10 Naruto Characters Who Never Got A Proper Ending
Naruto anime characters like Baki, Dosu, and Kiba simply faded away because their character arcs didn’t have a solid, meaningful conclusion.
The Naruto anime features a truly massive cast of colorful characters, and there is limited screen time for all these characters. That means some Naruto characters will get fully fleshed-out, satisfying character arcs, like Naruto Uzumaki and Sasuke Uchiha, while others will not. Some characters felt unfinished, even after hundreds of Naruto episodes—and that includes their endings, too.
Even a simple and straightforward character arc can have a solid and memorable ending if an anime’s script allows it, such as a heroic sacrifice. Some minor Naruto characters did just that, such as the villain Haku, but other characters didn’t even get that much. Unfortunately for their fans, these Naruto characters simply faded away as the original story wrapped up, and their arcs ended without any serious impact or memorable moments.
The villainous Sasori was the first member of the dreaded Akatsuki organization to die on-screen. His death did have some themes to it, such as Sasori’s sinister, deathly puppets losing to Chiyo’s use of Sakura Haruno as a living puppet. Aside from that, Sasori’s death felt like the story tying up a loose end.
The ending of Sasori’s character arc was unsatisfying for a few reasons. For one thing, it felt too convenient that he gave Sakura and Chiyo that vital intel as a “reward” for defeating him, and it felt forced. Also, Sasori’s flashbacks were minimal, so there was no emotional impact to his death, though there could have been.
9 Dosu Kinuta
Even minor villains like the Sound Genin can potentially get a satisfying and proper ending in the story if the author makes time for it. In the Naruto anime, though, that wasn’t the case for supporting antagonists like Dosu Kinuta and his teammates, which is a shame. They didn’t get a proper ending, to the point Dosu’s death was entirely off-screen.
Dosu and his teammate Kin Tsuchi were both sacrificed off-screen to fuel Orochimaru’s Edo Tensei. That may be a typical Orochimaru move, but it still felt like an improper ending for Dosu Kinuta. He was the most interesting Sound Genin, and fans ought to have heard his last words as he died for his Sannin master.
Tenten was introduced as a member of Team Guy early in the Naruto anime, but the story never did much with her. Like many supporting Naruto characters, Tenten was seemingly added just to show off a wide variety of fighting styles and jutsu, and not much else. She never won any serious fights, either.
Tenten’s character arc was minimal, and she had few goals or dreams aside from training with advanced ninja weapons. That meant the anime didn’t have much material to work with to give Tenten a proper ending to her arc. Instead, she just faded away due to being irrelevant, and she wasn’t the only character to do that, either.
7 Kiba Inuzuka
Kiba Inuzuka is a member of the Konoha 11 who, like several others, was just there to round out the cast and show off some ninjutsu. Kiba was clearly never meant to have a serious impact on the story, given his simple jutsu and his generic character arc. He dreamed of being Hokage, but that doesn’t mean much when Naruto Uzumaki is around.
Kiba’s character arc dropped off sooner than almost anyone else’s in Naruto. He simply had nothing noteworthy to say or do, so he remained a background character the entire time. Aside from his amusing Infinite Tsukuyomi dream of being a dog-loving Hokage, Kiba didn’t get a worthwhile ending.
6 Kurenai Yuhi
Kurenai Yuhi is the jonin leader of Team 8, making her Kakashi’s and Asuma’s counterpart. Kurenai briefly shone a few times in battle with advanced genjutsu, but she never got very far with it, especially not against Itachi Uchiha. Kurenai didn’t have much else to say or do, and her arc felt aimless.
All that ensured that Kurenai didn’t get a proper ending as a Naruto character. It’s true she later became a doting single mother to Mirai Sarutobi in Boruto, but that still feels underwhelming. Kurenai could have pushed herself to become a greater genjutsu master, but instead, she simply faded away.
5 Hayate Gekko
Hayate Gekko was introduced in the chunin exam story arc as a proctor. He oversaw the tournament-style duels in the central tower during that time, and later, Hayate decided to investigate the Sand ninjas in the Hidden Leaf Village. Hayate confronted Baki, only to swiftly lose his life to Baki’s wind-release jutsu.
Hayate’s abrupt ending was tragic and helped emphasize the danger of the Sand and Sound ninjas, but that’s all. Hayate’s short arc left fans wanting revenge against Baki, but it never happened. Hayate also left behind a girlfriend, Yugao, and nothing came of that, either.
Konan was introduced as a quiet, reserved member of the Akatsuki organization and the partner of Pain, or Yahiko. Konan fought in a few battles, but otherwise, she had little impact on Naruto‘s story. She also got some substantial flashbacks with Yahiko and Nagato, but Konan’s arc couldn’t stick the landing.
Konan made peace with Naruto Uzumaki, then took on Obito Uchiha and lost. It was commendable for Konan to turn on her boss and risk it all to fight him, but her death felt predictable and just tying up a loose end. Konan could have been so much more than a sacrifice to show how powerful Obito/Tobi is.
The Sand ninja Baki played a minor role in the chunin exam story arc as an antagonist. He supported Orochimaru’s plan to crush the Hidden Leaf Village, and when Hayate Gekko caught him, Baki responded with lethal force. Baki killed Hayate with his jutsu, then coldly moved on.
Baki’s minor character arc largely ended on that note. He didn’t say or do much after that, and worst of all, his killing of Hayate was never brought up again. He did not show any remorse, nor did Yugao ever get revenge on Baki or even try. It doesn’t feel right to Naruto fans that Hayate’s killer got off so easy.
2 Rock Lee
Rock Lee was introduced in the chunin exam arc as a parallel to Naruto Uzumaki, which made him compelling at the time. Like Naruto, Rock Lee started with nothing and clawed his way to greatness—without the benefit of ninjutsu. Rock Lee proved himself an incredible taijutsu specialist, only to quickly fall from grace.
After Rock Lee’s fight with Kimimaro, Rock Lee had little to say or do, and he had no specific endgame goals to reach for, either. His character went in circles, meaning there was no way to give him a proper ending. Rock Lee faded away, ending his arc without any memorable twists or themes.
1 Shino Aburame
Shino Aburame was one of several Konoha 11 characters who was introduced just so he could add a little more depth to Naruto‘s combat system. In that regard, Shino succeeded, but it didn’t make for a good character arc. His “cool and silent” personality and beetle jutsu soon lost their appeal, and he had nothing left.
Shino didn’t get a proper ending in Naruto‘s story because he never set himself up for one. Shino had no worthwhile goals or dreams in mind, so he was doomed to just fade into the background. He did become an academy instructor in Boruto, but that wasn’t much comfort to Naruto fans when they finished the original anime before Boruto ever aired.