Minato was a fairly tall, fair-skinned man who on more than one occasion has been compared with Naruto in terms of physical appearance; both have bright blue-eyes and spiky blond hair. Unlike Naruto, Minato had jaw-length bangs framing either side of his face. According to Jiraiya, Minato was considered to be very handsome, as many women were infatuated with him. His normal attire consisted of a standard Konoha-nin uniform with two bands each on both of his sleeves, a flak jacket and a forehead protector; after becoming Hokage, he started wearing a short-sleeved long white coat over his normal attire, decorated by flames-like motifs on the edges, with the kanji for "Fourth Hokage" (四代目火影, Yondaime Hokage) written vertically down the back, and closed on the front by a thin orange rope. In his youth, he wore a tracksuit with three stripes on the sleeves, mesh undershirt, dark trousers and dark calf-length sandals.
Jiraiya and Tsunade pointed out that, while Naruto physically bears great resemblance to Minato, his personality is almost identical to his mother. While Naruto is boisterous and relatively thick, Minato was calm, collected, and highly perceptive. He also seemed well aware of the terror his reputation inspired in his foes. He appeared to be respectful of those around him; he didn't like freely speaking about others' pasts, and was said to be a very nice person. He deeply cared for and loved his wife and child, becoming very nervous because of Kushina's pain during labour and even shedding tears of joy at his son's birth. He also enjoyed reading, and took a special liking to reading Jiraiya's work in particular.
Jiraiya said that Minato was a shrewd person, and was not a man who would do something without reason. He was very knowledgeable of the ninja world, concluding that only Madara Uchiha would have the power or the reason to have the Nine-Tails attack Konoha during their fight. Minato was known for his unbeatable determination and unbelievable drive, which he passed on to his son. In his youth, Minato also had a desire to be acknowledged by everyone in the village and to become a great Hokage, again, a trait passed onto his son. His devotion to the village and his love for his friends inspired all those around him, and, as a result, he became well-liked by the villagers. Minato was nevertheless understanding that Naruto must feel hurt by the fact that his own father had sealed a monster inside him.
Village InformationVillage of Birth: Konohagakure Village of Alliance: Konohagakure
When Minato was in the Ninja Academy, his classmate and future wife Kushina Uzumaki thought he looked "flaky" and even "girly". He dreamed of being acknowledged by the Konoha villagers by becoming Hokage, which Kushina considered to be an impossible dream for someone like him. Years later however, when Kushina was kidnapped by Kumogakure ninja, Minato was the only one to pick up on the fact that she was leaving behind strands of her red hair to mark their path. After rescuing her, Minato explained that he had always admired her hair. No longer seeing him as "flaky", she fell in love with him.
According to those who knew him, Minato was a very talented ninja, having been considered a rare genius that appeared only once a generation. He graduated from the Ninja Academy at the age of ten, and was added to a genin team under the tutelage of Jiraiya. Jiraiya took a special interest in Minato, and accepted him as an apprentice, amongst other things teaching him the Summoning Technique. Jiraiya even believed Minato might be the Child of the Prophecy, someone who would someday save the world.
In time, Minato was put in charge of a genin team of his own, consisting of Rin, Obito Uchiha, and Kakashi Hatake. During the Third Shinobi World War, Minato led his team on a mission into Kusagakure to destroy the Kannabi Bridge. Because Kakashi had recently become a jōnin, Minato gave leadership of the mission to Kakashi while he went to help Konoha's forces on the front lines. After meeting up with the surviving and out-numbered Konoha ninja, Minato used his Flying Thunder God Technique to destroy the opposing Iwagakure ninja. He then returned to his team, just in time to save Kakashi and Rin from another group of Iwa forces; he was too late to save Obito. When Kakashi and Rin recovered from the ordeal, Minato helped them complete the mission.
At some point, he clashed with A multiple times. At their first meeting he recognised A's brother Killer B as the jinchūriki of the Eight-Tails. Upon receiving the signal that Konoha was retreating, he declared that they would later face each other to put the title of Kage on the line and also offered A the advise of making sure his brother knew who he was before becoming neither human nor jinchūriki.
When the war ended, Minato, not yet thirty years of age, was chosen to become the Fourth Hokage. At some point during his reign he read Jiraiya's first book. He liked the main character's determination, believing he was just like Jiraiya. Since Kushina was pregnant with their son, Minato informed Jiraiya that they planned to name their son "Naruto" in the hopes that he would be just like the main character and, in turn, Jiraiya. Jiraiya warned them that this would make him Naruto's godfather, but they insisted that this was a good thing.
Because Kushina was the jinchūriki of the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox, special arrangements had to be made for Naruto's birth. Since the seal keeping the Nine-Tails within her would weaken during childbirth, Naruto would secretly be delivered in a remote location outside Konoha. ANBU would guard the area and Minato would maintain the seal while Kushina went into labour. Soon after Naruto was born they were found by Madara Uchiha. Madara killed all of the ANBU and took Naruto hostage, threatening to do the same to him. Minato was able to take Naruto back, but this gave Madara the chance to escape with Kushina. Minato found a safe place to put Naruto and then teleported to Kushina. He arrived in time to stop the Nine-Tails, having been removed from her body, from killing her, and teleported back to Naruto. Minato reunited mother and son and then went to help defend Konoha from the Nine-Tails.
Minato arrived in the early stages of the Nine-Tails' attack. After protecting the village from its Tailed Beast Ball, Minato tried to reach the Third Hokage to inform him of what had happened. He was stopped by Madara, who tried to send him away. Minato escaped but was followed by Madara. When the two began fighting, Minato struggled to hit Madara, Madara being intangible whenever he was not currently attacking. By carefully timing his Flying Thunder God Technique, Minato was able to strike him during one of these rare moments and apply a seal for the Flying Thunder God Technique to him, allowing him to teleport to Madara whenever he wanted. He placed a Contract Seal on Madara to remove the Nine-Tails from his control, forcing Madara to flee.
