For 15 years, Naruto was a friend to us. We witnessed him struggle through life, empathized with him when he was scorned by those around him, rooted for him when he sought to grow much stronger, and — at the end of it all — celebrated his eventual victory.
Having the story close after 15 years and 720 episodes in total felt so bittersweet to fans who’ve grown up reading and watching Naruto. “An era has ended,” so they say. (That is, if they didn’t count the new Boruto: Naruto Next Generations anime.)
It still feels surreal having to finally say goodbye to him and every character we’ve grown to love. Naruto finally attained his greatest wish, to be Hokage, and it feels like a part of us had been taken when we read the final chapter or watched the final episode of the long-running series. So, to fuel our sentimentality at this moment, we look back fondly at all the unforgettable scenes in Naruto’s 720-episode run.
Here are our top 8!
Everything that took place from beginning to end was unforgettable — from all of them having to find ways to cheat in the written exams to the team fights, to the individual battles. Sakura and Ino’s stand-off, Shikamaru’s ingenuity, Sasuke using the chidori in public, Naruto kicking Neji’s ass, and Gaara going berserk. It’s nice to look back at the fighting styles of the kids before and realize just how far they’ve gone.
Sasuke Retrieval Arc
This was definitely one of the highlights of Naruto pre-Shippuden. You’ve got some of the best boys in Naruto’s circle of friends take on a risky and life-threatening mission, fighting against older and stronger ninjas, for the sake of bringing Sasuke home safely. The entire arc showed great character developments and caused us to become a little bit too emotionally invested in the ragtag team. And if your first Naruto crushes weren’t any of those boys, then you’re probably lying to yourself.
This is also where the first Naruto VS Sasuke battle took place which, back then, had been the most dramatic fight there was.
Hands down, this was one of the most emotional deaths in Naruto history. It wasn’t an easy recovery for us because we felt a part of us die along with him; some of us might not even be completely over it especially not when he was killed by the hands of his former student — a student he loved like his own son! It’s painful to realize that certain character deaths were necessary to make Naruto grow even stronger, not just physically but also mentally and emotionally.
When Naruto finally meets his mother
We’ve pretty much heard a lot about Naruto’s father, the Fourth Hokage, but none has been said about his mother, Kushina. This scene was a defining moment especially for Naruto because it was then when he uncovered the truth about his being the vessel for the Kyuubi and when he felt his parents’ strong love for him that helped him overcome the hatred of the demon sealed within him. This was definitely one of the most heartwarming moments of Naruto that we’ve never expected but are glad to have happened.