both became Hokage. But while Hashirama was an All-Loving Hero and a prodigy at a young age, Naruto was hated by everyone in the village and hade to learn a lot from his mentors, and while Hashirama failed to United the Five Nations and create peace in the Shinobi World, Naruto managed to unite the Five Nations and finally bring peace to the Shinobi World after the Fourth Shinobi World War.
  • Founder of the Kingdom: Co-founder of Konoha with Madara Uchiha, before things went sour with the latter. He's also the founder of the whole Balance of Power system between the five great ninja villages.
  • The Gadfly: Enjoyed getting a rise out of Madara back when they were kids.
  • Generation Xerox: Zig-zagged. When you actually see him for the first time, he seems to be a stoic, but kind leader. The next time we get a chance to see him, he's not only as energetic as Naruto, but also not very well-respected among his peers. His rival was Madara Uchiha, who is basically Sasuke with his crazy turned up a notch.
  • Good Is Not Soft: At the Valley of the End, Madara notes that Hashirama isn't as soft as before.
  • Greater-Scope Paragon: He is the one who founded the Village Hidden in the Leaves that subsequently created the entire system of hidden ninja villages and the "Will of Fire" which is abided by almost all ninjas of Konoha also originates from him.
  • Green Thumb: Hashirama is renowned for his Wood Style Bloodline, which allows him at its very core to create wood.
  • Healing Factor: According to Madara, he could regenerate without using hand signs and knew many healing jutsus.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: His wife, Mito, has red hair, a trait common to the Uzumaki clan.
  • Horrible Judge of Character:
    • Probably one of his nicest characteristics is also is biggest flaw. He wants to believe that there is good in everyone, so he gave his childhood friend a lot of chances over the years and he utterly refused to accept that Madara was beyond help until their final battle at the Valley of the End, after he had attacked the village one too many times.
    • This happens again after Madara is fully revived. He thinks Sasuke's resemblance to Izuna will cause Madara to falter and reawaken his kind side. This is a pretty bad judgement, considering that Madara tried to roast Sasuke just a few minutes earlier. Predictably, this assumption ends poorly for Sasuke.
  • Hot-Blooded: He's a very boisterous and kind person. He also has an enthusiastic personality which leads him to be quite similar to Naruto.
  • Idiot Hero: As noted by his brother, though he comments that Naruto outdoes him in this regard. This seems to be more in regards to Hashirama's overly soft approach in diplomacy and dealing with enemies rather than overall intelligence, since these are the main points the brothers disagree on.
  • Irony:
    • As pointed out by Sasuke, Hashirama being ready and willing to kill anyone (be it a brother, a friend, even a family member or even his own child ) to protect Konoha makes Itachi the direct heir to his legacy, as he did the same thing on a larger scale.
    • Unlike Asura and Naruto, Hashirama was an early bloomer and was always one step ahead of his rival, Madara, until the latter awakened the Rinnegan.
  • Keet: As revealed after his second resurrection by Orochimaru, while not outright childish, he's a lot more energetic and bubbly than his legend would have people believe.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: After he killed Madara, he resolved to persevere and watch over the village, protecting it from anything and anyone that might threaten it.
    Hashirama: I will not forgive anyone who threatens the village. Be they a friend... sibling... or even my own child...
  • The Leader: In addition to being Hokage, Hashirama is also the head of the Senju Clan as an adult during his lifetime.
  • Lightning Bruiser: He has the Senju lifeforce which means he has a massive amount of physical strength like his granddaughter Tsunade, and he's fast enough to outrun a Bijudama launched by Susanoo Kurama. Note, the Bijudama clocks at Mach 143 in sheer speed (though as with many things where speed is not actually stated in the story, this calculation is uncertain).
  • Living MacGuffin: The man's cells have been stolen and cloned so many times over that it is not an exaggeration to state that every Big Bad is running off his power. The primary Big Bad's army is actually just a ton of quasi-Hashirama clones. Makes you wonder if Hashirama was actually human or a literal god. It is a mystery how exactly Hashirama died in the first place, despite having such a HUGE life force. Subverted when it turns out that the Zetsu army existed long before Hashirama did, and that it's more like Hashirama inherited their abilities rather than the other way around.
  • Living Statue: Hashirama's most powerful techniques create gigantic wooden figures to attack and defend with.
  • Making a Splash: One half of Wood Style.
  • Manchild: A rare positive example. He's carefree, exuberant, goofy, idealistic to arguably the point of naivety, and prone to sulking when scolded by his younger brother in spite of his heroism and capable leadership.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: His True Several Thousand Hands technique summons a gigantic wooden statue of Avalokiteśvara that can deliver Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs like no one's business just by the sheer volume of arms.
  • Multi-Melee Master: Flashback frames to his fight with Madara show him using a wide variety of different weapons, from kunai to shuriken to a greatsword.
  • Mr. Vice Guy: Was fond of gambling and passed this flaw to his granddaughter Tsunade.
  • Nice Guy: Despite knowing Sasuke is considering destroying the village he helped create, Hashirama is remarkably cheerful and courteous towards him. It makes a lot more sense in hindsight once you realize that Hashirama was best friends with Madara and that Sasuke's resemblance to Madara means Hashirama is trying to succeed with the former where he failed with the latter.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: He stops Tobirama from killing Madara.
  • No Hero to His Valet: He may be revered as a God-like shinobi by the rest of the world, but his younger brother Tobirama shows him much less respect, and even shushes Hashirama at one point, though he is quick to back down when Hashirama gets serious.
  • Offered the Crown: Much to his chagrin. Hashirama's plan to make Madara the First Hokage fell apart when Tobirama correctly predicted that everyone in the village, including the Uchiha clan, would choose Hashirama instead.
  • Older than They Look: Doesn't look much older than 30 when he is revived (and the technique used to do this usually gives the revived the same appearance they had at their time of death), but he actually lived long enough to meet his granddaughter, meaning he was probably closer to 50.
  • One-Man Army: His wood style can easily decimate armies.
  • Our Zombies Are Different:
    • Orochimaru brought him back (along with his brother) with the forbidden jutsu Edo Tensei. He brought them back again in during Fourth Shinobi World War, along with the 3rd and 4th, this time at nearly full strength.
    • Madara used some of his cells to recreate his body. It has no will of its own, though. The many Zetsus can also be considered quasi-Hashirama clones, as they're made from his cells but more along the lines of plant people (though it turns out their true origin is the Divine Tree itself).
  • Person of Mass Destruction: He was able to single-handedly fight the power of Madara Uchiha and the Nine-Tailed Fox simultaneously in a battle that created an entire valley (admittedly succeeding against the latter due to him having the ability to put the tailed beast to sleep).
  • Phlebotinum Rebel: Unlike the first time Orochimaru zombified him, where he was brought back much weaker than he was in life, the second time he's revived Hashirama is strong enough that Orochimaru can't control him. No doubt due in part to the fact that he's taking advantage of his new body being composed entirely of his own cells to augment the resurrection technique. Lucky for Orochimaru, though, Hashirama is much more interested in giving Sasuke some desperately-needed therapy than picking a fight at the moment.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: According to the databooks, his hobbies were bonsai and wood sculpting.
  • Rebellious Spirit: As a young boy, Hashirama didn't hesitate to loudly criticize the cruelty of the shinobi system and the hypocrisy of the Senju clan to his father's face, getting routinely assaulted in the process for his trouble.
  • Red Baron: Like Sarutobi, he is also called the The God of Shinobi.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni:
    • His dynamic with Madara. Hashirama is the red oni as he is more caring, energetic, and has a fiery motif of friendship whereas Madara is the blue oni where he is more aloof and cynical, but has a more colder motif of hatred. But as time went on Madara became the red oni as he is more battle-hungry and ruthless while Hashirama started to be more meek and serious against his old rival.
    • Hashirama is much more cheerful and easy-going than his brother, who is a very serious and stoic person. Even the colors of their armours reflect this.
  • Reincarnation: Hashirama is the reincarnation of Asura, the Sage of Six Paths' younger son, in the sense of Asura's chakra being attached to him (their spirits are quite separate, hence why Hashirama's soul can still be summoned from the afterlife after Asura's chakra has reincarnated again).
  • Rousing Speech: Do Not Go Gentle variations. In the face of the overwhelming power of Obito and the God-Tree and his ability to instantly consume all the chakra in the planet, the entire shinobi army was morally broken and only Naruto and Sasuke decided to confront Obito. Then the whole alliance saw a Hashirama's memories about the first Five Kage Summit and his sincere hope for humanity that allowed the rest of the army to regain the will to fight and die to the bitter end.
