Outsiders to anime might not understand how impactful these stories can be. Naruto is a great example of this – at a glance, it seems impossible that this brightly colored animation about a goofy, spiky-haired ninja could ever be impactful or profound.
But the truth is – Naruto and Naruto: Shippuden has some of the most crushing and sad quotes in all of the storytelling.
At first, the story is just about a sad, lonely orphan ninja trying to make it in the world he inhabits, but through time we come to learn that this world is full of rich, complex characters with tragic backstories and character arcs.
One of the main reasons that Naruto has transformed into the classic anime, beloved worldwide, is because of its tendency to pull on the heartstrings of fans. This is done through rich, tragic backstories that heavily influence the story.
Because of this, we wanted to compile a list of some of the saddest Naruto and Naruto: Shippuden quotes of all time.
We’ve arranged them in no particular order and without ranking, because how impactful a lot of these quotes are depends entirely on how you connect with the specific character or storyline.
So let’s begin – here are 8 of the saddest quotes in the entirety of Naruto – make sure to bring some tissues for when the tears start welling.
“The Smoke, It Gets In My Eyes…” – Shikamaru Nara
We thought we’d start off with a side character, but with a moment that is no less sad than any of the others on this list. The relationship between genius tactician Shikamaru Nara and his sensei Asuma Sarutobi is one of the greatest in the Naruto Universe.
Asuma understands his students’ strengths and weaknesses and works tirelessly to shape Shikamaru into a powerful and noble ninja.
The entire relationship between all members of Team Asuma is impressive, as they’re one of the only teams in all of Naruto that seems to completely get along with one another.
But as with all things in Naruto, writer Masashi Kishimoto had other things planned. And fans across the world were devastated to find Asuma Sarutobi killed by twin members of the Akatsuki, Hidan, and Kakuzu.
This leads to one of the most emotional Arcs of Naruto, in which Team 7 and Team Asuma band together to get revenge for their fallen teacher.
This arc is particularly difficult for Shikamaru, who shared a special relationship with Asuma and struggles to keep emotions out of his battle with the despicable Hidan.
Once their battle is done, in the manga Shikamaru is seen smoking a cigarette just as his old mentor does, but finds it difficult and cries stating “the smoke… it gets in my eyes…” This quote shows us how much Shikamaru cares for his mentor and is difficult to watch/read. Poor Shikamaru!
“How The Hell Could You Seal The Kyuubi In Your Own Son?” -Naruto Uzumaki
One of the most important events in all of Naruto is when Naruto Uzumaki was imbued with the spirit of the Kyuubi, or the Nine-Tailed Fox.
This is one of the moments that define the beginning and tone of the story – and cemented Naruto’s early as a tragic orphan with no friends, living in a village that despised him because of what was inside him.
Even more shockingly, we find out that it was the decision of his parents – Minato and Kushina, in their final moments – to save the village as well as to imbue their son with great power that he could learn to harness when he came of age.
It was ultimately a good decision and one made out of love, but that’s not to say it made Naruto’s life easy.
When he finally meets his parents in the later chapters/episodes of Naruto: Shippuden he is both elated and angry with them. And asks the question – how could they seal the Kyuubi inside of him?
It’s a rare moment of candid emotion for Naruto and teaches us how strongly he felt about his isolation and sadness, even if he had since overcome it.
The underdog nature of the titular character is one of the reasons we love the series! Watching Naruto, a boy who grew up with nothing, become stronger, gain friends and achieve his dreams is just too awesome!
“When A Man Learns To Love, He Must Bear The Risk Of Hatred,”– Madara Uchiha
This is a quote said by Madara Uchiha, and may indeed sum up the exact reason for all of the antagonists of Naruto.
Unlike other stories, there is no clear-cut division between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ in Naruto – most of what separates the protagonists and antagonists is a difference in perspective. We can see this clearly with Madara with this quote.
Madara is a man who is hell-bent on breaking the cycle of hatred by controlling all of humanity. By trapping everyone in a dream world, he believes that he can stop all pain from ever happening. This links back to his own tragic past where he was unable to stop the death of his younger brother.
And here we begin to understand what he means by this sad and fatalistic quote – the idea that love and hatred go hand in hand.
If you love something and that thing is taken away from you, then it is very likely that you will begin to hate the world or those around you as a consequence.
It is one of the main themes of Naruto – the cycle of hatred that can never be broken. All of the villains of the story are in some way trying to find ways to reverse or fix their tragic backstories.
