With its focus on adventure and the shinobi lifestyle, the Naruto franchise doesn’t have a lot of time for romance. But over the decades the anime has been around, quite a few relationships became big parts of the story and shaped the way some of the characters encountered the world.
Many of the relationships formed during the early days of Naruto have lasted well into the Boruto sequel series as well. Those that did are still going strong. Those that didn’t? They were torn apart by tragedy. And in some rare cases, the pairing in question never should have ended up together in the first place.
Updated on July 18, 2022 by Amanda Bruce: Despite the focus being on the betrayals and war for the shinobi world, fans will still debate whether Naruto ended up with the right person for his romantic partner years later. Though crushes amongst the teenage characters were fairly common in the series, not a huge number of romantic Naruto couples made it out alive. Naruto is one of the few characters in the franchise to have his relationship breadcrumbs dropped from the very beginning of the series. Fans who enjoy watching the Naruto couples’ stories unfold are in luck since they can rewatch the series from the beginning on multiple streaming platforms.
Tenji And Kaguya (Unknown)
If it weren’t for Tenji and Kaguya, the entire shinobi world wouldn’t even exist. Their relationship gives birth to the shinobi lifestyle as the Naruto franchise knows it, though it’s also glossed right over in the story of the manga and anime.
That means the audience doesn’t know much about the relationship between the two other than the fact that Tenji ends it after he realizes how violent and powerful Kaguya is.
Hashirama Senju And Mito Uzumaki (Unknown)
Much like Kaguya and Tenji, the relationship between these two characters shaped a lot of the shinobi world. Hashirama Senju became one of the founders of Konohagakure, and Mito Uzumaki became the first host of the nine-tailed fox.
Not much about their relationship to one another was revealed in the Naruto franchise though, so it’s hard to see them outrank a couple known for supporting one another or having each other’s backs in battle. They had to make for one powerful alliance, whether they truly loved each other or not.
Sasuke And Karin (Unknown)
Whether or not these two students of Orochimaru were ever really a romantic pairing is up to interpretation. It’s clear that Karin harbored a bit of an obsession with Sasuke, but Sasuke didn’t seem to have more than a sense of camaraderie with Karin.
Karin’s feelings for Sasuke were so strong that she allowed him to bite her to have access to her healing abilities — something she refused to let anyone else do. Sasuke simply used Karin’s expertise to help him on missions. If any relationship was actually the worst in the Naruto franchise, it was this one.
Rasa And Karura (At Least 3 Years)
There are a handful of things the audience knows about Kazekage Rasa. Chief among them is that he ruled his people and his children with an iron fist. Rasa was more worried about making sure his warriors were the best than he was about bonding with his children.
That was largely because his wife, and the mother of his three children, ended up dying right after Gaara was born. Rasa was clearly devastated by the death of Karura, and he didn’t handle it well, blaming Gaara for the events, and treating his son more like a weapon than a child. Maybe things would have been different if Karura had survived the ordeal, but that ultimately remains unclear.
Fugaku And Mikoto (At Least 14 Years)
The Uchiha clan didn’t seem to be all that lucky in love. While Fugaku and Mikoto seemed to be a loving couple, fans didn’t get to spend a whole lot of time with them to find out. Instead, the duo fell to their oldest son’s plan for a massacre.
At the very least, these two were united until their 13-year-old son became embroiled in an assassination plot. Knowing death was coming for them right before Itachi did, they stayed side by side and embraced their ends together.
Sasuke And Sakura (On And Off For At Least 13 Years)
Yes, Sasuke and Sakura are a fan-favorite couple, there’s no denying that. Sakura, especially as an adult, has a love for Sasuke that softens his harsh lifestyle. During most of the Naruto franchise, however, that love was all one-sided.
Sasuke consistently treated Sakura horribly while they were growing up, and she still had faith in him. Once they finally got together, he left her all over again to atone for his past actions. It’s clear that they care deeply for one another in the Boruto series, but they aren’t the best at showing it. The breaks from their relationship seem to work for them as they’ve come back to one another repeatedly and united in parenting Sarada.
Kizashi And Mebuki Haruno (At Least 15 Years)
Despite how important the absence of family was to both Naruto and Sasuke’s development, their teammate Sakura’s parents were rarely seen in the series. In fact, the series only utilized them in a tie-in episode for one of the Naruto movies.
That single episode did showcase the fact that Sakura came from a loving home. Her parents paid attention to her interests, encouraged her to be a shinobi, and always had time for her as well as each other. They’re presented as a supportive and united front, seemingly much better matched than many of the couples in the series, but with no real involvement in the stories of the franchise.
