Shonen anime tend to have quite a cast of characters. From the heroes to the villains, the people we have to keep track of as the story progresses only tends to grow in number. And so, some fans who have rather imaginative minds tend to ask mundane questions and make trivial comparisons. Naruto is no exception to this.
Of the members of Team Seven, barring Kakashi, we can say that each of them have their own intelligences. As a formality though, the franchise puts Sakura’s IQ at 174, Sasuke’s at 100 and Naruto’s at 90, just below the human average.
What is Naruto’s IQ?
If you’re familiar with the Naruto franchise in any capacity, it is common knowledge that their universe does not exactly have IQ tests. That being said, even if the Narutoverse did have those types of metrics, Naruto would probably not do as well as his peers simply because his intellect is not academically oriented.
It’s a given to fans and audiences alike that Naruto was never comparable to Einstein. He hated studying and found school tedious and boring. He admits and is fully aware of the fact that he's not as smart as Sakura and even Sasuke. What he is good at is situational awareness and critical thinking.
He was no Orochimaru or Itachi but Naruto was very capable of responding to different changes in the battlefield accordingly. He is adept in sensing other people’s emotions and is empathetic to even his opponents and rivals.
Long story short, Naruto may have been academically lacking but is highly adept in other metrics of intelligence especially involving his peers.
Is Naruto A Genius?
Before we get into this, let’s first define what a “genius” is. For the sake of this article we’ll define genius by utilizing the concept of being “proficient at something”. When it comes to skills, one thing that the Naruto universe has that is parallel to ours is the nature and nurture aspects of developing a particular ability.
Nature is the aspect wherein people are born with an ease of picking up and learning a certain trait or skill. Nurture is the aspect wherein a person gets better or worse in proportion to the time they spend improving on a skill.
That being said, it would be safe to assume that a “genius” is a person with a great amount of proficiency. Our next question would then be, “What are the qualities of a genius?” “Is a genius someone simply born smart?” “Is a genius someone who is capable of thinking critically and analytically?” or “Is a genius a fast learner able to master techniques at rapid paces?” It would be wise to consider these three very distinct qualities.
- People who are born smart can be considered geniuses however, people can also become geniuses through studying.
- People who are critical can be considered geniuses too, but people also develop awareness as they accumulate experience.
- People who are fast learners can be considered geniuses as well since they are able to quickly pick up tips and tricks through intuition and application.
And so, according to our definitions, the Jinchuuriki and the Kekkei Genkai would definitely and undoubtedly qualify as geniuses. So would Shikamaru, Itachi, Neji, and even our beloved hero, Naruto. But it is also important to distinguish their different types of proficiency as one genius cannot be compared to another.
- Shikamaru is adept at being analytical and critical, especially in battle.
- Byakugan users like Neji and Hinata are sensory geniuses.
- Naruto can be considered a Sage mode genius as he is adept at balancing his internal energies and is also a genius in using chakra intensive maneuvers.
Who are the Smartest People in Naruto?
The world of Naruto, and now by extension, Boruto, is filled with dozens upon dozens of unique ninjas, each with their own unique abilities. Many of these ninjas can be considered obviously smarter than others like Shikamaru and Kakashi but there are also so many others that don’t shine as much. Here are some of the Smartest people in the Narutoverse.
Unsurprisingly, we see one of the first villains we encounter in the Hidden Leaf Village. Even though Orichimaru has learned much from the Third Hokage and became powerful, he opted to go a much darker path in cultivating his techniques.
Orochimaru then became obsessed with experimentation up until he was struck down. The only good thing to come from his nefarious work was his beloved child: Mitsuki.
Despite having an elite status due to his birth in the Hyuga clan along with having Byakugan eyes, Neji was always burdened by his ranking in the clan. Because of his pariah status, he was then cursed into a duty of protecting the main branch until he died.
In an effort to resolve this internal conflict within himself, he then worked to master many techniques and was inevitably known to be a genius from the Hyuga clan despite his status.
A person not even Sasuke ever came close to beating was his older brother, Itachi. He may have killed his entire clan and joined Akatsuki in trying to succeed in his endeavors but his motivations for doing so are the furthest thing from evil.
Upon learning that his clan was attempting a coup against the Hidden Leaf, Itachi stepped up and tried to resolve things as peacefully as he could. When he failed, Itachi then saw no other choice but to exterminate his people in order to protect his brother and the village; a feat that caused him an excess of trauma and internal suffering.
Shikamaru Nara is actually one of the more unique characters in this list as his superior intellect runs in his family. It's safe to assume that, for Shikamaru’s case, him being a genius was just expected.
We actually see Shikamaru’s intellectual prowess at the Chunin Exams where he was the only one to be able to pass the test. His best friends were innovative strategies and off-the-cuff tactics to ensure his victory in actual battle or aptitude tests. After the Fourth Shinobi War, Shikamaru then goes on to become Naruto’s assistant.