One of the most popular Japanese manga series in history, Naruto is loved by people across the globe. It was adapted into an anime television series and broadcasted through more than 720 episodes across two series. Written by Masashi Kishimoto, the anime tells the story of an adolescent ninja named Naruto Uzumaki who searches for recognition and dreams of becoming the leader of his village.
One of the best things that make this anime so popular and loved is its character design and development. They are relatable and inspiring. The interesting plot has kept the audiences hooked for nearly 2 decades. Since its creation, the anime has influenced cultures from around the world. It has become one of the best-selling manga series and received many awards and recognition.
Table of Contents
- Top 10 – Best Naruto Episodes – UPDATED 2018
- 5. Episode 469: Kakashi’s Face Revealed
- 2. Episode 138: Sasuke vs Itachi
Top 10 – Best Naruto Episodes – UPDATED 2018
Skimming through 720+ episodes and identifying the ‘Top 10’ best is no easy task, it took us weeks of research across numerous forums and fan-boards to finalize on this list. If you are a fan, you might still disagree with our list or its positioning, but if you are just getting started with this series, any one of the below episodes can get you hooked.
The following episodes aren’t necessarily the most important or crucial aspects of the series, but those that contain epic battles and captivating scenes.
10. Episode 343: Obito Loses His Mask
Tobi appeared in the early episodes of Shippuden and everybody was curious to know the person behind the mask. In the beginning, Tobi acted like a 10-year-old kid but was shown to be mature later and it was then that we realized that he was the man behind the mask.
During the battle, Tobi enters the other dimension and Naruto creates a shadow clone. Tobi was hit by Naruto’s Rasengan and his mask shattered into pieces. What was revealed behind the mask remains one of the greatest plot-twists in anime history.
Ask any Naruto fan this question, and I’m sure this episode is part of his or her ‘Top 10’. The way the plot was driven before arriving at a climax of epic proportions would put most Hollywood movies to shame. If you want to live through the insane excitement of this arc, I would urge you to refrain from any further research and start watching the show.
9. Episode 322: Madara Shown On Battlefield
All had expected to see Madara on the battlefield, being one of the best and the most powerful shinobi in the Naruto Universe, all of the Allied-Shinobi-Forces had prepared themselves for the inevitable fate of facing the legendary leader of the Uchiha clan himself, but the first few minutes into this battle, and all the shinobi, clan leaders, and their feudal lords faced a reality check, all their planning, preparation and strategies went haywire against the sheer brute-force of Madara Uchiha.
Up until this moment, the shinobi war was against a group of powerful shinobi part of a secretive organization which indulged in guerrilla warfare to make up for its small strength with conflicting goals of world-domination and anarchism, but the entry of Madara Uchiha was the beginning of a frightful realization that this wasn’t a war against anarchy but against anhiliation, and this once organized criminal organization now seemed like an invincible god of mass-extinction.
The depiction of Madara in this episode is animation brilliance, his body-language, ninjutsu style and action sequences are virtually indescribable, you just watch a few seconds of this performance and you stay hooked for the entire episode, no wonder, why this particular episode is used for 100s of animated music videos on Youtube.
8. Episodes 162-169: Pain vs Naruto
In Naruto Shippuden, Pain’s Assault on the Hidden Leaf Village was the critical juncture which defined the ultimate purpose and destiny of the series along with its main characters. Spanning over 20 episodes, this arc clarified and defined the various aspects of the series, it also helped justify the true powers of Naruto to his peers and the world.
It started with the criminal organization Akatsuki lead by Pain invading Konoha (The Hidden Leaf Village) and destroying everything that comes its way, within a few hours, much of the village was in ruins and most of the powerful shinobi’s died fighting this seemingly invincible invader.
During the initial offense, Naruto was away from the village, training, and returned soon after he got word of the attack. What followed next was 12 episodes of epic action and fighting, during which Naruto showed-off some amazing new skills and techniques he had picked up while training and ultimately brought down all the different paths of Pain and ultimately Pain himself, who was one of the strongest naruto characters, after forcing him to resurrect everyone whom he had killed during the attack.
What makes this arc truly exception is that it features the various challenges Naruto has overcome throughout the series, from being a social outcast, to losing his best friend and quite recently his beloved teacher. Unlike previous missions, almost everyone in the village got the wind of Naruto’s heroics and abilities, which made everyone acknowledge him as a hero of the Hidden Leaf Village.
7. Episode 249: Thank You
One of the most sentimental and best Naruto episodes, the episode was filled with tears and death. Dealing entirely with the birth of Naruto and the death of his parents, this episode answered many of the questions we’ve had since the beginning.
It was during the battle against Pain that Naruto realized that his father was Minato Namikaze who was the 4th Hokage of the Hidden Leaf, and in this episode, he meets his mother Kushina Uzumaki and learns about his parents and his own birth.
