The Hokages are the leaders of Konoha. Each is recognized as the head of the village, and each one has the talent to match.
Hokages display example of:
- Broad Strokes / Continuity Snarl: We never get an objective view of just which Hokage is truly strongest. It leads to Serious Business debates.
- The Third Hokage is stated to be the strongest Hokage ever, and the "God of Shinobi." And then we learn that Minato is supposedly the greatest shinobi ever produced by Konahagakure. The third is horrified when he sees Orochimaru about to revive Minato, and Anko states she wishes he was alive to fight Orochimaru.
- Then, in Part II, we learn more about Hashirama and see HIS techniques, and it's stated outright, that aside from Madara Uchiha and The Sage of Six Paths, no other shinobi have ever come close to being in his league.
- Hashirama, as the village's founder will always be revered as the most powerful hokage by Tobi, Tsunade, and Edo Tensei Madara. Most of the adults in the village grew up with Sarutobi as their Hokage. Minato, young and fresh, was a war hero who could laugh off entire armies, and is called the greatest shinobi ever by Anko, who is around his age, Kakashi, his student, and Jiraiya, his teacher.
- Tobirama, Hashirama's brother and second Hokage, was a man who was hailed as one of the most powerful shinobi of his era, as he mentored Hiruzen, could quickdraw the most powerful of water jutsus with only one handseal, invented Edo Tensei, and was said to be great at Space-Time Ninjutsu. Because of these reasons, he is included in debates.
"Those who stray from the path of justice have no courage, but under the wing of a strong leader, cowardice cannot survive."
Real name: Hashirama Senju.
The First Hokage, also Tsunade's grandfather, was the founder of the village of Konoha. He was one of the greatest ninjas of his generation, and respected by nearly everyone. His claim to fame was his Kekkai Genkai, Wood Release, which allowed him to utilize wood as a weapon and suppress the power of a Tailed Beast.
In Shippuden, we learn a bit more about him. It seems that he was the head of the Senju Clan of the Forest, who, in the olden days, clashed with Madara Uchiha and his clan. He formed an alliance with Madara and the other Uchiha to establish the Hidden Leaf Village as the first ninja village. However, Madara believed that he and the Uchiha were being treated unfairly and the two fought at the Valley of the End, where Sasuke and Naruto would later fight.
- A Father to His Men: Founded the whole Konoha village with just his trees!
- Ambiguously Brown: He and his brother likely inherited traits from different sides of their parents.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: The strongest shinobi of his era. Notably, his ability to control the Tailed-Beasts allowed him to bring a kind of (temporary) world peace.
- Badass Creed: The "Will of Fire" originates from him.
- Badass Long Hair
- Battle Couple: With his wife Mito Uzumaki who aided him in his defeat of Madara Uchiha.
- Fluffy Tamer: His powers allowed him to control the Tailed Beasts.
- Folk Hero: Founded the Leaf Village.
- Green Thumb: He can grow entire forests in seconds with his Wood Release
- Healing Factor: According to Madara he could regenerate without using handseals.
- Our Zombies Are Different: Orochimaru brought him back (along with his brother) with the forbidden jutsu Edo Tensei.
- Later on we learn that Tobi used some of his cells to recreate his body. It has no will of its own, though.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Lead the world to a short world peace.
- Superpowerful Genetics: His life-giving chakra and Wood Release jutsu are highly coveted, especially since it seems to be a major recessive trait not being passed on to any of his descendants.
- Tall, Dark and Handsome
- Worthy Opponent: To Madara Uchiha.
"Listen Saru. Guide the people, and believe in them, for it's from among them that one will come who will carry on when your time is done."
Voiced By: Kenyuu Horiuchi (JP), Peter Lurie (EN)
Real name: Tobirama Senju.
The younger brother of the First Hokage, who is a master of water-type jutsu. Post Time Skip, some new elements about him were revealed: He made an arrangement with the Uchiha clan by giving them the rule over Konoha's police forces. He was also the one who created the forbidden (and kinda creepy) technique Edo Tensei.
