The Chunin exams serve many purposes in the Naruto world: like improving the relationship between the participating Villages and it demonstrates the power of the Villages.
However, their main purpose is to provide an opportunity for ninjas from all over the ring to show off their skills and prove that they are worthy of a promotion.
Most of Naruto’s main characters have either been promoted to Chunin or have progressed much further, so there are very few examples of ninjas who failed the exams and never became Chunin.
Even so, there are plenty of ways for weaker ninjas to thrive in this ninja-centric world.
What is the Chunin in Naruto?
It’s important to clarify what a Chunin is before explaining what happens to ninjas who don’t get there. Chunin is an intermediate ninja located between Genin and Jonin.
These ninjas usually have intermediate combat and leadership skills. Once a ninja becomes a Chunin, they can take on more difficult quests such as a C rank or a B rank.
Becoming a Chunin is often seen as the midpoint of a ninja career but many ninja choose to stay at the Chunin for the rest of their career. they are like Iruka.
Ninjas that don’t level up are called “Eternal Genin”
There are a few examples of ninjas who have never passed the rank of genin. These ninjas are often ridiculed and given the title of ‘Eternal Genin’ (“Eternal Genin”).
Ninjas like Kosuke Maruboshi and Might Guy’s father, Might Duy, are never promoted beyond Genin. This has caused many people to look down on them and underestimate their skills.
Ranking does not always refer to the strength of each Ninja. Genin can possess powers far beyond ordinary Jonin. It is possible that Might Duy was able to fight all 7 people and kill 4 of the 7 powerful Ninja known as the Seven Swords of the Mist Village.
Kosuke is as strong as any Jonin but willingly chooses to be a genin because of his shameful past. A Ninja can remain a Genin for their entire career and continuously take D-rank and C-rank quests.
Genin still has a chance to be great
There is no rule that forbids Genin from taking higher level quests or jumping straight to the top. It is a pity that neither Naruto nor Sasuke have ever been promoted in the past despite being the 2 strongest ninjas in the Village.
Both Naruto and Sasuke have accomplished tasks that are extremely difficult, if not impossible, for a Genin. Naruto was promoted directly from Genin to Hokage.
Sasuke often performs secret missions that are important to the safety of Konoha. Even as a Genin, there are plenty of opportunities to make a name for yourself and showcase your skills beyond your ranks.
Ninja feeling unappreciated can become “Bat Ren”
If a ninja feels the village isn’t the right place for them, they can try becoming a “Bad Ren” (抜け忍, Nukenin). The training a ninja receives from the Academy and the experience they gain as a Genin will make them far superior to ordinary bandits or mercenaries.
Customers will pay a lot of money for the skills of a ninja not bound by the rules of a Village. A Bat-Ren Genin will do quite well as a mercenary if they are willing to risk the pursuit of their home village. It’s dangerous work, but the rewards can be worth the risk.
There are other work opportunities for Genin
Since the 4th Great Ninja War, the ninja world has largely existed in peace. Because of this, the Academy now offers courses that don’t always focus on ninja skills.
The ninjas who graduate from the Academy are highly skilled both in the art of shinobi and academic studies in general. These skills make these ninjas highly coveted by employers outside of the ninja world. Even mail carriers and firefighters use ninja skills in their daily work.
A Genin’s experience and abilities are valuable and employers are willing to pay a premium for them, both in the ninja world and outside of it.
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