Naruto’s Sentimentality Makes Him the Wrong Hokage for Konoha

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Chapter 67 of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, “Rift,” by Masashi Kishimoto, Mikio Ikemoto, Mari Morimoto and Snir Aharon, now available in English from Viz Media.

One of the key aspects Naruto fans quickly learned about being a Kage was that the leader needed to be careful of love and attachment. It followed the lines of the Jedi in Star Wars lore, although not as extreme, especially in Konoha where the Hokages did have an air of humanity to them.

Still, because they were always on the precipice of war, it was advised that to get the best results, the Hidden Leaf chief should have been a bit colder, more distant and detached from society. Unfortunately, the Boruto manga reaffirmed Naruto could never be this, and after it led to his team becoming vulnerable in the field, it’s clear at this point he shouldn’t be Hokage.

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Now, this isn’t to knock Naruto as he’s done a tremendous job. He’s saved the planet time and time again from enemies such as Kaguya, Isshiki and their clan. He’s sacrificed a lot too, losing friends like Neji, his parents, and now Kurama. He had remained undeterred in going about his duty and treating the entire alliance like a father, no matter the nation.

But therein lies the massive problem. Hashirama (the First) was similar, and that naivety allowed Madara and the Uchiha clan to wreak havoc. Minato (the Fourth) took the same route and almost lost the Hidden Leaf when Obito took the Nine Tails on a rampage. Tobirama (the Second) saw more success because he was cynical and only cared for the job, which Hiruzen (the Third) eventually followed in his second stint, green-lighting the Uchiha genocide.

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Simply put, harsh decisions need to be made in the blink of an eye, and these leaders cannot be compromised. Personal feelings must be put aside for the sake of domestic security. Naruto already failed when he opted not to kill Boruto, leaving the boy vulnerable for Momoshiki to possess, which the other Kages didn’t like. They saw it as bias, but admittedly, that’s the hopeful character of Naruto. He’d do the same for anyone, not just his son, which is why he’s one of pop culture’s best heroes.

Still, the way he left Kawaki unattended also allowed Amado to power the teen up again, which led to him leaving Boruto lifeless in the woods. Kawaki tried to kill his ‘brother’ because he knew he couldn’t risk Momoshiki coming to life, which made him a better Hokage — something Shikamaru got worried about. To make it worse, as Shikamaru kept yelling for Naruto to leave Boruto’s side and help fight off Code, the Hokage was frozen stiff.

RELATED: Boruto: Code May Have Turned His Closest Ally Into an Enemy

Naruto even switched off Sage Mode, which had Shikamaru furious. At the end of the day, they need to compartmentalize — which even softer Hokages did. Tsunade understood this when she sacrificed Jiraiya against the Akatsuki, while Kakashi often warned Naruto he had to separate family from strategy.

Unfortunately he couldn’t do it, leaving Shikamaru blowing a gasket. Luckily, Kawaki shooed Code away in a brutal fight, making Shikamaru wary that all these emotions are weakening Naruto. It’s giving him a moral compass when he needs to be darker and more decisive, and sadly, if he keeps failing against the likes of Code and the all-seeing cyborg, Eida, the alliance may well crumble.

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