Mugino remembers how the Third Hokage, Hiruzen Sarutobi, rescued him in one of the most recent episodes of the Boruto anime, and transformed him from a child assassin into somebody who wanted to be a hero in Konoha—reminding fans of what these leaders stood for.
After all, Mugino was a war survivor who accepted refuge and looked up at the mountains every day, inspired by the Hokages.
It felt like hearing as a child Naruto’s own ambitions, as well as in the present Konohamaru and Sarada’s, reminiscent of their plans to lead someday.
And of course, though the Hokages of the Leaf made many bad decisions, in slowly uniting the ninja nations, they also did a world of good.
With this in view, let’s rate them, from worst to best, based on what they’ve achieved so far.
7. Tobirama Senju
Tobirama found Hokage the very worst, and not because of a lack of field prowess, but rather because centuries earlier he actually sowed seeds of discord.
He obtained the title from his brother Hashirama as that of the Second Hokage, but Tobirama was not diplomatic at all. He was more violent, and that’s what forced Madara over the edge, angering the clan of Uchiha.
The acts of Tobirama prompted Madara to attack Hashirama after a civil war, with the villain being killed by the First Hokage.
But when Tobirama had earned his mantle, Hashirama persuaded him not to alienate the Uchiha clan, which, unfortunately, he had done anyway.
He founded the academy, the ninja tests, the ANBU black ops squad, the shadow clone, and the jutsus of resurrection, but ultimately Tobirama annulled these good actions by making the Uchiha felt like they were only weapons.
To sum up his persona, Tobirama wanted him to sell them rather than disburse them when Hashirama gathered the Tailed Beasts, so that each village would be safe.
This is the mentality that he brought over and that he was unable to unite nations. The likes of Sasuke, Danzo, Itachi and so many others, because of him, ended up becoming soldiers who claimed many lives.
Had he inculcated some of the comforts of Hashirama, Konoha would not have been as terrifying a spot.
6. Hiruzen Sarutobi
Hiruzen, as Lord Third, was an outstanding child nurturer and humanitarian. That’s why he was trying to take care of orphans like Sasuke, Naruto, and Mugino, but eventually, he couldn’t fix what his teacher, Tobirama, had said.
As he understood how child soldiers struggled, Hiruzen should’ve just broken this cycle, as well as spurred nations on in combat.
And yet, with the shinobi exams essentially used as a way to hone more weapons, he still followed through on the idea.
He ordered Itachi and Shisui to transform and wipe out the Uchihas, which would have a trickle-down impact that would cause more people to be killed by Orochimaru, Sasuke and the Akatsuki.
Hiruzen was a fucking idiot, and while he gave his life to his former classmate, Orochimaru, it just didn’t seem like he was atoning and changing Konoha as much.
A hero, however, died, as did Tobirama, who risked his life to save the battalion of Hiruzen, but Hiruzen still did not adhere to the original plan.
That’s also why Kakashi and the other seniors grew up winging it, persisting with the notion of child soldiers because it was something that Hashirama wanted them to phase out when he died eventually.
Still, Hiruzen began planting seeds to improve for the future, but in reality, he should have done more of it himself.
5. Lady Tsunade
Lady Tsunade was the granddaughter of Hashirama and took the title of the Fifth Hokage when Hiruzen died (as he re-assumed the mantle when the Fourth perished).
But her sense of courtesy and decorum is what makes her so admirable on her own, which is weird, as she didn’t have the personality, to begin with, because of her alcohol and partying habits.
Still, she understood the vision of the Senju family, especially Hashirama, and, when she assumed the position, began to bridge the gap better.
As she knew the defense was just as necessary as an offense, Tsunade helped Naruto form the alliance to battle Kaguya and concentrated on medical ninjas, chakra, and healing.
She also inspired Sakura to succeed as a protege, helping the teen fight to destroy the Rabbit Queen alongside Naruto and Sasuke.
Even though they were hated, Tsunade also made great sacrifices, such as sending Jiraiya to his death against the Akatsuki to regain intel.
Years later, Naruto also acknowledged that she made the right choice though he was unhappy with the decision in the past.
‘Granny Tsunade’ certainly added that for years Konoha had been lacking a degree of compassion and empathy, which deserves big kudos as she was rushed into the job and had weeks to adjust.
