As the anime comes to a close, we take a look back at moments that had even the toughest of nerds caught with moisture in their eyes.
I’m guessing you are familiar with this series, but if you aren’t, then you’ll find Naruto games at Poki, which allow you to get a taste of what these games are like.
Warning! The following contains severe spoilers. Read at your own risk!
Asuma’s death was sad for many reasons. As leader of team 10, spawn of the legendary Ino-Shika-Cho, he was a mentor for many. But it wasn’t necessarily our attachment to Asuma that made his death so heart-breaking, no, this was caused by his student’s reaction, particularly, Shikamaru. As Asuma asked for a smoke (his last words), all we could think about was his star student. This was later made more intense by the revelation that Kurenai was with his child, one that Shikamaru would help Asuma’s girlfriend raise, as Asuma would wish.
This is arguably the saddest moment in the series. Sure, the whole ending to his fight with pain was pretty intense, with Jiraiyas’ determination to not giving up even though he knew his fate. The guilt Pervy Sage felt for Pain’s anger and resentment was enough to keep him going, but his knowledge of Naruto’s will pushed him even further. Although the fight, and Jiraiya’s thoughts of complete failure to both impress Tsunade and stop Orchimaru, as well as raise righteous students, nothing hits us harder than Naruto’s reaction to his sensei’s death. After the Sannin processes all of these disappointments in life, he realizes that he did indeed achieve one thing great…Naruto. Naruto would be his legacy.
The “Child of Prophecy’s” first reaction to this news was anger-ridden depression, but after a short chat with Iruka (another shinobi who formed Naruto) he is determined to carry out the legacy that was Jiraiya’s.
The tap on the forehead is too powerful…make it stop. I have yet to hear of a dry eye during this scene that had built up for years. After six seasons of believing Itachi is filled with nothing but evil intent, we find out that everything he did was for his little brother alone. In the moments of Itachi Uchiha’s death we see flashbacks of memories where we questioned his decisions, and are met with the realization of his pure love for his brother. All of the anger and resentment that Sasuke had carried all these years turns to a jumbled confusion of regret and despair in a single instant. Years after his death, in a reanimation that he was strong enough to temporarily fight, we again see his heart when he saves members of the Leaf as well as tries to convince Sasuke to stop his bitter path, only to tell him that no matter what his decisions, he loved him.
Although he didn’t die that moment as a child, the entire Leaf village believed he did. It’s hard to say whether this death or his real death touches our hearts more. Obito’s past and motives are so complicated, that our perception of them changes every season. His first “death” left Kakashi with a huge change of heart, and if you think about it, you will be overwhelmed by what Kakashi would have become if this hadn’t happened, and I don’t mean solely the Sharingan. Kakashi was a completely different person after this mission that led to his friend’s end. This is amazing in itself, but Obito’s real death is another moment to consider.
Obito and Kakashi, after all this time of fighting with Kakashi constantly trying to convince Obito to let go of the past and join the village again, fight together against Kaguya. For years Obito, often under the name of Tobi, fought as the main antagonist, but during this fight, he sacrifices himself for Kakashi and Naruto to once again join Rin in eternity. His lasts words encourage Naruto to become Hokage, a dream the he himself could not fulfill.
Minato and Kushina Die
This scene is one of the first intense moments of the series. Both of Naruto’s parents sacrifice themselves for Naruto, the village, and the entire world. As Minato begins to fight Kurama, Kushina comes up with a plan to use her lingering powers as Jinchuriki to trap the nine-tails with her in death simply to delay the process of his emerging. The connection you see between these two is nearly unbearable; their love story is one for the books. Minato decides that instead of using Kushina’s remaining chakra to hold the nine-tails, it should be sealed inside of their son, and that Minato would use a jutsu that results in death for the caster to seal Kurama. The two argue over the choices they are forced to make, and over Naruto’s future, but in the end, Minato won his first argument with his wife…
Neji’s death is unexpected, as he sacrifices himself for Hinata, who is attempting to sacrifice herself for Naruto. These two people alone showed Neji the love, compassion, forgiveness and trust of a shinobi, as well as a friend. He dies at the hands of the Ten-Tails. Many say that Neji’s death is irrelevant, but in fact, it is crucial. The elite Hyuga’s death symbolizes the changes Naruto has made in so many people. If we look back at the arrogant and bitter season one Neji, the difference is outstanding. He had become a ninja of selflessness and unadulterated power. On a side note, in his dying moments, Neji also pointed out Hinata’s love and encourages Naruto to protect the purity of it.
