Naruto is filled with some really amazing arcs and they are etched in the memories of the show's fans. One such storyline is the Chunin Exams arc. The arc focuses on Team 7's entrance into the Chunin Exams and a lot more characters from the Hidden Leaf and the other shinobi villages are introduced.
The arc covers episodes 20 to 67 of the anime. Many people consider it to be the greatest arc in the Naruto series and it can lay a genuine claim to the title. In this post, we will be discussing the top ten episodes of Chunin Exams arc in Naruto. The episodes are ranked according to IMDb ratings.
10 Episode 47: A Failure Stands Tall! (8.1)
This episode follows the showdown between Hinata and Neji Hyuga. Neji, who was labeled a prodigy, breezes through most of the fight. However, Hinata refuses to go down easily as she was much more determined after watching Naruto's fight.
Towards the end of the episode, Neji was ready to kill Hinata and he would have done it if the Jonin hadn't intervened in the fight.
9 Episode 28: Eat or be Eaten: Panic in the Forest (8.1)
This is one of those episodes that has a lighter tone. "Eat or be Eaten: Panic in the Forest" focuses on Team 7 who have just entered the Forest of Death and there is already chaos all around. Naruto was captured, but Sasuke frees him after beating the imposter who was pretending to be Naruto.
Naruto is later swallowed up by a giant snake. Sasuke and Sakura are attacked by another imposter who pretends to be Naruto. This time, the imposter is a ninja called Shiore. With Sasuke and Sakura in trouble, Naruto uses the Shadow Clone Technique to get out the snake's stomach.
8 Episode 29: Naruto's Counterattack: Never Give In! (8.2)
In the episode, Team 7 was facing an uphill task in beating Shiore. Sasuke was ready to give the scroll to Shiore, but Naruto intervened and began to fight the latter and his snakes.
Naruto also gains a temporary powerup as he is able to use some of the Nine-Tails' chakra. The episode has a rather well-known scene that involves Naruto and Sasuke.
7 Episode 67: Late for the Show, but Ready to Go! The Ultimate Secret Technique is Born! (8.2)
The fight between Sasuke and Gaara was definitely among the most anticipated in the series. The two highly-rated genin had shown great promise, with Sasuke training in order to improve his techniques.
Sasuke and Gaara started off slowly, with the former struggling to hurt the latter, who was within his shield. So, Sasuke decided to try out his new technique: The Chidori. Sasuke was successfully able to pierce Gaara's shield and he became only the second person to hurt Gaara. In the same episode, Kabuto used genjutsu to put everyone to sleep and initiate the Konoha Crush arc.
6 Episode 64: Zero Motivation: The Guy with Cloud Envy! (8.3)
I'm just as surprised as the rest of you to see this episode so low on the list. "Zero Motivation: The Guy with Cloud Envy!" focuses on the fight between the lazy genius, Shikamaru and Temari. Shikamaru's usual approach to a fight is to just be relaxed and not exaggerate himself, but this time, he was ready to fight.
Shikamaru refused to lose to a girl, hence he stepped up his game. Shikamaru pretended to be on the back foot for the majority of the fight in order to bait Temari into a trap that he had set up. Obviously, Shikamaru completes his plan and beats Temari, however, he quits at the last second because he used up too much chakra in the fight.
5 Episode 30: The Sharingan Revived: Dragon-Flame Jutsu! (8.4)
For Sasuke Uchiha, the Chunin Exams would change everything. Sasuke's fight versus Shiore saw him ending the battle with his Fire Release technique. Shore was actually Orochimaru in disguise and he bit Sasuke's neck to leave a cursed seal.
Orochimaru begins to retreat but Anko finds him. She makes up her mind that she would end Orochimaru's life. Anko puts her own life at risk, but she fails and Orochimaru escapes.
4 Episode 62: A Failure's True Power. (8.5)
This episode focuses on another great fight in the Chunin Exams, specifically the one between Neji and Naruto. Naruto and Neji were arguing about the match's outcome already being predetermined. Neji landed several hits on Naruto and expected to be announced as the winner.
As his own was sealed, Naruto managed to gain access to the Nine-Tails Chakra. With this to aid him, Naruto gained enough speed and power to give Neji more than just a decent fight. The fight ends with Naruto using his shadow clone technique to trick Neji and land an uppercut.
3 Episode 49: Lee's Hidden Strength: Forbidden Secret Jutsu! (8.6)
When Lee landed the Primary Lotus on Gaara, he thought that the match was over, but Gaara had other ideas. He had managed to survive the attack by using a clone made of sand.
Gaara started his attack on Lee, who was still recovering. Lee ended up opening the Third Gate, which frightened everyone. There is a flashback of Lee before he became a genin. It shows his grit to become one of the best ninjas by only using taijutsu.
2 Episode 50: The Fifth Gate: A Splendid Ninja is Born. (9)
It is fair to say that the Chunin Exams belonged to two people: Rock Lee and Gaara. After Lee took off his weights, Gaara was unable to handle his speed. His sand shield could not keep up. Lee opened the Fifth Gate and used Reverse Lotus as a last resort to end things.
However, Gaara was able to survive the final blow with the help of his sand. Gaara used his sand to cushion his fall and then he proceeded to crush Lee's left arm and leg. Might Guy had to step in and stop Gaara from killing Lee.
1 Episode 48: Gaara vs. Rock Lee: The Power of Youth Explodes! (9)
Finally, we have arrived at the best episode in the Chunin Exams arc. The episode focuses on two of the best talents competing in the Chunin Exams. Rock Lee and Gaara go head-to-head in this episode. Lee tried to fight Gaara using his taijutsu, but Gaara's sand kept getting in the way.
Might Guy finally allowed Lee to remove the weights on his legs and after dropping them, Lee was just electric. Lee was finally able to land hits on Gaara, but Gaara had another shell protecting him. So, Lee opened the first of the Eight Inner Gates and tried to use the Front Lotus on Gaara.