Image Source: アニメ BORUTO-ボルト-【公式】‏ on Twitter

There are a lot of Naruto characters. Like… a whole lot of a lot. Even with its huge episode count, Naruto never got around to showing many of its characters actual personalities besides “ninja girl” or “ninja dude.” Hell, Konoha ninja Tenten didn’t ever even get a last name! But now with the world at peace, we’re given a bit more time to check out what some of the characters with less time in the spotlight are really like.

[Warning: This article contains spoilers for the original Naruto anime and Naruto Shippuden.]

Hanabi Hyuga

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Hanabi, the younger sister of Naruto’s wife Hinata, is one of the minor-est characters in the Naruto universe. Personally, I was drawn to her design when she appeared in a flashback in the very first Naruto anime over ten years ago. However, except for one or two flashbacks and minor actual appearances, Hanabi was never focused on in the anime. It wasn’t until The Last: Naruto the Movie that we actually got to see her interacting with her elder sister—and even then, she was out of commission for the majority of the film.

Though we didn’t get any time to spend with her, our first impression of Hanabi in the original series is that she’s a stoic child with lots of expectations on her shoulders. Stronger than her elder sister Hinata as a child, her father expects her to take over the household instead. The Boruto anime shows that the real Hanabi is not the quiet beauty see first seemed to be. She’s more of an energetic tomboy, talking excitedly and teasing the ones she loves. She especially loves Boruto and Himawari, her nephew and niece, respectively, and showers them with hugs when they come to visit.


Hiashi Hyuga

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We know that the father of Hinata and Hanabi has had a hard life through his few appearances in the anime, so it’s hard to blame Hiashi for being kind of a sourpuss. He pitted his own daughters against each other in order to decide who was more fit to become head of the household—making Hinata feel a lack of confidence in herself for years. Due to tradition, he was forced to put a cursed mark on his brother and his brother’s son’s forehead, giving him full control over them. For years, Hiashi was resented by his brother for this—and yet, in the end, his brother gave his life to save Hiashi’s own.

Boruto Is Basically What Naruto Would’ve Looked Like if the World Had Been at Peace

However, the stoic and stern Hiashi finally lightened up after the weight of the war was lifted from his shoulders and things began to change. Old traditions were left behind, leading to the village of Konoha’s modernization and industrial revolution. Not only is he more light-hearted than he was before, Hiashi turns into a silly, loving grandparent when his grandchildren come around—to a level that even his daughter Hanabi has to tell him to cut it out. I don’t think anyone expected that Hinata’s cold and calm father had it in him to be a sweet grandpa.


Shino Aburame

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Shino showed up more than the Hyuga father-and-daughter pair, but most of the time, he was so quiet that we never got to learn about his ambitions or relationships with others. He would usually just follow around Kiba and make sarcastic quips. This time around, we get to see Shino in a way we never have: as a mentor.

As Boruto’s teacher, we get to see Shino for who he really is. He tries to keep things together, but like instructor Iruka before him, Shino is a bit goofy and clumsy, often unable to keep his students in check. However, when things get rough, he shows how caring and reliable of a person he really is—as shown when he insists on taking his student Sumire back under his tutelage even after she betrays the village.


Mitsuki

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This one might be a bit unexpected, but by the time of Boruto: Naruto the Movie, we were suddenly introduced to this mysterious child when he was already a part of Boruto’s three-man cell. However, besides being combat support for the protagonist, Mitsuki didn’t really get any development.

It’s only in the Boruto anime that Mitsuki gets any solid focus. We learn that despite his calm, knowledgeable personality in the film, Mitsuki in fact knows very little about human emotion due to his “upbringing”—almost like his classmate Inojin’s father Sai when Naruto first met him all the way back in Naruto Shippuden. He moves not through emotion, but logic instead. Mitsuki finds himself interested in Boruto because of his opposite personality, but because of their different views and morals, Mitsuki will sacrifice what is necessary in order to fulfill his duties, while Boruto will do anything he can to protect those around him, even if it seems impossible.

While the Mitsuki we were introduced to in Boruto: Naruto the Movie was just kind of a cool, snarky kid, we can see that he is, in fact, a flawed character that is growing as a person as he spends time with his comrades.


Boruto: Next Generations is currently airing, and is available to watch for free with subtitles on Crunchyroll. The original Naruto and Naruto Shippuden sequel anime are also streaming there.

Comments (4)
  1. Very nice article, but I think you missed one: Sai. He also got a nice amount of screentime, and we saw how he changed since the old days.

    • Hi there,
      Sai unfortunately hasn’t gotten much screentime at the moment, and I consider him a more major character from the past anime with lots and lots of development. While I didn’t include him on this list, if he has more development in Boruto, I’d be willing to write a separate article a later time.

  2. That’s right, and I like that they’ve been doing that and hope that they continue doing so with other characters. However, the funny thing is that this is what the fan base has been complaining about since Naruto ended, and now that we’re finally getting it, they complain about a “lack of action and tension.” The foolishness is astounding.

    • I really enjoy the time spent on the daily lives of the ninjas. The dark stuff was really starting to drag me down, and I like the focus being put on the more minor characters, since those are actually the characters I like the most. Tenten is my favorite!

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