Naruto remains a beloved anime and manga, which has now grown into the tale of Boruto, Naruto's son. Before becoming a father though, Naruto's history ran deep from being a shunned child to growing into the best warrior in the world. The mythos focused on the ninja philosophies that came before as well, which dealt with the alien Kaguya showing her sons, Hagoromo and Hamura, how to spread ideals of being a shinobi. This led to various ninja villages developing, including Naruto's home of Konoha, which further spiralled into tales of war and politics as various factions tried to assert dominance and take control of the world.
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Several threads were interwoven in the story, especially when the kids grew into teenage ninjas in Naruto: Shippuden, which saw love and loss factor in more. Naruto found that allies, betrayal and enemies were at every corner, which was also connected to his close friend, Sasuke, and the fallen Uchiha clan. Fans were treated to a lot of drama by writer Masashi Kishimoto, but despite all of these awesome points, the road to the Great Ninja War and Kaguya's revival was filled with a lot of noticeable plot holes. CBR decided to look at the 15 biggest ones!
SPOILER WARNING: Major spoilers ahead for the Naruto anime and manga series
15 HAGOROMO'S PARENTING
Hagoromo had two sons, Ashura (who was about peace) and Indra (who was corrupted into hatred) and when these expert shinobi died, their souls passed down into reincarnated forms. Hashirama of the Senju Clan and Madara of the Uchiha Clan were the first vessels respectively and they went to war, which led to Konoha being formed. When their time ended, Naruto and Sasuke were the next reincarnated forms.
However, when Hagoromo's mother, Kaguya, came back to wreak havoc on mankind, Naruto and Sasuke put aside their differences to stop her. Hagoromo appeared to them, revealed their history and then powered them up to take the villain on. They barely defeated her, which begs the question -- why didn't he do this for Hashirama and Madara? Helping end their feud earlier would have brought peace, unity and prevented centuries of war. Kishimoto never explained why the ancestors were ignored.
14 ITACHI THE PROTECTOR
Uchiha Itachi remains a fan favorite ninja to this very day and one who people think is unbeatable. He's so tactically sound that people have even called him the Batman of the franchise as he's always planning 10 steps ahead. One of the most outlandish and flawed arcs though is his plan for his village's safety. Itachi slaughtered his clan to keep peace in Konoha and then left to join the Akatsuki.
As part of the terrorist organization he was supposed to keep tabs on them for the Third Hokage (leader of Konoha) but he didn't do a great job. Konoha was attacked by the Akatsuki with several lives lost, Naruto and the ninjas who stored the Tailed Beasts came under threat, and also Orochimaru (an ex-Akatsuki member) plundered the village too. Kishimoto seemed to forget Itachi existed and wrote his backstory in reverse. He didn't really protect Konoha!
13 NARUTO'S LINEAGE
As Naruto grew up, he was shunned and many folks treated him as the village outcast. It was revealed later on that he stored the Nine Tails inside him and he was actually the son of the Fourth Hokage, Minato. Now this is a problem because prior to this, he roamed around the village and it was expected that no one would mention this to him? Everyone was hiding their kids and talking trash about him so the fact this power and his lineage was kept secret was ludicrous.
Too many people knew and it felt like a Hail Mary plot line just to keep viewers in suspense for the big reveal on his parents. The entire village knew his mother, Kushina, once held the beast (which Uchiha Obito actually coaxed into razing Konoha), and it was clear who his father was. Unless villagers are easily bribed into silence...
12 THE AKATSUKI'S PURPOSE
We're still trying to figure out to this very day why Kishimoto had them involved. It became quite clear that he needed cool-looking villains to extend the plot because they didn't do anything that Obito couldn't do. All they did was provide a plethora of fights for the different villages. Obito even admitted himself that he could have captured the Tailed Beasts on his own.
Under Madara's tutelage, he could teleport, manipulate space and time, and basically, he had the Sharingan (ocular powers) that could extract the Beasts. So again, why did they need the Akatsuki, which was basically a team of disgraced and mercenary ninjas for hire? Kishimoto touted them as villains who would play a major role but they either died or underwent redemption. Obito didn't use them in his end-game so it shows how flawed Kishimoto wrote them in.
