Naruto: Characters With The Saddest Backstories – GameRant

Naruto is full of characters whose lives have been rife with misfortune. Sometimes it drives them to heroism; other times, to villainy.
For more than a decade, Naruto has been one of the most popular anime and manga series in the world, and although the story concluded several years ago, it is still incredibly popular. Naruto is set in a world dominated by ninjas who can use a myriad of techniques and abilities. Fans love the series for its action-packed story about friendship and unwavering determination, and it helps that many of the characters are well written.
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Like most stories, Naruto features characters from all walks of life. Many of them had relatively cheerful pasts, but not every character is that lucky. Whether they are heroes or villains, anyone can have a sad backstory. When it comes to Naruto, these characters have pasts that are quite heartbreaking.
Updated July 22, 2022 by George Voutiritsas: Naruto still holds a place in many hearts, in fact, the love for the series is the main reason why most people pay attention to the sequel series. The original story was great, and the action was entertaining, but the characters are what really drove the series. For most of its history, the ninja world has been plagued by a seemingly never-ending cycle of conflict and hatred, and it produced a number of characters with sad and tragic backstories.
If asked, most Naruto fans can name a character who they believe has the saddest backstory, and many of those fans would give the same names, but there are other characters whose pasts deserve to be mentioned as well.

Konan was Pain's partner and Jiraiya's former student, making her one of the Akatsuki's strongest members. Like Yahiko and Nagato, she was born in the Hidden Rain Village, and like them, she was left an orphan after her family was killed during the Second Great Ninja War.
She was forced to fend for herself until she met her friends, and the trio became inseparable. They went through a lot together, and she ended up falling in love with Yahiko. When the original Akatsuki became too powerful, Hanzo kidnapped her in order to set a trap. As a captive, she was forced to watch Yahiko sacrifice himself to save her.
Hinata is one of Naruto's more prominent side characters because of her relationship with Naruto. When she was born, she was the de facto heiress of the Hyuga Clan, but she lost that title because her father deemed her to be too weak. He even forced her to fight her younger sister for it.
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When she was 3, Hinata was kidnapped by the Cloud Village's Head Ninja during a fake peace treaty negotiation. The plan was to take her Byakugan, an act that would have killed her. Her father saved her, and her uncle sacrificed himself to appease the Cloud Village, which wanted her father dead.
The Kaguya Clan was renowned for their savagery in battle and a very small number of them inherited the Shikotsumyaku-an extremely powerful and rare kekkei genkai. When he was a child, Kimimaro was the only member of the clan who possessed this bone-manipulating ability.
The head of the clan feared Kimimaro's strength and locked him in a cell. He would only be released whenever the clan wanted him to fight. Kimimaro witnessed his entire clan get wiped out when they attacked the Mist Village. Shortly after, he met Orochimaru, who took him in as a potential future vessel.
Sai joined Team 7 during the Tenchi Bridge Reconnaissance Mission arc, and at the time, he was a member of Root-a special Anbu subdivision under Danzo's control. Sai's parents died when he was very young, which is why Danzo recruited him. While training, he was conditioned to have no personality or friends. He wasn't even allowed to have a name.
That being said, he made one connection, a fellow Root member named Shin, who became an older brother to him. Danzo forced them to fight to the death in order to eliminate their remaining emotions. Shin spared Sai from killing him, and he was forced to suppress his feelings in order to keep living.
Kabuto was a talented medical ninja, and he was more skilled than most Anbu, making him one of the strongest ninjas outside of the Leaf Village. When he was a child, his city was destroyed by a battle, and he was left with amnesia. He was found by Nono Yakushi, a Jonin and former Root member who ran the Leaf's orphanage.
When Danzo threatened to pull the orphanage's funding, Kabuto volunteered his services. He then spent many years as a spy. While on a mission in the Stone Village, Kabuto was forced to attack and kill his adoptive mother while she was on an undercover mission of her own. She did not recognize him, despite raising him for three years and giving Kabuto his name.
Haku was a kind-hearted ninja who was trained by Zabuza, which explains why he possessed ANBU-level skill when he was just 15 years old. He came from a small village in the Land of Water, and the people there hated individuals who could use Kekkei Genkai.
A Kekkei Genkai is a unique DNA trait that allows certain clans and individuals to use special abilities. Haku and his mother could use one such ability called Ice Release. His mother kept her ability from her husband, but when he found out, he gathered a mob to kill them both. Haku's mother perished, but he was able to kill his father and the mob. He was left an orphan, and it was Zabuza who rescued him from the streets.
Neji sacrificed himself to save Naruto during the 4th Great Ninja War, an act that places him among the bravest characters in the series. He was born into the Hyūga clan's branch family, which meant that he was meant to serve the main house, no matter how strong he became.
