In the world of Naruto, a popular manga and anime series, the main character rarely kills his enemies. Despite facing numerous adversaries and engaging in violent battles, Naruto Uzumaki, the protagonist and unlikely hero of Konoha, only directly eliminates one person throughout the series. This stands out in a world where ninja nations are at war, possessing supernatural powers.
The choice to have Naruto refrain from killing can be attributed to the values promoted by the Shōnen Jump magazine. The protagonists in Shōnen Jump stories are often portrayed as kind-hearted individuals who prioritize teamwork and display mercy towards their enemies. When villains do meet their end in these manga and anime, the storyline is designed in such a way that the protagonist is not directly responsible for their demise. Naruto follows this pattern, particularly in his battle against Pain, where he is able to change the perspective of the villain and persuade him to sacrifice himself and bring back his previous victims. Even Kaguya Otsutsuki, Naruto’s ultimate opponent, is sealed away instead of being destroyed.
Although Naruto has emerged victorious against numerous enemies, he has only killed one person named Yura, a Jonin from the Village Hidden in the Sand. Yura was initially seen as a trusted member of the Kazekage council but later revealed to be a secret agent working for the Akatsuki. After Sasori and Deidara invade the Hidden Sand Village, Yura’s memories are reactivated. Naruto, along with Kakashi, Sakura, and Chiyo, confronts Yura disguised as Itachi, Sasuke’s brother. Naruto ultimately eliminates Yura using his signature move, the Rasengan. Yura’s lifeless body confirms his death.
It is worth noting that Naruto’s decision to kill Yura is unusual considering the series’ overarching theme of avoiding portraying Naruto as a ruthless killer. It could be argued that Yura was considered a minor character, giving Naruto the opportunity to eliminate him without compromising his morality. Another possibility is that this death was intended to highlight Naruto’s increased maturity after the time jump, as this battle takes place at the beginning of Naruto Shippuden.
While Yura is the only character officially killed by Naruto, there are possibilities in non-canonical episodes. For example, Raiga, a hidden mist ninja, is sent flying off a cliff by Naruto’s Rasengan. However, Raiga actually commits suicide during the fall, realizing that he would die regardless. Therefore, Naruto may not be entirely responsible for Raiga’s death. Additionally, Naruto participates in the defeat of Urashiki Otsutsuki in a non-canonical Boruto storyline. Urashiki travels back in time to attack the young Naruto but is ultimately destroyed through the combined efforts of Naruto, Sasuke, Boruto, and Jiraiya.
Yura’s death remains an exception to the unwritten rule in Shōnen manga that protagonists should not be ruthless killers. Some have speculated that Yura was already killed by Pain’s transformation jutsu and Naruto’s Rasengan merely shattered the illusion, leaving behind a corpse. While there is no evidence to support this in the canon, it allows the main character to maintain his moral superiority by not landing the fatal blow himself. Officially, however, Yura is the only character whose death can be directly attributed to Naruto.