    Hashirama: (Past) Indeed so far we haven't really been able to get along nicely... That something we've been doing to protect our comrades and clans. In some cases it was maybe unavoidable. I'm actually not sure how long it will last... but one day... in the future... I dream of a time when all shinobi will cooperate with each others... A time when everyone's hearts will be together, regardless of their countries. It's my... dream of the future. Today, I would like this to be the first step towards that dream...! Please! Please! Please! Please! (At the present time) Please!! Our dear descendants!! Now bring together your pain, suffering and despair... Bring them together!! To show me our real dream!!
  • Rule of Symbolism: Hashirama's jovial demeanor, pacifistic nature, his desire to enlighten Sasuke, his establishment of a harmonious village that overcame the boundaries of clan-based tribalism, and several of his jutsu all heavily imply a Buddha-related theme. He was even able to establish a short world peace that promptly shattered after his death. The first character used in writing his given name is also used as a counter for Buddhas.
  • Serial Escalation: At first, Hashirama was a commendable ninja, but was not considered much stronger than his brother when resurrected in Part I, in fact, his Wood Style is no more respected than Tobirama's Water style. In Part II however, Yamato was very notable in the fact he was a clone of Hashirama, then Hashirama and Wood Style became more coveted with feat increasingly impssive as time went on, and both Obito and Madara had Hashirama cells within them and Hashirama was established as one of the strongest, if not THE strongest shinobi in Naruto's setting, past and present included.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: To the point of being a Hair-Contrast Duo with his younger brother.
  • Skilled, but Naive:
    • His brother's opinion of him. He thought the Senju and Uchiha would live together happily ever after once the village was founded, along with any other clan that joined them. Things unfortunately weren't that simple.
    • He also thought that Sasuke's resemblance to Madara's deceased brother would deter Madara and that maybe Sasuke could get through to him. Needless to say, this plan did not pan out.
  • Story-Breaker Power: Prior to Madara's proper resurrection, Hashirama was perhaps the most powerful shinobi since the Sage of Six Paths (its unclear how he may rank compared to Asura and Indra at their best). He had humongous levels of chakra, even though he wasn't a Jinchūriki. He had the rarest and the most powerful elemental Kekkei Genkai, Wood Release which enabled him to easily subdue Tailed Beasts like pets or grow huge forests in mere seconds. Hashirama used his Wood Release to build the entire Konoha village from scratch. The pinnacle of his prowess was when he used Senjutsu to create an impossibly colossal wooden statue of Avalokiteshwara in one second. Mind you he was facing Madara Uchiha using his complete Susano'o to cover Kurama, the strongest Tailed Beast which was under the Sharingan's control. And yet Hashirama still beat him. To give you a perspective, comparing a full sized Kurama to the Avalokiteshwara statue is like comparing a dog to a full-grown person. Many years later, Madara was able to defeat Hashirama only because he stole Hashirama's cells, giving him access to the Wood Style, regeneration as well as inadvertently creating the Rinnegan, and having been properly revived to his prime while Hashirama was still a (slightly) weaker-than-in-life Edo Tensei zombie. Aside from his highly coveted Wood Release, Hashirama also had the ability to regenerate his wounds without weaving hand signs (though this was limited by his own stamina, as shown when his wounds haven't healed at the end of his fight with Madara), something only Tsunade's jutsu and Naruto's Jinchūriki ability came close to replicating it.
    • Hashirama was the only one who naturally possessed Wood Release. Others had to steal his cells to use it and yet their Wood Style ability paled in comparison to Hashirama's. Madara's skill with Wood Release came closest to Hashirama's but he still wasn't able to use every Wood Release jutsus that Hashirama had.
  • Summon Magic: In his fight against Madara in the Valley, he summons a couple of Rashōmon gates.
  • Superpower Lottery: He can subdue the Tailed Beasts with just a pat on the forehead, create entire forests to manipulate the battlefield as he sees fit or create giant flowering trees on the same scale that pump out a knock-out pollen, create massive wooden constructs designed to fight the aforementioned Tailed Beasts called 'Mokujin' or 'Mokuryu' (literally Wood Golem/Wood Person and Wood Dragon), and finally, he can become one with nature and can enter Sage Mode which gives him the ability to create Senpo: Mokuton: Shinsusenju, the largest construct in the entire series, which makes Kaijus feel like pets. On top of that, he also has a Healing Factor on the same level of Tsunade's Byakugo no Jutsu!
  • Super Mode: Hashirama has Sage Mode.
  • Superpowerful Genetics: His life-giving chakra and Wood Style are highly coveted, especially since it seems to be a major recessive trait not shared by any of his siblings or passed on to any of his descendants.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Hashirama, actually sympathizes with his Evil Former Friend Madara, believing that everything Madara has done is simply his way of lashing out over his brother's death. As a result, Hashirama is one of the very few people in the entire series who doesn't find Madara too much of a bastard to tolerate.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: Very Bishōnen, has a darker skin tone than his brother, and is the tallest of the Hokages.
  • Terrain Sculpting: In the flashback of his last fight against Madara, his Sage Mode allowed him to create a TITANIC statue of Avalokiteshvara, the 1000-armed bodhisattva, in the span of a second. For the sake of perspective, the Nine-Tails looks like a real fox next to a two-story building.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Heavily downplayed-Hashirama is a very experienced and skilled shinobi- but compared to all the other Hokage, Hashirama mainly just relies on his Wood-style Kekkei Genkai and massive Chakra reserves. In fact, it could be argued the other Hokage had to develop/refine their very powerful techniques just to compare to the naturally powerful Hashirama. Compared to all other ninja, he's Strong and Skilled though.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: The brothers were right on the verge of defeating the Uchiha for good, with Tobirama holding a katana directly above an exhausted Madara's chest and about to kill him. Then Hashirama stopped him, allowing everything Madara would later set in motion to occur. Hashirama was worried that someone would be galvanized by Madara's death to continue fighting, but he knew better than anyone how dangerous Madara could be.
  • Verbal Tic: Played with. He's not as bad as the likes of Naruto, but ends his sentences with a forceful "zo" pretty frequently.
  • Warrior Therapist: Tried to play this role to Madara and the Uchiha as a whole. It... didn't really work out in the long run. Also tried to do this with Sasuke that worked but only partially.
  • We Used to Be Friends: With Madara Uchiha. He had fantasized as a kid with Madara about creating a place where children wouldn't be sent to die in war. As an adult, after temporarily giving his old dream a shot, Madara was those who named the Hidden Leaf Village.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Comes across as one, with his insistence on sharing power and enabling Madara's insanity over and over again because he believes in a perfect world where they can be friends forever. Even when he was finally forced to kill Madara during their final battle, he still clearly regretted it despite putting the village's safety above even their old friendship, and when they're revived as zombies he still tries to reach Madara despite the fact Madara clearly could not give one iota about stopping the Moon Eye Plan when he's so close to victory.
  • The Worf Effect: Black Zetsu hijacks Obito's attempt to bring back several deceased characters, forcing him to instead resurrect Madara. Just to demonstrate how powerful Madara is now when he's no longer an Edo Tensei zombie, Hashirama is subject to this (admittedly Hashirama had already been beaten/immobilized before Madara revived), with Madara absorbing his Sage Mode via using the implanted Senju cells to absorb the natural energy.
  • Worf Had the Flu:
    • Due to the fact that Edo Tensei hadn't been perfected when Orochimaru used it against Sarutobi, he was brought back with much less than full strength, which accounts for his poor showing in that fight.
    • When Madara is fully resurrected he had already immobilized Hashirama with chakra rods when breaking even with him in their fight as Edo Tensei zombies (Hashirama trapping Madara at the same time Madara trapped him). Thus Hashirama doesn't even get to attempt to fight him and can only watch as Madara drains away his sage chakra.
  • World's Best Warrior: Strongest shinobi of his time? Check. Master of all five nature transformations? Check. Mastery of Sage Mode? Check. Hashirama is without a doubt one of the greatest shinobi to ever live thanks to his skills and mastery of his favorite nature transformation, Wood Release.
  • World's Strongest Man: He is acknowledged In-Universe to be the strongest shinobi in the world thanks to his immense power and chakra reserves, even by Madara Uchiha himself who is famous for his ego. He was the only natural user of the incredibly powerful Wood Release, and many characters sought to replicate his power but none could ever match him. He was in fact so powerful, his power and chakra were enough to rival that of a Tailed Beast and he can use his Wood Release to create and change entire landscapes. Hashirama even has Sage Mode that he can enter in a matter of seconds and it made him nearly unstoppable in combat. His reputation doesn’t stop there, Kabuto states that even long after his death, there hasn't been a single shinobi alive since then that was stronger than him. When we saw him in action while he was still alive, he didn’t disappoint; being able to fight and overpower Madara without tiring using both his Wood Release and Sage Mode despite the latter having the Nine-Tails under his control. It's only until the Fourth Shinobi World War that reveals there are beings stronger than him and that Naruto has managed to surpass him in power near the end of the series.
  • Worthy Opponent: To Madara Uchiha, who repeatedly states that only Hashirama can defeat him.

