With Boruto: Naruto Next Generations gaining traction as a spinoff and sequel to Masashi Kishimoto's Naruto, it seems an appropriate time to explore characters that could have held their own in a spinoff series. Kishimoto has created a surplus of good characters -- so many, in fact, that many super-interesting ones haven't been able to receive adequate screen time.
It's also worth mentioning that Rock Lee has his own chibi spinoff series, Rock Lee & His Ninja Pals, though it is not canon. Below we will look at characters that could make the cut as worthy protagonists of their own show.
5. Hiruzen Sarutobi
Naruto fans are already well-acquainted with Hiruzen Sarutobi's resume. He was the Third Hokage of Konoha and trained three kids who would go on to be known as the Three Legendary Sannin. His granddaughter, one of the Legendary Sannin, would also later become the Fifth Hokage. Though one could argue a Sarutobi spinoff would just be yet another Hokage journey, many fans would still be interested in learning why Sarutobi came to be acknowledged as one of the most powerful shinobi of his generation.
A Third Hokage spinoff series would answer the question of why he became Hokage. There's not much to be said on how he inherited such a lofty position -- it's well known that Sarutobi was chosen by Tobirama (the Second Hokage) to succeed him at a very young age. However, a spinoff could explore the reasons behind Tobirama's split-second decision, via scenes addressing Hiruzen's nobility, resolve and potential. His mastering of five chakra natures would also make for some great training arc flashbacks.
Jiraiya is a funny, charismatic and deceptively smart character -- all great attributes for a spinoff. Many fans feel that not enough has been shown of Jiraiya, save for his time spent training Naruto. A spinoff series would greatly please these fans.
His series would be naturally imbued with comedy, given his animated personality, and there'd also be no shortage of epic fight scenes. Jiraiya is one of the Three Legendary Sannin, and would inevitably use his skill and resolve for change on his journey of finding the Child of Destiny. With regards to romance, it would be great for fans to witness the love dynamics at play between him and Tsunade, the Fifth Hokage, on their missions and training under the Third Hokage.
3. Shisui Uchiha
Shisui Uchiha is a powerful and memorable member of the Uchiha clan whose potential was truly wasted in Naruto. Also known as Shisui of the Body Flicker, he was a skilled user of the body flicker technique (also known as Teleportation Jutsu). Shisui would employ this high-speed movement to disappear quickly, leaving no trace of his presence. As this technique is barely mentioned in both anime and manga, it would be nice to have a spinoff that could elaborate on it.
Shisui also had access to the most powerful Genjutsu, Kotoamatsukami. The purpose of this jutsu is to control others with a subtlety that betrays their judgment, making them ignorant of any mind manipulation. Viewers did not get to see this awesome jutsu in action, so it would be a cool part of his spinoff series. Shisui's connections would also allow for a certain former Akatsuki member to also get some much-welcomed screen time. Fan-favorite Itachi Uchiha would naturally play a big part in Shisui's spinoff story.
2. Sakumo Hatake
Sakumo Hatake, also known as Konoha's White Fang, is said to have power and fame that rivaled that of the Legendary Sannin. There's a lot of mystery surrounding this character, largely owing to his very limited screen time, which a spinoff could explore in many different ways. When such a character manages to become popular despite this paucity of information, there's clearly demand to see him in the spotlight.
The theme of sacrifice would likely also play a big role in this White Fang series, as is also true for his son, Kakashi. Viewers already know of his ultimate sacrifice, which saw him holding onto the heavy burden of honor as it drowned him in a sea of judgment.
1. Minato Namikaze
A spinoff series involving Minato makes the most sense from a perspective of coherency. Fans already have a series dedicated to Naruto and one about his son, Boruto -- wouldn't it be nice to have Naruto's father Minato complete a perfect trilogy? Even if we ignore that link, Minato would easily be able to hold his own as the eponymous hero of any spinoff series.
Minato was known as the Yellow Flash and Fourth Hokage of the Leaf. Similar to the Body Flicker technique, Minato was a user of the Flying Raijin Jutsu -- a space-time jutsu that allows a user to teleport to any solid surface they've placed a marking on. This jutsu presented Minato as quick and stylish in victory, so would make for some great action scenes.
Fans would also love to get a closer view of Minato's relationship with his wife, Kushina Uzumaki. Kushina was a bright red-haired kunoichi (female ninja) and the second jinchūriki of the Nine-Tails. Minato's series would have the authority to show Naruto's mother in her daily life, her path to strength and her married life. Minato is also responsible for creating the famous Rasengan that Naruto later further developed, so there's potential for a nice father/son parallel.
From his signature jutsu to his custom-made jacket and kunai, so much about Minato is iconic. This prequel series would no doubt be the perfect addition to the Naruto franchise.