- A Father to His Men: He was this to Sarutobi.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: After his brother's death Tobirama was the strongest Shinobi around.
- Facial Markings: A reason he's not like his brother.
- Folk Hero: Founded the education system of the leaf.
- Heroic Albino: It makes him look quite different from his Ambiguously Brown brother.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Possibly. It's hinted that he appoints Sarutobi as Third Hokage because Tobirama did this to save his team.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: You know that And I Must Scream jutsu that Orochimaru used to bring him and his brother back to life? The one that he created and got them sealed inside an even worse And I Must Scream jutsu because it was the only way to deal with them? Hashirama is probably smacking him in the back of the head every hour on the hour. With Orochimaru's arms.
- Informed Ability: Despite doing all of nothing in his only shown fight in the manga (he was more impressive in the anime), developments in Part II have substantially increased his known capabilities, including being the creator of Edo Tensei and being a master of Space-Time Ninjutsu like Minato and Tobi. Done possibly to make it seem like Tobirama didn't get the shaft in terms of capability next to his elder brother.
- Laser Blade: A filler arc centered around a sword he once wielded called the Raijin Blade which was an electric blade made from Hard Light that could still be cracked and shattered.
- Making a Splash: The greatest water user in the series, though Kisame may give him a run for his money.
- Elemental Baggage: Both invoked and subverted when he fought Sarutobi. He was renowned for his ability to use water-based techniques without needing a large body of water nearby... by using the water in the air.
- Giant Wall of Watery Doom: His Water Encampment Wall technique not only surrounds him with a towering wall of water, but also floods the surrounding area.
- Necromancer: He invented Edo Tensei.
- The Obi-Wan: To Hiruzen.
- Our Zombies Are Different: Orochimaru brought him back (along with his brother) with the forbidden jutsu Edo Tensei that he actually created.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: while a a great sensei to his squad, he's indirectly responsible for Sasuke's descent to madness as the above background fact mentioned and created a technique that's currently causing trouble for all the nations.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning
"When the tree leaves dance, one shall find flames. The fire's shadow will illuminate the village, and once again, tree leaves shall bud anew."
Voiced By: Hidekatsu Shibata (JP), Steve Kramer (EN), César Arias (Latin America)
Real name: Hiruzen Sarutobi.
Sarutobi was the Hokage when the series began. At the outset of the story, he was only one of two people -- the other being Umino Iruka -- to give Naruto any consideration at all.
We learn more about him through flashbacks. In his prime, he was hailed as "The Professor" for his mastery of numerous techniques (allegedly knowing every jutsu developed in Konoha), and "God of Shinobi" for being unquestionably the greatest ninja of his generation and after seeing the power of Hanzo, Sandaime Raikage and Sandaime Kazekage to name a few, is saying a lot and the strongest Hokage in history. He also trained the Sannin. Later, we learn that he was the only member of Konoha's brass to speak out against the massacre of the Uchiha Clan, who were suspected of plotting a coup.
He retired after a while, giving the title to the Fourth Hokage, Jiraiya's student Minato Namikaze. After the Fourth's death, he takes the title of Hokage again. He later gets a more permanent retirement at the hands of Orochimaru, but not before sealing his old student's arms.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: More so than the 4th, and the 5th.
- Badass Grandpa: According to Enma his feats of fighting, defeating (they were immortal at the time), and finally destroying the two previous Hokage (one of them considered the strongest of his time and who faced and nearly killed the Big Bad of the story) and crippling Orochimaru (a legendary Ninja in its own right) in the same battle was "pathetic" compared to his skills at their peak.
- Benevolent Boss: To all of Konoha.
- Dishing Out Dirt: His prefered element and so good as being capable of invocating gigant walls outside the element (a feat that Jiraiya was incapable off).
