Naruto, a name that’ll instantly fill the hearts and minds of millions of Otakus worldwide. It’s an Anime about a young orphaned boy who has an evil demon Fox spirit sealed inside of him which makes him an outcast in society. The village hates Naruto, his classmates don’t consider him much and he’s lousy when it comes to being a ninja. But Naruto has one dream, to lead his village in the future. To become Hokage.
The beauty of this show is how emotionally driven it is. It’s about how much you feel for the characters, about how much you can relate to them. Fans can’t help but even agree with the villains in Naruto and that just goes to show how legendary the Anime is. Well, without further ado, let’s dive into the top ten Naruto arcs ranked:
10. Becoming Chūnin
After showing off their superior skill and efficiency as Genin working alongside their Jonin instructor Kakashi Hatake, Team 7 heads off to the Chūnin exams to finally get promoted, gaining themselves one rank higher in the hierarchy of the shinobi world. This arc is breath-taking for several reasons. First of all, we are introduced to the trio from the Village Hidden in the Sand (Sunagakure); Kankuro, Temari, and Gaara. These three characters become very important to the Naruto-verse as a whole with Gaara eventually becoming the Kazekage even after suffering so much for being a Jinchuriki.
Naruto himself shows his unbelievable potential during this arc, fighting off someone as skilled as Neji Hyuga as well as surviving Orochimaru in the forest of death protecting his teammates. This arc is great when it comes to the raw fight scenes and willpower every character shows trying to achieve the rank of a Chunin. It also laid an important foundation as we see Sasuke get the curse mark which would, later on, lead the anime in a completely new direction. Little did the world know that the Naruto everyone underestimated would one day, become the 7th Hokage.
9. Fighting Zabuza and Haku
No top ten Naruto arcs list can be complete without including this arc. Zabuza Momochi and Haku of the Ice Style truly were some of the best villains Team 7 ever faced. A Genin is not supposed to get higher ranked missions, but when Naruto insisted on having a more exciting assignment the Hokage gave in to his request and assigned the newly formed Team 7 a C-rank mission. However, escorting Tazuna, the bridge builder to the Land of Waves turned out to be far more dangerous than any C-rank mission. Facing Zabuza, the Demon of the hidden mist alone was the greatest challenge Naruto and his teammates had ever faced. This arc is beautiful because it shows the emotional depths the anime can achieve, like come on, there are only a few shows which can achieve sympathy for the villains as well as Naruto. Adding to that, this arc shows us Kakashi Hatake’s hidden Sharingan in action giving us the measure of the copy ninja’s strength and abilities. And the overwhelmingly emotional ending of the encounter is just a cherry on top. Many would claim that this arc was the one that really got them invested in Naruto.
8. Tsunade—The New Hokage
An extremely important arc where we are introduced to very important new characters. Itachi Uchiha returns to the Village Hidden in the Leaves along with his partner Kisame Hoshigake, both are members of the infamous organization the Akatsuki. This arc is where the massive cycle of the Akatsuki’s plan starts coming into play as we see Itachi and Kisame trying to get a hold of Naruto to obtain the Nine-Tailed Fox inside him. Meanwhile, this arc also introduces us to Tsunade Senju, one of the three legendary Sanin. Tsunade is an extremely powerful medical ninja who also wields monstrous strength. After having lost their Third Hokage, Jiraiya and Naruto try to convince Tsunade to come back to the village and take over the vacant position.
It is a great arc because it shows us just how determined Naruto is to obtain Tsunade’s acknowledgment and become Hokage one day. Going as far as standing in Kabuto’s way as he uses a Kunai to stab him and protecting Tsunade in the process.
7. Against Hidan and Kakuzu
Standing at number 7 in the list is this epic arc from Naruto Shippuden. What’s great about this arc is that it focuses widely on Team 10 instead of Team 7 or Naruto in general. We are introduced to two new Akatsuki members Hidan and Kakuzu, both of whom seem to be more or less immortal. The first question that comes to mind is, how do you kill someone who’s immortal? Is there any way to defeat them? This is where the impossible struggle faced by Team 10 comes to light. Shikamaru eventually figures out how to defeat Hidan but at the cost of losing his sensei. We witness the unshakable resolve and the Will of Fire in team 10’s eyes and spirits as their sensei leaves the village’s future in their hands. The Ino-Shika-Cho formation hence takes root and becomes stronger with every growing day. On the bonus side, we also see Naruto use his new Jutsu and defeat Kakuzu while Shikamaru defeats Hidan in the most epic way possible.
6. Itachi Vs Sasuke
How can anyone miss this smile on Itachi’s face as he dies out after battling Sasuke?
