While NARUTO SHIPPUDEN ended earlier this year, BORUTO: NARUTO NEXT GENERATIONS is still going strong. This creates a unique opportunity that very few anime are able to take advantage of. Rather than abandon side characters or leave questions from NARUTO unanswered, writers can carry over characters and build from older storylines. In the world of BORUTO, ninja are really different from those in NARUTO. Peace is more widespread, and villages work together rather than warring constantly. It’s a world ripe for a new generation, but there’s plenty of room for older characters too.

NARUTO SHIPPUDEN ended with the defeat of Kaguya Otsusuki, the progenitor or chakra, and Sasuke’s final battle against Naruto. The entire world had been captured within Kaguya’s Infinite Tsukuyomi, an eternal genjutsu of infinite dreams. The fate of the world was grim prior to Naruto, Sasuke, Obito, Kakashi, and Sakura sealing her. Following the war, Naruto was able to convince Sasuke to abandon his plans to kill all the world’s hokage, and the two released the world from the Infinite Tsukuyomi. The war forced every nation to form a ninja alliance, and that alliance is the foundation of the peace in BORUTO. While BORUTO is almost totally devoid of conflict, there’s still enough to warrant older ninja keeping ready.

This list breaks down the top ten characters that could really shine in BORUTO. Some had plenty of screen time in NARUTO SHIPPUDEN, and some had almost none. Regardless of that, each of these characters could do a lot if brought center stage. The show needs ninja to teach the new generation and powerful combatants. Existing characters make creating that portion of the show’s world way easier. Hopefully BORUTO will make use of these often underrated but incredible characters.

10. Feudal Lords

Feudal Lords speaking remotely | Image: Crunchyroll

While Naruto and his fellow ninja were still teenagers and the world was generally at war, feudal lords barely did anything. The anime generally depicted them as lazy, thoughtless bureaucrats. Despite how little they actually do, they are responsible for every political action in the country. The only reason feudal lords were inactive in the past is that they had a tendency to just send ninja to solve all their problems.

The feudal lord for the Land of Fire (the country that surrounds Naruto’s village) is extremely biased and lets personal thoughts interfere with policy decisions. Ninja were always around to handle his messes, and war meant there was little else going on in the country. But things are different in Boruto’s time.

Now that the world is at peace and being a ninja is more of an optional vocation, feudal lords are more important than ever. One of the constant clashes in BORUTO involves the world’s rapidly decreasing need for ninja, so bringing in more politics would really add some complexity to the series as a whole. On top of that, feudal lords, as the name suggests, are tied to feudalism. In the real world, feudalism rapidly declined once constant warfare stopped and governments were properly established. It stands to reason that since the same thing is happening in BORUTO, feudal lords might transition to different kinds of leadership.

9. Killer B

Killer B and his unique fighting style | Image: Crunchyroll

Despite being one of the strongest ninja in the Land of Lightning and one of Naruto’s closest allies, Killer B isn’t around at all in BORUTO. Like Naruto, he has a tailed beat sealed within him, meaning he has access to massive chakra reserves and incredible transformations. He didn’t follow in his older brother’s footsteps and become the Raikage, as his carefree personality doesn’t suit sitting behind a desk or leading. But there are a couple of things Killer B does in NARUTO SHIPPUDEN that could work super well in BORUTO.

After the last war, plenty of ninja went into the entertainment industry, using their abilities for special effects or to portray superheroes. Most in the NARUTO world know Killer B for rapping constantly. It would be incredible for Naruto’s son to be a fan of Killer B’s rap and eventually meet him. Imagine a whole episode featuring Killer B. Boruto could learn how to wield a sword (or eight at once!) and become a fledgling rapper. He could either stab his enemies or just rap terribly until they die. In any case, Killer B was a character that was woefully underused until the tail end of NARUTO SHIPPUDEN, and having him back on screen would be amazing.

8. Ino Yamanaka

Ino as she appears in BORUTO | Image: Crunchyroll

Throughout all of NARUTO, the anime severely underutilized Ino. When she took the chunin exams, she mostly acted as a foil character for her childhood friend, Sakura, and didn’t get any individual development until the final episodes. Even then, it’s so quickly glossed over that it felt like an afterthought. In her days as a more active ninja, Ino gained considerable skills in sensory ninjutsu, letting her link the minds of an entire army and communicate telepathically. At the time, there weren’t any long-range communication devices, so having someone like her was absolutely essential to combat. Even early on in her role as a ninja, she could perform the mind-transfer technique and completely control someone’s body. At the tail end of NARUTO SHIPPUDEN, Ino began a relationship with Sai and helped run her father’s flower shop after he was killed in the war.

