If you are a fan of Naruto, then you know the long-running franchise has had its fair share of sad moments. If anything, there have been too many grief-inducing scenes, and fans of the show have likely blocked out some of the worst offenders. After all, the show does tell the story of an ostracized and orphaned ninja whose biggest dream in life is to be accepted by his village.
Seriously, how could it not be sad?
This year, fans will see the franchise close another chapter as Naruto: Shippuden finally comes to a close after years on air. If you want to remind yourself of some of the show’s most tragic moments, then ComicBook.com will make the trip easier for you. We’ve counted down five of the most emotional scenes from recent years, so you better get your tissues ready.
Asuma Sarutobi’s Death
In the grand scheme of things, Asuma was not a major player in Naruto. The chain-smoking ninja acted as a teacher to Team 10, and fans watched as the Sarutobi prodigy tried and failed to flirt with a fellow teacher. By the time Naruto: Shippuden was underway, Asuma had a solid team under his watch and a baby on the way. So, of course, fans were left in disbelief when Asuma was killed by members of the Akatsuki. For the first time, the rogue ninja organization brought death to Konoha in a way that could not be reversed. Fans watched as Team 10 weeped over their mentor’s body and as Shikamaru had to tell a pregnant Kurenai her child’s father was dead. The ordeal was somber to say at the least.
Neji Hyuga’s Death
There are plenty of geniuses in Naruto, and they all seemed to have a terrible attitude. Sasuke Uchiha had a revenge complex. Shikamaru was the definition of lazy. And Neji? Well, the boy was more than a bit proud. However, the ninja changed after he met Naruto, and the two formed a tight bond as they grew older. So, when Neji sacrificed his life to save Naruto and Hinata, the blonde-headed hero was scarred. Sat on a battlefield, Neji passed away nestled into Naruto’s neck while the latter blubbered incoherently. Neji, whose own father sacrificed his life for friends, used his last breaths to thank Naruto. Naturally, fans at home were left sobbing through the entire ordeal.
Minato & Kushina’s Last Moments
Before there was Naruto, there were his parents. The blonde-headed ninja spent years wondering about his heritage, but no one would fess up about his parent’s identities. So, when fans learned Naruto hailed from a very famous family, some fans were stunned. As it turned out, Naruto was the son of the Fourth Hokage and the previous keeper of the Nine-Tailed Fox. Both Minato and Kushina were thrilled to give birth to Naruto, but things did not go as planned. In a flashback arc, fans watched as the young couple celebrated their child’s upcoming birth before a masked man messed everything up. The villain took Naruto after his birth which distracted Kushina enough to pull the Fox from her seal. With the demon running rampant, Naruto’s parents sacrificed their lives to protect the village, but they had enough time to tearfully speak to Naruto first.
Itachi Uchiha’s Death
For the majority of Naruto, fans spent their time hating Itachi Uchiha for a variety of reasons. The older ninja had gone rogue, killed his entire clan, tortured his brother to near insanity, and then joined a group of ex-ninjas who wanted to take over the world. Over the years, Itachi went head-to-head against favorite characters, leaving ninjas like Kakashi reeling from the encounters. When Sasuke finally gained the power to kill his older brother, fans were interested to see if the boy could kill the mighty man - and then fan soon discovered they wanted Itachi to live. In a turn of events, Itachi allowed himself to be killed after the battle when he succumbed to a terminal illness. Satisfied with his brother’s powers, Itachi left the world with a smile on his face. And, when fans learned Itachi’s massacre of the clan had all been orchestrated by Konoha, fans were shocked to learn the once-hated ninja was in fact a hero.
Clearly, there has been lots of death in Naruto, but no character’s end has been more damaging than when Jiraiya passed. When fans first met the goofy ninja, audiences thought he was little more than an over-powered pervert who peeped on woman, but Jiraiya proved to be much more. The Hermit Sage ended up becoming Naruto’s father figure and an integral ninja of Konoha after having left the village for years. When the character finally bit the dust at the hands of his old students who’d gone rogue, fans were left stunned by the loss. But, of course, their grief could not compare to that which Naruto and Tsunade both felt after the ninja’s death.