Naruto is considered one of the most popular anime and manga series in the world. We all have a special memory attached to the series. Released in the year 2002, the anime series continued till 2017 and became the most popular in the world.
The series is versatile, to say the least, with its variety of characters, clans of shinobi, plots twists, backstories, tragedies, and so on. The series introduced us to many legendary shinobi and their Jutsu. As an action anime, there were bound to be several fights in the series.
As such, several deaths were also a part of the series as well. Although they were heart-wrenching, they were necessary for the plot development. Here are the top 10 saddest Naruto deaths that broke the fans' hearts.
1. Haku and Zabuza
Haku and Zabuza were the very first villains that Naruto and his team came across during their initial missions as newly graduated Genins.
Zabuza was an S-rank rogue ninja from the Hidden Mist Village and one of the Seven Ninja Swordsmen. Meanwhile, Haku was an orphan from the Land of Water and a descendant of the Yuki clan.
Zabuza took Haku under his wing and made him his partner as a Mercenary Ninja. Team 7 was against the two of them in a serious battle. It ended with Kakashi accidentally killing Haku while the former was aiming for Zabuza.
Seeing Haku selflessly sacrifice himself to protect Zabuza, the latter realized how important Haku was to him. In the end, Zabuza couldn't bear the pain of losing Haku and ended up picking a fight with the villagers who were disrespecting Haku's remains.
Zabuza knew he'd end up dying if he did but that's what he was aiming for. He realized that Haku had been with every step of the way so the least he could do was be with him in the end.
As he dragged his fatally wounded body towards Haku, he wished to be in a place where the latter went. Sadly, Zabuza knew he had done enough wrong deeds and that would probably be impossible.
2. Hiruzen Sarutobi
Hiruzen, the Third Hokage, was an important character in the first Naruto franchise. He had been reinstated to the post of the Hokage after the death of the Fourth Hokage.
Hiruzen had been the Hokage for the most amount of time. As such, he was loved and admired by everyone in the village.
However, before he was a Hokage, he was the team leader of Tsunade, Jiraya, and Orochimaru. The four went on missions and were close comrades, much like Kakashi's Team 7.
During the Chunin Exams that took place in the first Naruto franchise, Orochimaru attacked the village with all his might. He put a curse mark on Sasuke, killed the Fourth Kazekage, and used the Sand Village for his plot.
As Hiruzen was fighting against Orochimaru, he realized the latter had become far more powerful than he could comprehend. It was up to the point when Hiruzen realized that Orochimaru couldn't even be considered human anymore.
So, trapped with no way out, Hiruzen cast the Death Reaper Seal Jutsu, a forbidden Jutsu that claims the user's life. Unfortunately, he couldn't trap Orochimaru's soul, but only his arms.
Even though Hiruzen could only seal Orochimaru's arms, the latter's powers had diminished tremendously. As Hiruzen was taking his final breath, he saw Orochimaru in front of him and couldn't help but compare him to the child he had gone on missions with.
3. Itachi Uchiha
Itachi was portrayed as a villain since the start of the series. All Sasuke ever wanted in his life was to kill Itachi and avenge his entire clan that was single-handedly wiped out by the latter.
And Sasuke did achieve his goal. In a gruesome battle between the brothers, Itachi took his last breath. As he was progressing towards his little brother, it seemed that he was trying to take Sasuke's eyes even until his last breath.
However, when Itachi did reach Sasuke, he flicked his forehead as he used to when the latter was a kid. Itachi also whispered something to Sasuke and drew his final breath.
It all seemed to end there until Obito Uchiha revealed the truth about Itachi. He told Sasuke everything about Itachi and the reasons for his actions. After Sasuke found out the truth about his clan's massacre and Danzo's plot, he was heartbroken.
Sasuke remembered a distant memory of Itachi crying on the night of the massacre. He had thought it was a distorted memory until he knew the truth.
He also remembered his brother's last words, asking for his forgiveness, and that this is the end for him. All these things combined were pretty agonizing for the fans.
Jiraiya was more than just a mentor to Naruto. He was his friend, father figure, as well as family. So one could imagine what effect would his death had been on Naruto.
As one of the legendary Sanin, Jiraiya was one of the strongest shinobi in the village. However, he hardly ever stayed there. Instead, Jiraiya was more interested in writing his books and wandering around to find more information about the Akatsuki.
