Naruto Uzumaki, one of the most loved anime characters on the planet, has inherited his charming personality from his parents. Minato Namikaze and Kushina Uzumaki may not have been part of the main characters of the Naruto series. However, their limited time-screen proved that they are two of the most popular and vital characters compared to other characters.
The entire Naruto series is an ultimate and timeless shonen anime that has been making noise since its release in the early 2000s. The series has an intimidating number of 720 episodes and a total of 11 movies so far. Therefore, with these numbers, one can expect a massive amount of characters that made a significant role in the plot of the series, specifically in Naruto’s path to becoming a hokage.
Check out Naruto’s new Spring 2023 official art featuring Minato and Kushina:
However, among these characters are Kushina Uzumaki and Minato Uzumaki who are both considered as two of the most significant main supporting characters in the story. The Seventh Hokage, Naruto, has been a fan-favorite for more than two decades now. Minato and Kushina’s impact on Naruto’s life started after their death. The young prodigy may have lost them too soon. But death was not enough reason for him to not feel their love and even know his parent’s own love story.
How did Minato and Kushina Meet?
Naruto enthusiastically asked his mother, Kushina, about his parent’s love story. Despite being the only child of the Fourth Hokage and one of the strongest Uzumaki, Naruto grew up without knowing a thing about his parents. Although, his parents were shinobis who were greatly admired in the shinobi world, mainly Konoha, for their contribution, he grew up thinking he was alone from the beginning.
Naruto Uzumaki was the hope of the shinobi during the Fourth Great Ninja War. However, bringing him early into the battlefield wasn’t the wisest decision to win the war. Regardless of how much his friends needed to fight, he wasn’t still allowed to do that to better prepare himself against their greater enemies.
Naruto spent most of his time training at the Island Turtle or commonly known as Genbu. He was there together with Killer Bee, Yamato, Might Guy, and other shinobis. As a cover-up, Naruto thought that what they were doing was a mere examination of the island and that the war haven’t started yet.
During his training at the Tailed Beast Temple with Killer Bee and Yamato, Naruto was training himself to control his tailed beast, Kurama, like Bee. Overcoming all the hatred that comes with Kurama wasn’t easy for Naruto to control. By unlocking the tailed beast’s overwhelming chakra, Naruto began to undergo his uncontrollable jinchūriki forms. But, before he loses himself completely, his mother’s voice was able to save him.
Killer Bee even willingly helped Naruto to tame Kurama. Hatred nearly controlled Naruto, but Kushina saves him just in time. Minato and Kushina sacrificed their lives to save their only child. Minato sealed Kurama into their son using Eight Trigrams Sealing Style. But, Kushina still had a short but wholesome and emotional reunion with his son.
Naruto finally got to ask his mother his long-awaited question which is how she met his father, Minato. Kushina and Minato meet when they were still young and were both enrolled in the academy. Like Naruto, Kushina has an unbelievable amount of chakra. Thus, she was chosen as the next jinchuriki of the nine-tailed fox and was summoned to Konoha. Kushina struggled to adjust herself to her new environment and as a jinchuriki, but was always comforted by Hashirama’s wife, Mito Uzumaki.
Kushina was able to become a genin, but frequently got bullied because of his classmates. With her noticeable yet appealing red hair and round face she became the source for his classmates to tease. They made fun of her and kept calling her tomato.
However, Kushina knew how to defend herself from bullies and didn’t need the help of Minato, who was just quietly observing her from the sidelines. Her headstrong, and a bit ignorant, and stubborn personality earned her the nickname The Red-Hot Habanero.
During an encounter with one of her classmates who bullied her and his brother, Kushina had to fight them to defend herself. The older brother of her classmate pulled her hair and made her cry by telling her that an outsider could never become the hokage as she wished. After the fight, Kushina noticed Minato who was observing from a tree, and accused him of having the same perception as the others. But, before Minato could have explained himself, Kushina walked away.
With the huge amount of chakra that Kushina possesses, she became a victim of kidnapping. One night, Kushina got kidnapped by shinobis from the Village of the Cloud. Using the hair she hated most, Kushina left her tracks by leaving her hair strands behind. Luckily, Minato came across the strands of hair and was able to save Kushina.
