The survival drama Squid Game has taken the world by storm. The story, where desperation meets strategy, has left a lot of pop culture fans wondering how other characters would fare in the same situation. While the games that make up the show are deceptively simple children's games, it takes more than being able to freeze in place during "Red Light, Green Light" to win.
The characters of the Naruto franchise are trained from a young age to be the best fighters, to work as a team, and to be able to outwit their enemies. Some of the characters master their skills much faster than others. In the world of Squid Game, not all shinobi skills would be on the table either, though they would certainly be useful.
Kiba doesn't have the patience to outlast his opponents in Squid Game. He might make it through the first round of "Red Light, Green Light," after the initial shock of the competition wore off, but Kiba is known for action, not strategy, and that would cost him. Freezing in place alone would be a tough sell for him.
It's also worth noting that Kiba is used to having Akamaru with him at all times. With the games not being combat-based, his ninja dog wouldn't be a part of them. Kiba would be on his own, and he definitely struggles in solo situations. Even if he made it beyond the initial round, Kiba isn't the best at forming a team. He's great at acting under someone else's leadership, but when faced with making alliances on his own to stay alive, Kiba wouldn't put forth the effort.
As someone who turns everything into a competition, Naruto's Rock Lee would be a great game player. His general enthusiasm and desire to protect other people, however, is where he would end up losing.
Lee understands the necessity of killing people in combat. All of the shinobi raised in a village on the brink of war do. He wouldn't see the games that way though. Dying as the result of a children's game would have him on the hunt for justice, which would put him at odds with the people in charge and make him a target pretty quickly.
It would be incredibly surprising if Naruto made it through the first round of Squid Game. The only way he would be if he called on his shadow clones to overwhelm the field of play for "Red Light, Green Light." Naruto has never been able to stand still in his life.
Like Lee, once he understood just how each round of the game was meant to play out, he'd be outraged and ready to take on those in charge instead of his fellow players. Naruto would likely be someone sneaking around the compound, trying to find a way out, and trying to figure out just who was in charge. While he would inspire other players to be suspicious and vigilant, he likely wouldn't last the first few rounds.
Ino might not always seem like she puts in the same level of effort as her peers, but she's actually an incredibly shrewd shinobi. She's very good at reading people and would likely be able to suss out who her biggest competition is pretty quickly. Ino, despite being prickly toward her teammates and her frenemy Sakura, is also pretty good at presenting herself as an ally.
She would last at least halfway through the competition because she would have no problem insinuating herself into a group and keeping herself protected in the dorms as well as in the games. It would be once she had to compete one-on-one with others that she'd meet her end.
The audience doesn't get to spend as much time with Tenten as other Naruto characters. What they do know of her is that she doesn't rely on flashy jutsu to win fights, but instead, is someone who has trained to be able to use a variety of weapons and that she's often the voice of reason calming her impatient teammates. Both of those show that Tenten is patient enough to make it through a crowd of running game players and cut out a difficult shape from a honeycomb in time.
Where Tenten might falter is in the later rounds. She would be outmatched by someone more cunning than her when there were fewer players in the game for her to blend in with.
Hinata is the gentlest of Naruto's generation of shinobi. There's no doubt that she would have a hard time knowing that people around her would be dying just because she won a game. It would be difficult for her to keep going in the games as a result, but Hinata is also the one character who is always underestimated by her peers and protected by others.
Hinata would have no problem forming alliances with others who would see her as someone who needed their help. She might end up betrayed by some of those same people in later rounds though. Hinata would also put her all into proving that she deserved to be there, just as she did during the Chunin Exams. Ultimately, she wouldn't be the best strategist, but she would come pretty close to the end.
Gaara begins the Naruto series as someone who has no real regard for human life other than his own. He's willing to fight anyone and everyone to succeed as he's been manipulated by his father for years. That version of Gaara would certainly make it very far in Squid Game, though he might ultimately end up outmatched.
The Gaara who has learned compassion from his time spent in the Hidden Leaf Village, however, would be another story. He would examine his options and decide whether or not some of his competitors would be better suited to winning the game and dismantling the institution. He would make sure that person won, not himself.
Sasuke is incredibly ambitious when it comes to his own power, and he tends to become so involved in his own desires that he forgets about everyone else. That's fine when he goes off to train Orochimaru, but it won't earn him any friends for alliances.
Instead, Sasuke would largely have to operate on his own. While some might want to ally with him, seeing him as a strong competitor, he would likely think others would slow him down. His own arrogance in his abilities would mean he wouldn't see the threat of the better game players in the competition, and he would definitely be outmatched by the top spots.
Temari is one of the few Naruto characters who would excel in Squid Game. She's been raised in a ruthless environment with near-constant training, and she's a brilliant strategist. Temari understands the importance of having a strong team, even when she doesn't like some of her teammates. She's confident in her own abilities but can also see when she's the weaker link.
All of that adds up to Temari knowing exactly when to put herself first and when to make use of her allies. She would have no qualms about putting her own life ahead of others as well, knowing that she has a responsibility to her village to outlast the others. In fact, Gaara would likely sacrifice himself so that his sister could survive in the end. There's one person who could outmaneuver her though.
There's no question that Shikamaru is the smartest of his generation, potentially the smartest shinobi in all of Naruto. He's also frequently in a leadership position, which means he has experience rallying others around him and getting them to follow his plans. As a strong fighter and fan of games, Shikamaru could easily make it through to the end.
Here's where Shikamaru's trouble exists though: whether or not he would want to win. While Shikamaru would want to survive, like Gaara, he might see more value in helping others get to the end instead of himself. It's entirely possible that he would throw the game at the last minute to allow Temari to win and seek vengeance on those in charge. It's also possible he'd see himself as the best person to do that, which is why it's a toss-up as to whether he or Temari would be the ultimate victor.
NEXT: Naruto Characters, Ranked From Least To Most Likely To Win The Hunger Games