When Minato returned to the village he found it in ruin. He summoned Gamabunta to distract the Nine-Tails long enough to teleport it away from the village to Naruto and Kushina's location. Kushina restrained it and, dying from the trauma of its removal, volunteered to have it sealed back into her body so that it would die with her. Distraught, Minato suggested instead using the Dead Demon Consuming Seal on the Nine-Tails to weaken it and then seal the rest into Naruto. Kushina objected since this would mean Minato's death and give Naruto a horrible, lonely life. Minato insisted it was for the best since allowing the Nine-Tails to resurrect itself, without a jinchūriki to contain it, would inevitably cause harm to Konoha and the Fire Country. Also, Minato was convinced that Naruto, the "Child of the Prophecy" Jiraiya had once told him about, would need the Nine-Tails' power to someday defeat Madara. After Minato used the Dead Demon Consuming Seal on it, the Nine-Tails realised their intentions and tried to kill Naruto, but Minato and Kushina used their bodies to shield him.
While Kushina gave a few finals words to Naruto, Minato summoned Gerotora, gave him the key to the seal he would use on Naruto, and sent him to Jiraiya. After Kushina told Naruto how much his parents loved him he seconds everything she says and then sealed the Nine-Tails and the rest of their chakra into Naruto so that they would be able to see him again when he was older, ending their lives. Since the Third Hokage had come to help, Minato used his last moments to request that Konoha think of Naruto as a hero, and not the container of the monster that caused so much death and destruction. Before he died he sealed his own chakra into Naruto so that he could someday see Naruto again too, specifically if ever the seal was about to break so that he could restore it.
The Third Hokage did his best to look out for Naruto but very few were willing to regard Naruto as anything but the Nine-Tails' jinchūriki. The Third Hokage forbade anyone from speaking of the Nine-Tails, hoping that those too young to remember the Nine-Tails' attack would not hate Naruto as the rest of the village had. He gave Naruto his mother's surname so that his relation to Minato would be kept a secret from Minato's enemies. He otherwise did his best to give Naruto a comfortable life despite Naruto having no parents and being made into an outcast by the rest of the village. Naruto would never be told his parents' identities, and neither would most of Konoha.
With Minato's death, the Third was forced to resume his position as Hokage, a role he filled until his death, never being able to find a replacement of Minato's calibre. Minato himself became regarded as the village's hero and, indeed, one of the greatest ninja Konoha had ever produced, so much so that villagers would regret his death whenever tragedy struck the village. Because Minato was never able to tell anyone what happened during the Nine-Tails' attack, villagers were forced to make their own explanations. Jiraiya recognised that Minato would not have sealed the Nine-Tails into his own son unless he had a good reason and that Minato intended Naruto to gain control of the Nine-Tails, but could never satisfactorily explain why.
Although Naruto had no idea about his relation with Minato most of his life, he appeared to greatly admire the Fourth Hokage, considering him a hero who gave his life for the village, showing anger when Tsunade spoke ill of him and becoming overjoyed whenever Jiraiya or Kakashi mentioned his resemblance with Minato. Before Naruto left Konoha to begin his training with Jiraiya, he looked at the Fourth Hokage's carved head and asked him to look after him. After learning the truth about his relation to Minato and despite the shock that his own father made him a jinchūriki, Naruto was proud to be the Fourth Hokage's son.
Years after his death, Killer B was surprised when he learned Minato created a technique similar to the Tailed Beast Ball, the Rasengan.
Flying Thunder God Kunai
The Flying Thunder God Kunai (飛雷神クナイ, Hiraishin Kunai) are custom-made kunai (特注クナイ, tokuchū kunai) utilised by Minato Namikaze in conjunction with his Space–Time Ninjutsu: the Flying Thunder God Technique. They differ in look from a standard kunai in that they have three blades instead of one and on the handle (which is thicker than normal) is the "marker" for Minato's teleportation ability; Minato also said that it's a bit heavier than a normal kunai. The prongs on them also makes it more deadly in melee fighting. He seemed to prefer using these special kunai over the standard type.
Minato gave one of these kunai to his pupil Kakashi Hatake, as a celebratory gift for his promotion to jōnin. During the war between Konohagakure and Iwagakure, the ninja from the former threw these kunai all over the battlefield, in order for Minato to teleport all over the place to slay his enemies almost instantly as well as making it difficult for the enemy to predict where it would teleport to next. He also kept several of these blades at his safe house, so he could teleport there quickly when necessary.
Minato spent three years creating the Rasengan by observing the Tailed Beast Ball. It is the highest level of shape transformation and does not require hand signs to be performed. Instead using a concentration of spinning chakra in the form of a sphere in the user's palm, which inflicts immense damage to its target on contact. As its creator, Minato had great mastery over the Rasengan, able to form it with one hand and his standard version being slightly larger than the Rasengan used by other characters. The lack of elaborate preparations needed for the Rasengan gave Minato an advantage over other technique users in battle; in his fight with Tobi, he is able to form a Rasengan right after throwing a marked kunai at his opponent, allowing him to land a devastating blow at Tobi immediately after performing the Flying Thunder God Technique. He had intended to combine the Rasengan with his own nature transformation, but the task was too difficult to complete.
In his youth, Jiraiya taught Minato how to use the Summoning Technique to summon toads. He had large chakra reserves as he was able to summon Gamabunta and was one of the few people that Gamabunta would willingly cooperate with. He could use the Summoning: Food Cart Destroyer Technique for a devastating surprise attack that could even pin powerful large targets like the Nine-Tails.