Gaara Realizes the Truth
His entire life, Gaara believed that his mother hated him, and that he was a symbol of her hatred. He was told that her motto was to love only yourself, and forget everyone else. This false knowledge caused him much pain and led him on a dangerous path. It wasn’t until a fight with the reanimated fourth Kazekage, that he finds out that his mother loved him more than anything in the world, and that his mother’s chakra was somehow infused with Shukaka. This is the reason why the sand has instinctively protected him from danger his entire life. What Gaara once saw as a curse, is revealed as an act of love.
Naruto Meets Parents/Message From Parents
Naruto meets his parents separately, and he learns so much from both of them. Not only is Naruto allowed to release his aggressions towards his father for sealing the Nine-tails inside of him, but he also learns of “Tobi’s” intentions. Minato tell Naruto that there is a war between love and hate, and encourages his son to let the right side win. His meeting with his father is insightful, but it is the conversation with his mother that has us in tears. There was so much that she wished to tell him before she died, and thanks to Minato’s jutsu, she gets a chance to do that years later. This meeting is so endearing, funny, sad, and amazing. We also really get to see how much Naruto resembles his mom in speech and personality as she tells him that it is possible to be happy as a Jinchuriki.
We have always known of Hinata’s love for Naruto, but Naruto hasn’t. He learns this during Pain’s attack on the village. As Naruto is lying helpless on the ground, Hinata stands up for him (I see this as a symbol of all the times this shy girl wanted to do this in the past as Naruto was harassed and rejected). This moment shows how much Hinata has matured over the years. Her childhood crush has turned into one of true love. Hinata knows she has no chance against Pain, but if she can even buy once second of time for Naruto, she will do it in a heartbeat. Little does she know it is her sacrifice, her confession (and breaking of the stakes holding him down) that gives Naruto the strength to push forward.
Sakura keeps Naruto alive
Sakura has never loved Naruto in the way that he wished, but as she holds his heart in her hand (literally) we see that there is more than one type of love. She uses everything she has to keep Naruto alive. With tears and determination, Sakura achieves her purpose through intense ninja-style CPR as she uses medical ninjutsu to grab his heart and force it to beat. She knows she never treated Naruto well, and in his moments so near death she makes it her sole purpose to let Naruto live to achieve his dream.
Guy’s Childhood and Opening of the Eighth Gate
No one has more resolve than Might Guy. We have always wondered how this “average” man can continue on as he does and attempt to keep up with Kakashi. During the latest Great War, we get a chance to meet Guy’s dad, Might Duy, who is much like his son. In this flashback we see how Guy (an underdog) challenges himself to run 500 laps around the school. After failing to do so, he vows to face another challenge. Over and over again, he picks himself up in hopes of overcoming his own obstacles. This raw grit gives us an insight on never giving up and a new perspective on pushing yourself as Guy uses solely his chin to propel himself forward. Even after all this training, he manages to get beat up by a group of bullies, only to be saved by Kakashi. This moment is the base for all those small competitions the two will have over the years.
In the present, Guy is in the process of opening the final and very fatal eighth gate. This feat is amazing in itself, but Guy takes it another step forward by putting his own spin on it…Night Guy. Madara (who has fought the most powerful shinobi in the universe) even gives him the title of the best taijustu user he has ever encountered. In fact, Night Guy comes very close to finishing off Sage of the Six Paths Madara.
The Unison Sign
Following the war, as a closing to the long time battle between Naruto and Sasuke, the two have their last physical fight. As they are both on the brink of death, they travel together through their mutual memories. When they wake up, they face the fact that perhaps, as the reincarnation of Indra and Ashura, they are bound by blood, as brothers. In their dying moments, Sasuke asks Naruto what it meant to be a friend. Naruto tells him that all of the bitterness Sasuke has held hurts him greatly, that he feels what Sasuke has felt all these years. Sasuke realizes everything Naruto did for him, and finally sees the true meaning of friendship. After passing out, they wake up again at dawn and Naruto asks to continue their fight, Sasuke laughs and forfeits. He says that if he dies then the path of revenge he carries will finally end, and that Naruto should transfer the Rinnegan to another vessel so they can end the Tsukuyomi. Naruto refuses, saying Sasuke owes it to him to help him clean up this mess. Of course, Sasuke doesn’t believe anyone can accept him again, but Naruto assure him that through their friendship, anything is possible.
Naruto is one of the most emotionally packed anime out there, so making this list was no easy task. Honorable mentions include Shikaku and Inoicihi’s deaths as well as Guy’s vow to Lee after his injury during the Chunin exams. So, I could write an article on tear-jerking moments for each season of Naruto and Shippuden alike and there are surely many more, but I hope this short list could provide you with a little sentimentality as you relive some of our most treasured moments.