    Second Hokage - Tobirama Senju 

Tobirama Senju

Voiced by: Kenyū Horiuchi (JP), Peter Lurie (EN, part I), Jamieson Price (EN, part II), Armando Coria (Latin America), Martin Spinhayer (French)

Debut: Naruto Chapter 118 (Manga), Naruto Episode 69 (Anime)

My brother believed that the village was something that demolish the boundaries between clans. Well in the end it wasn't that simple… My brother was too soft… and Madara too dangerous… My role as Second Hokage was to mediate between them while protecting and reinforcing the village.

The younger brother of the First Hokage, who is a master of Water Style jutsu. He is also very impassive and lacks the merciful nature that defines his older sibling. He revolutionized the shinobi system by creating institutions and organizations, such as ANBU and the Shinobi Academy, that were adopted by all other ninja villages. Post Time Skip, quite a few new elements about him were revealed, including him being the one who created Edo Tensei, the Flying Thunder God Technique, and the Shadow Clone Technique.

Favorite words: "Mind – technique – body"

  • The Ace: Downplayed. In comparison to his older brother, who founded the Leaf, constantly outpaced Madara Uchiha, and could control multiple Tailed Beasts with ease, Tobirama doesn't seem like much at first. However, over the course of the story it's gradually revealed that he was responsible for creating some of the most important techniques in the series. These techniques include Edo Tensei, which allows one to resurrect and control the dead, Flying Raijin, which makes it possible to teleport, and Kage Bunshin, allowing the user to make solid clones of himself. Also notable is the fact that each of these techniques was made into a Signature Move by extremely powerful shinobi: Edo Tensei for Orochimaru, one of the legendary Sannin, and, perhaps to an even greater extent, Kabuto; Flying Thunder God for Minato Namikaze, the Fourth Hokage; and Kage Bunshin for Naruto Uzumaki, the Seventh Hokage. And Tobirama was capable of using all of these techniques, if admittedly not to the extent that those who inherited the techniques would hone them. Furthermore, he's hailed as the greatest user of Water Style ninjutsu in history, being capable of summoning large torrents of water from thin air. He was also the teacher of the Third Hokage Hiruzen Sarutobi.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Tobirama's dark-coloured eyes are depicted as red in the anime.
  • Adapted Out: He and Hashirama are absent in the live theater adaptation.
  • Awesome by Analysis: He figures out Obito's Chakra Weapons are Yin-Yang Release, which means... Edo Tensei can't regenerate and if hit fatally-they die permanently. He also constantly analyzes Obito's abilities and powers to find a weakness, and finally found one in the form of Senjutsu.
  • Berserk Button: Threatening to destroy Konoha. Especially if you do it in front of him, as Sasuke found out the hard way.
  • Blue Is Heroic: In combat, he wore blue armour with a distinctive white fur collar over a simple black suit.
  • Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: The Tsukkomi (The Straight Man basically) to his brother's Boke (The Fool basically).
  • Brutal Honesty: Dude's got no problem saying exactly what he thinks of the Uchiha clan, even when he's saying it to an Uchiha as he based his claims in scientific observations and researches and even his idealistic brother never disputed his claims.
  • Casting a Shadow: During the anime version of his fight against Hiruzen during the Konoha Crush, he uses a Genjutsu called Bringer-Of-Darkness, which blinds the target by placing a hallucinatory darkness over their eyes.
  • Combat Pragmatist: It's been noted Tobirama liked to wait for the moment his opponent thought they had claimed victory, then strike while their guard was down. He also seemed to have inspired Minato's combat tendencies, using the Flying Thunder God Technique to teleport directly to an enemy and strike them before they could even react.
  • The Comically Serious: Ever since being revived again, he's done practically nothing but call Minato a moron and balk at Naruto's lack of deference to his admittedly awesome acomplishments. It makes for some of the funniest material in the series.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Along with being The Comically Serious, his statements about Minato and Naruto's lack of thinking are pure gold.
    Tobirama: (teleports to Obito to return the truth-seeking ball bomb) You can have this back now.
  • Death Glare: One strong enough to make Orochimaru, Sasuke, and Suigetsu freak out and alarm both Minato and Hiruzen. It actually wasn't just the glare, but also a massive release of chakra as a threat when Sasuke openly considered destroying Konoha in front of him. Hashirama releases an equal amount of chakra (including his own Death Glare) which causes the shrine they're in to start crumbling.
  • Defiant to the End: After failing to stage a surprise attack on the revived Madara and being pinned to the ground by several chakra rods, the thing he does after Madara boasts how Hashirama's world has failed is to spit on his face.
  • Detect Evil: He could distinguish Madara's chakra not only by the strength its source, but also the feel, calling it "foul." He could also determine what clan someone's from in the same way.
  • Doppelgänger Attack: Invented the Shadow Clone technique.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Played for laughs between him and Naruto. Naruto is completely unaware of his role in inventing various jutsu, which annoys Tobirama without fail.
    Naruto: Wow! You can copy my dad! Old man with the face of the Second Hokage!
    Tobirama: It's the Fourth that's copying me. Also, you should address me as the Second with respect!
  • Elemental Baggage: The first major aversion in the series. The ANBU watching his fight with Sarutobi mention how incredible he is to be able to use massive water style jutsu with no preexisting water source.
  • Facial Markings: A reason he's not like his brother.
  • Fantastic Racism: Played with. He believed the Uchiha were a "clan possessed by evil", and the nature of the Sharingan makes them volatile and dangerous. To this end he tried to give them a position that would help channel their power to something productive with the Military Police. When he learns they had been wiped out after attempting a coup he is unsurprised, but admits he does not hate the Uchiha, just that they should be treated with caution. He even admired those who never succumbed to the Curse of Hatred and worked with the village, like Kagami.
  • A Father to His Men: He was this to Hiruzen Sarutobi, Kagami Uchiha, Danzo, and their teams, to the point of sacrificing his own life to guarantee theirs.
  • Flash Step: He invented the Flying Thunder God Technique, and mortally wounded Izuna Uchiha with it.
  • Folk Hero: Founded the education system of the Leaf and is the one who created most of its infrastructure and administration. Other Shinbi villages copied his system.
  • The Force Is Strong with This One: He could tell how strong a shinobi's chakra signature was from a long distance away.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The responsible sibling to his more naive brother as Shikamaru notes. For example, he stops his brother from handing over the tailed-beasts for free and he also believed the First Hokage in their new village should be elected through voting.
  • Genius Bruiser: Just look at the amount of Jutsu that he invented, and how he put them to devastating effect against Konoha's enemies.
  • Giant Wall of Watery Doom: His Water Encampment Wall not only surrounds him with a towering wall of water, but also floods the surrounding area.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Possibly. It's hinted that he appoints Sarutobi as Third Hokage because Tobirama did this to save his team.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Brought back as a indestructible zombie by Orochimaru thanks to the technique he created. Twice.
  • Irony: Hashirama treated him as the wrong mindset for dealing with Madara, and the story's themes about the Cycle of Revenge lean Hashirama's direction, but while Tobirama is held responsible by several characters as the crux of the Uchiha's rebellious ways that got them slaughtered, he's dead accurate about how much of a nightmarish pain in the ass Madara's survival and the Uchiha's "curse of hatred" would be. Despite the story strongly pushing itself to resolve conflict through Hashirama's ideals of peace, it's supremely naïve and creates its own issues as well — compassion without Tobirama's caution and willingness to fight to defend oneself and others is tantamount to suicide, something Hashirama literally almost committed just to end the Uchiha-Senju War.
  • Jack-of-All-Trades: He was highly proficient in many types of fighting and invented a huge variety of iconic jutsu. Various major characters would later learn one of these jutsu or another and improve on it or use it to degrees he was unable to, but the fact Tobirama could use all of them remained notable.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Everything he says about the Uchiha is rooted in scientific observations and research to the point that even his idealistic brother doesn't dispute him. Considering that the two main villains of the series are both Uchiha, and that he's saying this to Sasuke, his point is undeniably valid.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: The flashback accompanying the tale of Konoha's founding shows Tobirama using a katana, which he carried across his shoulder.
  • Laser Blade: A filler arc centered around a sword he once wielded called the Raijin Blade, an electric blade made from Hard Light.
  • Lightning Bruiser: He's fast enough to tag the newly empowered Obito without even knowing it and can crater a wall just by pushing his hand against it.
  • Making a Splash: According to the databook he's the greatest Suiton user to ever live. Yes, that means greater than Kisame and the Second Mizukage. Ironically, he's barely used any in his biggest battles.
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling: Tobirama was an excellent sensor-type ninja in the same vein as Karin and the Second Tsuchikage, to the point he could detect both the number and the strength of shinobi from a long distance away, as well as the direction they're in/coming from.
  • Necromancer: He invented Edo Tensei, which creates infinitely-regenerating bodies of paper and ash that have a self-perpetual supply of chakra.
  • Nerves of Steel: Everyone else freaked out when Hashirama actually got serious after Tobirama's epic Death Glare. Tobirama himself barely even flinched, and despite the fact he backed down soon afterwards, showed no signs of even being bothered by his brother's Let's Get Dangerous! moment. Possibly justified by the fact they're brothers who seem to be on rather good terms and have known each other for so long. Of course, that doesn't explain Tobirama's emotional flat-line at the idea of facing a resurrected Madara Uchiha, even taking the initiative to do just that before Orochimaru stopped him.
  • Never My Fault: Has some shades of this. The other Hokage, after being revived and learning of the current situation, have quite a bit of angst and regret about some of the decisions they made. Tobirama shows no such outward regret and just says I Did What I Had to Do when Orochimaru suggests that his decisions as Hokage contributed to the situation. He was proven to have a point after all.
  • Not-So-Small Role: Prior to late in Part II, Tobirama's only real purpose is to fill the gap between Hashirama and Hiruzen in the Hokage line, and being the one who started the Chunin Exam tradition. Turns out he's one of the most important characters in the entire setting.
  • One-Man Army: He was renowned for being able to clear entire battlefields by exploiting the regeneration ability of an Edo Tensei body and turning all that paper and ash into tags that summon more of themselves before exploding for a massive, self-perpetuating chain of explosions. It's implied he could do it without needing to use Edo Tensei, too.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: This was a shinobi who could infinitely nuke entire battlefields and single-handedly dominate any battle of attrition, and that's before you take into account the tsunami-level water techniques, the Speed Blitzing, and the shadow clones.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: He wasn't just suspicious of the Uchiha, he was suspicious of every clan that might pose a threat to Konoha. However, those individuals who could overcome clan mentality and put Konoha first were the ones who inevitably ended up earning both his trust and his respect.
    Tobirama: My brother believed that the village was something that demolish the boundaries between clans. Well in the end it wasn't that simple… My brother was too soft… and Madara too dangerous… My role as Second Hokage was to mediate between them while protecting and reinforcing the village.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: He's much more serious and stoic than his brother, Hashirama who is more cheerful and easy-going.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Used himself as a decoy during the First Shinobi World War to allow his subordinates to escape a group of highly elite enemy ninja, naming Hiruzen as Hokage right before he did so. Presumably, he didn't come back.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: To the point of being a Hair-Contrast Duo with his younger brother.
  • Space Master: This is the guy who invented the Flying Thunder God Technique, though he admits Minato's use of it is superior to his.
  • Speed Blitz: By spamming the Flying Thunder God jutsu.
  • The Spock: Much more rational and cold in his thinking than his brother. When he was younger and had a conversation with his brothers about what was needed to stop the conflict and create peace, his answer was to give shinobi a code of conduct that would stop senseless and endless killing. He even stated everything he does is for the greater good of the village.
  • The Stoic: Tobirama is always composed, even when he's threatening someone.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: He could use Edo Tensei, or just place special explosive tags on his target, and said tags would summon more tags before blowing up, then the summoned tags would do the same... over and over and over... starting a chain reaction of massive explosions to wipe out the target. During the First Shinobi World War, his use of it was a Reset Button for entire battlefields.
  • Super Speed: He was hailed as the fastest Shinobi in the world while he was alive, and it was not until Minato would later come along that he would be surpassed in this regard.
  • Teleport Spam: He was the creator of the Flying Thunder God jutsu, although his use isn’t as broken compared to Minato’s.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom:
    • He created Edo Tensei, which was said to be meant as a Reset Button for entire battlefields, essentially allowing anyone who knew the technique to single-handedly dominate a war through sheer attrition. Orochimaru later acquired the technique and made improvements to it, eventually culminating in Hashirama and Tobirama's resurrection by Orochimaru during the latter's attack on Konoha, which would result in the Third Hokage's death. Then Kabuto got his hands on the technique and made even more improvements to it, using it to revive dozens of powerful ninja throughout history under his control, inflicting countless casualties against the allied shinobi forces trying to stop Tobi's Evil Plan, and one of these revived ninjas was Madara himself. Then Orochimaru used it to revive Hashirama, Tobirama, Hiruzen, and Minato at near full strength, and he has full control over the movements of all of them except Hashirama. That same revived Madara then went on to successfully implement the Moon's Eye Plan. It's pointed out multiple times that the world may have been a better place if Tobirama had never invented this jutsu.
    • He is responsible for the policies that isolated the Uchiha, lodging the them outside the village proper and making them village police. This is what made them so resentful, because it proved Madara was correct in how they would be treated. Danzou would have had a much harder time demonizing them, and then collecting their eyes, if they weren't so isolated and resentful.
    • Black Zetsu reveals that Madara counted on Tobirama's desire to understand the Mangekyō Sharingan and other secrets of his body, knowing it would mean he wouldn't have Madara's body destroyed if he were killed. This allowed Madara to utilize a time-delayed Izanagi to rewrite his own death and leave a body double in the place Tobirama had hidden his corpse. Thus Madara gained the Rinnegan, fooled the world into believing he was dead, summoned the Ten Tail's husk, and the path to casting another Infinite Tsukyomi was opened.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Orochimaru calls him out for even creating Edo Tensei, let alone actually revealing it to the world. Even one of the Kage who was alive during Tobirama's time called Edo Tensei a "wretched technique" after being revived by it. His predecessor (and older brother) Hashirama agrees and is implied to have argued with Tobirama about it in the past.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Due to the fact that Orochimaru had not yet mastered Edo Tensei in Part I, he was brought back with less than full strength, which accounts for his poor showing in his fight against Sarutobi.