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Like other members of the branch house, he was branded with a cursed seal when he was a child. This was meant to seal his Byakugan when he died, to ensure enemies could not learn its secrets. It was also used to discipline branch members who stepped out of line or who posed a threat. Until he met Naruto, Neji believed that he was destined to live a life of servitude.
She may have become the 5th Hokage, but Tsunade's backstory proves that she is one of Naruto's unluckiest characters. Her younger brother told her that he wished to become Hokage like their grandfather — a dream she approved of. Tragically, he died the very next day while fighting in the 2nd Great Ninja War.
Tsunade was devastated by Nawaki's death, and she pleaded with the 3rd Hokage to include a medical ninja in every squad. Dan Katō agreed with her, and the two eventually fell in love. Dan admitted that he wanted to be Hokage, and shortly after, he was fatally wounded in battle. Tsunade managed to heal his wounds, but he succumbed to severe blood loss, dying in her arms.
The argument can be made that Kakashi became one of the weakest Kage in the series, especially since he no longer possessed a Sharingan. That Sharingan was given to him by Obito, who had been crushed by a boulder while saving him. This occurred during the 3rd Ninja War when the enemy captured Rin, their squad member.
Kakashi vowed to protect Rin, but he could not keep that promise. The Mist Village kidnapped Rin and turned her into a weapon, so Rin impaled herself on Kakashi's Chidori to protect the Leaf Village. Prior to this, Kakashi had dealt with his own Father's death. His father was vilified for valuing his friends' lives ahead of the mission, and he took his own life because he could not live with the shame.
The Uchiha Clan is one of the strongest clans in Naruto, and Itachi is one of the most powerful ninjas that the clan has ever produced. His skill with the Sharingan made him a true prodigy, but the Leaf Village labeled him a criminal because he massacred his entire clan.
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However, Itachi only did this because he wanted to stop the Leaf Village from being destroyed through civil war, and the 3rd Hokage and the other elders were the only other people who knew. Itachi killed his clansmen, the woman he loved, and his parents, but he could not bring himself to kill his little brother, who hated him for years.
Sasuke is Itachi's little brother, and as one would imagine, his backstory is just as sad. As a child, he saw his entire clan get wiped out, and was almost inconsolable when he saw Itachi standing over their parents' bodies. When he learned the truth, he grew to hate the Leaf for what they did to his brother.
Most of Sasuke's childhood and adolescence were spent seeking vengeance for his family, and that desire took him down a dark path. Sasuke may have learned to use a variety of powerful jutsus, but the trauma of the Uchiha massacre will always be there.
Naruto fans agree that certain villains should have remained evil, including Obito Uchiha, who simply wanted to be reunited with the woman he loved. Most of the ninja world thought Obito died when he saved Kakashi, but he was rescued by Madara, who was very old at the time.
Obito loved Rin, and when he learned that she and Kakashi were being attacked, he left Madara's hideout and rushed to help them. He got there at the exact moment Rin impaled herself, and the act sent him into a murderous rage. The image of Obito weeping as he holds Rin's body is still chilling to this day.
Gaara is the Sand Village's beloved 5th Kazekage, but when he was younger, most of the village feared him because he was the Jinchūriki of the One-Tails. The Tailed Beast was sealed within him when he was still in his mother's womb, which caused him to be born prematurely.
Gaara's first few years were spent in isolation, where he was trained by his father and cared for by his uncle. He tried to connect with other children and villagers, but they were all terrified of him. His father deemed that he could not control his power, so he ordered his uncle to assassinate him. Yashamaru was the only person who loved Gaara, and the attempt on his life left him scarred and heartbroken.
Nagato lived on the outskirts of the Rain Village with his parents, and their home was turned into a battlefield during the 2nd Ninja War. He watched as Leaf Ninja killed his parents, and he killed those ninjas with his Rinnegan. After burying his parents, he wandered around looking for food and shelter.
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He eventually met Konan and Yahiko, and they became close friends. They met Jiraiya during the war, who trained them to use ninjutsu. It was then that Yahiko created the original Akatsuki, but the Rain Village's leader feared the group's rising influence. Konan was kidnapped, and Yahiko stabbed himself with Nagato's kunai to save her. This was the moment when Nagato became Pain.
The argument can be made that Naruto has a number of clear weaknesses, but no one can deny that he had a sad upbringing. His parents died on the night he was born during the Nine-Tails' rampage, making him an orphan from the beginning of his life.
Naruto's father managed to seal the fox within him before he died, and this made Naruto's life even harder. As the Nine-Tails' Jinchūriki, he was essentially ostracized by the rest of the Leaf Village, to the point that parents would not let their children near him. He grew up alone, believing that no one cared or even acknowledged him.
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George Voutiritsas is a writer, gamer, and lover of sports (GO RED WINGS!) and nerd culture. He currently lives in Montreal, Canada and writes for Valnet, Inc primarily for TheSportster, CBR and GameRant, He has also contributed for TheRichest and TheThings.


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