Fortnite has recently released more skins from beloved rival characters of Naruto, which include familiar faces such as Hinata, Gaara, and Itachi. With these characters joining the others in the popular game, it’s hard not to think about their overall impact on the story of Naruto.
In fact, some of the best character backstories in the show have helped to greatly drive the story and world-building within the anime. Gaara features a backstory that parallels Naruto’s and Itachi’s backstory is a man revealed to have to perform an impossible mission for the good of the village. With such interesting pasts, the characters not only help drive the plot but become more likable as a result.
Rock Lee’s story is one of overcoming trials and flaws. He cannot use ninjutsu and thus relies solely on taijutsu and strives to become a splendid ninja.
While Rock Lee’s absence in Part 2 of Naruto is notable, this is perhaps down to the fact that his character arc ended in Part 1. Rock Lee struggled through his trials in his youth and was hated for lacking what was believed to be the necessary tools to be a ninja, which is possessing chakra . However, he wanted to prove that he could be a splendid ninja through sheer hard work alone with taijutsu, and with his battle against Gaara, he proves just that.
Hashirama and Madara
Hashirama and Madara’s shared backstory helped give background to the Hidden Leaf and the beginning of the animosity the Uchiha has always shown toward the rest of the village.
While this relationship was not the birth of the cycle of hatred, it is one of the earliest examples and shows that not even the Hidden Leaf could begin without it. These are the only other reincarnations of Asura and Indra known in Naruto besides Naruto and Sasuke. It’s fitting that the successors to the ones who founded the village (and in many ways tore it apart) were the ones who reforged the village into something new and better without hatred or jealousy.
Neji believed everyone was trapped and that there was no way to escape predestined fate. This is due to his tragic backstory of his father dying for the main Hyuga Branch.
A constant theme in Naruto is the corruptness of government. Through most characters’ backstories, it can be seen how vile the shinobi world really is, and Neji’s backstory is really the first one that sheds light on the Hidden Leaf. With Naruto recognizing these flaws, he makes a vow that he’ll change the Hyuga clan for good. Without Neji’s sad past, Naruto would not have been driven to achieve such an important goal.
There are many backstories in Naruto that serve as a parallel to Naruto’s, but Gaara’s is the first to be seen. By connecting with Gaara on a personal level, Naruto wins the fight without actually beating his opponent.
Gaara’s life as a child seemed harsher than Naruto’s with far more forsaking. While Naruto did not have a family, Gaara did have siblings and a father, but even they rejected him. At the time, the one person whom Gaara thought did love him ultimately tried to kill him. Gaara’s life was nothing but pain and hardship with no one willing to save him. Naruto, on the other hand, eventually had people come into his life and was able to walk down the right path. Being able to connect with similarities, Naruto was able to reach out his own hand and be the first person to help Gaara.
As one of shounen’s most likable anime main characters, Naruto’s past is frequently touched upon, but his full backstory wasn’t revealed until much later in the story, even as early as the tragedy of his parents’ deaths.
It is something of a shock that no one told Naruto who his parents really were or how desperately they fought to save his life. It is soon revealed how the Nine-Tails ever reached the Hidden Leaf and why Naruto was actually the only candidate to be the jinchuriki, as well as eventually discovering that it was Obito who attacked the village. These discoveries made the story far more interconnecting, giving Naruto a stronger tie to one of the major antagonists and showing that Naruto was not always hated in his youth.
Sasuke’s backstory isn’t revealed until the end of Part 1 in his battle against Naruto. It is here that the fuel for Sasuke’s revenge and his relationship with his brother was finally revealed.
When Sasuke’s backstory was told, it was speculated even then whether or not Itachi was really evil and if he had some different motive in mind for killing the clan. However, Sasuke never had such doubts. The backstory is full of love and compassion as Sasuke finds himself in his daily life around the clan. The tragedy that struck the village was one of many but by far the largest inner massacre. It should not have been a big surprise to find out eventually that this was just another cause of the corruptness of the Hidden Leaf.
Nagato’s backstory is heartbreaking and sets this character down a path of revenge and as a self-proclaimed god. It initially began with Jiraiya’s flashback, where fans got to see him train a young Nagato, Yahiko, and Konan.
His character is one of tragedy as he loses his parents and even later loses his best friend Yahiko on Nagato’s own kunai. However, this awakened the beginning of Nagato’s rage and the path it set him on. Nagato’s backstory was a perfect reflection of the corruptness of the shinobi world and how one so distraught with pain wishes to make others feel the same. Though in the end, Naruto was able to help him and let this Naruto villain achieve redemption.
Kakashi struggles through many hardships, more than many of the villains in the story, yet stays strong and steady. So it was a surprise when it was revealed that in the past, Kakashi was actually a cold ninja who stayed strictly to the rules.
However, the loss of his dear friend Obito set him on a better path where he constantly tried to be like him. This origin story into how Kakashi received his Sharingan and the moment showing the loss of Kakashi’s father helped to further develop and clarify this character and demonstrate how he can stand so tall in the cursed world he was brought up in.
The reveal that Itachi, one of Naruto‘s best characters, wasn’t really the villain and had to choose to kill his clan to save the rest of the village shook not just Sasuke but a number of viewers.
Itachi’s task was bloody and terrible. Initially, the character seemed like a cold and calculating man. From Sasuke’s backstory, he appeared as if he was a borderline sociopath incapable of feeling any emotion for others. But the truth of the matter was that he did not want to get too close and even his parents tell Itachi he is too soft before he kills them. It’s a complex and thought-provoking reveal that remains one of the most memorable backstories yet.
Obito possesses one of the strongest backstories in Naruto. His shared beginnings with Kakashi disclose a compelling and emotional character remarkably similar to Naruto.
But what comes after is a horrific experience when he witnesses the death of Rin and murders all of those around him. Obito’s “I’m in hell” scene is regarded as one of the best scenes in Naruto for its gore and realization that this world is not what Obito wants anymore. It is the perfect setoff for achieving the Infinite Tsukuyomi and explaining the antagonists’ motives.
NEXT: 10 Most Shocking Plot Twists In Naruto
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