In BORUTO, a whole episode was dedicated to her husband, Sai, and their son, Inojin. But her role in that episode is minor. Inojin primarily uses the techniques he learned from his father, making Ino one of the only characters to not have her techniques passed down. She’s the only person who can teach Boruto and his classmates the skills of a sensory ninja. Beyond that, it would be gratifying to see her get some development beyond just what she got toward the end of NARUTO.

7. Hanabi Hyuga

Hanabi sparring with Boruto | Image: Crunchyroll

While Boruto’s fight with his Aunt was action packed and incredible to watch, it was annoyingly brief. Hanabi is closer to Boruto’s age than his parents, making her the perfect mentor figure for him. In the original series, Hanabi took her sister Hinata’s place as the heir to the clan. Hinata was far too gentle to be suited for the role and lacked combat prowess. As a result, Hanabi underwent the harsh training that would prepare her to lead the clan as its strongest ninja.

The entire Hyuga clan uses a special kind of taijutsu, Gentle Fist, which makes use of their special eyes to attack the body’s chakra points. While Boruto has yet to manifest the same kind of visual prowess that his mother and sister have, he has shown some skill at using Gentle Fist. This is demonstrated by his frequent use of palm strikes rather than punches. A huge part of ninja growth is intense training, something that, for Boruto, has happened mostly off-screen. Seeing him learn more Gentle Fist techniques from Hanabi would be a great way to get her more involved with the series.

6. Tenten

Tenten as she appears in BORUTO: NARUTO THE MOVIE | Image: BORUTO: NARUTO THE MOVIE

Apart from probably being Metal Lee’s mother, Tenten is weirdly underused considering she has some major power-ups and is the best weapons user in the village. In NARUTO and NARUTO SHIPPUDEN, Tenten rarely fought outside of a few filler arcs, as she was weaker in combat than most of her fellow ninja. In BORUTO, less battle-tested ninja like her have an opportunity to snag some screen-time as teachers, like Shino and Sai. Weapon skills are incredibly important for a ninja, and a lot of Boruto’s classmates aren’t super great at using weapons as they are now.

Moreover, Tenten acquired several of the Sage of Six Path’s treasured tools during the Fourth Great Ninja War. She wielded a fan that allowed her to use any of the five nature transformations. While that and most of Tenten’s tools are for combat, she possesses many useful sealing tools as well. With the Crimson Gourd and Gold Rope, she can seal away anything that speaks. Considering how important sealing techniques seem to be recently in BORUTO, these kinds of tools would be a major asset to the village. Tenten is the only known ninja able to use these tools proficiently, so her expertise is probably highest in the ninja world.

5. Yamato

Yamato, the secret Wood Release user
The secret Wood Release user Yamato | Image: Crunchyroll

Yamato is one of the most interesting characters in NARUTO SHIPPUDEN. Unfortunately, he wasn’t around enough both then and in BORUTO. Orochimaru (Mitsuki’s parent) genetically modified Yamato, giving him access to Wood Release. Wood Release is basically the mark of an overpowered ninja. It inherits the properties of both earth and water, meaning it has the characteristic hardness of rock but moves as fluid as water. This allows Wood Release users to create massive hammers for smashing enemies or massive structures for shelter. Ninja can use these jutsu to create massive forests from nothing and completely reshape a battlefield.

But what Yamato could contribute most to the series goes beyond the basic offensive capabilities of his techniques. He has incredible experience serving in secret ninja divisions within the village. Now that those divisions are dissolved and former members are turning to evil, he would be instrumental in stopping them. If BORUTO wants to have some real continuity from its first arc, it’ll need to expand on the narrative of former spies and assassins trying to keep ninja relevant. Right now, Yamato just follows Orochimaru around constantly, and that’s a complete waste of his power.

4. Karin

Karin admonishes Suigetsu for causing mischief | Image: Crunchyroll

Back when Naruto’s closest rival, Sasuke, defected from the village, he formed his own four-man squad. He sought out Karin for this platoon due to her incredible prowess with healing and sensory abilities. Karin has a ridiculous crush on Sasuke and was eager to use his squad as an excuse to flirt with him. Despite mostly serving as a scientist for Orochimaru, Karin has a unique ability as a medical ninja. If another person bites her skin, they can feed on her chakra and heal even serious wounds. Sasuke was able to come back from near death just from feeding on a small portion of her massive chakra reserves. As a ninja, she could sense enemies from miles away and help track people.

Most notable about Karin was the confirmation of a rumor surrounding her character. Karin is a redhead and, more importantly, can use powerful Adamantine Sealing Chains. This technique is exclusive to the Uzumaki clan, the same clan as the main character Naruto Uzumaki. This was something pretty reasonable to guess; she has similar traits as Naruto’s mother, who was also an Uzumaki. All of this came to light during the final few episodes of NARUTO, but she was too distracted by Sasuke to explore her power.  Now that Sasuke is married and has more or less disbanded his four-man squad, Karin won’t fawn after him as strongly as before. She has incredible potential as a ninja and is the only living cousin of Naruto. It would be great for the series to finally acknowledge that.