“We Cannot Help But Know That People Cannot Understand Each Other. The World Of Ninjas Is Ruled By Hatred.” – Pain
It could be said that the more powerful the villain, the more likely they are to have a tragic backstory, and this is especially true with pain. Much like his comrade Madara, Pain understands that hatred will always be a cycle without end.
This quote here is an example of his own warped and sad perspective. Since the death of his best friend Pain or Nagato came to believe that the world was inherently ruled by hatred and violence.
As a wartime orphan, it’s understandable that he would feel like this, and it is one of the reasons that we come to have empathy for Pain despite the violence that he unleashes on the world around him, as well as some of the most beloved characters in the series.
His perspective here is also vital for Naruto as a character, who is troubled by the logic of Pain’s words and struggles to find his own answer.
“So“Sorry Sasuke, But This Is The End.” – Itachi Uchiha
Most fans would agree that the saddest story in all of Naruto belongs to the legendary Itachi Uchiha. Genius of his clan and kind and loving brother and son, Itachi is forced into a world of darkness after he must choose between his family and the fate of the world.
Itachi lives much of his life as a missing ninja, a dangerous individual forever outlawed for the massacre of his entire clan. More than this, he leaves behind a younger brother who is hell-bent on killing him and taking revenge.
It isn’t until after their apocalyptic battle that we come to know the truth of Itachi – that he was forced into massacring the Uchiha, and that he refused to kill his little brother, and has been trying to protect him ever since.
After Sasuke learns the truth about his brother, he thinks back to the final moments of their battle before Itachi collapses and dies.
This quote is Itachi’s final line before his resurrection in subsequent arcs, and he dies with a smile on his face, looking at his younger brother. It’s a real tear-jerker!
“You Truly Are A Kind Child.” -Itachi’s Father
This is a quote by a character we don’t hear much from, but it is one of the saddest quotes in the entire story. Later in the series, we get to see the exact moment in which Itachi Uchiha kills his parents.
He doesn’t want to, but he understands that in order to avoid war and the deaths of countless others he must do so.
Before this scene, readers assumed that there were no words spoken between him and his parents, but we learn that not only did Itachi talk to them before making the killing blow, but that they accepted his perspective and their own fates and let him kill them.
It is in this heart-breaking scene that we get the devastating line of ‘You truly are a kind child.’ Itachi’s life really is one of the saddest stories we’ve ever heard of!
“If Anyone Else Tries To Ridicule The Way I Live, I’ll Slaughter Everyone They Ever Cared About. And Then Maybe They’ll Understand What It’s Like To Taste… A Little Of My Hatred” – Sasuke Uchiha
Onto the younger and more troublesome member of the Uchiha brothers now – here we have a very dark quote from Sasuke Uchiha who is trying to explain his intense emotions around the suffering he was forced to endure in his life.
Itachi’s actions had intense effects on his brother’s life, and Sasuke grew up completely alone, with severe PTSD over the death of his entire clan.
In this quote, he explains how nobody else is able to understand him – that because of his experiences he is completely consumed by hatred.
“Just Barely Glorious, But Glorious Indeed.” – Jiraiya, the Toad Sage.
One of the other deaths in Naruto: Shippuden that rivals all others in terms of sadness, is the death of the legendary Jiraiya, the Toad Sage.
After a grueling battle with Pain, his old student, it becomes very clear that he has no way of getting out alive. With his opponent so powerful and mysterious, Jiraiya is reduced to a corpse that is sinking down to the bottom of the ocean.
In one of the most powerful moments of Naruto, Jiraiya does what he can to get vital battle intel to his village, to make sure that they will be able to defeat Pain when the time comes.
After this Jiraiya laments his life and achievements, and ultimately makes peace with them, summing it up as “Just barely glorious, but glorious indeed.”
This quote sums up Jiraiya’s story arc and gives the reader/watcher a lot of difficult emotions and questions to deal with. For example, can one be happy if one does not achieve all that they want?
Can you be content just to be a small part of a wider prophecy? These are the kind of things that Jiraiya accepts as he floats down to his death.
Jiraiya was the true teacher of Naruto and eventually entrusts him his will of fire – to protect the hidden leaf and break the cycle of hatred.
We hope that this article has given you some insight into the saddest quotes in Naruto. One thing we noticed when writing this article was just how difficult it was to choose.
There are so many heartbreaking moments in Naruto and so many characters who have important, profound things to say.
The central theme of the ‘cycle of hatred’ and whether or not this pain and suffering are inevitable is a tough question that the series tackles, and eventually we are given hope despite all of the sad moments.
It is clear that Naruto is the kind of anime that will stand the test of time, and will no doubt devastate fans with its sad character arcs for generations to come!