The episode ends on a brilliant note, with Naruto acknowledging that he has no hard feelings about his parents abandoning him while hugging Kushina before she fades away forever. The flow of this episode again shows the brilliance of the writers and animators, this episode is filled with fun, laughter, and tears, and in just 1 episode they managed to turn Minato and Kushina into lovable characters, forcing viewers to shed tears towards the end for the death of characters they’ve known for less than 2 episodes.
6. Episode 133: Jiraiya’s Death
Being one of the main characters in the anime and Naruto’s master, Jiraiya’s death was one of the saddest moments in Naruto. Jiraiya met his death while spying on the Hidden Rain Village. There, he came across Pain and fought with him without being aware of his power. However, he did not die worthless. He succeeded in sending all the information about Pain to Konoha and this proved to be very useful to Naruto later in defeating Pain.
Jiraiya’s death was definitely the most painful moment in the series not just because he was one of the central characters, but because of his light-hearted and gregarious personality. While being one of the most powerful shinobi, his behavior portrayed him as an adorable goofball forcing viewers from across the world to find him relatable and fall in love with him in just a few episodes.
Despite his self-deprecating humor, Jiraiya became a symbol of grit and indomitable spirit, not knowing when to give up, some of the traits he shares with Naruto. When he was mortally wounded while fighting Pain, his will got his own heart beating again so that he can send a small piece of information to Konoha. When he finally gave up, it was a sobering moment of disbelief, anger, and sadness among all fans.
5. Episode 469: Kakashi’s Face Revealed
One of the biggest mysteries in Naruto was Kakashi’s face and all of us had wondered what was behind his mask. An entire episode was dedicated to this mystery when his trainees – Naruto, Sakura and Sasuke tried every trick to discover his face and ended up with hilarious results and failure. However, in episode 469, Kakashi’s face is finally revealed and not once, but twice. The first time he showed his face was while removing the disguise and another time, his face was seen while he was hiding in a corner looking out for his trainees.
This is another beautiful episode in Naruto, which carries both humor and mystery keeping us hooked throughout, again please try to refrain from doing any further research if you want to stay away from spoilers that could definitely ruin your experience.
4. Episode 107: Naruto vs Sasuke
Naruto was chasing Sasuke and wanted to bring him back to the village. He found him in the valley where Hashirama and Madara had fought years back.
Sasuke challenged Naruto for a fight and Naruto accepted. The two started a fight and after a series of attacks against each other, Sasuke prepared his Chidori while Naruto formed the Rasengan. The two rushed towards one another with all their might while Sakura was screaming to stop. Sasuke had won this fight. However, this was not the last fight between them.
Not only does this episode contain one of the best fight scenes in the series, it was also something that gave Naruto a strong purpose, instead of aimlessly playing ninja. This was also the juncture in which fans started taking the series a bit more seriously, it was no longer a fairy tale where everything ultimately leads to good.
3. Episode 373: Sasuke’s Arrival to the Battlefield
This episode was regarding Sasuke’s decision to help Naruto and others. It was great seeing Sasuke arriving on the battlefield. It seemed like a reunion of two best friends. Seeing the two best friends on the battlefield with united powers and fighting side by side was fantastic. In the same episode, Sasuke was shown expressing his wish to become the Hokage.
It was a watershed moment for ‘Team 7’ fans who were waiting for the team to be united for more than a decade, but sadly it would not last forever turning this into a bittersweet moment altogether.
2. Episode 138: Sasuke vs Itachi
This was one of the most awaited and best Naruto episodes. We all knew that some day, the Uchiha brothers would meet and clash together will all the might. All were aware about the goal of Sasuke which was killing Itachi.
Everybody wanted to see if Sasuke’s hatred helped him defeat Itachi. The episode contained both emotions and fight. While everyone vouched for Sasuke to get his revenge, it ultimately turned out to be a confusing moment towards the end, especially due to the way Itachi took his last breath.
The story of Itachi and Sasuke Uchiha are some of the biggest hidden mysteries in Naruto, and something that truly defined the series. For those of you just getting started, I can guarantee this episode to be one hell of an experience.
1. Episode 418: Guy vs Madara
The fight between the craziest Naruto characters was the one that can’t be missed. This makes the episode the first on our list of the best naruto episodes. Guy with all the eight gates opened and Madara with the power of ten tails finally clashed. The fight was, though short, very intense and interesting. It was fantastic seeing the red vapor pouring out of Guy as he opened the inner gates of death.
Guy, just like Jiraiya, was a highly lovable character, who never took things seriously and always smiled at the face of adversity. Even though he was never one of the main characters, this episode had ‘Guy’ written all over it, this one episode made up for being sidelined across 100s of others, this one episode turned him into a fan-favorite.
On To Our Readers
Growing up, watching Naruto was one of the best times of the day, it not only imparted some amazing morals, it kept me focussed and determined to make my dreams a reality. If anyone tells you that watching cartoons is a waste of time, make sure you show them a few episodes of this amazing series.
I know many of you have suggestions, changes and recommendations for the above list of the best naruto episodes, please feel free to let us know about the same using the comments section below.