Explaining the Different Naruto Ranks
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Naruto is one of those verses that have a proper classification or grading of the characters. Naruto is very unique in this way because not all the verses have this many ranks with a clear gap between them. For first-time watchers, the understanding of the ranks can be slightly confusing as there are different types of ranks that serve different purposes.
This article will explain the rankings that every shinobi has to go through to reach a higher level throughout the series. So, let’s get started.
Naruto Ranks Guide
Academy Student is the most basic step you need to take to become a ninja. To become a shinobi, you need to join the academy and start from the very bottom.
Academy students are usually kids, no full-grown adult goes to the academy to become a ninja. Children who aspire to become full-fledged shinobi join the academy.
Academy students are not considered as shinobi, neither are they given their village’s headband. Academy student is not a qualification and academy students don’t get paid.
They are basically kids who are learning about basic ninjutsu, taijutsu, lore, and overall, the life of a shinobi.
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Genin is the next level, that a ninja has to go through. There is an exam conducted which every academy student has to pass to become a genin.
The difficulty of the exam varies from time to time. During Naruto’s time, the exam was to make shadow clones. It is different in Boruto’s era.
After passing the exam each Genin is assigned to a three-man squad with a Jonin as its leader.
That three-man squad will be a permanent team unless a squad member dies or a squad member requests the village’s Kage to change their squad for a considerable reason.
After the formation of the squad, there’s one final test that every genin has to pass. Which is conducted by their team’s Jonin.
Whatever conditions the Jonin asks them to fulfill, the Genin must do so or the Jonin has the power to send them back to Academy.
Once they pass the final exam, they are officially a Genin and can go on missions with their team. Genins get paid according to the difficulty of assigned missions.
Genins are only allowed missions up to C rank, but this is not strictly fixed as some Genins have done missions of higher ranks.
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Chunin is the next level a shinobi has to achieve. However, becoming a chunin is not easy and it takes enormous skill and patience.
A lot of shinobi never become a Chunin. Some quit being a ninja, some stay as genin and some die at the Chunin exams. Chunin exams are dangerous and hard to clear but once you do, you will have a higher ranking in the village.
Naruto and Sasuke never became a Chunin in the entire run of the series nor they got any promotion from Genin rank. Sasuke is still a Genin in Boruto currently whereas Naruto has now become Hokage.
A Chunin can go on missions ranking B and A. Going on higher ranking missions also increase the pay of the shinobi and you as a Ninja will be serving your respective Village on a higher level.
Most shinobi achieve chunin rank after they are 15–16 years old. But there have been some exceptional cases like Kakashi, Itachi, Minato, etc. who became a Jonin at a very young age, surpassing even chunin rank.
Overall, a Chunin is a respectable rank for a shinobi to accomplish in their career as Ninjas.
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Special Jonin are basically those shinobi who don’t have the same skillset as a Jonin but they have the knowledge and experience of a Jonin. They have the qualification to become the Jonin but they chose not to, some shinobi although they have the qualification just don’t feel like becoming a Jonin and become a team leader by taking 3 Genins under them.
There’s a lot of work within the village, outside the village and behind the scenes. The Leaf Village’s security, interrogation, undercover missions, conduct chunin exams and many other things are handled by Special Jonin. They get paid well and any shinobi can easily live their life and serve the village with this rank.
Jonin is the next step and a really big one. Jonin is one of the biggest ranks that a shinobi can achieve in their village.
Jonin’s have a huge responsibility on their shoulders as they become leaders of a three-man squad and they have three Genins under them.
Jonins who are assigned to those students who just became Genins, also has the responsibility to train them, teach them about teamwork, help them in finding their ninja way, and most importantly bringing them back home safely after a mission.
Their pay is very high, and it is also dependant on the rank of the mission. A Jonin can go to S rank missions as well although not with Genins but another fellow Jonins.
Any Jonin who has some years of experience and is capable can be selected or viewed as a worthy candidate for becoming the next Hokage.
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Anbu is something very different than the previous ranks that we have discussed. Every aspiring ninja dreams of becoming a Jonin as early as possible because that would be beneficial for their ninja careers.
Anbu is something completely different. To put it simply, this job is not for everyone. Anbu black ops work directly under the Hokage and are at the Hokage’s disposal at all times. Anbu has a very disciplined lifestyle where they work with the moral of selflessness and absolute sacrifice to the village and the Hokage.
Everyone cannot become an Anbu, you need a certain level of darkness within you and a sense of abandonment.
A shinobi cannot become an Anbu with just skill or training, it has a different qualification. Anbu works in the shadows without an identity of their own and like a sacrificial pawn wearing a mask.
The amount of money that the Anbu are paid has not been disclosed anywhere, so we can only assume from their extremely difficult missions that they should get paid more than the Jonins.
Most Anbu works for the Hokage apart from the Foundation created by Danzo. The Foundation is a darker version of the Anbu where every single member of the foundation is given mentally excruciating methods of training where they are trained to kill all their emotions and work as an emotionless pawn.
Foundation has done a lot of dirty work behind the scenes which was never revealed. After Danzo’s death, the Foundation was dissolved and the members joined the Anbu.
To conclude, Anbu’s moral is to protect and serve the Hokage in shadows, protect the village and sacrifice their life for the homeland.
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This is not exactly a qualification or a particular position. The above-given ranks are the ones that actually exist. Jonin and Anbu are one of the highest positions a shinobi can accomplish in their career.
S class is basically a rank through which the shinobi world recognizes certain shinobis.
Shinobi who are Jonin but essentially, they are above jonin level can be called S Class shinobi. They can also be great candidates for the position of future Kage and are usually recognized as High Jonin level to Low or Mid Kage level. Some rogue shinobi who are usually listed in the Bingo Book are always recognized as S class shinobi.
Most Akatsuki members are called S Class shinobi. This basically means that to defeat S Class shinobis you need more than 1-2 jonins.
The legendary Sannin Jiraiya, Tsunade, and Orochimaru can also be called S Class shinobi. Perfect Jinchuriki’s like Killer Bee, Yagura, etc are also S Class shinobi.
So, S Class is not a qualification but a certain rank by which we recognize certain shinobis with exceptional abilities.
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Kage is the highest position a shinobi can ever dream of. For a ninja, there is no level higher than becoming a Kage. A Kage is a shinobi who is the leader of his/her respective village.
Kage has control over the entire military, economical, educational, social, and global decisions of the village. The Kages have their own advisors, Anbu, and the committee to discuss important matters.
Kage gets paid the highest in a village because of the responsibility and the power of that position. To become a Kage you should have the knowledge of a Jonin, battle experience, leadership skills and most importantly you have to be the strongest shinobi in your village.
More than strength what’s important is that the people of the village must trust this position holder and look at him/her as a great candidate for the position.
Moreover, the title of the Kage is decided by the committee and the Feudal Lord. So, one needs to be well known in the village as well.
Kage is someone who puts the village before himself and is the one who has to go all out and sacrifice his own life if any threat approaches. For the Kages the entire village is their family and they have the highest position in a Village.
Kage is an ultimate rank for that ninja who cherishes their ambitions of helping out the shinobi world and selflessly shares their gifts with everyone.
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