Throughout Naruto, Kakashi Hatake has aided the protagonist through many hard times. He protects Naruto, acknowledges his efforts, and praises his successes. Kakashi also gives Naruto important information and lessons that he needs for the future, such as emphasizing teamwork or teaching new jutsu that will come in handy.
No matter how difficult the circumstances become, Kakashi is usually there as a teacher, guide, teammate, guard, and voice of reason. This is made more meaningful since Kakashi has his own demons in his past that he frequently struggles with. Nevertheless, this doesn't preclude his loyalty to the Hidden Leaf or to Naruto.
10 Kakashi Guarded Kushina When She Was Pregnant
Kakashi suffered trauma from the violent losses of his teammates, Obito and Rin, in the field. Minato, seeing how his student was struggling, assigned Kakashi to guard and protect Kushina, who had recently discovered her pregnancy. A montage shows that Kakashi loyally followed his sensei's orders.
While Kushina was out shopping, spending time with Minato, or simply sleeping at home, Kakashi was close by in his Anbu guise to ensure her safety. While the mission was for Kushina's benefit as well as to give Kakashi an important and less intense responsibility, there is no ignoring that Kakashi was essentially tasked with protecting Naruto before he was born.
9 Kakashi Advises Iruka To Be Patient With Naruto
Iruka lost his parents during the Kyubi attack, and it causes him to have ambivalent feelings toward young Naruto as his teacher. While Iruka knows Naruto is not at fault for Iruka's parents dying, Naruto still carries the Kyuubi inside him and is a troublesome student.
As Iruka reflects on his troubles, he encounters Kakashi, whom he questions about what to do with Naruto. Kakashi encourages Iruka to hang in there and states that he needs an open mind to facilitate one in Naruto. Finally, Kakashi tells Iruka that he is the only one who can reach him and that if he continues trying, he will find a way. The pep talk unquestionably works since Iruka becomes one of Naruto's most important people.
8 Kakashi Trains Team 7 & Instills The Importance Of Team Work
As Team 7's jonin instructor, Kakashi introduces his techniques by administering the Bell Test. When Sasuke, Naruto, and Sakura all fail to grab either of the two bells Kakashi holds, he admonishes them for thinking only about themselves instead of using teamwork, the entire point of the exercise.
Compared to someone like Guy who prioritizes determination and will to keep fighting, Kakashi's emphasis is teamwork, which he retained from Obito. Kakashi is an important first sensei for Naruto to have as an official genin. His mission with them to the Land of Waves exposes them to harsh realities about the ninja world, and his lesson on teamwork plays into Naruto's dedication to his friends and allies.
7 Kakashi Prevents Naruto's Rasengan From Injuring Sasuke Or Sakura
When Sasuke's resentment rears its head, he and Naruto duke it out on the hospital rooftop as Sakura fruitlessly tries to stop them. The spar already starts off brutal and intense, but it worsens until the duo is breaking out their strongest and most damaging jutsu to one-up each other.
When Sakura runs to halt their attacks, tragedy seems inevitable since neither Sasuke nor Naruto can stop. Thankfully, Kakashi intervenes and tosses them into the water towers. This saves Sakura's life and prevents Sasuke and Naruto from harming each other. Seeing how Kakashi is haunted by his Chidori killing Rin, the possibility of the worst outcome likely hit him hard.
6 Kakashi Brings Naruto Back To The Village After His Fateful Battle With Sasuke
When Sasuke leaves with the Sound Four to join Orochimaru, Kakashi is out of the village on another mission when Tsunade sends out the team to retrieve him. As such, he is too far away to be of much help during the fights taking place.
Though Kakashi hears about it and tries his hardest to reach the Valley of the End where Sasuke and Naruto are locked in combat, Kakashi is too late. Naruto isn't dead, but he is unconscious and Sasuke is gone. At that point, all Kakashi can do is carry a demoralized Naruto back to the Hidden Leaf for medical treatment and acknowledge Sasuke's defection.
5 Kakashi Helps Naruto Work To Control The Nine-Tails, His Chakra Nature & New Jutsu
One of Kakashi's greatest examples of assistance to Naruto is in helping him control the Nine-Tails. Kakashi watches over his student with Yamato and his Wood Release nearby as a contingency in case Naruto loses control over the Kyuubi. Kakashi also helps Naruto learn and harness his chakra nature: wind release.
This leads to Naruto learning a more powerful version of the Rasengan: the Rasenshuriken. The jutsu would become another signature go-to move for Naruto that would help him enormously in future combat. Through Kakashi's continued tutelage and monitoring of Naruto, he prepares his student for further battles and malevolent encounters with the Akatsuki, Sasuke, and Kaguya.
4 Kakashi Saves Naruto When His Rasenshuriken Fails Against Kakuzu
Following Naruto's training with Kakashi and his development of the Rasenshuriken, Naruto is raring to go with his new jutsu. Kakashi is barely keeping pace in his fight against Kakuzu when Naruto and the rest of the Konoha relief arrive to back up him and Team 10.
Summoning his new ability and obscuring his approach with shadow clones, Naruto rushes at Kakuzu to conclude the fight. But the jutsu, seeing as it is new and being used for the first time in an official battle, fizzles out when Naruto is within range. Thankfully, Kakashi swoops in and rescues Naruto, saving his student from getting killed by Kakuzu.
3 Kakashi Gives Naruto A Lift When He Is Exhausted After His Victory Over Pain
In a heartwarming callback to the aftermath of Naruto and Sasuke's battle at the Valley at the End, Kakashi again offers a shoulder for Naruto to lean on. After convincing Pain to reasses his principles, the villain chooses to trust in Naruto's vision and gives his life to resurrect everyone who died in his invasion of Konoha.
As everyone comes back to life in the village, Naruto makes his way back from the confrontation, alone and exhausted. When it seems he can go no further, he collapses right onto Kakashi's back, and he proudly carries his student back to the Hidden Leaf like the hero he is.
2 Kakashi Lends A Hand During The Fourth Shinobi World War
Kakashi's contributions during the Fourth Great Shinobi War are invaluable. He leads the Third Division, composed of short- and mid-range fighters, as part of the Allied Shinobi Forces on the battlefield. He fends off a zombified Zabuza and Haku when Kabuto brings them back via Reanimation Jutsu, and aids Team 7 with opposing Kaguya.
Kakashi arguably provides his biggest help when Tobi is revealed to be Obito Uchiha. Through their relationship, Naruto learns of Obito's past and why he joined Madara. This allows him to use Talk no Jutsu on Obito and sway him to their side.
1 Kakashi Becomes Hokage For The Hidden Leaf, Giving Naruto Time To Mature
From childhood, Naruto's dream was to be the Hokage of the Hidden Leaf. He does continue on to fulfill that ambition, as Naruto's ending and Boruto show. But the war's conclusion is not the right time for him to ascend. Though Tsunade is prepared to retire, Naruto isn't ready and still has plenty of room to mature.
Enter Kakashi, who is perfect for the role. While hesitant, he steps into the position of Sixth Hokage as his responsibility to his village. His leadership, capability, experience, intelligence, and thoughtful nature make him ideal to lead Konoha for some time. It also gives Naruto time to grow so he can eventually take on the job he desires.
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