11 YAMATO'S PRESENCE
It was revealed that Yamato, who joined Konoha's military, was a genetic experiment that could be seen as a partial clone of Hashirama. He would partner Kakashi in their youth as both had tragic and loveless upbringings. What made Yamato special was that as his clone, he was blessed with Hashirama's ability to manipulate wood, which could control the Nine Tails in Naruto.
Kishimoto showed that Yamato was just an add-on because apart from arriving late in the series, no mention was made of Yamato early on when Naruto underwent his training. With Kakashi's Sharingan (also able to help quell the Beast) and Yamato's skill, Naruto could have controlled his power early on. Kishimoto clearly realized this later and tried to write Yamato in as a by-the-way teacher. If he existed all this time, why not use Yamato from the onset?
10 NAGATO'S RINNEGAN
Madara, just before he died, unlocked the most powerful ocular abilities in a ninja, and that was the Rinnegan. These purple eyes could even bring back the dead. However, as he was dying, he had the eyes implanted into Nagato so that he would reclaim them when he came back from the dead with Obito's help. This was a major risk and another big plot hole from Kishimoto.
What was to stop Nagato from being killed, losing the eyes or defeating Obito? Sure, Obito had him join the Akatsuki later on but that took a lot of planning and killing to turn Nagato bitter. Heck, it was even riskier because one of Konoha's heroes, Jiraiya, actually helped train Nagato and his friends. A lot of things had to fall in place conveniently for Madara's scheme to work out and it felt like clunky writing.
9 OBITO'S RETURN
Uchiha Obito trained with Kakashi and Rin under the eye of Minato and he was a very aspirational ninja, much like Naruto. However, he was very hot-headed as he wanted to win Rin's heart and show up the skilled Kakashi. This led to him becoming a better and braver shinobi but it also cost him his life on a mission.
They were outnumbered in battle and Obito died with a rock crushing him. Now, Kishimoto needed shock factor and an Uchiha villain so he brought Obito back later on as Tobi, the masked mastermind behind the Akatsuki. He was dead though and Kishimoto retconned things to have Madara heal him. How can you heal a dead guy? It was a resurrection and the writer never really explained it. He just threw the revived ninja at us and made him evil.
8 ITACHI'S PLAN FOR SASUKE
Itachi killed all the Uchihas but left Sasuke alive. He wanted Sasuke to grow up with hatred and become the ultimate ninja, ready to protect Konoha. Wait... what? How would that lead him to the light? In fact, when they met each other again, Itachi made him feel inferior and whipped him into more hatred. This caused Sasuke to join the Akatsuki and want to kill Konoha on his own.
What a backfired plan, right? If anything, this made Sasuke a villain. We're not sure what was going through Itachi or Kishimoto's mind but it wasn't good writing. This shows Itachi was written in and fleshed out way later down the line because nothing he did made Sasuke want to be a hero to anyone! Fighting Sasuke and then transferring his powers to the boy was even more ridiculous because it didn't put him on the heroic path as planned.
7 NARUTO, THE HEALER
After Hagoromo powered up Naruto and Sasuke to fight Kaguya, it also took Obito, Kakashi and Sakura to help out. Of course, just before this, Madara took Kakashi's Sharingan to amp his power up as well. Naruto would then magically heal Kakashi's eye in one of the biggest WTF moments in the franchise. Kishimoto didn't even explain this properly because it seemed he gave Naruto the power of... Jesus?
Naruto brushed it off and said that he could heal small injuries; so if that was the case, why would he need Sakura's medical abilities? This was a deus ex machina moment that left us wondering the extent to which Naruto could stretch this power. Sadly, it was a cheap, one-off moment because he couldn't restore Might Guy's legs or the arms he and Sasuke lost in the series' climactic war.
6 ITACHI'S CROW
When Itachi first fought Naruto, he implanted a crow in the youngster which was a failsafe device if Sasuke came to attack Konoha. Clearly, he realized his brother might have been a villain after all. This crow, once spotting Sasuke's Mangekyo Sharingan (an ocular super-ability) would have then emerged and mentally commanded Sasuke to protect his home, not destroy it.