3. Konohamaru Sarutobi

Konohamaru performing a summoning technique | Image: Crunchyroll

From incredible jutsu to comic relief, Konohamaru is easily one of the coolest ninjas in the entire series. Back during NARUTO, he was just an academy student and didn’t fight. By NARUTO SHIPPUDEN, he had become a genin and learned techniques from Naruto, Asuma Sarutobi, and the Third Hokage. As a ninja, he collected techniques and skills from a variety of other incredible ninjas, making him incredible in his own right. We’ll certainly be seeing a lot of him since he’s Boruto’s sensei now, but watching him in actual combat would be incredible.

Fans have yet to see the full extent of Konohamaru’s power. While serving as a helper for the chunin exams, he had to hold back quite a bit. As a result, there has been plenty of screen time with Konohamaru the teacher, not Konohamuru the fearsome ninja. We have no idea how incredible he can really be, but I hope we find out.

2. Moegi

Moegi during her brief appearance in Boruto’s classroom | Image: Crunchyroll

Moegi’s place on the list might surprise a few fans who haven’t been keeping up with BORUTO news. While she made a brief appearance in BORUTO when three-man squads were announced, she didn’t do much afterward. In the original NARUTO series, she was on Konohamaru’s team and mostly just kept him out of trouble. She was the most levelheaded of their three-man group and never went beyond that role. She was woefully underexplored in NARUTO, so she’s a prime candidate for a powerhouse ninja in BORUTO.

What’s so special about her is her ability to use Wood Release. While we know next to nothing about the extent of her control over it or how she learned it, we know she has it. In BORUTO Volume 4, her character profile listed Wood Release with her name, something that shocked fans. There are a few possibilities for how she got her power. She could be a distant relative of the First Hokage, who pioneered the technique. Alternatively, she could be like Yamato with some kinds of modification to her DNA. Either way, having Wood Release puts her in a whole different class. This is certain to give her character a more significant role in BORUTO than in NARUTO.

1. Mirai Sarutobi

Mirai, daughter of Asuma Sarutobi and Kurenai Yuhi | Image: Crunchyroll

During NARUTO SHIPPUDEN, Mirai was only a baby and too young to be anything beyond that. After her father’s untimely death, Shikamaru (Shikadai’s father) helped raise Mirai alongside her mother. Given their interactions in recent episodes of BORUTO, it seems she was around her cousin Konohamaru as well. Thus far, we know she’s still only a chunin not much older than Boruto, but strong enough to be a personal escort for Naruto. This kind of job is usually reserved for jonin level ninja, but she’s strong enough to handle it.

We’ve seen Mirai in action against Sarada, Boruto, and Mitsuki, but she was certainly holding back quite a bit. She inherited techniques from both of her parents, meaning she has access to Fire Release, Wind Release, and unparalleled genjutsu. As a melee combatant, she uses her father’s special chakra blades. That particular tool makes use of the wielder’s chakra to lengthen into razor-sharp knives. On top of that, she’s already as quick as her mother with genjutsu techniques despite being so young. She was able to trap Sarada in a powerful illusion in a split second. This is especially impressive considering Sarada’s Sharingan can see through most genjutsu. We’ve only seen her use one of the multitudes of jutsu she has. In the NARUTO: Shikamaru’s Story light novel, Mirai has several other powerful techniques that could make it to the anime. All of this is evidence of Mirai’s incredible potential as a character. Mirai is sure to be one of the coolest new characters in BORUTO, and certainly the best character from NARUTO.

More to Come in BORUTO

The BORUTO anime has finally stepped away from the slow, often boring slice of lifestyle to some real action. Now that Boruto and his friends are officially ninjas, they can start accepting missions and get even stronger. This will let them leave the village, explore new places, and, in turn, let viewers see the entire ninja world. While the anime has plenty of new characters original to the BORUTO anime, having more characters from the original series doesn’t hurt.

Bringing in these older characters from NARUTO lets fans who’ve watched from the beginning see some familiar faces. For those who started their foray into the ninja world by watching BORUTO, these characters are a way to connect to fans who’ve only seen NARUTO. Either way, these ten characters would all provide a nice link between two generations of ninja and fans alike. Hopefully they’ll all get some piece of the action, but all we can do now is wait and enjoy the show.

Did your favorite NARUTO character not make the list? Tell us your top choices in the comments!

Featured Image from Crunchyroll.

One Comment

  1. Fire Fang Blitz

    December 28, 2017 at 9:39 pm

    I want to see more of Kiba Inuzuka.
    Super underrated character who in the Konoha Novel, Destroyed a meteor during the events of the Last. So much that can be explored with his character. Mysteries about his clan ? His Status with Akamaru ? His relationship with the cat girl, Tamaki ?

    Reply

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