    Third Hokage - Hiruzen Sarutobi 

Hiruzen Sarutobi

Voiced by: Hidekatsu Shibata (JP), Steve Kramer (EN), César Arias (Latin America), Jean-Paul Landresse (French)

Debut: Naruto Chapter 1 (Manga), Naruto Episode 1 (Anime)

"When the tree leaves dance, one shall find flames. The fire's shadow will illuminate the village, and once again, tree leaves shall bud anew."

Hiruzen was the Hokage when the series began. At the outset of the story, he was one of only two people - the other being Iruka Umino - shown to give Naruto any consideration at all.

We learn more about him through flashbacks: In his prime, he was hailed as "The Professor" for his mastery of numerous techniques (allegedly knowing every jutsu developed in the Leaf), and "God of Shinobi" for being unquestionably the greatest ninja of his generation, and after seeing the power of Hanzo, the Third Raikage, and the Third Kazekage to name a few, this is saying a lot. He also trained the Sannin. Later, we learn that he was the only member of the Leaf's brass to speak out against the massacre of the Uchiha Clan, who were suspected of plotting a coup.

He retired after a while, giving the title to the Fourth Hokage, Jiraiya's student Minato Namikaze. After the Fourth's death, he takes the title of Hokage again. He later gets a more permanent retirement at the hands of Orochimaru, but not before sealing his old student's arms.

His hobby was chatting with young girls.
Favorite phrase: "Absolute Truth"