4. Kakashi Hatake
Kakashi is known for being the mentor of Naruto, but as someone who never wanted to lead.
But after peace had been reached, it only seemed right for Tsunade to hand down the mantle of Lord Sixth to him.
And, frankly, Kakashi did a fine job of melding two worlds in honor of his teacher, Minato (Naruto’s dad).
Through him, even as nations became more progressive and diplomatic with others, science became an important part of Konoha’s evolution.
There were still child soldiers, but they were not the first wave, with the young shinobi of the time really being groomed inside the village to protect.
Sasuke was also tutored as a Ranger by Kakashi, trying to master the vision Tsunade had when she forgave Uchiha, and it worked wonders as Kakashi in his younger days was like a father to him.
Although he would never acknowledge it, Kakashi was the Hokage who bridged the gap for several generations of shinobi, to the degree that he still does so for the crew of Boruto, even though he’s supposedly retired.
It’s all because he lost his father to suicide and gave up his childhood to kill, finally realizing that the family tends to make a shinobi happy.
Naruto taught him that, changing him for the better, and since then he has installed it in the politics of Konoha.
3. Minato Namikaze
When Hiruzen resigned, Minato assumed the role of Fourth Hokage and he is certainly the most laid-back of them all. And what really makes him stand out in this area is his commitment.
Not only did he transform Kakashi into a legend, but after Obito and Rin died and ‘Madara’ attacked them using the Nine-Tails, he still had to help Konoha recover.
Minato would put their lives at risk with his wife, Kushina, storing Kurama in Naruto the night he was born, saving the village and so many others.
It’s considered to be one of the greatest achievements that any ninja could have achieved. In reality, so much so that Hiruzen came back as he realized that no one was prepared to fill Minato’s shoes.
He was courageous, composed, selfless, and committed, uncovering information that revealed that the Uchiha were operating in the shadows again, along with other mysterious powers.
Because of what Minato had done in the office, Hiruzen became warmer, but he had to kiss the dream goodbye as soon as he realized trouble was coming.
It’s sad because if Minato had lived on, peace would surely have been reached sooner because he wasn’t as violent as Hokage before and wanted to help each other out in real villages.
But he is known as one of the fastest and toughest ninjas ever, “Yellow Flash,” which scared many of the main enemies.
2. Hashirama Senju
The First Hokage is respected by all shinobi when it comes to legends. Hashirama has fought many battles, and the hope of peace has always been driven home.
It’s a shame nobody else wanted it, making it clear that everyone was ahead of their time.
What this showed was how Tobirama was controlled and sought to hold him in line, ensuring that the villagers were all similarly pegged and wanted to co-exist.
He had enough chances to destroy Madara and the Uchihas as well, but he continued to try to unite all, which culminated in the founding of Konoha. He also brokered a temporary peace, but alas, there was no one on the same page.
Hashirama reluctantly accepted battle and took thousands of lives as his bloodline and cells transformed him into the most deadly soldier around: someone who could easily handle the Nine-Tails.
And yet, instead of locking it away, he never weaponized it, as he didn’t even want his people to become too powerful for fear of oppressing others after being corrupted by it.
That’s the kind of man he was—a paragon of goodness, and we found that he and Naruto had a lot in common when the Kaguya war brought him back, which is a testament to his jovial, caring nature.
1. Naruto Uzumaki
Naruto, like the present Hokage, Lord Seventh, has learned from the strongest. In reality, he is exemplary: he pushed Konoha into a technical marvel to accomplish what Hashirama wanted all the time.
What is so remarkable, though, is that he learns from the likes of Kakashi and Tsunade and trusts everything he does.
And since, under Naruto’s watch, he was the main cog in stopping Kaguya, there was even more peace within the alliance.
But what makes him so special is not that he has inside himself a Kurama and infinite power—his it’s spirit.
He grew up an orphan, only to meet his parents after they died in the Kaguya war, and he truly knows the family because of that.
That’s why he was fighting tooth and nail for those he cared for, even losing his hand to rescue Sasuke, and why he opened the borders of Konoha.
To him, it all loves spreading: eliminating poverty by helping other regions develop financially and medically.
He’s really making political reform, battling on paper rather than in the field, although it may not be flashy.
It says it all to see him sacrificing family time, and going all out for one abandoned kid like Kawaki. We can’t ignore him, even on the ground, as Kara and Isshiki did.