Her leaving a trail of her hair was she asking for help, but not much-expecting help to come because of how far the people in the village were from her. However, Minato became her hope and eventually the man she falls in love with. Minato revealed that he always find Kushina’s hair to be beautiful and never step out to help her because she was strong. The Yellow Flash of the Leaf and the Red-Hot Habanero began to form a love that was sooner brought the child prodigy of the shinobi world, Naruto Uzumaki.
Are Minato and Kushina as Strong as Naruto?
No, they’re not as strong as Naruto. However, the whole shinobi world acknowledges their strength, specifically, Minato.
As kids, Minato and Kushina shared the same dream as their son which is someday become the Hokage. Although Kushina didn’t become a hokage, this doesn’t mean that she was incapable of becoming one. Kushina was part of the Land of Whirlpools before becoming a shinobi of the leaf.
She was born with a powerful chakra that granted her the ability to tame a tailed beast. Suppressing Kurama or other tailed beasts is not easy. This showed that Kushina is beyond capable as a kunoichi. She was even the one who taught Minato the infamous sealing jutsu and possibly the only person strong enough to materialize the Adamantine Sealing Jutsu that is strong enough to restrain Kurama.
On one hand, Minato Namikaze is hailed as one of the strongest shinobi of all time. Even the great Raikage, A, acknowledges his strength because of witnessing Minato’s greatness himself. Kushina even highlighted to their son that Minato always dreamt of becoming a hokage admired by everyone in the village.
Minato Namikaze has always prioritized the welfare of his people and is known to single handily defeat an army from the Hidden Stone Village. He also took part in the Fourth Great Ninja War alongside the previous hokages to help the world shinobi win the war against Madara Uchiha and Kaguya Otsutsuki.
During the Pain Arc, Naruto began to know more about himself through his father. Minato Namikaze died along with his beloved wife, Kushina Uzumaki. But, he was still able to show his love and support to his son by appearing in front of him when he needed him most. No matter how strong and capable Naruto has become during his training in Mount Myoboku his strength wasn’t still enough. However, with Minato’s pieces of advice, he was able to find the answer and end the war with Pain.
Minato also sealed more of Kushina’s chakra in Naruto believing that there is more that a mother should tell to their child compared to the father. This is the reason why Kushina had more time for their son during his training at the Island Turtle. Meeting their son and helping Naruto when he needed the guidance of his parents most shows that the couple was great shinobis. They may have died too soon, but they made sure as parents and shinobis that it will not be their last moment with Naruto.
Why are Minato and Kushina Popular?
Minato is undoubtedly one of the most popular characters in the anime community alongside Itachi, Naruto, Sasuke, Kakashi, and more from the Naruto series. In fact, in the recent Naruto99 worldwide popularity poll of the series, Minato Namikaze took the top spot; hence, he will be getting his own spin-off. As the Yellow Flash of Konoha and the village’s Fourth Hokage, he has won the hearts of many Naruto fans. However, it is not only him who received a lot of love because of his role in the series. Kushina Uzumaki,
Minato and Kushina’s backstory did not only end with them becoming friends and falling in love young. Kushina began to tell more about their life after Minato became the hokage and got married. Kushina was able to provide her son glimpses of their life before he came into their lives. She told him about the time they happily found they were pregnant and how risky it was for Kushina as a jinchuriki. Also, how they willingly sacrificed their lives to save him and protect the people of Konoha from the nine-tailed fox and the man in the mask who keeps on haunting them.
The backstory of Minato and Kushina starts in episode 246(The Orange Spark) to episode 249 (Thank You). Their flashback episodes might have consisted of a few episodes. But, these episodes were enough to leave a mark in all viewers’ hearts. It grew so much in the hearts of fans that up until today is preferred by many compared to the Filler Arcs or the Danzo Arc of the Naruto series.
Furthermore, the love story of Minato and Kushina featured is considered to be one of the best-written relationships in the entire series. The two compliments each other’s weaknesses and strengths so much that made them harder to forget. Although their screen time was limited, viewers were able to witness how genuine their relationship started and how tragically beautiful it ended. Some fans even shared on Twitter how they admire the relationship of Naruto’s parents:
In the whole anime community, Naruto is probably one of the many characters who had to endure a lot of things because of not having anyone beside him. However, even with the loss of his parents, he, later on, came to know that his life is the one thing that he should be grateful for them. Not only did his parents give him his life, but they also sacrificed their lives just for him to live.
Kushina and Minato prove that the love they had for their child can be inherited. Despite all the things that the Seventh Hokage has gone through, he never strayed from the wrong path and choose to be kind like how his parents were.