Naruto is a series of friendships, bonds formed with people along the way, walking with each other towards peace and harmony, and how a small boy who sat alone on the swing became the hero of the village.
Obviously, in his journey Naruto had to become Hokage, Naruto underwent so many life-changing experiences, hardships endured, friendships made, bonds formed, villages saved, lessons learned, loved ones lost.
And so many more things that Naruto both gained and lost over the course of this quest to finally being accepted and acknowledged.
12 Best Naruto Arcs Must Watch For Every Fan
Here’s to 12 Naruto Arcs that are an ABSOLUTE must-watch!
1. Fourth Shinobi World War: Confrontation
Beating and killing off people wasn’t good enough?
Reanimated people with unlimited chakra reserves and bodies that will heal instantly upon being inflicted with any kind of damage.
The Akatsuki members have been reanimated.
The Seven Swordsmen of the Mist have been reanimated.
The previous Kages are also being slowly reanimated.
And the number of reanimated ninjas just keeps on increasing.
The war is starting, Naruto hasn’t been able to master the Tailed-beast Rasengan yet and everything is hanging up in the air, only to come down with a bang in the climax.
2. The Chūnin Exams This arc actually tells us what it means to be a Chūnin.
Obviously, it’s easier to just win all the fights and beat the crap out of any opponents, but it’s more about the mentality.
The mentality of a leader, of an adult, of being able to actually make the decision of when to retreat because when you are a Chūnin, you aren’t just putting your life on the line, it’s your genin also.
You are responsible for them and what makes a good Chūnin is the ability to choose their fights.
The tournament structure definitely provides a stable environment for fights. Team fights, opportunistic invasions, emergency missions and so much more to this arc than meets the eye at first.
3. Sasuke Recovery Mission
Sasuke had made a decision.
And given that it’s a stupid-a** decision, Naruto has decided to ignore it.
Naruto is going to get Sasuke back, no matter what.
Assisted by Shikamaru, Chouji, Neji, Kiba and of course, Akamaru.
This is the first display of leadership from Shikamaru who makes the plan taking into consideration everyone’s abilities and tasks suited according to their skills.
Each of these members has a thrilling fight with one of the Sound Village ninjas equipped with Orochimaru’s special curse mark.
Everyone’s abilities are highlighted in this arc as they stall all these opponents to get Naruto, who is their only hope to stop Sasuke from going to the Sound Village.
4. Prologue and The Land of Waves
The very first mission of Team 7, Bridge fixing. Easy, right?
Until Zabuza arrives along with his execution’s blade… Then this D-rank mission turns into an A-rank mission.
The first glimpse of Kakashi’s abilities as the well-known ‘Copy Ninja Kakashi’ and a spectacular show of teamwork by Naruto and Sasuke.
The heart-wrenching story of Zabuza and Haku, their honorable deaths, feelings of camaraderie for each other, the tears that they both shed for one another, and the sacrifices they made for each other will bring a moist in your eye, despite the fact that they are the antagonists.
This establishes all the characters for us and tells us that there’s so much more to look forward to if the start of the story and the first mission is something like this.
5. Konoha Crush
Shinobi is not a stranger to wars either and Orochimaru reminds us just what all types of Shinobi exist in the world.
With the Kazekage assassination, the Sound Village ninja, and taking advantage of the Chūnin Exams, Orochimaru launches a mini-war on Konoha.
A lot of precious lives are at stake, a lot of interesting fights are to be built up and a lot of fun is to be had to watch this arc.
6. Kazekage Rescue Mission
Gaara is one of the primary receivers of the ‘bad guy is actually just a broken good guy who only wants friends’ trope.
Gaara is one of the only characters this trope perfectly fits in, is acceptable for, and is able to carry this trope with impeccable grace.
Once Gaara does make friends and becomes the Kazekage, he will do whatever it takes to save his village from the Akatsuki…
Even if it includes having your tailed-beast extracted and dying from the process!
The end of this arc leads to one of the most wholesome Naruto and Gaara moments of the handshake in the desert after coming back to the village.
7. Fated Battle Between Brothers
Brothers ready for confrontation
Dramatic battle music rolling in the background
Finally! Finally! Finally!
Sasuke seems to have found his brother who was waiting for him to settle things once and for all.
Sasuke was always chasing this unattainable shadow, trying to cross this uncrossable high wall that just seemed to rise higher and higher as he did.
And now, finally, after having been chased around and having lived in the shadows for the entirety of his life, Sasuke is ready to confront his brother for everything.
A battle between minds, a battle of control, a battle between power, a battle to finally establish dominance and exact revenge for all the pain and hurt that was caused… Or is it?
8. Akatsuki Suppression Mission
This is one of those rare moments where team 7 isn’t in focus.
This arc uses the Asuma team and pits them against Hidan and Kakuzu who are by far the most efficient team of the Akatsuki despite their blatant hate for each other.
The Ino-Shika-Cho alongside Asuma, Kakashi, and Naruto is finally able to subdue this powerful duo.
Everything about this arc is so thorough and complete that it is impossible to not get the chills.
Shikamaru’s quick wit and analytical mind, Ino’s information gathering skills, Chouji”s brute force, Asuma’s guidance, and combat prowess, and all of their teamwork make this fight such a memorable one.
9. Fourth Shinobi World War: Climax
Setting: Fourth Shinobi War
Prologue: Everyone is tired, just wants all the fighting to the end but reanimated people are too much of a pain with unlimited chakra reserved.
Uchiha Madara definitely knows how to make an entrance for himself while Hashirama knows how to perfectly ruin it for him.
The battle that had been both, fought for and waited for, for years!
10. The Red Beast Emerges
Ninjutsu is out of the question.
Senjutsu and Taijutsu are the only options.
Only a handful of ninjas can use Senjutsu.
Well, who else would you rely on for Taijutsu if not Guy Sensei?
The Blue Beast of Konoha’ is a legend that a lot of people have heard and witnessed, but this is not the time to hold back.
Let the Red Vapour of Blood of the Inner Chakra Gates pour into the eyes and defeat the opponent in front of you.
If this sizzling fight didn’t give you the chills, I don’t know what will.
The bombardment of taijutsu on Uchiha Madara and his chilling declaration of Guy being the strongest just was the icing on the cake!
11. Tale of Jiraiya the Gallant
Jiraiya went from ‘Just some random perverted old man’ to ‘This guy is a legend?’ to ‘Damn, that makes sense now to ‘Wow, he’s strong’ over the course of his journey in the show.
Leaving for a spy mission alone, Jiraiya battles his enemies with such valor that the respect for him instantly shoots up in everyone’s heart.
His love for Naruto and Konoha, his Will of Fire, and his sacrifice for the village that he so loved.
The story of Jiraiya is something that nobody would be able to write in a book.
12. Pain’s Assault
This was such an obvious pick to anyone who has watched Naruto and Naruto Shippuden!
The final reveal! The pain finally attacks Konoha, with all of his Six Paths and Konan.
Naruto arrives with Sage Mode, manages to defeat all pains leaving only the Deva Path. Hinata’s beautiful and tear-jerking confession and her apparent death make Naruto go directly into his 6 six-tailed transformations and then proceed to form 8 tails.
Finally, the resurrections of the entire village and Naruto being declared as a hero is a perfect ending to this happening, packed with nerve-wracking fights and an emotional arc.