By Keith Reid-Cleveland
When you’re watching Naruto for the very first time, it’s easy to think that the story will just focus exclusively on its namesake, Naruto Uzumaki, and his closest companions.
But with nearly 900 episodes from the expanded Naruto universe, there’s been more than enough room to explore different character backstories!
As a result, fans have gotten to go deep into supporting characters’ lives and respective clans to the point where we’ve now seen multiple generations of them on screen.
RELATED: A Beginner’s Guide to Naruto
While there are many amazing clans full of powerful shinobi throughout Naruto, we spend the most time with the members of Konohagakure—aka “The Village Hidden in the Leaves.” With Naruto streaming on Funimation and with Naruto Shippuden and Boruto: Naruto Next Generations streaming in the United Kingdom and Ireland, now’s a good a time as any to highlight some of the strongest clans in all of Konoha.
Note: This list is not a ranking of the strongest clans in Konoha, but more of a showcase of some of the strongest. Also, spoiler warnings galore for the entire Naruto series!
The founding of Konoha was largely thanks to a newfound peace between two of the world’s strongest clans, which had previously warred for generations. One of these clans was the Senju, which went on to help establish Konoha and produce three Hokage.
With seven Hokage in total, the Senju have a legitimate claim as being one of the most notable clans in the world, not to mention Konoha, specifically.
While some members of the Senju have their own specific specialties, as a clan, they’re known for pretty much mastering everything in regards to ninjutsu, taijutsu and genjutsu.
Notable Members: Hashirama Senju, Tobirama Senju, Tsunade
The other clan that played a major role in Konoha’s founding was the Uchiha clan, most notably known throughout the world for their genetically enhanced visual prowess, the Sharingan.
As the only clan strong enough to fight the Senju, the Uchiha met them on countless battlefields and harbored a strong rivalry that no side ever truly won. Which is why their decision to call a truce to found Konoha and become the village’s official police force is all the more impressive.
While the Senju had multiple shinobi who would go on to become Hokage, the Uchiha had multiple shinobi who were more than capable of doing so but didn’t, either because of political motivations or their own personal choices.
Out of all of the shinobi who showed the most promise and potential in Konoha, the Uchiha were known for producing the cream of the crop. Which is why it was all the more devastating when they were all slaughtered, save for a couple of disparate members.
Notable Members: Sasuke Uchiha, Itachi Uchiha, Obito Uchiha, Madara Uchiha, Sarada Uchiha
Speaking of visual prowess, the Uchiha don’t have a monopoly on the ability. As a matter of fact, a clan that has one that’s also very powerful comes from the very same village.
The Hyuga clan, which places even more emphasis on tradition and birthright than the Uchiha, are known for their claim to the Byakugan. The Byakugan is another genetically inherited visual ability that allows its user to see nearly 360 degrees around them once it’s properly trained to its fullest potential. I’m sure you can see how this is a very valuable asset to have while in battle.
But the Hyuga don’t simply depend on their genetic talents to shine. That was actually a huge part of the development of Neji Hyuga throughout the series, as he learns to adopt a strenuous work ethic so that he isn’t caught off guard by people who have more grit than he does *cough cough* Naruto *cough cough.*
Given how the other clans in Konoha have shrunk in number for a variety of reasons, the Hyuga may be the strongest and most well-represented clan in modern times.
Notable Members: Neji Hyuga, Hanabi Hyuga, Hinata Hyuga, Boruto Uzumaki*, Himawari Uzumaki*
The Sarutobi clan doesn’t have the advanced genetic abilities of the Uchiha or Hyuga clan, but it has still managed to make a strong legacy for itself in the eyes of everyone from Konoha.
Before Hiruzen Sarutobi was named the third Hokage, his predecessors—and, to be honest, his immediate successor—had a bad habit of dying young. Hiruzen, on the other hand, became Hokage in his youth because of his talents, and kept Konoha safe for decades until it came time to name the fifth Hokage.
Even in his old age, he was still able to hold his own against one of the deadliest shinobi in the world to protect his citizens.
Outside of Hiruzen, the Sarutobi clan also holds claim to Asuma Sarutobi, who was a well-respected jonin who was once part of an elite ninja task force responsible for protecting the leader of the nation Konoha is part of. And Konohamaru displayed the ability to learn highly complex ninjutsu at a young age and went on to become a jonin in his own right as he got older.
Notable Members: Hiruzen Sarutobi, Asuma Sarutobi, Konohamuru Sarutobi, Mirai Sarutobi
Many people believe that a leader is only as strong as their support system. In the case of multiple Hokage, their closest advisor is invaluable. Two of these individuals, Shikaku and Shikamaru, have come from the Nara clan.
While the Akimichi and Yamanaka clans are definitely worthy of honorable mentions on this list, and are forever tied to the Nara clan, the latter edges them out when it comes to influence. With multiple genius-level shinobi in their ranks, the Nara clan has produced some of the best strategists and tacticians in Konoha for generations.
With that said, the clan appears to be getting even stronger as Shikadai, Shikamaru’s son with Temari, appears to be even more talented than his father and grandfather and a prodigy with plenty of upside.
Notable Members: Shikamaru Nara, Shikaku Nara, Shikadai Nara
Do you have a favorite clan from Naruto? Share your pick and let us know! And stay tuned to Funimation for the latest on even more amazing anime headed your way.