Dan And Tsunade (Unknown)
Just how long Dan and Tsunade were together is never made clear in the series. What is clear is that Dan was the love of Tsunade’s life. She was ready to marry him, but they fell in love during a time of war.
Unfortunately, their relationship was cut short when Dan died in the line of duty. Tsunade was so traumatized by the loss and being unable to save him that she seemingly never pursued another relationship. Instead, she maintained an antagonistic friendship with Jiraiya for the rest of her life that she never allowed to blossom into more.
Hayate And Yugao (Unknown)
Hayate and Yugao were a great snapshot of what was happening to other members of the community in the anime. While most of the focus was on Naruto, his peers, and their teachers, there was an entire community living their lives in the background.
Hayate and Yugao were both accomplished shinobi, members of Konohagakure’s Anbu, but Hayate was killed by Baki early in the franchise. In the background of the story, Yugao continued to visit his grave until she was forced to battle his reanimated body during the war. The audience never actually saw them while they were in a relationship, but they did see Yugao’s grief and devotion in a long arc.
Shikaku And Yoshino (At Least 17 Years)
Better known as the parents of Shikamaru Nara, Shikaku and Yoshino didn’t get a ton of attention as a couple. But what little fans saw of them together made it clear that they complemented one another.
Though like his son, Shikaku was incredibly strong-willed outside of the home and in his line of work, he set his stubborn streak aside for his wife. Yoshino ran her home like a tight ship and Shikaku deferred to her. Outside of that, fans don’t know much of the ins and outs of their relationship. They were together until Shikaku was killed in the Fourth Shinobi World War.
Sai And Ino (At Least 14 Years)
For some fans, Sai seemed like Ino’s consolation prize. As a child, she wanted Sasuke, but did she settle for Sai? Not exactly.
Ino, prone to emotional outbursts and a need to be the center of attention, found her other half in Sai. Sai had to work to understand emotion, and his blunt honesty proved he found Ino more appealing than the rest of his friends. She taught him about emotion and he helped to temper her ego. Over 14 years, they got together, wed, and raised their own young shinobi. They’re still going strong in the Boruto series.
Shikamaru And Temari (At Least 14 Years)
Shikamaru and Temari were one of the earliest couples fans could see developing in the franchise. While other teens in the Naruto series had crushes on one another that didn’t look to be reciprocated, these two developed a friendship, and later a relationship, built on respect for one another’s intelligence and skills.
They first ended up on one another’s radar when facing off during the Chūnin Exams. Over the next few years, they took turns saving one another’s lives, worked together to train aspiring shinobi, and denied they were dating to anyone who asked. A few misunderstandings later, they ended up married and raising a son. Temari might be treated like just another angry female caricature in Boruto, but she and Shikamaru are still completely devoted to one another.
Asuma And Kurenai (Unknown)
It’s not clear when Asuma and Kurenai went from shinobi colleagues to a couple. They worked alongside one another as sensei for Chūnin shinobi for years. Nobody knew they were officially together until Asuma’s life was on the line.
Fans got to see hints of their relationship as the two were often spotted in the background together in the anime. Likewise, Asuma’s students teased them about their potential relationship on more than one occasion. Asuma had a quiet devotion to Kurenai, committed to protecting her and their unborn child so that the next generation could live on. If he had lived, they likely would have been raising their daughter together in the Boruto series.
Naruto And Hinata (Over 14 Years)
When they were children, Naruto didn’t entirely understand romantic love. Crushes and competing for affection, yes. But not love. He didn’t see Hinata’s faith in him and adoration for his character as her being in love with him until it was almost too late. The events of The Last: Naruto the Movie opened his eyes.
Once the pair was open about their feelings, they seemed to find a near-perfect balance in their relationship. Naruto matured greatly, no longer prone to explosive outbursts. Hinata opened up more, no longer hiding in the background. They were good for one another, even if, as an adult, his job as Hokage frequently meant they don’t get as much time together.
Minato And Kushina (Unknown)
Naruto’s parents are the kind of couple legends are made of. Minato and Kushina met as children and became friends. As adults, they fell in love and married, though it’s not clear how much time they had together before the nine-tailed fox was unleashed on their village.
Kushina was a fierce warrior in her own right and Minato trusted her judgment. Though he became the Hokage, Kushina was entrusted to house the spirit of the nine-tailed fox at his side. They fought for one another — and their village — right up until the end. Minato and Kushina sacrificed themselves so that their son could grow up, and even in death, their chakra showed their love for one another when Naruto encountered what was left of them.
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