  • Animal Motifs: Monkeys, as seen with his Meaningful Name. During his fight with Orochimaru, he even moves somewhat like a monkey.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Hiruzen was renowned as "The Professor" due to his mastery of all forms of shinobi combat, reputed for having advanced knowledge and/or skill of all the techniques to ever exist within Konoha. Also, due to his long life, he could deduce the mechanics of a technique simply by seeing the hand seals. Even when he encountered something new, as in the case of Truth-Seeking Balls, he could discern their attributes and limitations from only brief observation.
  • Benevolent Boss: To all of the Leaf Village.
  • Big Good: Being the Hokage and the strongest in the village, he fulfilled this role throughout most of Part I up until Orochimaru kills him.
  • Breath Weapon: Five Release: Great Combo Technique, where he along with four Shadow Clones spew out each of the five basic elements out of their mouths.
  • Cool Helmet: When he's forced to fight for real, he wears a badass and old-fashioned helmet.
  • Cool Old Guy: He's a very affable grandfatherly figure who was looked up to by pretty much everyone in the Leaf.
  • Dirty Old Man: Likes talking with young girls, and gets a Nose Bleed when Naruto uses his Sexy Jutsu on him. Asked Jiraiya to teach him how to turn invisible, and Jiraiya realized what he planned to use it for... However, he's much more restrained than his student for the most part.
    Sarutobi: He has combined shadow clones with his own invention, the Sexy Technique. What a foolish ninja technique… and he could probably get me with it, too.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: His preferred element, and he was very capable at creating walls made of dirt for defensive tactics.
  • Dying Curse: A subtle one. He tells Orochimaru that he'll see him in the next world. Given he's dying from his use of the Reaper Death Seal, he's essentially telling Orochimaru he'll see him in hell.
  • Elemental Powers: One of the very few shinobi besides a Rinnegan user and Kakuzu who can use inherently all five elements simultaneously.
  • A Father to His Men: To the entire Leaf Village. Hiruzen is a firm believer in the Will of Fire, which holds that all the people of Konoha are a family and that the Hokage is chiefly responsible for that family's well-being. He was personally disappointed to see his former student Orochimaru using his subordinates as sacrifices for the Edo Tensei.
  • Feeling Their Age: Hiruzen's chakra, speed and physical strength were weakened by his ageing body. To the point were spectators would remark how unlike himself he seemed in battle. Against Orochimaru, he found great difficulty keeping up, which the Sannin admitted Hiruzen could have killed him if he were even ten years younger.
  • Flechette Storm: The Shuriken Shadow Clone Jutsu can take a few thrown shuriken and turn them into a full-blown arsenal.
  • Four-Star Badass: He is an old war veteran who generally comes off as a grandfatherly figure, but in the Chunin Exam Arc, he shows how he earned his title "The God of Shinobi" by fighting against both of his resurrected predecessors plus the most talented of his three legendary students, all at the same time, successfully defeating them at the cost of his own life.
  • Fuuma Shuriken: Hiruzen frequently used shuriken in combat, both the standard size and the larger fūma shuriken. By using the Shuriken Shadow Clone Technique, he could create copies of these shuriken, allowing him to bombard a target with thousands of projectiles without needing to physically carry that many on himself.
  • Generation Xerox: When he was younger he looked exactly like his son Asuma Sarutobi (albeit with a smaller beard and eye marks). They also both had A Death in the Limelight.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Averted, Sarutobi is a case of Good is soft and it's played as a something of a character flaw. Because of his softheartedness, he was unable to bring himself to stop Orochimaru when he had the chance, which would come back to a haunt him and MANY other people. He also let Danzo handle difficult/morally ambiguous situations he didn't want to deal with, which he eventually comes to regret.
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: He has a smoking pipe on his time-off.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: He was named Hokage by the Second because of his willingness to put the lives of his comrades before his own. At the end of his long life, he summons the Death God at the cost of his own life to stop the indestructible resurrected Hokages and Orochimaru's plan to wipe out the village. Although Orochimaru remained alive to cause problems later on.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: He actually allowed Danzo to reform ROOT after the Fourth Hokage had disbanded the shadow group, because he felt he needed someone to take care of the dirty deeds that couldn't be linked to the village. The Fourth ended up being right in not trusting ROOT; Danzo schemed for years to oust Sarutobi to become Hokage himself, going as far as seeking assistance from foreign powers to do so, enabling Orochimaru's experiments, and even forced the Uchiha coup to be unable to resolve peacefully by removing the eye of Uchiha Shisui, who planned to use it to pacify his clan, only to transplant it to himself so he could use its superior hypnotic capabilities to get his way.
  • Identical Grandson: In his later years, he looked virtually the spitting image of the Sage of Six Paths, even if he's probably removed by direct lineage from him. His own son, Asuma bears a spitting resemblance to him in his younger years, as does Hiruzen's grandson, Konohamaru.
  • Informed Ability: Supposedly mastered every jutsu in the village, yet all he uses are Fire and Earth Style jutsu, Shurikenjutsu, Fūinjutsu, and a pole that's also a monkey. He's also supposed to be the strongest ninja of his generation, but his one and only on-screen battle against the two preceding Hokages and Orochimaru leaves something to be desired. It's all justified and lampshaded by everyone in that fight that the key word is "was": Hiruzen is only a shadow of the the prodigy he once was due to the simple fact his body is just too old to handle using his best anymore. After being revived during the final phase of the Shinobi World war, he's shown using much more impressive techniques and even use all five elements at once thanks to the fact as a zombie with unlimited stamina and chakra, he can finally cut loose. This heavily mitigated the "informed" part.
  • Last-Name Basis: Virtually everyone who doesn't refer to him by his title calls him by his last name, except Danzou, who was on a First-Name Basis with him because he was his rival.
  • Martial Pacifist: He disapproved of violence and sought to negotiate a peaceful solution between shinobi, but as Danzo stated he was also the kind of man that would act if necessary.
  • Mandatory Unretirement: He was forced back into active duty after Minato sealed the Nine-Tails into Naruto, and died as a result. He wasn't the only person who was seen as a viable candidate, but his three students were either uninterested in the position, perenially out of the village, or had turned traitor by this point. Notably, for most of the series, Hiruzen is the only known Kage to have been explicitly retired from the position, instead of having died. Well, the first time he retired from the position at least. His student and successor Tsunade retires in 699, along with her successor Kakashi and three of the other Kage sometime between Chapter 699 and 700.
  • Master of All: Downplayed when compared to most examples, as Hiruzen earned his title of “Professor” by mastering every technique known to Konoha that doesn’t require a Kekkei Genkai or some special body modification. This includes all five basic elements to the highest degree.
  • Meaningful Name: In addition to being derived from Sarutobi Sasuke, the first half of his last name (which is sometimes used as a nickname) means "Monkey". He also has a Summoning contract with the Monkey King, Enma.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Badass trains student. Student turns evil. Badass dies against student in climactic battle. Strictly formula. The only only difference is how Hiruzen dies as a consequence of his own Dangerous Forbidden Technique rather than directly by Orochimaru's hand.
  • Mentor Archetype: Trained the next generation to be ready for any dangerous threat, once he passes on.
  • Modern Major General: He believes his entire tenure as Hokage was merely one failure after another, and that he was unable to properly carry on the work his predecessor had begun.
  • Monkey King Lite: Hiruzen has clear character elements in homage to Sun Wukong. His surname literally means "jumping monkey," he is an exceptionally old and incredibly skilled in all shinobi arts, is a master of the shadow clone technique to create copies of himself, and while not tricky in a traditional sense is very good at using deceptive tactics in battle. When he wields the above Monkey King Enma - himself a caricature of Sun Wukong - as a sinze-changing staff, the parallels become even more clear.
  • Multi-Melee Master: Even in his autumn years, he's skilled enough in hand-to-hand combat to take on two Hokages simultaneously, use various ninja tools like kunais and explosive tags, and wield his summon Monkey King: Enma as an Adamantine Staff with great proficiency despite being out of the field for years.
  • My Greatest Failure: He has a few, the two major ones being unable to bring himself to kill Orochimaru when he had both the chance and the ability, and the destruction of the Uchiha Clan. He also deeply regrets not reigning in Danzo's activities more, which allowed Danzo to do things that ended up causing or influencing many of the tragedies in the manga, to the extent that Danzo has ties with every major non-Uchiha villain in the series, including Orochimaru. To that end, he describes himself to Sasuke as the "most naive" of all the hokage.
  • Nice Guy: The Third was known as someone who cared deeply about the village and was one of the few who never alienated Naruto, along with Hinata, Iruka, Teuchi and Ayame. As Hokage, he had also acquired a habit of attempting to end things peacefully, and did what he could to avoid bloodshed amongst his allies and his enemies.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: While Hiruzen never actively attempted to make Naruto's life worse, it's clear that he had no idea how to deal with Naruto's situation and run the village at the same time. While it's excusable that he was busy, the fact he neither did anything to clear up the fact that Naruto and the Nine tails were separate entities, or give Naruto any bit of information about who his family was and made him feel even more isolated is pretty damning, Hiruzen is lucky that other people decided to befriend and support Naruto, otherwise Naruto was pretty close to being on Gaara's level thanks to a lack of action. In fact, it is repeatedly mentioned that Naruto could have a been just as bad a demon as people accused him of, further pushing the point.
  • The Nose Knows: Uses his sense of smell to bypass Zombie!Hashirama's darkness genjutsu.
  • Not so Above It All: For all he's shown to be a serious and dignified man, when Jiraiya defends his ninja skills by stating he's never caught when he goes peeping Hiruzen, while blushing, says that next time he'll accompany Jiraiya to see him in action.
  • Old Master: He's the only Hokage to live into his autumn years. For a while anyway. The 5th Hokage, Tsunade, is still shown to be alive in the series' epilogue, when she'd be around Sarutobi's age. Though she's retired, and still doesn't look it at all due to her appearance-changing jutsu. To say nothing of Onoki, who is by far the longest-living Kage in history.
  • Old Soldier: Even in his old age, he still went on combat missions where his skill and knowledge was required. Despite being severely weakened by age, he fought and defeated the previous First and Second Hokages when they were resurrected as immortal, inexhaustible zombies by Orochimaru at the same time. This was considered pathetic by his ally, Enma, the King of Monkeys, compared to his prime. It's even claimed that despite his advanced age, Sarutobi was still the strongest of the existing Kage at the time of his death. This includes Onoki, who is able to annihilate entire armies with his jinton and was considered to be the strongest of the living Kage when the group had both Tsunade and A.
  • Playing with Fire: Fire Style is passed down in the Sarutobi Clan much like it is in the Uchiha Clan.
  • A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil: Years before the start of the story, Hiruzen investigated a number of disappearances throughout Konoha which ultimately led him to discover that Orochimaru was behind it all. He attempted to apprehend Orochimaru, but could not bring himself to strike down his favourite student and allowed him to escape. It’s mentioned by Kakashi that the Third cared deeply for Orochimaru and fighting him was emotionally difficult. In his final moments, he saw both the evil man his student had become and the young student he had.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: A lot more reasonable and tolerable then the Fifth Hokage, and a peaceful man. Though later subverted since one of his flaws was being a bit too nice, as he admits that many of the problems in the current story stem from him letting people such as Orochimaru and Danzo get away with things.
  • Red Baron: He was named the "Professor" for his apparent mastery of all ninja arts, but what really set the bar was his second nickname... God of Shinobi (which, by the way, was originally the moniker of both the Sage of Six Paths and Hashirama Senju).
  • Renaissance Man: Was a master of many shinobi arts including: Earth, fire, water, lightning, wind, clones, shuriken and summoning ninjutsu, taijutsu, stick-fighting, sealing jutsu, and spying.
  • Sacrificial Lion: The Third Hokage is the first major good guy to die, after having had plenty of screentime and characterization. This has a huge impact and lasting consequences, setting up a Meaningful Funeral and kicking on the "Search for Tsunade" arc.
  • Self-Duplication: He was known to be highly skilled utilizing Shadow Clones. He even created a variant known as the Shuriken Shadow Clone Jutsu, which allows him to make physical copies of shuriken that he throws. Although his chakra reserves diminished in later years, to the point that splitting up his chakra with two standard Shadow Clones was a great risk for him.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: He sacrificed his soul to stop then-current Big Bad Orochimaru. While this did bring Orochimaru's immediate plans to a halt, it didn't actually do anything to hinder him in the long run, apart from forcing him to switch bodies before Sasuke could arrive at his base, and even if Hiruzen had succeeded it's been established that Orochimaru can completely resurrect from any of his subordinates' Cursed Seals, so basically the Third killed himself to kill Orochimaru and utterly failed in every respect. And after Orochimaru cut open the Death God's stomach, the only permanent result of Sarutobi's sacrifice is his own death, and Sarutobi, who was brought back using Edo Tensei at the time, is painfully aware of this. However later subverted in that doing this stopped Kabuto from summoning the Hokages with the Edo Tensei and using them against the Shinobi Alliance. Considering that the dead Hokage are undeniably the strongest of all the Kage in history, that probably aided the Alliance the most in the long run.
  • Spectral Weapon Copy: Variant: He has a jutsu called "Shuriken Shadow Clone Jutsu" where he throws his shuriken and then puts off some Hand Seals, after which the shuriken multiplies itself as it flies to its target.
  • Summon Magic: Hiruzen's personal summon, Enma, could transform into an extendable staff that was as hard as a diamond. The staff was Hiruzen's weapon and he wielded it with great proficiency, though its weight became a great burden to him in his later years.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Despite them being The Leaf’s enemies, Sarutobi isn’t pleased seeing Orochimaru using his own Sound Ninja as sacrifices.
  • Team Dad: To pretty much the entire village, especially the Academy students.
  • Teen Genius: Hiruzen was a natural prodigy as a ninja. His talents earned him the position of Hokage at a young age, directly selected by the Second Hokage.
  • Telescoping Staff: Themed after the Nyoi-Bo from Journey to the West.
  • Unknown Rival: He apparently had no idea that Danzou was always envious of him.
  • Warrior Poet: The quotation about tree leaves and flames at the top is from a poem of his.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Best way to describe Hiruzen towards the end of his life. Unlike most of his fellow Hokage and even himself during his prime, he simply does not have the chakra reserves and physical strength high enough to pull off any significant feats and his old age comes to bite him in the ass hard during his attempt to seal Orochimaru’s soul. That said, his chakra control is arguably among the best in the series as it allows him to preform a few high level techniques without wasting too much chakra and as shown during his brief fight against Obito, his deductive skills allow him to discern a technique’s attributes by its Hand Seals and just seeing it in action once or twice.
  • The Worf Effect: Played for Laughs when Naruto manages to knock him out with Sexy Jutsu in the very first chapter, showing that this technique can be effective against some strong opponents.
  • Worf Had the Flu: He is a near septuagenarian Shinobi, which mean that his body is very weakened from old age and overuse and way past his time, instead of becoming a normal Wuxia seemingly old master. Unlike The Worf Effect example, this is played seriously when he's forced to perform a Heroic Sacrifice to seal Orochimaru's arms.