However, Itachi died and was resurrected by Kabuto in the Great Ninja War. When he met Naruto again and was about to attack with his Mangekyo Sharingan, the crow activated and stopped Itachi. This showed a major plot hole in that Naruto could not be guaranteed to ever come face to face with Sasuke. What if Naruto died? Or met someone else with the powered-up eyes? Sasuke would then destroy Konoha easily as Naruto's crow would be used up. It was a stupid gamble by Itachi.
5 KAGUYA'S RETURN
Kaguya was stopped by her sons, Hagoromo and Hamura, but she left her evil will in the form of Black Zetsu. This creature would then manipulate Indra, Madara and Obito into one big convoluted plan to bring her back. It was so complex and relied on several dominoes falling into place, calling it lucky would be an understatement. How could Kishimoto guarantee all the cogs like Madara and Obito would be resurrected?
After all, without them, Kaguya could not come back to life. This was so far-fetched, it even took Kabuto and the Akatsuki all lucking into their roles so that the Tailed Beasts could be captured. Zetsu had to use Obito to power back up Madara, and then Zetsu had to destroy Madara to bring the evil goddess back. It seemed Kishimoto was once more trying hard to retcon a future for a newly-discovered villain.
4 THE UCHIHA GENOCIDE
When Itachi decided to take out the Uchiha Clan, Danzo (a militant who wanted to rule Konoha) helped manipulate the situation using Sasuke as a bargaining chip. However, Obito (under the guise of Madara) emerged to help Itachi. This was a major plot hole because if it was Madara (as Itachi suspected it might have been a fake) or even a disciple, clearly this was a fanatic who hated Konoha and would end up trying to destroy it later on. Madara hated those who hated the Uchiha so it wasn't rocket science!
It made no sense why Itachi would align with this individual or why he wouldn't try to stop him. He even stopped tracking Obito's actions in the Akatsuki and let him run wild. Also, Itachi allowed Danzo to go about his traitorous ways which makes us wonder how could he ally with such deviants?
3 NARUTO, THE LONER
It was clear that Naruto was a loner with the Third Hokage and Iruka (his teacher) looking out for him, but before Kakashi took him to train, there were so many times the kid could have been abducted by his lonesome. He was basically harboring a weapon of mass destruction inside him so why let Naruto be kept to the fringes of society? If the Akatsuki or Obito struck earlier, they would have just been able to lure him away with Ramen soup!
Kishimoto messed up here because later on we would understand the power of the Tailed Beasts and on looking back, it was sloppy to see Naruto wandering about as a kid. It underplayed the demon fox inside him known as Kurama. Kishimoto didn't treat the Beast like anything serious so to see him escalate its importance later on showed he had to pad up his original material.
2 OBITO & MADARA'S PACT
Madara, before dying, entrusted Obito to masquerade as him and then to bring him back to life so that they could put the Infinite Tskyuomi into play. This was a trance involving the power of the moon to enslave mankind into their dreams. But how could he be sure Obito would fulfill this plan? If Obito got killed, then he wouldn't be able to come back.
This was another massive plot hole in that Zetsu played Madara, but they both left Obito to his own devices and assumed he'd get the job done? It wasn't risky, it was stupid. It was clear that Kishimoto didn't know who was the main villain of his story, which was further complicated by Kaguya being Zetsu's master. The writer just wanted to use Obito for shock value and tried too hard to make Madara a super-mastermind when all he was was hopeful and lucky.
1 MADARA'S RESURRECTION
Shockingly this wasn't down to Obito. Even he was stunned when Madara returned, making us question if he really was going to carry out the plan. It turned out to be Kabuto, a mad scientist, who wanted to fiddle around with bringing back the best ninjas of the past and using them to take on Naruto and his fellow heroes in the Great Ninja War. Now, as far as a plot hole goes, Kishimoto did everything to set things up for Obito to take charge, only for Kabuto to steal his thunder.
What makes this so unbelievable is that Obito apparently didn't have Madara's real body, which emphasizes how lost Kishimoto was when it came to writing the partnership with Obito and Madara. Apparently, Kabuto had found it which means that with Madara's body lost in the wilderness, how was Obito's scheme ever to come to fruition?
Let us know in the comments which were the biggest plot holes you found in Naruto!