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The 15 Most Emotionally Devastating Moments In 'Naruto'

List RulesVote up the depressing scenes from Naruto that hit you the hardest.

Even those passingly familiar with Naruto know how emotionally intense it gets. Fans, meanwhile, are keenly aware of the show's emotional depth. The series is often very dark, even though the key images associated with it are bright and cheerful. After all, the protagonist runs around in an orange jumpsuit with a sunny smile on his face. 

Naruto, however, takes on a noticeably different tone when things get serious. And the saddest Naruto moments include devastating backstories, brutal character deaths, breathtaking cruelty, and miserable life circumstances. 

If you need a pick me up, make sure you check out the best Ino Yamanaka quotes.

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  • 1

    Naruto Says Goodbye To Minato

    Photo: Studio Pierrot

    When Hagoromo announces that it's time to release the summoned Kage, Naruto and Minato bid their farewells. This is a heart-wrenching scene as Naruto, who finally got to be with his father after all this time, must say goodbye to him once again. Minato wishes his son happy birthday and promises to tell Kushina everything about him. Upon seeing Minato's forlorn expression, Naruto tries to hide his sadness by telling him how well he's been doing. He lists off several things for Minato to tell Kushina, claiming they don't have to worry about him anymore. Although this is a heart-warming moment between father and son, it's still devastating to watch as they both know they won't see each other again.

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  • 2

    The Death Of Minato And Kushina

    Though they die before the series begins, Naruto's parents, Minato and Kushina, are key figures in the narrative and the protagonist's development. When their passing is shown via a flashback, it's hard not to tear up.

    The Kyuubi, which was originally sealed into Kushina's body, escaped while she was giving birth to Naruto thanks to a mysterious masked man who wanted to use the Kyuubi for his own purposes, which included destroying Konoha.

    To prevent the beast from wreaking havoc across the city, they attempt to reseal the Kyuubi. However, when they're both impaled by its claw, they know they're going to die, and have no choice but to seal the beast inside their newborn son.

    As they perform the seal and prepare for the end, the new parents tearfully tell Naruto all the things they wanted to teach him, ranging from not getting upset if he isn't good at things to avoiding alcohol until he's an adult.

    They love their new baby, and they're crushed to be leaving him so soon. The scene is all the more painful when you realize it takes years for anyone else to show Naruto some semblance of love.  

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  • 3

    Iruka Comforts Naruto After Jiraiya's Death

    Jiraiya's death – and everything surrounding it – is one of the saddest things that's happened, not just in Naruto, but in any anime. It's hard to say which moment related to his passing is the most painful, but Naruto's reaction is at the top of the list. 

    Naruto is utterly devastated to learn his mentor died. Drained of his usual vigor, he walks outside to buy a twin popsicle (as they symbolize his bond with Jiraiya). He sits on a bench staring at the popsicle and crying silently.

    Iruka, his former teacher and the first adult who ever showed Naruto kindness, walks up and tries to comfort the young ninja by telling him to continue living in a way that would make Jiraiya proud.

    The words are nice, but the part that makes hearts crack in half comes when Iruka takes the popsicle out of Naruto's hands and splits it, symbolizing his intention to be there for Naruto even if Jiraiya can't be.

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  • 4

    Shikamaru Processes Asuma's Passing With His Dad

    Ninjas are soldiers, which means they often come face to face with losing a loved one far sooner than civilians do. When Asuma Sarutobi's life is ended by a member of the Akatsuki, his students have to grapple with the loss of a loved one for the first time in their lives. Viewers don't get insight into everyone's mourning process, but there's a particularly melancholic scene involving Shikamaru Nara's reaction. 

    At first, Shikamaru refuses to acknowledge his grief, choosing instead to pretend he's fine. His father Shikaku knows stifling ones emotions can be toxic, so he prods his son about his feelings until Shikamaru cries.

    This might seem cruel, but it's clear Shikaku's coming from a place of deep love. As he leaves to give his son the privacy he needs to mourn with dignity, he says,  “Let it all out... I’ll pick up the pieces.”

    While the scene is crushingly painful, a small glimmer of light comes from the fact that Shikaku puts in the work required to raise his son properly. Of course, if you know what happens to Shikaku later in the series, that light turns into additional darkness. 

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