    Fourth Hokage - Minato Namikaze 

Minato Namikaze

Voiced by: Toshiyuki Morikawa (JP), Tony Oliver (EN), Gauthier de Fauconval (French)

Debut: Naruto Chapter 239 (Manga), Naruto Episode 1 (Anime)

"To be a ninja is to be at constant war against hate. It holds true for all of us."

The Fourth Hokage, Minato Namikaze, was Kakashi's teacher, Naruto's father, the hero of the Third Shinobi World War (so feared by the Hidden Rock Village that their entire army was given "flee-on-sight" orders should they encounter him) and vanquisher of the Nine-Tailed Fox. Minato was considered to be the fastest shinobi to have ever lived, and was dubbed the "Yellow Flash of the Leaf". Notably, he was a master of the Flying Thunder God technique, which is a space-time jutsu that allowed him to teleport to any location that he marks with his special seal. He also developed the Rasengan, a spiraling ball of kinetic energy that took him three years to develop and is so devastating that it's able to defeat even S-class foes with a single strike. He later taught it to Jiraiya and Kakashi, the former of whom would eventually teach it to Naruto.

The Fourth died as a side effect of sealing the Nine-Tails into Naruto. The price for the seal was to imprison his own soul along with the Nine-Tails'. The seal has a failsafe; upon reaching 8 tails, Minato appears in Naruto's mind to prevent the total destruction of the seal. When Orochimaru split open the Shinigami Death God's belly, it released his soul from its 16-year confinement and allowed Orochimaru to put it in an Edo Tensei body.

Favorite phrase: "The fire's shadow illuminates the village"