- Dirty Old Man: Likes talking with young girls, and gets a Nosebleed when Naruto uses his Sexy Jutsu on him. Begged Jiraiya to teach him how to turn invisible, and Jiraiya realized what he planned to use it for...
- Everything's Better with Monkeys: His summon was a monkey who was an Living Weapon (Specifically a Simple Staff).
- Also his name means Jumping monkey
- Generation Xerox: When he was younger he looked exactly like his son Asuma Sarutobi (albeit with a smaller beard and eye marks). They also both had A Death in the Limelight.
- Heroic Sacrifice: By invocating the Death God to stop the Indestructible Hokages and Orochimaru once and for all. The last one didn't go as planned.
- Informed Ability: Supposedly mastered every jutsu in the village, yet all he uses is fire, earth and a pole that's also a monkey.
- Even more than that, he's supposed to be the strongest ninja of his generation, but his showings leave something to be desired. Even without the benefit of Izanagi, Danzo's Baku summon and wind techniques put him WAAAY above Hiruzen, despite it being explicitly stated that Hiruzen totally outclasses him.
- Last-Name Basis: Virtually everyone who doesn't refer to him by his title calls him by his last name, except Danzou, who was on a First-Name Basis with him and that was because he was his rival.
- Meaningful Name: In addition to being derived from Sarutobi Sasuke, the first half of his last name (which is sometimes used as a nickname) means "Monkey". He has a contract with the monkey king Enma.
- Mentor Occupational Hazard
- My Greatest Failure: Not being able to kill Orochimaru when he first had the chance and the ability.
- Nice Hat and Cool Helmet: He's the only Hokage to wear one most of his screen time, and even when he's forced to fight for real, he wears a badass and old-fashioned helmet.
- The Nose Knows
- The Obi-Wan: Trained the next generation to be ready for any dangerous threat, once he passes on.
- Old Master: He's the only Hokage to live into his autumn years.
- Playing with Fire: Had a few fire ninjutsu up his sleeve as well.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: A lot more reasonable and tolerable then the 5th, and a peaceful man.
- Red Baron: He was named the "Professor" for his indisputable mastery of all ninja arts, but what really set the bar was his second nickname... God of Shinobi (which, by the way, was originally the moniker of the Sage of the Six Paths.
- Sacrificial Lion
- Serious Business: Arguments over whether he's stronger than the fourth. Word of God says he is, but based in what we see (Sarutobi taking down 2 Hokages and a Sannin; Minato redirecting Kyubi's attack and stopping him with the help of Kushina), the Badass Decay of Kyubi and Fanon... well it gets muddy.
- Renaissance Man: Was a master of many shinobi arts including: Earth, fire, clone, shuriken and summoning ninjutsu, taijutsu, stick-fighting, sealing jutsu and spying.
- Smoking Is Cool: He has a smoking pipe on his time-off.
- Simple Staff: Themed after the Nyoi-Bo in Journey to the West.
- Team Dad: To pretty much the entire village, especially the academy students.
- Unknown Rival: He had no idea that Danzou was always envious of him apparently.
- Worf Had the Flu: And this was stated while facing the Greatest Shinobis of their generations (and Orochimaru) tells you everything you need to know of the third.
- World's Strongest Man: He is flat out declared the strongest Shinobi ever produced by Konoha and the strongest Kage in his era (which included the Sandaime Kazekage, Onoki and Sandaime Raikage), capable of taking down the rest of Hokages and an S class nin at his weakest at the same time. So far only Pain had managed to equal such feats.
"I want everyone in the village to acknowledge me and become a great Hokage!"
Real Name: Minato Namikaze
The Fourth was Kakashi's teacher, Naruto's father, the hero of the third Ninja war (so feared by Iwa that he was given a "Flee on sight" order to the entire army)and vanquished of the Kyubi no Yoko. He developed several unique jutsus, including the Flying Thunder God, a teleportation jutsu that allowed him to warp to any spot marked with his seal, and the Rasengan, a spiraling ball of kinetic energy that took him three years to develop and is so devastating as to be able to defeat even S-class nin with a single attack. He later taught the Rasengan to Jiraiya and Kakashi.