In Naruto Shippuden, he got a lead about the leader of the Akatuski, who goes by the name of Pain. Pain was living in the Hidden Rain Village where Jiraiya spend a few years during war times.
As he came across Pain, he realized that there were six people going by the same name and using the legendary power called Rinnegan. It got even worse when he realized that one of the Pains was a war orphan, Yahiko whom he raised along with two other kids.
Amid their battle, Jiraiya realized that Yahiko had died a long time ago and he was close to figuring out the rest of the truth. He had to send this information to the village but he was already running out of time.
As he had a choice to either run away or unveil the trick behind Six Pains, he chose the latter. In his final moments, Jiraiya sent an encrypted message through one of his summoning frogs. Just after that, the Pains impaled him and killed him.
As he drew his final breath, Jiraiya said that he is leaving everything to his student and closed his eyes forever. News of his death reached Naruto only when he came back from a mission.
5. Minato and Kushina
Minato and Kushina were Naruto's parents who died the same day their son was born. Minato was the Fourth Hokage and the one responsible for sealing the Nine-Tailed Beast inside Naruto's body.
They met during their childhood, fell in love, and got married. Soon Minato became the Hokage and sometime later, Kushina announced her pregnancy.
Everything seemed perfect for the couple until one fateful day. Kushina was the Jinchuriki of the Nine-Tailed Beast. As the female Jinchuriki, she and Minato knew that the seal would be weakened at the time of childbirth.
So, she was sent to a safe and isolated place that no one knew about. Unfortunately, as soon as she gave birth to Naruto, Obito infiltrated the place and took her away from there.
He forcefully extracted the Nine-Tailed Beast out of her. It would have killed a normal human instantly but since she was from the Uzumaki clan, she held on a little longer.
Kurama was unleashed to wreak havoc in the village, resulting in numerous casualties. Minato did his best to fight the beast, but even he couldn't compare to that legendary creature.
Just as Kurama was about to kill Naruto, Minato and Kushina both came forward and were impaled by his huge nail together. Minato realized that they won't be able to survive due to the injuries so he used the Death Reaper Seal Jutsu and sealed half of Kurama's chakra with himself and the other half with Naruto.
Their death was extremely overwhelming for the fans as the two selflessly step forward to save others in the middle of the crisis. It was also extremely emotional to listen to Kushina talk to Naruto and tell him the things she wish he'd do while growing up.
6. Asuma Sarutobi
Asuma Sarutobi was a Jonin and leader of Team 10. It was revealed very late in the series that he was Hiruzen's son. He had an estranged relationship with his father because of the difference in their ideologies.
In Naruto Shippuden, Asuma and his team were assigned to a mission to capture the Akatsuki members, Hidan and Kakuze, who had attacked a Temple in the Land of Fire.
They had killed a high-ranking monk there who was Asuma's close friend, Chiriku. Asuma spent several years training in the temple so he held a deep admiration for Chiriku.
During their battle with Hidan and Kakuzu, they realized that both of them were immortals. Hidan asked Kakuzu to step away from the fight since he wanted to deal with them alone.
As he was fighting Hidan, Asuma realized that he can't beat him. Yet, he continued to act like he can win so he can buy time for reinforcements to arrive. Asuma purposefully sacrificed himself so the rest of his team can make it out alive.
Just as Asuma was dying, he had a heartfelt conversation with Ino, Shikamaru, and Choji. Out of his students, he placed the most trust in Shikamaru and asked him to take care of Kurenai and their unborn baby.
7. Shisui Uchiha
Shisui is considered the strongest Genjutsu user in the series. His technique was unparalleled as well as terrifying since he had the power to control the minds of others without ever letting them find it.
He was a few years older than Itachi so the latter always looked up to him. During warring times, it wasn't unusual for children to be on the frontlines of the battlefield.
Shisui was one of them, especially when he was talented enough to become a jonin at 11 years and an Anbu captain at 13. All things considered, if there was one more quality that sets him apart from his peers was his kindness.
Shisui was considered a mutant among the Uchiha since he wasn't influenced by the "Curse of Hatred". Instead, he was one of the kindest people out there who looked out for his comrades.
Sadly, his unique powers caught the attention of Danzo. As someone who already had it out for the Uchiha clan and was power-hungry as well, Danzo spared no efforts to steal Shisui's eye.