  • The Ace: He was essentially what Naruto dreamed of being as a Hokage. He had an excellent personality, incredible intelligence, and was handsome. As a child, Minato was a prodigy, showing levels of skill only seen once in a generation. He graduated with the highest scores in the history of the Konoha Ninja Academy, a record which still stands. Later events also showed he could use Perfect Sage Mode (though Minato stated he was actually bad at Sage Mode because he could only maintain it long enough for a single attack) and use Kurama's Tailed Beast Mode chakra. Jiraiya had believed that Minato was the child of the prophecy and trained him to bring about world peace. Minato was also considered to be the fastest shinobi of all time. In time, he near single handedly ended the Third Shinobi War and became a great hero and the Fourth Hokage through his own efforts.
  • Action Dad: He's Naruto's father and proved to a very powerful ninja when he was alive.
  • Amazon Chaser: Kushina was a tough lady, and Minato became smitten with her after he realized that she could fight off her bullies without any help.
    Minato: I noticed your beautiful hair right away.
  • Animal Battle Aura: Can use Yin Kurama's chakra to enter Tailed Beast Mode.
  • An Arm and a Leg: As a result of Obito's Anti-Magic powers, he loses an arm as a zombie and can't regenerate it, then loses the other to Madara's use of the same Anti-Magic.
  • As Long as There Is Evil: Gives this speech to Naruto regarding the world's hatred during their meeting in the seal, explaining that as long as the ninja system is allowed to continue by humanity, it will continue to generate hate between people.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis:
    • How he created the Rasengan, as it's stated that he created it after observing how the Tailed Beast Ball works.
    • Minato was able to understand Madara's Black Chakra's properties such as Madara can only control them up to 70 meters, meaning that if Madara can't see them, he loses control of them.
  • Badass Bookworm: In addition to being the strongest ninja of his time, Minato is noted in the databooks to have absolutely loved reading, with Jiraiya's first novel being his ultimate favorite.
  • Badass Longcoat: Known for it, and his son Naruto temporarily inherited the tradition.
  • Battle Couple: With Kushina. They even took on Obito and the Nine-Tails together.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: He's a quiet and rather easy-going man. That being said he's still an incredibly dangerous shinobi, and when his loved ones are threatened he shows just why he earned a "flee on sight" reputation.
  • Big Damn Heroes: He stopped the Nine-Tails' attack on Konoha. Later on, he erased the Ten-Tails' Tailed-Beast Ball, saving the entire shinobi alliance from destruction.
  • Bishōnen: Kushina even mocks him in their youth for his pretty boy looks.
  • Broken Pedestal: A mild version. He was one of Naruto's inspirations growing up. After learning about the seal, Naruto never showed any change in attitude until they met and Naruto learned that he was his father. Naruto did punch him and called out on his cruddy childhood before wondering whether he should be happy or angry. While the 4th says that it's admittedly of little consolation to just apologize, Naruto does say that he'll deal with it, being the 4th's kid. During their talk, it was then built back up and even strengthened.
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: Died sealing away the Nine-tailed fox inside Naruto.
  • Brutal Honesty:
    • Isn't afraid to deal some cold truths to his students from what we see of him in Kakashi Gaiden - he's impressed that Kakashi came up with a new technique (Chidori), but forbids him from using it on the basis of its impracticality for as long as Kakashi has no way of predicting and countering his opponent's attack, and he lets Obito get away with the 'got something in my eye' excuse until his inability to react puts them in danger during a mission.
    • Ended up receiving this from Obito during the Fourth Great Ninja War. On his own part, despite finding out that Obito was responsible for everything that's happened up to that point, Minato is fully willing to admit some of the blame in not protecting Obito during the Third World War and Rin during the mission in the Hidden Mist Village.
    • He also tells Kakashi that as Obito's teammate and friend, it should have been Kakashi's, not Naruto's responsibility, to knock some sense into Obito.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: He and Kushina knew each other as kids, and couldn't have been more than about 14 when they fell in love.
  • Child Prodigy: Minato was a natural prodigy as a ninja, the likes of which appears only once in a generation having the highest scores in the history of the Academy having finished it at the age of 10 years.
  • Color Motifs: Yellow. Physically, it represents his spiky, blonde hair; personality-wise, it matches his warm demeanor. His famous nickname, "Konoha's Yellow Flash", practically lampshades it.
  • Combat Pragmatist:
    • Given he didn't seem to have the same amount of raw power his predecessors were capable of, Minato relied on prior preparation, Teleport Spam, and using every advantage that he could find against his opponents. He would even put the Flying Thunder God's formula on enemies' bodies, often without their knowledge, to extend where he could teleport to beyond the predictability of his kunai's locations. This also let him always find and go directly to an enemy even if he couldn't see them, and he would usually teleport behind them.
    • The worst part about the markings was that they couldn't be erased once they were placed. Enemy shinobi who were marked by them were stuck with them for the rest of their life, and the markings could be used as a kind of sensory technique that let Minato know what was happening within a certain area of them. It's pretty much the shinobi-equivalent to Big Brother Is Watching.
    • Another thing that makes his combat style so pragmatic is that it uses no seals. Minato relies on speed, skill, and his unique kunai in combat. The only techniques you ever see him use during fights are the Rasengan and the Flying Thunder God. Neither one uses any hand seals, which not only minimizes his periods of vulnerability, but allows him to instantly punish opponents who do rely on jutsus with seals as well as frees up both of his hands and his concentration. He's called the fastest ninja in history, and he earned that, because he maximizes speed in all its forms when he fights.
  • Crazy-Prepared: He prepared countermeasures for if Naruto's seal is on the verge of being broken or opened (his chakra was sealed inside so that he could restore the seal), and if his wife was in danger (he put a seal on her that allows him to immediately be at her side at any given moment). In fact, he seems to have scattered a bunch of seals all throughout the Leaf Village and the surrounding area, so he could teleport to anywhere in the village or redirect high powered enemy attacks into abandoned areas.
  • Cultured Badass: Hailed as one of the greatest ninja ever born, he was the guy that invented the devastatingly powerful Rasengan and had plans to make it stronger before he died. Enjoys reading, notably Jiraiya's first novel and the Third's poem, and even discussed the 'cycle of hatred' with Naruto, regarding Pain.
  • Dead Person Conversation: With Naruto. He put a bit of himself into Naruto's seal so he could keep an eye on his son.
  • Death Glare: He gives a withering one to the masked man (the presumed dead Obito) after the latter ripped the Nine-Tails out of Kushina.
  • Determinator: Jiraiya remarked that Minato had the fiercest determination he's seen before Naruto. Which could attribute how Minato became Hokage so quickly.
    Minato: I want everyone in the village to acknowledge me and become a great Hokage!
  • I Did What I Had to Do : Even though he knew that it had to be done, it didn't make it any easier knowing that he had essentially placed his newborn son Naruto on a very treacherous path in life by making him Kurama's jinchuriki. It would be something that would haunt them both in death, till Naruto told them he understood.
  • Disappeared Dad: Naruto's father who was killed by the Kurama via the manipulations of Obito. And as such, he wasn't there to raise his son.
  • Ditzy Genius: In contrast to his wife's Genius Ditz. Generally hailed as a genius who appeared once a decade, yet has little to no naming sense at all and acts like a total dork on some occasions. It's even lampshaded by Tobirama when he makes comparisons with Naruto.
  • The Dreaded: He was the most feared Kage of his time and the only one among the Hokage known to have a "flee-on-sight" label should he be encountered on the battlefield. Given how dreadfully effective he is at wiping out entire battalions, this reputation is very much justified. It's outright stated by the Third Hokage that Minato effectively ended the Third Shinobi War simply by wiping out 1000 Iwa shinobi troops by himself.
  • Energy Ball: The Rasengan was his creation.
  • Epic Fail: When his son is dying in front of him, Minato has to seal the other half of Kurama inside him to save his life but in the time it takes him to focus (and after being momentarily distracted by a flashback of how he promised Kushina to protect Naruto) Black Zetsu gets between them and steals the Nine-Tails right under his nose.
  • Fastest Thing Alive: He was legendary for his speed, and that's not even factoring in his Flying Thunder God Jutsu. The title would pass to the fourth Raikage after his death.
  • A Father to His Men: Towards his students.
  • Flash Step: Thanks to the horribly broken combination of Super Speed and Teleport Spam.
  • Four Is Death: The first Hokage to be confirmed to be dead in the first chapter.
  • Geometric Magic: His specialty, sealing techniques, taught to him by his wife Kushina, and was used to defeat the Nine-Tails.
  • The Gift: He doesn't come from a notable clan or bloodline, but displayed remarkable skill in ninjutsu since childhood and became one of the greatest shinobi in existence. In addition, he is considered the fastest ninja who ever lived and is also naturally gifted in tactics and battle skill. He had a flee-on-sight order placed on him during the Third Shinobi War, was able to figure out Tobi's weakness in seconds and created the Rasengan by observing the Tailed Beasts.
  • Giver of Lame Names: The names of his techniques can be overly grandiose and flashy. Tobirama Senju mentions that a name for a new attack he came up with would make him laugh if they weren't in the middle of a battle.
  • Golden Super Mode: Due to sealing the Yin half of Kurama's chakra into himself he can use use the Nine-Tails's chakra for this effect.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Minato has spiky, blond hair and a kind-hearted personality.
  • Handicapped Badass: Thanks to Obito cutting off one of his arms, he has spent most of the war like this. This is made more extreme when Madara cuts off the other arm.
  • Hand Seals: One of the very few shinobi to avert this trope due to his fighting style.
  • Happily Married: To Kushina — they had a loving and close marriage when they were alive.
  • Hellish Pupils: Vertical slits when using the Nine-Tails's chakra for his Golden Super Mode.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: The first thing he noticed about Kushina is her hair. This was also how he was able to track her down and rescue her when she was kidnapped, by following the strands of red hair that she dropped.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: The first thing we learn about him in the story is that he sacrificed his life to protect the Leaf Village from the Nine-Tailed Fox.
  • Heroic Suicide: Use of the Reaper Death Seal invokes this.
  • Hero of Another Story: Kishimoto has said that he would be interested in writing another story in the Narutoverse with Minato as the protagonist, which, being the Hokage automatically counts him as this.
  • Hidden Badass: Kushina initially believed him to be nothing but an unreliable wimp, but he proved her wrong when he saved her from the Hidden Cloud's kidnapping attempt.
  • Hyper-Awareness: He would have to have had a rather healthy dose to truly be able to wipe out entire battalions in an instant as it was claimed. Even though he can get to every enemy on the battlefield by tossing his special kunai in every direction, he would have to warp to each one, identify the nearest enemy, dispatch him in the most efficient way possible, move on to another target, rinse and repeat. Scores of times. While the kunai are still flying. And this would all happen in a matter of seconds.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: By Kurama when he tried to kill baby Naruto.
  • In Touch with His Feminine Side: Minato’s lack of masculinity was a huge turn off for Kushina and earned him her scorn, as she did not believe someone so unreliable and effeminate could become the Hokage. By rescuing her from the cloud ninja he proved he was not weak as Kushina believed, he’s just in touch with his feminine side.
  • Light Is Good: He wears a Hokage long coat with red flames and red symbols on the back, and like Naruto, he can transform into his Chakra Mode and Kurama Avatar the Jinchuriki of the Yin half of the Nine-Tails which, like Naruto, has him turn yellow with shades of orange.
  • Like Father, Like Son: While Naruto takes after his mother in personality and intelligence, his looks came from his father and a lot of the events that happen in Naruto's life are similar to those that happened in Minato's. The most notable being that a lot of Minato and Kushina's romance is echoed by that of Naruto and Hinata's, including the two couples falling in love the same way: Rescue Romance, with the Red String of Fate being utilized in both rescue scenarios.
  • Like Parent, Like Spouse: Naruto's personality and intelligence actually come from his mother Kushina; the Generation Xerox sets in with his future wife Hinata, who is similar to Minato in personality: Both are quiet nice ninja who have always loved and admired their boisterous counterpart from afar since they were children.
  • Locked Out of the Loop:
    • Ironically, while his student is a Big Bad and a significant amount of the plot occurred within his lifetime, Minato seems to be the most ignorant of four revived Hokages about the whole situation.
    • Later on during the Fourth Shinobi World War Arc when Minato is revived (and finally learns that his student is the Big Bad), Obito calls him out on this and says he's always found him to be a bit clueless.
  • Long Title: Prone to giving his (and sometimes other people's) attacks comically long and convoluted names.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Turns out he's Naruto's father. Not that this wasn't obvious from the word Go.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Feminine Boy to Kushina's Masculine Girl. Kushina was a headstrong and impulsive tomboy with a fiery temper, who beat up anyone who made fun of her. In contrast Minato was a quiet nice guy who Kushina initially thought to be too feminine and unreliable to take seriously.
  • Mass Teleportation: By channeling his own power through Naruto and Kurama's chakra, he is able to teleport an entire army.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: This is in full effect considering that his student Obito is responsible for summoning Kurama to destroy the Hidden Leaf Village, which led to Minato's death in the end.