It’s a magnificent arc, simply because it starts finally releasing so much pent-up frustration and suspense. We see Itachi and Sasuke go head to head, the flames, the lightning, and Itachi’s Susanoo. All so he can remove the last few traces of Orochimaru from his little brother. Never did we know that the Itachi hated by everyone would turn out to be one of the most loved characters from the show in the blink of an eye. We see Sasuke try his best to keep up with his brother and all the abilities of Itachi’s Mangekyou Sharingan are also revealed. Everything stands still as the Uchiha brothers fight it out, and even though Sasuke wins, he is not the victor of the battle. It is Itachi, a true hero, and a true legend.
5. The Five Kage Come Together
After joining forces with the Akatsuki, Sasuke and his team assault the Hidden Cloud Village and try to abduct their Jinchuriki—Killer B. This makes the Raikage jump to action calling forth a five Kage summit. This arc starts with a bang and ends with a bang without missing a beat. We see the epic confrontation between Sasuke and Killer B. Moreover, we get to see all the five Kage coming into close contact with one another. This arc gives us a glimpse of the powers and personalities of every one of the Kages making it even more interesting. And at the end, we see Sasuke trying to kill off Danzo after which Madara declares the Fourth Great Ninja war driving the story forwards into its final important arcs.
4. Jiraiya Vs Pain
Getting closer to our number 1, the emotional value of every entry is only going to increase. And what better arc to talk about than this one when talking about emotional value? The Tale of Jiraiya the Gallant shows us the fan-favorite Sanin in action. The sage mode fights, the quick on the go thinking and the secret of pain being etched on a toad’s back. Everything about this arc makes you dive deeper into the psyche of Jiraiya and his former student(s) Pain. The fight ends with Jiraiya being outnumbered and eventually killed. We see Jiraiya’s phantom hand reach out to Naruto’s shoulder as he makes his way towards Sasuke, and every eye weeps as we realize that our favorite Sanin will never be seen again.
3. The Real Madara Uchiha
All the important forces start coming into play as this arc leads us through the ups and downs of impossible powers. Whether it’s about the real Madara Uchiha coming out into the real world or about the ten tails and Obito driving Naruto, Kakashi, and the rest of the allied shinobi forces to the brink of death. Every possibility of success seems bleak. How does one battle someone with the powers of the Ten-Tails? How does one battle an immortal Madara Uchiha? The five Kage finally join the battle themselves to ward off Madara but even their greatest strengths combined are no match. We see Kabuto achieve a terrifying sage mode and Sasuke and Itachi fight him off and we see the previous Hokage being resurrected by Orochimaru who is once again, alive. All in all, this arc brings God-level Anime fights to Naruto. And we get to see Naruto and Minato in action together which is a delightful heart satiating watch in general. Doubtlessly worthy of the 3rd spot.
2. Ten-Tails’ Jinchūriki Fight
The battle comes down to Obito becoming the Ten-Tails Jinchūriki and Madara trying to revive himself in the flesh. We see Naruto and Minato don Kurama’s chakra cloak as well as Naruto going into full Kurama mode with Sasuke’s Susanoo covering him as a shield. This arc has some of the greatest action in any anime. The epic level power showdowns, the combination attacks, and the surprises along the way make everything more gripping with stakes higher than the sky itself. We see Madara revive himself in the flesh and becoming the Ten-Tails Jinchūriki and Might Guy unlocking the final gate of Death and becoming the Crimson Beast nearly defeating an overpowered Madara. Everything about this arc screams epic. Nothing will hype one more than these episodes where the fight takes itself to godly levels.
1. Pain Invades Konoha
And after a lot of consideration, for number one, our pick is the Pain Invasion arc. The sheer emotional strength of this arc along with the unparalleled fight scenes makes it truly worthy of the number one spot. We see Pain attack Konoha unafraid after killing off Jiraiya, arguably one of the greatest Ninjas alive. Naruto quickly achieves Sage mode after training with all his strength alongside Lord Fukasaku. We see Hinata finally confront Naruto about her feelings for him as well as Naruto going losing control after seeing Hinata tossed about like a ragdoll by Pain, the same person who also killed his master. Ideologies clash as we see Pain trying to end an accursed world where he believes peace cannot exist and Naruto trying to convince him otherwise with the ideologies entrusted to him by Jiraiya. We also see Naruto meet his father the Fourth Hokage Minato Namikaze for the first time giving it all the emotional boost it needed.
And so, the list is complete. Do you agree with this selection of arcs? Do you think we left something out? Leave your ideas in the comments. Thank you for reading!