- “That moment, I saw Minato as an amazingly splendid ninja. He made me believe he could fulfill my dreams, and above all, he changed me… This ordinary red hair I hated so much had brought me the person of my destiny. It became my own personal "red thread of fate". From that day, I liked my hair, but more importantly, I loved Minato.”
- — Kushina to Naruto about Minato, Chapter 498
Minato and Kushina attended the Ninja Academy together. Initially, Kushina thought that Minato was unreliable and weird, as he dreamed of becoming Hokage but was shy when she was introduced.
When Kushina got kidnapped by Kumogakure nin after her chakra, Minato was the only one who picked up on her hints and saved her. As he carried her to safety, Minato admits to Kushina that the first thing he noticed about her was her beautiful red hair. Kushina, who had grown up hating her red hair because kids kept making fun of it, was touched and for the first time, didn't see him as an incapable ninja.
Kushina fell in love with Minato. They married a couple of years later, they found out Kushina was pregnant when they were about to have a meal at Ichiran Ramen, and Kushina had to walk out because she felt sick, while Minato followed her worriedly. To protect Kushina from possible enemies targeting the Hokage's wife and child, Minato ordered ANBU captain Hatake Kakashi to be Kushina's guard during her pregnancy.
The night Kushina was due to deliver, Minato moved her to a remote location surrounded by ANBU guards and helped to keep the Nine-Tails' Seal closed while she gave birth, as the seal weakened during childbirth. Tobi attacks Kushina, taking advantage of her weakened state and unleashes the Nine Tails on Konohagakure. Minato takes Kushina and newborn Naruto to safety before going to face the Nine Tails. In the end, Minato is forced to seal the Nine Tails into Naruto to prevent the complete destruction of Konoha, but before he and Kushina could complete the seal; the Nine Tails tries to kill Naruto. Minato and Kushina use their bodies as a shield and are both impaled by the Nine Tails' claw. As they lie together in a pool of each other's blood, the Nine Tails sealed inside their newborn son, Minato moves closer to Kushina and they die together.
Naruto meets his mother for the first time in Chapter 497, where Kushina tells him that she loved him and Minato.
After the reveal of Naruto's parents and how they died, Minato and Kushina were immediately shipped and gained supporters left and right as more of their love story was revealed. Most fanworks are of the couple with their grown son, Naruto, who they never got to raise but still love dearly. Their "love story" is often used by the fandom has an example for a well-written ship, and as Naruto's parents and their own individual titles, they're considered a power couple and respected.
It is the most popular ship for both characters.
|SHIPS||slash||GaaNaru • HashiMada • KakaIru • KakaNaru • KakaSasu • KoteIzu • NaruKiba • NaruLee • NaruSai • NejiNaru • OroSasu • SasuNaru • ShikaNaru • ShikaSasu|
|het||GaaSaku • KakaHana • KakaRin • KakaSaku • KawaSara • LeeSaku • MenSaku • MinaKushi • NaruFuu • NaruHina • NaruSaku • NaruShion • NaruTsuna • SaiIno • SaiSaku • SasuIno • SasuKarin • SasuSaku • ToneHina|
|femslash||SakuHina • SakuIno • SakuKarin|
|CHARACTERS||m/f||Kakashi Hatake • Sakura Haruno • Sasuke Uchiha • Naruto Uzumaki|