  • Messianic Archetype: Of a sort. He's like a proto-Naruto in that sense. When he was a kid, he wanted to be Hokage so that he could help everyone in his village. Jiraiya also at one point believed he was "The Child of Prophecy", and would be the savior of the ninja world. To say nothing of the Warrior Poet tendencies he had, and the fact he literally gave his life protecting the village against the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox as his last act as Hokage.
  • My Greatest Failure:
    • Not realizing the masked man was his former student Obito Uchiha led him to sacrificing his life and family for the sake of facing a man (maybe) he could have stopped.
      • However, as Kurama (of all people), is quick to point out, it wasn't his fault. He couldn't have known his student would survive, and even then, knowing Tobi's identity that night wouldn't have changed anything. Kurama still had to be stopped, and trying to convince Obito to stop his plans would have been pointless. The Obito he knew was long dead by that point.
    • He also feels this way about his failure to protect his former team; specifically Obito (from being crushed and then taken in by Madara) and Rin (from dying). Had he managed to save either of them, most of the current story wouldn't have had to happen.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: He was nicknamed The Yellow Flash. The running away part is acknowledged in the series, as Minato is still, to our knowledge, the only ninja to have ever had a flee-on-sight order placed on him.
  • The Needs of the Many: See Sadistic Choice bellow.
  • Nice Guy: Jiraiya once said he was this growing up and Minato being Hokage would have been the same towards the village.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • So after Obito got the Juubi taken out, he was back to being normal. Kakashi was about to give him a well-deserved finishing blow, but Minato stopped him, using the If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him! argument. In an attempt to redeem himself, Obito tries to use Rinne Tensei to bring back a number of deceased characters, but is hijacked by Zetsu and forced to bring back the real Madara Uchiha instead. So now, any trouble Madara gives the heroes, which starts with all nine of the tailed beasts being simultaneously absorbed, will happen because of Minato's decision to spare Obito.
    • He feels this way about not being there to save Obito, and his failure to handle the Nine-Tails' attack better.
  • One Degree of Separation: A case particularly annoying to the fandom, as he was an integral person in Jiraiya and Kakashi's lives as well as knowing a number of other people in the Leaf who would come to know his son Naruto... and none of them bothered to tell Naruto about his family. While there are Fanon handwaves that Naruto's lineage was kept secret to prevent Minato's enemies from attacking him, that doesn't explain why no one has told Naruto about his parents or had any plans to. Naruto eventually learns via Minato himself, who sealed some of his personality into the Nine-Tails seal.
  • One-Man Army: Like all the Kages so far. For him it was the ability to destroy entire squadrons in milliseconds thanks to his Flying Thunder God Technique, and his Rasengan could defeat even S-rank opponents in a single hit as Tobi can attest.
  • One True Love: With his wife Kushina, Naruto's mother. Much like his son's future wife Hinata, Minato admired Kushina since the day they first met, uncaring of her status as an outsider and even admiring the red hair she hated so much. By all accounts, he only ever loved her, and after he saved her from a kidnapping attempt by Kumo, she came to return that love, calling him her soulmate.
  • Opposites Attract: With Kushina. Minato's a very nice and polite man who lacks traditionally masculine traits and she's a Hot-Blooded Tomboy.
  • Panicky Expectant Father: Well, he has every right to be with the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox trying to escape from his wife's body during the birth of his son.
    Minato: Umm... I've never seen Kushina in so much pain before that she's cried out like this. Is... is she really gonna be okay?
  • Papa Wolf: Obito exploits this to get him away from Kushina long enough to break the seal.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Single-handedly curb-stomped Kushina's kidnappers when he was still in his early teens.
  • Plot-Triggering Death:
    • His last act was to seal the Nine-Tails inside Naruto, thus providing impetus for the plot.
    • His death in general contributes to a lot of the plot. For one thing, it's widely believed that if Minato had still been alive, the Uchiha Clan Massacre wouldn't have happened — to the uninformed, it would be because he would've been there fast enough to stop Itachi (and whoever aided him). To those who know the truth, it would've been because Minato could've successfully negotiated with the Uchiha out of performing a coup, being less obstinate than Danzo but more forceful than Sarutobi due to his youth and strength, along with his own relations with the clan (his wife Kushina was best friends with the Uchiha Clan matriarch, Sasuke and Itachi's mother Mikoto).
  • The Poorly Chosen One: Minato studied under Jiraiya, who believed that he to be The Chosen One of an ancient prophecy destined to save the world. But during attack the Nine-Tailed Fox on Konoha, Minato himself realized that he is not The Chosen One and he's not destined to save the world but his son Naruto is the very same person in which he sealed the Nine-Tails to give his son the means to fight the masked villain that caused this mess.
  • Posthumous Character: We've come to know him quite well for a character whose death kicked off the plot.
  • Power of Trust: As a parent, his reason for making his newborn son Kurama's jinchuriki, is because he believes that Naruto will be the one who will stop Tobi and save the world.
  • Purple Prose: A relatively mild version, but his big personality quirk is his tendency to come up with incredibly elaborate, overly-long names for new ninjutsu.
  • Red Baron: "The Yellow Flash of The Leaf".
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: He's a calm and mild Blue to his wife's loud and Hot-Blooded Red.
  • Red String of Fate: The first thing Minato noticed about his future wife Kushina was her bright red hair. It was so remarkable to him that it allowed him to track her down by using the trail of red hair she left behind after she was kidnapped by Kumo shinobi. After being saved by him, Kushina realized that the red hair she had hated so much had led her to her soulmate.
  • Religious and Mythological Theme Naming: Very subtle when compared to most examples. His family name translates to as "wind and waves", and it likely refers to Susanoo of Shinto religion given that Kushina is named after Susanoo’s wife.
  • Retcon: Minato's death is never specifically touched upon, but when Orochimaru attempts to summon him to aid in his battle against Sarutobi, the latter makes sure that this doesn't happen. It's later revealed that it wouldn't have mattered anyway, since Minato's soul was in the Reaper God's belly, meaning that there was no point in the Third's desperation, seeing how he knew what happened to begin with.
  • Sadistic Choice: After he freed the Nine-Tails from the masked man's control, he had to make a difficult choice. He could protect his son by allowing Kushina to reseal the Nine-Tails inside her and commit a Mutual Kill, resulting in the disruption of the Balance of Power between the Hidden Villages. Or he could protect the Leaf by sealing the Nine-Tails inside Naruto after weakening it first by using the Reaper Death Seal, leaving the baby orphaned and denying him a normal childhood.
    Minato: Forgive me, Kushina.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: The cool-headed Savvy Guy to Kushina's hot-headed Energetic Girl.
  • Sealed in a Person-Shaped Can: He sealed half of the Kurama's power inside himself and the other half into his son, Naruto.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: At first. One of his desires when he sealed Kurama's Yang half into Naruto was that the people of Konoha would embrace Naruto as a hero instead of a plague. Which they didn't due to the grudge against the fox, instead they were convinced Naruto and Kurama were one and the same. Ultimately subverted when Naruto earns the entire village's respect and becomes a hero.
  • Skilled, but Naive: Danzo’s argument against Minato becoming Hokage was essentially this and Orochimaru mused that Minato would have just been a puppet of Hiruzen’s wishes. Danzo was correct to a degree about Minato as he was shown to be a little too idealistic about his son being accepted by the village, and instead he is alienated and shunned thanks to Minato's choices.
  • Space Master: Is a master of Space-Time Ninjutsu. Thanks to the Flying Thunder God Technique, he could move instantaneously between locations where he's placed specialized seals.
  • Speed Blitz: The logical conclusion when one spams the Flying Thunder God jutsu.
  • Story-Breaker Power: Although Minato isn’t the first person to use the Flying Thunder God technique, his use is a horribly broken combination of Super Speed and Teleport Spam. By spreading teleport tags around the battlefield, he can jump from one to the other in an instant, leaving no time for his opponents to react. He even can leave teleport tags on enemies' bodies, often without their knowledge, to extend where he could teleport to beyond the predictability of his kunai's locations. This also let him always find and go directly to an enemy even if he couldn't see them, and he would usually teleport behind them. And the worst part about the markings was the fact that they couldn't be erased once they were placed. Enemy shinobi who were marked by them were stuck with them for the rest of their life, and the markings could be used as a kind of sensory technique that let Minato know what was happening within a certain area of them. At the same time there is no restriction on the distance of the teleportation which means that he can find an opponent anywhere and anytime which with his speed means that it can kill the enemy in a matter of seconds. One of his last acts was to plant one such marking on the Big Bad, necessitating his death to prevent him from easily wrapping up the plot over a decade before it could begin.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: To his son Naruto — they both have the same blonde, spiky hair and blue eyes.
  • Summon Magic: Like Jiraiya and Naruto, Minato can summon toads.
  • Super Mode: Due to having Kurama's Yin Half, he has access to its chakra allowing him to use the same Golden Super Mode that Naruto can, and also an avatar of Kurama's Yin Half in his mind. He later reveals that he also has Sage Mode (though he can only maintain Sage Mode for a few seconds).
  • Super Speed: Along with Super Reflexes: Given he was able to react to A's top speed, which even the Sharingan could not track. He was also so fast with the Flying Thunder God Technique that he could teleport in front of Guy's Night Guy attack while he was under the effects of the Eight Inner Gates Formation, take a hit from Madara's Truthseeker Orbs, and then teleport out of the way before Guy could reach him, despite the fact Guy was moving fast enough to bend space at the time. Minato was commonly considered the fastest Shinobi in the world while he was alive. After his death, the title went to the Fourth Raikage. And was then claimed by his own son during the Fourth Shinobi World War. Of the four reincarnated Hokage, he is the first one on the scene to fight the Juubi. The Second Hokage, the original master of space-time jutsu and the creator of ones that that would be the predecessors of Minato's trademark Flying Thunder God Technique, explicitly says that Minato is faster than him upon arriving.
  • Tagalong Kid: Averted. Edo Minato is actually a young man in his early 20’s not having physically or mentally aged aged since dying. Among the Hokages present in the fight against Sage of Six Paths Madara and Obito, Minato is technically the youngest and least experienced having died at 24 and served the shortest term, a little over a year. All the other Hokages have much more life and combat experience than he does, (having lived long enough to see their grandchildren) and had either reached their prime like Tobirama and Hashirama or were long past it such as Hiruzen and Tsunade. In contrast Minato before his premature death was still growing as a ninja despite his title of Hokage and had neither reached his prime yet nor perfected his signature technique the Rasengan.
    • He's also only 7 years older than his son by the war since he had died and stopped aging but was brought back temporarily by Orochimaru.
  • Teleport Spam:
    • His entire fighting style. By spreading teleport tags around the battlefield, he can jump from one to the other in an instant, leaving no time for his opponents to react. His Level 2 version of the technique is so fast that he can teleport to his kunai while they're still in the air after being thrown, which is how he defeats Tobi in their first fight.
    • He can even use it defensively by setting up markers well away from the battlefield and teleporting enemy attacks away right before they hit. On two occasions, he uses this trick to stop a Biju Bomb which would have wiped out hundreds of lives otherwise.
  • Terror Hero: Due to his ability to clear a battlefield in an instant alone, there was a flee on sight order should he appear to a fight.
  • Thanatos Gambit: Sealed Kurama the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox into Naruto in order to eventually combat Tobi, as well as make sure that the tailed beast would not resurrect elsewhere, lost to the Leaf Village. He also used this to fulfill his beloved Kushina's dying wish that she might be able to see her son grow up, by placing her chakra in the seal.
  • Through His Stomach: His favorite food is his wife's cooking.
  • Touch of Death: Indirectly. He can plant his Flying Raijin markings on anyone he touches and with his Super Speed, that translates to anyone he gets within arm's reach of. And once he's marked someone, He can teleport directly to them from any distance.
  • Was It Really Worth It?:
    • Upon being resurrected with Edo Tensei and learning about the Uchiha clan massacre, Minato contemplates that his premature death contributed a lot to the present mess and that had he stayed around many tragedies could have been averted. He also acknowledges not giving Naruto the parental love he deserved and decides to compensate for that with a present.
    • It hits him really hard when he discovers his student was the one behind the attack and he could have stopped him without losing his life, his wife and making his son the Jinchuuriki of Kurama the Nine-Tailed Fox.
  • Weak, but Skilled: In comparison to the previous Kage, Minato lacks the same benefits and power they all have by virtue of their Clans, notably lacking a Kekkei Genkai. Even among all the Hokage to exist in the series, he stands out as being weaker than all the other Hokage save Kakashi, and that's only because Kakashi became Hokage after losing his Sharingan, but he's arguably the most skilled out of them due to his mastery of the Flying Raijin Jutsu in conjunction with his fighting style. There's a reason why he had a flee-on-sight order issued on him, after all.
  • What Is One Man's Life In Comparison?: Discussed this with Kushina about sealing Kurama into their son Naruto in order to protect the village, damning him to a jinchuriki's lonely existence. Not that he enjoyed the idea any better than she did.

    Fifth Hokage 
See Tsunade.

    Sixth Hokage 

    Seventh Hokage