The Fourth died as a side effect of sealing the Kyuubi into Naruto. The price for the seal was to imprison his own soul along with the Kyuubi's. The seal has a failsafe; upon reaching 8 tails, Minato appears in Naruto's mind to prevent the total destruction of the seal.
- The Ace
- Authority Equals Asskicking: This is the man so feared in the Third War that he had a "flee on sight" order for an entire army.
- Badass: Hailed as one of the greatest ninja ever born, he was the guy that invented the devastatingly powerful Rasengan and had plans to make it stronger before he was killed.
- Badass Longcoat: Known for it, and his son, Naruto inherited the tradition.
- Battle Couple: With Kushina
- Crazy Prepared: He not only planned that Naruto might go batshit, but he also prepared for the moment that someone might take his wife and he put a seal on her that allows him to immediately be at her side at any given moment. In fact, he seems to have scattered a bunch of seals all throughout Konoha and the surrounding area, so he could teleport to anywhere in the village or redirect high powered enemy attacks into abandoned areas.
- The Dreaded
- Father to His Men: Towards his students.
- Flash Step: Even without the teleportation, he can apparently move much faster than most people can see him.
- Folk Hero: Even Mizuki admired him.
- Four Is Death: The first Hokage to be confirmed to be dead in the first chapter.
- Hot Dad: it was obvious to a lot to people prior the reveal.
- Naruto I Am Your Father: Even though it was obvious to fans prior to this.
- Geometric Magic: His speciality, for which created his legendary technique Hiraishin no Jutsu and which used to defeat the kyubi the later which learned from his wife Kushina.
- The Gift: Again, hailed as one of the greatest ninja who ever lived.
- Messianic Archetype: Of a sort. He's like a proto-Naruto in that sense. When he was a kid, he wanted to be Hokage so that he could help everyone in his village. Jiraiya also at one point believed he was "The Child Of Prophecy", and would be the savior of the ninja world. To say nothing of the Warrior Poet tendencies he gave, and the fact he literally gave his life protecting the village against the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox as his last act as Hokage.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: He was nicknamed The Yellow Flash. The running away part is acknowledged in the series, as Minato is still, to our knowledge, the only ninja to have ever had a flee-on-sight order placed on him.
- One-Man Army: Like all the Kages so far. For him was his capacity to destroy entire batallions in a fraction of a second thanks to his Thunder God Technique and his Rasengan that could defeat even Kage level oponents in a single hit as Tobi can attest.
- Panicky Expectant Father: Well, he has every right to be with the nine-tailed fox trying to escape from his wife's body during the birth of his son.
- Papa Wolf: Tobi exploits this to get him away from Kushina long enough to break the seal. Bastard.
- Posthumous Character: We've come to know him quite well for a character whose death kicked off the plot.
- Red Baron: The Yellow Flash
- Space Master: Is a master of Space Time Ninjutsu.
- Teleporters and Transporters: His Flying Thunder God Technique let him move instantaneously between locations where he placed specialized seals.
- Teleport Spam: His entire fighting style. If his battle with Tobi and his wiping out an entire army in an instant are any indication, this guy had some serious teleport hax going for him.
- Teleporters and Transporters: His Flying Thunder God Technique let him move instantaneously between locations where he placed specialized seals.
- Thanatos Gambit: Sealed the Nine-Tailed Fox into Naruto in order to eventually combat Tobi.
- Somewhat subverted, as this was only part of his motivation. The other part was fulfilling his beloved Kushina's dying wish that she might be able to see her son grow up, and also to make sure that the Nine-Tailed Fox wasn't lost to Konoha.
- Through His Stomach: His favorite food is Kushina's cooking
- Weapon of Choice: His custom made Hiraishin kunai.