With its complex power system, the legendary series Naruto has offered us a plethora of inspiring ninjas who have astonished us with their skills and taught us many life lessons with their stories. Among the many skilled shinobi who graduated the academy exam to become Genin, there are quite a few students who did not need to stay at the academy for the same time as others due to their overflowing skills and potential. There is no doubt that each of them played a significant part in the series and are some of the most talented, youngest ninja graduates in the series.
All students of the academy are required to participate in the Chunin exams to go higher in the ranks and to become a proper Shinobi. The ranking system includes first Genin (students in training), then the Chunin followed by Tokubetsu Jonin, and lastly the Jonin. Across the different lands and villages, there are many talented and remarkable Shinobi who have proven themselves to be of outstanding nature multiple times. Hence, here we provide a list of the coolest and youngest graduates in the history of Naruto.
1. Kakashi Hatake
Kakashi Hatake is everyone’s favorite sensei who mentors our protagonist Naruto’s team. He is known for his Mangekyo Sharingan, which is a technique limited only to the Uchiha bloodline. You would probably not need any more reason to absolutely love Kakashi, but we still provide you with one more. He is probably the youngest graduate of the academy, and that too at the impressive age of 5, in addition to graduating at the top of his class. We love a sensei who can do it all! He never ceases to impress, and by the time he was 12 years, he had already become a jonin and later became the 6th Hokage.
2. The Renowned Sannin
Tsunade, Orochimaru, and Jiraiya make up the Sannin, the legendary three ninjas who were the greatest of their time and were held with high regard even after the days of their youth. They were teamed together under Hiruzen Sarutobi, the Third Hokage, during their genin days and graduated together at the mere age of 6. All of them had lots of potential despite their young age and constant bickering, as proven during the Second Shinobi World War. During a battle with Amegakure’s Leader Hanzo, they were the only ninjas to survive, with Hanzo dubbing them as “Konoha’s Legendary Sannin”.
As an infant, Yamato was abducted by Orochimaru to become one of the sixty children that were his test subjects. He was injected with Hashirama Senju, the First Hokage’s DNA, with the hope he could mimic Hashirama’s ability to use Wood Release, a form of nature transformation which was almost impossible to perform. Even with a painful past, he decided to make something of himself, after being inspired by Kakashi, and mastered his very rare technique of Wood Release (which also helps him contain the Nine-Tails) and became one of the Anbu of Konohagakure. Yamato graduated from the academy at the age of six years as well.
4. Itachi Uchiha
Itachi was a prodigy, no cap. He was one of the brightest Uchiha who graduated from the academy at the young age of 7 years old, whilst also excelling at basically every field and then developing complete Sharingan at just eight years of age. He was a shinobi of Konohagakure who had once served as a captain when he was only 12 before he was shunned from the village and made to leave for the murder of his whole clan, excluding Sasuke.
Afterwards, he joined Akatsuki – an organization whose activities brought a lot of conflict within Konoha – including his brother Sasuke who sought to avenge their clan by killing Itachi. Itachi’s story definitely has its highs, lows, and a major twist that you should definitely keep watching to find out. You can catch the original Naruto series on Netflix!
5. Might Guy
One thing that Masashi Kishimoto was really good at was using statement looks in the anime series, and the most recognizable statement look that probably any anime fan recognizes is the bowl cut that is adorned by the lovable character Might Guy. He is a master of Taijutsu, leads a life of passion and wisdom, and had graduated from the academy by the age of 7, which came off as a surprise at first because he was unable to pass the entrance exam to enter Konoha’s Ninja Academy.
He became an inspirational figure not only to Team Guy (Neji, Ten-Ten, Rock Lee) but also to others as he mastered the art of Taijutsu and made it his way of life without ever using Ninjutsu or Genjutsu. Rock Lee, his mentee, goes as far as to become a copy of his sensei with the same iconic bowl cut and learning the technique of Taijutsu.
6. Asuma Sarutobi
You might remember Asuma Sarutobi by his habit of smoking and for his laid-back personality, but he was born to Hiruzen Sarutobi, the Third Hokage, and was a remarkable figure as well an inspiring teacher to Team 10 that consisted of Shikamaru, Ino, and Choji. He graduated from the academy at the young age of 9 years old and became a Chunin at 12 years of age.
Asuma was one of the former 12 Guardian Ninjas who were the very skilled bodyguards of the Land of Fire’s political leaders before becoming a Jonin of Konohagakure. Nature transformation is his feat, specifically the techniques of fire, with which he was easily able to kill nine Chunin level ninjas from Otagakure during the invasion in Konoha.
7. Minato Namikaze
Minato was the compassionate Fourth Hokage of Konoha and the father of Naruto. We all already know the various feats of Minato – whether it was the creation of Rasengan, the sealing of the Nine-Tails, being the fourth Hokage, or graduating from the academy at the age of 10.
Minato was called Konoha’s Yellow Flash because of how fast and nimble he was on his feet and also because of his signature technique called the Flying Thunder God Technique, which is an extremely complex, space-time ninjutsu that granted the user the ability of teleportation. Due to this reason, he was also considered to be the fastest ninja of his era. As a Hokage, he was very duty-bound and self-sacrificing by nature, to the point that he sealed away the Nine-Tails in his very own newborn son.
The red “ai” (translating to ‘love’) tattoo on Gaara’s forehead is hard to miss and difficult to forget as it is an incredible representation of his character – “a demon loving only himself”. Being born with a tailed beast inside him, he was shunned from his community much like Naruto – raised in isolation and made for the only purpose of being a weapon. He is a shinobi of Sungakure with the beast of the One-Tailed sealed in him and graduated at the age of 12.
In addition to that, he became the youngest Kage ever at the adolescent age of 15. Gaara was known as the “Gaara of the Sand” as he manipulated sand in a way that it became a part of him – a reflex, naturally acting as a bodily organ. Due to this technique, he was made into a killing machine that removed everyone in his path with his undefeated sand.
9. Neji Hyuga
The Hyuga clan is known for two things – the all-seeing eye technique Byakugan and their prodigy Neji Hyuga. He was born as the son of Hizashi Hyuga, placing him in one of the Hyuga clan’s branch houses. When Hinata, the heiress of the main house, turned three, Neji’s forehead was branded with the customary cursed seals by his uncle Hisashi, even if he was of a young age.
In this way, his fate became destined to be bound to service the main house, and despite the growing responsibilities, he still proved to be of great excellence and graduated from the academy at the age of 12. He was also the first to become Jonin amongst his peers and was known for his Gentle Fist fighting style, which was used with the Byakugan to strike the opponent’s chakra system directly – constricting or cutting off their chakra flow from minimal contact.
10. Shikamaru Nara
Similar to Neji and Gaara, Shikamaru also graduated at the age of 12. Shikamaru was born in the Nara clan, who were known for their ability to manipulate shadows through the use of Yin release – so naturally, Shikamaru was known for the usage of this technique. Despite appearing as lazy and indifferent, he has a rare intellect with an IQ of a whopping 200 that consistently allows him to prevail in any situation.
Shikamaru, in his younger days, seemed to just be messing around with his best friend Choji Akimichi, but after the death of his sensei, Asuma Sarutobi, he undergoes a rapid maturity. Asuma’s death forces Shikamaru to recognize that the world is not safe and that he cannot be kept protected from it forever. After avenging his sensei’s death, he takes it upon himself to do all that he can do to make things better for future Konoha generations, especially Asuma’s then-unborn daughter, Mirai.
Also Read: Top 10 Best Strategists in Naruto – Check Out The Brains in the Shinobi Universe