Through a well-played-out ploy, Danzo succeded in cornering Shisui and stole one of his eyes. Shisui barely managed to escape Danzo and his men and met Itachi near a cliff. He told Itachi about Danzo's deeds.
Shisui knew what his powers were capable of in the wrong hands so he gave his other eye to Itachi. As Itachi took the eye from him, Shisui jumped off the cliff with a smile on his face.
8. Obito Uchiha
The revelation of Obito's identity was a huge shock to the fans. We all knew Obito as a bright kid who always looked out for his comrades. He was in Minato's team right alongside Kakashi and Rin.
So, it was shocking to see the kid was supposedly dead coming back as a villain. In the past, Obito selflessly sacrificed himself to save Kakashi when a huge boulder was about to hit the latter from above.
Obito was the one who ended up getting hit by the boulder and his left side was completely crushed. Since Kakashi's right eye was damaged earlier, Obito asked Kakashi to take his eye and see the world through it.
However, Obito was later saved by Madara and ended up being manipulated. He wore a mask and disguised himself as Madara Uchiha. During the Fourth Great Shinobi War, he committed many atrocities, making the fans hate him more than ever.
But, manipulated as he was, Obito realized his mistakes due to Naruto and helped Team 7 defeat Kaguya. He settled his old scores with Kakashi and everything seemed well until Obito suddenly disintegrated into dust.
He died shielding Naruto and Kakashi from Kaguya's attack. As he selflessly sacrificed himself for others, his spirit remained for a little while longer to temporarily give Kakashi his Mangekyou Sharingan which helped the latter in his fight against Kaguya.
9. Neji Hyuga
Neji was Hinata's cousin who was introduced as a stern character. In the beginning, he hated Hinata since she was weak even though she was the heir of the Hyuga clan.
Neji changed after the Chunin exams in the first Naruto franchise. He started caring more for Hinata but still held on to his goal of changing the Hyuga clan and the conventional ways they followed.
In the series, we had seen enough people sacrificing their lives for the sake of others. By the time the Fourth Great Shinobi War had halfway ended, we thought that we were used to the tear-jerking moments.
However, Neji's sudden death proved us all wrong. It happened when the ten-tailed beast was on a full rampage. It started shooting spikes from its body, killing dozens at once.
Two of those spikes were headed straight of Naruto. Since Hinata was there, she immediately went forward to block them with her body. However, before the spikes could reach her, Neji came forward and saved both of them.
He died in Naruto's arms with a smile on his face. Not only was Neji's death surprising, but it was a huge blow to the fans.
After he died, Naruto contemplated the fact that the promise he made to not let anyone else die was not something that he could accomplish. Fortunately, Hinata snapped him out of his daze and gave him the support he needed.
10. Lady Chiyo
Lady Chiyo was introduced as a lively loud mouth old woman who liked to play pranks on her twin brother. However, he held deep animosity for the Hidden Lead Village since they were the ones who killed her son and daughter-in-law during the war.
When Gaara was kidnapped by the Akatuski, she didn't place any trust in the Leaf Village that they'd want to help. After they did arrive and saved Kankuro's life, she started placing a little trust in them.
She set out on their quest to find Akatsuki's base and save Gaara from there. However, she had another reason to join them, which was to see her grandson Sasori who had left the village over two decades ago and joined the Akatsuki.
Lady Chiyo and Sakura fought against Sasori and ultimately won. Unfortunately, it came at a price as both were severely depleted of their chakra. After everyone was done with their battle, they gathered in a quiet place and mourned Gaara's death.
It was only Lady Chiyo who promised to save him, confusing everyone except Sakura and Neji who had already figured out her intentions. She used an experimental Reanimation Jutsu that takes the life of the user at the cost of saving another person.
When she was running low on the chakra, Naruto offered her to use his chakra. As she was exchanging her life with Gaara, she contemplated her life decisions and wished that future generations won't commit the same mistakes the people from her generation did.
She wished for a world where everyone will help out one another and live without animosity. She looked at Naruto and the young Fifth Kazekage and realized the future of the Sand Village will be much better at their hands.
She dies peacefully with her view of the world changed thanks to Naruto. Lady Chiyo's sacrifice brought Gaara back to life.